How to Set Up the Score Sheet and Bridge Wheel

By Eddie Kantar

Here, you are introduced to the easiest and most popular form of bridge scoring. But first, someone has to step up to the plate and be the official scorekeeper for your game, and you have been elected!

Dig up a sheet of paper to be your score sheet. This is what your score sheet looks like, and be sure to include a We and a They. From now on, any plus score your team makes goes under We, and any plus score your opponents make goes under They.

score sheet
Draw a few lines on your score sheet to start the scoring process.

You’re almost ready. Now all you have to do is draw a wheel, which is the indicator of whose turn it is to deal the cards. Most people wouldn’t know it was a wheel unless you told them! All you have to do is draw a large X and call it a wheel. Think of this diagram as four open triangles, each representing a hand you are about to play.

You start by writing a 1 in the triangle directly in front of you. This mark indicates that you are the dealer on the first hand. In fact, you will be the dealer on the first hand of each new wheel. The deal and follow-up deals always rotate to the left in a clockwise manner.

When playing Chicago, as well as when playing in a bridge tournament, the vulnerability is arbitrarily assigned to you in advance. Yes, in advance!

  • On deal 1: Neither side is vulnerable.
  • On deal 2: The dealer’s side only is vulnerable (your opponents).
  • On deal 3: The dealer’s side only is vulnerable (you and your partner).
  • On deal 4: Both sides are vulnerable.

Keep in mind that the bonuses are different for making not-vulnerable game contracts and slams than they are for making vulnerable game and slam contracts. However, the 50-point bonus for making any partscore contract remains constant irrespective of vulnerability.