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Bridge : a few basics

The game of bridge (this also applies to online bridge, played by computer), is composed of two main parts: the Bidding (or Auction) and the Play. In order to properly understand the bidding (which can confuse the new bridge players), you should learn the play first.
Bridge is a card game for four players, splitted in two pairs. Each player sits opposite his partner at a card table (in this age of computers the table could be a simulated one, playing online bridge).
Bridge is played with a standard deck of 52 playing cards. One of the players (the dealer) deals 13 cards to each player, in clockwise rotation, beginning with the player to his/her left.

Usually, the dealers and the pairs are randomly determined by drawing cards: the two highest cards are partners against the remainning two bridge players, and the highest card s the dealer. In the case of a tie (e.g., two Kings), it is broken by the suit rank.

In bridge there are four suits, and they are ranked in the following way (from highest to lowest): spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs. Note that in bridge, this ranking is for bidding purposes only. During the play all suits are equal, unless one suit has turned out to be trumps, then it beats all the others. Suits are sometimes shown as symbols (♠, ♥, ♣, ♦), or abbreviated (S, H, D, C).
The cards of each suit are ranked from the Ace (highest) through the 2 (lowest). So if one were to write the exact order using standard abbreviations, it would be like this: A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. Note that in bridge the Ace always has a high value, unlike some card games, such as poker or gin rummy, where it can also have a low value.
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