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[Characters surrounded by and are characters which were
underlined in the book.

[C]=Clubs
[S]=Spades
[D]=Diamonds
[H]=Hearts
(note of etext transcriber)]




BRIDGE


"Soon as she spreads her hand, the aerial guard
Descend and sit on each important card."




BRIDGE

ITS PRINCIPLES AND RULES
OF PLAY

BY
J. B. ELWELL

[Illustration: colophon]

WITH ILLUSTRATIVE HANDS AND THE
CLUB CODE OF BRIDGE LAWS

NEW YORK
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
1906

COPYRIGHT, 1902, 1905, BY

J. B. ELWELL

TROW DIRECTORY
PRINTING AND BOOKBINDING COMPANY
NEW YORK


TO HIS PUPILS
AND TO
ALL OTHERS INTERESTED IN
THE GAME OF BRIDGE
THE AUTHOR
WOULD BEG LEAVE TO DEDICATE
THIS BOOK




PREFACE


The main purpose which I have had in view in writing this book has been
to provide my pupils with a SIMPLE and ELEMENTARY work on Bridge. I have
endeavoured to abstain from assuming a knowledge of Whist or Whist terms
on the part of the reader, and have merely attempted to write a
text-book which shall combine clear and concise statements of my rules,
with a reason for and explanation of each one. These rules have stood
the test of practical experiment by myself and others for the last five
years, so that this statement of them will, I trust, be of benefit both
to the beginner and to the advanced player.

J. B. E.




BRIDGE


PLAYERS

Bridge is usually played by four persons. If there are more than four
candidates, the prior right to play is decided by cutting the cards.


CUTTING

This is done from a full pack of fifty-two cards which have been
shuffled and spread face downward on the table. Each player draws a
card. The four cutting the lowest cards play the first rubber. In
cutting ace is low. The cards are also cut to decide partners, the two
highest playing against the two lowest. _The dealer is the player
cutting the lowest card of all_, and he has the choice of the seats and
of the cards. Should the two players who cut the lowest cards draw cards
of equal value, they must cut again to decide which shall deal.


DEALING

Before being dealt, the cards must be shuffled by the dealer and then
cut by the player at his right. It is customary to play with two packs
of cards, the dealer's partner shuffling, or making up, for his
right-hand adversary. The cards are dealt one at a time, from left to
right, until all are exhausted, each player having thirteen cards. The
last card should not be turned face up. There is no penalty for a
misdeal.


THE OBJECT OF THE GAME

There are two separate scores to be played for - trick and honour scores.
The trick score is credited to the side that wins more than six tricks;
the honour score to the side that holds the majority of the trump
honours. The object of the game is to score more points than your
adversaries, tricks and honours included. This is best done by winning a
rubber.


THE GAME

The game consists of thirty or more trick points. All points in excess
of thirty are counted by the side winning them; but only one game can be
won in a deal. Honours are a separate score and do not count toward
winning the game.


THE RUBBER

The rubber is the best of three games. If the first two games are won by
the same partners the third is not played. One hundred points are added
to the total score of the side winning the rubber.


DECLARING THE TRUMP

The hand may be played either without a trump, or a trump suit may be
selected.

The dealer has the option of making a declaration or of passing that
privilege to his partner. If the dealer passes the make, his partner
must announce the trump. A trump once made cannot be changed at any time
during the deal.


TABLE OF TRICK VALUES

(_For each trick over six._)

+ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -+
|When | [S] | are trumps each trick counts | 2 |
| - - -+ - - -+ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - + - - |
|When | [C] | are trumps each trick counts | 4 |
| - - -+ - - -+ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - + - - |
|When | [D] | are trumps each trick counts | 6 |
| - - -+ - - -+ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - + - - |
|When | [H] | are trumps each trick counts | 8 |
| - - -+ - - -+ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - + - - |
|When | | | |
|there| no | trumps each trick counts | 12 |
|are | | | |
+ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -+


DOUBLING

After the trump has been declared each adversary, in turn, may increase
the value of the tricks by doubling.

