Passion of The Game of Bridge

The Auction or Bidding in Bridge

The Auction or Bidding in Bridge

The first action to do after you receive your hand and assess it is to do the auction or bidding. The purpose of auction or bidding is simply to communicate the kind of hand that you have to partner and opponent for them to act accordingly and reach the best contract.

How To Do the Bidding

[bidding box]

Auction with Bidding Box

There are basically 3 ways to do the auction/bidding:

  1. Written Bidding: where you write your bid in the piece of paper on the table. This is the most common method of bidding
  2. Using bidding box: in official/prestigious  tournament, you can use the bidding box (pictured) where the bidding you want to make is inside the box and you just need to put it on the table.
  3. Verbal bidding: where you make the bid by verbally say it. This probably is not really common unless you don’t have pen and paper for playing.

The auction start from what called the “dealer”. In the old day, the dealer is the one shuffle the card and distribute the card to the rest of the table (hence “dealer”), but with the rise of duplicate bridge (where everybody play the same hand / “board”) – who is the dealer is determined by the board number.

For example: for board #1 the dealer is North, for board#2 the dealer is East, etc

Start with the dealer, he/she can make opening bid based on his/her system or bid “Pass” to let the next person make the bid.

Example of opening bid of “Standard 5 card major” is here. It basically just give a meaning of 35 Kind of Contracts in Bridge.

Then the bidding continues in clockwise turn until there are 3 “Pass”es in a row. In that situation the last bid mention is the contract. Who win the contract become the declarer side and the other partnership become defender.

On the declarer side, only one declarer needed. So the partner can have a rest by become “dummy”. “Dummy” will lay all the card he/she has and lay it on the table for everybody to see. So, all the other 3 players will see 2 hands to see: their own and dummy – fair game.

Who become the dummy and declarer?

The first one who bid the denomination of the contract will become the declarer. The partner become the dummy and the opponent sits on the left hand side of the declarer (“LHO” – left hand opponent) will do the opening lead.

Example of Bidding/Auction:

South West North East
Pass 1 2 2
Pass 4 Pass Pass
Pass -end of bidding-

Let see the meaning of this bidding (remember North/South is a partnership and the opponent is East/West):

  • As the dealer, South make “Pass” bid, meaning he/she did not have enough point or shape as determine by the bidding system they have.
  • West opens with 1, meaning 12-21 hcp (hcp=high card point Ace=4;King=3;Queen=2;Jack=0; the rst=0) with 5 or more cards of .
  • North make “overcall” bid of 2 that means 8-15hcp with good 5 cards or more .
  • East has at least 3 cards to support his/her partner beside his/her 10hcp, so she/he bid 2
  • South make another “Pass”
  • West make 4 bid to reach “Game”
  • All pass, so the final contract is 4
  • Since West is the first one who bid , then West is the declarer, East become dummy and North will make the opening lead.

Recommended next reading in this series: Declarer Play
– Or go back to the series list: Learning The Game of Bridge.

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