The Bridge World Official

Bridge Dictionary

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 • A • 

acronym for American Bridge Association, one of the governing bodies for organized bridge in America

American Bridge Teachers Association

above the line
points that do not count toward game; points other than those scored for tricks bid and made

acronym for American Contract Bridge League, the largest governing body for organized bridge in America

(1) (of a game-try or a slam-try or an invitation to take a particular action) make the call suggested or invited, or a move in that direction
(2) (of a transfer) make the call suggested by the transfer

according to Hoyle
following correct procedure (whether legally, ethically, customarily or technically)

the highest-ranking card

ace from ace-king
a conventional opening-lead agreement

aces and spaces
(adjective for hand) rich in high honors but weak in lower honors and intermediates, and not having an apparent source of tricks at notrump

aces over two-bids
immediately showing (or denying) possession of an ace or aces in response to a strong two-bid

ace-showing responses
bids that indicate possession or absence of specific aces after partner's strong, forcing opening

a unit of hand valuation that describes strength roughly equivalent to holding an ace

a popular British system based on simple, natural bidding, four-card majors, weak or split notrump openings

Acol two-bid
a strong (forcing) opening bid suggesting distributional strength

(adjective for double) showing extra values (or, if by a limited hand, maximum values) of no particular orientation regarding offense vs. defense

(1) (of a player) aggressive
(2) (of a defensive play) risking tricks in the hope of establishing tricks quickly
(3) (adjective for player) during the play, any player except declarer's partner

adjusted score
in tournament bridge, a score artificially assigned to adjust for an irregular occurrence

(1) (verb) bid, double or redouble after partner enters the auction by doubling or overcalling
(2) (noun) any such bid, double or redouble

advance control-bid
a control-bid in the absence of an explicitly agreed suit

advance sacrifice
a sacrifice bid before the opponents bid to their intended contract

the partner of a player who is the first for his side not to pass after the opponents have opened the bidding; intervenor's partner

(adjective for vulnerability) = unfavorable

scoring a session by adding the raw (duplicate bridge) scores of individual deals; sometimes "total-point scoring."

anoint as the agreed suit

agreed suit
a suit in which a partnership has located and announced a fit. or that has been or is being designed as the intended trump suit

knowledge about the meanings of calls or defensive card plays explicitly shared by partners

(adjective) a call or (more commonly) a defensive play intended to alert partner to an unusual situation

alarm clock
(noun) a call or defensive play intended to alert partner to an unusual situation

Alcatraz coup
a deliberate, illegal failure to follow suit to gain information from the opponents

a technique used by tournament players to draw opponents' attention to unusual agreements

See: Vulnerability conditions

American Bridge Association
See: ABA

American Contract Bridge League

American Whist Movement
a team-of-four movement

admitting a wide variety of shapes; often used as an adjective for a one-diamond opening that might be based on a balanced hand with only two or three diamonds, or for one that might be based on shortness in diamonds (where the natural opening of one club is unavailable owing to artificial use of that bid)

anchor suit
the guaranteed suit when a player has shown a two-suiter with only one suit specified

antipodean squeeze
a position in which one opponent is squeezed after which the other is endplayed

(adjective for call) placing or tending to place the less advantageously located partner as declarer

in tournament bridge, a requested review of a ruling (usually of a director's ruling)

appendix movement
a method of adding an additional table to a tournament without changing the number of deals played

approach forcing
a common bidding method in which responder's new-suit bids are forcing

apricot sundae
(slang) a weak heart-diamond two-suiter (from "a red, sticky, unappetizing mess")

a marker, usually a physical arrow, pointing to the location of the North player at each table

arrow switch
(during a session of duplicate bridge) a revising of the locations of the geographical compass points marking the players' designations

(1) not natural
(2) (of a call) (a) not indicating a desire to play in the named (or, if not a bid, in the last-named) strain; or (b) offering information relevant to a specific strain other than the one named (or, if not a bid, the last-named); or both
(3) (of a bidding system) consisting significantly or more of agreements that actions, or most early-in-the-auction actions, are artificial

a player who uses an asking-bid (such as an ace-ask, a key-card-ask, a trump-ask, etc.) or an equivalent call

asking bid
a bid that requests information about a specific feature of partner's hand (e.g., number of aces, controls in spades, quality of heart support)

asking cue-bid
a bid in the enemy-shown suit that asks partner to bid notrump with a stopper in that suit; sometimes called California Cue-Bid or Western Cue-Bid


a British variant of Astro in which two clubs shows a two-suiter including hearts and two diamonds shows spades and a minor

defensive bidding method over opponents' notrump openings that emphasizes showing two-suiters (two diamonds = spades and another suit; two clubs = hearts and a minor suit)

Astro cue-bid
a direct cue-bid over a suit opening bid to show four hearts (or four spades over a one-heart opening bid) and length in the lowest unbid minor

intervenor who makes a bid using the Astro defense against one-notrump openings

attacking lead
an opening lead intended to institute active defense

whether a defender does or does not want a suit led, or does or does not want to show strength in it. [A defender's attitude toward a suit is usually described as "encouraging" or "discouraging."]

attitude lead (or signal)
a lead (or signal) indicating a defender's attitude

the bidding; portion of a deal in which the players bid for the right to name the final contract

auction bridge
a predecessor of contract bridge

(of a squeeze) maturing regardless of the opponent's position at the table

call that describes a short suit in a hand with one long suit (such as one that announces the singleton in a hand distributed 6-3-3-1)

the mean (arithmetic average) score on one deal, or over one session, in a duplicate bridge contest

a moderately below-average matchpoint score, typically awarded as a result of the scorer's irregularity

a moderately above-average matchpoint score, typically awarded as a result of an opponent's irregularity

a play, usually by declarer, that makes it impossible, difficult or expensive for a particular opponent to gain the lead
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 • B • 

(1) (slang) (adjective) low. [Usage: "two baby hearts" = two hearts of insignificant rank]
(2) (adjective) occurring one level lower than usual (e.g., Baby Blackwood: three notrump as an ace-asking bid)

the side of a card that shows only the pack design

back in
bid or double after having previously passed

back preference
support for a suit first shown by partner after partner has shown support for a different suit. [Example: one club -- one spade -- two spades -- three clubs.]

back score
a tally sheet indicating the scores of the individual players over a series of rubbers or other units of play

backward finesse
a finesse taken in a manner opposite to what would ordinarily be standard procedure. [Dummy has ace-jack-nine, declarer has king-three-deuce. Standard procedure would be to finesse the jack, hoping to find the queen onside; it would be a backward finesse to lead the jack, hoping to find the queen over the jack and then the ten onside.]

backwash squeeze
a squeeze in which underruffing is one of the victim's fatal options

(slang) indicative of the length held, as in "five-bagger" (a five-card suit)

(slang) a (duplicate-bridge) score of zero on a board. [possibly regional usage]

(1) (verb) take a balancing action
(2) (noun) a balancing action

balanced distribution
4-3-3-3, 4-4-3-2, or 5-3-3-2 suit distribution

balanced hand
hand with relatively even suit distribution; hand with no void or singleton and at most one doubleton, thus: 4-3-3-3, 4-4-3-2, or 5-3-3-2 suit distribution

entering or reentering the auction on the basis of values partner is presumed to hold from the relative weakness of the opponents' bidding


action that (by partnership agreement) demands that partner pass

(slang) unprotected; not accompanied by low cards. [bare king = singleton king; queen-jack bare = doubleton queen-jack]

a tournament arrangement in which players learn the scores of some of the deals prior to the end of play

(1) an early scientific British system
(2) a club response to a notrump opening that institutes up-the-line bidding of four-card suits by both partners
(3) a bid one step below five (or six) of the agreed suit, asking partner to bid six (or seven) with strong trumps
(4) a response of two notrump to an opening suit one-bid to show a balanced hand with (originally) 16-18 points, or (more modernly) 16-17 points; sometimes played as 16-plus points with no upper limit

Baron grand-slam-try
a bid that asks partner to bid a grand slam with a stronger trump holding than already indicated (sometimes applied six clubs when a different suit is agreed or, more generally, to the bid one step below six of the agreed trump suit)

Baron trump-ask
Baron grand-slam-try

(noun) preempt

(1) required to pass by law (as after the imposition of a penalty)
(2) constrained to pass by partnership agreement

an artificial two-diamond rebid in the partnership bidding sequence one spade--one notrump (forcing or semiforcing)--two clubs--two diamonds

(slang) name a contract without conducting a full investigation during the bidding

(slang) large penalty

Bath coup
a hold-up from ace-jack after LHO's lead from king-queen

set; defeat (a contract)

(slang) redouble

(1) a defense against notrump openings in which two clubs shows minors and two diamonds show majors.
(2) suit-preference signal

[see: Go to bed with]

beer card
the seven of diamonds

(slang) echo; encouraging signal

belong to
specifying the partnership that can make the highest contract on the deal [Usage: The deal belongs to East-West for three spades. = Three spades declared by at least one of those players in the highest contract that can be made.]

below the line
points that count towards game; points scored for tricks bid and made

a scheme for opening two-bids: majors: weak; diamonds: artificial (near) game-force; clubs: artificial--an Acol two-bid with long suit(s) as yet unspecified

Bergen raises
a scheme of responses to major-suit openings (single raise = 6-9 points with three trumps; three clubs = 6-9 points with four trumps; three diamonds = 10-11 points with four trumps; double raise = 0-5 points with four trumps)

Bermuda Bowl
the trophy for the major world team championship; the most coveted trophy in international tournament bridge, comparable to the World Cup in soccer

better minor
an agreement to open the stronger minor with 4=3=3=3 or 3=4=3=3 distribution

having the indicated rank, as fourth-best (fourth highest in rank among the cards held)

a bet to take the specified number of tricks above six, in the specified strain; a number of tricks from one to seven combined with a strain (notrump, spades, hearts, diamonds or clubs)

biddable suit
a suit long or strong enough to be indicated in a given bidding situation

(1) player who makes a bid
(2) (slang) someone who is usually aggressive during the auction

auction; the phase of bridge in which the players bid for the right to name the final contract

bidding boxes
physical devices that enable silent auctions

bidding space
the number of steps available in an auction

bidding system
a collection of partnership understandings about the meanings of calls

(slang) (verb) trump

(slang) strength-showing

big cassino (also big casino)
the ten of diamonds

big club
a strength-showing artificial one-club opening

a rebid of two hearts by opener after two clubs (artificial; strong) -- two diamonds (artificial; weak or possibly weak) -- ? to show either (a) a balanced hand too strong for a two-notrump rebid, usually 25-26 points; or (b) hearts. After responder's two-spade relay, opener shows (a) with a third bid of two notrump, (b) with any other third bid

black suits
spades and clubs

Blackwood convention
a conventional method through which one partner can ask about the number of partner's aces by bidding four notrump

(1) void; a holding of no cards in a suit
(2) (slang) (noun) bare; unaccompanied by protecting cards
(3) (slang) (verb) leave unaccompanied by low cards through discarding

blind lead
(1) the opening lead; a lead made without benefit of seeing the dummy
(2) an opening lead made with only weak clues from the bidding

(slang) (verb) defeat severely
(slang) (noun) a big win
(slang) (noun) a win that obtains the maximum possible score

a very weak hand; a hand with no useful cards whatever

(verb) prevent the running of a suit by denying the hand long in the suit an entry therein

(slang) a very powerful hand; powerhouse

(adjective) (of a suit) unable to be run without use of an entry in another suit. [In a particular suit, dummy has queen-jack-ten-nine; declarer has ace-king. The suit is blocked.]

causing a suit to be blocked

blue club
Blue Team club

Blue Team club
a big-club system made popular by the highly successful Italian Blue Team

Blue Team two diamonds
a two-diamond opening to show a 4-4-4-1 hand with 17-24 HCP

a call, often a jump bid, that encourages high-level action (usually a slam-try) by denying values opposite partner's short suit

(1) (slang) the dummy; dummy's cards, as spread on the table
(2) in duplicate bridge: a holder, usually of metal or plastic, used to preserve the cards as originally dealt
(3) (slang) a deal

a scoring system for team play in which each deal accounts for one point (a team scores 1 point if it gets a higher score, 1/2 point if it gets an equal score, 0 if it gets a lower score)

strong intermediate cards (such as 10's and 9's)

partial stopper

(1) (noun) the first six tricks taken by declarer
(2) (noun) tricks (possibly zero) taken by the defense leaving it one short of defeating the contract
(3) (adjective) in accordance with the common wisdom or the usual procedure

book player
(slang) someone who seldom departs from established procedures or requirements; a straightforward player

(1) (slang) raise
(2) (slang) bid in the bope of pushing the opponents to a higher contract

(acronym) Bottom Of Something, Top Of Nothing

in matchpoint scoring, the lowest score on one deal

a grouping of entries in a knockout tournament that will (eventually) produce one survivor

(adjective for a knockout event) broken up, usually by the entrants' rating categories, such that each segment will produce its own winner

(1) (noun) the division of the adversely held cards in a suit; [A three-two break = finding one opponent with three of the missing five cards and the other with two.]
(2) (verb) defeat (a contract)
(3) (verb) make the first lead in (a suit)

Briar-Patch Coup
illegally transmitting unauthorized information suggesting the opposite of what one hopes will happen (such as by doubling hesitantly with a clear-cut penalty double), in the hope that partner will be influenced to do the opposite of what is suggested

a card game for four players, acting in two partnerships, in which bets are made on the number of tricks each side will win during the play of the cards; contract bridge

an early method of displaying bridge to an audience, now generally replaced by vu-graph

Bridge World Standard
a consensus bidding system based on the preferences of North American experts

bring in
(slang) fulfill (a contract); play (a suit) without loss, or without adverse circumstance, or to win a particular number of tricks

broken sequence
an interrupted run of cards, such as K-J-10

broken suit
a suit lacking cards in sequence, especially honor cards

a defense against one-notrump openings: double = a one-suiter, suit unspecified; two of a minor = that suit and hearts; two hearts = majors; two spades = spades and a minor

(1) (slang) ace
(2) blunder

(slang) ace

(slang) fall together (usually said of honors); cause to fall together

Burn's Law
Have more trumps than the opponents

business double
penalty double

(slang) a very poor hand; a hand weak in honor cards; a hand weak for the holder's earlier bidding

(of a card) needed to prevent an opponent's winner or for some other specific purpose

(slang) overcall

(1) (slang) obtain (the contract); make the highest bid in
(2) (slang) find in dummy. [Usage: I hoped to buy a spade honor (i.e., find dummy with a spade honor)

Bridge World Standard

by me
(slang) improper form of "pass."

(noun) a round without an opponent
(adjective) in a duplicate bridge movement, referring to a table (sometimes "bye stand") where boards are placed but not played

a complex form of key-card Blackwood
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 • C • 

a British system built around an artificial two-club opening with ace-showing responses and Blackwood

a tournament director's assistant, typically responsible for distributing to and picking up from the tables in play

a tournament in which a portion of bets on the outcome are used as prizes

California Cue-Bid
a bid of the opponents' suit asking partner to bid notrump with a stopper there

a bid, pass, double or redouble

bidding a shorter suit before a longer one

a defensive method against opposing one-notrump openings (double = penalty; two clubs = one-suiter with suit unspecified; two diamonds = majors; two of a major = that major and an unspecified minor); sometimes called Hamilton

partner with the responsibility of making the final decision (in bidding) for his side

(1) (verb) (of a trick) win
(2) (verb) (of a card) prevent an opponent's card from taking a trick by winning the trick with a higher card of the same suit

(1) (noun) one of the fifty-two elements of a deck
(2) (slang) (verb) overpower, especially at rubber bridge, by being dealt superior hands [Usage: "They carded us to death." (held much superior values)]
(3) (verb) employ defensive-carding agreements (see Carding)

card combination
suit combination

card pusher
(slang) a weak player

card reading
analysis of the lie of the unseen cards from the bidding and play

(1) the set of agreements between partners relating to the meanings of cards played on defense
(2) the choice or order of cards to play as a defender; signaling

a player alleged to hold significantly-stronger-than-average hands

(1) (slang) high cards; honor cards
(2) (slang) extra high-card values (for the previous calls made)

the score from early sessions that applies to an overall tournament score

(adjective) sole remaining [Usage: North led the case spade.]

(slang) take a trick with (a winning card)

cash out
(slang) cash all available immediate winners

(slang) A card that will win a trick if led or led to. (Usually used in the sense that an opponent will not trump.)

casino count
(also cassino count): a hand-valuation quantity equal to a player's high-card points ("cards") plus his spade length ("spades"); typically used in connection with guidelines for when to open the bidding in fourth position

(slang) dummy

caught speeding
(slang) heavily penalized after taking a dangerous aggressive action

Cavendish variation
a later version of four-deal bridge, with dealer's side nonvulnerable on the second and third deals

CCCC points
= Four C's points

(slang) position; seat

Challenge the Champs
a long-running monthly bidding-match feature in The Bridge World

change of suit
a bid of a previously unbid suit

charity game
a tournament whose net receipts are donated to charity

cheapest bid
the lowest legal bid. [Over one club, one diamond is the cheapest bid.]

