The Ultimate Bridge Card Game

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What is the Bridge Card Game?

The Game of Bridge is a card game most of us are not familiar with. The reason could simply be because it is more complicated than other card games. But once you learn the mechanics of the game, it can be fun, challenging and could get you hooked just like any other card games.

The Basics

  • The Bridge Card Game has two parts: the Bidding (also called the Auction) and the Play.
  • This is a partnership game which requires four players. Partners should sit opposite to each other.
  • Bridge requires a standard deck of 52 playing cards.
  • One player should be the dealer of all the cards and distributes the cards to all players giving them thirteen cards each.
  • As to who gets to partner with who and who gets to be the dealer, that can be prearranged or whatever method you prefer (e.g. draw cards, toss coin, etc.).
  • There are four suits to the Bridge Card Game and are ranked as follows: spades (the highest), hearts, diamonds and clubs (the lowest). Suits can be labeled as S, H, D, C. This ranking is for bidding purposes only.
  • In the play all suits are equal. However, you can assign a suit to be the trumps which defeats all the others.
  • The order of ranking for the cards of each suit are as follows (highest to lowest): Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.

Objective of the Game

The objective of the play is to win tricks. A trick is made up of four cards, one from each of the players. These cards are obtained from each player in a clockwise direction once the lead has commenced.  Lead refers to the first card played at the start of each trick.

Participants of the Game

Dealer – the one who deals the cards. Could be prearranged or determined via draw cards, toss coin, etc.

Declarer – the determining point as to who shall make the first lead. The player to the left of the declarer makes the first lead which is called the opening lead.

Dummy – the partner of the declarer. A dummy does not participate in the play. His partner, the declarer, plays for both declarer and dummy each in proper turn.

Bridge Card Game

The Play

The game begins with a player making the opening lead. The player doing the lead can present any card of his choice. After the lead, the succeeding players have a goal to meet which is to follow suit as possible. This means they can only throw in the same suit as the lead. If you cannot follow suit for some reason (like you don’t have any cards left on the same suit), you can play any card of your choice. After four cards have been played, a trick is complete. The winner is the one who played the highest card according to ranking as previously explained. Remember if there is a trump, the highest trump played defeats all other cards.

The Bidding

The bidding determines who will be the declarer, which suit will be considered trumps, and how many tricks a declarer must win. For more details as to how the bidding takes place, read about The Basics of Bidding.

Example

There are four players: W, X, Y, and Z. After the bidding, it was determined that X is the declarer, clubs (C) are trumps and X has to win 7 tricks.

bridge-card-game-pic


The players have the following cards:

W Clubs J 10 8 6 X Clubs A K Q 9 5
Hearts 10 7 4 Hearts J
Spades 5 2 Spades A K 6 4
Diamonds A 6 3 2 Diamonds 10 7 4
Y Clubs 3 2 Z Clubs 8 5 3 2
Hearts Q J 7 Hearts 7 4
Spades Q 10 8 Spades 10 9 8 3
Diamonds 9 K Q 8 6 Diamonds J 5

Since X is the declarer, the player to her left (player Y) makes the opening lead. Player W is the Dummy and does not participate in the game. Right after the opening lead is made, player W arranges his cards face up and neatly segregates it into suits for all the players to see. The trump is arranged on the right as viewed by the dummy, and left as viewed by the declarer.

Assume the following tricks are made:

 Trick Lead 2nd Player 3rd Player 4th Player
1 Y Diamonds K 6 J 4
2 Y Diamonds 6 2 5 Club 5
3 X Clubs K 2 J 8
4 X Clubs A 3 6 5
5 X Spades K Q 2 10
6 X Spades A 10 5 9
7 X Spades 6 8 Club 8 8
8 W Hearts 10 7 Club 9 7
9 X Spades 4 Heart J Club 10 3

This is just for illustration purposes to explain better the mechanics of the Bridge Card Game. Just disregard any technicalities.

For the first trick, Y made the opening lead since he is the player to the left of X, the declarer. Player Y chose the diamond suit and played it with a king. The following participants then took turns playing their cards: W (the second player) threw in diamond 6; Z (the third player) threw in diamond J; X (the fourth player) threw in diamond 4. In this case, player Y wins the trick. And since he won the first trick, he gets to do the opening lead for the second trick.

For the second trick, the fourth player (Player X) won since he decided not to follow the suit but instead threw in club 5, a trump. And since he won, he gets to open the lead for the third trick. And so on…

Now that you have an idea how to play this game, go ahead gather your friends and practice with them this awesome Bridge Card Game.