Thursday, December 14, 2006

Five-suited Bridge

I (finally!) found some rules for bridge with five suits! The rules are summarized in the TIME magazine article Super-Bridge, which appeared on March 7, 1938!

In brief:

Super-Bridge (Five-suited Bridge)

By: Walther Marseille

Players: 4

Deal: 16 cards to each player. One card is left over, and may be swapped with another card by the declarer if desired, but only before play begins.

Bidding: Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, Spades, Stars (or whatever), No Trump

Play: As normal, but with 16 tricks.

Book: 8 tricks

Points for tricks over book: Clubs & Diamonds, 20; Hearts & Spades, 25; Stars, 30; No Trump, 40.

Game points: 120

Possible Slams: Little slam (14 tricks), Grand Slam (15 tricks), Super-Slam (16 tricks)

I don't know how well the game plays (having not yet played it), but I'm somewhat wary of the point values. It might be better to combine Stars & No Trump. Also, leaving the game points at 100 would, at least, make for a faster game, though whether or not this is desirable is questionable.

The article mentions that this variant eliminates the possibility of a single-suit hand (since there are 16 cards in each hand and only 13 cards in a suit), which could be desirable, although such occurances are rare anyway.
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