The Mini Bridge Pack
The Mini Bridge Pack
An introduction to the best card game in
the world
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Mini Bridge
Table of contents
The Auction
The Play
How The Cards Are Placed
Ranking Of Cards In A Suit
Ranking Of The Suits
Naming A Suit
Value Of The Honour Cards
What is the partnership looking for in a
What is game?
Rules Of Mini-Bridge
Playing the hand
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MINI-BRIDGE – an introduction to the best card game in the world!
This simplified version of bridge is a great way to introduce the game to learners, young
and old – try these at home before your friends attend lessons. These notes are from
Lesson 1 of the beginners notes which are available on Some
explanation of bidding is given here, but Mini Bridge can be played for several months
before introducing real bidding.
The Game of bridge is played in 2 distinct phases
1. The Auction
This phase is not used in Mini Bridge
Both partnerships compete to win the contract. Compass directions (NS/EW) are used
for the four players.
The DEALER is the first player to call. A player may PASS or make a positive bid. A
positive bid must be higher than the previous bid.
The auction continues in a clockwise direction until there are 3 consecutive PASSES.
The CONTRACT is the last bid made before those passes. The player who first bids this
suit, will be the DECLARER
2. The Play
The winning partnership must now fulfil the contract
The DECLARER is the player who plays the hand
DUMMY (Declarer’s partner) places their cards face up on the table
The faced cards on the table are also referred to as the DUMMY
The OPENING LEADER is the opponent on declarer’s left
Declarer makes all decisions in the play of the hand; both their own
and DUMMY’S cards
Dummy cannot suggest a play to declarer
A TRICK is a collection of 4 cards – 1 from each player in turn
A player must follow suit if possible
If a player can’t follow suit, they can play any other card
Highest card of the suit led wins the trick (unless a TRUMP is played)
The next trick must be played from the hand which won the previous trick
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3. How The Cards Are Placed
The cards are placed individually in front of each player - vertically (towards us) if we
win the trick, and horizontally (towards opponents) if we lose
4. Ranking Of Cards In A Suit
A K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
5. Ranking Of The Suits
Notrumps ( NT)
Spades (called the MAJOR suit)
Hearts (called the MAJOR suit)
Diamonds (called the MINOR suit)
Clubs (called the MINOR suit)
6. Naming A Suit
Naming a suit declares that suit to be TRUMPS (the dominant suit)
A TRUMP card beats any card from any other suit
NOTRUMPS means that there is no dominant (trump) suit
7. Value Of The Honour Cards
(HCP = High Card Points)
Each suit total = 10 HCP
Each deal total = 40 HCP
8. What is the partnership looking for in a contract?
Their aim is to find the best contract at the correct level. There are 3 levels to bid to:
combined points less than 25
combined points 25-32
combined points 33+
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9. What is game?
You get a large bonus when you make a Game, but you must make a certain number
of tricks to succeed. The number of tricks varies according to the trump suit or NT.
Game is:
3NT – 9 tricks
4S/H – 10 tricks
5D/C – 11 tricks
Slam is to get 12 tricks and a Grand Slam is all 13 tricks!
10. Rules Of Mini-Bridge
Who Becomes Declarer?
Each player, starting with the DEALER, adds up and announces their HCP. The pair with
the majority of points becomes the declaring side. The player of the partnership with
the most points is the DECLARER. That is the end of the Auction phase at this stage.
What Happens Next?
The partner of the declarer, who is called DUMMY, places their cards in suits on the
table. Declarer studies the dummy cards and their own hand and then decides what
the contract should be - one of the SUITS or NOTRUMPS (NT).
The partnership must try and find a FIT which is 8+ cards between the two hands. If
there is a fit, then declarer chooses this as the trump suit. Trumps are then placed on
dummy’s right. (Left from Declarer’s view) The partnership MUST always try for a
MAJOR fit first. If no good fit is possible, then they choose a NT or minor contract.
Declarer now decides whether to bid GAME. If the combined point tally of both hands is
25 or over, the contract is declared in Game. Otherwise declarer plays in a PARTSCORE
and needs to make 7 tricks, which is the minimum number to make any contract. If
declarer thinks they can make 12 tricks then they can declare a SLAM!
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Then What?
The opponent on declarer’s left leads a card to start the play.
Declarer nominates the card from the dummy hand as well as playing a card
from their own hand
A TRICK is a collection of four cards – 1 from each player in turn.
The player who wins this first trick then leads to the second trick.
This continues until all 13 tricks have been played.
11. Scoring
If you want to score then do as follows:
If you bid and make a part-score
= +1
If you bid and make a game
= +5
If you bid and make a slam
= +10
If you take the opponents down
= +1 for every trick down
Either set a target score, for example 30 or 50, or a set number of hands, to
find a winner. (Depending on the time available)
12. Playing the hand
In a trump contract it is usually correct to DRAW TRUMPS first. This means to
have enough rounds (usually 3 tricks) to take out all the opponents’ trumps.
Then go about making tricks in the other suits -you don’t want the opponents
to ruff (trump in) your other winners.
Try to make extra tricks by playing towards lower honours (K, Q, or J) and
hoping they are placed over the missing honour. Don’t just take all your Aces –
they will always win tricks!
Long suits can often generate tricks – count the cards that have gone to see if
your last card/s are winners!
Against a NT contract, attack and lead your best suit
If you are defending a contract only lead an honour if you also have the
honour immediately below. (Eg: Ace promises the King, Q promises the J)
Otherwise lead a small card.
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