Lessons | How To Play | Scoring

How to Score at Bridge

Do you know what the score for 3Hx vulnerable making with two overtricks is? Don’t worry if you cannot come up with the answer instantaneously. You do not need to know the answer. However, knowing the common scores is very useful. Some people prefer to simply learn the scores from memory or use a bridge score calculator, others like to work them out, at least until they become very familiar with them. So, let’s look at how scoring works for Duplicate Bridge. Rubber Bridge has some variations from the following should you ever play that version of the game.

It is important to realise that when one pair obtains a positive score, their opponents record a negative score of the same amount. (thus, N/S + 200 E/W -200)

1. Value of tricks

There is no score for the first 6 tricks you make in a bridge contract. Once you get to 7, you can start scoring points. Yet, whether you get a positive or a negative score depends on the level of your contract.

If your contract is 4H, then you will need to make 10 tricks to record a positive score (4+ 6, the number of tricks that do not count).

Yet, if you are only in 2H, you only need 8 tricks to score positively (2 + 6 = 8). In each case, the number of tricks you need is the contract amount + 6.

2. Worth of each trick

Each trick with which you score (i.e. not the first 6) has a different value. Each trick in the major suits (H,S) is worth 30 but in the minor suits (D, C) is only worth 20 points.

Thus, the score for 3C making 9 tricks is 3 x 20= 60 (see also the bonus below) and for 4H making 11 tricks is 4 x 30 = 120, again + bonus.

The scoring is different in no trumps where the first scoring trick is worth 40 points and all subsequent ones are worth 30. Thus 1NT making 8 tricks is 40 +30 = 70 and 3NT making 9
tricks is 40+30+30=100. (bonuses to be added.)

Where you fail to make your contract, you will get a negative score. We will see the value shortly.

2a Game = 100 points or more

When the score achieved by the above method comes to 100 points or more, you have “made game”. We will see that the bonus for bidding and making game is much higher than if you only try for a part-score: i.e. a score of less than 100 points.

2b Slam

A small slam is a 6 level contract (12 tricks..6+ 6). A grand slam is a 7 level contract (all 13 tricks). There are extra bonuses for bidding and making a 6 or 7 level contract.

2c Vulnerability

Another factor which affects scoring is vulnerability. Apart from making a part-score contract, bonuses are bigger if your partnership is vulnerable rather than not vulnerable. So is the loss if you fail in a contract. The bridge boards will indicate whether your side is vulnerable or not, red for vulnerable, green for not vulnerable. Every board number has a differentvulnerability.

2d Overtricks

Calculate the score for your contract first. Only then add on the score for overtricks because overtricks cannot be included in the calculation of whether you have 100 points:

3H making 10 tricks:
Tricks 3 x 30 = 90 less than game Overtricks 1 x 30 = 30 Bonus part-score = 50 = 170

3. Bonus Points

Bonuses You Not Vul. You Vul.
Part-score bonus is always 50 50
Game bonus 300 500
Slam bonus Small slam 500 750
Grand slam 1000 1500

4H making 12 tricks, not vul:

Tricks 4 x 30 = 120 game
Overtricks 2 x 30 = 60
Bonus game = 300
= 480

4H making 12 tricks, vul:

Tricks 4 x 30 = 120 game
Overtricks 2 x 30 = 60
Bonus game = 500
= 680

You fail to make your contract

You not Vul You vul
Fail by each trick -50 -100

It does not matter whether you are in part-score, Game or Slam. The penalty is the same.

5. Doubled and Redoubled Contracts

Where a doubled contract makes, the score but not the bonus is doubled. In addition, the side which makes their contract are given an extra 50 point bonus for making their contract (called “50 for the insult (of doubling)”.

Thus, 2D x making 8 tricks is scored as:

2 x 20 points = 40 + 50 (part-score bonus) + 50 (for the insult)
= 180.

5a Doubled Overtricks

They are counted in the original calculation but are added on afterwards. You score an extra 100 points per trick if your side is not vulnerable and an extra 200 points per trick if vulnerable.

Hence, the score for 2Dx not vulnerable making 9 tricks is

40 +50 +50 as above + 100 (for the overtrick) = 280

Where the raw no bonus score comes to 100+ points

If the actual score without any bonus or a score for overtricks, comes to 100 points or more, then the pair who
have made their contract will get the game bonus, even if they would not have done so had their contract not been doubled.

Hence, 2H making 9 tricks is scored as:

Tricks 2 x 30 = 60 not game
Overtricks 1 x 30 = 30
Bonus part-score = 50
= 140

Hence, 2H making 9 tricks is scored as:

Tricks 2 x 30 ( x2 ) = 120 game
Overtricks 1 x 100 = 100
Bonus game = 300
= 570

The reward for making a doubled contract can thus be lucrative.

Redoubled contracts are much rarer. Instead of multiplying the basic score by 2, you do so by 4. Redoubled overtricks are worth 200 per trick (not vul.) and 400 per trick (vulnerable) with the “insult” increasing to 100 points.

4b Failing in a doubled or redoubled contract

For a doubled contract, the penalty starts at double the undoubled amount (50 or 100 points) though increases per trick lost as shown below. For a redoubled contract, the penalty starts at 4 times the undoubled amount. Again, vulnerability is significant.

Doubled

Not Vul. Vul
1 down 100 200
2 down 300 500
3 down 500 800
4 down 800 1100
Then per trick 300 300

Redoubled

Not Vul. Vul
1 down 200 200
2 down 600 500
3 down 1100 800
4 down 800 1100
Then per trick 400 600

Redoubling and failing is very expensive. These scores apply whether you are in part-score, game or slam.

6. Summary

Trick Value (per trick)
major suits 30
minor suits 20
no trumps 30 except 1 st trick 40

Bonus
Part-score is less than 100 points
Bonus is always 50

Game/ Slam Contracts You get the game bonus for any
of the following contracts or above:
no trumps 3NT
H or S 4H, 4S
D or C 5D, 5C

Slam bonuses only apply when the contract is at the 6 or 7 levels.

Defending Side. Your score is the reverse of what the declaring side scores.

Doubled/ Redoubled Contracts. Double/ quadruple the basic score. Add on overtricks separately. Doubled contracts of 2H or above attract the game bonus.

So, have you worked out yet what the score for 3Hx making 2 overtricks is? The answer is 1130. Check it out if you want but do not worry about it. You will soon get to know the common scores by heart. They are all you need to know.

How Results are Calculated

The results will make more sense if you know how to score at bridge, of course! For every hand you play, you will get a ranking and a % of the number of players you either tied or scored better than.

Every day, you will get a daily %, the average of results for that day’s hands 1 through 10.

You will also see a progress column which shows how your daily play compares to your recent play. So, if the last week you’ve been averaging 50% on all the hands you’ve played and today you’re averaging 60%, your progress would be +10.