1. verb: to place a card upwards on the table; the action thereof.
2. noun: the side of a card indicating its suit and rank; front.

Face Cards
Kings, Queens, and Jacks. These are cards which have a representation of a human figure, called originally Coat Cards, later Court Cards. Also referred to as Rembrandts and Middle Honors. Their design originates from early 18th century French patterns.The interested student of such cards with human figures can resort to the publication Facts And Speculations on the Origin and History of Playing Cards, authored by William Andrew Chatto in the year MDCCCXLVIII (1848) in Old Compton Street, Soho Square, London, England.

A second reference is made to the publication Origin of Printing and Engraving on Wood by Samuel Weller Singer, which was published by T. Bensley and Son for Robert Triphook in Old Bond Street, London, England, in the year 1816.

Face Down Leads
A procedure introduced by the World Bridge Federation in 1972 and adopted by the ACBL in 1975. The opening leader places opening lead face down on the table, after which his partner may ask questions about the auction. It must also be mentioned that a face-up lead does not deprive his partner from asking questions pertaining to the bidding sequence, and that there is no penalty for failure to lead face-down. The following is from The Official Encyclopedia of Bridge, 7th Edition.


A. Face-down Opening Lead
  After a bid, double or redouble has been followed by three passes in rotation, the defender on presumed declarer's left makes the opening lead face down . The face-down lead may be withdrawn only upon instruction of the Director after an irregularity (see Law 47E2); the withdrawn card must be returned to the defender's hand.


E. Change of Play Based on Misinformation
  1. Change of Play Based on Misinformation
    1. A lead out of turn may be retracted without penalty if the leader was mistakenly informed by an opponent that it was his turn to lead (LHO should not accept the lead).
    2 (a) A player may retract the card he has played because of a mistaken explanation of an opponent’s call or play and before a corrected explanation without further rectification, but only if no card was subsequently played to that trick. An opening lead may not be retracted after dummy has faced any card.
      (b) When it is too late to correct a play under 2(a) above, the Director may award an adjusted score.


C. Deviation from System and Psychic Action
  1. A player may deviate from his side’s announced understandings always, provided that his partner has no more reason to be aware of the deviation than have the opponents. Repeated deviations lead to implicit understandings, which then form part of the partnership’s methods and must be disclosed in accordance with the regulations governing disclosure of system. If the Director judges there is undisclosed knowledge that has damaged the opponents, he shall adjust the score and may award a procedural penalty.

Faced Card
A card exposed to all the players, which may be a card in the dummy, a penalty card, or a card exposed by a player making a claim or his opponent. No revoke penalty can be exacted for failure to play a faced card.

A happening at a bridge table. When the facts are in dispute, or their interpretation is a matter of judgment, the matter may be referred to the tournament committee.

This is the procedure of adjusting matchpoint scores to take into account unequal conditions. It is the process of adjusting matchpoint scores to the same base to make them comparable for ranking purposes. For example, when all of the players do not play the same number of boards, it is necessary to factor the scores of those players who played a smaller number of boards "up" to the same basis as the players who played more boards. If part of the field plays 24 boards and the rest of the field plays 26 boards, those players playing 24 boards must be factored up 2/24's or 1/12th of their score.

Faie Rosebowl
This tournament is an East District Individual Championship organized by the Scottish Bridge Union and is played as a straight final. The Faie Memorial Rosebowl is presented by Mr. A. R. Irvine. The award was first contested in the year 1961.


Failure to Comply With a Lead or Play Penalty
This is the act of playing an incorrect card when a player is able to lead or play from an unfaced hand. Such an act also refers to an irregularity when a card or suit is not played when required by law or specified by an opponent in accordance with an agreed penalty. See Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge, Law 52.


A. Defender Fails to Play a Penalty Card
  When a defender fails to lead or play a penalty card as required by Law 50 or Law 51, he may not, on his own initiative, withdraw any other card he has played.
B. Defender Plays Another Card
  1. (a) If a defender has led or played another card when required by law to play a penalty card, declarer may accept such lead or play.
    (b) Declarer must accept such lead or play if he has thereafter played from his own hand or dummy.
    (c) If the played card is accepted under either (a) or (b) above, any unplayed penalty card remains a penalty card.
  2. If declarer does not accept the card illegally played or led, the defender must substitute the penalty card for the card illegally played or led. Every card illegally led or played by the defender in the course of committing the irregularity becomes a major penalty card.

verb: to drop, to fall; succumb to higher cards.
noun: the play of a card or cards on a trick.
noun: the order in which the cards are played.

Fall of the Cards
This is the play of a card or cards on a trick and the order in which they are played. (Note: the terms fall and fall of the cards are nearly identical in definition. The only exception is that the term fall, as a verb, can be applied as an action during play. For example: the declarer caused the singleton King to drop with his play of the Jack. Or: the declarer caused the singleton King to fall with his play of the Jack.

A defender can falsecard when he plays an unnecessarily high card, or, less often, a low card instead of a high one, played with deceptive intent. This terminology derives from the fact that the defenders attempt to communicate while playing certain cards containing a message with information, such as high-low, count, suit preference.

However, when falsecarding, this line of communication is lost but vital when the target of deceiving the declarer becomes more important than transmitting information to the partner. The art of falsecarding has become a science and the individual player must know when it is most advantageous to the partnership to begin falsecarding, and under which circumstances.

Note: it is also possible for the declarer to falsecard to confuse and confound one or both defending players as to the hidden distribution of suits.

False Preference
This is the act of returning to the original suit of the partner at the lowest level despite holding more cards in another suit shown by partner.

Fane Four Clubs Convention - Fane 4 Clubs Convention
A modification of the Gerber convention to show Aces, Kings, and a void.

Fantunes Bidding System
This is a bidding system devised by Mr. Fulvio Fantoni and Mr. Claudio Nunes, both experienced bridge players on the international level and both from Italy. The main feature of their partnership agreement is that a bid of one of a suit is natural, but also forcing for one round, even if partner holds insufficient values to respond. The only requirement for an opening bid on the one level is that the holding contains values of 14 plus high card points. This means that the held values are considered unlimited. The 1 Club opening promises a more or less balanced distribution, which contains no 5-card plus Major suit. An advantage is gained since the bidding system requires no artificial opening of any kind on the two plus level to show a strong holding or additional strength - except the balanced holdings such as a 2 or 3 No Trump opening.

Note: the name of the bidding system constitutes a combination of both of the surnames of both authors: Fant - unes.

A second main feature is that a 1 No Trump opening bid promises a semi-balanced holding and a range between 12-14 high card points. A No Trump opening includes the following distributional patterns: 5Major-4-2-2, 3-2-2-6Minor, and even 4-4-4-1.

A third feature, considered by many to be the most important feature, is a suit opening on the two level, designated as intermediate two-level bids. These two-level opening bids (or sometimes even overcalls) are preemptive in nature, but can find partner with sufficient values to compete for a partscore or game. These opening suit bids describe a holding with 10-13 high card points and at least a 5-card suit, which is the bid suit. As a consequence of the above two features, an opening on the two-level strongly indicates per force a distribution, which contains generally a singleton or a void. This bidding system makes it difficult on the opponents in the case that they wish to compete, since they must enter the auction on the two-level or higher.

A fourth feature is the slam attempt. If game is secure, then a cuebid triggers the slam attempt. Depending on the auction, generally without competition, the partnership cuebids first and second round controls, normally at the lowest level. Initiating 4 No Trump as Keycard-ask, the responses show either an odd number or an even number of Keycards, so that the number of Keycards is immediately established and whether a slam is at all possible. If necessary, then a Queen-asking bid may be introduced, but this bid guarantees the small slam. Other continuances are auction-dependent.

Additional Variations of the Fantunes Bidding System

Note: The interested student can also purchase the publication authored by Mr. Bill Jacobs with the title Fantunes Revealed, ISBN-10: 1554947650 / ISBN-13: 978-1554947652


Fantunes - Modified Version
Written, designed, and posted online by Mr. Gerben Dirksen as Version 1.25

Fantunes - Modified
This Version 1.10 describes a version of the Fantunes bidding system as played by Mr. Gerben Dirksen and Mr. Han Peters.

Fantunes - Modified
Designed by Mr. Gerben Dirksen this is Version 1.80 and includes several Polish Club elements.

Fantunes - Simplified

Far East Bridge Federation
This was the official designation for all members of the Zone Six of the World Bridge Federation. It was an organization formed in 1957 as Far East Bridge Federation to administer bridge activities in the respective geographical area.

Note: The The APBF ( Asia Pacific Bridge Federation), formed in 1995, has 26 member NBOs, including Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, China, Chinese Taipei, French Polynesia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Syria and Thailand.

A term referring to a trick or of high card value, that is immediately cashable or that can be immediately taken.

Fast Arrival
The Principle of Fast Arrival, or the idea, that the faster a contract is reached, then the weaker the holding that places the contract. Conversely, the slower the approach, the stronger the suggestion that a higher contract may be appropriate. Also limited in definition by suggesting that the principle of fast approach is an approach of quickly jumping to a game contract, and also denies additional values, which might invite or even suggest any slam attempt. Conversely, the slower the approach, the stronger the suggestion that a higher contract may be appropriate, also known as the Principle of Slow Arrival.

