Bridge Glossary

 

Comprehensive glossary of Bridge terms

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Aces and Spaces A hand with high honors but few lower honors and intermediate cards. An extreme example would be something like A‑4‑3‑2 K‑4‑3‑2 3‑2 A‑3‑2.
Advance Make a bid after partner enters the auction with an overcall or takeout double.
Advancer The partner of a player who makes an overcall or a takeout double.
Alert A technique to draw the opponents' attention to a conventional partnership agreement.
Announcement A word or phrase telling the opponents the meaning of partner's call. In ACBL games it is required after a 1NT opening (e.g. "15 to 17"), after a transfer bid to hearts or spades ("transfer"), after a forcing or semi-forcing 1NT response (e.g. "forcing"), and after a minor opening that could be fewer than three cards ("may be short").
Antipositional Making the wrong hand the declarer. Suppose East opens 1 and North holds the K. It would be better for North to become declarer so that East cannot lead a heart without giving North a trick with the K. If South becomes declarer, West will be on lead and can lead a heart through dummy's (North's) K, trapping it when East holds the A‑Q.
Assess the Situation The first stage of declarer's plan. It consists of three steps: 1) Goal. The number of tricks required to make the contract. 2) Sure Tricks. Count the winners (or losers). 3) Extra Tricks Needed. Compare tricks required to sure tricks available.
Attitude Signal A defensive carding signal to let partner know whether you want a particular suit led. A high card is an encouraging signal; a low card is a discouraging signal.
Auction The process of determining the contract through a series of bids.
Auction Bridge An early form of the game that introduced bidding to determine the denomination of the contract.
Avoidance A play to prevent a particular opponent from gaining the lead.

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Balanced Distribution (Hand) A hand with no voids, no singletons, and no more than one doubleton.
Balancing Overcall An overcall made in the balancing position. A balancing overcall may be made with fewer values than in the direct position.
Balancing Position (Hand) The player in a position to make the final call when the opponents are winning the auction. If the player in the balancing position passes, the auction is over.
Bath Coup Holding up with the Ace with both the Ace and Jack when left-hand opponent leads the King.
Bergen Raises A scheme of major suit responses where a jump raise to the three level is preemptive, 3 shows a limit raise, and 3 shows a constructive four-card raise. (See also Reverse Bergen Raises.)
Bid An undertaking to win at least a specified number of tricks in a specified denomination.
Bidding The various bids which make up the auction.
Bidding Box A device with the bids displayed on cards to allow the auction to be conducted silently.
Bidding Ladder The order in which bids can be made, starting with 1 and ending with 7NT.
Bidding Message Whether a bid is forcing, invitational or signoff.
Blackwood Convention An artificial bid of 4NT after a trump suit has been agreed to ask for the number of aces held. The responses are: 5=0 or 4; 5=1; 5=2; 5=3. It's used when the partnership has enough strength for slam but wants to assure that two aces aren't missing. If the partnership is interested in grand slam, a subsequent bid of 5NT asks about kings.
Blocked A suit in which the winners cannot be taken immediately because of entry problems.
Board A deal; the mechanical holder of a deal.
Board-a-Match A scoring format in team play in which each deal is scored as 1 point for a win, 1/2 point for a tie, and 0 for a loss.
Bonus Points scored for making a part score, game, or slam or for defeating the opponents' contract.
Book The first six tricks taken by declarer.
Bridge World Standard A consensus bidding system based on the preferences of North American experts.
Broken Sequence A sequence of cards in a suit where the third card from the top is missing, but not the next lower-ranking card(s). For example: K‑Q‑10‑9, J‑10‑8.
Browse Declarer's Checklist The second stage in declarer's plan. When there are not enough sure tricks to make the contract, declarer looks at the various techniques for developing extra tricks: Promotion, Length, The Finesse, Trumping in Dummy and Discarding Losers.
Bullet Slang term for an ace.

