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Bridge

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Bridge Card Game Rules

Overview

Bridge is a trick taking game where teams of players try to win more tricks than the other team. Bridge is played by four players divided into two teams.

Ranking of Cards

In Bridge, Aces are high and 2's are low

Presets

Play Multiplayer Bridge Online

The Deck and the Deal

Bridge is played with a standard deck of 52 cards. After teams are decided amongst the players, the dealer passes out 13 cards, one by one, to each player. Teammates sit across from each other.

How to Play

Auction

After cards are dealt, players begin a round of bidding, starting with the player left of the dealer and going clockwise. During the auction, players can bid, double, redouble, or pass.

Bid

A bid is the number of tricks that the player believes their team will make in the round along with their desired trump suit. The minimum bid in Bridge is 7 while the maximum bid is 13. Players announce a bid of 7 by saying 'One' with their desired trump suit (etc. 'One Heart'). A bid of 8 would be 'Two Hearts', and so on.

Double

If a player believes that the other team will fail in their bid, they can announce double. Announcing double means that the other team will receive double the penalty points if they fail to meet their bid. It also means that the other team will receive double the points if they succeed to meet their bid.

Redouble

If an opposing player announces double, then the other team can announce redouble. This effectively quadruples the points either won or penalized by the attacking team.

Pass

If a player doesn't want to increase a bid, double, or redouble, they can pass.

After an entire round of passing, the team with the highest bid becomes the attackers while the other team becomes the defenders.

Play

The player who announced the winning bid becomes the Declarer while their teammate becomes the Dummy. The Dummy turns over their hand so that all players can see their cards. The Declarer plays for the Dummy in the round.

The Declarer leads the first trick. Going clockwise, players must follow the lead suit if they can. The highest ranking card wins the trick. The player who wins the trick leads the next trick.

Scoring

Points are scored in two ways, Tricks won and Bonus/Penalty Points.

Tricks Won

After the 6th trick won, tricks are worth points. The value of tricks won is dependent on the trump suit for the round.

If Diamonds or Clubs are trump, each trick after 6 is worth 20 points.

If Hearts or Spades are trump, each trick after 6 is worth 30 points.

If there are no trumps, the 7th trick is worth 40 points while every trick after is worth 30 points.

Bonus/Penalty Points

There are many different types of bonus/penalty points.

An overtrick is a trick made after a team's bid is met.

An undertrick is a trick made before a team's bid is met

A grand slam is when a team makes 13 tricks.

A small slam is when a team makes 12 tricks.

The value of Bonus and Penalty points depend on if a team is vulnerable. A team is vulnerable if they won the previous round. Below is a list bonus and penalty points.

Bonus points for non-vulnerable teams

Doubled overtricks are worth 100 points each.

Redoubled overtricks are worth 200 points each.

Small slams are worth 500 points.

Grand slams are worth 1000 points.

Bonus points for vulnerable teams

Doubled overtricks are worth 200 points each.

Redoubled overtricks are worth 400 points each.

Small slams are worth 750 points.

Grand slams are worth 1500 points.

Penalty points for non-vulnerable teams

Undertricks cost 50 points each.

The first doubled undertrick costs 100 points.

Each doubled undertrick after the first costs 200 points each.

The first redoubled undertrick costs 200 points.

Each redoubled undertrick after the first costs 400 points each.

Penalty points for vulnerable teams

Undertricks cost 100 points each.

The first doubled undertrick costs 200 points.

Each doubled undertrick after the first costs 300 points each.

The first redoubled undertrick costs 400 points.

Each redoubled undertrick after the first costs 600 points each.

Winning

Teams keep score. The first team to reach an agreed amount of points or rounds won, wins the game.

Variations

CardzMania supports several customizable rules and options so you can play Bridge exactly how you like or how you grew up playing with your friends and family. In addition to the classic way of playing, we often have new creative options for you to try to spice up the game if you are interested in trying different spins for fun.

Timer

Players only have a set amount of time to make their turn after which a turn is automatically played for them and the game proceeds: Fast is 7 seconds, Standard is 15 seconds, Slow is 30 seconds, and Very Slow is 60 seconds. Players can also choose to disable the timer, but that is only for private tables.

