Bridge is a partnership game so there need to be some rules to understand each other. In Acol, opening a suit requires 4 cards in that suit. At the bottom of this page there is a link to our computer where you can play bridge for free on our computer. Only one hand is available on each of these this links at the bottom of the lessons, but its a different game for each lesson. Sign up as a member and you can access and play thousands of different bridge games on our computer.
The rules for an opening bid
Opener’s First Bid
The first person to start the 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 is your opening bid with this 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.