A Sample Bidding Sequence in Bridge

By Eddie Kantar

In the following example, you can see the bids each bridge player makes during a sample bidding sequence. You don’t see the cards on which each player bases his or her bid — they aren’t important for now. Just follow the bidding around the table, noting how each bid is higher than the one before it. Assume that you’re in the South position.

South (You) West North (Your Partner) East
1♥ Pass 2♣ 2♦
3♣ 3♦ 4♥ Pass
Pass Pass

After your opening 1♥ bid, West passes and your partner (North) bids 2♣. East joins in with a bid of 2♦, a bid that is higher than 2♣. When it’s your turn to bid again, you show support for your partner’s clubs by bidding 3♣. Then West comes to life and supports East’s diamonds by bidding 3♦. Your partner (don’t forget your partner) chimes in with 4♥, a bid that silences everybody. Both East and West decide to pass, just as they would at an auction when the bidding gets too rich for their blood.

It has been a somewhat lively auction, and your side has bought the contract with your partner’s 4♥ bid, which means you need to take ten tricks to make your contract. (Remember, a book — six tricks — is automatically added to the bid.) If you don’t make your contract, the opponents score penalty points and you get zilch. The final contract of 4♥ also designates hearts as the trump suit.

Keep in mind the following points about the bidding sequence:

  • Each bid made is higher ranking than the previous bid.
  • A player can pass on the first round and bid later (as West did), or a player can bid on the first round and pass later (as East did).
  • After a bid has been made and three players in a row pass, the bidding is over.