The leader - the player at the left of the dealer - has the first right to
double. If the leader does not wish to double his partner may then do
so.


REDOUBLING

If either the leader or his partner has doubled the trump, the dealer or
his partner may re-double, the player who has made the trump having the
first right. This process may continue indefinitely. Doubling or
redoubling does not affect the value of the honours.


THE DUMMY

When the value of each trick has been determined, and after a card has
been led, the dealer's partner places his hand face upward on the
table - the trump suit at his right - and the dealer plays both hands. The
dealer's partner - the dummy - is not allowed to suggest, to touch or to
play a card except at the dealer's bidding. It is the dummy's right,
should the dealer refuse to follow in any suit, to endeavour to prevent
a revoke. (See Conversation of the Game.)


THE PLAY

In the play of the cards the ace is high and deuce low. You must follow
suit, but if you have no card of the suit led, you may either trump or
discard. At no-trump the best card of the suit led wins the trick.


THE CONVERSATION OF THE GAME

In order to avoid giving partner information as to the character of
one's hand, both the _conversation_ of the game and its order should be
strictly adhered to. To find that the wrong person has announced the
trump, or that a player has doubled out of turn, or that one has led
without asking permission, is most irritating to the other players, and
a severe penalty may often be exacted for such a mistake. The dealer may
either declare the trump or say, "I pass." If the dealer passes, his
partner must announce the trump. The leader may either double or say,
"May I Lead, Partner?" this indicates that he does not want to double,
but wishes to give his partner an opportunity to do so. The leader's
partner either says "No, I double," or "lead, please."

The conversation is indicated in the following diagram.

"Spades,"
or
"I make it Spades."

+ - - - - - - - - - -+
| Y |
| Dummy |
| |
"May I lead?" | | "No, I double,"
or |A Leader B | or
"I double." | | "Play, please."
| |
| Dealer |
| Z |
+ - - - - - - - - - -+
"I make it Hearts,"
or
"I pass."

When the trump has been doubled the maker says, "I redouble," or "I am
satisfied." If the maker is satisfied his partner says, "I redouble," or
"I am satisfied." In many clubs the conversation is somewhat changed and
abbreviated. "Pass." "Hearts." "I double." "I go over." "I redouble" or
"I go back." "Enough," or a rap on the table to signify satisfaction.


TO PREVENT A REVOKE

If your partner refuses to follow suit, always ask, "Have you no
(hearts), Partner?" An error may then be rectified, but only before the
trick has been turned and quitted or before another card has been led.


SCORING

The score consists of two separate counts: trick score and honour score.
The trick score is made by the side winning more than six tricks in a
hand. The honour score, by the partners who hold the majority of the
trump honours. With a declared trump the honours are A K Q J and 10. At
no-trump only the Aces count as honours. Doubling does not increase the
honour score.

TABLE SHOWING VALUE OF HONOURS

+ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -+
| AT NO-TRUMP |
+ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -+ - - - - - - - - -+
| 3 ACES | count 30 |
| | |
| 4 ACES | " 40 |
| | |
| 4 ACES in one hand | " 100 |
+ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -+ - - -+ - - -+ - - -+ - - -+
| WHEN TRUMPS ARE | [S] | [C] | [D] | [H] |
+ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -+ - - -+ - - -+ - - -+ - - -+
| 3 Honours count | 4 | 8 | 12 | 16 |
| | | | | |
| 4 Honours count | 8 | 16 | 24 | 32 |
| | | | | |
| 5 Honours count | 10 | 20 | 30 | 40 |
| | | | | |
| 4 Honours in one hand count | 16 | 32 | 48 | 64 |
| | | | | |
| 4 Honours in one hand, 5th | | | | |
| in the partner's, count | 18 | 36 | 54 | 72 |
| | | | | |
| 5 HONOURS in one hand count | 20 | 40 | 60 | 80 |
+ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -+ - - -+ - - -+ - - -+ - - -+

A LITTLE SLAM, winning twelve of the thirteen tricks, adds 20 points to
the honour score.