(slang) improper form of "pass."
(slang) (noun) stopper (mainly Antipodean usage)

Checkback Stayman
the Stayman convention applied after opener's rebid of one notrump (or, less commonly, two notrump)

the original version of four-deal bridge, with dealer's side vulnerable on the second and third deals


(slang) low trumps [Usage: "Let's get the children off the street." = lead or draw trumps]

Chinese finesse
declarer's deceptive lead of a significant card not supported by touching cards, whether blunder or brilliancy. [Example: With ace-deuce in dummy and queen-three in declarer's hand, leading and passing the queen would be a Chinese finesse.]

acronym for Center Hand Opponent (usually, a denigrating reference to one's partner or to partners in general)

choice-of-games cue-bid
a cue-bid asking partner to suggest a strain for game (as opposed to inviting slam)

(slang) throw away (as a number of points or a contract) through error

a unit of four deals at four-deal bridge, roughly corresponding to a rubber at rubber bridge

(of a suit) containing sufficient honors and/or intermediate cards to provide playing strength without regard to position or help from partner. (Usually applied to suits of roughly four cards in length; e.g., QJ109 or QJ108 is a chunky suit while QJ75 is not.)

statement of intention to win or concede a certain number of tricks, suggesting that further play is unnecessary

(slang) laydown (contract)

clash squeeze
a squeeze in which at least one of the threats is a card that, if guarded, would fall under a winner in the opposite hand. [A typical "clash menace" is singleton queen opposite the ace with at least one low card. The queen can be cashed for a trick only if the king is discarded.]

clear a suit
remove obstacles to a suit's being run

closed hand
declarer's hand

closed room
in tournament play, a room from which spectators are barred

a group of players who get together to play bridge, or the place where such a group meets

the lowest-ranking suit; symbol:

coded nines and tens
the lead of a nine or ten to show zero or two higher honors in the suit

(slang) making gratuitous statements, often (and highly improperly) with the intention of misleading or confusing the opponents

(slang) easily makable; laydown

an artificial two-club rebid by opener after a one-level suit response, used to show a variety of hand-types, including a minimum raise of responder's suit with only three-card support

(1) red or black; sometime method of referring to suits: spades and clubs are the black suits, hearts and diamonds are the red suits
(2) (slang) any one of the four suits

colorful cue-bid
a direct cue-bid over a major-suit opening (e.g., one spade--two spades) to show a two-suiter in the other color (in the example, two spades to show the red suits)

vulnerability conditions

suit holding

combination finesse
(1) a finesse against more than one card
(2) a simple finesse preliminary to another finesse in the same suit

combination shot
(slang) a line of play or defense that offers more than one possible way to succeed

come-on (signal)
a defensive card-play signal encouraging partner to lead or continue leading a particular suit

come down to
keep as last remaining cards

comic notrump
a one-notrump overcall that may be either a strong, balanced hand or a weak hand with a long suit

commit to
(1) drive or force to (a given bidding level)
(2) decide on (an overall course of action in the bidding)

comparative scoring
duplicate-bridge-event scoring based on whether one pair's score beats that of another pair holding the same cards, independent of the amount of difference

compass direction (or point)
direction (meaning 1)

competitive auction
(1) an auction in which both sides are attempting to name the contract
(2) bidding from the point of view of the opening side when the other side enters the auction

competitive bidding
See: Competitive auction

competitive double
a double showing general values rather than directly suggesting either takeout or penalty

compound squeeze
(1) any of certain squeeze forms in which one opponent is squeezed among three suits and the other between two
(2) more loosely used, any squeeze position of the complexity of compound squeeze (meaning 1) or greater; a squeeze with a large number of points (meaning 3); hedgehog

give some or all of the remaining tricks to the opponents without contest

act after an irregularity without requiring any penalty, thus forfeiting the right to penalize

congratulatory jack
a defender's unnecessary play of a jack after a deal's outcome has been decided, to acknowledge partner's superior defense

(of a bid) indicating definite values

constructive raise
the single raise of a major-suit opening to show more than normal strength (or, sometimes, maximum values for a normal single raise)

a highly improper form of "pass."

contested auction
competitive bidding (meaning 1)

(1) (noun) a bet that a certain number of tricks will be taken
(2) (verb) to make such a bet

contract bridge
bridge in which only tricks bid for and made count towards game, as opposed to auction bridge (an earlier form), in which all tricks made, bid for or not, count towards game; bridge as usually played since the 1930's, when auction bridge began to die out (contract bridge was invented in 1925)

(1) ability to prevent the opponents from winning immediate tricks in a side suit at a trump contract [first-round control = ace or void, second-round control = king or singleton, and so on]
(2) command of the play at a trump contract; in particular, being able to use trumps to prevent the opponents from cashing winners
(3) a call that provides a mechanism for partner to show a specific type of unusual hand (as in "psychic control," a response that asks an opening psychist to make a certain type of rebid)
(4) [The Bridge World suggests avoiding this usage.] a unit of evaluation in which aces count two and kings count one
(5) [The Bridge World suggests avoiding this usage.] stopper

(1) (noun) a bid that indicates a control in a specific suit (usually as a slam-try)
(2) (verb) to make a bid satisfying (1)

controlled psychic
a psychic (meaning 2) supported by an agreement about how it can be revealed later

an understanding between partners that would not ordinarily be understood by the opponents in the absence of an explanation

convention card
a listing of a partnership's understandings, used in duplicate bridge

(1) (verb) enable (a call) to function in a different capacity. [Example: To pass a double intended by partner as takeout is to convert it to penalty.]
(2) (verb) change the normal meaning or status of (a call or a bidding sequence) that has not yet occurred. [Example: To convert a force to a given level means that the partnership may not (systemically)defend an undoubled opposing bid no higher than that level. If an action "converts forces to two spades," the partnership may not let the opponents play undoubled at two spades or below; this is a weaker restriction than "forcing to two spades," which both converts forces to two spades and requires the partnerhsip itself to bid at least that high.]

cooperative double
a double that asks partner to judge whether it is better to pass or bid

cooperative-penalty double
A double that suggests that partner pass with normal distribution for the earlier auction, take out only with strong offensive orientation

cooperative-takeout double
A double that suggsts that partner take out with normal distribution for the earlier auction, pass only with strong defensive orientation

adjust the contract to a different strain, having been offered a choice by partner. [Example: "Correcting" is often equivalent to "taking a preference" between two indicated suits, as in the partnership sequence one spade -- one notrump -- two diamonds. "Correct" is often used instead of "prefer" when the choice is offered implicitly rather than explicitly; for example, if opener bids two diamonds, showing a weak two-bid in either spade or hearts, a response of two hearts asks opener to pass with hearts or to correct to spades.]

(1) (noun) the number of cards held in each suit by an opponent
(2) (verb) to determine such numbers
(3) (verb) to add the number of possible or probable tricks, of winners, or losers

a holding having the specified number of high-card points [Examples: "a 6-count" is a hand with 6 high-card points; "a combined 23-count" means a partnership total of 23 high-card points]

count signal
(1) a defensive signal to show whether a defender holds an even or odd number of cards in a suit
(2) a defensive signal to show exactly how many cards a defender holds in a suit

reduce the opponents' entry-creating possibilities by playing low on a high card or high on a low card (e.g., If North, dummy, holds ace-jack, and South, declarer, holds queen-ten, West, with king-deuce, can counter South's plays by playing the king on the ten or the deuce on the queen, in each case denying a second entry to dummy in the suit)

see Counter

(1) any master stroke
(2) [sometimes Trump coup] the shortening of one's trumps to enable the eventual lead of a plain-suit card to substitute for the lead of a trump to take a finesse
(3) more generally, any trump-shortening process aimed at creating a particular end-position
(4) (verb) to capture without loss or to reduce the trick-taking power of an opponent's trump holding by any combination of trump reduction and/or arranging effectively to lead a plain-suit card through that opponent in an ending

having suffered from the effects of a (trump) coup

a form of elopement; leading a plain-suit card in order to make a trick with a trump that is not the highest but is favorably situated behind a higher trump in an opponent's hand

coup without a name
Scissors coup

court cards
kings, queens, and jacks

courtesy bid
a bid made with a relatively weak holding to keep the auction open for partner

to play a higher card than one previously played to the same trick (usually applied when a higher card is played directly over an opponent's play)

cover an honor with an honor
a guideline of play stemming from whist (an earlier game similar to bridge) that is sometimes, but by no means always, sound, meaning that if possible one should play a higher honor than one played by right-hand opponent

cover cards
values (usually honors) that are likely or certain to correspond to losers partner has counted in the losing trick count

(slang) double (for penalty)

(1) (slang) bump
(2) (all upper case) acronym for Color, Rank And SHape, an artificial defense to show two-suited hands against big-club openings (double = black or red suits; one diamond = major or minor suits; one notrump = round or pointed suits)

Crawling Stayman
Garbage Stayman

(1) (in bidding) an interchange of meanings between bids in two suits
(2) (in bidding) bidding the weaker of the two suits under consideration
(3) (in bidding) using bids in more than one suit artificially

(adjective) a form of squeeze in which the entry to each hand is unaccompanied by low cards

crocodile coup
the play of an apparently unnecessary high card (such as ace from ace-queen) to avoid partner's being forced on lead (with, in the example, his singleton king)

enter the opposite hand (more commonly applied to the declarer than the defenders)

cross-attitude signal
a message about attitude in one suit through the play of a card in a different suit.

a line of play through which ruffing tricks are made in both partner's hands

a two-club bid following partner's wide-range one-notrump bid asking for clarification of both range and distribution


(1) (noun) a bid in a strain that an opponent has bid; [Example: a two-spade overcall of a one-spade opening bid.]
(2) (noun) a bid in a suit that an opponent has suggested artificially (a "virtual cue-bid"); [Example: a three-spade overcall of a three-heart opening that indicates spades.]
(3) (verb) to make a bid satisfying (1) or (2)

cue-bid double
a double that sends the same message a cue-bid would have sent had the intervening opponent not bid. [Example: (one club) -- one spade -- (two clubs) -- double used with the same fundamental meaning as (one club) -- one spade -- (pass) -- two clubs.]

Culbertson Four-Five Notrump
a slam convention in which four notrump shows certain values and asks partner about others; a cooperative method compared to Blackwood, a captain-private four-notrump slam method

Culbertson system
one of the early contract bridge bidding systems, the basis of standard bidding in America (and elsewhere)

Curse of Scotland
the nine of diamonds

curtain card
written record of a deal or a player's hand, used to avoid errors in duplicate bridge (e.g., allowing each player to check that he is holding the correct hand)

(1) place a packet of cards from the bottom ot the deck on top
(2) choose partners (by picking, often called cutting, cards fom a deck)
(3) (slang) ruff
(4) in tournament bridge, the score required to qualify for the next round

rubber bridge (or an equivalent) in which the players choose new partnerships after each rubber (or equiivalent unit of play)

cut in
(slang) enter a game already in progress at the end of a rubber or chukker

cutthroat bridge
a three-handed form of bridge
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 • D • 

danger hand
the one opponent who may profitably gain the lead for his side

dangerous hand
danger hand

danger suit
a suit that the opponents may profitably lead; a suit in which tricks may be lost with jeopardy to the contract

the average (or trimmed average, with one or more scores removed from each end) of scores achieved on a deal, used as an artificial standard for scoring purposes

(1) (slang) having no entry
(2) (slang) (adjective for "seat") reopening [dead seat = reopening position, i.e., after two passes]

(1) (verb) distribute the cards
(2) (noun) the 52 cards as distributed
(3) (noun) the entire course of bidding and play; one unit of a bridge game

(1) the player who deals the cards
(2) the player first to call

death holding
cards in a suit that suggest poor prospects (such as three low cards in partner's announced side suit when another suit is agreed as trumps)

the collection of fifty-two cards, four suits of thirteen cards each, used in bridge


(See D-I.)

act as declarer

the player who first named the strain of the final contract for his or her side and who manipulates both his own cards and partner's during the play

a situation in which one side is able to score ruffing tricks because an opponent is unable to rid himself of a sufficient number of cards in a side suit

deep finesse
a finesse against more than one missing card

defeat (the contract)
prevent declarer from taking the number of tricks required by his contract; set

act as opponent of the declarer

(1) an opponent of the declarer
(2) an opponent of the side that made the first bid in the auction

(1) declarer's opponents
(2) the approach taken by declarer's opponents
(3) countermeasure against an opponent's call or systemic agreement

defensive bid
(1) a bid made to prevent the opponents from naming the final contract of their choice; sacrifice
(2) a bid made by a defender (meaning 2)

defensive bidding
(1) the use of defensive bids; sacrificing
(2) bidding from the point of view of the side not making the opening bid

defensive trick
1. a holding likely to take a trick on defense against an opposing contract
2. (occasionally used as a substitute for) honor-trick

not done immediately in bidding or play. [Examples: Delayed support is support given on a later round of bidding. A delayed duck is the deliberate or necessary loss of a trick after some other activity, such as a squeeze, is performed.]

delayed Stayman
use of Stayman after a one-notrump rebid by opener

demand bid
forcing bid, especially a strong opening two-bid

denial bid
a bid that shows weakness or lack of fit

strain; one of the four suits or notrump

Dentist's Coup
the extraction of a safe exit card from an opponent's hand; (by extension) the removal of a card that allows an opponent a safe play

acronym for Double Even Pass Odd, a method for showing aces (or key cards) after interference over Blackwood (or key-card Blackwood)

Deschapelles coup
the sacrifice of a high card to create an entry to partner's hand

two-spot; the lowest-ranking card of a suit


devil's bedposts
the four of clubs

devil's coup
(1) an elopement that denies the opponents a trump trick they would get if trumps were led
(2) (as commonly used) such an elopement when the opposing trump holding is exactly five cards including the queen and jack

(for declarative-interrogative) describing a four-notrump bid used as a general slam try

a chart showing position of the players and the cards they hold

the third-highest-ranking suit; symbol:

(slang) force (definition 2)

(1) the location of a player at a bridge table: North, East, South or West;
(2) one of the partnerships, North-South or East-West

directional asking-bid
a bid, usually a cue-bid, that attempts to make partner the declarer at notrump

direct position
immediately following in clockwise rotation

the supervisor of a duplicate bridge event

(1) (verb) play a plain-suit card of a suit other than the one led
(2) (noun) a card thus played

discouraging card
a card played by a defender as a signal to partner not to lead, or to discontinue leading, a particular suit, or to suggest weakness in the suit

discovery play
a play designed to gain information about the unseen cards

(1) the number of cards in each suit held by one player; [5=4=3=1 distribution = five spades, four hearts, one diamond and three clubs]
(2) the number of cards of a particular suit held by each player
(3) (slang) the lie of the adversely held cards

distribution points
valuation points awarded because of the trick-taking potential of long or short suits at trump contracts

distributional values
playing strength held by virtue of long and short suits

(slang) discard (usually a loser)

(slang) (noun) sacrifice

(1) (slang) (noun) a very weak hand, or one that is very weak for the previous bidding
(2) (verb) [usually with "it"] bid conservatively

a defense against one-notrump openings: double = one-suiter; two spades = natural; two of another suit = that suit and some higher-ranking suit

acronym for Double 0dd Pass Even, a method for showing aces (or key cards) after interference over Blackwood (or key-card Blackwood)

acronym for Double 0 Pass 1, a method for showing aces (or key cards) after interference over Blackwood (or key-card Blackwood)

See also: Cooperative-Penalty Double, Cooperative-Takeout Double, Penalty Double, Takeout
(1) (noun) a call that increases scoring values
(2) (verb) to make the call described in (1)

Double-Barreled Stayman
two-way Stayman

(1) (adjective) with all four hands exposed
(2) (slang) (adjective) action taken as if in sight of all four hands, i.e., perfect for the lie of the cards
(3) (slang) (verb) criticize for not acting as though having seen all four hands. [Example: "My partner double-dummied me for not starting clubs first."]

double finesse
a finesse against two missing cards

double into game
a double of a contract that is not a game undoubled but is when doubled

double jump
a bid one level above a minimum jump in the same strain. [Extends to Double Jump-overcall, Double Jump-preference, Double Jump-raise, Double Jump-rebid and Double Jump-shift.]

double key-card
key-card Blackwood in which the kings of two suits are counted as key cards

double knockout
a form of tournament in which a team is not eliminated until it has lost two matches

double negative
a further negative by a player who has already taken a negative action

double raise
bid two levels higher in the suit named by partner

double squeeze
a squeeze in which each opponent is squeezed between two suits

double stopper
a holding that will (or is likely to, or might) prevent the opponents from running a large number of tricks in a suit at notrump even after they lead that suit twice

one who doubles

a holding of two cards in a suit

set; defeated

down the line
(1) describing bidding the higher of equivalent features; [Advancing one spade to a takeout double of a one-diamond opening with four cards in each major is bidding down the line.]
(2) describing playing the highest of available cards

remove from the possession of the opponents. [As in "draw trumps" (take away the opposing trumps).]

drive out
force an opponent to part with (a certain card or cards)

drive to
(slang) reach the bidding level of. [Example: "drive to game" means ensure that the bidding reaches at least game.]

fall on a trick
(slang) lose; give away through error

Drop-Dead Stayman
= garbage Stayman

(1) originally, a two-club response by a passed hand to show maximum values
(2) in its more modern form, often called Drury-Fit, a two-club response by a passed hand to show a fit for partner's major in a hand too strong for a single raise

See: Drury (meaning 2)

(slang) without any other cards in the suit

(slang) a poor player

(1) play a low card when holding a higher one
(2) surrender (a trick)

duckling (also ugly duckling)
(slang) hand with 5-3-3-2 distribution

(slang) a poor player

(1) (slang) very strong hand

(2) See also Iron Duke

Duke of Cumberland deal
a swindler's deal from whist, in which the mark holds all top cards in all suits except one, in which he holds king-jack-nine (or, in one version where the whist dealer is expected to lead a trump, king-jack-nine-seven) but cannot take a trick with the weak suit as trumps

dumb bidder
a device, consisting of a board with listed calls placed in the middle of the table, to permit silent bidding

(1) partner of declarer
(2) that player's cards, exposed on the table after the opening lead

dummy hand
Dummy (2)

dummy play
play of the cards by declarer

dummy reversal

(1) (slang) discard
(2) (slang) lose deliberately

duplicate bridge
form of bridge in which two or more sets of participants have an opportunity to play the same deals

duplication of distribution
both partners having the same suit lengths

duplication of values
both partners having strong values in the same suit, generally to their side's disadvantage

dynamic notrump
a one-notrump opening showing a strong, unbalanced hand
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 • E • 

one of the compass points; one of the players (usually to the right of declarer) in the standard diagram

Eastern Scientific
a bidding style based on five-card majors, forcing notrump response, strong two-over-one responses, and strong notrumps with transfers

one of the two partnerships; the defending side in the standard diagram

the play of a high card followed by a low card (in the same suit); [Commonly used to show attitude, encouragement or discouragement, or parity of count, even or odd, in the suit.]

an acronym for Every Hand An Adventure, a system based on very weak (10-12 point) notrump openings, four-card majors, and flimsy weak two-bids in all four suits

eight clubs
(slang) four clubs doubled

eight diamonds
(slang) four diamonds doubled

eight ever, nine never
a general rule for deciding when to finesse for a missing queen, it advises to finesse with a combined holding of eight or fewer cards but not with nine or more

eight hearts
(slang) four hearts doubled

eight spades
(slang) four spades doubled

within or heading an eight-card holding. [Usage: jack-eighth = eight cards headed by the jack = Jxxxxxxx.]

Eleven Rule
Rule of Eleven

within or heading an eleven-card holding. [Usage: ace-king-eleventh = eleven cards headed by the ace-king.]

elimination play
the removal of safe exit cards from an opponents hand (either by extraction or by making them unsafe or impossible to play), usually preliminary to an endplay

(of a trump that is not high) win a trick with by ruffing

method of play based on scoring tricks by ruffing with trumps that are not high

Culbertson Four-Five Notrump [so-called after its inventor, Ely Culbertson]

European Match Points

without any significant cards other than those specified. [Example: Ace-empty-fifth means a five-card holding in which the only significant high card is the ace.]

