Bridge Lessons – Bidding

Bridge is a partnership game where you and your partner aim to achieve the highest total Bridge score. So there need to be some Bridge bidding rules to understand each other. In Standard American, opening either of the Major suits promises a 5-card suit.

The rules for an opening Bridge bid

Opener’s First Bid

The first person to start the Bridge bidding process is called ‘the dealer’ however they may pass – the first person to actually make make a bid which is not pass, is called the opener. You should have at least 13 TP to open the bidding. To bid a suit at any level you should have at least 4 cards or more in the suit (there are exceptions but these will be covered in later lessons), this is called a ‘biddable suit’.

Start with your longest suit – “Length before Strength”. When you open with a bid at the level of 1 you are saying that you propose to win at least 7 tricks out of the 13 tricks available in the game. The first six tricks is known as “the book” and is the minimum number of tricks that you need to win before you can start accumulating points for your bid. If you bid at the 2 level you need to win “the book” of 6 tricks plus an extra 2 tricks to make your contract. When you bid you are also nominating the suit as the trump suit. The number of cards to bid differ according to whether you open a major suit or minor suit covered in lessons 1f and 1e.

Exercise: What what is your opening bid with this hand ?

Your Hand

  • ♠A K Q J
  • ♥ J 5 4 3 2
  • ♦A K
  • ♣ 6 5

Answer: The correct opening bid here is 1♥ Even though the spade suit is stronger, the heart suit is longer and should be bid first.
If you get the chance to bid again you would then bid your spade suit