Honors

Players can enable bonus points for honors. Honors refer to having some of the top five trump cards (Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10) in your hand. Having all five of these cards gives your team an additional 150 points. Having four of the five cards gives your team an additional 100 points. If there are no trumps for the round and you have four Aces, your team gets an additional 150 points.

View declarer cards

Players can enable the Dummy to view the declarer's cards.

Trick Basics

Trick Taking games center around having the highest ranked card in a draw. Typically, players of trick taking games sit in a circle, sometimes in teams and sometimes playing solo, and are dealt a hand of cards. Given the specific game's card ranking (and trump - special suit that beats other suits), players draw a card from their hand in hopes that it outranks the other cards played. The player who outranks the others wins the trick for that round and gameplay is repeated until the cards are exhausted. Typically the player or team with the most tricks wins the game.

In a trick, each player plays a single card. One player is selected to start, then play proceeds clockwise around the table. If possible, players must play a card which is the same suit as the first card played - this is called 'following suit'. If a player cannot follow suit, then they may play any card in their hand. Based on the cards played, one player is declared the winner of the trick, usually for playing the highest value card of the trump suit, or of the suit of the card which started the trick.

After all cards have been dealt, normal trick taking commences. Remember all cards of the suit declared as trump (trump cards) beats any other suit. Whichever team wins seven tricks out of thirteen wins the round, winning all thirteen tricks is referred to as court. If the dealers team achieves this feat, its called a goon court. In single sir, winning the first seven consecutive tricks constitutes a court.

After cards dealt, depending on the trump, you have to figure out your strategy for the game whether to play trump first or not. In single sir / single sar winning the first seven tricks constitutes as a court or a goon court, so the strategy is very different than double sir / double sar. Whichever team (dealers team or trump callers team) wins seven tricks wins the deal and the opposing team becomes the dealer. In double sir, you have to win two consecutive tricks, so the strategy is totally different as you need to keep another high card to win the pile. Note that the second and the second last trick cannot be won, so you have to be extra careful about that too. This game is played in many variations so you have to be extra careful about the rules.

Based on the cards played, one player is declared the winner of the trick, usually for playing the highest value card of the trump suit, or of the suit of the card which started the trick.

Hand

The cards that a player is dealt forms their hand. Each round, a player selects one of the cards in their hand and plays them into the pile. In most trick taking games, all players are dealt the same number of cards and the hand is hidden from the other players, but in some games, like 500, a player can reveal their hand for bonus points.

Pile

The pile is the spot where players place their chosen card for the round. The player with the highest ranked card receives all of the cards in the pile and sets them to the side. In most trick taking games, the individual cards in the pile have a specific point value that is given to the winner.

Dealer

The dealer is chosen at random and passes out the deck of cards to form each player's hand. In most games, the dealer position rotates to the left once the deck needs to be re-shuffled and re-dealt.

Trump

Arguably the most important part of any trick taking game, the trump suit is the highest ranked suit in the game. Every game has its own method of selecting trump. Some games leave the selection up to the winner of the bid while some games make the suit of the lead card the trump suit.

Order

The ranking of the cards is dependent on the game. Ace is usually considered the highest in trick games, but some games from Europe, like Klaverjassen, have the Jack of trump the highest card.

Auction/Bidding

Most trick taking games contain an auctioning/bidding phase at the beginning of gameplay. During this time, players take turns bidding how many tricks they expect to win in the game. The player with the highest bid leads the first trick and decides the trump suit in most games. Often times, if the winner of the bid, sometimes called the declarer, fails to win the amount of tricks they bidded, they receive a lot of penalty points

Lead Card

The Lead card is the first card in the trick. In most trick taking games, subsequent players need to play the suit of the lead card if they can.

Card Game Basics

A deck of cards consists of 52 cards, with 4 distinctive subgroups. Each of these subgroups is recognised by a symbol and are referred to as suits. They consist of Clubs, Spades, Hearts and Diamonds. Each suit contains 13 cards which, generally, are considered in this order, Ace (A), 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jacks (J), Queen (Q) and King (K). Some games include the two Jokers found in a standard deck but most games don't.

Feedback

Would like to discuss new features or variations for Bridge? Need a custom rule? Have a question? Got a suggestion? Don't see a game you want to play? Please contact us by email, facebook or twitter - we really value your feedback and love hearing from all of you!

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