# How to Play Bridge – Part 1 – The Basics

Introduction to Playing Bridge

Bridge is a game for four people playing in two partnerships. A standard pack of 52 cards is used. There are four Suits: Spades, Hearts, Diamonds and Clubs. Each suit has thirteen cards in the order: A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. Ace is high.

How to Play

The cards are dealt so that each player receives 13 cards. It is best to arrange them in your hand with alternating red suits and black suits. The bidding starts with the dealer. After the bidding is over, one pair become the declaring side. One member of this pair called the Declarer, plays the hand while the opponents Defend the hand.

The partner of the declarer, called the Dummy, puts all of his cards face up on the table and takes no further part in the play. Declarer plays both hands, his own and dummy’s. The first person to play a card is the person on the left of the declarer, this is called the Opening Lead. The cards are played clockwise round the table until four cards have been played. The highest card played wins the ‘trick’.

Trumps

You must always follow suit if you can, but if as a result of the bidding there is a trump suit, then any card in the trump suit beats any card in the other suits. So, if hearts are trumps, the 2 hearts would beat the A of spades. You may only use a trump when you are unable to follow suit, but you don’t have to – you may choose to Discard (throw away) a card from another suit. Playing a trump card is known as Ruffing.

High Card Points

Ace = 4, King = 3, Queen = 2 and Jack =1

The Suit Ranking Order

Notice it is alphabetical for the suits. Clubs are the lowest ranking and No Trumps the highest.

No Trumps, Spades, Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs.