Fred Karpin, an authority on contract bridge who lectured and wrote about the game, was born in Brooklyn and graduated from Brooklyn College, where he played on the varsity baseball team.

He served in the Army as a finance officer during World War II. Married with Nettie they are two daughters.

In 1930's and 40's, Mr. Karpin was a ghostwriter of bridge columns for many of the most famous names in the game, including Charles Goren and Charles Solomon.

He and Mr. Goren became friendly rivals, promoting different versions of the point-count method. Mr. Karpin's idea, of counting one point for a five-card suit, two for a six-card suit and so on, competed with Goren's short-suit distributional count, which become more popular.

Mr. Karpin was the bridge editor of The Washington Post from 1965 to 1981 and how bridge player won the 1953 Marcus Cup.

He was the author of nine books on the game, including ''Bridge Strategy at Trick One,'' ''The Play of the Cards'' and ''How to Play and Misplay Slam Contracts.''

Fred, who had suffered from cancer,  died at the Washington Home Hospice. He, was 73 years old and lived in Silver Spring, Md.