A GRAND SLAM, winning all thirteen tricks, adds 40 points to the honour
score.

CHICANE, a hand which is without a trump, adds the value of three
honours to the honour score.

DOUBLE CHICANE, a player and partner having no trumps, adds the value of
four honours to the honour score.

THE METHOD OF SCORING

We. They.
+ - - - - - + - - - - - +
| | |
| | |
| | |
| H| |
| o| |
| 100 n| |
| 64 o| 8 |
| 4 u| 40 |
| 30 r| 16 |
| 24 s| |
| | |
+ - - - - - + - - - - - +
1st Game. | 18 | 16 |
| 12 | |
+ - - - - - + - - - - - +
2d Game. | | 60 |
| | |
+ - - - - - + - - - - - +
| T| |
| r| |
Rubber. | 8 i| 8 |
| 40 c| |
| k| |
| s| |
+ - - - - - + - - - - - +
Total. | 300 | 148 |
| | |
| 300 | |
| 148 | |
| - - | |
| 152 points won. |
+ - - - - - - - - - - -+

After the rubber has been won the honour score and the trick score of
each side are added, and the leaser total deducted from the greater.


THE SCORE

There is no part of the game of Bridge to which I would more urgently
request the attention of the player than to a careful consideration of
the state of the score. _It is useless to attempt to play good Bridge
without a knowledge of the score._ If you blindly follow rules for
making, doubling, and playing, without knowing exactly how many points
you require to win the game as well as the number needed by your
adversaries, you will needlessly lose many rubbers.

Before you declare the trump look at the score to determine the number
of points you must make in order to win the game.

Know the score when you contemplate doubling.

Never lead without knowing how many tricks you must make in order to
SAVE the game.

When you are the dealer outline your play to win the game; and if you
find it impossible to win the game be sure to SAVE it.


THE DECLARATION

While a few tricks may be dropped in the play of a hand, an unsound make
may result in the loss of several hundred points. The importance, both
of making the trump to the score and of considering the probability of
securing an honour score, cannot be too deeply impressed on the player's
mind. This, more than any part of the game, requires the exercise of
sound judgment. The good maker has an enormous advantage over the weak
one.

Try to select the trump that will win the greatest number of points with
a strong hand, and the one that will lose the fewest possible number
with a weak hand. Be liberal and bold when behind in the game and
conservative and timid when ahead.

In suggesting rules for the make this difficulty must be faced: the
exercise of the best judgment in the world will not enable one to select
the successful trump EVERY time; and players are apt to forget the many
times a particular make has won, and to be impressed by the one time the
rule failed them.

Follow consistently the laws for the make with a certainty that in the
large majority of cases they will prove successful; and digress from
these laws only when the score warrants.


NO-TRUMP DECLARATION BY THE DEALER

Provided the hand contain no large honour score in hearts or diamonds,
it is evident that the no-trump declaration is more likely than any
other to result in the gain of a large score; the dealer should,
therefore, first consider his chances of winning at no-trump. There is a
large percentage in favour of the success of an original no-trump make.
The dealer can see and combine his own with the dummy hand; while his
adversary makes the initial lead in the dark. The dealer can play false
cards; while the adversaries cannot afford to deceive each other. In
short the dealer plays the hand with an exact knowledge of the cards
that are held against him, and can take advantage of any error made, or
any information given by the adversaries. As tricks are won by small
suit cards in every no-trump hand, there is no method of estimating how
many tricks your hand may be worth. The dealer, in declaring no-trump,
may assume that his partner's hand will contain an average amount of
strength. If the dealer is weak in one suit he is justified in counting
on his partner's hand for some protection in that suit. The dealer
should not declare no-trump when he is reasonably sure of winning the
game or rubber with a trump suit; neither should the dealer declare
no-trump without an ace in his hand - unless the score is very desperate
and then only when his hand is exceptionally strong.


