How to Play Bridge

By eHow Hobbies, Games & Toys Editor

Contract or rubber bridge is a partnership bidding game emphasizing communication between two sets of two partners. The object of the game is to win the largest number of tricks.

Setting Up

Agree upon partnerships. Designate the scorer.

Draw a cross in the middle of a piece of paper, and write the words "we" and "they" on either side of the cross at the top of the page.

Seat partners at the table opposite from each other. North and South are partners versus East and West.

Playing the Game

Shuffle and deal in a clockwise direction a standard deck of 52 playing cards, starting with the person to the dealer's left, until each partner has 13 cards.

Sort your cards into suits.

Evaluate your cards. Determine if you have a good or bad hand (see "How to Bid in Bridge," under Related eHows).

Bid on your hand. The dealer is the first to bid, with bidding continuing in a clockwise rotation.

Determine the declarer.

Lay down all your cards faceup on the table arranged in suits with the trump suit on the right if you're the declarer's partner. Make no further play of any kind during that round and allow the declarer to play the hand.

Lay one card on the table if you're the person to the left of the declarer. Play the next card from the dummy hand, and allow each partner to lay one card on the table.

Pick up the trick if you're the winner.

Continue in this fashion until all 13 tricks have been played.

Scoring

Score 20 points below the line, if you're the declarer, for each trick bid and made above book in clubs and diamonds.

Score 30 points below, if you're the declarer, for each trick bid and made above book in spades and hearts.

Score 40 points below, if you're the declarer, for the first trick bid and made above book in notrump. Score 30 points for every notrump trick bid and made after that.

Score 20 for each unmade trick in clubs and diamonds, 30 for each unmade trick in spades, hearts or second notrump, or 40 points each first unmade notrump for your opponent below the line if you did not make your bid contract.

Score 700 points above the line if you and your partner won the first two out of three games.

Score 500 points above the line if you and your partner won two out of three games.

Score 500 points above the line if you made a small slam while not vulnerable.

Score 750 points above the line if you made a small slam while vulnerable.

Score 1,000 points above the line if you made a grand slam while not vulnerable.

Score 1,500 points above the line if you made a grand slam while vulnerable.