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Honeymoon Bridge

by John Probst, Chyah Burghard, Jude Goodwin-Hanson,
Henk Uijterwaal and Bruce McIntyre

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"What is Honeymoon Bridge?"

John Probst, London, England, UK:
2 person bridge. One version. Deal 4 hands, one with 5 face up cards. Both players bid for that hand, each bid turns up another card. Played single dummy, defender handles both hands. Not too bad.

Another version is to turn up the 4th hand, and turn up dummy's card 1 per trick played (ie the revoke law is suspended for the hidden cards).

Chyah Burghard, Memphis, TN, USA:
Honeymoon bridge is Spades for two. The key to the game is picking your hand and remembering what you threw away. Or another way to look at it is you play bridge between two people with Spades as trump.

Shuffle the deck, place upsidedown on the table.

First person looks at the first card; if s/he wants the card, s/he places the card in their hand, looks at the 2nd card, places it face down in the discard pile and then it is the next person's turn. If s/he does not want the card, s/he places the card face down in the discard pile and takes the next card no matter what it is.

Each player takes turn, two cards at a time until you go through the whole deck. Then the bidding is the same as Spades where a 1 bid means you will take 1 trick. The scoring is 10 point per trick bid and 1 point for every overtrick. Some people play sandbags. If so, everytime you get 10 sandbags, you go back 100 points. 500 points is game.

Sandbags are where you make more tricks than you said you would have.

Let's say you bid 3, but took 5. You get 32 points, but you also get 2 sandbags. Every time you get 10 sandbags you go back 100 points.

If I was teaching someone new, I wouldn't play with sandbags. However, sandbags add some excitement to experienced players who must then be more precise.

Jude Goodwin-Hanson, Maple Ridge, BC, Canada:
The game I grew up with is similar to Chyah's but less complicated. Two people, one deck face down between them. Each Game consists of 5 Hands. First hand Clubs are Trump, 2nd Diamonds, 3rd Hearts, 4th Spades and 5th hand is No Trump.

First person looks at the first card; if s/he wants the card, s/he places the card in their hand, looks at the 2nd card, places it face down in the discard pile and then it is the next person's turn. If s/he does not want the card, s/he places the card face down in the discard pile and takes the next card no matter what it is. Each player takes turn, two cards at a time until you gothrough the whole deck.

Now each player has 13 cards and play proceeds as in whist. At the end of each hand, a trick total is tallied. At the end of the Game, total tricks determine the winner.

I played this game a lot with my kids - its a fun way to pass time and introduces basic bridge concepts ...

Henk Uijterwaal, Amsterdam, The Netherlands:
A generic name for two-player card games vaguely resembling bridge.

The variety that I've heard off goes like this: The players take the north and east seat. A deck is dealt and 6 of the west and south cards are exposed. Dealer bids first, then his opponent, then the dealer again until somebody passes. The 7 remaining cards of the south and west hands are exposed and declarer tries to make the contract. The defender plays both his own and his (absent) partner's hand. Scoring is normal.

Bruce McIntyre, Burnaby, BC, Canada:
I'm sure there are endless variants of Bridge for Two called Honeymoon Bridge. The scheme where you pick a card and then either keep it and look at the next or discard it and hope the next is better, then play 13 tricks, is quite playable.

Another solution to the problem of "how can we make a two-player Bridge game?" is Prince Joli Kansil's Bridgette, which adds a few weird cards to the deck but keeps the Bridge flavour by adding asking bids to the bidding where the opponent (!) can be asked about his hand in order to keep you out of a slam you can't make. The opponent must respond accurately or make a skip bid to evade giving information about his hand away.

Yet another solution was marketed many years ago as Goren's Bridge for two. Essentially the players sit as East and South and each gets a dummy hand consisting of seven face-up cards, six of which have a face-down card underneath. Bidding proceeds until both players pass; during the play each player plays his dummy hand. When a face down card is uncovered, it is turned up and can be used on subsequent tricks. You can ruff a spade in your dummy and uncover the ace of spades and promptly lead it and there is no penalty! I found that combining this mechanism with the Bridgette cuebidding allows for an interesting Bridge-like game. Not nearly the same as the four-player version, of course....

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Editor's note:

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