Scoring Game

Length: 10 minutes

Game is defined as when our tricks bid is greater than or equal to 100. Tricks bid are, as the name suggests, the number of tricks we bid. e.g. if we bid to 2H then our tricks bid is 2.

Normal games:

Minor:

We get 20 points per trick from the 7th trick onwards, so we will need 5 tricks bid (5×20 = 100). Therefore, 5C and 5D are games.

Major:

We get 30 points per trick from the 7th trick onwards, so we will need 4 tricks bid. 3 tricks bid only scores 90 so we need the 4th trick bid to take us over 100 with 120. Therefore, 4H and 4S are games.

NTs:

We get 40 points for our 7th trick and then 30 points for the rest. 40 + 2 x 30 = 100, so at least (1+2) 3 tricks bid are required for game. 3NT is game.

Doubled into game

When we play a doubled contract, our points for tricks bid are also doubled! Therefore, we need fewer tricks bid to reach those 100 points and so can make a game at a lower level.

Minor:

Undoubled we got 20 points per trick bid, so doubled we get 40 points per trick bid. 2 x 40 is 80 and 3 x 40 is 120, so we need 3 tricks bid. 3CX and 3DX are game contracts.

Major:

Undoubled we got 30 points per trick but doubled we get 60. 2 x 60 = 120, so we need 2 tricks bid. 2HX and 2SX are game contracts.

NTs:

Undoubled we got 40 points for our first bid trick but now we get 80. For our 8th trick we’d usually get 30 points, so doubled we get 60. 80 + 60 = 140, so 2NTX is a game.

Redoubled into game

These contracts are extremely rare to almost non-existent. The points we score for tricks bid are doubled again, so we can make game at an even lower level. In practice, you may never see a contract redoubled into game but in theory it’s possible.

Minor:

Two tricks bid and made is worth 2 x 2 x (20 + 20) = 160, so 2CXX and 2DXX are game in a minor.

Major:

One trick bid and made is worth 2 x 2 x (30) = 120. Therefore, 1HXX and 1SXX are game in a major.

NTs:

One trick bid and made is 2 x 2 x (40) = 160, so 1NTXX is game.

Summary table

Below are the lowest number of tricks bid and made in the following scenarios to receive the game bonus.

MinorsMajorsNTs
Undoubled5C/ 5D4H/ 4S3NT
Doubled3CX/ 3DX2HX/ 2SX2NTX
Redoubled2CXX/ 2DXX1HXX/ 1SXX1NTXX

Notes:

  • Whenever we have been doubled into game, we should always take the safest line to make the contract, if it is makeable. Taking a risk for one overtrick is not worth it at any version of scoring.
  • Doubling our opponents into game is usually bad – they get the big game bonus. We should only penalty double (or convert partner’s takeout double to penalize) these contracts when we are confident that it will go down most of the time. Often we will have good trumps or lots of extra points if we decide to defend these doubled contracts.
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