The ABA MiniBridge Initiative

Enjoy The Trick Taking Game Of MiniBridge


The ABA Minibridge Initiative is a strategy for getting bridge players by playing Minibridge first. It has been proven that bridge players who go this route grasp bridge faster. The ABA will put forth an intensive effort to identify spades, whist players willing to play minibridge. What is Minibridge? Minibridge is a simplified form of bridge. A competent Minibridge player is more than halfway to becoming a competent bridge player. It is a simplified form of bridge which is c ompetitive, stimulating and fun. It can be quickly learned and enjoyed by everyone. There is no auction, so the complicated bidding and bidding conventions to learn. When it comes to play, everything is almost exactly as in bridge. A minibridge player can learn how to make declarer and defender plans and counting your points. Target minibridge allows a player to become familiar with how many combined points are necessary to bid at a specific level .

If you are a bridge player, you are a minibridge teacher. No certification is necessary. All you have to do is locate potential players. If they play whist, spades or pinochle, they can learn minibridge in ten minutes. You can find them in your family, inner circ le of friends, fraternity or sorority, church, lodge, workplace, reunions, senior citizens centers or recreation centers, PTA and other community groups. The pamphlets will explain the game to them .

Put your contact information on the back before printin g them out. They can be mailed, emailed, passed out or displayed in places of interest. Thanks to Freddie Jones and Bill Turner for helping with this information.

Ask your bridge club to invite them to play minibridge during their club games if spa ce is available. You will know who is ready to start learning the bidding. Some will take classes (the recommended route) other will utilize online bridge learning sites. The ones learning bridge online should have some type of supervised play experience.



MiniBridge is a game in its own right, which was actually originally developed in Holland. It is a simplified form of bridge which is still competitive, stimulating and fun, but can be quickly learned and enjoyed by everyone. It is particularly good as a family game, though, suitable for adults and children of any age so long as they can count up to 40! There is no auction in MiniBridge, so the good news is that there are no complicated bidding conventions to learn. When it comes to play, everything is almost exactly as in bridge. Anyone can understand the mechanics of card play in a few moments, so can get involved right away in the game. Card playing skills are built up over time, but that’s part of the enjoyment of mastering any new game. A bonus is that anyone becoming a competent MiniBridge player is more than halfway to becoming a competent bridge player.

  1. Shuffle and deal: The pack should be shuffled (randomly mixed) and cut for dealer (highest deals). Dealer deals out the cards clockwise one by one to the players, so that they have 13 cards each. Dealer for the second game will be the next player clockwise and so on. Please note that many teachers will provide you with pre-dealt hands in bridge boards.
  2. Sorting the hand: The players sort the cards in their own hand into suits and into sequence within each suit, without showing the cards to the other players. Players alternate red and black suits.
  3. Counting pointsThe value of the hand is worked out by counting up the high card points held, using the following scale: Ace = 4 Points King = 3 Points Queen = 2 Points Jacks = 1 Points Note that there are 40 points altogether between the four hands in each deal.
  4. Announcing points: Beginning with the dealer, and then in clockwise order, each player announces how many points his or her hand contains. The partnership with the most points becomes the declaring side who decide the contract. The other pair is the defending side, who try to prevent the contract being made by making tricks themselves. There is a re-deal if the point distribution between the partnerships turns out to be 20/20.
  5. The declaring side: The player with the higher number of points in the declaring side becomes ‘declarer’, and his partner becomes ‘dummy’. If they both have the same number of points, the player who announced points first is declarer. Dummy then lays his or her hand down face up on the table to face declarer, with the suits arranged in columns.
  6. Deciding the contract:  Declarer may choose no trumps or a trump suit. When choosing a trump, try to name a suit that is a fit. A fit is at least eight cards in a suit between the partnership. If declarer chooses a trump contract, the cards in dummy in the chosen suit are moved to be on the dummy’s right hand side (the left hand end as declarer looks at them). Combined points of partnership Contract 21 Points must make one (7 tricks) 22 -23 Points must make two (8 tricks) 24 -25 Points must make three (9 tricks) 26-28 Points must make four (10 tricks) 29 -32 Points must make five ((11 tricks) 33-36 Points must make six (12 tricks) 37+ Points must make seven (13 tricks) Targets Settings
  7. Play begins The player on declarer’s left plays the first card face down, i.e. makes the ‘opening lead’. Play is in clockwise order and players must follow to the suit led whenever possible. The highest card played wins the trick (unless, in a suit contract, it is beaten by a trump, since trumps outrank the other three suits). If several rounds of a suit are played and a player runs out of cards in that suit, he or she may discard a card from another suit, or in a trump contract can choose to play a trump (which will win the trick unless it is beaten by a higher trump).
  8. Taking tricks Each card is played face up in front of each player in such a way that everyone can see the cards clearly. When a trick is complete, the cards are turned ove, players placing the ‘quitted’ cards from their own hands face down on the table in front of themselves in a neat row. To make it easy to see how many tricks have been won or lost, cards in tricks won are placed upright, and cards in tricks lost are placed sideways on. The winner of the first trick leads to the second and so on.
  9. Dummy play Declarer controls the play of dummy’s cards, telling partner which card to play when it’s dummy’s turn. Declarer’s partner must always play dummy’s cards as instructed, and must keep the cards already played from dummy in correct order and formation. Otherwise dummy takes no part in the play of this particular deal.
  10. Play ends When all the cards have been played, the tricks for each side are counted and agreed, and the result is calculated and scored. Players record their score on a score sheet. The session can end when an agreed target total has been reached by one side, or after a set number of deals have been played.
  11. The next deal The position of dealer moves clockwise round the table for each game.p>
  • Pick a trump that you and your partner have the most cards in suit. A fit is at least 8 cards between partnerships or three more than opponents. If you both have balanced hands, try a notrump.
  • Remember the point count each player has in his/her hand. This information will be helpful to you when playing a hand as declarer or opponent. Before the lead is made, you can request a review.
  • The declarer should count sure tricks and make a plan how to make the tricks needed to make your target.
  • When a card is led and you are in the second position, play low and play high (looking at dummy) in third position.
  • Remember your partner wants his/her lead back unless you have something better.
  • A high spot card played on partner’s lead asks partner to continue that suit. A low spot card asks partner not to continue that suit. .