RULES FOR THE NO-TRUMP DECLARATION BY THE DEALER

{4 Aces.
{3 Aces.
Holding {2 Aces and one other guarded suit.
{1 Ace and three other guarded suits.
{1 long established black suit (A K Q x x x[A]) and one other Ace.


[A] "x" signifies small cards.


GUARDED SUITS

The following may be called guarded suits:

K Q x K J x K x Q J x Q x x


WEAK NO-TRUMP MAKES TO THE SCORE

If the score warrants the dealer in taking a chance at a weak make, it
is safer to gamble at no-trump than at a weak red declaration. At
no-trump the dealer's partner has a wider field for assistance, as any
one good suit will help.

On the rubber game, with the score very much against him, the dealer
should declare no-trump.

{2 Aces and a guarded Jack.
{2 Aces, one suit being A K.
Holding {1 Ace, a guarded K or Q and a K Q suit.
{1 Ace and two guarded suits (K or Q).
{1 long established black suit and a guarded King.


HEARTS

In considering a heart make, the dealer should be influenced by the
general strength of his hand and by the number of honours he holds in
the trump suit. Hearts should always be declared with four or five
honours in the hand irrespective of the strength of other suits; the
honour score will probably more than compensate for a possible loss of
trick points. A heart declaration with less than two honours is not
advisable - unless the hand contain great length in the trump suit or
great strength in the other suits - as the honour scores made against the
hand will usually exceed its trick value.


HEARTS IN PREFERENCE TO NO-TRUMP

As it requires three odd tricks to win a game of thirty points without a
trump, and but one trick more to win a game with a heart trump, the
dealer will often have occasion to choose between the two makes. With a
strong heart hand and a doubtful "no-trumper," or if the hand contain
one unguarded suit, hearts should always be given the preference. As the
adversaries have the lead and the privilege of doubling, a weak suit
exposes the hand to some danger at no-trump.


RULES FOR THE HEART MAKE

The dealer should declare hearts:

{6 Hearts, including 1 honour and some protection in other suits.
{5 Hearts, including 2 honours and some protection in other suits.
Holding {5 Hearts, including 1 honour with a good five-card plain suit,
or with strong protection in other suits.
{4 Hearts, including 3 honours and some protection in other suits.
{4 Hearts, including 4 honours, with or without protection
in other suits.


DIAMONDS

As there are two declarations of greater value than diamonds, there is
often a question as to the advisability of passing the make with a fair
diamond hand and of giving partner an opportunity to declare no-trump or
hearts. The dealer should always make the trump diamonds holding four or
five honours in his hand, irrespective of the state of the score;
holding less than four honours the dealer must be influenced by the
number of points that are necessary to win the game, and by the strength
of his hand. Many players are prejudiced against an original diamond
declaration when the score is love all; and, while the writer believes
it safer at this score to declare diamonds with a fair hand than to
chance the uncertainty of a passed make, yet the make SHOULD be
passed: -

When behind on the first game - as 0-24.

Having lost the first and with nothing scored on the second game.

When nothing on the rubber game.

In each of these positions, as the adversaries have the next deal and
may win the game, it is imperative that you score thirty points. To
accomplish this with a diamond trump it is necessary to win eleven of
the thirteen tricks; therefore, unless you hold a hand of more than the
average strength, it is advisable to pass the make in hopes that partner
can declare hearts or no-trump.

If there is a question between a diamond and no-trump declaration, the
latter is usually preferable; for while the risk is greater the reward
is double.

A diamond make is advisable whenever there is a fair chance to win the
game, as when but two or three odd tricks are needed.


RULES FOR THE DIAMOND MAKE

The dealer should declare diamonds:

{6 Diamonds, including 1 honour and some protection in other suits.
Holding {5 Diamonds, including 2 honours and some protection in other suits.
{4 Diamonds, including 4 honours, with or without protection
in other suits.