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Call Any bid, double, redouble or pass.
Cappelletti (Hamilton) A defensive convention after an opponent's 1NT opening (Double=Penalty; 2=One-suiter; 2=Both majors; 2=Hearts and minor; 2=Spades and minor; 2NT=Both minors). Also called Hamilton.
Captain The partner who is in the best position to decide How High and Where the partnership belongs.
Cheaper Minor Negative An artificial bid of the cheaper minor at the three level by responder to show a very weak hand of about 0-3 points after an opening bid of 2, a waiting response of 2, and a rebid of 2, 2, or 3 by opener. If opener bids 3, responder's only choice is to bid 3NT with a weak hand.
CheckbackStayman Use of the Stayman convention after a rebid of 1NT or 2NT by opener to check if the partnership has an eight-card major suit fit.
Cold An easily makeable contract.
Colors Another term for vulnerability. Traditionally, non-vulnerable is white (or black) and vulnerable is red.
Competition An auction in which both sides are bidding to try and win the contract.
Combined Hands Both hands belonging to one partnership.
Concentration A strong holding of two or three high cards, typically in a short suit. For example, A‑Q‑5 or K‑Q‑10.
Consider the Order The third stage in declarer's plan. When developing and taking tricks, the order in which tricks are played can be important. Declarer must consider such things as drawing trumps, losing necessary tricks early, and being in the right hand at the right time.
Constructive Raise A single raise of opener's major suit showing the upper end of the minimum range, about 8-10 points.
Contract The undertaking by declarer's side to win at least a specific number of tricks in a specific denomination as determined by the final bid in the auction.
Contract Bridge The modern form of the game which awards bonuses for bidding and making contracts.
Control A holding that prevents the opponents from taking the first two tricks in a suit. An ace or void is a 'first-round' control; a king or a singleton is a 'second-round' control.
Control-Showing (Bid) A bid that shows a control—ace, king, singleton, or void—when the partnership is interested in slam.
Convention A bid which conveys a meaning other than what would normally be attributed to it.
Cooperative Double A double that shows values, and leaves the decision to partner whether to pass for penalty or bid further.
Corresponding Cuebid In an auction with two cuebids available, the higher cuebid corresponds to the partnership's higher-ranking suit, the lower cuebid corresponds to the partnership's lower-ranking suit.
Count Signal A defensive signal showing an odd or even number of cards in a suit. In standard methods, a high-low signal shows an even number of cards; a low-high signal shows an odd number.
Cover an Honor with an Honor When an honor is led by declarer or from dummy and you have a higher honor, a popular defensive guideline is to cover (play) your honor. The idea is to make declarer use two honors to capture one of yours.
Crawling Stayman A variation of Garbage Stayman in which responder's bid of 2 after a 2 reply is weak and non-forcing with at least four cards in each major suit.
Crossruff A play technique in which cards are ruffed in both partnership hands, thus using the trumps separately.
Crowd the Auction A bid that takes up a lot of bidding room in the auction.
Cuebid (in the Opponents' Suit) An artificial forcing bid in a suit bid by the opponents. It can be used by responder after an opponent overcalls to show a fit with opener's suit and by advancer after partner overcalls to show a fit with partner's suit. It can also be used whenever a forcing call is needed.
Cut (the Cards) To draw a random card from a face-down pack of cards; to divide the deck into approximately two equal halves and place the bottom half on the top.
Cut Off If the opponents have a partscore when a non-vulnerable game is made in rubber bridge, the partscore is cut off and doesn't count toward the next game.

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Dangerous Opponent The opponent that declarer does not want to see gain the lead. The opponent may have winners to take or be in a position to make a damaging lead that could defeat the contract.
Deal The distribution of the cards to the four players.
Dealer The player who distributes the cards, face-down, starting with the player on the left. The dealer has the first opportunity to open the bidding or to pass.
Deck The 52 cards used in a game of bridge. It contains four suits, with thirteen cards in each suit.
Declarer The player from the side that won the auction who first bid the denomination named in the contract.
Declarer's Plan When the opening lead is made and dummy appears, declarer should make a plan for taking enough tricks to make the contract. There are three suggested stages, the ABC's: Assess the Situation, Browse Declarer's Checklist to Develop Extra Tricks, and Consider the Order.
Defeat Stop declarer from making a contract.
Defense The side that did not win the auction.
Defensive Value High cards and long suits that are likely to take tricks if your side loses the auction.
Delay Drawing Trump Although drawing the defenders' trumps is usually a priority, there are several reasons why declarer may delay drawing trumps. For example, when dummy's trumps are needed to ruff losers.
Denomination The suit, or notrump, specified in a bid.
DEPO An acronym for Double Even Pass Odd, a method for showing aces after interference over Blackwood.
Direct Position A player in a position to make a call immediately following an opponent's bid.
Discard Play a card to a trick that is from a different suit than the one led and is not a trump.
Discovery Play A play designed to gain information about the unseen cards.
Distribution The number of cards held in each suit by a particular player; the number of cards held in a particular suit by the partnership.
Distribution Description Four numbers separated by equal signs (=) denotes an exact suit distribution. For example: 5=4=3=1 denotes five spades, four hearts, three diamonds, and one club. Four numbers separated by hyphens (-) denotes any of the distribution matching that general pattern. For example: 4-3-3-3 represents four cards in any suit and three cards in each of the others.
Distribution Points Valuation points for the trick-taking potential of long suits, or short suits in a trump contract.
DONT (Disturb Opponents NT) A defensive method against an opponent's 1NT opening bid (Double=One-suiter; 2=Clubs and a higher suit; 2=Diamonds and a higher suit; 2=Hearts and spades; 2=Spades).
D0P1 An acronym for Double 0 Pass 1dd, a method for showing aces after interference over Blackwood.
Dormer 2NT The conventional use of a jump to 2NT by responder after opener's suit has been doubled for takeout to show a limit raise or better in opener's suit. Also called Jordan or Truscott.
Double A call that increases the bonus for making or defeating a contract. It can also be used to ask partner to bid a suit.
Double Dummy A bridge deal with all four hands face up. Often presented as a problem on how to make, or defeat, a contract.
Double Game Swing A deal on which both sides can make a game contract. Whichever side lets the opponents play in their game contract will suffer a large loss, letting the opponents get a game bonus when they could have received a game bonus.
Double Partscore Swing A deal on which both sides can make a partscore contract. Whichever side lets the opponents play in their partscore contract will suffer a small loss, letting the opponents bid and make a partscore when they could have bid and made a partscore.
Double Into Game A double of a partscore contract that will give the opponents enough points for a game bonus if the contract is made.
Doubleton A holding of two cards in a suit.
Draw Trump Playing the trump suit until the opponents have none left.
Drop Dead Stayman Another name for Garbage Stayman.
Drury Convention An artificial 2 response to an opening bid of 1 or 1 in third or fourth position asking whether opener has a light opening bid. In standard Drury, a rebid of 2 by opener shows a light opening bid; in reverse Drury, a rebid of the major suit shows a light opening bid.
Dummy The hand of declarer's partner that is placed face up on the table after the opening lead.
Dummy Points Points used in place of length points when valuing a hand in support of partner's suit: void, 5 points; singleton, 3 points; doubleton, 1 point.
Dummy Reversal Ruffing dummy's losers in declarer's hand so that dummy ends up with more trumps than declarer.
Duplicate Board A holder, usually of metal or plastic, used to preserve the cards as originally dealt.
Duplicate Bridge Format in which two or more partnerships play the same deals.

