Bridge bidding 1

Bridge is a PARTNERSHIP game


  1. The object of the game is to score points, by making a contract, scoring bonuses, or defeating an opponent’s contract.
  2. We need a method of assessing the bidding value of a hand. The most widely used is assigning a value to an ace = 4, king = 3, queen = 2 and jack =1 (these are also referred to as points). A pack therefore has 40 pts, a suit 10pts. An AVERAGE hand also has 10pts
  3. A long suit has more trick taking potential; than a short suit, if it is the trump suit.
  4. To OPEN the bidding we need more than an average hand. 12-15pts is a normal opening hand 16-20 a good opening hand, and 21+ a very, very good opening hand.
  5. To open in a suit we need at least 4 cards in the suit, the longer the better.
  6. If you open with a suit, ALWAYS choose the longest suit, not the strongest.
  7. Hands with no long suit are said to be BALANCED, and are often opened  1No trump (1NT)
  8. Both sides compete for the contract. The opener’s partner is called the responder.
  9. The responder is expected to bid (respond) with 6 pts or more. To bid a new suit, then a minimum of 4 cards in that suit are required. A response of 1NT can be made on 6-9 pts.
  10. Opener or responder can bid as many suits as he/she wishes, provided each suit has at least 4 cards in it.


Some definitions


  1. If you bid the same suit as opener/ responder, that is called RAISING or supporting.

If you choose between partner’s suits that is called giving PREFERENCE

  1. Missing out a level of bidding is called JUMPING. There is no requirement in bridge to start bidding at the 1 level if you have a very strong hand. Any player can  jump any number of bidding levels. However it is normal to start at the 1 level and  go on to the 2 level. Etc
  2. ♣s and ♦s are called MINOR suits. ♥s and ♠s are called MAJOR suits. This is because when score a contract made, minor suits score only 20 pts per trick, majors score 30 pts per trick  Major suit contracts are more popular than minor suit contracts. Do not confuse points scored for making a contract etc, with hand points used to assess the value of your hand!!
  3. You may bid the same suit twice or more. Called a RE-BID. You need at least 5 cards in that suit to re-bid it, unless partner has supported that suit by raising it. A jump re-bid in a suit normally shows at least 6 cards in the suit. Any player can jump in no-trumps as well as jumping in a suit.
  4. Opener can raise responder’s suit, and responder can raise opener’s suit
  5.  A set of ‘rules’, agreed between you and partner to aid how you bid is called a SYSTEM. A bid with a special meaning is called a CONVENTION. The can be NO SECRET understandings between you and partner. You may ASK the meaning of any bid when it is your turn to bid, provided you may intend to bid.
  6. The basic System used in England is called ACOL. The Americans and others use different systems.
  7.  The U3A plays RUBBER  bridge where each hand is dealt, played and re-dealt. The scores build up until a ‘game’ or later ‘rubber’ is reached. DUPLICATE bridge is played by clubs when each hand is passed to the next table etc to be played several times.