 Trick -Book
 Declarer – The player of the hand  Defenders – The partnership not playing the hand.  Dummy – The hand up and Declarer’s partner
 Revoke – Renege
 Ruff – Cut  Honor Cards –Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and Ten
 Spot Cards- below a ten  HCP – High Card Points


First you choose the suit and then the appropriate card in the suit.
Choices of suit:

 partner’s suit
 Otherwise, lead the longest suit
 With a choice of suits, lead the strongest

Choices of card Partner’s suit

 The top of a doubleton ( 8 5)
 With no sequence, lead low Longest suit:
 Lead the top of touching honors from a sequence.
 Top of a solid sequence (KQJxx)
 Top of a broken sequence (J1086)
 Top of an interior sequence (AJ102)
 with no sequence lead 4th highest (KJ964)


First you choose the suit and then the appropriate card in the suit.

Choices of suit

 partner’s suit
 An unbid suit
 A singleton or doubleton
 A trump Choice of Card
 Lead the top of a doubleton (85)
 Top of touching honors (KQ62)
 4th best J976or low from 3 cards


Don’t play a single card until you have planned how you will make your contract! The plan will influence decisions you will have to make during theplay, for example knowing when to delay drawing trumps, instead of drawing them all at thebeginning

STEP1. Know howmany tricksyou need to makeyour contract!\ 
STEP2. Count your sure tricks (Tricks you can turn without the opponents getting in.)
STEP3.Count losers tricks in the other three suits.
STEP4.Plan how to get rid of losers

 Finesse
 Discarding and ruffing (cutting) losers with the short trump suit hand usually dummy.
 Establishing long suits after trumps are drawn
 Consider the order of getting rid of losers.

Don’t Forget To Count. Down The Missing Trumps As They Are Played.


Use STEPS 1 and 2 above. STEP 3. Count your winners. STEP 4. Plan how to create winner.  Promotion  Length  Finesse Consider the order of creating winners. Make Score 1 100 2 200 3 300 4 400 5 500 6 600 7 700 Scoring MiniBridge If the target is not met, then the declaring side scores nothing and the opponents score points instead. For each trick Down is 100 for defender.Choosing the best contract is therefore a critical part of the game which needs skill and judgment.

Play minibridge online at: Play and learn bridge online

Daisy B. Smith 301- 437-8176 Fax: 301-879-1908