Bridgette was invented by Joli Quentin Kansil who was the protege of Albert H. Morehead, the first Bridge editor of The New York Times. It is the only two-hand Bridge game that has been endorsed by many Bridge experts, and it has had a wide following since its introduction in 1970.
Two people can play.
In addition to the standard 52 cards, there are three extra cards called ''Colons.'' With the standard pack, the colon cards can be made by using two jokers and the display card that is often included with the deck. The more ornate joker serves as the "Grand Colon," the second joker as the "Royal Colon," and the display card as the "Little Colon." An indelible felt pen can be used to ink in colon designs on the three extra cards as follows: All of the colons are designed with two circles placed vertically, similar to the colon used in punctuation. The Grand Colon has both circles filled in plus an "A" in the center; the Royal Colon has one circle filled in and the other open (like a ring) plus "JQK" in the center; the Little Colon has both circles open plus "2 - 10" in the center.
As in Contract Bridge. The colons have no actual rank, but each matches with one of three "groups" of cards in the pack: Aces (A) and the Grand Colon Face Cards (J,Q,K) and the Royal Colon Spot Cards (2 - 10) and the Little Colon
The turn to deal alternates. Each player picks a card from the pack spread face down on the table. The highest card deals first. If the cards are of equal rank, the rank of suits decides. If a colon is drawn, another card must be picked.
The dealer shuffles the cards thoroughly, and the receiver cuts. The dealer then completes the cut and deals 13 cards one at a time, face down, to each player, beginning with the opponent. The rest of the pack forms the stock, and it is placed face down on one side of the table, closest to the dealer who turns over the top card and places it next to the stock. This card is called the "upcard."
The players now pick up their cards and arrange them by suits. A colon may be placed in between any two suits or at either end of the hand.
Before the bidding begins, the dealer and receiver improve their original holdings by receiving extra cards which they can use to stack their hands offensively or defensively. The receiver is always given two cards first, face down, from the dealer. The upcard determines the number of extra cards that the dealer receives: Spot card or Little Colon - four cards; Face card or Royal Colon - eight cards; Ace or Grand Colon - 12 cards. For example: If the jack of diamonds is the upcard, the dealer gives two cards to the receiver before taking eight cards.
When the players take up their exchange cards, they should arrange them with their original 13 cards. The same number of cards are then discarded so that the players' hands are back to 13 cards before the bidding starts. The exchange discards are placed face down off to the side near the stock. After the exchange, each player should verify that his hand contains exactly 13 cards.
Before a player looks at his cards for his exchange, he has the option of taking the upcard into his hand by placing down the matching colon (capturing). Such a play has no effect on the number of cards the players exchange.
The turn to bid alternates. The dealer bids first and is required to open the bidding. His lowest possible bid is Zero Notrump. A contract to take six tricks, Zero Notrump ranks just below a bid of One Club and is the only exception to bidding for fewer than half the tricks.
One player may continue to bid even if the opponent passes, for the auction proceeds until the last bid has been followed by two consecutive passes. After a double, however, the bidding ends if it is followed by a pass. After a redouble, the auction ends immediately.
To bid a suit, the player must have at least two cards of that suit; and if a player makes a "jump bid" (a bid higher than necessary to raise the previous bid), he must have at least four cards of that suit. For a bid in notrump, the player may not have any void suits; that is, there must be at least one card in every suit.
After the bidding ends, the declarer, not the defender, makes the opening lead by playing any card, and the defender then plays a card. The winner of the trick leads to the next trick, and play continues until all 13 tricks have been played.
To make the hand go more quickly, the cards to each trick are not played to the middle of the table. Instead, the players play the cards in front of themselves (either holding the card or placing it on the table), and a card that wins a trick is placed face down to the player's left. The one that loses is placed face down to the player's right. A second advantage of this method is that both players' hands can be reassembled after the play for discussion or to see if any bidding requirements or other rules were violated.
The three colons act mainly as defensive cards and add a very important element of skill to the play. Instead of following suit, a player may play the matching colon, that is, the colon from the same group as the card led. Played this way, the colon loses the trick, but it bars the opponent from leading the same suit on the next trick. That is, the opponent, on the next trick only, must lead a different suit (or one of the two other colons).
A player may discard the Grand Colon if the ace of hearts is led, whether or not the player has any hearts. For the next trick only, the other player may not lead a heart. (Of course, if the opponent has only hearts left, the colon play has no effect.) A player may discard one of the two non-matching colons only when the player has no cards in the suit led, and this play has no effect on the lead to the next trick. For example, if the queen of clubs is led and the other player discards either the non-matching Little Colon or Grand Colon, the opponent may continue leading clubs.
