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32 Essential Acol Bridge Bidding Lessons

Plus Bridge Bidding Practice Hands

After completing these hand evaluation lessons and their learning activities, you will be ready to start learning Acol bidding. If you are not sure of your level yet, take the the Quiz 1H -   if you find you know most of the answers you are ready to start on the bidding lessons below.

When you have finished the Acol Bridge lessons below, played all the practice hands (you will learn faster if you practice while you learn), and answered the quizzes, you will be able to play a game of Bridge.



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Acol Bridge Bidding Basics

LESSON Q1.Basic Principles Quiz : Check your knowledge
Check your understanding of how to evaluate your hand in Bridge. Some of the questions have more than one correct answer - as you select an answer you will receive instant feedback on your choice... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 2A.How to play Bridge on our computer : Instructions
Start Playing Immediately
If you already play 500 or similar card games then the play portion of the Bridge game will be familiar. The bidding however is very different, but by using our 'Hint' button to guide your bidding, you can start playing immediately while you learn the Bridge Bidding system. Try it here and see for yourself .
Congratulations for completing the Beginners Lessons and If you have just dropped in at this level please feel free to take the quiz (1H) to check that you know enough to begin learning how to bid the Acol bidding Lessons.

Now you are ready to bid and play on real Bridge hands against the computer. This will help your learning as you will be practising especially designed hands created especially to use just the points covered in the specific lesson. You will find these hands at the bottom of every lesson and you are free to play each as many times as you like.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 2B.Bid game : If you can
The term 'Game has a special meaning when you play bridge. If you and your partner bid to game you earn extra bonus points on top of the points you receive for each trick won. Play the hand below in game in Hearts and in NoTrumps... In this situation the game makes whatever the contract but NoTrumps can be difficult if you have to lose the lead too many times... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 2C.Which Game? : Choosing the right game contract
If you have a 'fit' in a suit then you will bid to game in that suit, if you have no fit but evenly spread suits with stoppers in each suit then NoTrumps is the place for your game.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 2D.Part game : How do I know when to stop bidding?
Part Game refers to the bonus score you and your partner receive when the bidding stops short of 'game'. Play the practice game in the bottom panel and watch how the score is allocated. More lessons on 'ruffing' to make the contract can be found in our 'Declarer & Dummy Play Lessons'... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 2E. Vulnerable or not vulnerable : What does it mean?
Vulnerability is a system of varying the Bridge scoring in a game and with each hand in duplicate bridge the North-South partnership and the East-West partnership are designated as either vulnerable or not vulnerable and this is assigned by a label on the bridge board or on the bidding pad (in computer bridge)... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 2F.Slam Bidding : In no trumps
In bridge there are two types of slams - small and grand. A small slam is bidding for 12 tricks whereas with a grand slam you contract to win all 13 tricks. Slam bidding falls into two groups: notrump slams and trump (or suit) slams.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 2G.Slam Bidding : In a trump suit
What works best is when there is a good trump fit and each player has a different short suit. Unbalanced hands take more tricks at a trump contract than balanced hands.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON Q2.Points, games, slams and vulnerability : Test yourself
This quiz is designed to give you feedback on your understanding of vulnerability, part-game, game and slam scoring. As you become better in competitive situations these factors become increasingly important to giving your partnership winning scores.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register

Open The Bidding at the 1 Level

LESSON 3A.Your first bid : The rules for an opening bid
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.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 3B. 1NT opening bid : Suitable hands
No Trump opening bids show that you have a balanced hand with no void, no singleton and at the most one doubleton and in Acol you must have precisely 12-14 HCP... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON Q3.Opening bids at the 1 level  : Check your learning
How well have you understood the bids if you are opener? Use the six questions in this quiz to check how well you understand Opening bids at the Level of 1 i Acol Bidding. Selecting an option will give you instant feedback
... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register