(1) a defensive card play signal asking partner to lead or continue a specified suit
(2) a bid suggesting that partner continue to a higher contract

encouraging card
a card played by a defender as a signal to partner to lead, or to continue leading, a particular suit, or to suggest strength in the suit

carrying a meaning determined by a new, superseding, or additionally-clarified partnership agreement that (i) came into force later than the beginning of current deal and (ii) is based on information that may have become available to some players but not others. [For examples, see Encrypted call and Encrypted signal. Most common bidding and defensive card-play agreements are not encrypted, even though their interpretations may benefit from knowledge available to only some players, because the governing partnership agreement does not change. Suppose, for instance, that a defender makes a lead from equal cards that establishes a suit at notrump. It is often agreed that the card chosen is a suit-preference signal--high card suggests entry, strength or interest in a relatively high-ranking suit; low card refers to a low-ranking suit. Even though the partner of a player giving such a signal could sometimes better interpret it because on knowledge that the defense but not the declarer possesses, the signal is not encrypted because the agreement in force, high card means high suit etc., does not change during the deal.]

encrypted auction
see encrypted call

encrypted call (sometimes encrypted auction)
a call that is encrypted by agreement. [Example: North-South agree that a two-notrump response to a major-suit opening is a game-forcing raise promising either the ace or king of trumps but not both, and that opener's new-suit rebid shows a short suit when responder has the ace of trumps or a long suit when repsonder has the king of trumps. Opener's new-suit rebid is encrypted, because it can be deciphered only by a player who holds or later discovers the location of the ace or king of spades. Note that, under this agreement, opener might well choose not to use a new-suit rebid when he lacked both top spades.]

encrypted signal
a defensive card-play signal that is encrypted by agreement. [Example: East-West agree that when declarer first shows out of a suit in which the defenders' distribution is not clear by the end of that trick, future East-West fundamental signal meanings will be determined by Plan A (high encourages, high even, high suit-preference for high suit) when West has the defenders' lowest remaining card in that suit, or by Plan B (low encourages, low even, low suit-preference for high suit) when East has that card. Should such a situation arise, East-West's later signals are encrypted, because they can be deciphered only by someone who knows or later discovers the location of that lowest card.]

(1) a position of the cards with relatively few remaining in each hand; [in a three-card ending, each player has three cards remaining]
(2) a position of the cards with some special identifying characteristic, typically occurring towards the end of the play

(1) (verb) force an opponent to lead disadvantageously
(2) (noun) the position of the cards so resulting

a call indicating that the next bid made by that player will be an attempt to name the final contract. [Example: An end-signal of four diamonds is sometimes used (in relay-oriented methods) as an end-signal. Partner is expected to bid four hearts, after which the end-signaler can pass, bid four spades expecting partner to pass, etc.]

en passant
(of a trump that is not high) by virtue of favorable location behind a higher trump. [Example: Spades are trumps, and the remaining spades are East's seven and South's (declarer's) five. By leading, prior to trick thirteen, a plain suit from North that South can ruff, declarer wins a trick with the spade five en passant.]

(1) (in play) use an entry; transfer the lead to the opposite hand
(2) (in bidding) after the opponents have opened the bidding, for the first time for your side bid, or suggest with a takeout double that partner bid, after the opponents have bid
(3) (in a tournament) participate

(1) a card that can win a trick and thereby gain the lead for its holder
(2) seating assignment given to a tournament participant, in effect a receipt for the entry fee

entry squeeze
a squeeze in which one of the victim's busy cards forestalls an entry

entry-shifting squeeze
a squeeze in which the operator takes advantage of the ability to win the current and/or some future trick in the squeeze-card suit in either hand after the squeezee has played to a squeeze trick

(1) (of cards) having equivalent rank
(2) See: Vulnerability conditions

equal-level conversions
See: minimum equal-level conversions

cards adjacent in rank (as king and queen), and thus equivalent in trick-taking power when held by the same player

remove to a different contract (usually by changing strains)

escape suit
a (usually long) suit to which a player can turn if in trouble in the bidding

make into winning cards by removing higher cards of the suit

(1) (of a suit) consisting of winning cards
(2) (of a revoke) no longer correctable

guess at the score achieved on a deal or over a session

courteous table behavior

European Match Points
a forerunner of International Match Points (closer to an even balance between comparative and quantitative scoring)

(1) (of a suit split) exactly equal; [Example: a three-three split is an even split.]
(2) (of a card) with an even number of pips (the 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10)
(3) (of a suit holding) of even parity

(of a call) showing length in, or asking for information about, all suits other than the one named

Exclusion Blackwood/Key-Card Blackwood
a form of Blackwood in which partner is asked to show aces/key cards except in a particular suit

deprive entirely of (cards in a given suit)

get off lead

exit card
a card used to effect an exit

a superior player

exposed card
(1) a card whose face becomes visible at an incorrect time under the laws
(2) a card that must be played in accordance with a penalty

exposed hand
dummy (meaning 2)

extended responsive double
an informatory double by overcaller's partner over a raise

(slang) extra values

extra values
significantly more than the minimum strength or potential indicated by earlier bidding

extra trick
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 • F • 

(1) place upwards on the table
(2) the side of a card indicating its suit and rank; front

face card
king, queen or jack

face down
with the face not showing

face up
with the face showing

(adjective for card) exposed with the face up

the adjusting of matchpoint scores to take into account unequal conditions

drop; succumb to higher cards

an unnecessarily high card (or, less often, a low card instead of a high one) played with deceptive intent

false preference
showing preference for a suit despite holding more cards in another suit shown by partner

(of a trick or of high-card values) immediately cashable

fast arrival
a bidding method in which a jump to the level to which the bidding is already forced denies extra values. [e.g., one heart--two clubs--two spades--four spades shows spade support but a minimum two-club response; therefore, one heart--two clubs--two spades--three spades shows extra strength] See also: slow arrival

See: Vulnerability conditions

(1) a high honor (usually ace or king; sometimes ace, king or queen)
(2) anything of interest in a particular suit, such as a high honor or shortness

= Table Feel

= See "On the fence."

(slang) an opening bid that shows a very weak hand

(1) (noun) the totality of entries to a tournament
(2) (noun) (slang) a presumed large proportion of the entrants who will face the same problem and find the same solution. [Usage: The field bids three notrump.]
(3) (adjective) (slang) describing a presumed action taken by the field [definition (2)]. [Usage: The field bid is three notrump.]
(4) (verb) come to understand an unusual action by partner [Usage: South fielded North's psychic opening bid.]

fielder's choice
(slang) a position in which one side can get a good result either by bidding to its own contract or by doubling the opponents

fielding a psych
guessing that partner's action was a psych before it is formally revealed

within or heading a five-card holding. [Usage: jack-fifth = five cards headed by the jack = Jxxxx.]

middle-ranking card; card required to solidify a suit

final contract
the last bid made

(1) (verb) attempt to take advantage of the location of one or more cards not held [usually by not playing the highest card held (or one equal to it in trick-taking power) or by discarding instead of ruffing]
(2) (noun) a call or (usually) a play that makes such an attempt

first hand
the dealer

first-round control
ace or void

(slang) weak player. especially in a gambling context

a defense against preemptive openings: double for penalties, cheapest suit bid for takeout

Fisher double
a double of three notrump reached after a one-notrump opening, requesting a club lead if responder used Stayman or a diamond lead if responder raised directly to two or three notrump

(1) degree of support for partner
(2) combined partnership holding in a suit. [In a four-four fit, each partner has four cards in the suit.]

fit-showing jump (also fit-jump)
a jump to show both length in the suit bid plus support for partner's suit

five-ace Blackwood
key-card Blackwood

five-card majors
an understanding between partners that an opening bid in a major suit will be based on a suit at least five cards long

(adjective for deal) likely to make either 11 or 13 tricks after the expected opening lead [Usage: As it was a five-or-seven deal, bidding six was a bad idea.]

an unfortunate result caused by happenstance or undeservedly rewarded poor performance by the opponents

(1) (slang) placed in a difficult position
(2) (slang) in line for a poor result because of winning action taken by the opponents

a two-level opening (usually two diamonds but sometimes two hearts) to show a minimum-range opening hand with four spades and five or more hearts

flat hand
(slang) a hand with 4-3-3-3 suit distribution

flat board
(1) in team play, a board with no swing
(2) in pairs play, a board on which all (in casual usage, almost all) of the participants achieved equivalent results

(1) one of the subevents of a flighted (1) tournament
(2) one of the subgroups of players in a flighted (2) tournanent

(1) (adjective for tournament) having separate, usually simultaneous, events for players in different rating categories
(2) (adjective for tournanent) having all players compete together but with prizes awarded for the best performances by players in each of two or more rating categories

a three-diamond response to a two-notrump opening, preparatory to signoff in a major suit

See: Jordan

a tournament in which each pair must be a married couple

(1) (during the bidding) (slang) be followed by passes. [Example: Three notrump floated = three notrump was passed out. West's three spades floated around to South = North and East passed over three spades.]
(2) (during the play) (slang) lead and duck; let ride (usually by declarer's not putting up a higher card from his hand or dummy's) [Example: South floated the jack of hearts around to East's queen.]
(3) (during the play) (slang) not get covered. [Example: The ten of spades floated (i.e., was led and won the trick).]

See "Put on the floor."

flower bid
Fit-showing jump. [possibly regional usage]

flower movement
a variant of the Howell movement that adds logistic uniformity at the expense of better-balanced comparisons."

(slang) play (a card), as to take a winning card immediately on someone else's lead of its suit

play a card of the same suit as the one led

(adjective for deal) likely to make either 10 or 12 tricks after the expected opening lead

(1) (verb) make a forcing bid
(2) (verb) require an opponent to use a trump
(3) (verb) diminish the number of trumps held by an opponent
(4) (noun) forcing call

force to
ensure that the bidding reaches at least (a certain level), as in "force to game," "force to the five-level," or "force to slam."

requiring under special understanding that partner not pass

forcing call
a call that requests that partner not pass

forcing club
(1) a strong, artificial one-club opening
(2) a system based on such an opening

forcing notrump
a one-notrump response to a major-suit opening as a forcing (but not necessarily strong) bid

forcing pass
a pass that requests that partner take some action and not allow the opponents to secure the contract (undoubled) at their present bid

forcing-pass system
a bidding system that uses a pass in first or second position to show the values associated with an opening bid in standard systems

forcing raise
a raise showing the values to bid at least game

Forcing Stayman
Stayman in which a rebid of two of a major by the two-club bidder is forcing

forcing to . . . [a stated level, such as game, slam, a particular bid]
a call that requests that partner not pass until the stated level has been reached or a penalty double has been made

(1) tenace
(2) end-position; ending
(3) any position in which a player has a choice of losing plays

Foster Echo
the play of the second-highest card in the suit of partner's lead by a player not playing third hand high

fouled board
a board in which the cards have been disturbed from their original layout


four by three (sometimes Four by triple three)
4-3-3-3 distribution

four C's points
valuation units (requiring a relatively complex calculation) that result from adding values for (a) high-card strength in controls and nonlosers, (b) distribution, and (c) suit quality [(a) Count 3-2-1 for ace, guarded king, twice-guarded queen; add 0.5 for each of these: singleton king, doubleton queen under a higher honor, jack under exactly two higher honors; subtract 0.25 for a queen-tripleton or longer with no higher honor; add 0.25 for each of these: queen-doubleton, jack with exactly one higher honor, ten with exactly two higher honors, ten-nine with exactly one higher honor. (b) Count 3-2-1 for void, singleton, doubleton; subtract 1; if 4-3-3-3, subtract an additional 0.5. (c) In each suit, multiply its 4-3-2-1 pointcount by its adjusted suit length and divide by 10 [adjust from actual length as follows: add 1-2-3 for a seven-card, eight-card, or longer suit missing either the queen or jack; for any ten, add 0.5 and an additional 0.5 if it is in a six-card or shorter suit with the jack or any two higher honors; for a nine in a suit at most six cards long, add 0.5 if accompanied by the ten, the eight, or any two higher honors. Most people who uses this count, typically in theoretical discussions, rely on a computer program to do the calculation.]

four-card majors
bidding methods that permit opening in a major suit of four-card length (very popular in the early decades of bridge, very unpopular in the electronic age)

four-deal bridge
a popular variant of rubber bridge in which each unit of play (chukker) consists of four deals, the vulnerability switching with each deal; Chicago

four-suit transfers
(1) a variation of Jacoby transfers in which, in response to a one-notrump opening, bids of two diamonds, two hearts, two spades and two notrump suggest, respectively, hearts, spades, clubs and diamonds
(2) any method of responding to notrump that includes a transfer to any suit

Fourteen Thirty (also 1430 or 14-30)
variant of Key-Card Blackwood in which five clubs shows 1 or 4 key cards, five diamonds shows 0 or 3

(slang) a player who makes up or is needed to make up a foursome

within or heading a four-card holding. [Usage: jack-fourth = four cards headed by the jack = Jxxx.]

fourth hand
(1) the player fourth to have the opportunity to bid (i.e., on the dealer's right)
(2) the player fourth to play to a trick

fourth-suit forcing
(1) a bid of the only remaining unbid suit (thus the fourth suit to be bid) that does not necessarily show a desire to make that suit trump.
(2) as in (1), but additionally suggesting that partner not bid notrump without a stopper in the fourth suit

fragment bid
a raise that shows both a fit for partner's suit and shortness (void or singleton) in a particular suit other than the one bid. [Example: In the partnership sequence one club -- one spade -- three diamonds, three diamonds is a fragment bid if it shows a strong hand with spade support and at most one heart.]

a hand or deal of unusual suit distribution(s)

made when it is not necessary to bid to allow partner another chance to call. [Example: South bids one club, West bids one diamond. If North bids one hearts, that is a free bid; if North bids two clubs, that is a free raise.]

free bid
a bid made when it is not necessary to bid to allow partner another chance to call

free double
a double that is not a double into game

free finesse
a finesse with possible gain that can be taken without risk

free position
directly after both opponents have bid. [Example: one club -- pass -- one spade -- ? is a free-position situation.]

free raise
a free bid in the form of a raise of partner's suit

(slang) guaranteed to make; cold

[as an adjective for slam-try] mild (that is, not "serious")

the side of a card that shows its suit and rank

front of card
use of the same conventional responses to a one-notrump opening as advances of a one-notrump overcall

(of a suit) not playable by one side (perhaps both sides) without loss. [A typical suit that is frozen for East-West: North holds queen-ten, South holds ace-low, East holds the king and West the jack.]

fruit machine Swiss
in response to a major-suit one-bid, four clubs to show an extra-value game-raise with three key cards or an unspecified short suit, four diamonds to show a similar hand with minimum game-raising strength

make enough tricks for the contract

Futile Willie
a character in S. J. Simon's books who creates disasters through being overimaginative; hence, any player who exhibits that characteristic
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 • G • 

(slang) a convention designed to cover a specific bidding situation rather than an entire class of auctions

the taking a of risk (such as the deliberate sacrifice of a trick) in hope of gaining a large reward

gambling three notrump
a three-notrump opening based on a long, solid minor suit

a score of 100 or more points below the line; 100 or more in trick score

game all
both sides vulnerable

game bid
a bid that, if fulfilled, will score a game for the declaring side

game contract
game bid

a call that requests partner to continue bidding until game is reached

game-forcing bid
a bid that requests partner to continue bidding until game is reached

game in

game invitation
a call that requests partner to bid game with maximum values for earlier actions

game invitation

(slang) poor values; a poor hand; a poor hand for the previous bidding

Garbage Stayman
a partnership agreement that a two-club response to a one-notrump opening may be based on a weak hand (as opposed to the game-invitational-or-better requirement of traditional Stayman methods)

a one-notrump overcall to show either a strong notrump or a weak hand with an escape suit

Gardener notrump overcall
a one-notrump overcall showing either a strong-notrump opening hand with a stopper in opener's suit or a hand with the values for a preemptive jump overcall

a multi-use, artificial two-club rebid by opener

a conventional four-club bid asking partner to show a count of aces

a jump-overcall in an unbid suit to show a two-suiter (often showing the other two unbid suits)

a form of bridge that does not play out non-game-going part-scores and uses goulash dealing methods after unplayed outcomes

(1) (exclamation) (slang) "I claim the rest of the tricks."
(2) (adjective) (of a contract) certain to be made

hand with 7-4-1-1 distribution

(1) (slang) hypothesize as a basis for planning the play or defense [Usage: "Give East the ace of hearts." = Assume that East holds the ace of hearts.]
(2) (slang) bid [Usage: "If partner bids five spades, I will give him six." = "If partner bids five spades, I will bid six spades."]

a method of responding to one notrump based on a two-club puppet to two diamonds

go for
(1) (slang) be set [Usage: Go for 1100 = concede a penalty of 1100 points.]
(2) (slang) be tricked by. [Usage: An inexperienced declarer might go for that defensive swindle.]
(3) (slang) attempt (usually a higher-level contract)

go in with
play (a high card); go up with; rise with

Gold Cup
the major British knockout team championship

Goldwater's Rule
"Always accept a lead out of turn." (Based on the theory that someone who doesn't know who is on lead is unlikely to play effectively.)

(1) established
(2) consisting of all winners

good-bad two notrump
an artificial two-notrump bid that allows indicating two levels of strength, one by bidding two notrump (followed by a natural call), the other by making a different bid immediately

Goren system
a derivative of the Culbertson system that described hand valuation in points (where Culbertson had used honor tricks) and replaced the older version as the standard American system, a position it held for several decades

go to bed with
(slang) fail to take a trick with [usually, of a card that could have won a trick in a straightforward manner]

(1) a deal in which the cards are distributed in large packets (5,5,3 or 5,4,4) instead of one at a time
(2) the same as (1), but using the unshuffled remains of a passed out or unplayed deal (thus tending to produce freak distributions)

(slang) make a bid that names a strain that neither partner has bid, thus potentially becoming declarer at that strain. [Usage: "grab the notrump" = make a bid in notrump before partner; sometimes, just "grab" alone is taken to mean "grab the notrump"]

grab it
(slang) bid notrump (usually three notrump) and become the declarer at notrump

grand coup
a trump coup of the reduction type in which the side-suit cards ruffed are winners

Grand National
one of the major American national team championships, a qualifying -plus-knockout event in which teams represent geographical areas

grand slam
a bid of seven

grand-slam force
an artificial bid, usually five notrump, asking partner to bid a grand slam with two of the top three trump honors

See: Vulnerability conditions

Grosvenor Gambit (sometimes just "Grosvenor")
a play that cannot gain and might lose but is virtually certain to break even because an opponent will assume it would never have been made

(1) (noun) a holding that will prevent the opponents from taking a large number of tricks in a given suit; stopper
(2) (verb) prevent the opponents from turning a particular card or cards into winners
(3) (noun) a card or cards held to prevent the opponents from turning a particular card or cards into winners
(4) (noun) a lower card or cards held to prevent the opponents from using high cards to drop a higher card (usually an honor) in the same suit. [Usage: In the holding king-deuce, the deuce is a guard for the king, preventing an opponent from dropping the king with the ace.]