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Eight Ever Nine Never A guideline for deciding whether to finesse for a missing queen. With eight or fewer combined cards, the guideline is to finesse; with nine or more, the gudeline is to play the ace and king.
Eliminate Remove a suit from the defenders’ hands or a suit from both declarer’s and dummy’s hands.
Elopement A play technique for winning a trick with a low trump when an opponent has a higher trump.
End Play The technique of losing a trick to an opponent to force a favorable lead in another suit. It typically occurs near the end of the deal when other options have been removed from the opponents' hands.
En Passant A play technique for winning a trick with a low trump when an opponent has a favorably located higher trump.
Entry A way to get from one hand to the opposite hand.
Equals Two cards adjacent in rank and thus equivalent in trick-taking potential. For example, in a holding of the Q-J, the Q and J are equals.
Establish Set up sure tricks by driving out winning cards in the opponents' hands.

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Fast Arrival The principle that bidding quickly to a contract shows no interest in going any higher. Conversely, bidding slowly toward the contract shows interest in bidding more.
Flannery An opening bid of 2 to show a minimum opening bid with four spades and five or more hearts.
Flat (Hand) A hand with 4-3-3-3 distribution.
Float An expression meaning that a bid is followed by three passes, ending the auction.
FreeBid A bid in a situation where it is unnecessary to bid to give partner another chance to make a call.

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Exit Card A card that can be used to give up the lead.

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Falsecard An unnecessarily high card played with deceptive intent by declarer or a defender.
False Preference Showing preference for opener's first bid suit despite holding more cards in another suit shown by opener.
Favorable Vulnerability When your side is non-vulnerable and the opponents are vulnerable.
Finesse A method of building extra tricks by trapping an opponent's high card(s).
First Position (Chair/Seat) The dealer, who is the first player to have the chance to bid or pass.
Fit Combined partnership holding in a suit. A combined holding of eight or more cards will usually be a suitable trump fit.
Fit-Showing Jump A jump in a new suit to show both length in the bid suit and a fit for partner's suit. Usually used in competitive auctions.
Five-Card Major (Style) The partnership agreement that an opening bid of 1 or 1 promises five or more cards in the suit.
Follow Suit Play a card in the suit led.
Forcing (Bid) A bid partner is not expected to pass.
Forcing Defense Forcing declarer to repeatedly ruff so that declarer eventually runs out of trumps and loses control of the play.
Forcing 1NT Conventional agreement that when opener bids 1 or 1 in first or second position, and the next player passes, a response of 1NT shows about 6-12 points and is forcing.
Fourth Highest A lead of the fourth card down from the top in a suit.
Fourth Position/Chair/Seat The player to the dealer's right. The fourth player to have the chance to make a call.
Fourth Suit Forcing An agreement that a bid of the fourth suit is artificial and forcing; usually played as forcing to game.
Fragment A suit too short to bid naturally, typically three cards in length. It is usually bid to imply shortness or weakness elsewhere.
Free Bid A bid in a situation where it is unnecessary to bid to give partner another chance to make a call.
Frozen Suit A suit in which the first side to lead the suit sacrifices a trick.

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Gambling3NT An opening bid of 3NT based on the playing tricks from a long, solid suit rather than high-card points.
Game A total trick score of 100 or more points.
Game Contract A contract that has a trick score value of 100 or more points.
Game-Forcing Bid A bid that commits the partnership to at least a game contract, unless the opponents interfere and are doubled for penalty.
Game-Forcing Hand A hand strong enough to commit the partnership to at least a game contract.
Game Swing A result in a team match where a game contract is made by one team but no by the other team.
Game Try A bid that invites partner to bid to a game contract.
Garbage Stayman A partnership agreement that the 2 response to 1NT may be based on a weak hand, instead of promising at least invitational values.
Gerber Convention A conventional bid of 4 asking partner to show the number of aces held. Typically used after a natural notrump opening bid or rebid. The responses are: 4, 0 or 4; 4, 1; 4, 2; 4NT, 3. If the partnership is interested in a grand slam, a subsequent bid of 5 asks for the number of kings held by partner.
Go for a number Go down in a doubled contract and suffer a large penalty.
Grand Slam A contract to take all thirteen tricks.
Guide Card A printed card placed on the table that indicates the player directions and instructions for the movement in duplicate games.
Guideline (Rule) of 7 When you are in 3NT and the defenders attack a suit in which you hold only one stopper, adding up the combined cards you hold in the suit and subtracting from 7 tells you how many times to hold up.
Guideline (Rule) of 15 In borderline cases in fourth position, high-card points are added to the number of spades in the hand. If the total is 15 or more, the suggestion is to open the bidding. Otherwise, pass.
Guideline (Rule) of 20 In borderline cases in first or second position, the high-card points are added to the number of cards in the two longest suits. If the total is 20 or more, consider opening the bidding. Pass otherwise.
Guideline (Rule) of 22 A modification of the Guideline of 20 that adds the requirement of having two defensive tricks.

