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Doubled Bridge Score

Learning to score in bridge makes it easier to understand the bridge auction system. Once you know how to score, you’ll understand why it’s better to play hearts/spades/NT than diamonds or clubs and why players will keep betting at level 4, 5, 6 or even 7 instead of stopping at 3 or 4 . level.

Let’s start with the absolute basics.

  • No points are scored for the first 6 tricks. A contract for 1 of a suit (or 1NT) means that you think you will take 7 tricks (6 + 1 bid). A contract for 4 of a suit means that you think you will take 10 tricks (6 + 4 bid).
  • High Card Points = score points for the cards you have. Four for each ace, three for each king, two or each queen, and one for each jack.
  • A “game” contract is one that would get 100 points if achieved. If you achieve (or beat) the contract, you get a bonus point of 300.
  • A partial point contract is one that would score less than 100 points if achieved. If you achieve the contract you get 50 bonus points.
  • If you offer a partial score but actually do enough tricks for the game, you will ONLY get the partial score bonus, as that is what you are bidding on.

Points scored per trick (over 6) = 20 per club/diamond, 30 per heart/spade. In a No Trumps contract get 40 for the FIRST trick and 30 for subsequent tricks

Number of tricks needed to make the “play” = 11 in Clubs/Diamonds, 10 in Hearts/Spades and 9 in No-Trumps

Minimum contract needed to score the game = 5 clubs or diamonds, 4 hearts or spades and 3 no trumps

High Card Points needed for the game = 27 for a minor suit, 25 for a major suit contract or NT contract

If you fail to fulfill the contract you bid on, your opponents get 50 points for each trick you missed. So if you bid 3 of a suit (bid to take 9 tricks) and only take 7 tricks, your opponents get 50 points for each of the two tricks you missed (100 points total).


If you think your opponents are unlikely to win the contract they are bidding on, you can “double down.” This means that your side will get double points for each trick the opponents take, but it also means that they will get double points for each trick if they make the contract. They will also get an extra bonus of 50 points for achieving the contract.

If the opponents are sure that they WILL FULFILL their contract, they can “redouble”. In this case they will get 4 times the usual point value for each trick performed if they win the contract, plus an extra 100 bonus points.


To add a little extra “spice” to the marker, or both sides become “vulnerable”. This rotates between no sides vulnerable, EW vulnerable, NS vulnerable, and both sides vulnerable. If your side is vulnerable and you fail to make a contract, your opponents get DOUBLE points for each trick you miss.

If your side is vulnerable and bids and wins the game, your bonus game increases.

No partial point increase – 50 points scored

Game Score: Bonus increased from 300 to 500 points if vulnerable


There are two types of blows. A small slam (12 tricks) and a grand slam (all 13 tricks). You only get an extra bonus on these if you bid to make them.

So if you bid a contract of 3 hearts (to win 9 tricks) but actually win all thirteen tricks, you will only get the normal play bonus and not get the additional Grand Slam bonus. He will only get the small bonus or grand slam if he bets to win 12/13 tricks (6 or 7 of a suit).

If you bid and make a small slam, you’ll get an additional 500 bonus points (or 750 if you’re vulnerable)

If you bet and win a Grand Slam, you’ll get an extra 100 bonus points (or 1500 if you’re vulnerable)

Both are added to the normal game bonus.

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