Fast Pairs
In the Fast Pairs game the speed of play is increased by a major factor. Instead of the usual seven to eight minutes allowed to play each board, the game is set up so that boards must be completed in five minutes. Sometimes this permits more boards to be played; more often this type of game results in a game finishing at an earlier time. Such a game often is called a Speedball Pairs.

Fast Pass
A very quick verbal action which may improperly convey weakness or even a weak holding in a bridge game conducted without bidding boxes or other silent auction opportunities. The prevention of a fast pass is one of the reasons for the Skip Bid Warning. Law 73A2 governs this action by stating that calls and plays should be made without undue emphasis, mannerism or inflection, and without undue hesitation or haste. But the Regulating Authority may require mandatory pauses, as on the first round of the auction, or after a skip-bid warning or on the first trick.

Fat Dummy Syndrome
This designation is contributed online by Mr. Chris Chambers of Ipswich, Suffolk, Great Britain. The syndrome has two manifestations. You are defending, declarer is in game and dummy is much stronger than expected, there appears to be no chance of beating the contract and you either decide to take what tricks are yours (possibly excusable at pairs) or doze off (not excusable in any game). In the second instance again dummy is much stronger or fits much better than expected but you are declaring. You sigh inwardly at another missed game or slam and promptly go off in your more modest contract.

Fat-Free Convention Card
This particular term or nickname has been given to the simplified convention card created by ACBL for the general bridge community. This convention card was developed for the use by players, who do not employ many conventional agreements.

Favorable Vulnerability
Being non-vulnerable against vulnerable opponents.

Featherston Defense Method
A conventional defense against a No Trump opening of any range. The method was devised and developed by Mr. Norman P. Featherston of Redmond, Washington, United States, born on July 1934 and died on July 15, 2004. Mr. Norman P. Featherston was a bridge teacher, who had been the Bridge Administrator Recorder for District 19 beginning in the year 1992.
He was a Diamond Life Master with over 8,000 points and many tournament wins.

Obituary Note: Norman P. Featherston Norm passed away July 15, 2004 just days before his 70th birthday. He was born on July 19, 1934 in Starbuck, Washington, and was the first of four boys born to Paul V. and Anna L. Featherston. He grew up in rural Idaho, Missouri, and Washington and graduated from Prescott High in 1952. He served four years in the US Air Force and then earned his BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington. He worked for Boeing as an Electrical Engineer for over 30 years until his retirement in 1991. He spent much of his time with Boeing training military personnel on missile operations. He was an avid bridge player and teacher, and he was a Diamond Life Master with over 8,000 points and many tournament wins. He was an active member of the ACBL and will be missed by many good friends in the bridge playing community.

1. a feature is a particular holding of an Ace or King and occasionally a Queen, which may have particular significance after agreeing on the trump suit and game is a certainty.
2. a high honor, usually an Ace or King; sometimes Ace, King, or Queen.
3. anything of interest in a particular suit, such as a high honor or shortness.
Conventions such as Ace Showing Responses, Blackwood, and Gerber are feature showing conventions.

Feature Convention
The origin of this conventional method is unknown. It is employed after one partner opens the auction with a Weak Two Bid in any suit other than Clubs. The Feature Convention is used by the responder to discover:

1. whether the holding of the partner is weak or strong and
2. whether the partner holds a stopper, which is needed in a suit.

The responder employs the bid of 2 No Trump to ask and which is forcing for one round. The responses of the opener are:

1. Three of the preempted suit shows no feature or a weak hand, approximately 5-7 points.
2. Three of a new suit promises a good holding with either an Ace or King in the preempted suit.
3. A rebid of 3 No Trump promises all top three honors.

FClub or F-Club or Scanian Strong Club
Only the opening bids are presented. The origin of this artificial 1 Club opening bidding system plus complete continuances is unknown. This information was found on the website of Mr. Daniel Neill. The designations refer to the same information and bidding sequences.

Fédération Française de Bridge
Site officiel de la Fédération de Bridge, Informations sur les tournois, l’apprentissage, les clubs, les structures, les sélections nationales. This is the Website for the Bridge Federation in France. The Website has been designed very well and includes all pertinent information to the visitor. However, the visitor must be able to read French, because there is no English version at the moment. (

Fédération Luxembourgeoise de Bridge - Luxembourg Bridge Federation

Federacion Mexicana de Bridge

This term describes the intangible human perception of the overall bridge event and trickles down to the individual bridge table, and which may have an effect on the manner, in which the player approaches the game.

Feldspar Opening Bids
These opening bids have been devised and developed by Mr. Gordon Bower of Fairbanks, Alaska, United States, as a variation on systems, which employ multiple strong/weak 1 Club openings.

Fernando's Two Clubs Convention or Fernando's 2 Clubs Convention
Note: the original source is off-line. This is the short synopsis or summary of Mr. Fernando of The Netherlands and presents a conventional method in combination with Dutch Acol, which is employed quite often in The Netherlands. It is a conventional method intended as an alternative method in treating a strong, artificial 2 Clubs opening, which is regarded in almost every bidding system as a strong holding. This information has also only been preserved and archived on this site in .pdf file format for future reference.

Slang: an opening bid that shows a very weak hand.
It is also the weak opening in Strong Pass Systems and the usual range is 0-7 points, and a variety of one-level suit-bids are used. See: Weak Opening Systems.

Note: In general an opening bid should reflect a certain range of points according to the individual valuation method. During the evolution of the various bidding techniques available to the bridge player there were several methods devised, which began with a strong pass, which indicates a strong holding, that should have been opened with either No Trump or a suit. The minimum range was from 11 to 16 high card points. Weaker holdings with 10 or fewer points were opened with either No Trump or the bid of a suit. However, the agreement was that a particular suit bid would be employed for extremely weak holdings, fewer than 8-9 points, which were referred to as fert bids. The term fert is used in such agreements as meaning fertilizer, or fert in short form, and signified that the holding was worth a load of s--t, or manure.

One such partnership agreement is the Precision Pass, which is based on the Precision Club. The concept is based on the artificial, strong 1 Club opening bid. However, the initial pass promises a holding of 8-17 valuation points, and that the 1 Diamond opening bid is the only fert bid to show a weak opening with fewer than 10 points.

The totality of entries in a tournament. All of the contestants in an event when discussed as a whole are known as the field.

Fielder's Choice
Slang: a position in which one side can get a good result either by bidding to its own contract or by doubling the opponents.

Fielding A Psych
This term describes an abnormal or unexpected action by the partner of a psychic bidder which protects the partnership and makes it appear that the player is aware of the psychic bid before it can legitimately be shown to have been exposed by the course of the bidding events.

Within or heading a five-card holding. For example: Jack-fifth shows five cards headed by the Jack.

Fifteen Tables
At duplicate bridge, 15 tables provide for competition among 60 players, 30 pairs, or 15 teams-of-four.

Fifth Honor
The Ten spot of the trump suit.

Fighting Irish 2 Diamonds
This concept of opening with a 2 Diamonds bid was devised and developed by Mr. Neill Currie (date unknown). The concept is to show an artificial preemptive opening with a range of 5-10 high card points and either a 4-4 or 4-3 distribution in both Major suits

Middle-ranking card; card required to solidify a suit.

A defense method after an opponent opens the auction with a preempt on the three level. This method is used mainly in England and is called FILO for FIshbein over Red suits and Lower Minor, or Cheaper Minor, over black suits is for takeout. Any double is considered to be for penalty.

Final Contract or Bid
The last bid made in the auction, followed by three consecutive passes.

Finch Cue Bid
A cuebid devised by Vivienne Finch, which is employed to communicate to partner a holding with two 5-card suits with one bid. The concept is based on the formula that that lowest (1x - 2x, Finch Cue Bid) shows the highest (2 unbid suits), and the highest shows the lowest, otherwise the middle (2NT) must be the other two (highest and the lowest). This information is presented in a .pdf file format, which will be opened by your browser automatically in a new window. This information has also only been preserved and archived on this site in pdf format for future reference.

Finch Discard Signal System
An updated system of discarding to communicate with partner devised by Vivienne Finch, who registered it with the English Bridge Union in the year 1981. The original version was contributed to this website by her brother-in-law Mr. Alan Finch via email in February 2012. The concept of the discard signal system is that suits are ranked alphabetically Clubs-DiamondsHearts-Spades (CDHS) as in bidding. An even card shows preference for the higher of the two remaining suits , and an odd card shows preference for the lower of the two remaining suits.

Finch Discard Signal System
This is a carding method registered in the year 1981 with the English Bridge Union by Vivienne Finch, who devised this discard signal system. This information was contributed by her brother-in-law by Mr. Alan Finch.

Finlay-Long Bridge Bidding System and Convention Card

Finesse in Bridge
A finesse in bridge is the attempt to gain power for lower-ranking cards by taking advantage of the favorable position of higher-ranking cards held by the opposition. It is also defined as: 1. the attempt to take advantage of the location of the cards of the opponents and 2. a play that makes such an attempt.