(of a card, usually an honor) accompanied by sufficient guards (meaning 4)

guard squeeze
a squeeze in which the discard of one of the victim's busy cards exposes partner to a finesse

guide card
a set of instructions for a the movement of a pair from table to table in a duplicate bridge movement

See: Mrs. Guggenheim

(slang) a very weak opening bid
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 • H • 

half table
a table with only one pair


Hamman's Rule
"When three notrump is one of the alternatives, choose it."

(1) one of the players
(2) the cards held by a player
(3) deal (meaning 2)
(4) deal (meaning 3)

indicating the position at the table in bidding order (thus, dealer is first hand, the player left of the dealer is second hand, and so forth)

hand hog
a player who attempts to become declarer as often as possible

hand pattern
suit distribution

hand record
a permanent record of the cards, bidding and play of a deal

score adjustment based on seeding

handle (noun)
handling charge

handling (noun)
handling charge

handling charge
the necessity for declarer to face multiple (often small) risks (usually from ruffs or overruffs) in order for the contract to succeed. [Usage: "Four spades is on a finesse and a handling charge." meaning that to succeed in four spades, declarer needs both to win a finesse and to be able safely to move from hand to hand or to take ruffs, so the contract requires a little more luck than just a successful finesse.]

(1) fail to bid game [usage: hang at three spades]
(2) (slang) trying for a higher-level contract in a way that raises the stakes for someone who may have taken a dangerous, shaded action [usage: a game-try that will hang partner for what may have been a courageous entry into the auction]

hard values
aces and kings (as opposed to lower honors); honors capable of producing fast tricks

(slang) five-zero (suit split)

common abbreviation for high-card points (2); 4-3-2-1-points. [See Points.]

the second-highest-ranking suit; symbol:

(slang) (of a hand) with more than the usual values
a squeeze with a large number of threats


help suit
a suit in which high cards in partner's hand will be valuable

a one-step bid to deny values

a break in the usual tempo

hexagonal squeeze
a squeeze in which pressure is brought to bear against each opponent in each of three suits

Hideous Hog
a character of Victor Mollo's marked by extreme boorishness and spectacular effectiveness at the table

(1) of winning rank
(2) currently top-ranking of its suit
(3) (slang) high-card points

high card
honor card

high-card points
(1) valuation points awarded to specific honor cards
(2) specifically 4-3-2-1-points [See Points]

High Gerber
five clubs used to ask for aces

high-low signal

(slang) high, meaning (3)

a fictional suit used by the devil; "the green suit"

a squeeze that matures when a card in a suit without a menace is ruffed (a ruffing hippopotamus) or led and lost (a loser hippopotamus)

(1) (slang) double
(2) (slang) ruff
(3) (slang) (relating to a dummy) come down; track

hit the table
(slang) pass

See: Hand hog

(1) (verb) (slang) prevent declarer from making undeserved tricks
(2) (verb) have a particular card or card combination
(3) (verb) retain (the lead)
(4) (verb) win a trick although not the master card. [Example: The king held = it won the trick even though someone else still held the ace.]

cards in one's hand

hold off
delay the taking of a winner

act of holding off; hold off

honeymoon bridge
a form of bridge for two players

ace, king, queen, jack or ten

honor bonus
a scoring bonus for holding four or five trump honors, or all four aces at notrump, in one hand

a holding that will entitle its possessor to an honor bonus

a hand valuation method in which honors and honor combinations are assigned point values (ace is 1, ace-king is 2, and so forth)

(slang) finesse

(slang) play high

horse and horse
See: Vulnerability conditions

(slang) vulnerable

hot versus not
(slang) vulnerable against nonvulnerable opponents

house player
an employee of a rubber-bridge club who often plays to complete a foursome

Howell movement
a tournament arrangement in which most or all pairs do not remain seated at fixed compass directions (North-South or East-West) and may meet any of the other pairs

Hoyle, Edmund
an eighteenth-century authority, the first widely so recognized, on Whist (and other games)

think for a long time

acronym for Highly Unusual Method

hybrid scoring
duplicate-bridge scoring of an individual deal based partly on a comparative aspect and partly on a quantitative aspect

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 • I • 

International Bridge Press Association

(slang) laydown; cold; easily makable

idiot coup
the creation of a situation in which an opponent is given an opportunity to do something foolish

(of a card) suitable to be discarded or played without loss

not in accordance with the laws

(1) (noun) International Match Points; a special unit of scoring used in tournament play
(2) (verb) calculate the imp score on a deal

bridge scored by International Match Points

immaterial squeeze
a squeeze in which (at least) one of the plays by the victim loses a tactical or strategic asset but does not directly yield a trick to the other side

impossible negative
a negative one-diamond response to a strong one-club opening with the values for a positive response and three-suited distribution

a violation of the proprieties

in back of
to the left of; behind; over


in the pocket
(slang) onside; favorably located

incomplete rubber
unfinished rubber

a form of duplicate bridge contest in which each player's score is kept separately from those of all the others

inferential problem
a puzzle form requiring deductions form unusual information

(1) takeout
(2) showing values

in front of
to the right of; under

instant matchpoints
matchpoint scoring from a predetermined scale (as opposed to results achieved in actual play)

insufficient bid
a bid that is illegal because it is not higher than the previous bid

(slang) the 50-point (or 100-point) bonus for making a doubled (or redoubled) contract

insurance bid
a sacrifice against a very high-scoring contract

a call that disrupts the flow of the opponents' bidding sequence

interior sequence
a sequence that does not include the highest card held in a suit. [King-jack-ten is an interior sequence; the jack-ten are in sequence, but are not in sequence with the king.]

(1) (of a card) roughly of the rank of ten or nine
(2) (of a jump overcall) showing fair values, usually interpreted as a hand in the minimum opening-bid range with a strong six-card or longer suit
(3) (of an opening two-bid) just under the values for a forcing opening bid

International Bridge Press Association
the major organization of bridge writers

international match points
a form of duplicate-bridge scoring

after an opposing opening bid, to make the first non-pass call for one's side

intervening bid

the player who intervenes; doubler, overcaller or cue-bidder; advancer's partner

a double, overcall or cue-bid after an opposing opening bid

in the money
qualifying for a prize

opposite in meaning to the natural, usual or traditional (such as inverted raises, where a single raise is stronger than s double raise); sometimes phrased as "upside-down"

inverted minors
a minor-suit single raise as strong with a minor-suit double raise as weak

request that partner continue to game (or slam) if with maximum values

offering an invitation

Iron Duke
(slang) a card of significant trick-taking rank. [Usage: (by the second to play to a trick putting up a high card) "Not through the Iron Duke."]

an occurrence not in conformity with the Laws

(1) (of a hand) remove the last entry to the opposite hand
(2) (of a menace card) remove the guard of one opponent
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 • J • 

the fourth-highest-ranking card

jack denies
an opening lead convention in which a lead of the jack denies any higher honor

Jacoby transfers
responses to one notrump of two diamonds to show hearts and two hearts to show spades; responses to two notrump of three diamonds to show hearts and three hearts to show spades

Jacoby two notrump
a two-notrump response as a game-going raise of partner's major-suit opening plus a continuation structure that includes shortness-showing rebids by opener

(slang) preempt

a discard, particularly the discard of a blocking card

a response of two notrump over a takeout double to show a constructive hand in support of partner's suit; sometimes played with "flip-flop" when opener's suit is a minor, so that two notrump is a preemptive raise and three of opener's suit is constructive

the Grand-Slam Force. [so-called after for Josephine Culbertson, but actually invented by Ely Culbertson]

Journalist leads
a method of opening leads based on attitude leads against notrump contracts, Rusinow and count leads against suit contracts

(1) (verb) bid at a higher level than the minimum required to be legal
(2) (adjective) at a higher level than the minimum required to be legal

(1) (noun) an overcall at higher than minimum level, as an overcall of two spades or three clubs over a one-heart opening
(2) (verb) to make a bid described in (1)

(1) (noun) preference at higher than minimum level, as in the partnership sequence one club -- one heart -- one spade -- three clubs
(2) (verb) to make a bid described in (1)

(1) (noun) a raise at higher than minimum level, as in the partnership sequence one club -- one heart -- three hearts
(2) (verb) to make a bid described in (1)

(1) (noun) a same-suit rebid at higher than minimum level, as in the partnership sequence one club -- one heart -- three clubs
(2) (verb) to make a bid described in (1)

(1) (noun) a jump bid in a new suit
(2) (verb) to make a bid described in (1)

a player under the age of 25

(slang) poor cards; poor honor cards
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 • K • 

Kaplan Inversion
use of a one-notrump response to a one-heart opening to show length in spades combined with a one-spade response to a one-heart opening as a relay (similar to a forcing one-notrump response)

Kaplan-Rubens points
= Four C's points

a bidding system based on five-card majors and weak notrump openings

See: Key-Card Blackwood

keeping the bidding open
refusing to pass, to allow partner another turn to call

key card
An ace, or the king of the agreed suit (or suits)

(adjective) including all four aces and the king of the agreed suit

Key-Card Blackwood
a variant of the Blackwood convention in which the king of trumps is counted as if it were an ace

(1) spectator
(2) onlooker who offers gratuitous comments; busybody

(1) (slang) double
(2) (slang) ruff
(3) (slang) blunder away

a variant of Key-Card Blackwood in which the asking bid is one step above four of the agreed trump suit

Kickback Turbo
During a control-bidding sequence, using the cheapest or most convenient slam-try to show an even number of key cards, a higher non-signoff control-bid to show an odd number of key cards. (See also Turbo.)

Kickback Turbo

(1) (slang) make (a hand, such as dummy) unusable through lack of an entry
(2) (slang) overtake (a card), so as to prevent from winning the trick)
(3) (slang) defeat (a contract)

the second-highest-ranking card

acronym for Keep It Simple, Stupid

kiss of death
a score of minus 200 at matchpoints when the maximum possible contract is at the part-score level

(slang) dummy


Kock-Werner redouble
a redouble of a penalty double of an overcall for takeout

= Birthright

Kokish relay
the two-spade bid in a Birthright sequence (see Birthright)


to tap the table (an improper way of passing)

(1) a form of tournament in which the winners of matches progress to the next round
(2) a three-suit squeeze in which one of the losing options is to part with a trump

knock out
force out so as to establish lower cards

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 • L • 

over an opponent's notrump opening, the cheapest club overcall to show length in both majors

last train
the only remaining slam-try below the security level, used to encourage a further slam-try but unrelated to the holding in the suit bid. [Example partnership sequence: one spade--three spades--four diamonds--four hearts]

late play
the contesting of a board after the usual time period for a tournament session (presumably caused by an irregularity or delay)


law of total tricks
a property of bridge deals that, on average, the total number of tricks that can be taken, double-dummy, by both sides, equals the combined length of the two sides' trump suits

Lawful (capitalized)
strategically conforming to the Law of Total Tricks (for example, bidding to the same level as a partnership's total trumps in a competitive or potentially competitive situation)

(slang) easily makable; cold; frigid; icy

(1) (noun) the first card played to a trick
(2) (verb) to play such a card

lead back
return; play the same suit partner led previously (particularly when the earlier lead was the opening lead)

lead-directing bid (or double)
a bid (or penalty double) that requests partner to make the opening lead in a particular suit

lead-directing raise
a raise that suggests a particular lead to partner

(1) player who must lead (play the first card) to a trick
(2) the opening leader

lead through
play from the right of

lead through strength
a principle of defensive card play; to play a suit when honors lie to your left

lead up to
play from the left of

lead up to weakness
a principle of defensive card play; to play a suit when no honors lie to your right

jump (bid), especially more than a minimum jump

Leaping Michaels
a jump to four of a minor over an opposing major-suit weak two-bid to show a two-suiter with the suit bid and the unbid major

leave in
pass partner's double; pass; fail to disturb the previous bid

(usually lower case initial letter, superseding all other capitalization rules, to imply its having been erroneously named) a two-notrump bid asking partner to bid three clubs, after which a suit bid is weak, in conjunction with direct three-level suit bids to show values; typical applications include responses to one notrump over an intervening overcall and advancing the takeout double of an opposing weak two-bid


(slang) left-hand opponent

in accordance with the laws; permissible under the laws

(slang) game ("having one leg" means being vulnerable)

the number of cards held in suit

length points
valuation points awarded to long suits

(1) the number of tricks contracted for (e.g.: the one level comprises bids that contract for seven tricks; thus, it includes the bids one club, one diamond one heart, one spade and one notrump)
(2) in an auction, the distance between consecutive bids in the same strain (e.g.: two spades is one level above one spade); five steps
(3) the attribute of a bid (or contract) that describes whether it is a part-score, game or slam

abbreviation for left-hand opponent; the player to one's left

(slang) raise

(1) lacking in values; minimum
(2) (slang) shy of the contract. [Two light = down two.]
(3) based on relatively low requirements. [Light openings require less strength than sound openings.]

Lightner double
a double, especially of a slam, to suggest an unusual opening lead

(1) define (a hand) precisely (through a call)
(2) (slang) maximum potential. [Our limit was four spades = the most was could make was four spades.]

limit bid
a bid that describes the nature of a hand fairly precisely

(of a call) with specified lower and upper strength requirements, the latter below the maximum possible

limit raise
(1) a raise that invites game
(2) a raise from one to three that shows the range of strength just under that required to force to game

(1) the portion of a scorecard that separates points that do and do not count towards game
(2) general approach of the declarer or the defenders; [Usage: a line of play; a line of defense.]
(3) See also: Up the line. Down the line

in a squeeze position, an entry in a suit that includes a menace

little cassino (also little casino)
the deuce of spades

little slam
small slam

(1) [rhymes with hive] (adjective) of an auction, one in which the opponents have not limited their values (hence typically more dangerous to enter than one where the opponents' strength ranges are known)
(2) [rhymes with give] (verb) have the preponderance of high cards. [Usage: "Bid where I live" = name the suit with most of my hand's strength.]
(3) [rhymes with give] (verb) not be ruffed by an opponent. [Usage: "If three rounds of spades live, I will switch to hearts."]

the lowest tournament level

(1) (slang) (usually said of a contract or a set of circumstances) certainty
(2) (slang) place the lead irrevocably in a particular opponent's hand

(slang) restricted to or away from ["Locked in dummy" means unable to get the lead out of dummy; "locked out of dummy" means unable to get the lead to dummy.]

abbreviation for little old lady (innocent-appearing player)

having great length; having more cards of a suit than another hand (as in "long hand," the hand with more trumps than partner's)

long cards
cards remaining in a suit after all the other players have been exhausted

long hand
a hand with more trumps than in partner's hand

long suit
suit of unusually great length

(slang) freewheeling; unfettered; tending to overbid or to bid dangerously

(1) trick that must be lost; card that must be played to such a trick; card that cannot under present circumstances win a trick if played
(2) unit of (negative) hand valuation: see Losing trick count

a card-play technique (usually for declarer) that attempts to gain by playing two losing cards to the same trick

losing trick count
a hand valuation method in which, in each suit, one loser is counted for a missing ace, missing king in a suit of two or more cards, and missing queen in a suit of three or more cards

no score, as in "love all" (neither side vulnerable) or "love score" (no part-score for either side)

(1) (adjective for card) not of significant trick-taking ability
(2) (noun; singular and plural) card of insignificant trick-taking ability. [Example usages: ace-low, three low, ace-low-fifth.]

low-high signal
in defensive card play, to play a relatively higher card than one already played in the same suit. See: High-low signal

losing trick count

(verb) pass over right-hand opponent's opening bid

(1) (noun) player who passes over right-hand opponent's opening bid
(2) (slang) (noun) low trump held by the defenders
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 • M • 

m (lower case)
often used in bidding discussions to indicate some minor suit

M (upper case)
often used in bidding discussions to indicate some major suit

a card that if played exposes its discarder's side to one danger but if kept exposes it to another

main suit
a bidder's or a declarer's longest suit, especially one that will be used as a primary source of tricks

major penalty card
a card prematurely exposed deliberately, or any honor prematurely exposed

major suit
spades or hearts

major tenace
a holding of the first- and third-highest then outstanding cards of a suit. [Example: The ace-queen of a suit before that suit has been played.]

(1) (verb) fulfill (a contract)
(2) (verb) capture a trick, or a number of tricks
(3) (slang) (noun) successful contract

make up
join a game so as to complete a foursome

(slang) (usually an adjective for bridge) simple; straightforward

(1) (noun) a transfer (meaning 2), after which partner will usually make the cheapest bid but is permitted to bid higher with special hands. (Compare with puppet.)
(2) (verb) to use a marionette (meaning 1)

of known location

marked finesse
a finesse against a marked card

(1) (adjective) the highest outstanding card of a suit
(2) (noun) an expert player

master bid
(1) an imaginative, perhaps brilliant, bid, typically with lesser values than usually associated with similar actions
(2) (said sarcastically) an unusual bid that leads to disaster

master hand
the hand having (or eventually having) the predominant trump length

Master Solvers' Club
a very-long-running monthly contest in The Bridge World, emphasizing expert discussing of bidding problems

a unit of measurement of achievement in tournament play

(verb) (slang)During the bidding, take an extreme or unusual action based on a set of highly-detailed assumptions.

