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The card game
A card game is any game using playing cards as the primary device with which the game is played, be they traditional or game-specific. Countless card games exist, including families of related games...
, the third step in the evolution of the general game of bridge, was developed from straight bridge in 1904. The precursor to contract bridge
Contract bridge, usually known simply as bridge, is a trick-taking card game using a standard deck of 52 playing cards played by four players in two competing partnerships with partners sitting opposite each other around a small table...
, its predecessors were whist
Whist is a classic English trick-taking card game which was played widely in the 18th and 19th centuries. It derives from the 16th century game of Trump or Ruff, via Ruff and Honours...
and bridge whist
Bridge whist is a card game, a variation of whist popular 70 years ago. Later variations of the game led to auction bridge and contract bridge. It had the same or very similar rules to Russian whist of the time....
The main difference between auction bridge and contract bridge is that in auction bridge a game is scored whenever the required number of tricks (9 in No Trump, 10 in Hearts or Spades, 11 in Clubs or Diamonds) is scored, and in contract bridge the number of points from tricks taken past the bid do not count towards making a game. Because of this, accurate bidding becomes much more important in contract bridge: partners have to use the bidding to tell each other what their suits and strengths are, so a judgement can be made as to what the chances are of making a game.
It is not certain to whom auction bridge should be credited. A letter in The Times
(London), January 16, 1905, signed by Oswald Crawford, describes auction bridge as first played in 1904, while a book by "John Doe" (F. Roe), published in Alláhábád, India, in 1889, puts forward auction bridge as an invention of three members of the Indian Civil Service stationed at an isolated community, designed a three-handed form of bridge to compensate the lack of a fourth player. Their key contribution was the concept of competitive bidding for the declaration.
- Note: A scoring table for Auction Bridge, from the Official Rules of Card Games, 1973 is as follows:
- Odd-tricks: no trumps are worth 10; spades 9; hearts 8; diamonds 7; clubs 6.
- Game was 30 points, and only odd-tricks counted towards game. The first side to win two games won the rubber and scored a 250 point bonus.
- Each under-trick was worth 50 points to the opponents.
- Small slam was worth 50 points; grand slam was worth 100 points.
- Honours were scored as follows: 4 trump honours in one hand 80; 5 trump honours or 4 aces in no trumps in one hand 100. For an addition honour in partner's hand, or for 3 or more honours divided between both hands 10 each.
- Contracts could be doubled and redoubled, which doubled or quadrupled the odd-trick and under-trick amounts. In addition there was a bonus of 50 points for making a doubled contract and for each over-trick, this was doubled if the contract was redoubled.