Practice Finesse
A satirical term for an action, generally by the declarer, sometimes performed by beginning bridge players. As defined by Mr. Edwin Kanter in his book Bridge Humor, page 60, a practice finesse is a finesse, which, if it works, gives you the same number of tricks you would have taken if you had not finessed at all.

Finnish Junior Standard Opening Bids
These opening bids were developed in the late 1980s and have gained some amount of popularity among bridge players. Officially the standard is defined for the bidding panel of the Finnish Bridge magazine (See Finnish Bridge Federation), but it is often regarded as a more general standard. Finnish bridge players quite often base their bidding system on this standard, usually omitting some conventions or adding their own.

Finnish Panel Standard Opening Bids
These opening bids were developed in the year 1995 and were introduced by Jikka Korpela of Finland as Finnish Panel Standard opening bids and as published in the Bridge Magazine of the Finnish Bridge Federation, published online by Jikka Korpela.

Finnish Standard Bidding System
This presentation, as detailed by Mr. Jukka K. Korpela, presents and outlines a foundation for the Finnish Standard Bidding System for bridge. Officially the standard is defined for the bidding panel of the Finnish Bridge magazine, but it is often regarded as a more general standard. Finnish bridge players quite often base their bidding system on this standard, usually omitting some conventions or adding their own.

First Hand
The dealer, who is the first player to have the opportunity to bid or pass, has the first hand.

First Up
A bidding system developed by Mr. Melvin Berl Stallard, born August 28, 1913, in Skedee, Oklahoma, United States, and died December 20, 1996, in Sun City West, Arizona, United States. The foundation of the concept represents an introduction of a natural bidding system with no conventions, and where the very first bid informs the partner and communicates the number of points and also the distribution of the holding.

Note: Mr. Melvin Berl Stallard, with his wife Helen, authored the publication First Up: Bridge Winner In Bidding, which was privately published in the year 1973. ASIN: B002C4H79O

Note: Mr. Terence Reese published in the year 1978 the book Stallard's First Up A Revolution In Bridge Bidding, privately published by both Melvin Bert and Helen M. Stallard. ASIN: B004H4IREQ

Basics are as follows:

1 : Promises 11-19 high card points and 4 plus Clubs (*even if another suit is longer).
1 : Promises 11-19 high card points and 4 plus Diamonds and 0-3 Clubs.
1 : Promises 11-19 high card points and 4 plus Hearts and 0-3 Diamonds and Clubs.
1 Promises 11-19 high card points and 4 plus Spades and 0-3 Diamonds and Clubs and Hearts.
1 NT: Promises 20-23 high card points and balanced distribution. (*may have a 5-card Minor suit).
2 : Promises 20 plus high card points and 4 plus Clubs, and 0-3 Diamonds and Clubs and Hearts.
2 NT: Promises 24-27 high card points, balanced distribution and all suits stopped.
3 NT: Promises 28-31 high card points, balanced distribution and all suits stopped twice.
4 NT: Promises 32 plus high card points, balanced distribution.

A colloquial term meaning to maneuver play in hopes of getting certain cards out. Also: fish for.

Fishbein Defense Method
Generally referred to as the Fishbein convention. This convention was devised by Mr. Harry J. Fishbein. The concept of the Fishbein convention allows the player directly following the preemptive opener to make a penalty double. The double is not a takeout double and the partner must pass this double.

Fishbein Trophy
This trophy is awarded every year to the bridge player with the best overall individual performance record in the American Contract Bridge League Summer North American Bridge Championships. The trophy, in memory of Sally Fishbein, was donated by the ACBL in recognition of the efforts of Mr. Harry Fishbein who served as Treasurer of ACBL.

A sealed and soundproof room with space for one bridge table and four bridge players equipped with a one-way mirror for the viewing audience. Closed-circuit television monitors have replaced the one-way mirror.

Fisher Doubles
This is the designation for a lead directing double of a No Trump game contract asking for a Minor suit lead, developed by Dr. John Wyatt Fisher, Jr. M.D. of Dallas, Texas, United States. The concept of the Fisher Double is that the opponent, who is not on lead, doubles for the lead of a certain suit, either Clubs or Diamonds.

Fiskforsk No Trump Structure
This information has been also presented online by Mr. Mike Mardesich of Seattle, Washington, United States, dated June 3, 1999. The Fiskforsk Complex of No Trump responses is named after or for Mr. Petter Olsen, who originally presented this information on his personal website, which is presently off-line. This information has also only been preserved and archived on this site in .pdf file format for future reference.

1. degree of support for partner;
2. combined partnership holding in a suit. In a four-four fit, each partner has four cards in the suit.

Fit Showing Jump Bids
See: Flower Bids. These two designations are interchangeable.

Five Card Stayman
This designation must not be confused with the identical and older designation of / for Puppet Stayman or with the concept of Puppet Stayman. The variation has been devised to be employed when the partnership does not include any kind of transfers in the partnership agreement. This conventional method is also not employed after an immediate overcall by an opponent, regardless of the level. The concept is used to find a 5-card Major suit after one partner has opened the auction with 1 No Trump.

Five-Five Natural Responses - 5-5 Responses
The origin of these responses is unknown. This version of the natural responses method follows the basic outline of the original concept, but has one specific requirement for all suit bids by the responder.

Five or Five-Spot
The tenth ranking card in a suit.

Five-Ace Blackwood
See: Key Card Blackwood

Five Bid
Any bid at the Five Level promising to take 11 tricks, if this bid becomes the final contract.

Five-Card Majors or Five Card Major Suit Opening
An understanding between partners that an opening bid in a Major suit will be based on a suit at least five cards long. The concept of the five-card Major suit opening was first introduced into North American tournament bidding in the 1950s and reinforced by the Roth-Stone and Kaplan-Sheinwold bidding systems, which replaced the four card Major suit opening proposed by the Culbertson and Goren bidding systems.

Five Card Major Suit Openings vs Four Card Major Suit Openings

Five Card Spades
In some systems, a bid of 1 Spade requires that the Spade suit must have at least five cards, whereas a bid of 1 Heart with only four cards is acceptable. Used mainly in England.

Five Card Stayman
This designation must not be confused with the identical and older designation of / for Puppet Stayman or with the concept of Puppet Stayman. The variation has been devised to be employed when the partnership does not include any kind of transfers in the partnership agreement. This conventional method is also not employed after an immediate overcall by an opponent, regardless of the level. The concept is used to find a 5-card Major suit after one partner has opened the auction with 1 No Trump.

Five No Trump Opening - 5 NT Opening
The origin of this conventional method is unknown. It is, however, a feature of the Acol bidding system generally used in the United Kingdom as an opening bid to describe a certain holding containing one Losing Trick in both Minor suits. The partner is invited to raise the bidding one level for each Ace, King, or Queen he holds.

Five Odd
This term indicates five tricks over the book, or eleven tricks total.

Five Of A Major Opening
This bid shows a hand missing both top honors in the trump suit, but with no outside losers. The partner is invited to raise accordingly with one or both of the missing key cards.

Five or Seven
This term indicates the type of partnership holding on which a successful play makes a grand slam, or Seven. However, if the play is not successful, then the opponents can cash a second trick immediately, holding the partnership to Five.

Five Suit Bridge
A form of the game of bridge played with 65 cards. This variation was devised, developed and patented, which is something rare in the world of card games, by Mr. Walter Marseille, who was a psychologist and mathematician living in Vienna. The game was introduced in 1937 and became popular with some enthusiasts. This form of game was also discussed in the publication by Mr. Samuel Fry titled How to Win at Five Suit Bridge, 1938, and co-author Edward Hymes Jr., Publisher: Knight, New York, New York, LC: 38011495.

Essentially this form of bridge was governed by the same rules and guidelines as Contract Bridge. However, this game had a fifth suit: Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, Spades, No Trump, and the fifth suit. The fifth suit had different designations according to the country; in Austria is was known as Blätter. In America the fifth suit was referred to as Eagles, and in England it had the designation of Royals, which was the designation given in the first chapter of the publication by Mr. Samuel Fry and Mr. Edward Hymes Jr., entitled Enter The Royals.

The deal was the same as with Duplicate Contract Bridge, clock-wise in rotation. However, after dealing 16 cards to each player, there was one card remaining called the widow. The last card to be dealt, the widow, was placed face up on the table. The auction began and once trump and the declarer were established, the declarer was permitted to replace one card with the widow card and discard one card, which was also seen by the remaining three players. However this action was not required.

Accordingly book was eight tricks, not six. The act of scoring this form of card game was a different matter and rather evolved over time since there was no established scoring rules. Later, as the scoring became more consistent, it was determined that game required 150 points. The points awarded for each trick was 30 points, no difference being made between Major suit tricks and Minor suit tricks. No Trump contracts each scored 50 points, and the Royals (Eagles or Blätter), also referred to as the Super Major, scored 40 points for each trick. Establishing slam premiums was not an easy matter, but the consensus agreed upon as the game progressed was that a small slam or fifteen tricks bid and made, not vulnerable, received an additional premium of 500 points. Curiously a fifteen trick vulnerable small slam, and a non-vulnerable sixteen grand slam bid and made received an additional premium of 1000 points. A grand slam vulnerable contract bid and made received an additional premium of 2000 points. It is presumed that the undertricks, doubled and/or redoubled were given the same additional premiums as in Duplicate Contract Bridge, but this cannot be established. See also: Joker Bridge and Midget Bridge.