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Hand The cards held by one player. Sometimes used to refer to the full deal of all four hands.
Hand Valuation The method to determine the value of a particular hand during the auction. Usually a combination of high card strength and suit length or shortness.
HCPs An abbreviation for high-card points.
Help Suit A suit in which high cards in partner's hand would be useful.
High Card One of the top four cards in a suit: ace, king, queen, or jack.
High Card Points The value of high cards in a hand: ace, 4; king, 3; queen, 2; jack, 1.
High Card from the Short Side When taking sure tricks or promoting winners in suits that are unevenly divided between the hands, it's usually a good idea to start by playing the high cards from the hand with the fewer cards
Higher-Ranking Suit A suit that ranks higher on the Bidding Ladder than another suit. Spades are ranked highest; hearts are second; diamonds are third; clubs are the lowest-ranking suit.
Hold Up Letting the opponents win a trick that you could win.
Honor (Card) An ace, king, queen, jack or ten.
Honor-Tricks A hand valuation method in which honors and honor combinations are assigned point values. For example, ace=1, ace-king=2, king=1/2.
Honors Bonus A bonus score awarded in rubber bridge for holding four or more honors in the trump suit, or all four aces in a notrump contract.
How High The level at which the contract should be played.

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IMPs International Match Points. A form scoring typically used in team games.
Interior Sequence A holding in a suit that contains a sequence and a higher-ranking card that is not part of the sequence. For example: A‑J‑10‑9, Q‑10‑9‑8.
Intervenor The player who makes an overcall or takeout double after the opponents have opened the bidding.
Inverted Minor Suit Raise (Inverted Minors) A conventional agreement that a single raise of opener's minor suit is forcing for one round, showing about 11 or more points, while a jump raise is non-forcing and shows a weaker hand, about 6-10 points. Essentially, the meaning of raises to the two level and the three level are reversed from standard practice.
Invisible Cuebid The cuebid of a suit inferrentially shown by the opponents. For example, after an unusual notrump overcall or Michaels cuebid by an opponent.
Invitational Bid A bid that encourages partner to continue bidding while allowing partner to pass.
Invitational Jump Shift A conventional agreement to play a jump response in a new suit as showing only an invitational hand with a good six-card or longer suit.

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Jacoby 2NT An artificial response of 2NT to an opening bid of 1 or 1 that shows support for opener's suit and at least enough strength for the partnership to get to game.
Jacoby Transfers A convention used in response to a notrump opening bid when holding a five-card or longer major suit. In response to a 1NT opening, a bid of 2 asks opener to bid 2 and 2 asks opener to bid 2. One advantage is to have the stronger hand, the notrump opener, as declarer in the major suit. Jacoby transfers can also be used after notrump overcalls or higher-level notrump opening bids.
Jump Overcall An overcall at a higher level than necessary. For example, 2 would be a jump overcall over an opening bid of 1 because it is only necessary to bid 1. A jump overcall is typically used as a preemptive bid.
Jordan 2NT The conventional use of a jump to 2NT by responder after opener's suit has been doubled for takeout to show a limit raise or better in opener's suit. Also called Dormer or Truscott.
Jump Raise A raise of partner's suit to more than the minimum level available.
Jump Rebid A rebid of the same suit at more than the minimum level available.
Jump Shift A jump in a new suit one level higher than necessary. For example, if opener bids 1 and responder bids 1, a rebid of 3 by opener would be a jump shift because it is only necessary to rebid 2. A jump shift is typically used to show a strong hand, although the partnership can have other agreements.

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Keep an Entry When developing tricks through promotion or length, declarer needs to keep an entry to the hand that will have the established winners.
Keep Enough Trumps in Dummy When planning on trumping losers in dummy, declarer may have to delay drawing trumps to be sure to keep enough trumps in the dummy.
Key Cards The four aces and the trump king.
Keycard Blackwood A variation of the Blackwood convention that includes the trump king and queen in the responses.
Kibitzer A spectator.

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Landy A conventional agreement that a 2 overcall of an opponent's 1NT opening bid is artificial and shows both major suits.
Language of Bidding The exchange of information during the auction through bids consisting of a number and a denomination.
Law of Total Tricks An observation that the total number of tricks that can be taken by both sides is usually equal to the combined length of each sides' best trump suit. It results in a guideline for competitive auctions: The partnership should generally compete to a level corresponding to the number of combined trumps held by the partnership (e.g. with 9 combined trumps, compete to the 3 level—9 tricks).
Lead The first card played to a trick.
Lead Directing Bid/Double A bid or double suggesting the suit that partner should lead as a defender.
Leading Away from an Ace Leading a low card from a suit in which you hold the ace. For example, leading the 2 when holding A-9-6-2. When defending against a suit contract, it is usually a poor idea to lead away from an ace in a side suit, since you may never get a trick with your ace if declarer has a singleton.
Leaping Michaels A jump to 4 or 4 over an opposing weak 2 or 2 opening to show a two-suiter with that minor and the unbid major.
Length The number of cards held in a suit. Also, the development of tricks through exhausting the cards the opponents hold in a suit.
Length Points The valuation assigned to long suits in a hand: five-card suit, 1 point; six-card suit, 2 points; seven-card suit, 3 points; eight-card suit, 4 points.
Level The number of tricks the partnership contracts to take when it makes a bid. It includes an assumed six tricks (see Book).
Lightner (Slam) Double A double, especially of a slam, to suggest an unusual opening lead.
Limit Raise A raise of partner's suit from the one level to the three level that invites partner to continue to game.
Line The horizontal line on a rubber bridge score sheet that divides the bonuses from the trick scores.
Link Card A card which can be led to a winner (entry) in the opposite hand.
Long(est) Suit The suit with the most cards in a player's hand.
Loser A trick which might be lost to the opponents.
Loser on Loser Discarding a card that must be lost on a losing trick in another suit. This technique can be useful in many situations.
Lower-Ranking Suit A suit that is lower on the Bidding Ladder than another suit.

