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Slam Bidding in Bridge

A slam in bridge is bidding and making 12 tricks and a grand slam is bidding and making all 13 tricks.

This next hand might be the most famous slam hand of all. It's featured in the movie Moonraker and the evil Drax isn't happy sitting East when James cooly makes 7♣ with the North and South cards.

grand slam in bridge

Grand Slam for North and South. Nice, very nice.

Slams don't come around as often games or partscores and the score for making a slam is high so it can take some time to feel confident with 6 and 7 level contracts. Slam bidding is fun, though, so we've put some ideas together to get you started.

Points needed for slam in bridge

To bid a slam you need to calculate your partnerships' combined strength, just like you do when you're thinking of bidding a game.

On the following hand, South's simple 1♠ response paves the way to slam.

easy slam bidding

Slam bidding is easy!

1♠ is a change of suit so it's forcing. That means North can't pass and is expected to describe his hand further which he does, in this case, with 2NT. That 2NT bid is a limit bid showing 18-19 points and a balanced hand. South has 15 high card points with good shape together with North's 18-19 making 33-34 between the two hands. North must have at least 2 spades for the 2NT bid so South can be sure of an 8 card trump fit. 33 points and 8 trumps - simple bridge bidding and good hand evaluation will get you to slam.

Slam Bidding Conventions

Knowing your bidding system well along with good hand evaluation will get you to most good slams and keep you out of the bad ones. Once you've determined your overall strength, you might need to check that you're not missing two aces.

Blackwood in bridge, 4NT asking for aces, is a convention useful for slam bidding when you're likely to end up in a suit contract.
Gerber in bridge, 4♣ asking for aces, is a convention useful for slam bidding when partner's last bid was 1NT or 2NT.
The quantitative 4NT bid in bridge is used when you have a strong balanced hand and you're not sure if your combined strength is enough for 6NT.


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