1938: Contract Bridge

During the early part of the year, considerable excitement was created in bridge circles by the introduction of Five-suit Bridge, an importation into the United States from Austria, via England. As suggested by the title, this game was based on decks containing five suits instead of the traditional four. The innovation received its greatest impetus in England, when Their Majesties, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, visited a charity bazaar and bought some of the new decks. American newspapers and magazines gave this incident great publicity, probably as human interest material, and the result was an immediate tremendous demand for Five-suit Bridge decks. The new game, however, proved cumbersome and needlessly complicated, and it was not surprising that its life in the United States was less than two months. Thus, Ely Culbertson's early observation. "The average player has not yet thoroughly learned how to play with four suits, let alone with five," proved prophetic.

Five Tables
At duplicate bridge, five tables provide competition for 20 players, 10 pairs, or five teams-of-four. As an individual, the 20-player Rainbow Movement is particularly recommended.

Slang: an unfortunate score result caused by happenstance or undeservedly rewarded poor performance by the opponents.

1. Slang: placed in a difficult position:
2. Slang: in line for a poor result because of a winning action taken by the opponents.

Fixing the Forcing Notrump
Authored by Mr. Perry Khakhar and contributed on November 24, 2012. Presented is v.03, which addresses shortcomings of the No Trump Forcing concept as a first response following a Major suit opening by partner. The concept of the Forcing No Trump is divided and treated in three different categories, namely those of minimum hands, those of intermediate hands, and those of strong hands. This information is presented in .pdf file format and will be opened by your browser in a new window.

This is a term for an action equivalent to a preemptive bid or overcall and also a sacrifice bid in order to play the score. Another term is save. This particular term is classified as an obsolete colloquialism since it is no longer employed. A flag-flying action is made in the expectation of booking a greater loss if the opponents declare the contract or are permitted to declare the contract. This action of flag-flying was set into motion as soon as it becomes apparent that the opponents have reached their optimum contract. The action is not intended during the auction, which is different from a preemptive bid and more similar to the definition of a sacrifice or save. The origin of the term is unknown. However, it is a known fact that the term originated only after a method or methods of scoring competitive games had been introduced.

Flannery Two Diamonds - Flannery 2 Diamonds - Flannery 2D
A Two Level opening, usually Two Diamonds but sometimes Two Hearts, to show 11-15 high card points with four Spades and five or more Hearts. Devised by Mr. William Flannery.

A defense method to a Flannery Two Diamonds opening has been devised by Mr. Marvin French of San Diego, California, United States, and is only archived and preserved on this site in a .pdf file format for future reference.

Anti-Flannery Variation
The origin of this variation is unknown. The basic concept is employed mainly in bidding systems using the canapé approach, meaning that the shorter suit is opened or bid first before the higher-ranking suit. The fundamental concept can also be employed in several variations of the Blue Club bidding system developed by Mr. Benito Garozo and used by the Blue Team during their successful reign in the world bridge tournaments in the 1960s, in which the canapé approach was mainly employed. The off-shoot of this bidding system, designated sometimes as Lancia, origin unknown, also uses this variation to some degree, but this cannot be confirmed. Source is: publication The Blue Club as adopted and translated by Mr. Terence Reese, 1969, ISBN-10: 0571092659 / ISBN-13: 978-0571092659.

Flannery Two Hearts
A Two Level opening in Hearts promising 11-15 high card points, a holding of five Hearts and four Spades. The responses and the rebids are the same as for the Flannery Two Diamond opening. The only exception is that the responder, in order to sign off in Hearts, simply passes.

Flat Hand
1. a holding with 4-3-3-3 suit distribution. The 4-card suit can be any of the four suits;
2. a deal on which no variations in the result are expected in the replay.

Flat Board
1. in team play, a board with no swing.
2. in pairs play, a board on which all, or in casual usage, almost all, of the participants achieved equivalent results.

Flex Two Clubs Rebid - Flex 2 Clubs Rebid
When one partner has opened the auction with a Major suit, either 1 Heart or 1 Spade, and the responder is able to bid, then the opener can rebid an artificial 2 Clubs. The opener has either Clubs as a second suit or any strong game-forcing holding (either a one-suited or a two-suited holding with the Major suit opened). The responder can ask for clarification with 2 Diamonds. This conventional method is designed only to be used if an opponent does not overcall. This conventional method may also only then be initiated if the bidding sequence allows the opener to bid 2 Clubs as in 1 Heart - Pass - 1 Spade - Pass - 2 Clubs or 1 Spade - Pass - 1 NT - Pass - 2 Cubs.

A division of a bridge game in which the competitors are separated according to the number of masterpoints held.
1. One of the sub-events of a flighted tournament;
2. One of the sub-groups of players in a flighted tournament.

In a flighted event, contestants compete only against other pairs/teams within the same point range. For example, if Flight C is 0-200 masterpoints, no player with more than 200 masterpoints may be included in the group of players. A player may always play up in flighted events. For example, a Flight B player may elect to enter Flight A if the player so wishes. The higher the flight, the more difficult the competition and the more masterpoints awarded to the winners.

Flighted Pairs
The event is broken down into two or three fields based on masterpoints. Each field competes as a separate event. The flight for which a pair is eligible is determined by the masterpoint holding of the player with the more masterpoints. Pairs may opt to play in a higher category but not in a lower one.

Often, but not always, the breakdown is as follows: Flight A - 0 to infinity; B - 0-750; C - 0-300. All pairs are eligible to compete in Flight A; only pairs with fewer than 750 points (Flight B limit) are eligible to play in Flight B; only pairs with fewer than 300 points (Flight C limit) are eligible to play in Flight C. Pairs eligible for Flight A only may compete in Flight A only.

Masterpoints are awarded based on the number of tables in the flight entered added to the number of tables in all lower flights.

Flighted Teams
A team event which is divided into two or more fields based on the number of Masterpoints, and where each field competes as a separate event. The Flight for which a team is eligible is determined by the Masterpoint holding of the player with the more points. Teams may play in a higher classification but may not play in lower one.

Flint 3 Diamonds - Flint 3 Clubs - Flint Two Diamonds Modified
These conventional methods were devised by Mr. Jeremy Flint of England to permit the partnership to stop the auction below game if necessary, but also to allow the partnership to investigate the possibility of a game contract. Modifications of this concept are also included.

A reversal of the usual meaning of a 2 No Trump response, normally agreed as a Jordan 2 No Trump raise, when a Minor suit opening is doubled. The concept is to use the bid preemptively, thereby using the jump raise to show invitational values.
An example clarifies this concept:

North   East   South   West   Meaning
1   Double   2 NT       Flip-Flop or a Preemptive Raise in Diamonds, a Minor suit.
        3       A jump shows a Limit Raise in Diamonds.

When the partnership employs the Flip-Flop defense method to the overcall of the double by East, then the partnership is reversing the Jordan 2 No Trump method and using the 2 No Trump bid by South to show a preemptive raise in Diamonds. Conversely a jump to 3 Diamonds by South would show a limit raise in Diamonds. A clear advantage to this defense method is that when the partnership shows a limit raise, then the holding will not be played from the 'wrong side of the table' in case the opener, in this case North, should bid game in No Trump following the limit raise.

A tournament in which each pair must be a married couple.

Float - A similar term is: Swish

1. Slang: during the bidding to be followed by three passes. For example: 3 No Trump floated shows three No Trump was passed out. West's 3 Spades floated around to South shows North and East passed over 3 Spades.
2. Slang: during the play, lead and duck; let ride, usually by declarer not putting up a higher card from his hand or from dummy For example: South floated the Jack of Hearts around to East's Queen.
3. Slang: during the play not getting covered. For example: The 10 of Spades floated, meaning that it was led and won the trick.

This is a designation, primarily used in England, for the Summary Sheet on which the results of each rubber are credited to the winner and debited against the losers, in rubber bridge and Chicago. The results are entered in hundreds of points, with 50 points ignored in England but counted as 100 in the United States. This designation can also be referred to as: 1. Ledger; or 2. Back Score; or 3. Washing List, among other designations.

Flower Bids
This designation is used for a feature in several bridge bidding systems. The origin of the term is unknown. A Flower bid is generally made by a passed hand to denote generally a good 5-card side suit containing a source of winners and at least a 4-card support for the suit of the partner's suit and a maximum of six losers and 12 or fewer support points.

