Bridge Terminology/Definitions

Auction The process of determining the contract by means of successive calls and the aggregate of calls made.

Bid – A declaration to win at least a specified number of odd tricks in a specified denomination.

Call – Any bid, double, redouble or pass.

Contract – The undertaking by declarer’s side to win, at the denomination named, the number odd tricks specified in the final bid, whether undoubled, doubled or redoubled.

Deal – 1. The distribution of the pack to form the hands of the four players. 2. The cards so distributed as a unit, including the auction and play thereof.

Declarer – The player who, for the side that makes the final bid, first bid the denomination named in that final bid. He becomes declarer when a legal opening lead is made and the dummy is faced.

Defender – An opponent of declarer.

Denomination – The suit or no trump specified in a bid. Double — A call over an opponent’s bid increasing the scoring value of fulfilled or defeated contracts (see Law 19).

Dummy – 1. Declarer’s partner. 2. Declarer’s partner’s cards, once they are spread on the table after the opening lead.

Follow suit – Play a card of the suit that has been led.

Game – A unit in scoring denoting 100 or more trick points scored on one deal, or accumulated over two or more deals (see Laws 72 and 73).

Group – A number of players who have agreed to follow the same procedures.

Hand – The cards originally dealt to a player, or the remaining portion thereof.

Honor – Any ace, king, queen, jack or ten.

Irregularity – A deviation from the correct procedures set forth in these Laws.

LHO – Left-hand opponent.

Lead – The first card played to a trick.

Odd trick – Each trick to be won by declarer’s side in excess of six.

Opening lead – The card led to the first trick.

Opponent – A member of the partnership to which one is opposed.

Overtrick – Each trick won by declarer’s side in excess of the contract.

Pack – The 52 playing cards with which the game of contract bridge is played.

Partner – The player with whom one plays as a side against the other two players.

Partscore – 90 or fewer trick points.

Pass – A call specifying that a player does not, at that turn, elect to bid, double or redouble.

Penalty – An obligation or restriction imposed upon a side for violations of these Laws.

Penalty card – A card prematurely exposed by a defender. It may be a major or a minor penalty card (see Law 50).

Play – 1. The contribution of a card from one’s hand to a trick, including the first card, which is the lead. 2. The aggregate of plays made. 3. The period during which the cards are played, starting immediately after the final pass.

RHO – Right-hand opponent.

Redeal – A second or subsequent deal to replace a faulty deal.

Redouble – A call over an opponent’s double increasing the scoring value of fulfilled or defeated contracts (see Law 19).

Revoke – The play of a card of another suit by a player who is able to follow suit or to comply with a lead penalty.

Rotation – The clockwise order in which the right to deal, to call or to play progresses.

Rubber – The scoring period that ends when one side has scored two games.

Side – Two players who constitute a partnership against the other two players.

Slam – A contract to win 12 tricks (called small slam) or 13 tricks (called grand slam).

Suit – One of four groups of cards in the pack, each group comprising 13 cards and having a characteristic symbol: spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs.

Trick – The unit by which the outcome of the contract is determined, regularly consisting of four cards, one contributed by each player in rotation, beginning with the lead.

Trump – Each card of the suit, if any, named in the contract.

Undertrick – Each trick by which declarer’s side falls short of fulfilling the contract.

Vulnerable – The status of a side that has won a game and is therefore exposed to greater under trick penalties.