VIDEO - This gets you closer to the full version of bridge - watch, and have fun playing.
HINTS AND TIPS - These will help you to improve your skills.
SCORING TABLE - So you only need to remember the important bits.
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We have covered a few tips for choosing contracts in the Play Level 2 Bridge video but there are a couple more things it might help to think about.
When choosing a contract, you will either be planning to go for one of the bigger bonuses - game or slam, if you have 25 or more points between your hand and dummy - or to settle for a part score if you can’t see enough tricks to make those higher level contracts. If you are going to play in part score, you may as well elect to play at the one level because you will get the same score as you would for any level below game, and it’s easier to make your contract. Remember the scoring? Bid 1♠ and make 9 tricks and your score is 90 (3 x 30 for the tricks above 6) plus part score bonus of 50, so 140 in total. If you set the contract at 3♠ and make the same nine tricks the score will be the same but you would run a greater risk of not making enough tricks. So either bid the game (or slam) contracts and go for the big bonuses, or bid one of the suit you want to play in and make life easy for yourself.
When you play Level 3 bridge, you won’t be able to get away with this because your opponents will also bid and you will need to bid more to win the contract but for now, play it safe if you are playing in part score.
The hints we gave you about declarer play for Level 1 bridge also apply here but now you also have to think about how you use your trumps. So when you look at dummy, decide whether you want to take out the defenders’ trumps as soon as you can or do you want to use your trumps in one hand to trump losers from the other? We will look at this technique in Module 6 once you have had more experience of play but as before, trying to figure out some tactics for yourself is good practice.
Again, all of the tips we gave you for Level 1 bridge still apply but you, too, need to think about trumps. If you are leading to the first trick, is there a suit other than the trump suit where you only have one or two cards? If so, leading your short suit right away might mean you will get to trump one of declarer’s winners before they can draw your trumps, like you saw in the Module 3 video.
Again, watch partner’s cards. Are they leading something that might be a short suit? If so, make sure you lead that suit when you get the lead so they can get their ruff.
As you learned in Module 4, contracts and scoring start above the 6th trick, which we think of as the baseline. As declarer, you set a contract to make a certain number of tricks, either with one suit as trumps, or in no- trumps. A contract at the 1 level - for example, one diamond or one no trump - means you have to make one trick above the baseline, so seven tricks in total. A contract at the 4 level says you think you can make four more tricks than the baseline, so ten tricks in total, and so on.
If you successfully make your contract, your score consists of two elements: the TRICK SCORE and a BONUS.
Your trick score gives you points for each trick you take above the baseline of six, and those points depend not just on the number of tricks, but also the trump suit of the contract.
|Clubs and diamonds (minors) ♣ ♦||=||20 points per trick (above six)|
|Hearts and spades (majors) ♥ ♠||=||30 points each (above six)|
|No-trumps (NT)||=||40 points for the first trick (above six), then 30 points for each subsequent trick|
The size of the bonus depends on whether you have bid and made a PART SCORE, GAME or SLAM contract.
|Part score (trick score less than 100)||=||50 point bonus|
|Game (trick score at least 100)||=||300 point bonus|
|Small slam (12 tricks, any suit/NT)||=||500 point bonus in addition to game bonus|
|Grand slam (13 tricks, any suit/NT)||=||1000 point bonus in addition to game bonus|
Note that you only get those game or slam bonuses if you have bid the game or slam contract. You will get the trick scores as long as you make your contract at any level, but the bonus score depends on the level you have bid to as well as on making the contract.
If you fail to make the number of tricks required by your contract, then for each UNDERTRICK, each trick you failed to make as part of your contract, your opponents will score 50 points.