Bridge rules – how to play bridge the card game bridge

By: Dennis B. B. Taylor


Bridge is a card game that has been enjoyed by countless individuals for many years. It’s a game that challenges your mind and strategic thinking. Today, I want to share with you the importance of understanding the rules of bridge and why it’s so important to follow them.

When you first start playing bridge, it may seem overwhelming. There are a lot of rules to remember and strategies to consider. But don’t worry, I’m here to break them down for you and make it easier to understand.

One of the key rules in bridge is communication. It’s important to have a good partnership with your teammate and be able to communicate effectively. This means being able to convey information about your hand to your partner without giving away too much to the opposing team. By following this rule, you can work together as a team and make informed decisions.

Another important rule is bidding. Bidding is the process of determining how many tricks your team can win in a round. It’s important to have a solid strategy for bidding, as it can greatly influence the outcome of the game. By understanding the bidding rules and being able to effectively communicate with your partner, you can increase your chances of success.

Once the bidding is complete, it’s time to start playing the cards. This is where strategy really comes into play. You need to carefully consider which cards to play in order to maximize your team’s chances of winning tricks. With each trick, you need to carefully observe what the other players are doing and adjust your strategy accordingly.

It’s also important to keep track of the cards that have already been played. This is called keeping track of the “trick history.” By doing this, you can gain valuable information about which cards are still in play and make better decisions for the remaining tricks.

Finally, let’s talk about etiquette. Bridge is a game that requires good sportsmanship and respect for your opponents. It’s important to play the game in a fair and respectful manner, following the rules and being gracious in both victory and defeat.

In conclusion, understanding and following the rules of bridge is essential for a successful and enjoyable game. By mastering the rules of communication, bidding, strategy, card play, and etiquette, you can elevate your bridge game to new heights. So gather your friends, set up a table, and get ready to dive into the world of bridge. Happy playing!

Hey, did you know that Bridge is considered a sport by the Olympic Committee? It’s pretty cool, right? Bridge actually originated from another card game called Whist, but it has since become its own popular game.

So, here’s the deal (pun intended). Bridge is a card game that requires four players, with two opposing pairs. The game became really popular during the 19th century and has continued to be played ever since.

If you’re interested in trying out more trick-taking games, I’ve got a few recommendations for you. Check out Rook, Spades, and Hearts. They’re all really fun and will definitely keep you entertained!


When playing Bridge, each player is assigned a cardinal point of the compass – North, East, South, and West. The players sitting across from each other are teammates, so North and South are on one team, and East and West are on the other. It’s like a little battle of the directions.

Hey there! Let’s talk about how a card game is played. The dealer is the one who hands out the cards. They start on the left and go in a circle. Each person gets 13 cards from a deck that has 52 cards. It’s important that everyone gets the same number of cards, so it’s fair.

Now, when you have your 13 cards, you need to sort them. Sort them by the suit, which means grouping all the spades together, then hearts, diamonds, and clubs. Spades are the highest, while clubs are the lowest. After you’ve sorted them by suit, you take a look at the rank. The highest-ranked card is an Ace, followed by King, Queen, Jack, and so on, all the way down to 2.

But wait, there’s a little twist! The ranking of suits only matters during bidding, which is a part of the game where players bet on how many tricks they can win. In the actual game, all the suits are equal. So, when you’re playing, it doesn’t matter if you have a spade or a club, they both have the same value.

Bridge rules - how to play bridge the card game bridge


Okay, let’s talk bidding. This is how it works: you have to decide whether you want to bid or pass. And if you choose to bid, there are two things you need to tell me: how many tricks you think you’ll make, and what suit you want to use as trump. It’s pretty simple, really.

Now, keep in mind that there’s a base number of tricks a team needs to win, and that’s 6. So whatever number you bid, you add it to 6. That will be the total number of tricks you’re aiming for. Got it?

Let me break it down for you with some examples:

  • Let’s say you bid 2 Spades. That means you’re confident you can make 8 tricks with Spades as trumps. Now, because the base number is 6, we automatically assume you’ll get those 6 tricks, so the bid of 2 actually means a total of 8 tricks (6 + 2 = 8). Easy, right?
  • Now, imagine you bid 4 Hearts. That means you’re aiming for a total of 10 (6 + 4) tricks, all with Hearts as trumps. Simple as that.
  • And finally, let’s say you go for 3 No Trumps. That means you’re not choosing any specific suit as trump, but you still think you can get 9 (6 + 3) tricks in total. See? It’s not that complicated.

So, here’s how it goes: the dealer makes their move, either bidding or passing, and then it’s the next person’s turn. This continues until three passes follow a bid. At that point, you’re all set to play the hand in the suit mentioned last, or go with No Trumps. That’s what we call the contract.


Okay, let’s get into the nitty-gritty. The two pairs sitting at the table will battle it out to determine the contract. The player with the highest bid wins the contract. For example, player one bids two spades, player two goes for three hearts, player three ups the ante to four spades, and then three passes. Player three is the lucky winner with their bid of four spades. The final bid sets the expectation for the partnership to win a specific number of tricks. In this case, four spades means going for 10 tricks out of the total 13, with spades as the trump suit.


When we start playing a game of cards after the bidding, the first move is made by the player sitting to the left of the one who made the winning bid. This player has the freedom to choose any card they want to start the trick, even a trump card.

