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How To Keep Score

  by Richard Pavlicek

The most popular method of scoring for a single table of bridge is called “Chicago” or four-deal bridge. A round consists of four deals, one by each player in turn. If a deal is passed out, it is not counted and the same player deals again. It is customary to draw a large “X” on the score sheet to indicate the deal number and who is the dealer.

Vulnerability adds spice to the game by varying the magnitude of the scores that can be obtained — either for making or defeating a contract. On Deal 1 neither side is vulnerable, on Deals 2 and 3 the dealer side is vulnerable, and on Deal 4 both sides are vulnerable.

Let’s play a sample round to illustrate. You will be the first dealer. Your score sheet is shown as it would appear after each of the four deals. To better understand it, verify each score from the scoring tables.

Deal 1 — We bid 3 S and win 10 tricks. We get 90 for the trick score and 30 for the overtrick. We do not score a game because we did not get 100 points below the line.

Deal 2 — They bid 3 NT and win nine tricks. They get 100 for the trick score and 500 for a vulnerable game. A new line is drawn to indicate that a game has been won.

Deal 3 — They bid 3 C, you double, they make it. They get 120 for the trick score (60 doubled), 300 for a nonvulnerable game, and 50 for making a doubled contract.

Deal 4 — We bid 6 H and win 12 tricks. Dummy held H A-Q-J-10. We get 180 for the trick score, 500 for a vulnerable game, 750 for a vulnerable slam, and 100 for four trump honors in one hand. It’s party time! Adding up all the scores gives us 1650 to their 1070. We win the round by 580 points, which is customarily rounded off to the nearest hundred so we score +600 or +6.

Bridge Basics 1UB9   MainTop   How To Keep Score

Trick Score (bid & made)
Clubs or diamonds, each20
Hearts or spades, each30
Notrump, first trick40
Notrump, each add’l trick30
If doubled multiply by 2
If redoubled multiply by 4

Undoubled, eachtrick score
Doubled, each100200
Redoubled, each200400

Game bid & made300500
Slam bid & made500750
Grand slam bid & made10001500
Non-game bid made on 4th deal100
Making doubled contract50
Making redoubled contract100
Four trump honors in one hand100
Five trump honors in one hand150
Four aces in one hand at notrump150

SetsNonvulVulNV ×Vul ×
Down 150100100200
Down 2100200300500
Down 3150300500800
Down 42004008001100
Each add’l50100300300
If redoubled multiply doubled score by 2

Bridge Basics 1UB9   MainTop   How To Keep Score

© 2012 Richard Pavlicek