Beginning Bridge – The Major Suits

In Bridge, the heart and spade suit are major suits and often referred to as ‘the majors’.
Of the two suits, Spades ♠ ranks higher than Hearts ♥.

Why do I need to know about major suits when beginning Bridge?

The Majors – Spades ♠ & Hearts ♥

The major suits are important for bidding tactics and scoring in Bridge as they outrank the minor suits, and also outscore them (30 points per contracted trick for major suits—as opposed to 20 points per contracted trick for the minor suits).

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The Majors and bidding to game

Another key difference is getting the bonus points from bidding to game level. In the major suits game level is 4H or 4S. The bonus points for bidding to game are +250 points if not vulnerable and +450 points if vulnerable. For example if you bid 3H but made 4(10 tricks) your score would be +170 points; however if you bid 4H and make them your score is +420 points not-vul or +620 points vul, this is a huge premium and points winning opportunity
The tactics of bidding in bridge revolves around the attempt by partnerships to find a “fit” (8 cards between the partners) in one of the major suits that will allow them to try to make a game contract when they hold sufficient Total Points.

1 ♠ or 1 ♥  Opening Bids
1. Spades and Hearts are the 2 top ranked suits in that order
2. 13-21 Total Points (TP)
3. Promises a 4 or 5-card suit depending on your system
4. Open your longest suit
5. With two 5-card suits, open the higher ranked suit
4 ♠ or 4 ♥  Games
1. 4H or 4S means you need 10 tricks to make your contract
2. Gives +250 bonus points if not vulnerable
3. Gives +450 bonus points if vulnerable

Instant Progress Quiz

Check the correct answer/s

Select all correct information about major suits- from this Lesson

   major suit games score 30 points for each trick won plus the bonus points if you have bid to game level
  you need to win at least 11 tricks to make your contract
   Spades and Hearts are the major suits
   there are no extra points for 4H making 4(10 tricks won) over 3H making 4 (10 tricks won)
  you don’t need a fit to bid to game level

Major Suits – Practice Game

Experienced players recognise Major Suits instantly but for beginners it takes more time and adds to that ‘cognitive overload’ that many beginners experience. Use our Major Suits practice game to boost your Major Suit recognition skills.


Your Hand

  • ♠A Q 7 3 2
  • ♥ A Q J 8 4
  • ♦ 8 4
  • ♣ 6

Exercise: What would you open the bidding with this hand?
Answer: The correct opening bid with this hand is 1 ♠. With 2 five card major suits (majors) open the higher ranked suit first. Note that with fewer points you should pass.

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