Basic Bridge Information

October 9, 2017

Basic Bridge

General Information
Bridge is played with a standard deck of 52 cards, divided into 4 suits of 13 cards each. There is a hierarchy of suits with spades as the higher suit followed by hearts, diamonds, and clubs, in that order. Therefore, the lowest bid that can be made (other than pass) is 1 club.
Bridge Hand Evaluation
High Card Points (HCP)
~Aces = 4 HCP
~Kings = 3 HCP
~Queens = 2 HCP
~Jacks = 1 HCP
Based on HCP, those hands containing 13 or more HCP should be opened.BasicsPlay is conducted at a table for four, with two teams of two players each, who set on opposite sides of the table. One team is designated North-South and one team East-West. Each competition is termed a match, and each player must play in his designated position or direction (N, E, S, or W) for the entire match.

Bridge is a team game, consisting of two players called a pair.
Bridge play is begun with an auction–a series of bids–begun by the dealer and continuing until there are three consecutive passes.

~Bidding and Play
There are 13 rounds of play to each hand–due to the number of players and cards: 4 suits, 4 players, 52 cards. Thus the highest number of tricks that can be captured or taken per hand is 13. A trick consists of the play of one card from each hand.
Bridge starts with a base of six tricks called a book. Bidding consists of an auction where each bidder obligates that team to takes book (six tricks) plus the number of the bid. For example, if a player bids 2 spades, he/she has named a prospective trump suit and obligated the team to take eight tricks. There are penalties for taking less tricks than bid and bonuses for taking extra tricks.
When a suit is designated as the trump suit or trumps, that suit captures all other suits. However, there is a rule that a player MUST follow suit if able to do so. Failure to do so results in a penalty if the failure is inadvertent and could result in exclusion from the match, from an entire tournament, or even result in removal from sanctioned bridge matches if the failure is determined to be deliberate.
However, when a lead is made in a suit in which a player is void, any trump, regardless of its size, may be played and will capture that trick. Wise use of trumps is often the key to success in the play of a bridge hand.

~Statistical Distributions
Missing 2 cards, expect a 1-1 split 52% of the time.
Missing 3 cards, expect a 2-1 split 78% of the time.
Missing 4 cards, expect a 3-1 split 50% of the time.
Missing 5 cards, expect a 3-2 split 68% of the time.
Missing 6 cards, expect a 4-2 split 48% of the time.
Missing 7 cards, expect a 4-3 split 62% of the time.
Said another way,
~missing an even number of cards, they will not split evenly, but otherwise, will tend to split as close to evenly as possible.
~Missing an odd number of cards, they will tend to split as evenly as possible.

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March 28, 2010


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