At duplicate bridge (where every table plays the same deals), every deal is scored separately and no part scores are carried forward.

Remember that your final contract refers to the number of tricks the partnership is willing to commit to over the book of six. 1 is a commitment to take 6 + 1 = 7 tricks.

You earn 40 points for the first notrump trick scored and 30 points thereafter; 30 points for each spade and heart trick; 20 points for each club and diamond trick.

Trick values double in doubled contracts and are doubled again for redoubled contracts.

Examples:

  • If we bid 2 in a major suit and make 4 (10 tricks) we score 170 (60 for 2 bid and made, 60 for two overtricks and 50 for the part score).
  • If we bid 4 in a major suit and make it when we are not vulnerable we score 420 (120 for the contract and 300 for the game).
  • If we bid 4 in a major suit and make it when we are vulnerable we score 620 (120 for the contract plus 500 for the game).

Whenever one side scores a slam, or a game, or a partscore, the side collects, in addition to the trick score, an immediate bonus. For instance:

  • For making a vulnerable grand slam 1,500
  • For making a non-vulnerable grand slam 1,000
  • For making a vulnerable small slam 750
  • For making a non-vulnerable small slam 500
  • For making a vulnerable game 500
  • For making a non-vulnerable game 300
  • For making a partscore 50
  • For making a doubled contract 50
  • For making a redoubled contract 100

If the declaring side makes one or more overtricks, the side collects per overtrick:

  • For an undoubled contract, non-vulnerable Trick Value
  • For a doubled contract, non-vulnerable 100
  • For a redoubled contract, non-vulnerable 200
  • For an undoubled contract, vulnerable Trick Value
  • For a doubled contract, vulnerable 200
  • For a redoubled contract, vulnerable 400

When the contract is defeated, the opponents collect:

  • For each non-vulnerable trick 50
  • For each vulnerable trick 100
  • Not vulnerable doubled 100,300,500 for down 1, 2 and 3 (300 more for each additional trick)
  • Vulnerable doubled 200,500,800 for down 1, 2 and 3 (300 more for each additional trick)
  • Not vulnerable redoubled 200, 600, 1000 for down 1, 2 and 3 (600 more for each additional trick) Vulnerable redoubled 400, 1000, 1600 for down 1, 2 and 3 (600 more for each additional trick)

These scores, of course, are not yet the final scores. They have yet to be compared with the scores achieved by other people who have played the same cards. The method of doing this comparison varies according to what kind of duplicate is being played.

Matchpoint Scoring

This is the game most usually played by pairs in bridge clubs and tournaments.

Generally, you play two or three boards at a table—this is called a round—and then one pair moves to another table and plays other boards against other opponents.

Scores for each hand, or board, are recorded and given to the director to tally the results of the entire game. Each pair has a number to identify them and this must also be entered on the scoresheet to show whose result it is. At the end of the whole session, each pair is awarded 1 matchpoint for each pair who scored worse than them on a board, and 1/2 matchpoint for each pair who scored equally. The scoring now is simplified by a program called ACBLscore developed by the ACBL and used internationally.

A completed scoresheet might look like this:

Board No. 1

Pair No. North-South Matchpoints
NS EW Contract By Tricks Plus Minus NS EW
1 8 4S N 10 420 2.5 3.5
2 13 3NT S 10 430 4 2
3 11 5C* E 8 500 6 0
4 9 4S N 10 420 2.5 3.5
5 14 4S N 11 450 5 1
6 12 5S N 10 50 0 6
7 10 3S N 10 170 1 5

Then the total matchpoints scored by each pair over all the boards are calculated. This is generally converted to a percentage, for each pair, of the points they scored compared to the theoretical maximum. This gives a fair comparison between pairs who have played different numbers of boards.

Teams

International Match Point Scoring

Team play has become popular in clubs and tournaments. Two members of your team, playing as a partnership, sit North-South at one table. Two other members of your team, also playing as a partnership, sit East-West at a different table. The two pairs from the opposing team fill the empty spots at the two tables. During the course of the match, exactly the same boards are played at both tables.

Each player should have a score card to record the score on each board. The card has a row for each board. The beginning of North’s card from table 1, when completed, might look like this:

Board Final Score IMPs
Deal # Vul Contract By Plus Minus Plus Minus
N 1 4S S 420
E 2 NS 5D* W 500
S 3 EW 3NT W 690
W 4 All 2H N 140

Note that the scoring for actual contract is the same as in duplicate scoring. What will change is how the scores at both tables are compared.

In the contract column 5D* (diamonds) means 5D doubled. The “By” column shows who was declarer. The score is recorded from North’s point of view, so when West goes down in 5D, it is positive. The International Matchpoints (IMPs) can be filled in only when this card is compared with one from the other room. Suppose that our teammate East at the other table has a card like this:

Board Final Score IMPs
Deal # Vul Contract By Plus Minus Plus Minus
N 1 4S S 450
E 2 NS 4H N 620
S 3 EW 6NT W 1440
W 4 All 4H N 100

Now the differences can be converted to IMPs for the team. The following standard International Matchpoint Scale is used:

Point difference IMPs
0 – 10 0
20 – 40 1
50 – 80 2
90 – 120 3
130 – 160 4
170 – 210 5
220 – 260 6
270 – 310 7
320 – 360 8
370 – 420 9
430 – 490 10
500 – 590 11
600 – 740 12
750 – 890 13
900 – 1090 14
1100 – 1290 15
1300 – 1490 16
1500 – 1740 17
1750 – 1990 18
2000 – 2240 19
2250 – 2490 20
2500 – 2990 21
3000 – 3490 22
3500 – 3990 23
4000 or more 24

So in the example, on the first board the difference between the two tables was 30 against us, and we lose 1 IMP. On the second board we lose 3 IMPs. Although our North-South pair defeated West’s 5, with the same cards our East-West pair allowed North to play and make 4. On board 3, where we bid the small slam while they stopped in game, we gain 13 IMPs for a 750-point difference. On board 4 both Norths made nine tricks in hearts, but we gain 6 IMPs because our North-South pair just bid 2 rather than 4. Overall we are 15 IMPs ahead on those four boards.

At the end of the match, the result is the difference in IMPs between the teams. Sometimes there is then a further conversion of this margin into a match result, in which some fixed number of victory points is apportioned between the teams. There is no standard conversion table, but here is an example table for a 24-board match:

IMP difference Victory Points
0 – 2 10 – 10
3 – 6 11 – 9
7 – 11 12 – 8
12 – 16 13 – 7
17 – 21 14 – 6
22 – 27 15 – 5
28 – 33 16 – 4
34 – 39 17 – 3
40 – 46 18 – 2
47 – 54 19 – 1
55 or more 20 – 0

In the example, if we were still 13 IMPs ahead having played 24 boards, using this table we would win the match 13-7. If the match was part of some larger competition, such as a league, then we would score 13 victory points and our opponents would score 7.