Like most card games, bridge is a game of whoso origin there is considerable doubt, but the probability is that it belongs to Greece. There is authority for stating that it was played in Turkey and Greece more than sixty years ago, and was introduced into England about ten years later.
In the last decade of the 19th century it began to be popular in London, and a code of rules was framed by the Portland Club. These rules were officially recognized down to 1901, when they underwent revision by a specially appointed committee of members of the Portland and Turf Clubs. Six years afterwards the game developed into Auction Bridge and later still another form called Contract Bridge is a game for four players, two players each in partnership, who face each other at the table. The two pairs of players are decided by cutting the cards, the two drawing higher cards opposing the two who draw lower cards. Ace counts as one in cutting.
Having decided the partnerships, the drawer of the lowest card proceeds to deal, after having shuffled the pack and passed it to his right-hand opponent to cut. The cards must be dealt one at a time as in whist, starting with the left-hand player and continuing round the tabio to the dealer himself.
The play is in many respects similar to whist , but there are many differences. For instance, the partner of the dealer does not take part in the playing of the cards, but instead, after the first lead, places his hand on the table for the dealer to play.
Then the trump suit is not determined by cutting, nor by the last card dealt, but is chosen by the dealer or his partner, according to which suit they think best, but without entering into consultation, the dealer having the option of first choice.
Should they regard it as raore profitable to play without a suit being chosen for trumps ( no trumps ) they may decide to do so.
Another way in which bridgo differs from whist is in the suits having their special values. The highest value is when the hand is played without trumps, each trick above six counting 12 points; in a heart declaration the valuo is 8 points, diamonds G points, clubs 4 points, and spades 2 points.
There are five honours, ace, king, queen, knave, and ten. Three honours in partnership count 4 points in spades, 16 in clubs, 24 in diamonds, and 32 in hearts; four honours in partnership count 8, 16, 24 and 32 respectively; five honours in partnership 10, 20, 30 and 40; four honours held in one hand count 16, 32, 48, and 64; five honours, four in one hand, count 18, 36, 54, and 72; (ive honours in one hand count 20, 40, 60, 80; and chicane (when a player holds no trumps) counts 4, 8, 12 and 16.
When, in a no-trump declaration, the partners hold between them 3 aces, they score 30 for honours; if they hold 4 aces they score 40; 4 aces in one hand scores 100. A grand slam, the winning of all thirteen tricks, scores 40 points, and a little slam, the winning of twelve tricks, 20 points.
Honours do not count in the scoring so far as the winning of a rubber is concerned – only points scored by tricks are of value in this respect – but their value is added to the points scored for tricks to determine the valuo of the rubber.
A special scoring-sheet is used. It has two vertical columns, the one on the left for the scorors and the other for their opponents. A horizontal lino is drawn across the two columns, and above this points scored for honours are registered, points won for tricks being placed below the line.
When the dealer or his partner has declared the trump suit, or decided on no trumps, their opponents have the option of doubling, the effect of this being that each trick is worth twice the number of points. The original declarer then has the right to redouble, each trick then having four times its original value. The opposing declarer may then redouble again, and so on, until the value of a trick reaches 100 points, at which stage a stop must be made.
Sound judgment is necessary in making a trump declaration, and due consideration must be given to every possibility. The dealer, who makes the declaration, unless lus hand is so ordinary that he prefers to leave it to his partner, does not know, of course, the strength of his partners hand, and must assume therefore that he holds an average hand.
He first examines his hand with a view to a declaration of no trumps. Tins declaration is sound should his hand contain four aces; three aces, with the other cards of moderate value; two aces, and some strength in the remaining cards; one ace and three suits guarded; four kings, two queens and a knave, all guarded.
Hearts or diamonds should be declared when the hand contains six, seven, or eight of either, but if there is a similar strength only in clubs or spades, the dealer should make no declaration, but leave it to his partner, who may reasonably be expected to hold a better hand.
By passing on the declaration to his partner, the latter receives the advice that his partner has no strength in the suite of higher value – hearts and diamonds – but it does not indicate that his hand is of no value whatsoever. Had this been the case, the dealer would have declared spades to be trumps, in order to make the loss as little as possible.
The dealers partner, when the declaration is left to him, estimates the value of his hand and makes what he considers to be the best declaration. As soon as trumps have been declared, and the privilege of doubling and redoubling been accepted or refused, the playing of the hand begins.
Play, as already mentioned, is similar to that in whist, but there are many valuable rules to be borne in mind, and for that reason it is advisable to read a treatise on the game.
Bridge, Auction. Just as bridge was a development of ordinary whist so is auction bridge a development of, and au improvement on. Bridge itself. Players of bridge realized that one of its great weak- nesses was the fact that the choice of trumps could be made only by the dealer or his partner, which so often meant that poor hands were compulsorily played while many good hands were wasted. It was not surprising, therefore, that the authorities on bridge should seek for a more equitable method of appraising hands, and this they accomplished by auctioning them.
