Use of Bridge Points
After going through Bridge's 4-3-2-1 point system, you will probably ask, "So what now with the points? Of what use are they?"
That is just what is going to be explained here.
Whenever one calls for a bet one says something about the number of points one's hand is valued. Your partner also does the same. If one uses a good bidding system the exchange of information helps pull out a good contact for most sets of cards.
Remember the system evaluates the worth of one's card? Here is a recap for those who might have forgotten. In this point system high cards such as aces, kings, queens and face cards are assigned a certain value same as with short suits.
For high cards, the highest point of four is given to the aces, three for kings, two for queens and lastly one for jacks. Now for the short suits, a void suit gets three points, a singleton for two points and each doubleton for a point.
Back to when partners communicate secretly the value of their hand. A total of 26 points from major suits and no trump are needed to win the game. For a hand of minor suits, 29 points are necessary. It is 33 points for a small slam and 37 points for a grand slam.
There is no guarantee however that one can always make a game at a major suit or at no-trump when the partnership count comes to 26 points. It does mean that one almost always have a reasonable play for game. If there is no fit at a major suit and if no-trump is out of question, one probably cannot make a game with only 26 points
Such is the same with the figures for small and grand slam. With the right partnership total, one should have a reasonable play for one's slam.
The key number are not also stiff, they are quite stretchable and reducible. One needs 26 points for a game but one will often get by 25 points or even just 24 points. But no stretching further than 2 point for it might snap back.
For the whole deck of cards, there are only a total of 40 points. If partners get 26 points then opponents only has 14. Most likely one's partnership will win the game. They are not able make nothing very much, cards swing in one's favor. If the partnership points are at 20, it is anybody's hand.
This could even be clearer when one's side has enough points for a slam. There is little if not very little left for the opponents.
When the hand is in one's side, don't let opponents get away with a foolish bid. For such carelessness try doubling for penalties. If it is the other way around, don't wander out beyond one's depth for it will be one who gets the punishment doubled.