Vulnerability in Bridge

Am I vulnerable?  A question that bridge players ask themselves before every game.  No, it doesn’t refer to your expertise as a bridge player.  Every player, in every bridge match is vulnerable at some time.

What is Vulnerability in Duplicate Bridge?

Vulnerability affects the score. When a pair is vulnerable the bonus for bidding and making a game is increased. The bonuses for bidding and making a small or grand slam are also increased.

Conversely a pair will lose extra points if they fail to make a contract when vulnerable.

When you are playing duplicate bridge the vulnerability rotates and is pre-set with each hand.

The pattern of vulnerability changes in each set of 16 consecutive boards. In four of the games E/W will be vulnerable. In four N/S will be vulnerable. In four neither side will be vulnerable and in four both sides will be vulnerable.

How a side bids when vulnerable may be slightly different as they will be mindful of losing extra points if they fail to achieve their contract. They will also be mindful that if they can force the other side to overbid that might result in that side losing extra points.

There is an excellent printable handout on bridge scoring and the bonuses/penalties for a side that is vulnerable on No Fear Bridge. Join for your trial membership now and you will find it in the “handouts” section in your membership area.

There is also a printable handout discussing the potential effects of vulnerability on your bidding in a contested auction.

UK/Ireland/NZ members join HERE

US members join HERE

Below is an extract from the vulnerability handout.  You will find the whole thing in the members area once you have joined.  This is a totally, no commitment trial, with no credit card details required unless you decide to become a full member.  If you don’t, your membership will just lapse with no further commitment.

vulnerability in bridge

And here is a short extract from the handout discussing the affect of vulnerability on your bidding:

effect of vulnerability on biddin

Leave a Reply