Not Your Grandma’s Game: Why
You Should Be Playing Bridge
The Rules, Abridged (ha!)
All cards are dealt. The dealer is first to bid. Bidding
continues until all pass. Player to the left of the declarer
opens the play with any card.
Highest trump wins any trick. Otherwise, highest card in
the suit led wins the trick.You must play the suit led if you
can. Whoever wins the trick starts play for the next trick.
Scoring is based on suit of the contract.
No Trump > Spades & Hearts > Diamonds & Clubs
(Pun courtesy of @Metroknow)
It’s Like Twitter!
North: 1NT “I have a frickin’ awesome hand.”
South: 2C “Really? What’s your best major suit?”
North: 2D “Hearts, and you?”
South: 3H “ZOMG, I have great Hearts! I will scream it to
North: 4H “Okay, let’s do that then.”
“In terms of the game of bridge itself, computers
can't play at any reasonable level. Even I can
probably beat the best bridge software that
-Bill Gates, 1998
It Takes All Your Brain
You will always know
the distribution of half
of the cards. The
remainder of the
information needs to
be deduced or
you’re defending or
trying to make the
The Basics (in Four Slides)
Card Images by Jesse Fuchs and Tom
Hart, based on David Bellot’s SVGs,
and distributed under CC 2.5-by-sa
How Many Tricks Can I Take?
Always assume 6 tricks!
High Card Points (HCP):
Ace = 4
King = 3
Queen = 2
Jack = 1
Ten = 0 (but we still love them)
Minimum HCPs requred: 13
This hand: 15 points. We Can Bid!
We Say, “One ______.”
What Do I Want to Be Trump?
Bid Strong & Long!
We Say, “One Spade!”
But…What if Partner Bids Back?
Good! They have at least
6 HCP and they’re trying
to give you more
information about what
When you’re new, assume
that all bids are “natural,”
i.e., they’re not secret
codes or big eyebrow-
But What if My Opponents Bid?
Don’t Panic. There’s a chance
Oh no you didn’t.
that they’re trying to mess with
you, but it’s equally likely that they
have a decent hand and want to
tell their partner.
Listen. Any bid contains
information. That information is
open to all – in fact, if your
opponent’s bid means something
other than the natural meaning,
they’re required to explain.
Bid Back. The contested auction
is a minefield for both pairs. If you
can, push back at them.