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Dictionary of Terms
Above the Line
Scoring that does not count towards
, but over the line points are added up at the end of the
Below the Line
Scoring that counts towards
The first phase of bridge, when the players decide who will get the contract.
The lowest suit in the
An agreement that one partnership gets to take a certain number of tricks. If the contract is four hearts, the partership agrees to take 10 (6+4) tricks with hearts as trump. Which side gets the contract and what it is is decided in the
A control in a suit is either a
in that suit or a
in that suit. You can
The first person in the partnership that gets the contract to bid the trump suit. The Declarer plays out both his/her and the
The second-lowest suit in the
A bid that increases the amount of points that the hand is worth. Only the opponents can double a
. Doubles can also be takeout doubles.
A doubleton in a suit is when a hand contains only 2 cards in that suit.
The partner of the
, dummy lays out his hand after his
Five Card Majors
A bidding system in which a five card suit is required to open in a
To play a card of the same suit as what was
. All players must always follow suit if possible!
A bid that forces partner to respond, no matter how many points he/she has.
A game is made when one team scores 100 points
under the line
. Whichever side makes two games first wins the
A bid of 7 that is made. A grand slam gets a special bonus - see
The second-highest suit in the
An abbreviation for High Card Points, or points that are counted with high cards and not distribution (see
The ace, king, queen, or jack of a suit (and sometimes a 10 is called an honor).
To play the first card after the bidding. The
The number of the
For example, a bid of 2
is at the two-level.
An abbreviation for Left-Hand Opponent.
Hearts or spades; these suits are worth less in the
. A bid of 4 in a major suit is
Clubs or diamonds; these suits are worth less in
A bid of 5 in a minor suit is
A partnership is nonvulnerable if they have not won a game. Vulnerability matters in
No-trump is considered a suit in the
, and is the highest suit. In a no-trump
, you must follow suit in order to win the trick. A bid of 3 no-trump is
An overtrick is a trick that is not needed to fulfill your contract. You get points for overtricks - see
A pass is the lowest bid. You may always pass, and three consecutive passes end the
The hand is "passed out" if everyone passes. The hands are thrown in, and the cards are reshuffled and redealt.
A preemptive bid is a bid made to prevent the enemy from making a high contract by bidding high, and thereby cutting their communications. Usually, a preemptive bid is an open of 3 with a long suit (7 or more). See
A bid that is made by the declaring side after the opponents
. A redouble quadruples the normal amount of points.
An abbreviation for Right-Hand Opponent.
. Whichever team makes the rubber first gets an
over the line
bonus of 700 points if the opposing side has no
, or 500 points if the opposing side has one
As a verb, to run the opponents out of a certain suit and to play your low cards so that they win tricks. Running suits is usually done at notrump, because otherwise the opponents can trump after they are out of that suit. As a noun, a run of high cards means 2 or more high cards of the same suit in sequence; for example QJ or AKQ of a suit.
To prevent the other partnership - the one who has the
- from making their contract.
A singleton in a suit is when a hand contains only 1 card of that suit.
A contract of 6 or 7 that is made. Slams can be either
A contract of 6 that is made. A small slam gets a special bonus - see
The highest suit in the
A high card in a suit that can stop opponents from
A group of four cards played one after the other, one by each player. A partnership needs to take a certain number of tricks to make its
The trump suit is the highest suit, but remember that you can only play a trump if you cannot
. A card of the trump suit is also called a trump.
A trick that you needed to get to fulfill your contract, but did not get. Your opponents score points for your undertricks - see
A hand is void in a suit if it has no cards of that suit.
A partnership is vulnerable if they have won a game. Vulnerability matters in
A hand which contains no cards higher than a 9.
Rules of Bridge
Part 1: Bidding
Part 2: Playing out the Hand
Mathematics of Bridge
Dictionary of Terms