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


Duplicate     Bidding     General     Play     Conventions     Jargon     Rubber
 

 

General

F2F - Abbreviation for Face To Face [to distinguish from Online bridge]
 

Duplicate

49er Pairs - An open ACBL event, but all players must have fewer than 50 masterpoints
 

 

General

Face -

1.

The side of the cards showing its value: suit and rank.

2.

To place a card upward for all players to view its value.

 


Jargon

Face Cards - The Kings, Queens, and Jacks in the pack (deck).  Historically, the Face Cards were called "Coat Cards" and later referred to as "Court Cards".  See History of Cards and Example
 

 


Laws

Face Down Leads - To place the opening lead face down on the table, allowing partner to inquire about opponent's bidding and ensure the lead is from the correct player.

Face down opening lead - See Law 41  45
Withdrawal of with director's permission - See Law 41
 

Laws

Faced Card - A card whose face is made visible to all players.  See Law 45
 

 


Laws

Fact - An event which occurred at the table.  Occasionally, players are not in agreement over the facts, requiring a Director or Committee for resolution.

Agreed, ruling on - See Law 84
Appeal on question of - See Law 93
Disputed, ruling on - See Law 85
 


Duplicate

Factoring - A function performed by the Director to normalize Matchpoint scores due to unbalanced conditions, ensuring a same base to make player's scores comparable for ranking purposes
 

 


Laws

Failure To Alert -
Change of call following disclosure of misinformation - See Law 21
Failure to as misinformation - See Law 21
Inclusion in review of auction - See Law 20
Regulation by sponsoring organization - See Law 40
 

Laws

Failure To Comply With Regulations - See Law 72  90
 

Laws

Failure To Lead Or Play Penalty Card When Required - See Law 52  61
 

General

Fall - A card of lesser value which loses to one of a higher denomination.
 

Play

Falsecard - To play a higher card than necessary, intending to deceive the opponents.  See books on Bridge Psychology
 

Play

False Preference - To deceptively show preference to a suit.
 

General

FAQ - Abbreviation for Frequently Asked Questions
 

 

Bidding

Fast Arrival - An approach of quickly jumping to game to deny extra values which might invite slam.  Thus, a fast arrival player makes intermediate-level forcing calls to show extra values to suggest slam exploration.  See Details

Also see Slow Arrival
 

 


Duplicate

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.
 

General

Fast Pass - To make an unusually quick-cadence pass bid.  Such action provides improper unauthorized information of weak holdings to all players. 

Unauthorized information  - see also Information; Properties
Extraneous information - 16
General

Favorable Vulnerability - Referring to the side being Non-Vulnerable, while opponents are Vulnerable.  Also known as "White over Red" and Green Vulnerability. See Example
 

 

 

 

 

Bidding

Feature -

1.

A top honor (usually an Ace or King), commonly used after a preemptive Weak 2 Bid and obstructive bidding Systems sequence as:
 

2S - 2N;
3H - 3N
 

2N asks partner for a feature
3H shows a stopper - Ace or King, leading partner to accept a 3N game

Also see  Convention Card Instructions, Feature, and books on Preempts

 

 

2.

A noteworthy suit, usually showing either strength.  Here's an example playing a generalized version of the "Help Suit Game Try" convention:
 

1H - 2H;
3D


3D is similar to opener's 3H invitational bid, but instead asks partner to consider bidding 4H with a Diamond feature.

 

 

 

Jargon Fever - The colloquial term referring to the 5 (five-spot) card.  See Card Names
 

Bidding

Fert - To open with a weak opening hand (7 points or less) at the one-level.  Fert calls are normally associated with partners who play a Strong Pass system.   The term Fert is actually a colloquial term, derived from the term "fertilizer".
 

Duplicate

Field - The contestants in an event.
 

Bidding

Fielder's Choice - In a competitive auction, the opportunity to obtain a good result by either continuing bidding or doubling the opponents.
 


Laws

Fielding A Psych - To illegally interpret a partner's call as a bluff/psyche bid before opponents are aware of the deliberate misinterpretation of partner's holdings.  See Law 40A.
 

Laws

Fifth Card To A Trick - See Law 45
 

General

Fifth Honor - The ten-spot of the trump suit. See Example
 

Jargon

Filler - An intermediate card which supports honors in a long suit.
 

General

Final Contract or Bid - The last bid of an auction.
 

Bidding

Finesse - A lead towards an opponent's possible winning card, anticipating an opportunity to trap the intervening card.  See Examples

Also see books on Finesse
 

General

First Hand - Referring to the dealer, who makes the initial call.
 

 

Bidding

Fishbein - A rudimentary defensive system in response to opponents preemptive opening bids, including:

1.

Double is a penalty-oriented bid.

2.

Cheapest suit is for Takeout.

