In duplicate bridge there are three
basic types of events—individuals, pairs and teams.
There are many types of games within each category.
Here, we will explain the three types of events, as well
as the various special games within each category.
The individual game is the only form
of duplicate bridge in which you do not have a partner
chosen by you. The game is set up in such a way that
each player is a separate contestant who plays with a
multitude of different partners. Sometimes you play only
one board with each partner; other times you play two or
three, rarely more.
The movement is more complicated than
in a pair event. In the Rainbow movement—which nowadays
is just about the only one used for games of seven
tables or more—it is necessary for the players in each
direction to have a different move each round. (Guide
cards are usually used for smaller games.) The idea is
for each player to partner someone different each round
against a brand new set of opponents.
Computing your score is quite
different from rubber bridge—it is based on matchpoints
rather than on totals. You achieve a total score on each
deal, but that score is then compared with all other
scores achieved on that board. You earn one matchpoint
for each score you surpass and half a matchpoint for
each one you tie. In addition to overall awards, there
are section awards for each direction within a section.
Since each player is playing with so
many different partners, it is impractical for
partnerships to use complicated systems and conventions.
Most players prefer to play some simple form of Standard
The pair game is the most common form
of duplicate bridge. Two players compete as a
partnership throughout the event, whether it is one, two
or more sessions.
One of two basic movements usually is
For larger games, the Mitchell
movement usually is the choice. This is basically simple
—after each round the boards are passed back to the next
lower tables and the East-West pairs advance to the next
higher table. The North-South pairs are stationary, with
rare exceptions that will not be noted here.
For smaller games, the movement
usually used is the Howell movement. Guide cards tell
each pair where to go for the next round and also list
the boards that should be played each round at that
Computing your score is quite
different from rubber bridge — it is based on
matchpoints rather than on totals. You achieve a total
score on each deal, but that score is then compared with
all other scores achieved on that board. You earn one
matchpoint for each score you surpass and half a
matchpoint for each one you tie.
In addition to overall awards, there
are section awards for both North-South and East-West
within a section (Mitchell movement only).
This type of event is fast becoming
very popular with tournament and club players. Like a
pair event, players compete as pairs. A team can consist
of four, five or six players, but only four team members
ever play at the same time.
Here is how a team game works: 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 a match, exactly the same boards are played at
Since results are achieved at both
tables on exactly the same boards, a comparison of
results is possible. Scoring is done by comparing the
results, but the methods of scoring vary according to
the type of team game being played.
The three basic types of team games
are Swiss, Knockout and Board-a-Match. A fourth
type, Round-robin, also is sometimes held. A
Round-robin, however, really is a special case of Swiss