~Learn Bridge–Session 2

Before proceeding with this session, take the quiz listed at bridgebasics as Bridge Quiz. If you miss any of the questions, review the notes and readings from Lesson 1. The material tested in the quiz is essential information for learning and playing bridge.

Now for Lesson 2: One of the four players is designated as the dealer. The dealer passes out the 52 cards in the deck, 13 to each player, starting with the person to his left (LHO–Left Hand Opponent) and continuing clockwise until all the cards are dealt. After each hand is played, the deal moves clockwise to the next player.

The Dealer is also the first bidder and can make any call–pass or bid a suit or notrump from 1C (the lowest bid) to seven notrumps (NT–the highest bid).

Bidding is a major part of the language of bridge. Through bidding, the players decide whether the hand will be played in notrump or or in one of the four suits.  If a player has some length in a suit and the appropriate High Card Points (12+) or distribution (unbalanced hands with long suits) (Rule of 20/22 hand), that player may “bid” or desinate the long suit to show values and preference. The bidding continues until there are three consecutive passes. After the bidding is over, the last bid made designates the trump suit or NT that the hand will be played in, and the player who made the last bid or his partner, depending on who bid the suit or NT first, will be declare and will play all the cards for his pair during that game. His partner is called “dummy” and will face his hand after the opening lead by declarer’s LHO.

Bidding must be made based on the hierarchy of suits (clubs are the lowest, followed by diamonds, hearts, and spades in that order). Notrump is the highest bid available at each level.

The game consists of 13 rounds of play. A round of play is when each of the four players contributes a card. All players must follow suit when able to do so; there are severe penalties for failing to follow suit when able to.

When a suit has been named as trumps, any card in that suit will catch or win over any card in any other suit.

If the hand is being played in NT, the highest card played in the suit led wins the trick.

When the play of the hand is over, the contract (bid) has either been “made” (declarer won as many or more tricks than the bidding obligated him to win) or “set” (declarer failed to meet his obligation). Points are then awarded to the winning pair based on the scoring method used for that game, and the next round of play begins with a new deal.

Associated reading:
~Bridge Terms, Definitions, and Techniques

~Card Evaluation

~Opening the Bidding

~Bridge Quiz

~What Constitutes a Game

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