Lesson 5. SCORING

Up until now we have talked about scoring vaguely as each hand has finished, and also in relation to the amount one needs to bid to get points for a game. It is now time to talk more about bidding in detail.

Remember that Clubs and Diamonds count 20 points per trick, Hearts and Spades count 30 points per trick and No Trump counts 40 points for the first trick and 30 for the rest.

The partnership that scores two lots of 100 points, BELOW THE LINE, in Bridge is the person who ends the RUBBER, but is not necessarily the partnership that wins. Whoever has the most points at the end of the Rubber wins. A rubber is when one side or the other has scored two lots of 100 points below the line. It could happen in 2 games - both being won by the same side; or in 3 games - one each and then the decider.

This LINE that is being talked about is the centre horizontal dividing line on a bridge score sheet, where tricks bid and made are scored below, and bonus points are scored above.

Only tricks which are bid and made count towards the 100 points needed for game. But any OVERTRICKS count ABOVE THE LINE, and will be added into the total.

So far, all the contracts that have been shown have been made, and some with overtricks. However, it very frequently happens that the contract is not made, and then the opposition will score a bonus for the UNDERTRICKS. This bonus is 50 points per trick, no matter what the suit is. So if you said you would make 2 Spades, and in the end you only won 6 tricks and were DOWN 2, the opponents will score 100 points - 50 points for each trick you didn't make. However, this 100 points does not count as a game, as it is not points won by making contracts, and it will be scored Above the Line as a bonus.

Look at the score sheet for the 3 hands we have played so far. I had difficulty in displaying a proper score sheet.  In the first rubber, the 100 below the line was a game bid and made, so there should be a line drawn below it, across the two columns. The next part game of 70 (only a part game) and the 60 is in the East-West column. I'm sorry for the confusion but it was the best I could do.

I suggest that you either get a bridge score sheet and have it handy to update the score of this programme as you go along. Or if it is easier, just get a piece of paper, and rule 2 columns which will be labelled We and They, and put a horizontal line in the middle - which will be THE LINE that you must put tricks below or above. Bring your sheet up to date with what I have done so far by clicking on the score sheet, listed above, and from now on update your own score sheet at the end of each hand. Then next time I refer to the score sheet, make sure you have scored properly.

In hand one, North and South bid 5 Clubs and made 12 tricks.
In hand two, North and South bid 2 No Trump and made 8 tricks.
In hand three, East and West bid 2 Spades and made 10 tricks.

The Score sheet is divided into columns, for WE and THEY, but everyone puts down everyone's score, so that each is fully aware of the state of the game at all times. The thick line at the centre of the sheet is what is referred to when one talks about scoring above or below the line. And when there are any games scored, another line is drawn all the way across the two columns.

The state of play in our rubber so far is that North and South have won one game, and both North and South and East and West have scored a part game after that.

27. What is the smallest bid that East and West could make (assuming they get their contract) in order to finish off their game in the next hand?

a. 1 Spade
b. 1 No Trump
c. 2 Clubs