At the inception of auction bridge, the same value was given to the suits as in bridge: no trumps 12 points, hearts S, diamonds 6, clubs 4, and spades 2, but variations were introduced, particularly in the method of declaring. The dealer, or his partner, had no longer the sole right of the declaration, thoir adversaries also having the privilege.
H he declared two spades, then they had to make between them eight tricks.
Having made his declaration of two spades, his left-hand opponent could raise the bid to two clubs, the dealers partner could declare two diamonds or make a higher declaration still, and the fourth player could bid still higher. 11 the dealer valued his hand so little that he felt unable to make a declaration, he could cry: No bid, as also could his partner and opponents. The bidding went on until all the players were satisfied, when the plajer who had made the first declaration in the suit finally decided on for trumps (or no trumps) played the hand, his partner being dummy.
Even in this new form of bridge drawbacks were soon observed. It was reabzed thai; a player holding a good hand of spades or clubs was at a great disadvantage and could make little use of his hand, and after an abortive attempt had been made to remedy this defect by giving spades two values, its original, and one that gave it superiority over a heart declaration, the present rules of auction bridge were framed, with but slight variations that were introduced subsequently.
To-day the scoring values are as follows: For every trick made above six, in clubs, six points are scored; in diamonds, seven points; in hearts, eight points; in spades, nine points; in no trumps, ten points. Three honours in clubs counts twelve points; in diamonds, fourteen; in hearts, sixteen; in spades, eighteen.
Four honours in clubs counts twenty-four; in diamonds, twenty-eight; in hearts, thirty-two; in spades, thirty-six. Five honours in clubs counts thirty; in diamonds thirty-five; in hearts, forty; in spades, forty-five. Four honours in one hand counts forty-eight points in clubs; fifty-six in diamonds; sixty-four in hearts; seventy-two in spades. Five honours, four being in one hand, counts fifty-four in clubs; sixty-three in diamonds; seventy-two in hearts; eighty-one in spades. Five honours in one hand counts sixty points for clubs; seventy for diamonds; eighty for hearts; ninety for spades.
Thirty points are scored for three aces, forty for four aces, and for four aces in one hand, one hundred. For a grand slam (thirteen tricks), one hundred points are scored, and fifty points for a little slam (twelve tricks). Two hundred and fifty points are scored for a rubber.
Only trick points are scored below the scoring-line, all other points being registered above the line. A game is won when thirty points for tricks have been scored.
Originally, points were allowed for chicane (no trumps in a hand) and double chicane, but this award of points was abolished early in 1928.
Should a declarer fail to make the number of tricks he declared, he forfeits fifty points above the line to his opponents for each trick below the number, and the number of points is proportionately in-creased if the declaration were doubled, or redoubled. On the other hand, should he have been doubled and succeeds in making his call, he scores 50 points above the line, and a further 50 points for each trick obtained in excess of the number he declared. In the case of redoubling he would score twice the number of bonus points.
In the event of a revoke a penalty of 100 points is imposed, but if the revoke is made by an opponent of the declarer, the latter may claim 100 points or three of his opponents tricks to add to his own.
Bridge, Contract. This variant of bridge is of later origin than auction bridge and although it has not supplanted auction has gained so many advocates that there is every likelihood that it will eventually do so.
It differs in several ways from auction, one important variation being in the declaration. In auction, a player who declares to make a certain number of tricks benefits if he and his partner make more than the number declared, but in contract only the number declared counts to the contracting parties.
The respective values of the tricks are also different, 30 points being scored in no trumps for the first, third, fifth and seventh odd trick, and 40 points for the second, fourth and sixth; 30 points for tricks in spades and hearts, and 20 for diamonds and clubs. One hundred points are necessary to win a game; for a rubber won by two successive games 700 points are scored and for a rubber of two games won in three 500 points are scored.
When one sido has won a game it is said to be vulnerable. In such circumstances they suffer a penalty of 100 points for the first under trick, and a further 50 for every other one. If doubled the penalty is twice as heavy; if redoubled four times as heavy. The penalty for failing to make contract when not vulnerable is 60 points for each trick. If the call is doubled the penalty is 100 points for the first trick below the contract, and an additional 60 points for each further trick; when redoubled the penalty is twice as heavy.
For a grand slam (the whole thirteen tricks) 1500 points are scored when not vulnerable, and 61)0 for a little slam (twelve tricks), but neither a grand slam nor a little slam counts nnless bid. When vulnerable a grand slam carries 2.250 points and a little slam 750 points. Fottr honours held in one hand scores 100 points, and five honours in one hand scores 150 points. In a no-trump call 150 points are scored for four aces in one hand.