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Learn how to play bridge and where you can play online.

Bridge is a card game for four players. You don't need four players to learn, though! In this lesson you'll learn enough to get started and play your first game with friends or on a computer, tablet or phone.

The Players

The players are commonly referred to as North and South who play against East and West.

The Auction

There is an auction at the start of every hand. During the auction, players make bids to tell their partner what suit they like best.

The terminology for bidding is number + suit. For example, 1 or 4♠.

Once you've learned the basics you'll probably want to learn a bidding system but for now pick a suit you like and bid that - you'll do fine!

opening 1<span style='color:red'>♥</span> game of bridge

Those hearts look pretty good so South bids 1.

Rank of Suits

Each bid must either be for a greater number of tricks or a higher ranking trump suit, so we need to know the rank of the suits.

  1. NT notrumps
  2. ♠ spades
  3. hearts
  4. diamonds
  5. ♣ clubs

The auction continues

After your 1 bid, if West wants to bid spades, he can bid 1♠ because spades rank higher than hearts but if he wanted to bid clubs he'd have to bid 2♣.

1♠ overcall in a game of bridge

West has made spades the trump suit.


You can bid a suit or notrumps

supporting partner in a game of bridge

North likes hearts, too!


You can pass.

Passing in a game of bridge

East has nothing to say.

Going, going, gone!

After three passes in a row the auction is over.

three passes in a game of bridge

Going, going, gone. Auction over.

2 was the last bid so hearts become the 'trump' suit and we'll see what that means very soon. Notice, too, that South bid the hearts first. That means, on this hand, South is called the 'declarer'.

Playing the cards

After the auction is finished, the person to the left of declarer makes the opening lead.

opening lead in bridge

West leads the ♠6.

Declarer and Dummy

Declarer's partner is called the dummy. Dummy's cards are placed face up on the table and declarer takes control of that hand, too.

declarer and dummy in bridge

North is the dummy on this hand.

Following suit

In clockwise rotation, everyone plays a card and if possible must 'follow suit', which means playing a card of the same suit as the one led. If you can't follow suit any card is ok.

following suit in bridge

North follows suit with the ♠3.

Winning Tricks

Each round of four cards is called a trick. The highest card of the suit led normally wins the trick but sometimes that trump suit that I mentioned comes into play. If anyone plays a trump then the highest trump card played wins the trick.

winning tricks in bridge

South wins the trick with the ♠A.

The person who won the trick plays the first card to the next trick.

Declarer tries to win the bid plus another 6 tricks. 2 = 2 + 6 (8) tricks. But it often doesn't matter! You can win by losing and preventing the opposition from making their own contract. Your task is simply to make as many tricks as you can.

Play bridge at Sky Bridge Club

I'd like to invite you to come on over and play a few hands at Sky Bridge Club. You can play on your computer, phone or tablet and we make every effort to offer a pleasant environment where players of every level feel appreciated and supported. Please remember that we’re always here to help, even if you're still learning how to play bridge.

You'll be playing bridge against the computer and with a computer partner so if your partner ends up being declarer then you'll still get to play the hand. Partner won't mind!

Select either Acol or Standard as your bidding system from the settings page.

How to bid

Use the bidding slider to select a bid.

image of sky bridge club bidding

If you're learning there's a hint option for every bid.

image of sky bridge club hint button

Hints are available on every hand.

Playing the cards

Playing is easy, just click on whatever card you want to play.

image of sky bridge club game screen


You'll be able to compare scores with other players at the end of each hand.

You'll also be able to check the scores of our featured players, the ones who have been doing consistently well. If the long term winning players are playing a certain way then we're wise to adopt their style of play.

It's free to register and play the daily deal. Members can play unlimited hands.


Every week I play through 10 hands. You can join in and ask questions as I play or watch the replay later. You can play the same hands yourself either before or afterwards. See you there!

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