Responding to an Opening Bid At The 1 Level

LESSON 4A.Reply to partner's suit opener : Quick overview
Counting High Card Points and Distribution Points are the same for the responder as they are for the opener, but often responder bids with less points. As responder you will show your partner whether you have a minimal, medium or strong hand.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 4B.Partner opens 1NT, 2NT or 3NT : A quick overview of responses
1NT in Acol is often a very difficult place to play, the opposition usually have more points than you. So, when your partner opens 1NT you must think about the difficulty s/he will be in if you leave them to play there. If you have a four card Major suit and 11+ HCP... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 4C.Partner opens a suit : A quick overview - raises of partners suit
One of the main purposes for bidding in bridge is to find an eight card major suit fit to play in. The second purpose is to discover how many points the partnership has between them. Limit bids are useful bids as they can show the strength and the shape of the hand.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 4D.Partner opens a suit : Bids holding a minimum hand (6-9- points)
With no major suit fit to bid, responder's second priority is bidding 1NT if possible as the points for a NoTrump contract score are higher than a Minor suit contract... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 4E.Partner opens the bidding : Responding with a medium hand 10-12 points
Being left to play in a 1 No Trump contract can be difficult to play, often the opposition ends up with more points than you, so when your partner opens 1NT you must think about the difficulty s/he will be in if you leave them to play there.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 4F.Jump Shift Responder Bids : With a strong hand 13+ points
A jump-shift response always shows partner a long suit and a strong responding hand, without guaranteeing a high-card point count. ... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON Q4.Responding to partner's opening bid : Evaluate your bidding
How well do you understand your partner's Opening bids? Use the six questions in this quiz to check your Acol Bidding. Selecting an option will give you instant feedback.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register

Opening Bids at The 2 Level

LESSON 5A.Opening Strong Two's : Choosing the best bid for your hand
There are three different systems of Opening at the 2 level in Acol. This lesson is focussed on the 'strong 2's' system. These next two systems are covered in two separate lessons following this.The second system is weak 2's, and the third is Benjaminised Acol. You need to discuss with your partner which system you are playing otherwise your partnership will be tested ... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 5B.Opening 2NT : What do I need?
A 2NT opening bid is similar to the 1NT opening, only much stronger you must have 20-22 HCP for this bid. ... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 5C.Opening Weak Two's  : Two level bids which are weak and strong
This is the second bidding system concerned with opening bids at the level of 2. This system combines weak 2's in the major suits and diamonds with strong 2's 2 Club and 2NT openers. Partners must discuss which systems they are using otherwise costly mistakes can occur. Weak 2 opening bids are useful for showing your partner your weak but long holding and importantly... interfering with the opposition finding their own best contract. ... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 5D.Benjamin Acol : A combination of Weak and Strong 2 bids
Benjamin Acol is an extra convention for beginners so feel free to treat this lesson as something you can choose to use , or not but always after discussion with your partner. Remember your partner must be able explain your bids accurately to the opposition, when asked.
*NOTE: The 60SecondBridge computer does not play Benjamin Acol so we cannot create a practice lesson.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON Q5.Opening 2 Bids  : Check your knowledge
Check what you remember about opening bids at the level of 2 with these seven questions. As you select your answer you will receive instant feedback.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register

Responding To Opening Bids at The 2 Level

LESSON 6A.Responding to a Strong Club Opening : What do I reply to my partners strong 2C?
When your partner opens 2C and its a strong bid, they first want to know if Slam is possible. As responder it's your first duty to inform them of the possibility of slam, then if that's not an option to decide the game.
... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 6B.Responding to Weak 2 opening bids : Your Options
In the weak two's system not all the opening at the level of 2 bids are weak and 2 Clubs and 2NT are the signals that partner has a strong hand. Ensure you have remembered whether your partner's bid is long and weak, or strong. The advantage of Weak twos is that you have a lot more hands that can be described by a 2 level opening. The downside of this flexibility is that it allows for lots more misunderstandings and mistakes. For this reason absolute beginners usually prefer to play Strong Two's... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 6C.Responding to Benjaminised Acol  : What are my bids?
Make sure you know what your two level opener system is and that partner has the same understanding, before playing. The advantage of Benji Acol is that you have a lot more hands that can be described by a 2 level opening. The downside of this flexibility is that it allows for lots more misunderstandings and mistakes. For this reason absolute beginners usually prefer to play Strong Two's
*NOTE The 60secondbridge computer does not play Benjaminised Acol so we cannot give you a practice game to play... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 6D.Responding to a Strong 2NT  : The choices
This section does not deal with Slam, Grand Slam Bidding or Ace asking - these are covered in later lessons.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON Q6.Responding to 2 level opening bids : What is your bid?
If your partner opens a forcing 2 Club (2C) opening bid, you as responder must bid even with no points at all must bid. See if you have learned negative, waiting and positive responses. If your partner opens 2S or 2H or 2D. These are long suits with only 6-10 points, your responses are completely different for these opening bids... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register

