Welcome to Basement Bridge

Weekly updates from Kit Jackson offering hints and tips for the modern Bridge player. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012


The vagaries of scoring, I hear you call. What does it mean? How does it work? And why? And why should we worry about it?
Why? Because - nothing else matters! Fits, contracts, slams, part-scores, sacrifices - everything is subject to the SCORE.
We sacrifice when we are Not Vul against Vul, because if we go 3 down doubled we lose 500 against their 600+ Game score This is equivalent to a plus of 100.
If we are Vul against NV and we go 3 down doubled we lose 800 against their 400+ game score. BAAAAD. A minus of 400.
Tactics tactics tactics.
Playing Rubber Bridge you are Game and 60 and you pick up this:


There are 2 passes to you. What do you bid? 1D, rebidding 2NT is the classic "book" bid. But look at the score. You only need 40! That's 1NT. So bid it. Yes bid 1NT at that score. At teams or Duplicate it would be a simply terrible bid (because Game might be on), But at Game and 60 it's a great bid. Close out the rubber. Slam is a distant paradise to be ignored at all costs. The bid is determined by the score. Not your hand.


A Heart is opened on your right. You're playing Duplicate. What do you bid? The book might say 1NT (showing 15 - 17 and a H stop) But how does Vulnerability affect your strategy?  Consider if they are Vul and you are not, then the best you might make is 3NT for 400. However, what if you PASS, and then partner re-opens with a Double? Now if they go 2 off you make 500! Bit of a pipe dream maybe. But it happens. On the other hand swap the Vulnerability and everything else changes as well. Now if you pass and partner doubles, they go 2 off for only 300, whereas you might make 600 in 3NT. The score again determines how you bid; what your strategy might be. Honestly, the only thing that really, really, really matters is - THE SCORE!

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