Bridge for beginners: scoring and notation in bridge

Bridge/Mental sports
Chandler Lee
Bridge for beginners: scoring and notation in bridge
It takes approx. 7 minutes to read this article

Bridge is a fascinating card game, but its rules are not the simplest. From this article you will learn, among other things, how the notation and scoring in bridge looks like.

A brief history of bridge

Bridge originated from an earlier game called wist, which appeared in England in the 16th century. As the game spread, many variations were created. The popularity of bridge began in the USA in 1881. At first it was not as good as checkers, but in 1896 the first publications appeared on the subject of bridge. In 1928 the American Bridge League was founded, and in 1958 the World Bridge Federation. Since 1960 bridge has been an Olympic


Rules of the game of bridge

The rules of the game of bridge are governed by the Law of Bridge. They apply to both regular (social) and competitive bridge. The game involves four players forming two competing teams. The players in a pair sit opposite each other. The goal is to get a better point score than their opponents.

A game of bridge consists of:
– dealing of cards,
– bidding,
– play,
– the counting of hands,
– making a record.

The suits and suits of the cards play an important role. The suits, starting with the youngest trump are clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades. Before the game, the “trump suit” is decided. For example, if the youngest flush, Club, is considered to be the trump flush, it is superior to even spades. The scoring by color is as follows:

– Spades and hearts as senior colors have 30 points each.
– Diamonds and Clubs as junior colors have 20 points each.

The situation from the youngest to the smallest figure, together with the scores, is as follows: jack – 1, Queen – 2, King – 3, Ace – 4. In bridge there are also blanks, i.e. cards of low value (from 2 to 10), whose actual value in the game is 0.


You take the cards shuffled to your left and after the person to your right deals the cards. We start with the person to the left of the dealer (clockwise) until we reach the last card, which should be for the dealer. If an error occurs, the dealer picks up the cards and deals them again.

After being dealt, each player should have 13 cards, which they are to arrange by color in such a way that the cards in each color are ranked in order of seniority.

Bidding in bridge

In the course of bidding, each pair may make some kind of commitment, which consists of a declaration, that is, a commitment to take a certain (but always more than the opponents) number of leves.

A lev, also called a “beat” or a “take”, is the cards that have been put on the table and then taken by the player who put up the highest value card.


starts with the player who dealt the cards. During betting the players take turns (clockwise) calling. The betting order is 1 to 7 and the suits are Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, Spades, and Aces-less. The lowest response must be a declaration to take more than half the number of lefts (one more than the opponents, i.e. 7). Therefore, a response at the one level means a commitment to take 7 lefts. The system is always like this: number X+6, e.g. 1+6 means 7 left, 2+6 means 8 left and so on until the player declares 13 left, which means that he wants to take all possible left (7+6). The players who declare such a left face a difficult task.

However, it should be remembered that one can only raise the bet when declaring. If a player does not have a sufficient number of cards in a suit (at least 5) and points (at least 12), his response is to fold. In no-trump (no-trump), you must have at least 16 points and a balanced hand (no five in one suit). The declarations of the partners add up.

The representative of the team that has declared the highest number of hands becomes the quarterback.

It is also possible that all players say pass. Then the cards are shuffled again.

Counter and rebid

In addition to the phrases “bid” and “fold”, you should also be familiar with two other words.


means to counter. This is used when the opponents have recently made a bid, and your partner has not yet made a bid on them. A counter is a proposition along the lines of: “I know you won’t make your commitment (number of lefts), so I’m doubling the score to get more points”.


– is a kind of declaration of certainty: “despite your counter I am confident that we will meet our commitment. And the score will not be doubled, but quadrupled”. A counter can be made by any player of the pair whose pledge was countered. The counter only refers to the last declaration.

Bridge play

The phase of this part of bridge occurs after the bidding and the contract is established. The quarterback is the representative of the winning team in the previous phase. The quarterback tries to fulfill the contract (get the declared number of leves). If the plan succeeds, his team receives points for the hand, if not, the other team receives points.

The opponent to the left of the dealer has the right to make the first move (to play a card, the so-called exit). He chooses one of his cards and reveals it by placing it on the table. Then the opponent’s partner reveals all his cards by placing them on the table (in pairs and in order of rank). He then acts as “Grandpa”. The partner’s cards are in the hands of the dealer, who places one of them on his trump card. The quarterback holds his cards, and he places one card on the spade to complete the left hand (a full left hand consists of four cards). The next card is dealt by the opponent on the right, and the last card is dealt by the dealer.

The player who adds the highest card (or the highest trump card) to the left-hand takes the left-hand and has the right to start another hand.

The game ends when the players have no more cards.

The cards to a left hand must be added to a suit (unless you don’t have one, in which case you can add any of your cards). In bridge

there is also no obligation to hit. The player with the highest card in a suit takes the left hand (unless the game includes a trump suit).

At the end of the game, the cards are counted and a record is made. The team with the most points wins, of course.

What is a bridge record?

It is a record of the number of points accumulated. The record has a plus shape – a vertical line separates the teams and a horizontal line separates the types of points: Above the line we write down overs, penalties and bonuses.

Bridge notation – table .

Published by Janusz Danek Tuesday, May 4, 2021

What is a “rober”?

A rober is a game objective – whoever obtains a rober wins. It consists of two winning games (a game is won by scoring 100 points for the lefts).

This article is based on notes from lectures on the game of bridge given by Anna Mielczarek, MA, at the University of Lodz.

Featured photo: Bruno Vincent / Getty Images

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