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Major (Suit) Spades or hearts.
Major Suit Fit A combined partnership holding of eight or more cards in a major suit, making it playable as a trump suit.
Make (A Contract) Succeed in taking enough tricks to fulfill a contract.
Matchpoints A common form of scoring in duplicate bridge in which a pair receives 1 point for every score they beat and 1/2 point for every score they tie.
Maximal Double The use of a double in a competitive auction as a game try when no other call is available.
Michaels Cuebid A direct cuebid over an opponent's opening bid to show a distributional takeout. Typically, the cuebid of an opponent's minor-suit opening shows both major suits and the cuebid of an opponent's major suit opening shows the other major suit and an unspecified minor suit.
Minor (Suit) Diamonds or clubs.
Misfit When each member of the partnership has poor support for the long suits shown by partner and there is no eight-card or longer combined trump suit.
Mixed Pairs A bridge event in which every partnership is composed of one player of each sex.
Mixed Raise A call which has both constructive and preemptive aspects, better than a preemptive raise but less than a limit raise.
Moose A slang term for an extremely strong hand in the context of the auction.
Moth-Eaten (Suit) A suit with lots of 'holes'—where the cards are mostly not touching. For example: A‑J‑8‑6‑4‑2, as opposed to A‑J‑10‑9‑8‑7.
Moysian Fit A trump holding of four cards in one hand and three in the other.
MUD (Middle-Up-Down) An agreement to lead the middle card from three low cards, planning to follow by playing the highest card (Up) to show that the lead was not from a doubleton. This is not a popular agreement among most experienced players.

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Negative Double (Responder's Double) The conventional use of responder's double of an opponent's overcall as a takeout double rather than a penalty double.
Negative Free Bid A non-forcing suit bid by responder over an intervening overcall.
New Minor Forcing The conventional use of a responder's bid of a previously unbid minor suit as artificial and forcing after opener's 1NT rebid.
New Suit A suit that has not previously been bid in the auction.
Non-forcing (Bid) A call that partner can pass.
Non Vulnerable (Not Vulnerable) In rubber bridge, a partnership that has not won a game. In duplicate or Chicago scoring, the vulnerability is assigned to each deal. The bonuses and penalties are less when a partnership is non vulnerable than when it is vulnerable.
Notrump A contract with no trump suit. The highest card played in the suit led wins the trick.
Nuisance Holding A holding in a suit that will make it difficult for the other side to take all the tricks in the suit, such as Q-J-9-7 in the opponents' trump suit.

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Obligatory Finesse The play of a low card on the second round of a suit in the hope that an opponent's known high card in the suit will fall.
Offensive Value High cards and long suits that are likely to take tricks if your side wins the auction.
Old Suit A suit previously bid by the partnership.
One Level The lowest level at which the auction can start. It represents seven tricks.
Open the Bidding Make the first bid in the auction.
Opener's Rebid The opening bidder's second bid.
Opening Bid The first bid made during an auction.
Opening Lead The card led to the first trick. The player to declarer's left leads first.
Overbid A bid for more tricks than can reasonably be expected to be taken. Typically used in competitive auctions to make it more challenging for the opponents to find their best contract.
Overcall A bid made after the opponents have opened the bidding.
Overruff To ruff with a higher trump after another player has already trumped.
Overtake Play a higher card in the suit led, typically, when partner's card was already winning the trick.
Overtrick A trick won by declarer in excess of the number required to make the contract.
Overtrump To ruff with a higher trump after another player has already trumped.

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Part Game See partscore.
Partnership The two players seated opposite each other at the table.
Partscore A contract that does not receive a game bonus if made.
Pass A call specifying that a player does not want to bid at that turn.
Pass-or-Correct A call requesting partner to either pass or to make an alternative call when partner has shown an as yet unspecified hand type.
Passed Hand A player who passed when given an opportunity to open the bidding and, therefore, is assumed to hold fewer than 13 points.
Passout Seat In a position in which pass will end the auction. See also 'balancing position'.
Pattern The number of cards held in each suit in a player's hand.
Penalty The bonus awarded to the defenders for defeating a contract.
Penalty Double A double made with the expectation of defeating the opponents' contract. Partner is expected to pass.
Penalty Pass A pass of a double that one's partner intended to be taken out.
Pips Spot cards—any card from two through nine.
Playing Tricks Tricks a hand can be expected to take if the partnership buys the contract.
Point Count A method of hand valuation, which assigns points for high cards held and for distribution.
Pointed Suit Spades or diamonds, because of the pointed suit symbols.
Points Points are awarded on a score sheet for bidding and making contracts and for defeating the opponents' contracts.
Positional Values High cards that are favorably placed. For example, a holding of K‑3 by declarer with the opening lead coming from declarer's left. A spade can't be led without assuring declarer of a trick with the king.
Positive Free Bid A forcing bid in a situation where it is unnecessary to bid to give partner another chance to make a call.
Post-Mortem Discussion of deals following the play.
Preemptive Bid A bid made to interfere with the opponents' auction by taking away bidding room. As an opening bid or an overcall, it is usually made with a long suit and a weak hand by skipping one or more levels of the auction.
Preemptive Jump Overcall An overcall at a higher level than necessary showing a weak hand with a long suit. For example, 2 would be a jump overcall over an opening bid of 1 because it is only necessary to bid 1. A jump overcall to the two level typically shows a six-card suit; a jump to the three level typically shows a seven-card suit.
Preemptive Jump Raise A jump raise of partner's suit with a weak hand, typically showing four-card or longer support and about 0‑7 points.
Preference Choosing one of the suits suggested by partner.
Probe A bid that does not necessarily promise length or strength in the suit bid. It is a forcing bid, hoping to get help from partner in choosing the best contract.
Promotion Developing one or more cards into winners by driving out any higher-ranking cards held by the opponents.
Psych A call made without the values normally associated with it, to deceive the opponents.
Pull A bid after partner has made a penalty double, expecting you to pass.
Pusher An intermediate card that can be led through an opponent's honor for a finesse.

