Once everybody has 13 cards on their hand, then the first battle is to win a contract. Just like the real world contract, to achieve the highest contract we will need to do an auction. And may the highest bidder win.
The contract is simple: the partnership whoever win a contract promise to win certain trick with certain suit as their trump card – or they can choose to use without any trump card.
The other partnership/the opponent will try to defeat the contract by winning as much trick as they can so that the other partnership cannot deliver their contract.
Level and Denomination of Contract
7 Level of Contracts
Since there are 13 tricks, then the easiest win will be only to win 1 trick more than the opponent, i.e: our partnership has 7 tricks and the opponent has only 6 tricks. This is called the 1st level. (7 tricks is the 1st level)
The next level will be to win 8 tricks, i.e: our partnership wins 8 tricks and the opponent has only 5 tricks.This will be the 2nd level.
The highest level will be level 7, when our partnership need to win all 13 tricks leave the opponent with nothing.
If you want the formula:
Number of tricks = level number + 6
As mention above, the bidder of the auction can choose any suit as their trump suit or they also can choose without the trump. therefore there are 5 denomination of contract with the highest rank first:
- No Trump (NT)
With 7 level and 5 denomination, the complete 35 kind of contracts in Bridge are (listed from the highest rank of contract to the lowest):
|No of||Contract||“Normal” score|
|1||7NT||13||7 – GS||1520|
|11||5NT||11||5 – GM||460|
|12||5♠||11||5 – GM||450|
|13||5♥||11||5 – GM||450|
|14||5♦||11||5 – GM||400|
|15||5♣||11||5 – GM||400|
|16||4NT||10||4 – GM||430|
|17||4♠||10||4 – GM||420|
|18||4♥||10||4 – GM||420|
|19||4♦||10||4 – PS||130|
|20||4♣||10||4 – PS||130|
|21||3NT||9||3 – GM||400|
Some other important names to know:
- 5 contracts on level 7 are called “Grand Slam” (marked as “GS”above)
- 5 contracts on level 6 are called “Small Slam” (marked as “SS”above)
- 9 contracts as follows: 3NT, 4NT, 5NT, 4S, 5S, 4H, 5H, 5D and 5C contracts are called “Game” contract (marked as “GM”above)
- The rest are “Partscore” contracts (the other 16 contracts) (marked as “PS” above)
Because of the different scoring between No trump , Major Suit and Minor Suit, the higher contract does not always haves higher score. For example:
- 4♣ / 4♦ is higher than 3NT but the score is much lower (130 vs 400)
- 3♣ / 3♦ is higher than 2NT but the score is lower (110 vs 120)