Barry Rigal was born clutching a deck of cards. He began with children's games such as Whist, Rummy, and Solitaire before moving on to Bridge at the age of twelve. He worked in accountancy after graduating from Oxford University (where he captained the Bridge team). Learning to play Piquet and Clobyosh in Thomson McLintock's Tax Department was a highlight of his professional life. He entered into company after four years with Price Waterhouse, where he oversaw the partnership's Bridge team. He spent seven years with Conoco's Oil Taxes department.
During this time, he began working as a journalist and card game commentator. He has published six books about Bridge, as well as newspaper and magazine pieces, over the last two decades.