BLACK SUIT DECLARATIONS

The score should be the one excuse for an original black declaration,
and then only when comparatively sure of winning the game. Otherwise,
when the hand does not admit of a red or a no-trump declaration, the
make should be passed.


CLUBS

Clubs should be made originally only when the score is eighteen or more,
and the hand strong enough, with slight assistance, to win the game.
Clubs may be declared when there are four honours in one hand, providing
the dealer has won the first game and is eight or more on the second.
The trick and honour scores combined will count more than the average
make, and with great help the game _may_ be won.


SPADES

Spades may be made originally when six points or less are needed to win
the game.


DEFENSIVE SPADE MAKES

With a very weak hand some players advise a defensive spade make with
the object of preventing partner's attempting a make which may prove
disastrous. While much may be said in favour of an original black make
under these circumstances, it is doubtful whether it pays; the
adversaries are almost certain to double, and you eliminate the
possibility of securing a large honour score and of winning the game on
that deal. The one time that a defensive spade make might be justifiable
is when you are a game to the good and do not wish to lose the advantage
which this position offers.


SYNOPSIS OF THE MAKES

The dealer should declare


NO-TRUMPS,

{4 Aces.
{3 Aces.
{2 Aces and a guarded K or Q.
Holding {1 Ace and a guarded K or Q in three other suits.
{1 long established black suit (A K Q x x x) and one other Ace.

The dealer should NOT declare no-trumps

With a strong heart and a doubtful no-trump hand,

Or

When the game can be won with a trump suit.

[H] HEARTS. [H]

Holding

6 Hearts, including 1 honour, and some protection in other suits.
5 Hearts, including 1 honour, with a good five-card plain suit or with
strong protection in other suits.
5 Hearts, including 2 honours, and some protection in other suits.
4 Hearts, including 3 honours, and some protection in other suits.
4 Hearts, including 4 honours, with or without protection in other suits.

The dealer should NOT declare hearts

Holding

5 Hearts, including 1 or 2 honours } without protection
4 Hearts, including 3 honours } in other suits.

[D] DIAMONDS. [D]

Holding

6 Diamonds, including 1 honour, and some protection in other suits.
5 Diamonds, including 2 honours, and some protection in other suits.
4 Diamonds, including 4 honours, with or without protection in
other suits.

The dealer should NOT declare diamonds:

When behind on the score, unless there are 4 honours, or 7 or 8 tricks,
in the hand.

When 0 to 24 on the first game.

Having lost the first and 0 on the second game.

When 0 on the rubber game.

The dealer should NOT declare clubs Unless his score is 18 or more
points, and the hand strong enough to win the game.

The dealer should NOT declare spades Unless his score is 24 or more
points, and the hand strong enough to win the game.


PASSED MAKES

The dummy hand, in declaring the trump, should keep in mind the rules
suggested for the dealer, and, at the same time, be governed in his
choice by the state of the score, by the general strength of his hand,
and by the dealer's acknowledged weakness. When the make has been
passed, one must infer that the dealer has not a strong hand, neither
has he much strength in the red suits. While the latter inference may be
doubtful, the dealer often passing a fair diamond hand, it is dangerous
to declare no-trump without protection in the red suits, and the
declaration may result in a disastrous loss.

The following suggestions may prove useful:

The fact that your hand is exposed gives the adversaries an opportunity
to take advantage of its weak points.

A no-trump make that is weak in the red suits, unless justified by the
score, is unsound.

A no-trump make that is weak in Hearts is liable to be doubled.

When a game ahead be conservative. When a game behind be bold.

Endeavour to prevent the adversaries from winning the first game on your
deal. When the adversaries have won a game and have the first deal on
the second, they hold an advantage you will find most difficult to
overcome.

If your hand is worth less than four tricks don't make the trump red.

If your hand is worth less than four tricks make the trump to lose as
little as possible.


EXAMPLES OF ORIGINAL MAKES


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Online LibraryJ. B. (Joseph Bowne) ElwellBridge; its Principles and Rules of Play → online text (page 1 of 7)