(1) a unit of play in knockout and related forms of team competition
(2) a sizable number of deals played against the same team (occasionally, against the same pair) with the results combined into one scoring unit

(verb) calculate the score on a deal in matchpoints

(1) a common form of scoring in duplicate bridge in which a pair scores one unit for every other pair whose score they best and one-half unit for every other pair whose score they tie
(2) the scoring units in (1)

(1) a defense against big-club openings in which a double shows the major suits and one notrump shows the minor suits
(2) an asking-bid to locate a short suit in the hand of a responder who offered a direct limit major-suit raise

a generic layout of the cards (usually describing some form of ending, especially a squeeze)

maximal overcall
a bid that leaves the opponents no room below the next level of the suit they have already bid (e.g., one-spade opening, two-heart overcall)

maximal overcall double
the double of a maximal overcall, or of the raise of a maximal overcall, as a game invitation

a relatively strong holding for the previous calls made

McCabe Adjunct
a two-notrump response to a weak two-bid as a puppet to three clubs, usually preliminary to signing off at three of a suit underranking opener's

suit-preference signal

member (of a table)

a card that an opponent must guard lest it become a winner

Merrimac coup (also Merrimack coup)
the sacrifice of a high card to deny an opponent a timely entry

Michaels cue-bid
a direct cue-bid over an opening bid (e.g., North one club, East two clubs) to show distributional strength. In its modern form, a minor-suit cue-bid shows length in both majors, a major-suit cue-bid shows length in the other major and one of the minors (second suit unspecified)

middle honors
kings, queens and jacks

(prefix) of lesser strength; weaker than the usual kind (e.g., Mini-Roman two diamonds: a two-diamond opening showing the same hand-type but less strength than a Roman two diamonds.)

a relatively weak holding for the previous calls made

minimum equal-level conversions
an agreement between partners that doubler's new-suit bid that does not raise the bidding level of a new-suit advance does not show extra strength. [Example auction where such an agreement might apply: one heart -- double -- pass -- two clubs -- pass -- two diamonds.]

mini notrump
a one-notrump opening showing less than usual opening bid strength (typically 9-12 or 10-12 points)

a splinter raise describing the values to invite game

(slang) minimum

minor penalty card
a card below honor rank inadvertently exposed prematurely

minor suit
diamonds or clubs

minor-suit Stayman
a bid asking partner (usually opening notrtump bidder) to show length (usually four-plus cards), if any, in a minor suit

minor-suit Swiss
a double-jump in a higher ranking suit in response to a one-of-a-minor opening to show a strong raise of opener's suit

minor honor
lower honor; (usually, but not necessarily) queen, jack or ten

minor tenace
the second-highest outstanding card of a suit and at least one other card where the other card (or cards) is at best the fourth highest of the suit then outstanding (such as king-jack or king-deuce of a suit before any cards of that suit have been played)

a variant of key-card Blackwood in which the asking bid is four of the agreed minor suit [same as Trumpwood]

(1) (of distributions) identical
(2) (of tournament movements) simultaneously held in parallel (as in a Mirror Mitchell, a team-of-four movement in which the pairs are organized into two Mitchell arrangements).

(1) (noun) a bid that is inappropriate because it is of the wrong kind, or is misdescriptive to partner (as opposed to an underbid or an overbid)
(2) (verb) to err by making a misbid (1)

a pair of partnership hands, each having poor support for the long suits of the other; no combined eight-card or greater trump holding despite skewed distributions

Mississippi Heart deal
a swindler's deal, dating from whist, on which the mark holds six solid hearts and seven top cards in the black suits but cannot make more than six tricks with hearts trumps, because left-hand opponent holds the other hearts and solid diamonds, with no black cards

Mitchell movement
a tournament arrangement in which all pairs remain seated at fixed compass directions (North-South or East-West) and meet only pairs seated in the opposite direction

(1) (of a partnership) composed of one player of each sex
(2) (of a tournament) one in which every competing pair is mixed
(3) (of a call, usually a raise) having both preemptive and constructive aspects
(4) having varying (especially conflicting) properties or objectives
(5) (of a duplicate-bridge scoring method) hybrid

mole squeeze
squeeze in which one losing option is exposing partner to an endplay

(slang) a strong hand

Montreal relay
an artificial one-diamond response to leave room for opener to show a four-card major at the one-level, usually used in conjunction with major-suit responses to one-club openings that imply at least five-card length

(slang) an extremely strong hand in context

Morton's Fork coup
the forcing of an opponent to choose between establishing one or more extra tricks in the suit led and losing the opportunity to win a trick in the suit led

Mosher over notrump
natural bidding in defense

(slang) very strong hand in context

the arrangement and rearrangement of players and boards to achieve appropriate replays and comparisons in duplicate bridge. [Related entries include: American Whist Movement, Flower, Howell, Mirror Mitchell, Mitchell, New England Relay, Relay Boards, Relay Table, Scrambled Mitchell, Rainbow, Shomate, Stagger, Stanza, Three-Quarter, Web.]

Moysian fit
a partnership trump holding of four cards in one hand and three in the other

Mr. Smug
(1) a character of S. J. Simon's marked by moderate skills, extreme overconfidence, and practical behavior at the table
(2) The Bridge World's computer

Mrs. Guggenheim
a character of S. J. Simon's who cannot achieve anything beyond the obvious or routine; hence, any such player

acronym for Middle-Up-Down; the lead of the middle card from three low cards

a two-diamond opening showing one of several hand-types, usually including some weak and some strong. [One popular variation: two diamonds shows a weak two-bid with long hearts, a weak two-bid with long spades, or a balanced hand with 21-22 points]

over an opposing one-notrump opening, two clubs to show majors, two diamonds to show a one-suiter, and two of a major to show the bid suit and length in an unspecified minor suit
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 • N • 

an opening bid of four clubs or four diamonds to show, respectively, a strong four-heart or four-spade opening

the highest tournament level within one country or geographical unit

National Laws Commission
a committee that administers the laws in North America

(1) (of a call) indicating a desire to play in the named (or, if not a bid, in the last-named) strain without offering information relevant to a specific different strain
(2) (of a bidding system) consisting largely or entirely of agreements that most actions, or most early-in-the-auction actions, are natural

Neapolitan system
the parent system of the Blue Team club system

denying strength or interest in a higher-level contract

negative double
a takeout or informatory double of an overcall

negative free bid
a nonforcing suit bid by responder over an intervening overcall

negative inference
a deduction made from the absence of an occurrence

negative response
a bid denying certain values

negative slam double
in a competitive auction, the double of a slam to deny defensive tricks

neither side vulnerable
neither side having scored a game

neutral lead
a lead that neither threatens to develop tricks nor risks the loss of tricks

New England relay
a variant of the Howell movement. [also called Three-Quarter movement]

new minor forcing
a form of Checkback Stayman

new suit
a suit not previously bid

within or heading a nine-card holding. [Usage: jack-ninth = nine cards headed by the jack = Jxxxxxxxx.]

no bid
an improper form of "pass."

no call
an improper form of "pass" and a misnomer as well, for each player must call at his or her turn, even if that call is a pass

allowing partner to pass under the partnership understanding

Nonforcing Stayman
Stayman in which a rebid of two of a major by the two-club bidder is not forcing (originally defined as invitational, now sometimes played as weak)

nonmaterial squeeze
a squeeze in which at least one threat is against a straegic or informational value

(usually as an adjective for slam-try) mild

not vulnerable

one of the compass points; one of the four players (usually the dummy) in the standard diagram

one of the competing partnerships; the declaring side in the standard diagram

not through the Iron Duke
a verbal expression, dating from whist, meaning a player is covering one card with a higher one, the implication being that an opponent cannot get his card through without a higher one being played (usually applied to finessing positions)

not vulnerable
not having scored one game

the highest-ranking strain in the bidding, in which the play proceeds with no trump suit

notrump distribution
balanced distribution

inexperienced player

nuisance bid
action aimed at disrupting the opponents' auction

(1) (slang) telephone number
(2) (slang) any penalty representing a very poor result

number one
(slang) the ace
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 • O • 

opponents bid and raise

(1) (adjective for finesse) in the form of a duck in the hope that an opposing high card will drop [For example, if declarer, with king=fourth opposite queen-fourth, leads to an honor that holds the trick, the usual play is to play low from both hands on the next round of the suit.]
(2) (adjective for falsecard) required to preserve best chances. [For example, if declarer, South, leads a low card toward dummy's king-jack-low and wins the trick, West has an obligatory falsecard of the queen when the king is cashed (bexause declarer presumably already knws that he holds that card. Other such falsecards are more subtle.]

obvious-shift principle
defensive-carding agreement that a discouraging card at trick one suggests or guarantees support for the obvious shift

(1) of a level, as "one-odd" (at the one-level)
(2) of tricks, six more than the number specified, as "two odd tricks" (eight tricks altogether)

odd-even discards
a defensive signaling method in which odd-numbered cards (the three, the five, etc.) are encouraging, the even-numbered ones are discouraging and may have suit-preference implications

odd trick
a trick taken by declarer in excess of six

(1) (slang) down; set
(2) (slang) offside

off the top
(adjective) describing tricks that can be taken without gaining the lead or lost before gaining the lead [Usage: Four spades was down off the top = the defenders could take at least four tricks before declarer gained the lead.]

a player in violation of the laws or regulations

not having one of the usual or expected distributions

unfavorably located

the use of artificial step rebids by an opening weak two-bidder after a two-notrump response. [The most popular version: three clubs = weak hand, weak suit; three diamonds = weak hand, strong suit; three hearts = strong hand, weak suit; three spades = strong hand, strong suit; three notrump = six-card suit headed by ace-king-queen.]

(1) (slang) makable
(2) (slang) onside; favorably located

indicating the amount of a part-score, as "60-on" (having a partscore of 60)

on score
having a part-score. ["60 on score" = having a part-score of 60.]

a bid of one; a bid at the one-level (usually refers to the opening bid)

one-club system
a bidding method based on an artificial one-club opening

one hundred honors
the honor cards (four of the five trump honors in one hand) entitling their holder's side to a bonus of 100 points

one hundred fifty aces
all four aces in one hand at notrump, entitling the holder's side to an honor bonus of 150

one hundred fifty honors
all five trump honors in one hand, entitling the holders side to an honor bonus of 150

one-over-one response
the bid of a higher-ranking suit at the one-level after partner's opening bid in a different suit

one-round force
a call that requests that partner not pass on the current round of bidding, without sending any message about later in the auction


one-suit squeeze
a position in which a player holding cards in only one suit cannot part with any of them without losing a trick. Example:

A 7 3

K J 10 2
9 4
Q 8 5
Needing three tricks at notrump, South leads a spade to North's ace. If West discards the deuce of hearts, a throw-in becomes possible; if West pitches a heart honor, North-South can take two heart tricks by force. (See also pincer play.)

a hand including only one suit of four or more cards, but generally not applied to 4-3-3-3 distribution, and often not to 5-3-3-2 distribution

one-way finesse
a situation in which it is possible to hope that one particular opponent holds a missing card. Compare with two-way finesse.

favorably located

on the fence
(slang) without any other cards in the suit

(1) (verb) make the first bid
(2) (verb) be the first to play (a suit)
(3) (adjective for event) in tournament play, unrestricted as to who may enter
(4) (adjective for hand) dummy's; visible
(5) (adjective for room) permitting spectators

the player making the first bid

opener's rebid
the second bid (if any) made by the opener

open hand
dummy's hand

opening (or opening bid)
the first bid made in an auction

opening bidder
the player making the first bid

opening lead
the lead to the first trick, made by the player to the left of the declarer before dummy's cards are exposed

opening leader
the player, to declarer's left, who leads to the first trick

open room
in tournament play, a room in which spectators are permitted

adversary; member of the other partnership

optional double
a double that, by partnership agreement, allows partner the option of passing (for penalties) or bidding on

our deal
our hand

our hand
(slang) a deal on which "our side" can make a higher contract than the opponents

(1) having no cards in (a suit); having no more cards in (a suit)
(2) not currently an active player. [Usage: sitting out = not one of the four players at the table.]
(3)(slang) with no other significant values [Usage: ace-jack-sixth of spades and out = the given spade holding along with no relevant high cards outside of spades]

not in the main suit

out-of-the-blue control-bid
advance control-bid

(applies to players during the auction and to cards) to the left of; behind

(1) (verb) bid more than one's partnership can make
(2) (verb) bid unwarrantedly high (result aside)
(3) (verb) overcall
(4) (noun) the bid made in (meaning 1), (meaning 2) or (meaning 3)

(1) one who overbids
(2) overcaller

(slang) having bid above a makable contract

(1) (noun) a bid following an opposing bid
(2) (verb) to make the call described in (1)

a player who overcalls

ruff with a higher trump after another player ruffs

play a higher card of the suit led as the highest such card already played to the trick. [Usually refers to playing a higher card than partners.]

trick made in excess of those required to fulfill the contract

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 • P • 


(1) part of as pack
(2) (slang) large penalty

one partnership; two players acting as partners; North-South or East-West

a duplicate-bridge tournament among partnerships

pajama game
(slang) a duplicate-bridge session in which relatively many scores are top or bottom

(slang) poor player

(slang) Hand with 4-3-3-3 distribution (similar to Flat)

the result on a deal on which both sides do as well as possible

par contest
an event based on pre-set deals with scores awarded for superior technique in bidding and play

(slang) partner

(1) evenness or oddness (usually of a suit length)
(2) equal length (as another player's)


partial elimination
an imperfect elimination that will succeed only against certain distributions of the opponents' cards

partial score

partial stopper
a suit holding that will provide a stopper if and only if partner has a holding in the same category (thus singleton queen, doubleton queen, tripleton jack, four to the ten, five to the nine, or six to the eight)

(1) (noun) the other member of one's partnership
(2) (verb) act as the other member of a partnership with

(1) one of the two competing teams of two players
(2) the totality of understandings between two players

partnership agreement
see agreement

partnership bidding
said of an auction in which the opponents do nothing except pass

partnership desk
location or service that arranges tournament partners for unpaired players

a trick score of less than 100; less than game; fewer than 100 points scored below the line

(1) (noun) a call indicating no desire to bid, double, or redouble at that turn
(2) (verb) to make such a call
(3) (verb) (after leading from declarer's hand or dummy) to play a lower card from the opposite hand when a higher card was available

passed hand
a player who passed when given the opportunity to open the bidding (thus, one who has denied having the values required to open)

pass and pull
make a forcing pass and then bid over partner's double

passed out
(1) (of a contract) allowed to stand
(2) (of a deal) thrown in because no player bid

(of a defensive play) not risking tricks but not tending to promote any immediately

(adjective) of a call, requesting partner either to pass or to make an alternative call, depending on the (as yet unspecified) hand-type held. [Example: After an opening bid of two diamonds to show a weak two-bid in spades or hearts, a two-heart response is pass-or-correct: opener passes with hearts or bids two spades (i.e., corrects) with spades.]

pass out
(1) (verb) make the fourth consecutive pass, so that the cards are thrown in and dealt again
(2) (verb) make the third consecutive pass, so that the last bid becomes the final contract
(3) (adjective for seat) position in which a pass will end the auction


hand distribution; distribution (meaning 1)

pattern out
(verb) determine a player's (usually partner's) most likely suit distribution

a form of hybrid scoring

Pearson points
high-card points plus spade length. [Sometimes used in a guideline for whether or not to open the bidding in fourth position, especially at matchpoints: Open when you have at least 14 Pearson points (some writers prefer 15).]

(1) points awarded to the defenders when declarer fails to fulfill his contract
(2) a remedy for an infraction provided by the laws

penalty card
an exposed card subjecting its holder's side to restrictions. (See also Major penalty card, Minor penalty card.)

penalty double
a double intended as an attempt to obtain a penalty against the opposing contract (suggesting that partner pass, as opposed to a "takeout double" suggesting that partner bid).

penalty pass
the pass of a double not intended as a penalty double

percentage play
the play most likely to achieve a specific goal

(slang) (noun) a hand consistent with the previous bidding that has exactly the values needed to make some contract (usually a game or slam) desirable

(slang) echo; high-low signal

(1) (noun) an imaginary pair deemed present to complete a tournament movement
(2) (noun) a sacrifice against a contract that would have failed. [Also phantom sacrifice or phantom save.]
(3) (adjective) describing a sacrifice against a contract that would have failed

phone number
(1) (slang) a penalty in four digits
(2) (slang) any large penalty

phoney club
short club

(slang) contract easy to make

(adjective) of a call [which is most commonly five notrump], requesting partner to make a six-level bid that expresses a preference for a strain for the final contract (or, if made in an "impossible" strain, suggests a further choice)

pick up
(1) (of a card) capture during the play
(2) (of a suit) play without loss, or with minimal loss
(3) (of a partner or team) recently met; not through prearrangement
(4) (adjective; usually hyphenated) collected from a table in a tournament. [Usage: pick-up slip = paper on which the result of each deal in a tournanent is recorded.]

picture card

picture bid
bid that shows specific values or types of values, rather than general strength or overall hand-type. [Example: A jump in a suit to show values concentrated there is a picture bid.]

picture card
king, queen, or jack

picture jump
picture bid that is a jump

(1) (slang) part-score
(2) (slang) a high honor [A piece in spades means a spade honor.]
(3) (slang) any card. [In general card-playing lingo, "a piece in spades" sometimes means any spade.]

(verb) lead a card to cause a lower-ranking card to drop underneath (especially when there are yet higher cards of the suit outstanding)

pincer play
a defense against a one-suit squeeze in which one player maintains cards with trick-taking strength both above and below such a card held by partner. Example:

A 7 3

K J 9 2
10 4
Q 8 5
When South, needing three tricks at notrump, leads a spade, West can successfully discard the deuce of hearts, maintaining a pincer around East's ten of hearts. (See also one-suit squeeze.)

(1) (noun) spot card; spot (marking on a card)
(2) (slang) outrank (on a trick) or defeat by the narrowest possible margin
(3) suit symbol (see suit pip)
(1) (noun) (slang) discard
(2) (verb) (slang) to discard
(3) (verb) (slang) to lose through error, especially through a clear error

(1) (noun) in a sequence of rubbers or chukkers, the player who remains in the same physical position at the table
(2) (noun) in a Howell movement, the player (if any) who remains stationary
(3) (verb) change partners
(4) (adjective for suit) guarded or potentially guarded by both opponents (in a double-suqeeze matrix)
(5) = chukker [especially in Great Britain]

French predecessor of bridge

plain suit
a suit other than the trump suit

(1) (noun) the phase of bridge in which the players try to take tricks to determine the outcome of bets made during the bidding
(2) (verb) act as declarer
(3) (verb) place (a card) in the center of the table

(1) (of a contract) at least reasonable, even if not necessarily best
(2) (of an agreement or system) not in itself necessarily leading to inferior results

(1) one of the four participants
(2) (slang) hand with promising offensive prospects in context

play for
(verb) assume a holding of (as the basis for declarer play or defense) [Usage: South had to play for diamonds to break three-three. = South assumed that diamonds would break three-three as the basis of further planning or reasoning.]

playing trick
a combination of cards likely to take a trick during the play, hence a measure of offensive strength

acronym for petty, little odious bid; an artificial, investigatory rebid by responder after opener's one-notrump rebid

(1) the receptacle for a hand in a duplicate board
(2) see "in the pocket."

