Wikipedia:WikiProject Contract bridge/Manual of Style

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This Manual of Style for Wikiproject Contract bridge has the objective of furthering a consistent style for bridge-related articles - a style adapted from that most commonly used and/or preferred in bridge literature.

Vocabulary and spelling[edit]

English style[edit]

  • Each article should be consistent within itself as to the style of English used, i.e. USA or UK (honor or honour, etc.)
  • An article shall retain the style of English used when first written, i.e. no overhauls of substantially complete articles
  • An article should reflect the English style of its audience (if discernable), e.g. Acol is a bidding system common in the UK but not the USA, so UK English should be used

Capital letters[edit]

  • Use lowercase words for honor card rank when used in text, i.e. jack, queen, king or ace
  • Use single uppercase letters for honor card rank when used with suit symbol, i.e. J, Q, K or A
  • Use lowercase words for the strain when used in text, i.e. spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs or notrump
  • Use capitalized compass positions for players when used in text, i.e. North, South, West or East
  • Use lowercase words when referring to players by their bidding role, i.e. opener, responder, intervenor or advancer

Hyphenation vs other treatments[edit]

  • Many terms have alternative spelling treatments, e.g. cuebid, cue-bid and cue bid.
  • In general, the preferred treatment should be the one which is the head entry in the Glossary. The general exception is that the English style of an article takes precedence.
  • Where an article title and Glossary entry differ in treatment, the debate and conclusion should be addressed in the Talk pages of the Glossary and thereafter the Glossary treatment should prevail.

Denomination and strain[edit]

  • In the versions of the official Laws of Duplicate Bridge issued by the World Bridge Federation and the American Contract Bridge League, the collective term for the suits and notrump is denomination. However, The Official Encyclopedia of Bridge, 6th Edition, states[1] that the "modern term is strain".
  • Accordingly, use strain unless quoting the "Laws"


  • Use templates {{Clubs}}, {{Diams}}, {{Hearts}} and {{Spades}} to display the suit symbols , , and respectively. Lowercase works as well {{clubs}}, {{diams}}, {{hearts}} and {{spades}} as does {{diamonds}}.
  • Do not use the upper or lower case letters C, D, H or S.

Notrump variants[edit]

  • Use Notrump or notrump, and not No Trump, no trump, No-trump or no-trump.
  • Use NT to abbreviate Notrump or notrump.

Card rank presentation[edit]

  • A specific card is represented by its suit symbol followed by its rank with no space between, i.e. K
  • Do not use a mix of words and symbols, i.e. neither " king" and "club K" are correct
  • When the cards are presented in the text, use "king of clubs", or "club king" (discuss)
  • Use "two" rather than "deuce"
  • Use "jack" rather than "knave"
  • Use "three" rather than "trey"
  • Use "10" rather than "T"


Suit distribution notation will follow this convention:

  • Four numbers with hyphens as separators when specific suit lengths are not designated, e.g. 4-4-3-2 denotes any hand with two four card suits, a tripleton and a doubleton
  • Four numbers with equal signs as separators when specific suit lengths are designated, e.g. 4=6=1=2 denotes a hand with four spades, six hearts, one diamond and two clubs


  • In text form, use 'none vulnerable', 'both vulnerable', 'North-South vulnerable' or 'East-West vulnerable; do not use 'all vulnerable or 'love all';
  • In template label form, use 'None vulnerable', 'Both vulnerable', 'N-S vulnerable' or 'E-W vulnerable; do not use 'All vulnerable or 'Love all'.
  • In reference to scoring, use 'Not vulnerable'; do not use 'Non-vulnerable'


  • Give proper distinction to terminology:
    • call and bid
    • denomination and strain
    • hand and deal
    • natural call and artificial call
    • convention and treatment

Calls and auctions[edit]

Players are generally described by their nominal seating position, i.e. North, West, East and South.

In the description of competitive bidding and of bidding systems, players may also be referred to as either the Opener, the Intervener (opener's opponent who makes his side’s first bid), the Responder (partner of the Opener) or the Advancer (partner of the Intervener).

A call may be represented by text (e.g. one heart, three notrump) or as a numeral/strain couplet (e.g. 1, 3NT). The article style should be consistent and so, in general, the use of numeral/strain couplets is recommended.

An auction can be presented as an inline string of couplets or in a table. Table notation can be used in all cases; inline notation should only be used for short bidding sequences, i.e. at most five calls.

Give proper distinction to the terms call and bid.

Inline text and bidding sequences[edit]

  • When presented by symbols, the level should precede the denomination, e.g. 2 or 3NT. There is no space between the number and the symbol;
  • Separate the calls of the same round with en-dash (–) or use the first symbol (–) from the editing toolbar. There should be a space between;
  • Separate the rounds with a semicolon without preceding space;
  • In text format (i.e. not a bidding sequence), use 'Pass', 'Double' or 'Redouble' and not 'pass', 'double', 'redouble', 'No bid' or 'No';
  • When used in an inline bidding sequence, use 'P', 'Dbl' and 'Rdbl';
  • When used in an inline bidding sequence, omit the ending three Pass calls;
  • Use {{nowrap| }} around each round of bidding and incorporate the round ending semi-colon;
  • If an opponent's calls are included, put them in parentheses, e.g. 1 – (1) – 2 – (2); 3
  • Use "M" for "a major suit" and "m" for "a minor suit" for inline bidding, when the intent is to refer to either major or to either minor. For example, 1 – 1M; 2 subsumes both 1 – 1; 2 and 1 – 1; 2. Similarly, use "OM" for "other major suit" and "om" for "other minor suit".

Bidding tables[edit]


Hand and deal diagrams[edit]

See Appendix 4: Deal diagram examples for further details.

Several templates have been developed to illustrate individual hands, full deals and partial deals; instruction documentation is included.

Suit combination play may be illustrated by the templates found in Appendix 4: Deal diagram examples.

Template summary[edit]

All bridge templates are listed in Category:Bridge (card game) templates; previous sections have illustrated use of the following:


See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Francis, Henry G., Editor-in-Chief; Truscott, Alan F., Executive Editor; Francis, Dorthy A., Editor (2001). Official Encyclopedia of Bridge, 6th Edition. American Contract Bridge League, (Memphis). p. 114. ISBN 0-943855-44-6.