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1- Basic Principles
Click Learn To Play Bridge if you are an absolute beginner..

Materials in this site are in five-card majors and suitable to SAYC:
In this site,
Bidding and playing are just categorized.. Basic methods  will provide Bridge7 members to play at bridge clubs with their friends and  across the Internet with Bridge7 friends in all over the world easily..

     1 NT opening shows 15-17 points. Weak two-bids shows 6 cards suit with 5-11 HCP. 2 Clubs opening is strong and artificial. Limit raises, Stayman, transfers, RKCB, negative doubles, are standard conventions. Jump overcalls are preemptive in competition. 

    The Bridge Tips section contains more sophisticated bidding and playing methods for improving bridge techiques of Bridge7 friends..

Good Luck Bridge7 firends..

1.1 Terms

1.1.1 Intermediate Cards= 10 and 9 in any suit are called intemediate card.
1.1.2 Auction = The bidding phase of bridge.
1.1.3 Balanced hand = A hand without voids and singletons. Shape s 4-3-3-3 or 4-4-3-2 are examples of balanced hands. 
1.1.4 Convention = Bid which has a special meaning 
1.1.5 Trick = The cards played and won in a single round.
1.1.6 Honor = Any of the five higest cards in a suit: Ace, King Queen, Jack and Ten. The ten is honor card without point value
1.1.7 Suit = Any of the four sets of thirteen playing cards: spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs. 
1.1.8 Low card = Cards ranking from eight to two in a suit. 

1.2 Point Count

Note: Go to Section 10 for practicing point count

In the game of bridge, you use points to evaluate your hand. In order to make a good contract, you must know the value of your hand. You can evaluate your hand by combining high card points and distributinal points.

1.2.1  High-Card Points

Use only high card points to evaluate your hand in notrump contracts.

Honors Card Point
Ace 4
King 3
Queen 2
Jack 1
Ten 0
1) High-Card points abbreviated as HCP.
2) Total HCP points in the deck is 40.

1.2.2 Shape (Distribution) Points

  There are several ways to count Shape  points. Widely used ones are:

1- Long suit points: Added to HCP before your partnership has reached a fit.
2- Short suit points: Added to HCP after your partnership has reached a fit. Short suit points also known as Dummy Points

Long and short suit points must not be combined (must never be cumulated) in evaluating your hand. Long Suit Points (Length Points)

Evaluate your hand with high card points and long suit points unless you are supporting your partner's suit.

Shape  Point Description Example
(please click)
Each card over four in any suit  1 Add one point for each additonal card on 4th card. This is called long-suit points. For example, add three points for a 7-card suit. Short Suit Points (Dummy Points)

Short suit points are added to high card points after your partnership found a fit (shortness method).

Shape  Point Description Example
(click on the example)
Void  5 If you have a missing suit (void) you have the ability to trump losers. So count 5 points..
With support with partner's suit
Singleton  3 If you have a single card in a suit, sooner you will have the ability to trump losers. So count 3 points..

Singleton honors (like K, Q and J) can not have both HCP and short suit points: If you have unprotected honors, just add 3  points for short suit points. Not both of them.

With support for partner's suit
Doubleton    1 If you have double cards in a suit, later you will have the ability to trump losers. So count 1 points..

If your doubleton suit is in the form of:  K Q, K J, Q J, Q x, J x don't count both honor and Shape  points. Because this kind of hands easily lose to  opponents' high cards. 

Note: Use above short suit points to revaluate your hand after you reached a fit. Here is an example about revaluating:

This hand has
8 HCP + 1 long suit (club) point = 9 total points.
If your partner bids 1S, you have four-card support in spades. In this case, you can revaluate your hand as:

8 HCP + 3 short suit (diamond) point = 11 total points.

1.2.4 Total Points

The sum of high card points (HCP) and one of the shape points (long suit or short suit point) is called total points (TP). 
When you are opening a bid or bidding a new suit you must evaluate your hand with HCP & long suit points. So, 


Plese see Chapter 10 for practicing point count..

Once your partner opens, and if you are going to raise your partner's suit you must reevaluate your hand with short suit points. So, in raising partner's suit you must use below equation.


Don't forget that, if you are opener, and raising the responder's suit you must also use equation (1.2).

  • Never cumulate long suit (length) and short suit (dummy) points; use them separately.

  • If you are evaluating your hand (either as opener or responder) for a no trump contract don't use total points; use only high card points.

Here are some examples for counting points:

Click on the buttons:


1.3 Ranks

The ranks are imoprtant in the auction. The suit ranks  from highest to lowest are shown below:

No  suit No trump Balanced hands are suitable for notrump contracts.
Majors are higher ranking suits. Always seek for 8-card major fit with your partner as: 4-4, 5-3, 6-2....
Minors are lower ranking suits. If you don't have 8-card major suit fit with your partner, you canmake a contract either in one of minor suits or notrump..

At the begining of the auction the lowest suit is 1 .

1.3.3 Suit Length

Long suit = A, K, 7, 6, 5, 3
Short suit = Q, 3

1.3.4  Suit Strength

Strong suit = A, R, D, 10, 8,
Weak suit = D, 10, 8, 5, 4,

1.4 Contract

In the auction you can bid one of the below contracts or call pass, double, redouble...

A contract at the 1-level,  for example1NT, needs 7 tricks.