 

Bidding

Fisher Double - The conventional use of a double requesting a Club lead over opponents' Notrump contract or a Diamond lead if opponents' made an undoubled 2C Stayman call. See Details
 

Jargon Fishhook - The colloquial term referring to a Jack or 7 (seven-spot). See Card Names
 
General

Fit - Referring to the combined suit assets with one's partner.
 

Bidding

Fit Showing Jump - A skip bid showing suit length in both partner's suit as well as the bid suit of the jump.  See Conventions (Mixed Raise)
 

General

Five - Represented by 5 pips.  See Example
 

Bidding

Five Card Majors - A partnership agreement that an opening bid in a major suit is (usually) five or more cards in that suit.
 

Bidding

Five of a Major, Opening - A five-level opening bid shows a hand with only two losers -- the trump Ace and King.
 

Bidding

Five Notrump, Opening - A five-level Notrump opening bid shows a balanced hand with only two losers.
 

Jargon

Fix - To obtain a poor score based upon a illogical bid or play by the opponents.
 

Bidding

Flannery Two Diamonds - See Conventions.
 

General

Flat Hand - Referring to a hand containing a 4-3-3-3 distribution.
 

Duplicate

Flat Board - A Board where contestants all obtain an identical score.
 

Duplicate

Flight - A segmentation of contestants according to their cumulative masterpoints as an attempt to balance the field.
 

 

 

Duplicate

Flighted Pairs - This 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 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 A0 to infinity; B0-750; C0-300. 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 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.
 

Bidding

Flip Flop - See Conventions
 

Duplicate

Flitch - A married couples' event.
 


 

Jargon

Float -

1.

Concluding an auction, e.g. a bid followed by three passes

2.

To duck the possibility of winning a trick

 

Jargon

Fluke - An unexpected situation or play, usually producing a very good result.
 

 

Laws

Following Suit - To play a card in the same denomination as the suit led.

General requirement - See Law 44
Requirement when penalty card(s) present - See Law 50  59
Revoke - See Law 61

Laws

FOLOOT - Abbreviation for Faced Opening Lead Out Of Turn
 


Play

Bidding

Force -

1.

A lead that necessitates and opponent to play a trump to win a trick

2.

To make a required bid.

 

Bidding

Forcing Bid - A bid required by partnership agreement, unless opponents make an intervening bid or double.  See Details
 

Bidding

Forcing Club - A Strong Club opening system, where an opening of 1 Club is an artificial bid.
 

 

 


Play

Forcing Defense - The tactic of making attacking leads and plays during the early stages of play.  Advantageous forcing defensive situations include:

1.

Opponent's do not have a strong trump fit, such as a 4-3 fit.

2.

Opponent's have 4-4 trump fit, while defenders have  a 4-1 trump distribution.

3.

Declarer hold a two suited hand.

4.

Defenders have a long suit/s which force declarer to ruff.

See Opening Leads, Passive Lead, Trump Lead, Active Defense, CardingFourth Best or Third and Fifth leads, Coded 9 and 10 (Jack denies, 10 implies), Obvious Suit Preference, and Middle Up Down (MUD), Bottom Of Something Top Of Nothing (BOSTON).

Also see books on Leads
 

 

Play

Forcing Notrump - A conventional response of 1 Notrump to partner's major suit opening, requiring further description of opener's hand.  The Forcing Notrump call is a cornerstone of the 2/1 system, usually showing a range of 6-12 points; this treatment is necessary to cover responder's 10-12 point range, where a two-level response would be game-forcing.  See Details2/1 System, and Understanding 1NT Forcing
 

Play

Forcing Lead - A defensive lead intended to weaken declarer's trump holding.  See Forcing Defense
 


Play

Forcing Pass - In a competitive auction, a pass that allows partner to choose the most profitable option between a rebid in agreed suit or doubling opponents for penalty.  See Details and Forcing Pass in Contract Bridge
 

Bidding

Forcing Raise - A game-forcing raise in partner's suit.
 

Bidding

Forcing Sequences - A series of calls showing strength, with last bid requiring partner to continue bidding.
 

Bidding

Forcing Stayman - See Conventions.
 

Bidding

Forcing to Game - A call asking partner to continue bidding to either game or doubling opponents for penalty.
 


Bidding

Forcing 2 Bid - A legacy Strong 2 bidding system, where an opening two level bid is any suit strongly suggests game (2N is a negative response) .  Currently, most competitive players prefer to play preemptive two-level opening bidding, reserving only 2C to show a strong opening hand.
 

 

 

Laws

Forfeit - To legally waive one's rights according to the Laws. a right or turn to call.

Acceptance of insufficient bid - See Law 27
Acceptance of lead out of turn - See Law 53
After call out of rotation - See Law 29
After irregularity - See Law 9  10  11
By dummy's infraction - See Law 43
Play before assessment of penalty for infraction - See Law 60
Retention of right to call - See Law 34

 

Play

Fork -

1.

An unenviable position of choosing between losing plays.

2.

Tenance holdings, as Ace-Queen.

