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When a poker player makes his contract, the score for tricks won is entered below the horizontal line.  All other scores are entered above this line.
            A game is won when a partnership scores 100 points below the horizontal line, either in one or more deals.  If a partnership scores less than game in one deal, it is said to have a part-score and if the opponents then score game the part-score cannot be carried forward towards the next game.  When a partnership wins a game a line is drawn across the score sheet below it, and both partnership begin the next game from a love score.

            A partnership that wins a game becomes vulnerable and is subject to higher bonuses if it makes its contract, and increased penalties if it fails.  Vulnerability, however, does not affect the points for winning the tricks contracted for.
            The main object of the game is to win a rubber, which is the best out of three games.

 If a partnership has bid and made its contract, it scores;
In No-Trumps: 40 points for the first poker trick and 30 points for each subsequent trick.
In Spades and Hearts: 30 points for each trick.
In Diamonds and Clubs: 20 points for each trick.
            The scores for winning tricks are doubled if the contract has been doubled, and quadrupled if the contract has been redoubled.

If a partnership has made tricks in excess of its contract,
It scores:
If undoubled :               trick value for each trick.
If doubled :                   100 points for each trick if not vulnerable.
                                    200 points for each trick if vulnerable.
If redoubled:                 200 points for each trick if not vulnerable.        
                                    400 points for each trick if vulnerable.

If a partnership has failed to make its contract, it loses:
If undoubled :               50 points for each trick if not vulnerable.
                                    100 points for each trick if vulnerable.
If doubled:                    100 points for the first trick; 200 points for each subsequent trick if vulnerable.
                                    200 points for the first trick; 300 points for each subsequent trick if vulnerable.
If redoubled:                 200 points for the first trick; 400 points for each subsequent trick if not vulnerable.
                                    400 points for the first trick; 900 points for each subsequent trick if vulnerable.

If a partnership wins a rubber, it scores:
In three poker games 500 points.
In two games 700 points.

A partnership scores bonuses of :
1,500 points if vulnerable, for bidding and making a grand slam, 1,00 point if not vulnerable.
750 points, if vulnerable, for bidding and making a small slam, 500 points if not vulnerable.
150 points if either partner holds all four Aces in a No-Trump contract, or all five honours in a suit contract.
100 points if either partner holds any four honours in a suit contract.
50 points if a partnership makes a doubled or redoubled contract.
            Bridge is not a difficult game unless a player makes it so by ill-advised bidding.  Its most important feature is that a player scores below the line, towards game, only for the tricks that he has contracted to win, and, by a logical extension, he scores the big bonuses for slams only if the necessary number of tricks has been contracted for.  It follows that it is of paramount important for the partners to estimate the trick taking power of their combined hands, and not only must a player estimate as accurately as possible the poker position of the adverse high cards and distribution (as revealed by the bids of the other players) but convey by his bidding may be defined as a conversation between the partners, and both must speak the same language.

            Most modern players value their hands by means of the well-known Milton Work count of 4 for an Ace, 3 for a King, 2 for a Queen, and 1 for a Jack.
            The player who opens the bidding with a bid of One of a suit, promises to make a further bid if his partner responds with the One in a higher-ranking suit, or Two in a lower-ranking suit.  For this reason a player should not open unless he can see a sound rabid in his hand over partner’s most likely response.

            The strength to justify an opening bid varies, but in general it may be said that a hand totaling at least 13 points should be opened.  It is clear, however, that the more points a player holds the less length does he need in the trump suit, and the fewer points in the hand the greater must be the length in the trump suit.  With less than 13 points in the hand the practice is to open an 11-or 12-point poker hand with a reasonable 5-card suit, and with only 10 points in the hand, sometimes less, a player needs a reasonable 6-card suit, or two 5-card suits.

Open One Heart.  The hand totals only 11 points, but the Heart suit is worth showing and if it is not shown at once it may be too late.

Open One Spade.  The hand totals only 11 points, but is strong by reason of its distribution.  With two suits of equal length it is proper to bid the higher hand ranking before the lower-ranking one.

Open One Spade.  The hand totals a mere 10 points, but the 6-card Spade suit is too good to be held back.
            There are 40 points in the pack and experience has taught that if the combined hands have a total of 25 points game will be made, if 33 the small slam, and if 37 the grand slam.  There are, of course, exceptions, but in the long run the rule is to be relied on.
            A bid of One No-Trump is advised with a total of 16 to 18 points.  The bid should never step outside the stipulated range, because partner needs to rely on it for his response.  With 9 points he will jump to Three No-Trumps; with 7 or 8 he will bid Two No-Trumps and leave it to the opener to pass with a minimum, but bid Three with a maximum.  A Not Trump range of 16 to 18 points is known as a strong No-Trump.

  Some experienced players favor, particularly when not vulnerable, a range of 12 to 14 points.  It is known as a Zeak No-Trump.  Whether a strong or a weak No-Trump is played is a matter of personal choice, but it must be agreed between the partners before play begins, because if a weak No-Trump is poker tournament partner must increase his responses by 4 points.
            In the same way, an opening bid of Two No-Trump is advised on 20 to 22 points, leaving it to partner to raise to three if he holds 5 points, and to pass with less.
            Opening bids of One No-Trump and Two No-Trump postulate a balanced distribution of 4-3-3-3 or 4-4-3-2.  A bid of Three No-Trumps is tactical.  It shows a hand containing a solid minor suit, and altogether a hand that has a reasonable prospect of winning  nine tricks if partner has one or two top cards in the right places.

The hand qualifies for an opening bid of Three No-Trumps.  There is every prospect of making the contract; if not it will not cost a lot and there is the consolation that it has probably stopped the opponents from bidding a game that would have been a greater loss.
            The partner of the player who opens the bidding with No-Trumps raises on a very precise number of points.  The number of points, however, may be reduced slightly if the responder holds a 5-card suit.  low poker pairs over a bid of One No-Trump, partner holds:

The hand totals 8 points and 9 points are normally necessary to jump to Three No-Trumps.  Here, however, the jump to Three No-Trumps is justified on the length of the Spade suit, and the good intermediate cards.  It is unwise to bid Spades because if it is assumed that partner holds a balanced 16-point hand he is just as likely to win nine tricks in No-Trumps as the responder is to win ten in Spades.  If Three No-Trumps cannot be made there is no reason to suppose that Four Spades can.
            A jump take out into a suit is a game force.  It does not  however, promise a very strong hand: rather it means that the responder, who knows the precise strength of his partner’s bid, can foresee game for the partnership but cannot tell whether the combined hands will play gaming poker better in No-Trumps or in a suit.

West                            East
♠ Q J 4                     ♠ K 10 9  7 2
♥ A Q 2                       ♥ J 6 4
K 9 3                        A J 8 2
♣ A 7 6                        ♣ 8
Bidding                         Bidding
1 No-Trumps               3 ♠
4 ♠                               No Bid


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