Tricks to make your contract



Bridge is a trick-taking game and is a card game in which playing the trick is based on 13 rounds of play, each called tricks, which has a winner or “taker” of that trick. When all cards have been played, the number  of the tricks won by each pair is counted for scoring. The winner of a trick is the one who plays the highest-ranked card of the suit led, unless another player has trumped it.

NOTE: This lesson is a short extract from the full featured interactive lessons in our Members Zone. Learn more about our extensive ‘Members Only’ features that you can use to lift your Bridge game.

I’ve won the contract – how many tricks do I have to win?

Counting Tricks you need to make when you play a contract

The Book is a term which refers to the first six tricks that must always be won by the declaring side if they are to gain a score. The first six “book” tricks must be won and are not calculated in the scoring. A contract at the 1-level means the declarer (player) must win at least 7 tricks (that is, the book = 6 + 1) tricks. Extra points are awarded only for the extra tricks above the book.

BidBid+ The Book= Tricks to Win
1 NoTrump,or1♠or1♥or1♦or1♣1+ 6 tricks=7 tricks
2 NoTrumpor2♠or2♥or2♦or2♣2+ 6 tricks=8 tricks
3 NoTrumpor3♠or3♥or3♦or3♣3+ 6 tricks=9 tricks
4 NoTrumpor4♠or4♥or4♦or4♣4+ 6 tricks=10 tricks
5 NoTrumpor5♠or5♥or5♦or5♣5+ 6 tricks=11 tricks
6 NoTrumpor6♠or6♥or6♦or6♣6+ 6 tricks=12 tricks
7 NoTrumpor7♠or7♥or7♦or7♣7+ 6 tricks=13 tricks


Scoring is based on the number of tricks a player or partnership has won and the value of that contract for example a No-trump contract scores more points at the same Level than a major suit contract and a major suit contract scores more points than a minor suit contract.  
The scoring is different depending on whether you won, or didn’t win, the number of tricks your bid promised. See our Bridge Scoring Table (for when you achieved your contract) and our Undertrick Bridge Score Table for when you did not. Both tables are printable so you can use them in real-life Bridge games.

This lesson is a short extract of our interactive Bridge lesson. Click here to see our full Bridge lessons.