A Beginner's Guide to Playing Bridge

Updated: Nov 29, 2021

A Beginner's Guide to Playing Bridge

Bridge has a lot to offer players looking for a stimulating mental challenge, an opportunity to socialize with friends, or a new game to try online. Although the game is known for its daunting rules, it's easier to learn than many expect.

What You Will Need to Play

Varieties of bridge may have intricate rules, but just about anyone can play. The materials are all easy to find.

  • Games require at least four players.

  • Bridge requires a standard deck of 52 cards.

  • Advanced versions of the game require bidding boxes and boards.

Rules of the Game

Each player holds 13 cards. There are two teams, with teammates sitting across from each other. One is the declarer/dummy pair, and the other two players are the defenders. The declarer decides which suit is trump for the round, and each team tries to guess how many "tricks" they can take. After that, the game is simple.

  • The player to the declarer's right, a defender, opens the first "trick" by playing a card. Other players must play a card in the same suit if they have one. If they don't, they can play a trump card or throw away a card from another suit.

  • The winner of each trick is the one with the highest card. If no trumps are played, the highest card in the chosen suit wins. Otherwise, the highest trump wins.

  • After the first trick, the dummy places their cards face-up on the table, and the declarer decides all moves for them both for the rest of the hand. The defenders both keep their cards hidden.

  • Whoever won the first trick opens the next one, with the winner of each trick opening the next until all of the cards are gone.