Flower Howell Barometer or Flower Movement
The players move up one table each round until they get to table # 1, where each pair will play twice and where the players then pivot and move down until they meet the stationery pair at the highest numbered table, where each pair will only play once. The arrow switches are not per round, but rather by table. In Sweden and Norway, where this movement has gained popularity, yellow and red table cards indicate whether at any particular table the pair moving up is North/South or East/West. The table card arrow switches one third of the rounds and all players play the same boards each round. Generally the best movement consists of 14 tables, 27 rounds at x-boards per round played over two or three sessions, which equals out to either 54 for 2-boards per round or 81 boards for 3-boards per round. This movement allows human traffic to be minimized, since after each round a pair moves to an adjacent table.

This particular movement has simple player moves and there are actually several disadvantages as opposed to other forms of movements. One disadvantage is that the movement cannot be made as balanced as an ordinary Howell movement. A second disadvantage is that board progression is irregular, which is why the movement is best played with a central table for all idle boards. Board movement should be by the director. With board duplication so much easier and simply nowadays, it is common for the same boards to be played at all tables each round. This method of movement has been, and still is used in many major bridge events such as the Cavendish Pairs events.

A fortuitous profit such as a player dropping a card that appears disastrous, but which produces an excellent result.

Slang: to play a card, as to take a winning card immediately on someone else's lead of its suit.

Follow or Following Suit
To play a card of the same suit as the one led.

    1. to make a forcing bid;
    2. to require an opponent to use a trump;
    3. to diminish the number of trumps held by an opponent;
    4. to make a call, which is forcing for the partner.
    5. to cause a player to ruff; to play a card of the suit led if possible.

A requirement under a special understanding that partner may not pass.

Forced Bid
After one partner makes a forcing bid, the partner is systemically required to respond in some manner, which constitutes a forced bid. The concept is to keep the bidding open until a final contract is agreed. The response can show weakness, strength, or the wish to penalize the opponents, after an interfering bid, by passing.

Forcing Bid
A bid which, due to the agreement of the partnership for the applied system or convention, requires the partner to keep the auction alive by making some call other than a pass, unless there is an intervening call.

Forcing Club
1. a strong, artificial 1 Club opening;
2. a system based on such an opening.

Forcing Declarer to Ruff
A method of defense play, forcing or pumping the declarer to use his trump cards to trump an established suit of the opponents. Thereby the possibility is created that the declarer must use all his trump cards, which then causes the declarer to lose control of the play.

Forcing Lead
These are plays by the opening leader. The aim is to weaken the trump suit of the declarer. It has been proven effective when the declarer has only 4 trump cards. Depleting the trump control can cause the declarer to lose control of the play prematurely.

Forcing No Trump
A 1 No Trump response to a Major suit opening as a forcing, but not necessarily strong, bid.

Forcing 1 No Trump Opening Bid
The origins of this concept remain unknown. The parameters of this particular No Trump opening bid is that the range lies between 21 and 24 high card points. The holding can be either a balanced holding or an unbalanced holding with game tendencies, meaning that only one trick from partner would ensure a game contract, if not a slam contract.

Forcing Pass
A pass that requests that partner take some action and not allow the opponents to secure the contract, undoubled, at their present bid. By clicking on the following .pdf file, a compilation of Forcing Pass Systems, written for the Internet by Mr. Jan Eric Larrson and Mr. Ben Cowling in June 2001, will, depending on your browser, either be automatically downloaded to your computer and will automatically be opened by Adobe Acrobat Reader or automatically opened by your browser.

Note: The following serves as a possible guideline in understanding the nature of the Forcing Pass: The forcing pass is associated with the penalty double. If both partners know that they have shown enough and sufficient defensive tricks to make the double, and fail to do so, this failure means only that they do not have enough of the trumps of the opponents. Therefore, a pass now becomes forcing on the partner. If the partner has sufficient trump, the partner doubles, and if the partner does not have sufficient trump, the partner must continue to bid. The partner may not pass.

Forcing Raise
The short version is that a forcing raise shows the values to bid at least game, especially in a Major suit. During the evolution of the game of bridge it was generally thought that an immediate double raise of partner's suit in a non-competitive auction should be considered the only method to demand a second rebid by partner. With more devised concepts this idea has been more and more discarded. Such methods include, but not limited to, Jacoby 2 No Trump, any agreed Mini-Splinter, all Splinter bids in general, and various forms of the Swiss convention.

Forcing Sequences
A series of bids that require the auction to continue. Some sequences may not be passed because the last bid has showed strength.

Forcing Stayman
Stayman in which a rebid of 2 of a Major suit by the 2 Club bidder is forcing.

Force To
The act of ensuring that the bidding reaches at least a certain level, as in force to the three level, force to game, force to the five level, force to slam.

Forcing To Game
A call or bid, per partnership agreement, that requests partner should not pass until a game contract has been reached or a penalty double has been made.

Forcing Two-Bid
This is the traditional use of an opening bid on the two level in a suit to show a holding, which can almost guarantee game, or even slam, as a so-called stand-alone holding. This is also referred to as the Culbertson Two Bid, the Demand Bid, or Strong Two. This concept formed the foundation of the Culbertson system. However, during the evolution of the game of bridge, mostly after 1945/46, this method has been abandoned in favor of Weak Two Bids, the Acol Two Bid, etc.

Forcing 2 Club Response
An artificial response used in the Drury convention, devised by Mr. Douglas Drury.

Ford, Charles
The story of a 102 year old bridge player
, who was stopped by the police for a traffic violation, and who was racing to get to the Bridge Table.

The way Charles Ford sees it, nothing is going to stop him from driving his brand new Chevy Cavalier. So what if gas prices are high? So what if he has more traffic tickets than he can remember? So what if he is 102 years old?

He's still got a good eye for the road; he swears by it. After all, he has been driving since Woodrow Wilson was in the White House, back when some people were still getting around by mule.

The latest ticket wasn't so hard to explain. He had a bridge game to get to and didn't have time to wait for a traffic jam to clear. He thought he'd drive down the other side of the road, far enough to make a turn. But as soon as the lights flashed behind him, Ford knew he was in trouble.

"Whenever I know I done something wrong, I don't put no squawk with the police," he said, accepting the yellow slip that would cost him $170. "I knew better."

With his cane in one hand and his car keys in the other, Ford is among 58 centenarians licensed to drive on California's streets. There are 37 drivers who are 100 years old, 15 who are 101, three who are 102, one who is 103 and two who have celebrated their 104th birthdays.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles doesn't disqualify elderly drivers from obtaining licenses, but it does require those older than 70 to renew them in person. Across the country, 19 states require older drivers--typically older than 65 or 70--to renew their licenses in person, to renew them more often or to pass road and vision tests, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Drivers older than 65 have very low accident rates and are not threats to others on the road, according to a study by the institute. But when they do get into accidents, they are more easily hurt and less likely to survive their injuries, the study said. The death rates for drivers 75 to 79 years old are more than four times as high as those for 30-to 59-year-olds.

Of course, not everyone trusts someone who has been behind the wheel since before most roads were built. Ford's friend from the senior citizens center, Mignon Benjamin, said many old drivers grip the steering wheel and never go above 20 mph. But not her friend, she says with a chuckle.

"Here comes Mr. Ford! Get out of his way!" said Benjamin, 73. "I wouldn't ride with him for my life. He drives too fast." Ford passed a written exam this year to renew his California driver's license for five more years. And a few months ago, he traded in a 1981 Malibu station wagon and bought the 2002 gold Cavalier.

"I've always been a lover of beautiful women and beautiful cars," he said. "That's why I don't have any money today."

Sitting on a recliner in the living room of his home south of downtown, Ford keeps the door open to stay cool on a hot Los Angeles summer day. A vase of blue carnations is on a counter, next to a plastic crown he received on his 100th birthday.

Ford has a wide smile and a clean shave, and his suspenders and hat lie nearby on a mustard-colored couch, where he left them after a headache caused him to cancel a bridge game with his brother.

Ford remembers the day he learned to drive as if it were yesterday. It was 1918 and he was living in a rural Mississippi town. The country was at war and a sawmill was being built nearby to make wood spokes and rims for military vehicles.

To Ford, the sawmill meant steady work because drivers would be needed to haul logs. So when a neighbor was driving to a town 20 miles away and offered him a ride, Ford jumped in and carefully watched every move the driver made. About six miles from home, he took the wheel. Soon afterward, Ford got the job.

"You didn't have to have a license, but you had to prove you could drive," he said.

During the Depression, Ford and his wife, Emma, hitched a ride to Los Angeles. His wife got a job as a mother's helper, while he began cleaning and doing yard work. Together, they made $45 a month.

Later, he donned a cap and a uniform and became a chauffeur for a Beverly Hills tailor, he said, delivering clothes to Clark Gable and Edward G. Robinson, among others.

In 1932, Ford finally scraped up enough money for a car.
He paid about $30 for a black Ford roadster with a rumble seat, shiny red wheels and fenders with lights.

"It was a beautiful thing," he said, shaking his head. "It was a sports car."

Driving his very own wheels, Ford said, he felt like a rich man. He didn't have to worry about taking the 5-cent streetcar anymore. It was the year of Ford's first--he insists only--accident: Another motorist ran into him.