Pass 0, Double 1 (method of showing aces or key cards after interference following an asking-bid)

(1) a unit of scoring
(2) a unit of hand valuation
(3) in describing a squeeze position, a unit of complexity (one point = one two-suit squeeze against one opponent)
(4) a unit of player rating (sometimes masterpoint; sometimes designated by a color or other description to indicate special significance)

Plural of point. Also, sometimes when used in meaning (2), expressing the number of valuation units assigned to each individual high card. For example, 2-1-points assigns two points to each ace, one to each king; 3-2-1-points assigns three points to each ace, two to each king, one to each queen; 4-3-2-1-points [also sometimes HCP and high-card points] assigns four to each ace, three to each king, two to each queen, and one to each jack. Similar formations describe other point-counting schemes.]

point a board

point count
a method of hand valuation in which numerical values (points) are assigned to various features of a hand

pointed (suit)
spades or diamonds

Polish club
a system based on a multi-way one-club opening, most commonly indicating a weak notrump, any strength of opening bid with length in clubs, or any very strong hand

pop-up squeeze
= show-up squeeze

Portland Club
a London bridge club that first published bridge laws, still part of the law-making process

(1) location at the table
(2) order of speaking relative to the dealer; [The dealer is in first position, the player to dealer's left is in second position, and so on.]
(3) seat; [First position means first seat, and so forth.]
(4) chair. [First chair means first position, and so forth.]

(1) (adjective for squeeze) maturing only against the opponent in one particular table location
(2) (adjective for honors or for high cards in general) gaining in trick-taking strength because of the relative location (usually on the right) of a particular opponent
(3) (adjective for call) placing or tending to place the more advantageously located partner as declarer

positive response
a bid affirming certain values

post mortem
discussion of deals following play

(slang) a very strong hand

practice finesse
a risky, unnecessary finesse

to act in direct position as one would in reopening (i.e., balance) position. [Example: To bid three clubs after one spade -- pass -- two spades -- ? with the values usually associated with one spade -- pass -- two spades -- pass -- pass -- three clubs would be a prebalance.]

a bidding system based on a big-club opening and five-card majors

Precision two diamonds
a two-diamond opening to show a minimum-range opening hand with no long suit and shortness in diamonds


(1) (adjective) intended to hinder the enemy through the removal of bidding space from the auction
(2) (noun) a preemptive bid, or a bid that acts preemptively no matter how intended

offer a preference

indication of choice of strain from among those suggested by partner


prepared bid
a bid made with a mind to the possibilities on later rounds of bidding

principle of choosing the suit for the opening bid to facilitate a rebid

present count
a defensive card-play method in which a count signal relates to the number of cards presently held in a suit

(adjective for call or, more commonly, bid) made with options restricted by the opponents' bidding

(1) (describing strength or high-card values) of the most useful or highest kind
(2) (describing a control) first-round
(3) (describing support) enough to guarantee at least an eight-card fit

(1) person who makes a living from bridge
(2) paid partner or teammate

in a tournament, the movement of players and deals

progressive squeeze
a squeeze position in which a newly created winner produces another squeeze

(1) (of a card) move to or closer to winning rank
(2) (of a hand's value) add to the number of valuation points counted for

the section of bridge laws that deals with personal or partnership behavior

(1) (slang) (verb) balance
(2) (slang) (verb) reopen
(3) (verb) accompany (a higher card) so as to protect from capture
(4) (verb) guard (a suit)

(of a card) accompanied by sufficient lower cards of the same suit to make it immune from capture by higher cards in the same suit

protected suit
a suit including a stopper


proven finesse
a finesse that is guaranteed to win because of the previous play

pseudo finesse
an attempt to gain through a defender's failure to cover a card that cannot be led for an actual finesse, such as leading the queen from queen-low-doubleton in dummy up to ace-low-doubleton in declarer's hand

pseudo squeeze
a position in which a player is not squeezed but may lose one or more tricks through misreading the position

(1) (slang) (noun) psychic
(2) (slang) (verb) to make a psychic call

(noun) a call made without the values normally associated with it, to deceive the opposition

psychic control
a call that indicates that an earlier call by the same player was a psychic

pudding raise
(slang) a raise based on high-card strength rather than distributional advantage

(1) draw (trumps)
(2) remove partner's double

(slang) force out a trump; = force (2)

(1) (slang) force out a trump
(2) (slang) (often with "out") remove

(1) (verb) make a call that is (or is intended to be) noncommittal or nondescriptive; avoid making any definitive statement
(2) (noun) a noncommittal or nondescriptive call

(1) (noun) transfer (meaning 2) [= a call that asks partner to make a certain call regardless of his holding]
(2) (verb) to use a puppet (meaning 1)

Puppet Stayman
a form of the Stayman convention in which a (one- or two-) notrump opener is asked to make the cheapest bid over a club takeout unless holding a five-card major suit

(1) (of playing values) having only one type of orientation
(2) likely to be useful on offense
(3) (of a hand) lacking any values that are not pure
[Usage: A hand with no honors below the ace in any suit other than one in which partner has shown length is pure for the purpose of supporting one of partner's suits.]

purple cow
a deal or ending in which a trump coup and a squeeze both operate

(1) (slang) (verb) bid more than justified by the values held
(2) (slang) (verb) force the opponents to a higher level
(3) (slang) (noun) in team-of-four contests, a no-score result on a deal; wash; washout
(4) (slang) (verb) in team-of-four contests, to create or to achieve a no-score result on a deal
(5) (slang) (verb) lead
(6) (slang) (adjective) having no net score

(slang) having no net score

(1) (slang) overbidder
(2) (slang) intermediate card that can be led through an opponent's honor for a finesse

put on the floor
fail (usually as declarer) because of a mistake
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 • Q • 

queen or jack

(1) (of a tournament session) from which the highest scorers proceed to the next round
(2) (of a tournament) including one or more qualifying sessions or stages

(of a bid) asking partner to determine the strength of his band by the total values (usually high-card values) held rather than by the presence or absence of any specific cards

the third-highest-ranking card

in key-card Blackwood, Blackwood bidder's cheapest bid outside the agreed suit to ask partner about possession of the queen of trumps

quick trick
a high-card holding likely to take a trick on an early round of a suit. [Typical quick-trick values: ace-king = 2; ace-queen = 1.5; ace or king-queen = 1; king = 0.5.]

quitted trick
a trick that has been gathered and turned face down

the ratio of points won to the sum of points won and lost, sometimes used as part of a tie-breaking procedure
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 • R • 

rabbi's rule
"when the king is singleton, play the ace."

new player

see cardrack

(slang) low cards; low spot cards

a duplicate-bridge movement for individual events in which, traditionally, the players sitting in different compass directions follow guide cards of different colors

rainbow principle
the use of suit-preference signals when playing a card from a large number of possibilities

(1) (verb) make a further bid in a suit bid by partner
(2) (noun) a strain-suggesting bid in a suit bid by partner
(3) (noun) a hand that meets the requirements for supporting a suit bid by partner

a player who raises

(1) the relative position of suits or cards as applied to play or bidding
(2) level achieved by a tournament player

A one-notrump overcall that indicates a four-card major and a five-plus-card minor.

rattle off
(slang) run (meaning 1)

(slang) Hand with 4-4-4-1 distribution

RCO Two-Bids [RCO = Rank/Color/Oddment]
opening two-bids to show less than an opening bid and at least five-five in two suits: for two hearts, majors or minors (sorted by rank); for two spades, reds or blacks (sorted by color); for two notrump, pointed suits or rounded suits (sorted by oddment)

(1) (noun) a player's second bid
(2) (verb) to bid again a suit already bid by the same player

rebiddable suit
a suit long and/or strong enough to be bid again in a given bidding situation

recap (or recapitulation)
summary of results in a tournament

a tournament or organization official who keeps track of reports of non-standard behavior

rectify the count
lose one or more tricks to adjust the difference between the number of tricks to be played and the number of winners available to the appropriate quantity (most often one) for a planned squeeze

See: Vulnerability conditions

red against red
See: Vulnerability conditions

red against white
See: Vulnerability conditions

red suits
hearts and diamonds

replacement for a cancelled deal

a call that raises the scoring of a contract already doubled

a variant of key-card Blackwood in which the asking bid is four hearts when diamonds is the agreed suit or four diamonds when clubs is the agreed suit; see also Kickback

use a re-entry

a card that will provide the lead at a later time, after a different entry bas been used


a tournament level above sectional and below national

one of the major American national team championships, scored at board-a-match

(1) (of a game-try or a slam-try or an invitation to take a particular action) fail either to make the call suggested or invited, or to move in that direction; state or imply unwillingness to cooperate with partner's suggestion
(2) (of a transfer) fail to make the call suggested by the transfer

(1) (noun) an artificial call, very often the cheapest bid, possibly nondescriptive or at most partially descriptive, that asks or allows partner to offer a description
(2) (verb) to use a relay (meaning 1)
(3) (adjective for system) a bidding method in which a high proportion of constructive auctions make use of relays

Examples of meaning (1) (the lettered calls are relays):

1 NTPass2 (a) 
(a) Stayman; asks opener for information without directly describing responder's hand. Some relays are more descriptive than others; for example, a two-diamond response to one-notrump might be game-forcing Stayman.

1 NTPass2 *Pass
2 (b)   
*transfer to hearts (Jacoby transfer)
(b) completion of transfer; says little (in some contexts nothing) about the South hand

1 NTPass4 *Pass
4 (c)   
*puppet to four hearts (Texas transfer)
(c) completion of transfer; says nothing about the South hand
Similarly, the expected reply to any puppet acts as a relay.

2 Pass2 Pass
2 *Pass2 (d) 
*Birthright: either hearts or a game-going balanced hand
(d) relay enabling opener to clarify hand-type (by bidding either two notrump if balanced or higher with hearts)

relay boards
the boards used at a relay table (hence shared with another table)

relay system
a method based on extensive use of relays

relay table
in a tournament movement, a table that shares boards with another table

take out to a new bid, especially a double

fail to follow suit (when able to do so); revoke


take an action other than pass after a bid, a double, or a redouble has been followed by two passes

(1) (adjective) in a position to end the auction by passing. [e.g., one spade--pass--pass--?]
(2) (noun) a non-pass action taken by a player in reopening position

(adjective for squeeze) leading to the establishment of a new winner as a squeeze card (typically resulting in a multi-trick gain)

a tournament form in which entrants temporarily eliminated from the main event reenter after outstanding performance in a secondary event

a player who makes a call based on partner's request for specific information

(1) (noun) a player's third bid
(2) (verb) to bid again a suit already bid twice by the same player

remove the current bid to a different one. [Usage: Usually refers to changing the contract after partner's bid either has been doubled for penalty or is expected to be set heavily even if undoubled.]

rescue redouble
S.O.S. redouble

make a bid after an opening bid by partner

partner of the opener

bid by opener's partner at first opportunity after the opening bid

responsive double
after partner's informatory double, an informatory double over an opponent's raise. [Example sequence: one spade--double--two spades--double.]

restricted choice
a mathematically based guideline for analyzing suit combinations; oversimplified somewhat, it says that a player is more likely to have a holding from which there was no choice of plays than one from which there was

result merchant
result player

result player
one who determines the soundness of bids and plays by the way they turned out; Monday-morning quarterback

retain the lead
lead a winning card, thus keep the right to lead to the next trick

transfer into a suit previously transfered into

lead back

adjust hand valuation based on the progress of the auction

ruffing with the partnership's longer trump holding until the opposite hand has more trumps

(1) (noun) a non-jump bid in a new suit that bypasses a bid in a lower-ranking suit already bid by the same player. [North one club, South one spade, North two hearts is a reverse (bypasses two clubs). But North one club, South one heart, North one spade is not (no bypass).]
(2) (verb) to make a bid described in (1)

Reverse Drury (or Reverse Drury-Fit)
Drury (or Drury-fit) where opener's rebid of two of the major opened shows a minimum (in the original, a two-diamond rebid showed a minimum)

reverse dummy

reverse signals
See: Upside-down

review the bidding
repeat the calls made

revolving discard
a discard of a card in one suit to send a message relating to another suit

fail to follow suit when able to do so (an infraction of the laws)

(slang) redouble

an abbreviation for right-hand opponent; the player to one's right

rhythm double
a penalty double based on earlier penalty doubles' having been made rather than on an appropriate holding

(1) (noun) (slang) large penalty; phone number
(2) (verb) lead and follow low from the opposite so as to take a finesse

a form of shuffling in which the cards from two halves of the pack are interleaved

right side
(noun) more favorable placement of declarer (compared to the opposite side of the table)

(verb) (slang) to place the declarer on the more favorable side (usually to put a particular opponent on lead)

(slang) right-hand opponent

a two-of-a-minor overcall of one notrump to show length in both majors and simultaneously indicate the longer minor

play a high card as opposed to a low card; go up

acronym for Roman Key-Card Blackwood

Robert coup
the lead (possibly including a trump reduction to be able to lead) of a plain-suit card in order to create a later split tenace in trumps. [Typical ending: West holds KQ10 of trumps, North J2 of trumps and a plain-suit card, South A3 of trumps and a plain-suit card of a different suit. By leading South's plain-suit card, North-South can take two tricks.]

(noun) (slang) a very strong

powerful hand

rock of eye
hand valuation through an overall inspection (as opposed to a consideration of individual characteristics)

(1) (adjective for Blackwood and Gerber) in which the cheapest rebid outside the agreed suit asks for kings wholesale
(2) (adjective for four notrump) encouraging partner to bid slam without making explicit reference to any specific control

(1) (adjective for two-club or two-diamond opening) indicating a three-suiter
(2) (adjective for Blackwood, Gerber or Key-Card Blackwood) using step replies as follows: one step = zero or three aces or key cards; two steps = one or four aces or key cards; three steps = two or five aces or key cards without the queen of the agreed suit*; four steps = two or five aces or key cards plus the queen of the agreed suit* [* indicates the modern form; originally, the three-, four- and five-step replies narrowed the description of which two aces were held]
(3) (adjective for jump overcall) indicating length in the bid suit and the next highest unbid suit
(4) (adjective for asking-bid) calling for step responses to announce controls in the asking suit (one step = no control; two steps = king or singleton; three steps = ace or void; four steps = ace-king, perhaps ace-queen)
(5) (adjective for discard or signal) odd-even
(6) (adjective for lead) Rusinow

Roman club system
an approach characterized by a multi-way one-club opening that is very often a weak notrump

acronym for Raise Only NonForce. [Usage: Usually applied as a summary of methods for responding to a weak two-bid.]

a position in which one player needs to play an otherwise-unnecessarily high card to prevent an endplay against partner (see also mole squeeze)

Rosenblum Cup
the world open knockout team championship

Rosenkranz double
a double by advancer to show a high honor in overcaller's suit

the order of calls and plays (clockwise)

a bidding system based on sound opening bids, five-card majors, forcing one-notrump responses, preemptive jump overcalls and responses, and negative doubles

(1) (slang) (of a hand) having 4-3-3-3 distribution
(2) (of the auction) one turn to call for each player
(3) (of the play of a suit) which time it is led; [The first round of a suit means the first time it is led.]
(4) (of a control, with a number) which time the suit is played the value will prevent the opponents from winning the trick; [Example: an ace, or a void when there is a trump suit, is a first-round control.]
(5) (in tournament play) a period of time during which players remain at the same table
(6) (in tournament play) a unit of simultaneous activities with a common goal (e.g., the quarterfinal round)

rounded (suit)
hearts or clubs

rounding off
scoring to the nearest full hundred (as on the back score)

tournament form in which each entrant, or each entrant within a group, opposes every other

in certain tournament movements, a pair that replaces a different pair in each round

(1) king or queen
(2) (archaic) a card in a suit featured in some decks with more than four suits.

best two of three games; the traditional unit of play in bridge

rubber bonus
bonus awarded to the first side scoring two games (700 if the opponents have not scored one game; 500 if they have)

rubber game
both sides vulnerable

Rubens advances
transfer advances of overcalls

transfer responses over overcalls

Rueful Rabbit
a character of Victor Mollo's marked by lack of comprehension, constant fretting, and incredible good fortune at the table

(verb) trump
(noun) the play a trump on the lead of another suit

cards that can be trumped in the opposite hand to produce a source of tricks

ruff and discard
the ability to trump in one hand and discard (usually a loser) from the other

ruff and sluff
See: Ruff and discard

ruff out
establish by ruffing

ruffing finesse
a finesse that takes advantage of the ability to trump a high card in a plain suit. [Dummy has king-queen of a side suit in which declarer is void. Declarer can lead dummy's king, ruff RHO's ace, and later make a trick with the queen.]

ruffing value
shortness that may lead to ruffing tricks

See Goldwater's Rule; Hamman's Rule; Rabbi's Rule

Rule of Eleven
a rule (from whist) that says: if partner has led fourth best, the number of cards outstanding above the card led is the spot on the card, subtracted from 11

Rule of Three Queens
A holding of three or four queens suggests playing in notrump

Rule of Twenty
a guideline that suggests opening the bidding when the sum of highcard points and the two longest suit lengths is at least 20

Rule of Two and Three
a rule propounded by Ely Culbertson as a guide for preemptive bids: you should be within two tricks of your contract when vulnerable and within three tricks when not vulnerable

decision by a tournament director or committee

(1) play off winners in a suit
(2) (slang) escape to a new strain (particularly after being doubled in a different one)
(3) lead (a card that is not a winner) and play low from the opposite hand when a higher card was available. [= pass (3)]

(slang) a card that will win a trick as soon as the side holding it gains the lead. (Usage: With only one stopper in the opponents' suit, we will need nine runners to make three notrump.)

(of a suit) solid

bid made to escape from an undesirable contract, especially from a doubled contract

Rusinow lead
the conventional lead of the second highest of equal honors
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 • S • 

(slang) sacrifice

deliberately bid above one's trick-taking potential in the hope of losing fewer points than if the opponents were allowed to play and make their contract

safety level
security level

safety play
the sacrifice or potential sacrifice of one or more tricks to increase the chance of attaining a particular result (often the making of the contract by declarer)

(slang) pass with strong values, hoping to trap the opponents or come into the bidding later on

(adjective for position) following an opening bid on the left, a pass by partner, and a response on the right

sandwich overcall
a bid made after both opponents have bid

(adjective for squeeze) with menaces in all four suits

(slang) (noun and verb) sacrifice

acronym for Standard American Yellow Card, the system defined by the current set of listings on a form of convention card identified by its color

see spiral scan

Schenken system
the first big-club system to be widely used in America

a style of bidding in which the partners attempt to clarify their hands as accurately as possible

Scissors coup
a loser-on-loser play intended to deny an entry to a particular opponent

(1) a numerical result of a deal, match, session or event
(2) (slang) take a trick with; [Usage: Score the queen of spades = take a trick with the queen of spades.]
(3) (slang) win. [Usage: Score three spades and two hearts = take three spade tricks and two heart tricks.]

score slip
(1) traveler
(2) pick-up slip

(1) run to a new contract
(2) take tricks without attempting to retain control of trumps

Scrambled Mitchell
a Mitchell movement adjusted with direction changes to balance the groups against which each pair is compared

a divider that prevents a player from seeing his partner

the opponent on the same side of a screen used to shield partners from each other's sight

(1) place at a table
(2) (slang) position (meaning 2)

(1) (describing a call) made at a player's second turn to call or second opportunity to act
(2) (describing honors or high-card strength) lower than the strongest values but still potentially useful
(3) (describing a control) second-round
(4) (describing support) less than primary; sometimes, the length just below primary
(5) (describing a squeeze) in which a trick is lost after the squeeze matures

second guesser
result player

second hand
(1) the player second to have the opportunity to bid (i.e., at the dealer's left)
(2) the player second to play to a trick

second hand low
a principle of card play from whist

second-round control
king or singleton

grouping of entrants at a tournament

a tournament level above local and below regional

security level
the bidding height to which it is presumed that the partnership can bid without significant risk, even with no additional values beond those already promised by the earlier bidding. (Example: If South opens one spade and North offers a game-forcing raise, the North-South security level at that point is four spades.)