Openers Rebids

LESSON 7A.Opener's Suit Rebid  : Different strength hands need different rebids
If you open the bidding and responder changes suit , this is a "forcing bid" on opener, meaning that you must keep the auction going by bidding at least one more time (there are exceptions but we will learn about this in later lessons). Opener must rebid.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 7B.Rebidding NoTrump : What is the difference between opening 1NT and Opener rebidding 1NT?
The difference between 1NT as an opening bid and 1NT as opener's rebid is the point count of the openers hand. ... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON Q7.Opener's Rebids : Do you know what they mean?
When you decide what your opening bid is going to be, it is also important to decide what your rebid will be. Your rebid can show points (high, medium or minimum, it can show distribution. Rebids can also be forcing or non-forcing on their partners.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register

Responding To Opener's Rebids

LESSON 8A.Responding to NoTrump rebids : What is my second bid?
The only difference between responding to an opening 1NT and responding to a notrump rebid is that the opener will have shown a different number of points. The notrump bidder usually leaves the final decision regarding the contract to partner.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 8B.Responding to Opener's Suit Rebids : What suit should I bid after Opener has rebid a suit?
You can open the bidding with 11-21 points at the 1-level. So, 11 points is opener's minimum, 21 points is the maximum points. The purpose of opener's rebid is to show their partner whether they have a minimum, medium or maximum strength hand... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON Q8.Responder Rebids  : Check your knowledge
Rebids by the Responder usually fall into one of three categories, minimum strength, medium strength and game going or strong hands. Test your knowledge of these types of hands.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register

Opening Pre-Emptive Bids

LESSON 9A.Preemptive Bids : How can I bid with my really long suit?
One of the most exciting parts of Bridge is bidding competitively so that the opposition struggles to find their optimum contract
... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 9B.Opening Weak Two's : With a 6 card suit but not enough points to open at the 1 level
The only time you cannot make weak two openings are when you have 6 club cards and less than 10 HCP, This opening is saved for showing your partner that you have 23+ points.

You can make a preemptive overcall, a jump overcall showing weak points but a good suit.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 9C.Opening 3 Level Bids : What can I bid with 7 cards in a suit?
An opening Three-Bid is a preempt and shows a weak hand with a seven card suit which can win five or more tricks if your suit is trumps,and is unlikely to win tricks in any of the other three suits. ... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 9D.Opening at the level of 4 : Bidding an 8 card suit
To win at bridge you want to give your opponents a lot of problems that prevent them from finding their correct contract. Pre-empts are one method of achieving this outcome.
Note* do not pre-empt at the 4 level with minor suits as you are not in game.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON Q9.Pre-emptive opening bids : Check your knowledge
Preemptive bids can level the playing in that they make it much more difficult for the opposition to bid. and this is the point of them, to give your opponents lots of difficult bidding situations to deal with.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register

Responding To Opening Pre-Emptive Bids

LESSON 10A.Responding to a 3 level opening bid : Your Choices
For a pre-emptive bid to be worthwhile your hand must be weak enough in both high cards and points for you to be sure the opponents will make game. Your hand must be strong enough in playing tricks and trump support in your own suit for you to be sure you won't go down more than two (and only occasionally three) tricks.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register

NOTE: The beginner lessons have the unique Bridge terms linked to an online glossary so you can click on the word and immediately see the definition and a link back to the full lesson if you require it.

Many lessons also have links to practice hands and learning activities where you can practice what you have just learned.

Our interactive quizzes will give you instant feedback on right and wrong answers, reinforcing your learning even further.



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