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Quack A queen or jack.
Quantitative Raise A raise of partner's suit or notrump bid that asks partner to continue to game or slam with maximum strength. For example, a raise of an opening bid of 1NT to 2NT asks opener to bid game with a maximum for the 1NT opening. Similarly, a raise of 1NT to 4NT would invite opener to bid slam with a maximum.
Quick Loser A trick that the opponents are ready to take upon gaining the lead.
Quick Trick A high-card holding likely to take a trick on the early round of a suit. For example, an ace is one quick trick; an ace and king in the same suit are two quick tricks.

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Raise Supporting partner's suit by bidding the suit at a higher level.
Rank of Cards The cards in each suit are ranked in order during the play: the ace is the highest, then the king, queen, jack, ten, down to the two.
Rank of the Suits The suits are ranked in order during the bidding: spades are highest, then hearts, diamonds and clubs. Notrump ranks higher than spades.
Rebid A second bid by opener or responder.
Redouble A call that increases the bonuses for making or defeating a contract that has already been doubled.
Relay Bid An artificial bid that requests a further description of partner's hand. The relay is typically the lowest available bid, leaving as much room for the description as possible. For example, the 2 waiting response to an artificial 2 opening is a relay bid.
Reopen Do something other than pass after the previous call has been followed by two passes.
Reopening Double A double made by a player in the pass out position.
Repeated Finesse A finesse that may need to be taken more than once to gain one or more additional tricks.
Respond Make a bid, other than pass, when partner has previously made a bid.
Responder The partner of the opening bidder.
Responder's Double Another term for the negative double.
Responder's Rebid Responder's second bid.
Responsive Double The conventional use of a double by advancer for takeout when responder raises opener's suit following a takeout double.
Return Partner's Suit A guideline to lead the suit led by partner on gaining the lead. Typically, the defenders need to work together to develop tricks.
Revalue Adjust hand valuation based on the auction.
Reverse (by Opener) A rebid by opener in a new suit that prevents responder from returning to opener's original suit at the two level.
Reverse Bergen Raises A scheme of major suit responses where a jump raise to the three level is preemptive, 3 shows a constructive four-card raise, and 3 shows a limit raise. (See also Bergen Raises.)
Reverse Drury A variation of Drury where opener's rebid of the major at the two level shows a minimum hand.
Right Place at the Right Time Declarer must often plan to be in the appropriate hand to take or establish winners.
Right Side Declaring from the more favorable side of the table. For example, if West has bid hearts and South holds A-Q and North holds 4-3, the contract is better played by South than North.
Round A specified number of deals during a duplicate bridge session during which the players remain at the same table.
Rubber The unit of play in rubber bridge which ends when one partnership wins two games.
Rubber Bonus The bonus awarded for winning the rubber when playing rubber bridge.
Rubber Bridge A popular form of contract bridge.
Ruff(ing) Play a trump to a trick when holding no cards in the suit led. Same as trumping.
Ruffing Finesse A finesse that takes advantage of the ability to trump a high card in a side suit. For example, dummy has the K-Q and declarer is void. Declarer can lead dummy's K, planning to ruff if it is covered by the A, establishing dummy's Q as a winner.
Ruff and Sluff A situation in a trump contract where both partnership hands have at least one trump and are void in a suit led by the opponents. The suit can be ruffed (trumped) in one hand while a loser can be discarded (sluffed) from the other hand.
Rule (Guideline) of 500 A guideline on how much a partnership can afford to overbid on the assumption the contract will be doubled but the opponents can make at least a game. Vulnerable, the guideline is to overbid by two tricks since the penalty for being doubled and down two is 500; Non vulnerable, the guideline is to overbid by three tricks since the penalty for being doubled down three is 500.
Rule of Eleven When partner has led the fourth highest card in a suit, subtracting the card from eleven gives the number of higher cards in the remaining three hands.