(1) an entrant given a rank in a seeding (meaning 1) procedure; [Usage: first seed = top seed = highest-ranked entrant.]
(2) an entrant selected as seeded (highly rated) as opposed to unseeded (low rated)

(1) selected in a seeding (meaning 2) procedure
(2) rated higher than the current opponent

(1) arranging entrants, through objective or subjective criteria, approximately in order of strength
(2) selecting a small number of entrants believed to be stronger than the rest

see-saw squeeze
= entry-shifting squeeze

semi-balanced hand
hand with suit distribution 5-4-2-2 or 6-3-2-2

(as an adjective for one-notrump response) wide-range, including hands of game-invitational strength, over which opener will rebid as over a forcing one-notrump response, but not including game-going hands (so that opener is permitted to pass)

(of a suit) with roughly one additional loser compared to a solid suit; likely to have one loser without any contribution from partner

send back [send it back]
(slang) redouble

player over 55 years of age

(1) all calls made in an auction
(2) an auction
(3) two or more cards of adjacent ranks

strongly suggestive or invitational, as a serious slam-try as opposed to a mild slam-try or mere indication of willingness to cooperate in an investigation

(1) a group of deals played consecutively without a break
(2) a group of deals whose scores are added together
(3) one morning, afternoon or evening of play, usually of 24 to 36 deals

(1) defeat; prevent from fulfilling the contract
(2) playing in fixed partnerships

set game
rubber bridge or four-deal bridge with fixed partnerships

set up
(1) (noun) established
(2) (verb) establish

within or heading a seven-card holding. [Usage: jack-seventh = seven cards headed by the jack = Jxxxxxx.]

(of a call) made on slightly fewer values than usual

(slang) discard (usually a loser)

(1) (slang) distribution
(2) (of a suit) pointed or rounded. [Spades and diamonds are pointed suits; hearts and clubs are rounded suits.]

hustler; expert

(1) lead a different suit
(2) bid a new suit

take a desperate chance in an effort to achieve a very high score; = swing (3)

short club
opening one club on a suit of only three cards (usually because of a systemic prohibition against opening a four-card major suit)

short diamond
opening one diamond on a suit of only three cards (usually because of a systemic prohibition against opening a four-card major suit)

short hand
a hand with fewer trumps than in partner's hand

void or singleton

short-suit game try
game-invitational action that specifies a singleton or void suit

short-suit points
valuation points awarded to short suits because of their trick taking ability (or the trick-taking ability of the long suits whose possession they imply)

(1) (slang) risky chance in the bidding [Usage: "I took a shot at six hearts."]
(2) (slang) penalty double

show out
fail to follow suit

show-up squeeze
a squeeze position in which declarer refuses a finesse in the ending, because if the missing card were onside it would have already been played

mix the cards in an attempt to obtain a random distribution


an individual movement

1. (noun) partnership
2. (adjective) outside [= not in the main suit]

side game
at a tournament, a lesser event run simultaneously with a major championship

side suit
(1) a suit other than the trump suit
(2) a suit of four or more cards other than the trump suit in declarer's or dummy's hand
(3) a suit of significant length but secondary to the main suit in a player's hand (such as the four-card suit in a 7-4-1-1 distribution)

conventional plays made by the defenders to give each other information

(1) (noun) a call that requests partner to pass; bar
(2) (noun) a call that denies additional values
(3) (adjective) having the meaning of a signoff

sign off
(verb) to make a signoff call

silent bidder
dumb bidder

(1) (of a bid) not a jump
(2) (of a finesse) against only one missing card
(3) (of an overcall) a minimum defensive bid in a new suit
(4) (of a raise) a bid in partner's suit one level higher (also single raise)
(5) (of a squeeze) against one opponent in two suits

simultaneous pairs
an event played at the same time in different locations, using the same deals

based on the sight of only the dummy and one's own cards. [Compare with "double-dummy," which means with sight of all four hands.]

a holding of one card in a suit

sit (or sit for)
(slang) allow to stand (usually a double)

round in a duplicate bridge movement for which a pair has no opponents (because of a half-table)

within or heading a six-card holding. [Usage: jack-sixth = six cards headed by the jack = Jxxxxx.]

a round in a tournament movement where players bypass the table they would reach according to their regular pattern

skip-bid warning
in tournament play, a warning to an opponent to be prepared to pause before taking his next action (to avoid giving illegal information to partner)

any bid of six (small slam) or seven (grand slam)

a call that by agreement requires that partner not pass until slam is reached (or an opposing contract is doubled)

a call that invites partner to bid a slam

(slang) favorable position [in the slot = onside]

(of a trick or of high-card values) needing to be established before it can be cashed

slow arrival
a bidding method in which a jump to the level to which the bidding is already forced shows specific values. [e.g., one heart--two clubs--two spades--four spades shows unusually strong spades but limited overall strength; therefore, one heart--two clubs--two spades--three spades might or might not include extra strength] See also: fast arrival; picture bid


(slang) honor strength mostly or entirely in queens and jacks

small slam
a bid of six

Smith (or Smith echo)
on defense against a notrump contract, using the play of an encouraging or discouraging card in the suit declarer attacks to show encouragement or discouragement for the suit of the opening lead

after notrump opener's denial, a bid of three of a major by Stayman responder to show four cards in the bid major and five in the other

smother play
an endplay to enable the capture of an onside trump when a higher card behind it has insufficient supporting cards for a finesse. [Example: Spades trump. North has spade ace, heart ace. West has spade king-ten. South has spade queen-jack. East has club ace-king. If East is on lead, West's king of spades is smothered.]

familiar form of address or reference for Mr. Smug, which is (1) a character of S. J. Simon's marked by moderate skills, extreme overconfidence, and practical behavior at the table; (2) The Bridge World's computer

strong notrump after passing; a one-notrump response by a passed hand to show 9-12 points

overcaller's partner's double of a new-suit response to show length in the remaining unbid suit and at least a mild fit for overcaller's suit. [Example: one diamond--one heart--one spade--double to show club length plus at least two hearts.]

(1) (slang) (verb) win or cash immediately, or at the earliest opportunity, or before some particular event of importance
(2) (slang) (noun) ace

(slang) singleton

(slang) double (for penalties)

soft values
lower honors, usually queens and jack, as compared with aces and kings

(of a suit) with no gaps, or with no gaps after the specified card. [Usage: five solid = AKQJ10 (sometimes AKQJx). jack-ten-solid-fifth = J10987.]

solid suit
a suit strong enough to name as trumps without support from partner; a suit with no losers

Sominex coup
(slang) to take so long over an action that, whether by accident or design, another player loses concentration

arrange one's cards by rank within suit

S.O.S. redouble
a redouble asking partner to bid

(1) full-valued
(2) based on relatively high requirements; [Example: sound opening bids have higher minimum requirements than light opening bids.]
(3) (of a player) talented; reliable
(4) (of a contract) worthwhile; likely enough to make to be worth the risk.
one of the compass points; one of the four players (usually the declarer) in the standard diagram

South African Texas
four-level two-step transfer response to notrump openings (four clubs = hearts; four diamonds = spades)

See: Bidding space

the highest-ranking suit, symbol:

specific kings
a five-notrump follow-up by the Blackwood bidder to ask partner to cue-bid kings at the six-level (as opposed to showing them wholesale with a step response, as in traditional methods)

tournament organized with less time per deal than usual

(slang) dangerously or aggressively overbidding or preemtping

speeding ticket
(slang) penalty incurred as a result of aggressive or overaggressive bidding

Spingold Cup
one of the major American national team championships, a knockout event

spiral scan
after an asking-bid and reply, the continuing use of nonsignoff bids to ask for specific cards depending on the number of such bids skipped

(1) (noun) a raise (or, less commonly, a bid showing a one-suiter) that shows shortness (singleton or void) in a particular suit
(2) (verb) to make a call indicating a splinter (1)

(1) (verb) play one of a group of cards equivalent in rank (usually applied to honor cards)
(2) (noun) the distribution of missing cards (e.g., a two-two split of four missing cards)
(3) (adjective for menace or tenace) based on values in both partners' hands

split menace
a threat that depends on values in both hands of the side executing a squeeze

split notrump(s)
weak notrump nonvulnerable, strong notrump vulnerable

split tenace
a tenace composed of values in both partnership hands (such as ace in one hand and queen in the other)

(1) organizing organization of a tournament
(2) one who hires a partner and/or teammates

(1) (noun) spot card
(2) (slang) (noun) contract

(slang) (noun) strong intermediatre cards

spot card
any card from deuce through nine

(1) (verb) put down the dummy
(2) (slang) (noun) laydown
(3) (verb) reveal one's cards (as during a claim or concession)

negative double

square hand
hand of 4-3-3-3 distribution

a play that forces a hand to part with a needed card


squeeze card
a card that, when led, effects a squeeze

(1) (slang) (noun) unfortunate distribution of the cards

(2) (verb) prearrange (the cards); fix (the deal)

(1) (slang) (of some or all of the cards) unfortunately distributed (usually for declarer)

(2) prearranged

a form of stanza movement for teams of four

(slang) pass (usually over a double)

Standard American
standard bidding in America

Standard American Yellow Card (also SAYC)
the system defined by the current set of listings on a form of convention card identified by its color

standard bidding
bidding methods used by most players

stand off
no net score (on a deal or a session)

stand up
(slang) take a trick, perhaps surprisingly; in particular, survive without being ruffed by an opponent

(1) in a match, a set of boards played as a unit, after which scores are commpared
(2) in a duplicate-bridge movement, a set of rounds played and scored independently from other rounds

remaining in the same seat or seats throughout the tournmaent movement in use

(1) an agreement between partners under which a response of two clubs to an opening bid of one notrump asks opener to bid a four-card major suit if he holds one
(2) any call that asks a notrump bidder to show length in a major suit
(3) any call that asks a notrump bidder to reveal length in a specific suit or suits (e.g.: minor-suit Stayman)

(1) (of a trick) win with an unusually low card
(2) (of a trick) win without losing the lead
(3) (of a tempo) gain time needed to perform some other function or deprive the oppponents of such time
(4) (of a contract) make through deception when there was a way to defend successfully. (Also refers to a successful deceptive defense but not usually so applied.)
(5) (of an auction) become declarer at a (perhaps surprisingly) low contract when the opponents could profitably have bid higher

in an anction, the distance from one bid to the next highest bid. [Example: One diamond is one step above one club.]

step bid (or response)
a bid (or response) whose meaning derives from the number of steps it is above the previous bid

a squeeze in which an opponent is either forced on lead to provide a missing entry or threatened with the use of a blocked winner as an entry

(1) (slang) (adjective) unsupported by low cards. [stiff king = singleton king; queen-jack stiff = queen-jack doubleton]
(2) (slang) (noun) singleton
(3) (slang) (verb) discard protection from or all other cards in a suit except. [stiff the ace of clubs = discard all clubs other than the ace]

(1) an exclamation to inform the opponents of a special occurrence (such as a skip-bid warning)
(2) stopper

stop card
a card in a bidding box used to request that an opponent pause before making the next call

a holding that will (or is likely to, or might) prevent the opponents from immediately running a large number of tricks in a suit at notrump. (See also Double stopper and Triple stopper.)

a call that asks partner to bid notrump with a stopper in the opponents' suit

a bid that indicates a stopper (for notrump purposes) in the suit bid

one of the four suits or notrump; the non-numerical element of a bid; denomination

form of tournament in which entrants of different rank compete in different events, held simultaneously

valuation of a hand; honor cards

(1) remove an opponent's exit cards
(2) remove all cards of a suit in one's partnership's hands so that an opponent cannot lead that suit without conceding a ruff-and-discard

a squeeze in which one of the threats is against an exit card needed to avoid a throw-in. [Example: At notrump, if South cashes a winner to leave himself with ace-queen of spades and king of hearts, and West must discard from king-jack of spades and ace-queen of hearts, West is strip-squeezed.]

Striped-Tail Ape double
a double of a laydown contract intended to prevent the opponents from bidding higher

1. (of a call) indicating considerable values
2. (of the system description of as call) showing a higher valuation range than similar agreements about the same call [e.g.: a strong jump-overcall shows more than minimum-range opening-bid values as well as a powerful suit]

strong club
big club

strong notrump
a one-notrump opening to show a balanced hand above the minimum opening strength range (often 15-17 or 16-18 points)

strong pass
a pass prior to any bid to show the strength usually associated with an opening bid

strong two-bid
an opening of two of a suit to show a very powerful hand

(slang) part-score

(slang) duck; underplay one or more winners (usually used when the purpose is an attempt to rectify the count for a squeeze)

(1) (of a board) played to replace a board that cannot be completed or scored in the usual way
(2) (of a player) replacement
(3) (of a call) one replacing an illegal call

sucker double
a foolish penalty double based on inappropriate values (such as overall high-card strength when the opponents may have great ruffing power)

sucker play
a card-play tactic that depends for its success on a blunder by weak opposition

a suit overcall of one notrump to show length in either the next higher suit (where clubs is deemed to be above spades) or the other two unbid suits. (Sometimes used in conjunction with a two-noturmp overcall to show non-touching suits.) [Example: a Suction two-club overcall shows either diamonds or both majors.]

suicide squeeze
a squeeze in which the partner of the squeezee leads the squeeze card or its equivalent. [Not an entirely appropriate term.]

(1) one of the four divisions of the pack; spades, hearts, diamonds, or clubs
(2) with a trump suit, as opposed to notrump (as in "suit contract")

suit combination
a partnership's combined holding in one suit

suit distribution
number of cards in each suit

suit pip
the pictorial representation of a suit. ( is the symbol for clubs. is the symbol for diamonds. is the symbol for hearts. is the symbol for spades.)
suit-preference signal
a defensive signaling method in which encouragement, discouragement or preference is shown for a suit other than the one of the card played

suit symbol
see suit pip

(of a transfer) act at a higher level than the transfer suggested, in an encouraging way [such as one notrump -- two hearts (transfer to spades) -- three spades]

a win by such a large amount or extent that the winner gets maximum score and the loser a negative score that makes the total scores less than zero

a five-club bid to ask partner to show the number of aces held

supernegative card
an honor played to deny holding the next higher honor

(1) (noun) cards in a suit bid by partner
(2) (verb) raise

support double
(1) opener's double of an overcall to show three-card support for the suit of partner's response
(2) any double that shows a fit for partner's suit

support points
a valuation technique that combines high-card values with potential ruffing strength

support redouble
(1) opener's redouble of the double of a response to show three-card support for responder's suit
(2) any redouble that shows a fit for partner's suit

(slang) hand with 7-4-1-1 distribution

deceptive move

(1) (noun) the difference between the scores of two teams
(2) (noun) the difference between a score actually made and one that might have been made
(3) (verb) take chances in an attempt to create unusual or especially good results in an effort to make up lost ground
(4) (slang) (verb) play a round of (a suit)
(5) (slang) (noun) a round (of a suit). [Usage: Declarer pulled trumps in one swing.]

swing deal
a deal that provides a swing

(slang) followed by all passes. [Usage: four spades swish = four spades, pass, pass, pass.]

(1) a tournament movement in which teams with similar scores oppose one another
(2) a four-of-a-minor response to a major opening to show a strong supporting hand (has many variations)

(1) lead a different suit
(2) (as in "arrow switch," referring to the directional arrows used to show directions on table cards at tournaments) interchanging the directions of the pairs

Symmetric system
a relay system that emphasizes ease of recollection

a collection of interlocking partnership agreements about bidding, sometimes also incorporating agreements about defensive card play
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 • T • 

(1) (noun) a bridge game; the four players in such a game
(2) (noun) board; dummy (meaning 2)
(3) (noun) one of the units of activity in a tournament
(4) (verb) put down (dummy's cards)
(5) (verb) play (a card)

table card
a marker showing the players' geographical designations and the table's section and number (usually placed on each table of a duplicate bridge event)

table feel (also table presence)
drawing inferences from the behavior of the opponents (which is legal) or of partner (which is illegal), other than their calls and plays

table presence
awareness of opponents' behavior

(1) (noun) removal of the contract to a new strain
(2) (adjective) suggesting that partner bid

takeout double
a double that encourages a partner to bid (as opposed to a penalty double, which suggests that he pass)

(1) (slang) (verb) huddle; not act for a long time
(2) (slang) (noun) a state of intense concentration. [Usage: South went into the tank.]

