Assuming that you have never played bridge before, even possibly that you have never played any card games before, I am going to teach you about the game in a very simple manner - one step at a time. After each small step, I will ask you a question, and you can make your choice as to what you feel the right answer will be. If you have answered correctly, you will be lead on to the next step in teaching. If not, you will be able to come back and read the lesson again and retry the test.

A pack of cards consists of 52 cards (the two Jokers are not used)  with the cards broken down into four different sets - with a different symbol characterizing each of the sets. These are called SUITS, and these are CLUBS, which are black and shaped rather like clover; DIAMONDS, which are red and are shaped like a diamond; HEARTS, which are also red, and logically heart shaped; and SPADES which are black and are shaped rather like upside down hearts with a stem. I suppose they might just look a bit like a trowel, but hardly a spade.  Anyway, each of these suits has within it 13 cards - and they rank from 2 to 10, and then as they progress, the next highest card is called the Jack or Knave - and has a picture of an old-fashioned minor royalty personage; and the next one up is the Queen; the next highest is the King; but the highest card of all is called the Ace - and usually this card will just have one big picture of the suit in the centre - like one big heart or one big club. In some card games, the Ace is equivalent to a one, and comes below the two, which is also sometimes called the DEUCE. But in Bridge, and in many card games, Ace is high.

When you are playing a game of bridge, the first thing that happens is that one of the packs (usually two are used but only one at a time) is spread face down-wards on the table, and everyone (the four persons who are playing) picks up a card. The one with the highest card will be the first dealer, and his/her partner will be the person with the next highest card. The lower two card holders will also be partners. Partners sit facing each other and are called NORTH and SOUTH and EAST and WEST.  The dealer chooses which of the packs he wants to deal with. The 2 packs should be distinguishable.  The cards are then SHUFFLED (or mixed up)  by the person on the left of the first dealer, passed to the dealer, who then asks the person on his/her right to CUT them, (which means that a portion of the cards are taken from the pack and placed closer to the dealer in another pile and the dealer then picks the rest up and returns the cards to pack form) and then the dealer DEALS them - or gives them out to the players, starting on his left, one at a time, upside down until all 52 cards have been dealt. While this is taking place, his partner should be shuffling the other pack and when that is done, they are placed on his right, ready for the following deal. Everyone leaves their cards face downwards on the table until the deal is complete.

Then everyone takes up their group of 13 cards, which is called a HAND and arranges them into suits and within each suit according to value.

The next step is to analyse your hand to see how good or bad it is. In order to do this, the most common method used is called COUNTING POINTS. You value the higher ranked cards with numeric values. Aces, which are the highest cards, count 4; Kings, count 3; Queens, count 2 and Jacks count 1.  Since there are 4 sets of Aces, Kings, Queens and Jacks within the whole deck - if you added up all those numbers, you would get a total of 40 points. So if you were expecting a completely random mixture of the cards, you would expect an average hand to have one quarter of the total or 10 points. When you look at your hand and add up your points, it will become clear to you if you have an average hand - or one that is either better than average, or worse than average.

1. With the following hand, how many points do you have?

Spades          K,Q,6
Hearts           A,K,10,5
Diamonds      Q, J, 8,7
Clubs            10,4,2

Click on your chosen answer.

a. 6
b. 52
c. 15