Bridge Scoring Explained (because, you oughta know)
Author: Larry Cohen
Date of publish: 07/14/2018
Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Before the advent of computers in bridge, it was more common to learn/understand bridge scoring. Now with so much online bridge (or only online bridge during a pandemic) even fewer people learn it.
As a result, this topic is often glossed over as newbies learn the game. The computer (or "Bridgemates") do all the work.
However, a basic understanding of scoring is important to the strategy of bidding.
Sure, most readers of this article know that there is a bonus for game or slam. But, understanding how much successful contracts pay, and equally important, how much failing contracts cost, is crucial.
Especially at Matchpoints/Duplicate, it is a big deal to be -100 if everyone else with your cards is -110. It is a big deal to be +140 if everyone else with your cards is +120 or +100. It is a top board if you are -300 and everyone else your way is -420.
The vulnerability plays a huge part in all of this. Almost all strategy decisions (when both sides are in the auction) need to be based on who is vulnerable (RED).
I know this isn't the most exciting topic, but it is worth learning the basics.
Let's break the scoring down into 3 mini-lessons for your study.
1) Penalty for being defeated (undoubled)
2) Score for making contracts (undoubled)
3) Doubled and redoubled contracts
Updated: July 2020