(slang) force to ruff; pump; force

Tartan Two-Bids
multiple-meaning two-bids with these possibilities: two notrump, weak minor two-suiter; two spades, Acol-two with spades or weak with spades and another suit; two hearts, Acol-two with hearts or balanced 21-22 or weak with hearts and a minor

four players (occasionally more, as in team-of-six) competing as a unit; See: Team-of-four

a form of duplicate bridge in which players compete as a unit of four, one playing each of the four compass positions on each deal

player on the same team; sometimes, one of the players on one's team at the other table

telephone number
four-figure penalty

a player who replies to an asking-bid; asker's partner

(1) the time (in terms of tricks during the play) needed to take an action or to execute a plan
(2) the opportunity to lead at any point during the play
(3) the speed at which a player executes a call or play

delay taking definitive action; wait

a non-sequential holding, such as ace-queen or king-jack

ten implies
an opening lead convention in which the lead of a ten shows an interior sequence including the ace, king or queen

within or heading a ten-card holding. [Usage: ace-king-tenth = ten cards headed by the ace-king.]

four-level transfer responses to a notrump opening (four hearts = spades, four diamonds = hearts)

their deal
their hand

their hand
(slang) a deal on which "their side" can make a higher contract than ours

(1) (slang) (of a contract) bid on not quite adequate values
(2) (slang) (of a bid) made on slightly less than the normally required strength

within or heading a three-card holding. [Usage: jack-third = three cards headed by the jack = jack-tripleton = Jxx.]

third and fifth
an opening-lead method in which the third highest card is led from three or four cards, the fifth highest card from a longer suit

third from even, low from odd
an opening-lead method in which the third highest card is led from even length, the lowest card from odd length; part of (and the most distinctive feature of) Journalist leads against suit contracts

third hand
(1) the player third to have the opportunity to bid
(2) the player third to play to a trick

third hand high
a principle of card play from whist

third opponent
(slang) partner

third-round control
queen or doubleton

(slang) a card held when all other players have been exhausted of cards in its suit


three-quarter movement
a variant of the Howell movement. [also called New England Relay]

a hand with three suits of four or more cards, thus distributed 4-4-4-1 or 5-4-4-0

from the right

throw (or throw away)

throw-in play

(1) (slang) (noun) three notrump
(2) (slang) (verb) to contract for three notrump, especially with flimsy values

(1) (noun) card led to make use of an entry in the opposite hand
(2) see also speeding ticket

(1) (slang) high cards
(2) pick-up slips [see pick up (4)]

(1) (slang) conservative
(2) (slang) (of an honor or honor holding) not protected by low cards. [Usage: tight king = singleton king; queen-jack tight = doubleton queen-jack.]
(3) (slang) and nothing else [Usage: trump tight = having only trumps remaining.]

time out
(slang) (of an auction) following a particular timing (meaning 2)

(1) the order of play, or of planned activities during the play
(2) (slang) (of an auction) the following a particular order of activities

ten or nine

to (followed by a number)
in a suit of the specified length. [Usage: king to four = K x x x.]

a method for advancing three-notrump overcalls that relies on transfers

in matchpoint scoring, the highest possible score on one deal

top and bottom
(1) (adjective for bridge) relating to a style of strategy and/or tactics that usually results in a very good or very bad result on each deal
(2) (adjective for cue-bid) showing length in the highest and lowest unbid suits [Usage: East: one heart; South: two hearts. If North-South are using Top and Bottom Cue-Bids, two hearts shows spades and clubs.]

top of nothing
method of leading a relatively high spot card, often the highest, to show no honor in the suit

top trick
card that can win a trick immediately

total points
scoring a session by adding the raw (duplicate bridge) scores of individual deals; sometimes "aggregate scoring."

total tricks
the sum of the numbers of tricks that each side can take, double-dummy, in its longest trump fit

total trumps
the sum of the numbers of trumps of each side in its best combined fit

adjacent (usually in rank, as "touching cards," "touching honors" or "touching suits")

an organized competitive event; usually, a duplicate bridge event

tournament director

(slang) put down on the table. [Usage: Dummy tracked with six strong spades.]

tram tickets
(slang) poor cards

(slang) huddle

(1) (noun) a bid that shows length in a different suit
(2) (noun) a call that asks partner to make a certain call regardless of his holding; [In this usage, also called Puppet.]
(3) (verb) to use a transfer (meaning 1)
(4) (verb) to remove protection in a suit from one opponent and give it to the other
(5) (adjective) a squeeze involving a transfer (meaning 4)

transferable values
strength that is likely to be useful on either offense or defense, thus high cards in suits where the partnership is not known to have great combined length

trap pass
pass made with enough values to take other action

a score sheet that accompanies the board in a tournament

not occupying the same seat or seats throughout the current tournament movement

traveling score

board (definition 2)

a partnership's interpretaton of an action



a tournament that qualifies the successful contestants for a future event (usually, one of higher importance)

trial bid
game-try (occasionally used also for slam-try)

a collection of four cards, one contributed by each player at the table

trick score
the score awarded for tricks bid and made; points counting towards game

(1) of a squeeze: against (only) one opponent and extending over three suits
(2) of a jump bid, two levels above the cheapest jump in the same strain (e.g., one heart -- four spades)

triple four by one
4-4-4-1 distribution

triple raise
double-jump raise. [Example: one spade-four spades.]

triple squeeze
a squeeze against one opponent among three suits

triple stopper
a holding that will (or is likely to, or might) prevent the opponents from running a large number of tricks in a suit at notrump even after they lead that suit three times

a holding of three cards in a suit

(1) (noun) a card that ranks above all cards of all other suits
(2) (verb) to play such a card after the lead of another suit

trump-ask (or trump asking-bid)
a call (usually a bid) that asks partner to raise the bidding level with stronger trumps than already promised or that asks partner to delineate the trumps held with a step reply

trump control
enough trumps to prevent the opponents from cashing side-suit winners

trump coup
coup (meaning 2)

trump echo
high-low in trumps, traditionally used indicate interest in a ruff, now often used merely to give count (usually an odd number)

trump promotion
an increase in the number of trump tricks available to one side through overruff or uppercut

trump squeeze
a squeeze in which the ability to ruff in a menace suit after the squeeze is consummated is essential

trump suit
a suit, determined in the bidding, whose cards rank above all cards of all other suits

a variant of key-card Blackwood in which the asking bid is four of the agreed minor suit [same as Minorwood]

a defense against big-club openings based on low-level suit bids showing the suit bid and the next highest suit

During a control-bidding sequence, using four notrump to show an even number of key cards, a higher non-signoff control-bid to show an odd number of key cards. (See also Kickback Turbo.)

(slang) weak player

place in the rotation during the bidding phase or the play to a trick

within or heading a twelve-card holding. [Usage: ace-queen-twelfth = AQJ1098765432]

(slang) secondary suit, usually of only four cards

two-club system
a bidding method based on a strong, artificial two-club opening

Two-notrump-family opening
A bid of two notrump by opener, either as a first or, if preceded by artificial or possibly-artificial bids, a subsequent bid, that announces a balanced (or, perhaps, near-balanced) hand with a certain strength range. [For example, in Bridge World Standard, the two-notrump-family openings are (1) a two-notrump opening bid, (2) a two-notrump rebid by a two-club opener following a two-diamond response, and (3) a two-notrump rerebid by a two-club opener in the sequence two clubs -- two diamonds -- two hearts (Birthright) -- two spades (relay) -- two notrump.]

two-over-one response
a response in a lower-ranking suit than that bid by opener, which must therefore be made at the two-level to be legal

a hand with two suits of four or more cards, but usually not applied to 4-4-3-2 distribution

(describing a call) having more than one fundamental meaning

two-way finesse
a situation in which it is possible to hope that either opponent holds a missing card. [If dummy has ace-jack-deuce and declarer has king-ten-three, declarer has a two-way finesse against the missing queen.]

two-way Stayman
two clubs as nonforcing Stayman combined with two diamonds as forcing (usually game-forcing) Stayman
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 • U • 

ugly duckling
See Duckling

UMJOODO (Unusual Major Jump Over One-Diamond Opening)
Jump responses of two of a major suit after a one-diamond opening to indicate five spades, four (or perhaps five) hearts, and either minimum-response values (two hearts) or game-invitational strength (two spades)

UMJOOMO (Unusual Major Jump Over One-of-a-Minor Opening)
Jump responses of two of a major suit after a minor-suit opening to indicate five spades, four (or perhaps five) hearts, and either minimum-response values (two hearts) or game-invitational strength (two spades)

unassuming cue-bid
advancer's cue-bid to show a strong raise of overcaller's suit, but not necessarily the values to force to game

unauthorized information
knowledge that a player is not entitled to use (as, for example, that obtained through partner's uneven tempo)

unbalanced diamond
one-diamond opening bid indicating an unbalanced hand

unbalanced distribution
a distribution that includes a void, a singleton, or two doubletons; any distribution other than 4-3-3-3, 4-4-3-2 or 5-3-3-2

unbalanced hand
a hand with unbalanced distribution

unbalanced majors
one-of-a-major opening bid indicating an unbalanced hand

unbid suit
a suit that has not been named, or indicated, in the bidding

(slang) unbid suits

play or discard a high card that is preventing the run of a suit

(applies to players during the auction and to cards) to the right of; in front of

(1) bid less than one's cards warrant
(2) bid less than can be made

one who often underbids

lead a card that does not rank equally with the highest card held in the suit

to ruff with a trump lower than one already played to the same trick

under the gun
(slang) in a position where action is dangerous because of an unknown quantity behind

partnership knowledge that does not qualify as an agreement (see agreement)

trick that declarer fails to make, thus failing in his contract


See: Vulnerability conditions

unfinished rubber
a rubber stopped before either side has scored two games

discard accompanying, protecting low cards

not accompanied by another card in the same suit, or accompanied by insufficient cards in the suit to prevent its being captured by higher enemy cards

(of a call) with no specified upper strength requirement below the maximum possible

Unlucky Expert
a character of S. J. Simon's marked by superb technical skill but an inability to consider the possibility of imperfections in others; hence, any player with those attributes

(of a partnership) consisting of two players of the same sex

not having passed before the first bid

unpenalty double
a slam double showing zero defensive tricks

(1) (of a contract) noticeably inferior or worse
(2) (of an agreement or system) leading to inferior results in an obvious or dramatic way

not seeded; seeded lower than the current opponent

(1) (of a suit) not raised by partner
(2) (of an honor) not accompanied by the next lower-ranking card
(3) (of an honor) unguarded

unusual notrump
an artificial notrump bid to show distribution (often a minor two-suiter)

unusual over unusual
a countermeasure against unusual notrump overcalls. [Example: After a two-notrump overcall of one spade, a popular method is three clubs = heart length, strong hand; three diamonds = spade support, strong hand; three hearts = heart length, moderate hand; three spades = spade support, moderate hand.]

(1) ahead
(2) (as a verbal instruction to dummy) high

ruff in an attempt to force out an opponent's higher trump (usually with a mind to promoting a trump trick for partner)

opposite in meaning to the natural, usual or traditional (such as upside-down count signals, where a high card indicates odd parity instead of the traditional evewn parity); sometimes phrased as "inverted"

up the line
(1) describing bidding the cheapest of equivalent features; [Responding one heart to a one-diamond opening with four cards in each major is bidding up the line.]
(2) describing playing the lowest of available cards

up to
(1) (preposition with the object "hand") from the left of
(2) (preposition with the object a particular card or cards) from across the table toward

United States Bridge Federation

Useful space principle
a partnership's assigning meanings to actions so that the remaining bidding space matches the needs of the auction

Utility one-notrump response
a response of one notrump to a one-bid to show a weak hand, possibly including length in a suit that could have been bid at the one-level
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 • V • 


strength (as in "offensive values" or "defensive values")

Vanderbilt club system
an early big-club system

Vanderbilt Cup
one of the major American national team championships, a knockout event

variable notrump
split notrump

Venice Cup
the women's world team championship

agree the score on a deal, session or match

See "vise."

victory points
a scoring system for multiple team contests in which the actual score of each match is converted according to a standard scale

Vienna coup
the cashing of one or more winners to avoid blockage in a squeeze position

(slang) decision about what action to take or the layout of a deal

virtual cue-bid
a bid in a suit that an opponent has suggested artificially. [Example: one notrump -- pass -- two hearts, transfer to spades -- two spades, virtual cue-bid]

vise (also vice)
a squeeze in which the squeezer applies pressure against one opponent's suit holding of two or more cards that rank between two particular cards held by the squeezer's side, and the higher-ranking of those two particular cards is not the master card (or equivalent to the master card) of the suit. [Example: In a certain suit, West holds the guarded ace, South the king-ten, East the queen-jack. If East is squeezed out of one of his honors, the squeeze is a vise.]

a holding of zero cards in a suit

Exclusion Blackwood

Vondracek phenomenon
The occasional deal on which the weaker of two (or the weakest of three) identically distributed potential trump suits offers the superior contract. Named for Felix Vondracek (VON-druh-check), who wrote an article about the possibility. Example:

A K Q J 10
A K 7 6 5
A K 5
4 3 2
4 3 2
4 3 2
5 4 3 2
East-West can make six hearts if hearts break three-two, but except for weak defense there is no play for six spades.

abbreviation for victory points

a method of displaying bridge to an audience

having scored one game

statement of which side, if any, is vulnerable

vulnerability conditions
   (slang) amber (U.K.) = both sides vulnerable
   (slang) equal = neither side vulnerable or both sides vulnerable
   (slang) favorable = nonvulnerable against vulnerable opponents
   (slang) green (U.K.) = nonvulnerable against vulnerable opponents
   (slang) horse and horse = both sides vulnerable
   (slang) hot = vulnerable
   (slang) hot versus not = vulnerable against nonvulnerable opponents
   (slang) red (U.K.) = vulnerable against nonvulnerable opponents
   (slang) red (U.S.) = vulnerable
   (slang) red against red (U.S.) = both sides vulnerable
   (slang) red against white (U.S.) = vulnerable against nonvulnerable opponents
   (slang) unfavorable = vulnerable against nonvulnerable opponents
   (slang) white (U.S.) = nonvulnerable
   (slang) white (U.K.) = neither side vulnerable
   (slang) white against red (U.S.) = nonvulnerable against vulnerable opponents
   (slang) white against white (U.S.) = neither side vulnerable
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 • W • 

Wagner two diamonds
a two-diamond opening to show the values for a weak two-bid in spades, or in hearts, or with at least five-five in the majors (but not with a four-card major)

nondescriptive; (of a call) made because any other action would be misdescriptive

not enforce (a penalty)

(verb) (slang) bid gradually or incrementally rather than all at once or with a jump

walk the dog
(slang) walk during the auction

type of board (2)

a bidding system based on Eastern Scientific (sometimes called Western Scientific) that includes many limited actions and special methods (in particular, in response to a one-club opening, bypasssing diamonds to bid a major with less than game-force strength)

wash (or washout)
(slang) in team-of-four play, a deal with no net score; push

wasted values
potentially-useful assets that is not helpful in the current context (such as a king or queen opposite a singleton for suit play)

World Bridge Federation

(1) lacking strength
(2) preemptive

weak jump-overcall
a jump overcall used as a preemptive bid

weak jump-shift
a single jump response in a new suit used as a preemptive bid

weak notrump
a one-notrump opening to show a balanced hand with minimum-range opening strength

weak two-bid
an opening two-bid used to show a long suit and values below those for an opening one-bid

a pairs movement

a defense against preempts: double with at least two cards in opener's suit in a balanced or near-balanced hand, cheapest minor-suit bid for takeout

one of the compass points; one of the four players (usually on declarer's left) in the standard diagram

Western cue-bid
California cue-bid

Western Scientific
See Walsh

(slang) double (for penalties)

(noun) three (or, rarely, more) players arranging among themselves to field one pair (usually as one of the two pairs competing as a team).
where I live
See live (2)

where one lives
See live (2)

one of the forerunners of bridge

See: Vulnerability conditions

white against red
See: Vulnerability conditions

white against white
See: Vulnerability conditions

described through total number rather than specific identity. [Example: showing a total of two kings, rather than which ones they are, would be "showing kings wholesale."]

wide open
(1) lacking a stopper
(2) lacking a control

a squeeze or other endplay that takes advantage of the opponents' inability to overcome a blocked position

high card; card that can or will take a trick

(slang) illegal advance information about a deal

wish trick
a trick that includes the five, four, three and deuce of the same suit

Wolff signoff
after opener's jump to two notrump, a three-club rebid by responder asking opener to bid three diamonds (some allow support for responder's suit), after which a rebid of responder's original suit is weak

an antipodean squeeze in which the squeezed opponent is subject to either a required unblock or a secondary squeeze

wonder bid
a bid that shows either length in the suit bid or shortness in the suit bid and length in the other three

over an opposing one-notrump opening, double to show a four-card major and a longer minor, two clubs to show majors, two diamonds to show some major-suit one-suiter, two of a major to show the bid suit and length in an unspecified minor suit, two notrump toshow minors, and three of a suit as natural

work count
the 4-3-2-1 pointcount

working card
card of potental value to the partnership in its intended strain

World Bridge Federation
the organizing body for international bridge

attempt to find an alternative contract (often after having been doubled)

wrong side
(noun) less favorable placement of declarer (compared to the opposite side of the table partner)

(verb) (slang) to place the declarer on the unfavorable side (usually because it places a particular opponent on lead)

acronym for What's The Problem?
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 • X • 

(1) (usually lower case) low card; card lacking trick-taking potential or other importance
(2) (usually upper case) abbreviation for "double" in bidding diagrams or the naming of contracts. [Usage: 1 NT X = one notrump doubled.]
(3) (on a matchpoint recap sheet) one-half

(usually upper case) abbreviation for "redouble" in bidding diagrams or the naming of contracts. [Usage: 1 NT XX = one notrump redoubled.]

In a partnership auction, after three suit bids at the one-level: (a) a rebid of two clubs by responder as a marionette to two diamonds (opener temporarily acts as though responder would pass two diamonds), after which responder may pass or make a game-invitational bid in any strain; (b) a rebid of two diamonds by responder as an artificial game-force; (c) a rebid of three clubs by responder as weak
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 • Y • 

(1) a hand containing no honor card
(2) (slang) a weak or relatively weak hand

Yellow Card
See: Standard American Yellow Card
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 • Z • 

the lowest possible score on a deal in a matchpoint contest

zero or two higher
descriptive of a lead (usually the ten or nine) that shows either the top of a non-interior sequence or the third highest of an interior sequence

(slang) nothing, or nothing of value (in a particular suit or a hand)

a reply to an asking-bid that combines an answer to the explicit question with an answer to a potential follow-up question [For example, in the Bridge World Standard partnership sequence one spade -- four notrump (key-card-ask for spades) -- five diamonds (1 or 4 key cards) -- five hearts (spade-queen-ask) -- ?, if lacking the spade queen, opener bids five spades; holding the spade queen, opener can bid five notrump with no plain-suit king, six clubs with the king of clubs, and so forth, as if responder had made a specific-king-ask.]
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Suit distributions in text
A group of 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. A group of four numbers separated by hyphens (-) denotes any of the exact distributions matching that general pattern. For example: 4-3-3-3 represents: 4=3=3=3 or 3=4=3=3 or 3=3=4=3 or 3=3=3=4
Similarly, a break described as three=one (or 3=1) denotes three cards on the left and one on the right; one=three (or 1=3) denotes one card on the left and three on the right; three-one represents three=one or one=three
a scheme of replying to a key-card-ask where the first step shows 1 or 4 keys, the second step 0 or 3

a scheme of replying to a key-card-ask where the first step shows 0 or 3 keys, the second step 1 or 4
4 C's points
see Four C's points

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Our bridge dictionary includes definitions of both technical terms and "bridge slang"; the latter is designated as such

Material set off in brackets [...] forms an illustrative example; it is not part of the definition

Four numbers separated by equal signs (e.g., 5=4=3=1) denotes an exact suit distribution (in the example: five spades, four hearts, three diamonds and one club)

Four numbers separated by hyphens (e.g., 4-3-3-3) denotes any of the exact distributions conforming to that general pattern (thus 4-3-3-3 represents any hand with one four-card suit and three three-card suits, in other words these four exact distributions: 4=3=3=3, 3=4=3=3, 3=3=4=3, 3=3=3=4)

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