How Do You Score in Contract Bridge

Contract bridge is a popular card game that involves both skill and strategy. When playing bridge, the ultimate goal is to score points by winning tricks and fulfilling your contract. But exactly how do you score in contract bridge? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the scoring system behind this beloved card game.

The Basics of Contract Bridge Scoring

Before we dive into the specifics, let’s start with the basics. In contract bridge, there are two teams of two players each – North/South and East/West. The game is played with a standard deck of 52 cards, and the objective is for each team to win tricks and score points in order to achieve their contract.

At the beginning of each hand, bidding takes place to determine the contract. The contract is a commitment to take a specific number of tricks, with a designated suit as the trump suit (if there is one). The team that wins the bid becomes the declarer, and their goal is to fulfill their contract by taking the number of tricks they committed to.

When the hand is over, the number of tricks that each team has won is tallied up, and the team that was the declarer earns points based on whether or not they successfully fulfilled their contract. The team that was the defenders earns points based on how many tricks they were able to prevent the declarer from taking.

How Points are Scored in Contract Bridge

Scoring in contract bridge is based on two main factors – the level of the contract and whether or not it was fulfilled. Let’s take a closer look at how this works.

Level of the Contract

The level of the contract refers to how many tricks the declarer commits to taking. The levels range from one to seven, with one being the least amount of tricks and seven being the most. The level of the contract determines how many points are earned for fulfilling it.

If the contract is at the one-level, the declarer earns 40 points for fulfilling it. For each additional level, the point value increases by 30. So, a two-level contract is worth 70 points, a three-level contract is worth 100 points, and so on.

If the declarer fails to fulfill their contract, they lose points. The penalty for each undertrick (i.e. each trick short of their commitment) is 50 points for the first trick, 100 points for the second, and 200 points for each additional trick.

Fulfilling the Contract

If the declarer successfully fulfills their contract, they earn points based on the level of the contract. As mentioned earlier, the point values increase by 30 for each additional level. In addition to the points earned for fulfilling the contract, there are also bonuses that can be earned for certain accomplishments.

For example, if the declarer wins all 13 tricks in a hand, they earn a bonus of 1,000 points. If they win seven tricks (the exact number of tricks required for a seven-level contract), they earn a slam bonus of 1,000 points.

Defenders’ Points

The defenders also have the opportunity to earn points in contract bridge. For each trick that they prevent the declarer from taking, they earn 10 points (known as a trick score). If the declarer fails to fulfill their contract, the defenders earn a bonus of 50 points for each undertrick (i.e. each trick short of the declarer’s commitment).

In Conclusion

Scoring in contract bridge can seem complicated at first, but once you understand the basic principles, it becomes much clearer. Remember that the point values for fulfilling a contract increase with each additional level, and that there are penalties for failing to fulfill the contract. Additionally, both the declarer and defenders have the opportunity to earn points throughout the game. With this knowledge, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the scoring system in contract bridge!

scroll to top