Bridge Basics 1UB7 Main

Bridge Terms

 by Richard Pavlicek

Artificial bid

A bid that is not related to the named suit or notrump; examples are Stayman 2 C and Blackwood 4 NT


A hand pattern with no singleton or void and at most one doubleton; i.e., 4-3-3-3, 4-4-3-2 or 5-3-3-2


A call that names a number and a suit or notrump


Any bid, pass, double or redouble


The ability to win the first or second round of a suit at a trump contract; i.e., the ace, king, singleton or void


The player who deals the cards and makes the first call


The player who, for his side, first names the suit or notrump of the final bid and will play the hand


Either of the two players who are declarer’s opponents


A holding of exactly two cards in a suit


The partner of the declarer; or the cards of that player

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An attempt to win a trick or force out an enemy honor with a card that is not the highest card


The condition of a bid that partner must not allow it to become the final contract


A trick score of 100 or more, which can be made with a single bid of at least 3 NT, 4 H, 4 S, 5 C or 5 D

Game forcing

The condition of a bid that requires the partnership to keep bidding until game is reached

Grand slam

Any seven-bid; a contract to win all 13 tricks


Any of the cards: ace, king, queen, jack or ten


The condition of a bid that requests partner to bid again with a maximum or to pass with a minimum


A bid that skips one level of bidding

Jump shift

A jump in an unbid suit


The first card played to any trick

Maximum [Minimum]

The state of holding the upper [lower] half of the point count indicated by your previous bid

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New suit

A suit that has not been bid; an unbid suit

Opening bid

The first bid made in the bidding

Opening lead

The first lead made in the play, which must be made by the defender to the left of declarer


A bid as the first action by your side after an opponent has opened the bidding


The number of cards held in each suit

Penalty double

The normal meaning of a double; i.e., to increase the penalty if the final contract is defeated

Preemptive bid

A bid that skips two or more bidding levels


A bid that increases the level in partner’s last bid suit


The second or subsequent bid by the same player


The first bid made by a player after his partner has just previously bid or doubled


The play of a trump when unable to follow to the suit that was led

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Two or more touching cards in a suit, such as J-10; an honor sequence like Q-J-10 is an excellent lead


The deliberate play of a card by a defender for the purpose of giving information to partner


The condition of a bid that requires partner to pass


A holding of exactly one card in a suit


Any six-bid; or as a general term, any six- or seven-bid


Protection in a suit, generally for notrump play, at least as good as the ace, K-x, Q-x-x or J-x-x-x

Takeout double

A double that asks partner to bid


A hand pattern that is almost balanced; possibilities are 4-4-4-1, 5-4-2-2, 5-4-3-1, 6-3-2-2 or 6-3-3-1

Top tricks

Tricks that can be won immediately with high cards

Trump fit

A combined holding between you and partner of at least eight cards in a suit that you expect to be trumps


Anyone who believes this is a bridge term


A holding of no cards in a suit; a nonexistent suit

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© 2012 Richard Pavlicek