Beginners essentials

Evaluate your hand.

Choose the second suit you'd bid.

Then choose the first one.

Now bid.

And listen to what your partner then tells you.


Print cribsheet

Bridge Venue

Example Deal

«  0620  »

Opening bids. Plan of attack

Plan ahead

Are you listening ? It is the conjunction of your first two bids that tells your partner in some detail what you have.  So you have to think about your second bid (called your "rebid") before you make your opening bid. I know some people who didn't learn this at first, and they are still paying the price !

You might even need three bids to adequately describe your hand, but two bids is almost always a must.

Funadamental: What kind of hand do you have ?

You must first decide if your hand is balanced or unbalanced, and then adopt the appropriate bidding strategy.

Which is your strength band ? Tell your partner

Whichever strategy you adopt, you must also tell your partner how strong your hand is, by telling him in which of three broad strength bands your hand lies.  In the strongest band (23+ points), you can expect game and hope for slam.  In the middle band (20-22, sometimes less (1) ) game is more than 50/50, and slam is in the back of your mind.  In the weaker (and most common) band, 12-19, you are “investigating”.  Game is your main hope, depending on the rest of the conversation. 


With fewer than 12 points, generally don't open the bidding yourself. Wait for your partner to start the bidding. However, you can still open the bidding if the shape of your hand is somewhat distorted. Each of these techniques is strictly outside the scope of a pure beginner, but you might want to be aware of them:

  • rule of 20
  • Pre-emptive openings, bidding 3 when you have at least 7 cards in a suit
  • weak 2 Pre-emptive openings, bidding 2 (for more advanced players with exactly 6 cards in a suit)

The last one above (weak 2) is best ignored until you have had lots of practice with strong openings.

As you get better at bridge, you don't need to be so blindly reliant on strictly adherent to these strength guidelines based only on points. You will know when the time has come.

Now try the quiz

Can you put all this into action ? Try the quiz for this subject by clicking on the link at the top left of the page, just below the main menu.
(You can try quizzes for any other subjects too while you're there. Look out for the thin red line).



About us   Contact us     Terms & conditions of use      Log in      Comment on current page

© Bid and Made. Nothing on this website may be reproduced without written permission from Bid and Made. Just drop us a line, and we'll almost certainly say yes.