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Honeymoon Bridge And Other Two-Player Bridge Variants

The term Honeymoon Bridge is often used to describe bridge variants designed for two players. There are several different versions, but each builds upon the rules and scoring for Contract Bridge, adding in extra procedures to account for the lower player number.

While Bridge is arguably far superior with four players, there are many variants that work with two. Some of them (Double Dummy and Single Dummy) try to recreate the full experience of bridge, while others get a little bit more ‘creative’ with the rules. Let’s take a look:

Honeymoon Bridge Variant 1 (Draw Bridge)

We’ve seen several versions of Bridge labelled “Honeymoon” despite them being quite different. This first one involves two distinct phases of play:

  • Step 1: Deal out 13 cards to each player and set aside the rest as a draw pile (face up, so the card can be seen).
  • Step 2: The player who isn’t dealer leads a card and the other player must follow suit if they can, or discard if they can’t (no trumps).
  • Step 3: The winner of the trick takes the top card from the draw pile and puts it to one side, the loser of the trick takes the next card, whatever it is.
  • Step 4: Play is continued until 13 tricks have been played, at which point each player should have drawn another 13-card hand.
  • Step 5: The players now bid their new hand as they would in bridge.
  • Step 6: The player who hasn’t won the auction leads and 13 more tricks are played out. Players with good memories will know what cards their opponent has! Score as normal but without game or part-score bonuses:
Trump Suit Points for tricks (beyond 6)
& 20 points per trick
& 30 points per trick
No Trumps 40 points per trick
  • Step 7: First to 100 points wins a round, play is normally best of three rounds.

N.B. No points are scored if the contract is not achieved. There are no negative scores for undertricks.

Honeymoon Bridge Variant 2 (Semi-Exposed Dummies)

This version of Honeymoon Bridge is closer to standard bridge, but also brings in an element of chance (which can be adjusted according to your preferences).

Players deal four 13-card hands and take one each for themselves. The remaining two hands form the dummies, one for each player. The dummy cards are semi-exposed, with some cards face down and others face up. Typically, there are between 4 and 7 exposed cards, but it’s your choice.

The two players bid, taking into account the cards they know their dummy (and that of their opponent’s) to possess. After one player has won the contract the lead is made towards dummy and then the fully dummy hands are revealed. From them on, the normal rules of bridge are followed.

Double Dummy Bridge

In this variant, two players sit next to each other (as if each were one half of a pair in a normal game of bridge) and four 13 card hands are dealt as normal. Each player receives a dummy hand which remains face down until after the bidding.

Bidding proceeds as normal, with each player bidding only on the strength of their own 13-card hand. At the end of the auction each player is allowed to look at their own dummy, but the cards are not revealed to the opponent until after the lead has been made.

In the rules for this version of bridge, the lead is always into declarer (rather than their dummy). After this has been made, both dummies are turned face up so that both players can see them and place and scoring proceeds as normal.

Single Dummy Bridge

This variant is extremely similar to Double Dummy Bridge (above). In this version, one dummy is revealed before bidding begins (the other is left face down).

Bidding proceeds as normal, and the winner of the auction then gets the option between the exposed dummy and the other dummy. You can either choose to play that they can look at the other dummy before deciding, or leave it as a gamble. Of these, we prefer the first version – but both can be fun, depending upon how much chance you want in your game.

Do You Know Any Other Variants?

If you do, please let us know in the comments!

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