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Sacrifice Deliberately overbidding to a contract that is not expected to make in the hope that the penalty will be less than the value of the opponents' potential contract.
Safe Opponent An opponent to whom declarer does not mind losing a trick. The opponent is not in a position to immediately make a damaging lead that could defeat the contract.
Safety Play The play of a specific suit combination to cope with a potentially unfavorable break. Also, any play which reduces the risk of being defeated in the contract, even at the sacrifice of one or more overtricks.
Sandwich Position The position with an opening bid on the left, a pass from partner, and a response on the right.
Scissors Coup A play by declarer that cuts communications between the defenders.
Second Hand The hand playing the second card to a trick.
Second Position (Chair/Seat) The player to the left of the dealer, who is the second player to have the chance to bid or pass.
Second Hand Low A popular guideline when playing second to a trick after a low card has been led is to also play a low card, keeping high cards to capture the opponents' high cards.
Semi-Balanced A hand that might be suitable for a notrump contract even though it has more than one doubleton: 5‑4‑2‑2 or 6‑3‑2‑2 distribution.
Sequence Three or more consecutive cards in a suit. (See also Broken Sequence and Interior Sequence.)
Set Defeat the contract.
Short Side The partnership hand with fewer cards in a specific suit.
Short-suit Game Try A game-invitational action that shows a singleton or void in a side suit.
Showing Support Agreeing with partner's suggested trump suit by raising the suit to a higher level.
Side Suit A suit other than the trump suit.
Signals Conventional plays made by the defenders to give each other information.
Signoff (Bid) A bid that asks partner to pass.
Simple Overcall An overcall at the minimum available level.
Simple (Single) Raise A raise of partner's suit to the minimum available level.
Simple Rebid A rebid of the same suit at the minimum level available.
Singleton A holding of one card in a suit.
Slam A contract to take twelve or thirteen tricks.
Slow Loser A trick that may eventually have to be lost but that the opponents can't immediately take upon gaining the lead.
Slow Tricks Suit holdings that need some work to develop into sure tricks. For example, Q‑J‑10 can be promoted into one trick, but only by driving out both the opponents' K and A.
Sluff Discard.
Small Slam A contract to take twelve tricks.
Smolen After opener denies a four-card major in reply to Stayman, a bid of three of a major by responder to show five cards in the other major.
Soft Values Lower honors, typically queens and jacks as compared to aces and kings.
Solid Sequence Three or more consecutive cards in a suit headed by an honor. For example: K‑Q‑J‑10, Q‑J‑10‑5.
Solid Suit A suit strong enough to name as trumps without support from partner; a suit with no losers.
Splinter Raise A conventional double jump in a new suit to show support for partner's suit and a singleton or void in the bid suit.
Spot Card Any card from two through nine.
Squeeze A play that forces an opponent to discard an essential card.
Stack Length and strength in a suit bid by the opponents.
Standard American Standard bidding in North America, based on five-card major openings and a strong 1NT opening.
Stayman (Convention) An artificial response of 2 to an opening bid of 1NT, asking if opener has a four-card major suit. With no four-card major suit, opener bids 2. With a four-card or five-card major suit, opener bids 2 or 2. The Stayman convention can also be used after a notrump overcall or higher-level notrump bids.
Stiff A slang term for singleton—one card in a suit.
Stopper A holding that is likely to prevent the opponents from immediately taking all the tricks in the suit.
Strain The suit, or notrump, specified in a bid.
Stranded Potential winners in one hand that cannot be reached from the other hand.
Strength The point count value of a hand.
Strong Artificial 2 Opening An artificial opening bid of 2 to show a strong hand of about 22 or more points if balanced or 9 or more tricks if unbalanced.
Suit Break A favorable division of the missing cards. With six missing cards, for example, a 3‑3 break is very favorable, and a 4‑2 break is less favorable—although more likely.
Suit Combination A combined holding in a suit between the partnership hands.
Suit Preference Signal A defensive signal made when following suit that indicates preference for another suit.
Suits The four groups of cards in the deck, each having a characteristic symbol: spades (), hearts (), diamonds (), and clubs ().
Super-Accept A jump by opener when replying to a Jacoby transfer bid, showing four-card support for responder's major and maximum strength.
Support Cards held in a suit that partner has bid.
Support Double The conventional use of a double by opener to show three-card support for responder's suit after an opponent's overcall.
Sure Trick A trick that can be taken without giving up the lead to the opponents.
Surround Play A defensive suit combination where a defender has to lead the second-highest card from a broken holding in order to trap declarer's high cards in the suit.
Swiss Teams A tournament in which teams with similar scores play against one another.
Systems On Having the same conventional agreement in a competitive auction as in a non-competitive auction. For example, using the same conventions when advancing a 1NT overcall that you use when responding to a 1NT opening bid.

