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Auction bridge

Auction Bridge
Origin England
Type Trick-taking
Players 3-4
Skills required Tactics and Strategy
Cards 52-card
Deck Anglo-American
Play Clockwise
Card rank (highest to lowest) A K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
Playing time 25 min.
Random chance Low to Moderate
Related games
Whist, Contract Bridge

The card game auction bridge, the third step in the evolution of the general game of bridge, was developed from straight bridge (i.e. bridge whist) in 1904. The precursor to contract bridge, its predecessors were whist and bridge whist.

The main difference between auction bridge and contract bridge is that in auction bridge a game is scored whenever the required number of tricks (nine in Notrump, ten in Hearts or Spades, eleven in Clubs or Diamonds) is scored, and in contract bridge the number of points from tricks taken past the bid do not count towards making a game. Because of this, accurate bidding becomes much more important in contract bridge: partners have to use the bidding to tell each other what their suits and strengths are, so a judgement can be made as to what the chances are of making a game.


It is not certain to whom auction bridge should be credited. A letter in The Times (London), January 16, 1905, signed by Oswald Crawford, describes auction bridge as first played in 1904, while a book by "John Doe" (F. Roe), published in Alláhábád, India, in 1889, puts forward auction bridge as an invention of three members of the Indian Civil Service stationed at an isolated community, designed a three-handed form of bridge to compensate the lack of a fourth player. Their key contribution was the concept of competitive bidding for the declaration.


The bidding, play and laws are the same as contract bridge.


Auction bridge is scored according to the following rules.

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