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Slam Bidding In Bridge

January 06, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 178

There are two types of slam in bridge - a small and grand. Winning a small slam means that you bid for and win 12 out of the 13 available tricks in a round.

Winning a grand slam means that you bid for and win all of the 13 tricks.

Why Bid For One? When I first started learning to play bridge I wondered why anyone would take the risk of bidding for a slam. It seemed easier to bid up to the four or five level and be certain that I could make ten or eleven tricks. I found it hard to understand why I would want to take the risk of bidding to the six or seven level and possibly failing to achieve the contract.

The answer is points. If you are playing in a club or competition then you will be playing competitively. Even if you say you don't mind where you finish, we all secretly like to finish as high up in the results as possible! If you find your partnership in the fortunate position of holding most of the points, it's hard to resist bidding to the maximum level possible.

If you bid for and win a small or grand slam you will win a greater number of points. Of course, if fail to achieve it your opponents will gain a greater number of points.

Points ScoredA small slam will score an extra 500 point bonus (or 750 if vulnerable)

A grand slam will score an extra 1000 point bonus (or 1500 if vulnerable)

These bonuses are in addition to the regular game bonus. I'm sure you can see the points advantage of bidding to the six or seven level if you feel that you have the card and point strength to win enough tricks.

How Many Points Are Needed?

You need to know that you and your partner have enough points to justify the risk.

Small Slam (12 tricks) in a suit contract 31+

Small Slam in No Trumps 33+

Grand Slam (13 tricks) in a suit contract 35+

Grand Slam in No Trumps 37+

Do you have enough Aces and Kings?

There are 40 points available in total. It is possible to hold enough points for small slam (up to 34 points) but be missing two aces. If you are in this situation you risk losing two tricks, thus failing to make your small slam.

To help you decide whether you and your partner have enough aces and kings there are two main conventions that can be used - Blackwood and Gerber.

Now that you know the basic theory behind slam bidding you will want a chance to practice. Click here to start practising today.

Source: EzineArticles
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