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Home >> Bridge Jargon >> B is for..

Bridge can be as bad as NASA for confusing acronyms and lingo! Welcome to the Jargon Jungle - a glossary of bridge terms designed to help you hack your way through to a better understanding of the game of bridge. Just click on the first letter of the word you wish to find!  Each letter of the alphabet reloads the page.

Also, if you would like to suggest a term not presently included on the list, or see a correction that needs to be made, please drop us a note.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z

Balanced Hand: A hand that has no short suits. Most would consider any hand that has no voids, singletons, and no more than one doubleton, to be balanced. And a hand with no void or singleton but two doubletons is said to be semi-balanced.

Balancing: See Doubles - Balancing Double/Balancing Bid.

Bergen Raises: Bergen Raises are a system of responses to major suit openings which stipulates that any nine card fit should be bid to the three level as quickly as possible. Any time opener's partner holds 4 (or more) trumps (even with 0 HCP), he is supposed to bid somewhere between 2NT (Jacoby 2NT) and 4S at his first opportunity. This system is based on the Law of Total Tricks, which is somewhat complicated and for more advanced players.

There is also a Bergen adjunct to Jacoby Transfers over 1NT in which any 9 card major fit must be bid to the three level.

Big Club: A strong club system in which all hands with 16+ HCP, regardless of distribution, are opened at one club. Any other bid tends to be limited to a far lower maximum. Exact HCP counts sometimes vary and should be determined by partnership agreement.

Blackwood: A convention that asks partner how many aces (or kings) she has. 4NT asks for aces and 5NT asks for kings. There are many variations to Blackwood but the simplest and most common responses are: 5 clubs shows 0 or 4 aces; 5 diamonds shows 1 ace; 5 hearts shows 2 aces; 5 spades shows 3 aces. The same sequence is true when asking for kings after 5NT. A responder who hears a bid of 5NT from his partner knows that his side has all 4 aces and his partner is asking for kings and is interested in a grand slam.

A bid of a suit that can't be trump over the response to 4NT asks partner to bid 5NT usually to play. A bid of 5NT over 4NT usually shows two aces and a void.

See also Roman Keycard Blackwood.

Blocked Suit: A suit in which the partnership holds cards that would take several tricks, but the partner with the fewer cards in the suit has only cards in the suit that are higher than partner's. Consequently, an entry to partner's hand is required after all the higher cards are played.

Board-a-Match (BAM): A form of team game scored at matchpoints. Since each board is played only twice, you simply win, lose, or tie on each one.

Bracketed: Essentially the same as flighted, except that the masterpoint limits for each flight (bracket) are determined by the directors after all the entries are in, either to equalize the brackets or to make most of them convenient sizes (for KO play). Usually, players are required to play in the lowest bracket for which they qualify.

Brozel: A convention that shows two suited hands over opponents 1NT opener. Clubs shows clubs and hearts; diamonds shows diamonds and hearts; hearts shows hearts and spades; spades shows spades and a minor; 2NT shows both minors; double shows the equivalent or better hand of 1NT.

See also Astro.
 

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