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Rules of Rubber Bridge

Four players in two permanent partnerships play the game of Rubber Bridge. The pairs are seated opposite each other. It is common to call the players depending on their location at the table as the four compass points namely North, East, South and West, such that North and South make up one partnership and East and West make up the other. The game proceeds in a clockwise direction.

The traditional 52-card deck is used. The highest ranked suit is the Ace while the lowest is 2.


The player positioned to the left of the dealer is responsible for shuffling the cards while the player to the right of the dealer is the one charged to do the cut. All the cards are dealt by the dealer individually in a manner that every player has 13 cards. Determination of the dealer proceeds in a clockwise direction. Commonly, two packs of cards are used.

Throughout every deal, the partner of the dealer shuffles the other deck and puts it to the right. The dealer assigned for the succeeding hand basically needs to pick the cards from the left and moves them crosswise to the right to be cut. Assuming that all the players comprehend and manipulate it, this procedure reduces time and helps monitor the player who will deal next, as the extra deck of cards is always located on the left of the succeeding dealer.


During the bidding, the number which is announced signifies the number of tricks greater than six which the partnership embarks on to win. For instance, a "two hearts" bid signifies a contract to capture a minimum of 8 tricks (8 = 6 + 2) with hearts as trumps. For the intention of auctioning the possible trump corresponds to the following ranks: no trumps (highest), spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs (lowest). An auction of a higher number prevails over a bid of a lower number, and if the amount of tricks is the same, the greater suit wins over the lower. The lowest bid is granted "one club", and the maximum is "seven no trumps."

During the bidding process, there is also the possibility of a "double" on a bid by one side or to "redouble" the double of the opponent. Doubling and redoubling basically improves the points for the auction contract if won and the fines if lost. If any player puts in a greater bid, the previous doubles and redoubles are called off.

Keep in mind that the order of the bid is not affected by any doubling -an auction of two spades is always greater than the two hearts, regardless if the auction for the two hearts has been doubled or redoubled.


As the name implies, rubber bridge is played in rubbers. Play is best of three games. The first team to reach more than 100 points wins the game and gets a winning contract, over several deals if possible.

A team which has already scored one victory on the way to the present rubber is said to be vulnerable. On the other hand, the partnership which still has to win a game is not vulnerable. The vulnerable team is subjected to greater bonuses and fines compared to one that is not.



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