Traffic tickets have been another story. After Ford was cited for driving on the wrong side of the street in February, he registered for traffic school to save money on his insurance.

Back at the Inglewood courthouse, the Traffic Division clerks were having trouble entering Ford's ticket information in the computer. His birth date is 10-2-99 and the computer kept processing it as if he were 2 years old, said La Taunya Green, assistant supervisor of the Inglewood Traffic Division.

Green said that once she realized Ford's real age, she couldn't wait to meet him. She dubbed him "Grand Centenarian Ticket Holder" and told her staff to make sure to tell her when he arrived.

When Ford came to court after finishing traffic school, he was greeted by several eager clerks who snapped photographs. He walked with his cane and got around without a problem, Green said.

"It was just totally amazing," Green said. "We were just staring at him. We were like, 'Hey Pops. Pops is rolling!' "

Ford knows his mind isn't as sharp as it once was, so he tries to drive less frequently. And when he does, he avoids driving at night and tries to slow down. "When I was young and crazy, I'd get lots of tickets," he said. "I'd take my chances."

Not anymore, especially after his ticket this spring. That sure set him back, he says. But he still refuses to stop driving. He's got places to be, groceries to buy and bridge games to play. His great-niece, Marva Hill, said her uncle is one of the most independent and strong-willed people she has ever met--especially when it comes to driving. He lives alone, although with frequent visitors. "He's got a mind of his own," Hill said.

To cancel a right or turn to call; to lose or give up (something) on account of an offense, error, of failure to fulfill an agreement; something lost or given up as a penalty for a fault, mistake. Origin of word is from Old French forfet, offence, from forfaire, to commit a crime, from Medieval Latin foris facere to act outside (what is lawful), from Latin foris outside + facere to do. (Spanish: prenda. German: verwirken.

Fork or Fourchette
The first term is the English usage and fourchette is the French equivalent. In the publication Modern Scientific Whist authored by Mr. C.D.P. Hamilton, published in the year 1901, he writes: You have a fourchette when you hold the card next higher and next lower than the card led; as 10 led, you holding the knave and the 9. To a conventional original lead of a high card you cannot hold a fourchette; but they are common when the lead is forced. Holding a fourchette is notice to you that the lead is irregular, and you play accordingly.

1. a tenace such as Ace-Queen;
2. an end-position; ending;
3. any position in which a player has a choice of losing plays.

Forty Four System - Forty Four System for Bidding Contract Auction Bridge
This is the designation given to a bidding system for the game of Contract Auction Bridge. The system was developed by Mr. Jaroslaw Hugo Jicha and published in his book titled The Forty-Four System of Bidding Contract Auction Bridge, the first edition being published in the year 1937. The publishing house is unknown. Library of Congress code is LC: 37037511. Any additional information will be greatly appreciated.

Forty-Niner Pairs
This is an otherwise open event, but all players must have fewer than 50 masterpoints.

Forty-Niner - 49er Player

Forum D - Französiche Original Reiz-und Unterrichts Methode In Deutschland
The basic bidding system used in Germany. This information has been only preserved and archived on this site in .pdf file format and will be automatically opened in a new window by your browser. The article was compiled by Mr. Rene Steiner and is entirely in German.

Foster Echo
Named for Mr. Robert Frederick Foster, born May 31, 1853, and died December 25, 1945, and who was of New York United States., but born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He devised the Foster Echo, which is defined as a third-hand unblocking play against a No Trump contract intended to show count. With a 4-card holding, the first play is the second highest, followed by the third highest, with the lowest being played last. With a 3-card holding, the first play is second highest and the second is the highest, saving the lowest for last. Additional information can be found in the book Count Coded Leads - Defensive Carding in the 21st Century by Mr. Jerry Fink and Mr. Joe Lutz.

Fouled Board

Foundations of Modern American Bidding or Foundation System
This is a bidding system presented by Mr. Kenneth L. Lindsay on the Internet as a Web Book, which is presented in Part 1: System Description: A concise description of the System, and Part 2: System Practice. This particular bidding system relies heavily on the Losing Trick Count Method. However, in the words of the author: The Losing Trick Count is useful only for potential suit contracts. For No Trump contracts with two reasonably balanced hands, traditional evaluation based on high card points with corrections for assets and flaws is still the preferred approach. This Web Book has only been preserved and archived on this site in .pdf file format.

See: Fork. This is a narrower description specifying a tenace.

Four - Four Spot
The Four Spot is the eleventh ranking card of each suit. On this card are four pips of the suit on the face of the card.


Four Aces System
A series of methods used by the famous Four Aces Team in winning many championships during the Thirties, many of which have become standard practice. The central elements of this system was the point count.

Ace: 3 points
King: 2 points
Queen: 1 point
Jack: 0.5 point

The opening bid was always the decisive moment and the decision to open was based on the fact that a point count of 6.5 points represents an average hand. Since there are only 26 points in a deck, this number divided by the integer 4, the number of players at one table, equals 6.5. In coming to a decision whether to open or not, the player is obliged to hold at least 9 points. A holding of 9.5 points is a mandatory opening.

The No Trump range is limited to a range of 11-13 points. Holdings with less than 7 honor cards are devalued by 0.5 point for each honor, and holdings with more than 7 honor cards were increased in value accordingly. At the time, this new development decreased the number of problems the players had with rebids.

Using the Four Aces system, a player could open a 3-card Minor suit for further descriptive purposes, and was used either by the opener or the responder in the first rebid by the responder. This bid was simply considered exploratory.

An important element of the Four Aces system is the use of the Weak Jump overcalls, which caused many problems for the opponents, since the defense against preempts were not developed at that time.

Since Psychic Bids were allowed during the Thirties, they were used quite frequently, generally in Third Seat, but occasionally in First Seat, and promised moderate high card strength in the suit bid.

Jump Shifts on the Two Level or Three Level were used as Psychic controls. The opener rebids 2 No Trump with a Psychic, but any other rebid promotes strongly the possibility of a slam attempt.

Four Aces Teams
A combination of teams that dominated tournament competition in the Thirties. The introduction of the Four Aces Teams occurred at the Summer NAC in Asbury Park in 1933 and consisted of Mr. David Burnstine/Bruce, Mr. Richard Frey, Mr. Oswald Jacoby, and Mr. Howard Schenken. Together as a team, they won the forerunner of the Spingold Teams.

Mr. Michael Gottlieb joined the team immediately afterward, and during 1934 the major victories of the Four Aces Teams included the Vanderbilt, the Spingold, the Grand National and the forerunner of the Reisinger. In 1935 they successfully defended the Grand National and won the Vanderbilt with Mr. Sherman Stearns replacing Mr. Richard Frey, who had resigned from the team.

Mr. David Burnstine/Bruce, Mr. Howard Schenken and Mr. Michael Gottlieb defeated the country of France in the First World Championship Match, which took place in Madison Square Garden. Mr. Michael Gottlieb retired in 1936 and his successor was Mr. Merwin D. Maier. Other players, who were occasionally members of the team included Mr. Benjamin Jay Becker. These occasional players, not truly members of the team, continued playing until December 1941, but were continued to be listed as entrants until 1945 for public relation purposes such as newspaper and book articles. The Four Aces Team also published a book entitled The Four Aces System of Contract Bridge under the name of author Mr. David Burnstine/Bruce.

Four Bid
A bid at the four level, promising to take ten tricks if it becomes the final contract.

Four by Three
This refers to a distribution of: 4-3-3-3, which is considered to be a flat holding. The designation is also referred to as Four by Triple Three.

Four Card Majors
This bidding method permitted opening in a Major suit with a four-card length, and was very popular in the early decades of bridge. However, its popularity decreased as more favor by the bridge community of opening a 5-card Major suit grew. It has remained a standard feature of the Acol system, and is an integral part of the Roth-Stone and Kaplan-Sheinwold bidding systems.

Four Clubs Blackwood
Originally the designation for the conventional method for asking for Aces when inquiring about a possible slam contract. Now known as the Gerber convention. The Gerber convention was devised by Mr. John Gerber of Houston, Texas, United States (born 1906and died January 28, 1981) in the year 1938. Even today, however, this convention is stilled referred to as the Four Clubs Blackwood.. In addition, the concept was devised independently by Dr. William Konigsberger of Geneva, Switzerland, and partner Mr. Wim Nye, and was also published by them in Europe in the year 1936. (Name or title of the published material remains unknown.)

Four Club Conventions
This method includes several conventions such as Clarac Slam Try, Namyats, Rubin Transfers, South African Texas, Swiss Convention. An alternative method, devised by Mr. Howard Robinson of New York City, is to apply the 4 Clubs bid as a three stage asking bid to determine singletons, Aces, and trump honors.

When, during the bidding process, a partner jumps to 4 Clubs, or a 4 Clubs bid by one partner immediately follows a jump raise of another suit, the other partner is requested to bid a suit in which he holds a singleton.

If this is not the case, then the partner rebids the agreed trump suit. Bidding the next higher ranking suit by the asking bidder asks the partner to show the number of Aces. Once the number of Aces has been established, the asking player bids the next higher ranking suit, but not the agreed trump suit, then the partner is requested to show his trump honors including the Ace, King and Queen of trump through Step Relays. Only the asking player can sign off whenever the asking denomination exceeds the level of the possible final contract.