Once the first card is played, the other players must follow suit if they have a card of the same suit. For example, if the starting player plays a 6 of spades, you have to play a spade if you have one in your hand.

If you don’t have a card of the same suit, you can play any card, including a trump card. Each player plays one card to the trick, and the winner is determined once all players have played their cards.

The winner of a trick is the player who has the highest-ranking card of the suit led, as long as there are no trumps in the trick. However, if there are trumps present, the player who plays the highest trump card becomes the winner.

I’m really excited to tell you about how to win at Bridge! In this game, the goal is to be the first team to score 100 points or more from successful contracts. To keep track of the scores, you can use a piece of paper divided into two columns: one for “WE” and the other for “THEY.” You write down the points for successful contracts below the line, and you add them up to win the game. But that’s not all! You also get trick bonuses (called overtricks) or penalties (called undertricks), which you write above the line. These bonuses or penalties don’t count towards the total score.

Now that you know the general rules, there are a couple of important things to remember. Let’s start with the Rule of 20. This rule helps you decide if your opening hand is worth bidding on. Here’s how it works: add up the values of all the high cards (like face cards) in your hand, and then add up the lengths of your two longest suits. If the total of these two numbers is 20 or more, you have a good hand to bid on.

Another important rule is the Rule of 7. This rule comes into play during the auction phase. It helps you determine whether you have enough points in your hand to compete with the opponents. To apply the Rule of 7, count the number of cards you have in your two longest suits. If the total is 7 or more, it’s a good indication that you have enough strength to enter the bidding.

These rules are essential to know and can greatly improve your chances of winning at Bridge. So, next time you sit down to play, keep them in mind and give yourself an advantage in the game!

Have you heard of the rule of 7 in Bridge? It’s a pretty interesting rule that helps us figure out when to play our high cards in a no-trump contract. Here’s how it works: first, we figure out how many cards of the suit our team has. Then we subtract that number from 7. That gives us an idea of how many times we should play our non-high cards to tricks before using the high one.

Now let’s talk about the rule of 11.

The rule of 11 is another handy trick. It shows us how many higher-ranked cards the bid winner has over the leading card. Here’s how it works: when our partner leads the first card to the trick, we can subtract that card’s value from 11. This helps us – along with our partner and the bidder’s partner – know how many cards are left for the bid winner.

And don’t forget about following suit!

When I play a trick, I have to follow suit if I can. If I have more than one card of that suit, I can choose which card to play.


If you win a contract with no trumps, there won’t be a trump suit during the round. The highest ranked card of the suit that’s led will win each trick. You still have to follow suit when you can.


Bridge rules - how to play bridge the card game bridge

Let’s talk about bidding in Bridge. In Bridge, each bid must be higher than the one before it. We rank the suits in this order: spades (highest), hearts, diamonds, and clubs (lowest). And within each suit, we rank the cards from A to 2, with A being the highest. Spades and hearts are considered the majors and score 30 points per trick. On the other hand, diamonds and clubs are the minors and score 20 points per trick. Lastly, we have No Trumps, which are the highest-scoring. They bring in 40 points for the first trick and 30 points for each trick after that.

Strategies for Bridge

Here are some strategies that can help you improve your Bridge game:

  • Play more often. The more you play, the better you’ll become. You’ll see different situations and gain more experience.
  • Before you start playing, take a moment to think. If you happen to be the bid winner, you’ll have a great advantage because you get to go last during the first trick. Pay close attention to the cards that have already been played. This information, combined with your knowledge of your own and your partner’s hand, will help you decide which card to play.
  • Playing with the same partner over and over again will allow you to develop a special kind of connection. As you become more in tune with each other, your chances of winning improve greatly. It’s crucial to be able to recognize when your partner can win a trick on their own or when they need your help.
  • Don’t feel pressured to come up with a complex strategy right away. Sometimes, it’s the simple approach that works best. Focus on the basics and build your skills from there.
  • Last but not least, make use of the resources available to you. There are techniques like the rule of 20 to determine the strength of your hand, or the rule of 7 to decide when to play certain cards. By learning and employing various strategies and tricks, you’ll gain confidence in your gameplay.

Different Types of Bridge Games

There are many different ways to enjoy playing Bridge. Let me tell you about a few popular variations:

Rubber Bridge

Rubber Bridge is a variation of Bridge that is played with four people on two teams. The goal is to win two games in order to win a rubber.

Chicago Bridge

Chicago Bridge is a bit different than other versions of the game. Instead of playing a set number of hands, you play over four deals or multiple sets of four deals.

Duplicate Bridge

Duplicate Bridge has a unique scoring system compared to standard Bridge rules. In Duplicate Bridge, you use a match point system, where only one player scores for each round.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Bridge Difficult to Learn?

Bridge has a reputation for being one of the trickier card games to learn. Its bidding system adds a layer of complexity, as players need to pay attention to what cards others have.

Can you play Bridge with just two people?

Yes, there is a version of Bridge that allows two players to play. It’s called Double Dummy Bridge.

Is Bridge a game of luck or skill?

Bridge relies heavily on a player’s skill. Those who have spent years playing the game gain valuable experience and knowledge about odds and strategic gameplay.

I’m Amber (They/Them), an Austin-based writer and avid gamer. I consider myself a gaming expert and also have a soft spot for dogs, plants, and D&D.

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