Lesson 1

Point Counting

One of the key aspects of ACOL Bridge is knowing the number of points you have in your hand. This is very easy to determine as points are given for each Honour card you hold in your hand.

  • Aces = 4 points
  • Kings = 3 points
  • Queens = 2 points
  • Jacks = 1 point

The sum of these points is known as your High Card Points, or HCP

Look at this hand and give 4 points for each Ace, 3 points for each King, 2 points for each Queen and 1 point for each Jack.

You can see that with 1 Ace (4 Points), 2 Kings (2 x 3 = 6 points), 2 Queens (2 x 2 = 4 points) and 1 Jack (1 point) the total = 15 points.

Let's look at another.

You can see that with 3 Aces (3 x 4 = 12 Points), 2 Kings (2 x 3 = 6 points), 0 Queens (0 x 2 = 0 points) and 3 Jacks (3 x 1 = 3 points) the total = 21 points

Being able to quickly and accurately do a point count is a vital part of ACOL Bridge. Whilst it seems very simple, it's amazing how often people miscount and a miscount can lead to disaster!

The other important thing to remember is that there are ten high card points for each suit. A pack of cards contains 40 high card points. Therefore in the hand above we have over half the points from the whole deck. As we start bidding, we'll start to understand how many points our partner and the opposition have, which is key to the game.

You can practise your point counting by clicking the button below or move onto Lesson 2