Four Clubs and Four Diamonds Opening Preempts
Preempting on the four level in a Minor suit normally promises an 8-card Minor suit and weak values, and quite probably a broken suit. This treatment is generally, but not always employed in combination with the Gambling Three No Trump conventional preemptive competitive bid, whereby the player would bid 3 No Trump with a solid suit.

Four Club and Four Diamond (Opening) Transfers
See: Namyats.

Four Deal Bridge
A popular variant of rubber bridge in which each unit of play, or chukker, consists of four deals, the vulnerability switching with each deal. Also known as Chicago for the city in which it originated.

Four Horsemen
A champion team of the 1930s, formed by Mr. Phillip Hal Sims, to challenge the earlier successes of the Ely Culbertson team. The other members were Mr. Willard S. Karn, Mr. David Burnstine, and Mr. Oswald Jacoby. The Four Horsemen won the two major team championships in 1932, namely the Vanderbilt and the Asbury Park by rather large margins. They also won the Reisinger in the year 1933. Mr. Phillip Hal Sims, in competition with the Ely Culbertson team, attempted unsuccessfully to promote and develop his own system after the bridge players decided not to become part of the personal competition. His most successful players retired from the Four Horsemen and joined the Four Aces Team.

One of the original members of the Four Horsemen was targeted by Mr. Ely Culbertson since the direction of the bridge community and the authoritative and/or governing body in the early 1930s were being vigorously contested. A competition between the two bodies ensued and unusual practices were employed, which are described in the following excerpt of the book published by Cathy Chua.

The cheating incident described above has been detailed in the published book by Cathy Chua. An excerpt is presented below.

Fair Play or Foul
by Cathy Chua

Pioneer Books, South Australia

Subtitled Cheating Scandals in Bridge, this book has 127 pages, but the pages are a third larger than the UK's standard size. It consists of a collection of essays, or should one say detective stories, which appeared initially as magazine articles written by Cathy Chua, who has played both chess and bridge for Australia. Even the difficulties regarding publication of the book make an interesting story, as told in the Preface. It was eventually published in November 1998, but only after four years of struggle, which the author chronicles year by year. For example, in 1995 "various mainstream publishers over the past year decline to publish it, not with the standard polite rejection slip, but with reactions stooping to emotional, personal vitriol." Strong stuff!

The first cheating story is about Willard S. Karn, member of the bridge foursome formed by Hal Sims in 1931 to challenge Culbertson's supremacy. They became known as the Four Horsemen because they rode rough-shod over other teams in the early 1930s. Chua's case is that the success of the Four Horsemen presented a threat to Ely Culbertson and his bridge empire, so Culbertson targeted Karn, even employing a card detective, Mickey MacDougall. As a consequence, an accusation was made against Karn of cheating while playing rubber bridge at Crockford's, after which the accused player disappeared from the tournament bridge scene - but the story goes on.

Both Ely Culbertson and Mickey MacDougall stood to gain from Karn's downfall. Chua points out that Culbertson's influence "is an ongoing difficulty when dealing with the history of the 1930s. Every account of bridge in the 1930s in America relies heavily on Culbertson's writing. That all Culbertson's writing was first and foremost propaganda has been disregarded." While, in Mickey MacDougall, "we have a man who calls himself the only card detective in the world, admitting that his occupation is dependent upon his continuing to expose cheats."

Following this allegation of cheating and the withdrawal from tournament bridge by Mr. Williard S. Karn, the team Four Horsemen lacked a fourth player. Mr. Howard Schenken was chosen as his replacement. However, since the allegation of cheating had tainted the reputation of the Four Horsemen, the decision was made to form a second team under a different name. The damage had been done. The Four Aces Team was then born. Since the published material regarding the incident at that time during the birth of the new game Duplicate Contract Bridge is rather scarce, it must be remembered that the true events may never be uncovered or brought to light.

Four No Trump Conventions
A bid of 4 No Trump by any partner in the auction is the cheapest possible bid above any Major suit game level and is therefore assigned a certain significance in many bidding systems. One of the earliest conventions to use the 4 No Trump bid was the Blackwood convention. The general interpretation of the 4 No Trump by one partner is to initiate inquiries regarding a slam possibility, but to stay below the level of slam, if the partnership discovers that a slam is not possible.

The concept has as a cornerstone the feature that the holding can contain two possible suits as opposed to a strong, artificial 2 Clubs opening bid, which generally shows either a one-suited holding or a balanced holding. Since the strong, artificial 2 Clubs opening bid has evolved to include two-suited holdings, and even three-suited holdings, this distinction does not remain as sharp as at the inception. Therefore, the main distinction remains that the strong, artificial 2 Clubs opening bid may have a minimum requirement of 8.5 winning tricks as opposed to a holding with a minimum number of only 10 winning tricks for an Acol 4 No Trump opening bid.

Several conventions and/or treatments using the 4 No Trump bid are ACOL Four No Trump Opening, Byzantine Blackwood, Culbertson Four/Five No Trump, Declarative-Interrogative Four No Trump, Defense to Opening Four-Bid, Key Card Blackwood, King Convention, Norman, Roman Blackwood, San Francisco, Suppressing The Bid Ace, and others.

Four No Trump Opening
An opening bid showing a balanced hand which can guarantee ten tricks. The partner is invited to raise the bidding one level for each Ace, King, or Queen he holds. A description of this method can be found in the writings and publications of Mr. George D. Jesner, born in the year 1925, of Glasgow, Scotland, but relocated to Canberra, Australia, in the year 1964. Mr. George Jesner died in the month of October in the year 2010. He developed an Acol-based bidding style in the 1950s, which he played actively until his death.

Note; This opening on the four level defines a holding which contains ten certain tricks, whether balanced or unbalanced. It designates a hand too strong to open with 3 No Trump and containing a 28-30 high card point range. Although this opening was used frequently, modern bidding would require the opener to begin the auction with a strong artificial Two Clubs opening bid, and then rebid 4 No Trump showing the high card point range.

Four No Trump Opening Preempt
This method devised by Mr. Terence Reese and Mr. Jeremy Flint is part of the Little Major System and was subsequently adopted by several American bridge experts to distinguish between a strong and a weak Minor suit game preempt. Any opening bid of 4 No Trump indicates a weak preempt of 5 Clubs or 5 Diamonds. Such a holding shows fewer than 5 controls by counting an Ace or Void as 2 controls, and a King or a singleton as only one control. An opening bid, conversely, of 5 Clubs or 5 Diamonds would indicate a stronger preempt with five or more controls.

Four No Trump Overcall
A bid of 4 No Trump after an opening bid by the opponents is normally a form of the Unusual No Trump convention, calling for a bid of a Minor suit by partner. This bid applies only to any opening bid by the opponents including and higher than Hearts on the Three Level. After any opening bid by the opponents under 3 Hearts, an overcall of 4 No Trump would be Blackwood or a form of Blackwood.

A term which describes the winning of four tricks over book, or ten tricks in total.

Four Of A Suit Opening
Opening a suit on the four level can show either a disruptive preempt, or it is a natural opening bid which promises a long, strong suit with very moderate side strength. The distribution becomes then the key element and the major factor. The distribution of the hand could be either a 7 or 8-card suit, or a two-suited hand which contains no more than four losing tricks.

Four Of Clubs
This card in a 52 card deck, during the days of Whist, acquired the unique designation of the Devil's Bedposts. This designation is attributed to Mr. Cavendish (pen name for Mr. Henry Jones), a prolific author on the game of Whist. (Note that the publication The Devil's Picture-books: A History of Playing Cards, the author Mrs. John King Van Renusselaer writes: The four of Clubs is called by sailors the Devil's Bedposts. Also, the publication Materials for Translating English into German by Dr. Emil Otto, dated 1874, reveals that the phrase die Teufels Bettpfeiler refers to the huge beds in England, which had at each corner large posts to hang the canopy.)


Four Suit Squeeze
An unusual squeeze which is quite rare. Reported in BB10/03P24.

Four Suit Transfer Bids - 4 Suit Transfer Bids
This is an extended version of the Jacoby Transfer conventional method following an opening of 1 No Trump by partner and allowing the responder to transfer to all four suits.

Four Tables

14 Spade Guide
Sometimes referred to colloquially, and depending on the geographical region, as the 14 Spade Guide or Rule of 14, but see other Rules of 14 listed on the web page, which presents different concepts. The 14 Spade Guide operates and is executed only in one specific auction / bidding situation.

Fourteen Tables
At duplicate, 14 tables provide competition among 56 players, as individuals, 28 pairs, or 14 teams. The team-of-four can be board-a-match or Swiss Team competition.

Fourteen Thirty 1430
The 1430 Roman Keycard Blackwood is a variation of the Roman Keycard Blackwood with only one slight difference. The bids of 4 Clubs and 4 Diamonds are reversed to show the number of Key Cards.

Within or heading a four-card holding. For example: Jack-fourth shows four cards headed by the Jack.

