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Bridge Basics: How to Play

What you need:

  • Four players 
  • One deck of cards, minus jokers 

Object: The aim of the game is for each pair is to win as many tricks as possible. Each player lays down a card, and the highest card wins. 

Where to begin: 

  • The four players will divide into pairs. 
  • Shuffle and deal 13 cards to each player.

Evaluating your hand: you want to get a look at your cards and determine their strength. Find your high-card points and long suits.

Begin with bidding: where players bid the minimum number of tricks they think they can win. Your bid is also a nonverbal cue to your teammate on the strength of your cards. 

A bid is made by laying down a bidding card numbered 1 to 7. The number on your card is the total number of tricks plus 6 that your team is committing to make. 

Example: If you lay down a 3 of spades, that means you are making a contract to win 9 tricks (3 plus six). 

The dealer makes the first bid, then the table continues clockwise. Bidding will end when three players in a row ‘pass’ – meaning they don’t want to bid any higher. 

Once bidding is over, the play begins! 

Play

This is where each pair will now try to win tricks equal to or more than the bid.

The pair that won the bid starts the game, and each player will lay down a card of that suit they believe will win the trick. Whoever wins the trick gets to choose the next suit. 

Wrapping Up

If at the end of the deal the pair that won the bid has taken the number of tricks they bid, they score a number of points. However, if they do not fulfill their “contract,” the other team will be awarded points. 

Here’s how you can get started

Learn with other players 

* indicates required

 

Practice and Play

Want to get started from the comfort of your home? Join an online club! You can play anywhere, anytime AND join tournaments that award ACBL masterpoints. Have fun! 

Bridge Basics: How to Play

What you need:

  • Four players 
  • One deck of cards, minus jokers 

Object: The aim of the game is for each pair is to win as many tricks as possible. Each player lays down a card, and the highest card wins. 

Where to begin: 

  • The four players will divide into pairs. 
  • Shuffle and deal 13 cards to each player. 

Evaluating your hand: you want to get a look at your cards and determine their strength. Find your high-card points and long suits.

Begin with bidding: where players bid the minimum number of tricks they think they can win. Your bid is also a nonverbal cue to your teammate on the strength of your cards. 

A bid is made by laying down a bidding card numbered 1 to 7. The number on your card is the total number of tricks plus 6 that your team is committing to make. 

Example: If you lay down a 3 of spades, that means you are making a contract to win 9 tricks (3 plus six). 

The dealer makes the first bid, then the table continues clockwise. Bidding will end when three players in a row ‘pass’ – meaning they don’t want to bid any higher. 

Once bidding is over, the play begins! 

Play

This is where each pair will now try to win tricks equal to or more than the bid.

The pair that won the bid starts the game, and each player will lay down a card of that suit they believe will win the trick. Whoever wins the trick gets to choose the next suit. 

Wrapping Up

If at the end of the deal the pair that won the bid has taken the number of tricks they bid, they score a number of points. However, if they do not fulfill their “contract,” the other team will be awarded points.  

Here’s how you can get started

Learn with other players 

* indicates required

 

Practice and Play

Want to get started from the comfort of your home? Join an online club! You can play anywhere, anytime AND join tournaments that award ACBL masterpoints. Have fun! 

Trybridge.org is an initiative of the ACBL Educational Foundation and American Contract Bridge League.

For more information email
trybridge@acbl.org.