Bidding Tips for Winning Bridge Games

Part of the Bridge For Dummies Cheat Sheet

In bridge, bidding is considered the most important aspect of the game. It's a given that a good bidder equals a winning bridge player. Here are a few bidding tips to start you off:

  • Before opening, add your high card points (HCP): Ace = 4, King = 3, Queen = 2, Jack = 1. With 12 or more HCP, open the bidding.

  • To open 1♥ or 1♠, you need at least five cards in the suit.

  • With two five-card suits, open in the higher-ranking suit first. The rank of the suits, from highest to lowest, is spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs.

  • With two four-card suits, one a major (hearts or spades), one a minor (diamonds or clubs), open in the minor. With two four-card minors, open 1♦.

  • Open 1NT with 15 to 17 HCP plus a balanced hand (no voids, singletons, or two doubletons).

  • If your partner opens, pass with fewer than 6 HCP. With 6 or more HCP, bid your longest suit at the one level, if possible. Responding at the two level in a new suit requires 11 or more HCP. A response of 1NT shows 6 to 10 HCP and denies a four-card major if your partner opens 1♣ or 1♦.

  • Supporting your partner's first bid major suit requires three or more cards in the suit; supporting any second bid suit requires four or more cards in the suit.

  • A primary objective in bidding is to locate an eight-card or longer major suit fit between your hand and your partner's.

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