Fourth Hand
1. the player fourth to have the opportunity to bid, which is on the right of the dealer;
2. the player fourth to play to a trick.

Fourth Highest or Fourth Best
This is the oldest conventional defense method in the game of bridge dating back to Mr. Edmund Hoyle and his book A Short Treatise on Whist. It is traditionally the fourth highest card of a long suit and is preferably led to develop long card tricks in a suit and to give the partner the count in that particular suit, which constitutes a means of communication and exchange of information. The application of this convention is the foundation of the Rule of Eleven. See also: Rusinow Leads and Roman Leads.

True - believe it or not: As this traditional method is simple and totally self-explanatory, not much time is wasted on the explanation thereof during bridge instructions to the learning bridge students. However, under certain circumstances the occasion may arise that one student might possibly misinterpret the meaning. For example the student holds S: K-9-6-4-2 and must lead to the first trick against a contract of 3 No Trump. The student leads the 9 of Spades. The Rule of Eleven has been agreed and partner must assume that the 9 of Spades is Fourth Best, but later realizes that this is impossible.

The student had thought that one counts the 2 of Spades as the First Best, the 4 of Spades as the Second Best, and the 6 of Spades as the Third Best, which, as a result, made the 9 of Spades the Fourth Best.

Fourth Suit Forcing
A convention, whereby the rebid of the unbid fourth suit, generally by the responder, is forcing for at least one round.

Fourth Suit Forcing Lisa - Basic Lisa - The Lisa Convention - Extended Lisa
This concept is a variation / extension of the Bart conventional method and was conceived and developed by Mr. Jamie Radcliffe and Mr. Pete Whipple. Their write-up was published in The Bridge World in October 2007, Volume 79, Number 1. The source for the information is a write-up and summary by Mr. Neil H. Timm and posted in Bridge News, to which a registration is required. This information is in a .pdf file format and will automatically be opened by your browser in a new window. This information is also only archived and preserved on this site for future reference.

A term describing a suit of two or more cards that is not long enough to bid naturally, but is usually a 3-card suit. The bid of a fragment is designed to imply shortness in an unbid suit.

Fragment Bid
An unusual bid that shows both a fit for partner's suit and shortness, void or singleton, in a particular suit other than the one bid. This method was devised by Mr. Monroe Ingberman. For example: in the partnership sequence 1 Club - 1 Spade - 3 Diamonds, 3 Diamonds is a fragment bid if it shows a strong hand with Spade support and at most 1 Heart. Although fragment bids were devised as a use for the double jump shift, otherwise an idle bid in many partnership agreements, after a player has made a bid that denies a two-suited holding, a fragment bid may be made in a suit without being forced to jump. Inferences drawn from the fragment bid are that the bidder has support for the suit of his partner and a singleton in the remaining suit.

A colloquialism for a game.

Freak - Freak Hands - Freak Holdings
These designations all describe a single hand or deal of unusual suit distribution(s), such as a holding, in which one player has more than 7 cards in one suit or 11 plus cards in two suits. This is the official definition of such extraordinary holdings, for which no existing convention, conventional method, approach, or treatment applies and, by all logic, cannot apply. The decision is left to the player as to whether to preempt on the appropriate level or to bid gradually even though the point count is fewer than generally accepted. If the holding contains two suits the consensus is to either pass originally and then reenter the auction on the second round or to enter the auction in rotation without first passing.

Mr. Ralph J. Leibenderfer composed an article to this subject when the name of the game of the time was Auction Bridge. This article regarding freak hands, as they were designated, was included in the publication Auction Bridge Standards, authored by Mr. Wilbur C. Whitehead and published in the year 1921 and also in subsequent years as a reprint. This publication was edited by Mr. Ralph J. Leibenderfer and includes his article on Pre-emptive Bids - Freak Hands. This article is included here for the enjoyment of the visitor in .pdf file format.

Fred Friendly Award
The annual award given by the Professional Tournament Directors Association to the ACBL tournament director who has shown best the qualities of courtesy and friendliness to players. The award was named for Mr. Paul Stehly, whose nickname was Fred Friendly.

Made, when it is not necessary to bid, to allow partner another chance to call. For example: South bids 1 Club, West bids 1 Diamond. If North bids 1 Heart, that is a free bid; if North bids 2 Clubs, that is a free raise.

Free Bid
This is a bid made by a player, whose partner's bid has been overcalled by the right hand opponent. Under these circumstances the partner will have another chance to bid. Therefore, it seems unnecessary to bid with only minimum values. Also known as a voluntary bid.

In the following bidding sequence: 1 Club - 1 Heart - 1 No Trump, the responder is making a free bid, but with definite information. The usual defined range is 9/10-12 high card ;points, but can be 7-10 high card points if the player has 2 stoppers in the Heart suit bid by the opponent.

In the following bidding sequence: 1 Club - 1 Heart - 1 Spade, the suit response by the responder normally indicates a minimum of 9 HCPs, but may be less according to the partnership agreement. The concept is for the responder to bid as if there had been no interference. For instance, with lesser values and only a 4-card Spade suit, the responder should prefer the Negative Double. Any response on the Two Level should promise 11/12 HCPs after interference and generally more, if the responder bids a suit higher-ranking than the suit bid by his partner.

In the following sequence: 1 Club - 1 Spade - 2 Clubs, the original idea was to believe that a raise of the suit bid by the partner promised more strength than without the interference, but this concept has been abandoned to reflect that a raise promises the same values and strength, as if there had been no interference.

Free Double
A double of a contract, which represents a game if undoubled. This term generally applies to Rubber Bridge, when a partscore will convert an earlier partscore into game. Doubles of a game or slam contract are technically not Free Doubles.

Free Finesse
This is a defensive lead, which permits the declarer to take a finesse without the danger of losing the trick or a finesse, which normally could not be made by either side. For example: the opponent leads into a tenace of the declarer, who could not otherwise lead to his tenace owing to a void in the dummy.

Free Position
Directly after both opponents have bid. For example: 1 Club - Pass - 1 Spade - ? is a free position situation.

Free Raise
A free bid in the form of a raise of the suit of the partner after an overcall. See: Free Bid.

French Club
A simple 1 Club forcing system, which was common practice at one time in France and other parts of the world.

French Defense Method
The origin of this defense method is unknown. The concept constitutes a communication devise employed after an opponent has opened a weak 1 No Trump of 12 to 14 high card points. The name does not specify the country of origin but rather the country possibly of most usage. Before the days of being required to announce the No Trump range, the immediate defender could communicate to his partner the strength of his holding by asking or not asking the range of the No Trump opening.

French Guyana Bridge League

French Michaels Cuebid
The French version of the Michaels Cuebid conventional method deals only with the opening bid of 1 Club by the opposing side.

French Scoring
In tournaments sanctioned by the French Bridge Federation, the value of the fourth odd trick in No Trump contracts is reduced to 20 points. Therefore ten or more tricks will be scored the same in either No Trump or a Major suit.

French Two Bids or French 2 Bids
The origin is unknown. This is a designation for a strong, sometimes artificial Minor suit opening on the Two Level, which promises either a game holding or a near-game holding. It is part of the Acol bidding system or a variation of an Acol bidding system feature. Also known as: Benjamin Two Bids or Unnamed Strong Two Bid Openings.

A colloquial term to designate the holding Queen-Nine or Q9. The term refers to the image reflecting a picture by using only a letter and a number. For visitors interested the term should be search in the urban dictionary. (Note: not suitable for anyone, who is not an adult.)

Friend Award
The annual award given by the American Bridge Association to the bridge player who earns the most ABA masterpoints in a calendar year.

Slang: guaranteed to make. Also: cold.

The side of a card that shows its suit and rank.

Front Of Card
This term defines the employment of the same conventional responses to a 1 No Trump opening as the same if the bid of 1 No Trump is an overcall.

This designation refers, generally to a suit, to a circumstance when the cards are not playable by one side without resulting in a loss. For example: a suit is frozen for East-West when North holds the Queen-Ten, South holds the Ace-small, East holds the King, and West holds the Jack.

Fruit Machine Swiss
The guidelines and the requirements are the same as for the Swiss Convention. This conventional method is also referred to as: Swiss Fruit Machine. This means that the responder has opening values and a fit in the Major suit opening of his partner.

Fulfilling The Contract
The act of winning sufficient tricks for the bid contract.

Fulwiler Asking Bids
Devised by Mr. C. H. Fulwiler, born in the year 1886 and died in the year 1980, and of Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States. He was President of the Western Division ACBL beginning in the early 1940s and served also on the ACBL Board of Directors.

Futile Willie
This is a character from the book Why You Lose at Bridge by Mr. Seca Jascha (S.J.) Simon, published in 1946 and reprinted in 1996. Other characters include the Unlucky Expert, Futile Willie and Mrs. Guggenheim. The fictional character Futile Willie is one who creates disasters through being over-imaginative, and therefore describes any such bridge person.

Futile Willie's Law
This is a guideline, which has gained some popularity, and states that if an artificial call is one of your possible choices, choose it.