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Take the Losses Early When developing extra tricks, one or more tricks may have to be lost. Declarer should not be afraid to lose such tricks early, while keeping sure tricks in other suits to regain the lead and then take the established winners.
Takeout Double A double that asks partner to bid an unbid suit.
Take the Tricks and Run With enough sure tricks to make the contract, declarer should generally take them before anything can go wrong.
Tank Take a long time to bid or make a play.
Tap Force a hand to ruff.
Team Event A format of the game in which one team sits a pair North-South at one table and East-West at a second table to play against another team that sits its pairs in the opposing directions. Most team games are scored by International Match Points (IMPs). In team events, it's important to bid and make your games and slams, and defeat the opponent's contracts. Overtricks are relatively unimportant.
Tenace A non-sequential holding in a suit such as A-Q or K-J.
Texas Transfers A similar convention to Jacoby transfers. After a 1NT or 2NT opening, a jump to 4 asks opener to bid 4; a jump to 4 asks opener to bid 4.
Third Hand The third player to have an opportunity to open the bidding; the hand playing the third card to a trick.
Third Hand High A popular guideline when playing third to a trick is to play as high as necessary to win the trick for the partnership.
Throw-in Put the opponents on lead.
Top of Nothing The lead of a the top card from a holding of three or more cards with no honor in the suit.
Touching Cards Two or more cards in sequence in the same suit, such as J‑10 or 10‑9. Typically, the higher of the touching cards is led.
Transfer (Bid) A bid that shows length in a different suit.
Trap Pass Passing with a strong hand and/or a good holding in the opponent's suit in the hope partner will reopen with a takeout double which can then be converted into a penalty double by passing. It is used when a direct double would be for takeout, not for penalty.
Trick The four cards contributed during each round of the play. Starting with the player on lead, each player contributes a card in clockwise rotation. In notrump, the highest-ranking card played in the suit led wins the tricks. In a suit contract, a trump played to a trick automatically wins unless a higher trump is played. The player winning a trick leads to the next trick.
Trick Score The points scored for contracts bid and made.
Tripleton A holding of three cards in a suit.
Trump Coup The shortening of one's trumps to enable the eventual lead of a different suit to substitute for the lead of a trump to take a finesse.
Trump Echo A defensive signal, typically used in a ruffing situation. A high trump followed by a low trump shows an odd number of trumps—usually three; a low trump followed by a high trump shows an even number—usually two.
Trump Fit A combined partnership holding of (ideally) eight or more cards in a suit.
Trump as High as Possible When trumping losers, declarer should generally trump as high as can be afforded to avoid being overruffed (overtrumped) by the next player.
Trump Promotion Developing a trump winner with the help of a potential overruff or an uppercut.
Trump Suit The suit, if any, named in the contract.
Trumping Playing a trump on a trick when void in the suit led.
Truscott 2NT The conventional use of a jump to 2NT by responder after opener's suit has been doubled for takeout to show a limit raise or better in opener's suit. Also called Dormer or Jordan.
Two Diamond (2) Waiting Response An artificial response of 2 to an opening bid of 2 that says nothing about responder's hand. Responder is leaving room for opener to describe the hand.
Two-Over-One Game Force A partnership agreement that a two-over-one response is forcing to game if responder has not passed originally.
Two-Over-One Response A response in a lower-ranking suit than opener's suit, which must be made at the two level.
Two-way Finesse A combination in which there is the possibility of finessing against either opponent for a missing card.

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Unauthorized Information Knowledge that a player is not entitled to use. For example, if partner hesitates for a long time about whether or not to bid, obviously implying some values.
Unbalanced Hand A hand with a void, a singleton or more than one doubleton.
Unbid Suit A suit that has not yet been bid during the auction.
Unblock Play or discard a high card that is preventing taking winners in a suit.
Underbid A bid that is less than that warranted by the strength of the hand.
Undertrick Each trick by which declarer's side fails to fulfill the contract.
Unfavorable Lie (of the Cards) A placement of the missing cards that will make it difficult to take tricks. For example, if you hold the K, it would be unfavorable to have the A located on your left. If you try leading toward your K, your finesse will lose.
Unfavorable Vulnerability When your side is vulnerable and the opponents are not.
Unpassed Hand A hand that has not had an opportunity to open the bidding.
Unusual Notrump A conventional notrump bid to show a two-suited hand.
Unusual Over Unusual A countermeasure against unusual notrump overcalls.
Uppercut A defensive play which promotes a trump card into a winning trick.
Up the Line Bidding the cheapest of two or more four-card suits.

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Valuation (Points) A method of estimating the value of a hand during the auction, usually a combination of values for high cards and length.
Void A holding of zero cards in a suit.
Vugraph A method of displaying the bidding and play on a screen for viewing by an audience.
Vulnerability The status of the deal during a round of bridge which affects the size of the bonuses awarded for making or defeating contracts. Bonuses and penalties are higher when declarer's side is vulnerable.
Vulnerable In rubber bridge, a partnership that has won a game. In duplicate or Chicago scoring, vulnerability is assigned to each deal. Bonuses and penalties are greater when a partnership is vulnerable than when it is non-vulnerable.

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Waiting Bid A temporizing bid, such as the 2 response to a strong 2 opening bid.
Wasted Values High cards or distributional values that do not contribute to the offensive trick-taking potential of the partnership hands.
Watch Out for the Opponents One of the considerations in declarer's plan is how many tricks the opponents may be able to take if they gain the lead.
Weak Jump Overcall A jump overcall used as a preemptive bid.
Weak Jump Shift A jump response in a new suit used as a preemptive bid.
Weak Two-Bid An opening suit bid at the two level, other than 2, to show a long suit, typically six cards, with less than the values for an opening bid at the one level.
Western (Californian) Cuebid A bid of the opponents' suit asking partner to bid notrump with a stopper in that suit.
Where The denomination in which the contract should be played.
Whist A forerunner of the game of bridge.
Winner A card held by one of the players that will win a trick when it is played.
Working Cards Cards that are likely to be useful in developing tricks. For example, if partner holds the K‑J‑2, the Q in your hand would be a valuable asset.
Wrongsided Making the wrong hand the declarer. Suppose East opens 1 and North holds the K. It would be better for North to become declarer so that East cannot lead a heart without giving North a trick with the K. If South becomes declarer, West will be on lead and can lead a heart through dummy's (North's) K, trapping it when East holds the A‑Q.

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Yarborough A hand with no card higher than a nine.