- For overall scoring of duplicate bridge tournaments, see Duplicate Bridge Scoring.
Bridge scoring is the method of keeping score in contract bridge. There are two basic types of scoring for a single deal: "duplicate" and "rubber" scoring, which share most features, but differ in how the components of the score are accumulated. In duplicate scoring, the outcome of a deal presents a single number assigned to the pair who won the deal (the other pair receiving the same negative score by implication); in rubber bridge, that number is divided into two components: "above the line" and "below the line", both assigned to the winning pair.
In general, if the contract was made, the score consists of the following components:
- Contract points, assigned to each odd trick bid
- Bonuses, assigned for:
- level of the contract,
- making a doubled or redoubled contract,
- Overtrick points, assigned for each trick which was taken over the contracted number of odd tricks.
If the contract was not made, the side that defeated the contract receives
Contract points are awarded for the level of the contract, and depend on the denomination and double/redouble (but not on vulnerability):
||Points per trick
||30 + 10 for 1st trick
||60 + 20 for 1st trick
||120 + 40 for 1st trick |
|majors (and )
|minors (and )
There are four types of level bonus
, awarded for partial contract, game, small slam
and grand slam
respectively. A game
is any contract which is worth 100 or more contract points; for example, 4, 5, 2 doubled, and 1NT redoubled are games. A partial contract
) is a contract worth less than a game. The bonuses for games and slams depend on vulnerability. The part-score and game bonuses apply in duplicate and Chicago bridge, but not in rubber bridge scoring; in rubber bridge, a different type
of "game bonus" is assigned at the end of the rubber.
Slams are also games, so when scoring a slam, both game bonus and appropriate slam bonus are added. Other level bonuses are not cumulative.
Double and redouble bonus
When a (re)doubled contract was made, an additional bonus is added to the level bonus. It is colloquially referred to as an "insult", meaning that the opponents have "insulted" the pair by stating their opinion that the declarer is incapable of making the contract. 50 points are awarded for doubled, and 100 for redoubled contract made.
When the declarer scores overtricks, they're normally counted as contract points (30 for NT and major suits, 20 for minor suits), except when the contract was (re)doubled, when they are awarded substantially more ("adding salt to the insult"). In that case, the value also depends on vulnerability:
When the contract is defeated, regardless of its level and denomination, only the penalty points are assigned to the pair who defeated the contract. The penalties are summed up for every undertrick, and depend on number of undertricks, (re)double and vulnerability:
|No. of undertricks
|2nd and 3rd
|4th and further
Without double and redouble, every undertrick has fixed cost of 100 or 50 points. The figures for (re)doubled undertricks are set up so that n
vulnerable undertricks cost as much as n+1
non-vulnerable ones; for example, 4 doubled undertricks non-vulnerable cost (100+200+200+300) = 800, the same as 3 undertricks vulnerable (200+300+300).
In duplicate bridge (and the type of "friendly games" known as Chicago
), all the categories are summed up, resulting in a single figure. The following table shows some examples (X denotes a double and XX a redouble):
|| 2×30 = 60
|| 2×(2×30) = 120
|| 10+(3×30) = 100
|| 2×(1×20) = 40
|| 4×(5×30) = 600
|| 10+(6×30) = 190
|| 300 + 500
Rubber bridge uses the same values for tricks, bonuses and penalties, but they are divided into two categories:
- Below the line are entered only the contract points
- Above the line are entered slam bonuses, "insults", overtrick points and penalties wrung from the opponents. Partscore and game bonuses are not assigned; however, a form of game bonus is added at the end of the rubber, worth 700 points if the opponents did not score a game and 500 if they did. For details, see rubber bridge.
In addition, special (rummy-like) bonuses (referred to as "honors") are awarded in rubber bridge for particular holdings in one hand, regardless of the outcome of the deal:
- Four out of five top trump honors (A,K,Q,J,10) in one hand are awarded 100 points;
- All five top trump honors (A,K,Q,J,10) in one hand are awarded 150 points;
- All four aces in one hand in notrump contracts are awarded 150 points.
Recent scoring changes
If you read old Bridge books, you may notice some differences in the scoring rules.
As of 1987, World Bridge Federation imposed the following scoring changes for duplicate bridge, and as of 1993 also for rubber bridge (however, since there are no official competitions, rubber bridge players accept them as they see fit):
- The undertrick penalty when doubled, not vulnerable, used to be 100 for the first undertrick and 200 for each subsequent. This was changed because it was too easy to sacrifice against a grand slam. A vulnerable grand slam is worth 1500 (slam bonus) + 500 (game bonus) + 210 (major suit trick score) = 2210. Down 11, doubled not vulnerable, used to be 2100, a profitable sacrifice.
This change also ensures that if one makes a sacrifice not vulnerable, on a hand on which "They" are vulnerable, a result of down five (-1100) will show a profit if the slam is bid and made at other table(s), down six (-1400) may be a loss or a small gain, and down seven (-1700) will be a loss. In the old scoring down seven (-1300) would be a gain, down eight (-1500) would be a loss.
- Also, the "insult bonus" for making a redoubled contract used to be only 50. This was changed to 100, so that playing 5 of a minor, redoubled, making an overtrick, is always worth more than an undoubled small slam.