While a colon played to a lead always loses the trick, when a colon is led, it can win the trick. When a player leads a colon, the opponent may play any card. If the card is from the same group as the colon led (a matching card) or is any trump, the colon loses the trick; but if the player plays any non-matching card, including either of the other two colons, the colon led wins. A good time to lead a colon is on the last trick. If, for example, a player leads the Little Colon at Trick 13, and the opponent's last card is an ace or king, the Little Colon wins.
The score sheet is the same as for Contract Bridge, but instead of "WE" and "THEY," the players' actual names are written at the top of the respective columns. The scoring itself is the same except for these important differences: 1. Zero Notrump bid and made scores 10 points below the line with 30 above for each overtrick. (One Notrump is still 40: 10+30, etc.) 2. No points are awarded for holding honors. 3. The bonus for making a doubled contract is 100 points, and for making a redoubled contract, 250 points. 4. Five Notrump bid and made scores a "sub slam" bonus of 1000 points; Six Notrump scores 1300 points; Seven Notrump scores 1600 points; a small slam in a suit scores 900 points; a grand slam in a suit scores 1500 points. These bonuses are the same whether not vulnerable or vulnerable.
Six-Deal ScoringBecause beginners often find scoring for regular Bridge difficult, a simpler alternative scoring has been designed for Bridgette. This system also appeals to experienced players who want to play a quick match when time is limited, or who wish to play a lively game for a stake.
The score sheet has no center line, as part scores are not carried over to the next hand, and there is no vulnerability feature either. Six horizontal lines, one for the result of each deal, are drawn and there are two columns, one for each player. After each deal, one of the players will earn points, and the scorer writes the correct score in that player's column.
Offensive score (earned by declarer for making the bid) BIT-SCORE: 0NT, 1♣, 1♦, 1♥, 1♠ 150 PART-SCORE: 1NT, 2♣, 2♦, 2♥, 2♠, 2NT, 3♣, 3♦, 3♥, 3♠, 4♣, 4♦ 250 GAME-SCORE: 3NT, 4♥, 4♠, 4NT, 5♣, 5♦, 5♥, 5♠ 750 SLAM-SCORE: Small Slam: 5NT, 6♣, 6♦, 6♥, 6♠ 1,500 Grand Slam: 6NT, 7♣, 7♦, 7♥, 7♠ 2,200 Super Slam: 7NT 2,500 EXACTO BONUS: no overtricks, bid made exactly 0NT to 5NT bid 250 Any 6-level bid 100 Any 7-level bid 0 TRIFECTA BONUS: 3 overtricks 350 (No points are awarded for 1, 2, or 4 or more overtricks) Bonus for making any Doubled bid 400 Bonus for making any Redoubled bid 1,000
Earned by defender for setting the bid
1 100 200 300 2 200 500 700 3 300 800 1,100 4 400 1,100 1,500 5 700 2,000 2,700 6+ 1,000 3,000 4,000
As shown in the chart, there are several innovative features in six-deal scoring. The standard part scores in Bridge are separated into "part-scores" and "bit-scores" (scores entered for bids of less than One Notrump). In Six-Deal Scoring, there is a bonus for making one's bid "on the nose." This score is called an "exacto." It is worth 250 extra points. A bid at the six-level, however, scores only a 100 point exacto bonus, and, as expected, a seven-level bid scores no additional bonus.
There is no bonus for honors, and the only additional score for making overtricks is the "trifecta," exactly three overtricks which earns 350 additional points.
To illustrate the scoring, making Four Clubs Doubled with two overtricks scores 650 points (250 for part-score and 400 for making the doubled bid). Making Five Notrump Redoubled exactly scores 2,750: small slam (1,500), plus redoubled bonus (1,000), plus exacto bonus (250).
The scores for all of the deals are not added up until the match of six deals is over. If the match is tied, the player who dealt the first hand deals a tie-breaker seventh hand, and the score for that deal is recorded in the area below the sixth line entry. This scoring system is also adaptable for Contract Bridge.
Cue-Bids. In the advanced version of Bridgette there are cue-bids, which are special bids and calls that ask the opponent for information about his short suits and high cards. The opponent must either answer a cue-bid by giving the information with his response or evade by jump-bidding or cue-bidding back. The advanced rules are beyond the treatment of the game presented here.