Quick summary


High Card Points

  1. Ace = 4
  2. King = 3
  3. Queen =2
  4. Jack =1

Less obvious: isolated high cards are half as valuable

  1. single King = 1.5
  2. Qx = 1
  3. Jxx = 0

value is restored if opposite strong partner suit.


Print cribsheet

Bridge Venue

Example Deal

«  0011  »

How strong is your hand ?

High Cards

For the second stage of evaluating your hand, give yourself 4 points for each Ace, 3 for each King, 2 for Queens and 1 for Jacks.

The entire pack contains 40 High Card Points (HCPs). So, if you have 10, that's average. With 12 you have above average HCPs, which is enough to open the bidding.

HCPs are not the only possible source of strength in your hand, but they are the most obvious.

Other sources of power are suit shortages, such as Voids (no cards in a suit), or conversely very long suits. You can award yourself points for these too, when evaluating your hand. Meanwhile, there are some bad signs to look out for. . .

Deductions - 1 point less for each of these bad things. . .

When you've move beyond the beginner stage, make 1 point deductions for

  • singleton K, Q, J
  • doubleton Qx, Jx, or QJ
  • no Aces in a 13+ hand
  • 4333 flat hand

Note that you can cancel these deductions after partner's bids if the HCP in your short suits is in partner's suit. Then they are no longer unprotected and so become good again.

Extras - 1 point more

  • All 4 Aces (though not great in No Trumps if that's all you've got)

Quick tricks

This is a system for evaluating your ability to make immediate tricks in a suit in the first 2 rounds

  • 2 = AK
  • 1.5 = AQ
  • 1 = Ax, KQ
  • 0.5 = Kx

Top tricks



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).


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