How to Play Bridge

Learning how to play bridge is not very difficult. Bridge is a simple card game that uses a standard 52-card deck and four players, which make’s . It’s fun to play and is popular among young and old couples. Bridge is played everywhere from family parties to senior citizen communities.

Bridge is a partnership card game of four players sitting around a square table. Partners sit across from each other on the table and collaborate throughout the game to win as many tricks as they can.

Setting up to play Bridge

In bridge, you use all suits and numbers in a standard deck of cards. The card number 2 is considered lowest in value while the ace holds the highest value. The dealer is determined by drawing cards. After the players are seated at the table and the cards are shuffled accordingly, the dealer distributes all the cards clockwise until each player receives 13 cards.

Playing Bridge

One player leads the game by placing a card face up on the board. Bridge is similar to the card game UNO in that each player counterclockwise of the leading player has to similarly place a card of the same suit on the board when it is his or her turn. At the end of the round (if it is a non-trump game) the winning player is the one who has put down the highest card in that round’s card suit.

Players bid in the game of bridge before starting any round. This is how players determine whether to play trump or no trump bridge. The dealer has the advantage here because he claims the first chance to bid. It is advantageous for the dealer to bid the highest card and suit in his hand. He may “pass” if he has no high cards and wishes to forgo bidding.

Bids are placed with the hierarchy of card suits in mind. In bridge, the suits are valued from lowest to highest beginning with clubs, diamonds, hearts, spades and no-trump. If the opening bid is a 3 of clubs, for example, the next bid must be higher in value than the 3 of clubs. The subsequent bidder may choose to bid at least a 3 of diamonds, a 3 of hearts or a 3 of spades. Players may bid or pass as they choose.

After the bidding period ends, each partnership has the opportunity to cast its trump suit. This part of the bidding process requires some skill and good communication between the individual parties of the partnership. This trump-calling or trick-calling period ends when all three players “pass” in a row.

Objective of Bridge

How to Play Bridge

How to Play Bridge

A player’s goal in the game is to team up with his or her partner to win as many tricks as possible. Each trick has four cards that are revealed by each player after the dealer distributes the cards.

Bridge Hands & Bridge Tips

When deciding what bridge hand to use, it is most advantageous to lead the game with your most valued suit so you can create a plethora of favorable combinations throughout the game. The ace has, by far, the highest value in the game with a value of 4. Kings have a value of 2 and Jacks have a value of 1. However, high cards are not all that matter in a game of bridge. The condition of your hand has a lot to do with it. An eight-card suit in your hand gives you 4 points. A seven-card suit is worth 3 points, a six-card suit 2 points and finally, a five-card suit is 1 point.

Other bridge tips involve bonuses. If you think you have what it takes in your hand to call bonus points, make sure you are the highest bidder in the preliminary round. A grand slam is a good way to get the most bonus points: it consists of a hand of 7 of spades, 7 of hearts, 7 of diamonds and 7 of clubs. In order to call a grand slam, you must have a total value of at least 37 points between you and your partner. A small slam of 6 of spades, 6 of hearts, 6 of diamonds and 6 of clubs require 36 shared points between you and your partner. Additional bonuses for bridge tricks can be acquired through certain bidding and trick-obtaining contracts. For example, if you bid for and complete 10 tricks, you are eligible for a 4 of hearts and 4 of spades bonus.

Why Play Bridge

Bridge fosters good communication between partners and is a sociable game to play on a double date or family function. Since it requires team work, bridge is a smart option for card players who want to play “as a group” rather than in an individualistic fashion. Bridge also gives room for intense bidding and many bonus combinations. Playing bridge is a great way to incorporate the “partnership” game type into your card game repertoire.

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