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How to Keep Score in Contract Bridge

As a professional, I understand the importance of creating content that not only informs but also ranks well on search engines. In this article, we will explore the basics of keeping score in contract bridge, a popular card game that has been enjoyed by millions for generations.

Bridge is a trick-taking game that is played with a standard deck of 52 cards, and requires four players in two partnerships. The objective of the game is to score points by taking tricks, which are won by playing the highest card of the suit led, or by trumping the suit. The game is played in a series of hands, with each hand consisting of a bidding phase and a playing phase.

Scoring in bridge is a bit more complicated than in other card games, but it’s not too difficult to understand once you get the hang of it. Here’s how it works:

The Basics of Contract Bridge Scoring

In contract bridge, the score is kept on a sheet of paper or a scorecard. The scoring system in bridge includes two types of points: contract points and overtrick points.

Contract Points: Contract points are awarded to the partnership that has fulfilled their contract. At the beginning of each hand, one player (the declarer) makes a contract, which specifies the number of tricks that the partnership will take in the hand. The contract can be made in any suit, or in no trump (which means that no suit is designated as trump).

The number of contract points awarded to the partnership depends on the level of the contract, which is determined by adding the number of tricks specified in the contract to six. For example, if the contract is to take seven tricks, the level of the contract is seven – six equals one. The partnership is awarded 40 points for the first trick taken, and an additional 30 points for each subsequent trick taken. If the partnership fulfills their contract, they are also awarded a bonus of 50 points.

Overtrick Points: Overtrick points are awarded to the partnership that takes more tricks than their contract specifies. Overtrick points are awarded at a rate of 30 points per trick, and can add up quickly if the partnership takes several extra tricks. However, overtrick points are only awarded if the partnership fulfills their contract. If they fail to fulfill their contract, they will not receive any overtrick points.

Undertrick Points: Undertrick points are awarded to the opposing partnership if the declarer fails to fulfill their contract. The penalty for undertricks is 50 points for the first undertrick, and 50 additional points for each subsequent undertrick. The opposing partnership can score up to 100 undertrick points per hand, which can quickly add up and lead to a big point swing.

Game Points: In bridge, the first partnership to reach 100 or more points wins the game. The partnership that wins the game is awarded a bonus of 300 points, which is called a game bonus. If the winning partnership has won two games, they are awarded a rubber bonus of 700 points.


Keeping score in contract bridge may seem daunting at first, but it’s actually a relatively simple process once you get the hang of it. By understanding the basics of contract points, overtrick points, and undertrick points, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying this classic card game with your friends and family. Remember to keep a scorecard handy, and don’t forget to tally up those game and rubber bonuses – they can make all the difference in the world!