 

Duplicate

Forms - BridgeHands includes several free downloadable forms for your use:

2, 3, and 4 table Tallies

Duplicate Traveler

Private Scoresheet

The ACBL has a variety of useful ACBL forms for Directors, suitable for tournament events. 

     ACBL player memo
     Accident report   
     Appeals   
     Disciplinary
         Hearing notification
         Hearing report
         Prior actions
         Kit compiled for conduct hearings
     Knockout teams
         Compact KOs assignment for 2nd 12 board match of a session
         Compact KOs tally sheet for 2nd half of the session
         Registration forms
      Membership Form
      Special Supply List (Alert Chart, Forms etc)
      Tournament Assistant Form (For Sponsors)
      Zero tolerance
 

Bidding

Foster Echo - See Conventions
 

 

Laws

Fouled Board - A board where players have erroneously interchanged cards from one players hand to another.

Fouled board - See Law 87

General

Four - Represented by 4 pips. Example
 

Play

Fourchette - See Fork
 


Bidding

Four Aces System - Dating back to the 1930's, a system including: Weak Notrump opening, convenient minor suit opening bids, Weak Jump Overcalls, Psychic Bids with only strength in bid suit by third hand and occasionally first hand.
 

Bidding

4 Level Bid - An opening bid made at the four level, anticipating ten winning tricks.
 


Bidding

4 Card Majors - A partnership agreement that an opening bid in a major suit is (usually) four or more cards in that suit.  While the 4 Card Major system is no longer as popular as 5 Card Majors, 4 Card Majors are still enjoyed by Acol players.
 

Bidding

4 Club Conventions - See Conventions
 

 


Rubber

Four Deal Bridge (Chicago) - A variation of Rubber Bridge where each round (Chukker) is comprised of four deals, with Vulnerability and scoring following Duplicate play. Dealer is Vulnerable on the second through fourth seat and all Vulnerable in fourth seat.  Instead of Rubber bonuses, game bonuses are 300 points for Non-Vulnerable games, with 500 points for a Vulnerable game.  No bonuses are awarded for holding 4-5 honors in a suit contract or 4 Aces in a Notrump contract.  See Details.
 


General

Four Horsemen - The 1930's team organized by Hal Sims to take on Ely Culbertson's team.  Hal's teammates were  David Burnstine, Oswald Jacoby, and Willard Karn.
 

Bidding

4 Notrump Overcall - See Conventions
 

Bidding

Four Suit Transfers - See Conventions
 

Bidding
Four Way Transfers - See Four Suit Transfers
Bidding

Fourteen Thirty (1430): See Conventions
 

Play

Fourth Best Lead - See Conventions
 




General

Fourth Hand -

1.

The fourth player to contribute to a trick

2.

The fourth player to make a call (dealer's Right Hand Opponent)

 

Bidding

Fourth Suit Forcing - See Conventions
 

Bidding

Fragment - A bid in a new suit with fewer cards then previously bid suits, often used similar to a Splinter Bid showing shortness in a certain suit.
 

General

Frame - A game session.
 

Jargon

Freak - The colloquial name for a hand with extraordinary suit distribution, suit as a 8+ card suit or an extreme two suited hand.  See Shape
 


Duplicate

Fred Friendly Award - An annual award presented by the Professional Tournament Directors Association to the Director who exemplifies courtesy and friendly behavior to players.
 

 

Bidding

Free Bid (Freebid) - To make a bid over an opponents' call in direct seat when it is not required to provide partner another chance to bid.  In the following example, responder's 3 Spade call was a type of a Free Bid:

  1D - (1H) - 1S - (2H);
 X   - (3H) - 3S

See Takeout Double
 

General

Free Double - A low level double that, even if opponents make the doubled bid, is still beneath a game score (less than two in a major suit).
 

Bidding

Free Position - Referring to a direct seat after Right Hand Opponent makes a non-Pass call.  See Free Bid
 


General

Free Raise - A free bid after an overcall, as:

  1H - (2C) - 2H
 

Duplicate

Friend Award - An American Bridge Association award bestowed annually to the player accumulating the most Masterpoints.
 

Jargon

Frigid - A hand guaranteed to make the contract, assuming a reasonable line of play.
 

Duplicate

Front - The front side of a card  showing the rank and suit.
 

 

Duplicate

Front of Card - Referring to the treatment of 1 Notrump responses from the perspective of the two sides of the Convention Card.  The back side of the Convention Card includes conventional responses to partnership overcall of 1 Notrump.  Some partners use the same treatment as an opening 1 Notrump call (Front of Card, or FOC).
 

Play

Frozen - To avoid breaking a suit to minimize losing tricks.  See Example
 

General

F2F - Abbreviation for Face To Face [to distinguish from Online bridge].
 

General

Fulfilling Contract - To win enough tricks to make the bid contract.
 

Bidding

Furwiler - See Conventions
 

 

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