Question 2c.

You answered 16. This is correct. You correctly added up your honour points, which were an Ace for 4, 2 Kings for 6; 2 Queens for 4; and 3 Jacks for 3, making 14 points and then added also 2 extra points for your 6 card Club suit. Well done.

On certain occasions points will also be added for having short suits, but that is in a later lesson.

To review what has happened so far in our game of  bridge.

We are now ready for bidding.

Bidding is the part of Bridge that sets it apart from all other card games. It is a communication system you use to try to tell your partner the strength and distribution of your hand, without using normal words.  So each bid is a sort of code.  When you were analysing your hand, you were looking to see if it was better than average or not. This is what you want to tell your partner about. When you actually get down to playing the cards, it is the partnership that has the best cards that usually wins. And of course, as in any game, the object in bridge is to beat your opponents.

Bidding is a very complicated business, and made even more so by numerous conventions that are used when people use bids which don't say what they mean. But the object of this set of lessons, is to introduce you to the game in very easy steps, so we will start out with using only very simple bids - which mean what they say.  The first bid you need to learn about is one that signals to your partner that your hand is below average. This bid is NO BID or people sometimes say PASS.

When you start to play the cards, which comes after the bidding is complete, what will happen is that each player will in turn put down face up on the table one of his cards, and the one with the highest card will win that particular round. That set of four cards is called a TRICK. So if you each have 13 cards, there will in fact be 13 tricks played for each HAND. If you and your partner take more tricks than the other partnership, you will have to have won at least 7. Because of this, the people who originated the game, decided that the first six tricks which are taken don't count as part of your bid. So if you are making the lowest bid that you can, and telling everyone that you think that you and your partner can take 7 tricks between you, your bid will be One of something - either One of a suit like Clubs, or One NO TRUMP - which means that none of your suits is all that much better than the others. From this last statement, you will probably assume, that if you do have a TRUMP, it means that one of your suits is definitely better than the others. What makes a suit better than the others is its length, and its strength. For a suit to be worth bidding, it must contain at least 4 cards, but the more cards you have in a suit, the better it is as a Trump suit. It is also desirable, but not absolutely required, for you to have some honour cards within your best suit.

3. Remembering that a bid of One means that you think you have an above average hand and that you and your partner (with luck) can win seven tricks at least (one more than half), what would you bid on the hand below. (This is the same hand we were analysing for points before and we decided it had 16 points.)

Spades          Q,J
Hearts           J
Diamonds      A,Q,10,6
Clubs            K,J,8,5,3,2

a.  One Club
b.  One Diamond
c.  One No Trump
d.  No Bid