Home Programme of events Results Resources Contacts & links Forum

Glossary of bridge terms

Auctionthe process of bidding to the final contract, the bidding as a whole
Balanceda hand that has no 5 card major, no singleton or void and not two doubletons
Bidstating to win a certain number of tricks in a suit or no trumps
Callany bid, double, redouble or pass
Cashto play out a winning card
Claimwhen a player lays down their hand, discloses their line of play and claims the remainder of the tricks
Concedewhen a player lays down their hand and concedes the remainder of the tricks
Declarerthe person who first bid the suit named in the final contract
Defendersthe opponents or opposition of the Declarer
Discarda card that is played when unable to follow suit, but not a trump card
Distributional Pointsthe shortage points awarded after a fit is found
Doubletonhaving two cards only in a suit
Dummydeclarer’s partner, the person who places their hand, face up, on the table after the opening lead
Entriescards used to transfer the lead from one hand to the other
Fitwhen a partnership has 8 or more of a suit between the two hands
Finessean attempt to take an extra trick by leading towards a lower honour
Flatsame as Balanced
Forcinga bid which a partner may not pass
Gamea level in the bidding, which gathers an extra bonus in points if the contract is made; 3NT, 4 H/S or 5 C/D
Grand Slambidding and winning all 13 tricks
HCPHigh/Honour Card Points: Ace=4, King=3, Queen=2, Jack=1
Honoura face card, i.e. Ace, King, Queen or Jack
Invitationa bid that invites partner to game if they have the maximum of their point range
Jump/Jump Bida bid that is one level higher than is necessary
LHOLeft Hand Opponent
Lightwhen Declarer does not make the contract that they have bid, they have gone light; the number of tricks that they are short is the figure light they have gone
Majorthe top two suits, Spades and Hearts
Minorthe bottom two suits, Clubs and Diamonds
Non-vulnerable (non-vul)an arbitrary assignment that gives lesser points and penalties in scoring
Opening Leaderthe person to the left of the Declarer who makes the opening lead
Opening Bidderthe person who first bids a suit or no trumps on each hand
Over Tricktrick(s) additional to the contract
Over Trump/Ruffto play a higher trump over a ruff already played to the same trick
Part Game/Part Scoreany contract short of game
Pre-empt(ive)a bid that shows length rather than HCP for the purpose of stopping the opposition finding their ideal contract
Promoteto establish lower honours by forcing out the Opponent’s high cards
RHORight Hand Opponent
Ragany lower (below the 10) card in a suit
Rebidthe second bid a player makes
Responderthe partner of the person making the opening bid
Responsea bid made in answer to partner’s bid
Revokea card played or led out of turn
Ruffwhen a player cannot follow the led suit and plays a trump to take the trick (see Trump In)
Sequencea run of two or more touching cards in the same suit
Sign Offa bid which partner is expected to pass
Singletonwhen a hand has only one card in a suit
Small Slambidding and winning twelve tricks
Slough and a Rufftrump the led suit in one hand (ruff) and discard (slough) a different suit from the other i.e. when neither partner has the led suit
Stop/Stoppercards that will win a trick in the Opponent’s suit
Total Pointsthe sum of High Card Points and Distributional Points, calculated after a fit is found
Trickwhen all four players play once card each
Trump/Trump Inwhen a player is unable to follow the led suit and uses a trump to try to take the trick
Voidhaving zero cards in a suit in one hand
Vulnerablean arbitrary assignment that gives more bonuses and penalties in scoring