During the Auction phase of a Bridge game, both sides are bidding so as to obtain the Contract. Bidding determines how many tricks you need to make and in what “strain” (Suit or NT).

During the bidding process specific bids impart information between the partners so while only 15 words it is a rich and diverse “New” language.

So for instance, the opening bid of 1 NT guarantees 12-14 points with a balanced hand. It also means that if the partnership is left in 1NT that they will need to take 7 tricks.

The opening bid of 1 ♥️ is said to be a wide ranging bid and can have HCP between 12 and 19 !! . If the partnership ends up in a contract of 2 ♥️  then they would need to take 8 tricks.

So when we bid the following number of tricks are implied :- 

Bids and Tricks

BidTricksNo TrumpsTrumps
17Part Score Part Score
28Part ScorePart Score
39GamePart Score
410Game in Majors
511Game in Minors
612Small SlamSmall Slam
713Gand SlamGarnd Slam

You will notice that the number of tricks is equal to the “Level” number plus 6 tricks (the Pot or Bucket).

The Bidding Ladder

In Bridge we have two constructs one is the Bid “level” 1 through to 7 and then the rank order of the suits :- 

♣️ Clubs ,♦️Diamonds , ♥️ Hearts , ♠️ Spades and then NT No Trumps

NT is higher that  ♠️ , which is higher than  ♥️ which is higher than ♦️ and then the lowly ♣️

Later on in the course we will learn to use the lowly Club for “other” purposes … Much later on


Types of Bid

Bid TypeNoteExample
LimitThis closely defines the HCP range of the bid1Nt = 12-14
Wide RangingThis is the opposite to a limit Bid1 Heart = 12-19
2C = 23+
Forcing BidThis Required partner to bid again , either for one round or until game
2C after 1NT opening
Invitational BidsPartner is asked to bid again - if partner has the Max1NT followed by say 2NT (i.e Bid 3NT if you have 14 points)
Conventional BidsA non-natural bid that means something different from the "natural" meaningOpening bid of 2C shows a "Big" hand and has nothing to do with "Lowly"
Sign Off BidsPlayed if one of the partners know exactly what contract we should be inAlmost always after a limit bid as partner now "knows" what the partnership's Assets are

When you are in the Bidding phase of the game, each bid you give means something to your partner. You are in a conversation with your partner, you are just using “Bridge Speak”It is your Bridge Language and it is a Language that you MUST be honest in.

Some people think football Bridge Bidding is a matter of life and death. I don’t like that attitude. I can assure them it is much more serious than that

Bill Shankly

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