Passion of The Game of Bridge

Bridge Concept: Playing Card With a Partner

Bridge Concept: Playing Card With a Partner

Unlike chess, bridge is not individual game. The smallest entity of playing bridge is a partnership. Playing bridge is essentially between your partnership against one other partnership as your opposition.

Therefore, to play bridge you need at least:

  1. 4 people: to form 2 partnership
  2. deck of playing card
  3. a pen and paper

Partnership

Playing Bridge with Partner

Playing Bridge with Partner

Each partnership will sit opposite each other. To make it easy, each seat position is named after the 4 major compass direction/cardinal direction: North, East, South and West. See on the right the illustration of seating position.

Now that everybody is seated, the card is shuffled and distribute evently to each player. 52 cards with 4 players, so 13 cards each. Every single player on the table may not have a look on other player’s card. Each shuffle will be called a “hand” or “board”.

Trick

A trick is a round of everybody put down a card where the highest win.  Each turn follow a clockwise direction. For example: West put down a 5 of spade, North follow with 2 of spade, East give the Ace of Spade and you give the only spade you have, a 9 of Spade. Since East got card with highest rank, we say that East has won the trick.

Since everybody has 13 cards, then there will be maximum of 13 tricks in one  hand.

The first card on a trick is called a lead. A lead determine the suit of that trick, everybody must follow the suit unless he/she doesn’t have one, in which other card from other suit can now be put down. The card that is not following the suit of the lead will not win the trick unless it’s a trump card.

Trump

A trump card is a suit selected to be the most powerful suit on each hand. For example: if the trump for this hand is Diamond suit, then for every trick one who produces a Diamond card will be the winner of that trick (of course, unless over-ranked by higher Diamond card).

But remember that you only can put a card other than the suit of the lead card if you don’t have that suit on your hand, i.e: if you still have a Spade on a Spade lead, you need to put down a Spade even though you have the trump card.

Not every hand have a trump suit. In this case, we call it “No Trump”. This will be discussed further when we talk about “Contract”.

The Mission

The mission of playing bridge will be:

  • Win as many trick as you can (maximum 13 tricks in a hand)
  • Make the highest number of card that held by you and your partner become “Trump” card (remember, winning a trick is easy if you have the trump card)

Try Yourself

The understanding of tricks and suit are really important, to make sure, please have yourself try the following example: who win each trick ? Assuming there is no trump card selected. (solution is just right after this)

NORTH EAST SOUTH WEST NORTH EAST SOUTH WEST
Trick #1
♣3 ♣8 ♣A ♣K
Trick #2

♣7 ♣T ♣J ♣Q
Trick #3
♦4 ♦3 ♦Q ♦5
Trick #4 ♠J ♠7 ♠5 ♠K

Trick #5 ♣2 ♥5 ♣4 ♣9

Trick #6
♠A ♠3 ♠2 ♠9
Trick #7
♠Q ♠4 ♦2 ♠T
Trick #8
♠8 ♥3 ♦9 ♥2
Trick #9
♠6 ♦6 ♥J ♥4
Trick #10
♦7 ♦8 ♦T ♥6
Trick #11 ♦A ♥7 ♥8 ♦K

Trick #12 ♦J ♣5 ♥T ♥9

Trick #13 ♥A ♣6 ♥H ♥K

Solution

No of trick (running)
Who Win? N/S E/W
Trick #1 North 1
Trick #2 West 1
Trick #3 East 2
Trick #4 North 2
Trick #5 West 3
Trick #6 West 4
Trick #7 West 5
Trick #8 West 6
Trick #9 West 7
Trick #10 East 8
Trick #11 East 9
Trick #12 East 10
Trick #13 East 11

So, in this example the partnership of East and West have won 11 tricks on a No Trump contract.

Recommended next reading in this series:  The Contract
— Or go back to the series list:  Learning The Game of Bridge.

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