High Card Points commonly known as HCP were devised by Milton!

It is a counting method whereby you can determine the strength of your hand. The HCP system works especially well with Balanced and Semi-Balanced hands. Suit or trump type hands use the system as well but with some small adjustments for Length of Suits and or shortages.

Once you have sorted your hand into Suits and then ranked cards High to low and from left to right in the order of :-

 “Honours” first: Ace , King , Queen , Jack , the “spot” cards 10-2

You then add up your HCP :- 


So for each suit there are 10 HCP , and there there are 40 in a full 4 suited deck of cards.

So, if you and your partner hold 21 or more then you should, on balance, make more tricks than the opposition

Some “key” numbers to do with HCP …………

  • With 0-11 you PASS an opening
  • With 12 or more you MUST open
  • With 6 or more you MUST respond if partner has opened
  • With 25 between the partnership – you should be in GAME
  • With 33+ you should be in a SLAM

Try to remember these numbers 


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