A contract at the 2-level, for example 2, needs 8 tricks..

A contract at the 3-level, for example 3NT,  needs 9 tricks.

A contract at the 4-level, for example 4, needs 10 tricks.

A contract at the 5-level, for example 5, needs 11  tricks.

A contract at the 6-level, for example 6, needs 12  tricks.

A contract at the 7-level, for example 7, needs 13  tricks.

1.5 Contract Levels

Your aim is to make a contract to play in game (like 3NT,  4  etc.). You win at least 100 point if you play in game. If you don't have enough points for game level, you can bid a contract for part score.  If your opponents bid a contract at a higher level than you, your aim is to prevent them making the contract. You can practice contract levels at the Section-10 of this site..

COLETA  (Yalcin Pekiner's COntract LEvels TAble)





  Total Points

HCP+Shape Points

Possible Trump Contract with at least 8-card fit


  Total Points


Possible NoTrump Contract 


1 of a suit 






2  of a suit 




3  of a suit 




4  of a suit 






5  of a suit 




6  of a suit  with stoppers





7  of a suit with stoppers








A contract whose trick score is less then 100 is called part-game or partscore contract.

Any contract whose trick score is higher then 100 is called game contract. Slam and grandslam contracts are also game contracts.

1.6.1 Symbols

Please find below the symbols of the high cards;

Honor English Symbol
Ace A
King K
Queen Q
Jack J
10 10
Double x
Redouble xx

1) Sometimes letter "T" is used for ten.
2) Low ranking cards are denoted as (x). Letter x is also used in describing doubled hands.

1.6.2 Scoring

The scoring depends on the type of bridge you are playing. There are three types of bridge:

1. Rubber Bridge: The partnership which wins two games (with 100 points) wins the rubber. Rubber bridge  mainly played in clubs for money.
2. Chicago Bridge :Also known as Four-Deal Bridge. In this type of bridge, player who gets the highest score wins the game. Chicago bridge mainly played among friends.
3- Dublicate Bridge: In this type of bridge, players at the different tables play the same deals. Dublicate bridge is mainly played in clubs, tournaments and matches.

The scoring is almost same in all three types of bridges, but the bonuses change considerably:

Note: Go to Duplicate Bridge" section for practicing the scoring

Duplicate bridge is mainly played in clubs, tournaments and matches. In Duplicate Bridge players at the different tables play the same deals. Then the results of the tables are compared. In this way the  factor of luck is eliminated.

Add 300 points for nonvulnerable game contracts.

Add 500 points for  vulnerable game contracts.


Non-vulnerable four spades contract:
Score   4 x 30  = 120
Award              =300

Total                = 420


You can practice duplicate bridge scoring with the help of a program in Section 15 (15.Duplicate Bridge)...

Table 1:  Trick Score
You get these scores for each trick. 

Trump Trick Score Doubled
Trick Score
Trick Score
Spade 3060120
Heart 3060120
Diamond 204080
Club 204080
Notrump first trick 40,
thereafter 30
first trick 80,
thereafter 60
first trick 160
thereafter 120

Table 2: Overtrick Score
Any extra trick after your contract is subject to bonus. If your contract is  three spades and if you make 5 spades then you have two extra trick.

Vulnerability Trick Score Doubled
Trick Score
Trick Score
Non-vulnerable 20 in minors, 30 major or notrumpcontracts 100200
Vulnerable 20 in minors, 30 major or notrumpcontracts 200400

Table 3: Undertrick Score
Defending side scores below points for each undertrick if you fail to take the tricks you contracted to take. For example, you are two down  if your contract is five diamonds and you can make only three tricks. 

Contract Vulnerability First Undertrick Score Subsequent 
Undertrick Scores
Normal Non-vulnerable 5050
Vulnerable  100100
Doubled Non-vulnerable100200 **
Vulnerable 200400
Vulnerable 400600

 ** After 3 down,  the penalty for each subsequent undertrick becomes 300.

Table 4: Slam Bonuses
Slam or Grand slam contracts are subject to extra bonuses.

Bonus type Score
(if you bid and make a slam contract)
Non-vulnerable 500
Vulnerable  750
Grand Slam 
(if you bid and make a gran slam contract)
Non-vulnerable 1000
Vulnerable  1500

Table 5: Other Bonuses

Bonus Type Description Score
Making a partscore contract If you succeed in making a partscore contract50
Making a doubled contract If you succeed in making a doubled contract you get bonus.50
Making a redoubled contract If you succeed in making a redoubled contract you get bonus.100

1.6.4 Programming Language

Universal notation for bridge games is called  PBN (Portable Bridge Notation). Files with .pbn extensions  can be viewed by many computer programs. Most bridge hands played in tournaments are  written in pbn format.

The programs in Bridge7 ( Go to Section-10) are written in Java Script and Visual Basic. Visual Basic programs can be downloaded..

In order to explain bridge play in computer programs, each player represented by a direction: South, West, North and East. In computer programs South is declarer. Please find below a sample hand diagram:

Contract =3 NT
Op. lead   =K
8 7 5
Q J 10 9 
K J 10 

8 7 6 5 2 
4 3 2
A K 5 7 6

J 10
K J 9
Q 8 6 5 4 3 2


9 3 4
A Q 10 6
8 4 2
A 9 7