High Card Points  
Counting up the High Card Points in your hand is the first step towards knowing whether your hand is strong enough to bid

How can I count my points?

“There are a total of 40 HCP in a pack of cards”
To play Bridge you must evaluate the value and strength of your hand. In valuing your own hand there are three factors to consider; high card points ( HCP ), distributional points ( DP ) and total points(TP).

High Card Points

Look at the honor cards (the Ace (A) the King (K) the Queen (Q) the Jack (J) and the Ten (10) in each suit, each of these cards is has a different points value called HCP = High Card Points. There are a total of 40 points in the entire pack of cards (10 per suit), therefore an average hand will contain 10 points.

Card Values

Ace (A) = 4 HCP
King (K) = 3 HCP
Queen (Q) = 2 HCP
Jack (J) = 1 HCP
Ten (10) = 0 HCP

The 10 and 9 card in any suit are known as Intermediate Cards and from 8 down to 2 the cards are known as Low Cards or sometimes called "rags" and often written as an "X"

Exercise: Add the HCP in the hand below - how many can you count?

Play a Game of Bridge with Automatic Bidding

Click on the link below titled "Practice this Lesson - with full Commentary" to play a game of Bridge. The Game engine will make all the bids for you starting as soon as the game screen has loaded - you only need to click on the cards to play.

Your Hand
  • A K 9 8 7
  • A K 10 8 6
  • 4 2
  • 4

Answer: This is how bridge hands are written and how you will see them in books and newspapers. The hand on the left is exactly the same hand as the one above.Answer = 14 HCP. Remember the 10 is worth zero HCP's

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