Learn to play Bridge


Rubber Bridge

Mini Bridge Rubber bridge Duplicate Bridge

This form of bridge is entirely dependant on the cards you are dealt. There is no time limit on how long the game will last. It can be played anywhere you have 4 players.

Played with 2 packs of cards. The initial deal is determined by cutting for the highest card.

The cards are shuffled by the person on the left of the dealer. The dealer then asks the person on his right to cut the pack. whilst the cards are dealt dealers partner will shuffle the second pack which will be placed on the right ready for the next deal. Dealer position rotating in a clockwise direction.

All the basics apply as to partnership, bidding, planning etc.

Bidding to determine Declarer and contract

  • The dealer is the first person to bid.
  • The Declarer is the first person to bid the denomination of the contract.
  • The trick target is set by the last bid
  • Bidding stops once 3 consecutive passes have been bid

Play of the cards

playing the cards follows the rules as laid down for minibridge

  • A Trick is a round of play. i.e. one card from each player played clockwise.
  • The highest card in a suit wins the trick OR the highest trump played wins .
  • The opening lead is played by the Defender to the left of Declarer.
    The card is played face up on the table.
  • Dummy is always second player to this first trick. After the opening lead this hand is face up on the table, all players can see 50% of the pack.

Scoring the hands

Reaching your Trick Target wins the deal.

Scoring is divided into 'below the line' which count towards game, this is only for tricks bid and made. 'Above the line' goes bonuses and penalties

Declarer partnership scores for making a declared contract Tricks score after the first 6 (the box)

  • Clubs and Diamonds 20 points per trick
  • Spades or Hearts: 30 points per trick
  • No Trumps 10 points + 30 points per trick
  • A game is a 100 points . Scores are accumulated until this is reached
  • Over tricks are scored 'above the line' and do not count towards game
  • Making a doubled contract gives you an extra '50 for the insult' scored above the line

When a contract is doubled the total of the declared tricks is increased if made. If you would have scored 60 points it becomes 120 and counts towards game

A 'rubber' is 2 games. At the end of a rubber the scores start again.

Once a side has scored a game they are 'vulnerable', this doubles the penalties for failure to make the contract.


All bonuses are scored 'above the line' and are not included in the game points.

  • 500 for winning a rubber in 3 games
  • 750 for winning rubber in 2 games
  • player holding all four honours, A, K, Q, J, in the trump suit attracts a bonus of 100. Holding A, K,Q, J, 10 attracts 150
  • In No Trumps holding four Aces is worth 150.

A contract to make 12 tricks is known as a small slam. A contract to make all 13 tricks is called a grand slam. For bidding and making a slam, declarer’s side gets an extra bonus above the line, depending on their vulnerability, as follows:


Small slam

Grand slam

Not vulnerable 500 1000
Vulnerable 750 1500


Overtricks in a doubled contract are increased to 50 points each and if you are vulnerable this becomes 100 per trick These are scored above the line.

In addition to these points there is an extra bonus of 50 'for the insult' scored above the line when you make a doubled contract


The Defenders score when you fail to make your contract. This is also affected by the vulnerability.

These penalties are scored above the line


per trick

Not vulnerable 50
Not vulnerable doubled 100


Vulnerable doubled


Example of a score sheet

Trick scores go 'below the line'
Bonuses and penalties are 'above the line'







Scores Above the line do not count towards game. These may be
1. penalties from your opposition
2. overtricks above the bid contract







Scores below the line count towards game. (100 points)

A game can be a combination of scores from several deals

Two games end the rubber and earn a bonus





All scores are totaled after a rubber








© Mary Vale 2009
Learn to play bridge