Winning a Game in Bridge


A game of bridge is won when a team scores 100 points. These points can be won in one hand or in multiples hands. Once a team reaches 100 points, a new game is started. The first team to win 2 out of 3 games wins a Rubber. The team that wins 2 out of 3 Rubbers wins a Match.

Earlier we said that the purpose of bidding is to determine the combined point value of the partners’ hands. NT (no trump) has the highest point value, followed by the major suits and then the minor suits. The following table is a guide to help teams determine the level they need to reach a game in each suit.

Suit                     Bid level            Points

NT                            3                   100

Spade                      4                   120

Hearts                      4                   120

Diamonds                5                   100

Clubs                       5                   100


The most points are given to a contract of NT, following by the major suits and then the minor suits. Therefore when bidding, it is best to end of up in a major suit or NT if possible, because you get more points (with fewer ticks) toward winning a game.  The higher you go up on the suit ladder, the less points tricks you need to win a game. Therefore, it is always better to bid a major suit over a minor suit.

A point to note is that you only receive points towards a game if you make your contract. For example, if you bid 4 spades and make your contract (10 tricks) you get 120 points (30 points for each trick). Also, you only get points the tricks you bid toward a game; i.e. if you won 11 tricks you only get points for the 10 tricks (your contract).

If you only make 9 tricks you get no points and your opponents get bonus points for preventing you from making your contract.

The purpose of the bidding is to determine how high a team can bid to set the contract. If you bid 4 spades and make 10 tricks you made your contract. If you only made 9 tricks, you did not make your contract. If you bid 4 spades and make 11 tricks you made your contract plus one bonus trick, but only the 4 you bid goes toward the game points.


James Frazee

Author, Beginning Bridge by the Numbers

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