The technical elements of bridge

Several card games were created at the beginning of the 19th century. Most of them were lifting games, but with very different rules. As far as bridge is concerned, it became the most dominant game with its own technical elements.

What is bridge

Bridge is a card game played between four people in teams of two. It is a game of reflection but also a sport of the mind because on one table you are sitting in competition against another team. The bridge players around a square table each represent a cardinal point (North-South versus East-West). To play we need 52 cards with different values. The aim of the game is relatively simple. It is to determine the number of tricks that a side commits to make before the game begins. In other words, one of the two teams has to say "we are going to make 9 tricks" and also decide whether they are going to play them without tricks or with suits.

Description of a hand

In bridge, it is important to know what type of hand you have in order to better describe your bids to your partner. After you have uncovered your 13 cards at the beginning of the game, the number of flush cards will determine the type of your hand. Hands can be described by the following terms:

  1. Distribution: here we have
    • Regular hands: they have no chicane and singleton but have a maximum of one doubleton.
    • Unicoloured hands: they have one colour at least sixth and no other colour at least fourth.
    • Bicoloured hands: they have one colour at least fifth and another colour at least fourth.
    • Tricoloured hands: they are extremely rare. They are 4-4-4-1 and 5-4-4-0.
  2. The number of cards in a given colour.
  3. It did: a colour of at least 8 between the two partners, representing a good potential asset.

Convention Auction System

The combinatorial richness of bridge allows the use of techniques for transmitting information both in the bidding phase and in the card game. These techniques are conventions established at the beginning of the game by an agreement between the partners, which will attribute a particular meaning to certain types of bids or card choices. The best known bidding conventions are stayman, blackwood and texas. They all lead to the development of a system of which the best known are the major fifth, Acol, SAYC, the family of the clovers of strength, precision, polish, etc. The way of playing the cards could also be the subject of conventions. However, two details are necessary:

  • Sharing information between partners is not cheating, but rather respecting the rules of the game.
  • The information between the partners is intended to be public and is, if necessary, clarified and specified at the request of the opponents.