How to play a teams of four match
In teams of four bridge, one team of four people plays a match against another team of four people. This is a very popular form of bridge because it is a great way to meet new people and very interesting.
Organising your team
A team is four people (i.e. two pairs) but it is a good idea to have a squad of, say, six to allow for holidays and unexpected events. You can recruit a new member for your squad if necessary providing they have not played a match for a different team in the Murray league.
Where do we play our matches?
Many matches will be played at the home of a team member but if that is not convenient, you can arrange to play wherever you like - in a room at your usual club venue, during a club session, at your local pub - it's up to you!
How many matches will we play?
That will depend on how many teams enter but we hope it will be about four.
Before the match
The Captain of the home team contacts the Captain of the away team to arrange a match to suit all concerned. You will be told whether you are home or away for each match. It is up to you when you play your matches but they must all be completed by the end of March. The day and time are up to the captains to agree.
The home team is responsible for providing all the equipment and stationery, bearing any costs of hiring a room and providing basic refreshments.
Organising the match
Everyone should look on the match as a friendly game. When some of both teams have arrived, it is a good idea to use the time to shuffle and deal the cards and putting them into the boards ready for play.
A total of 24 hands are to be played in two halves (sometimes called stanzas) of twelve boards.
In the first half, put boards 1 to 6 on one table and 7 to 12 on the other. One pair of Team A sit North/South at table 1 and the other pair of Team A sit East/West at table 2. Meanwhile, one pair of Team B sit East/West at table 1 while their team-mates sit North/South at table 2.
It is wise for the captains to check that everyone is sat in the right position before starting to play.
Play the first six boards and then swap them with the other table. The players do not move.
When all twelve boards have been played, team A gather at table 1 and team B gather at table 2 and score up to get a half time score. It is a good idea to have a short break before playing the second half.
The second half is played in exactly the same way using boards 13 to 24. However, the Team A pair who were North/South at table 1 in the first half now move and sit East/West at table 2. The Team A pair who were East/West at table 2 now sit North/South at table 1. The team B players stay as they were in the first half.
How to score a match
This is in two parts
1. Individual score per board
Each pair must keep an accurate personal scorecard. The duplicate score, including the part-score, game and slam bonuses, is entered against the board number. Agree the score with the other team when you finish a set of boards.
2. Comparing the scores
At the end of the first half the teams return to their own tables and compare scores.
Suppose that on board 1, one pair of team A were sat North/South at table 1 and bid and made 4S not vulnerable. This gave them a score of +420. At table 2 the other pair of the same team were sat East/West for this hand. The North/South of team B bid 3S with the same cards and made an over trick. This gave East/West a score of –170. This means the net score for team A is +420 – 170 = +250.
Of course, the East/West of team B scored –420 on this hand when they played it against the North/South of team A. The North/South of team B scored +170, missing the game bonus because they stopped in a part score. The net score for team B is therefore –250.
Convert the net score to plus or minus International Match Points (IMPs) according to the scale in the personal scorecard. For example, a net score 0f +250 is +6 IMPs whereas a net score of –250 is –6 IMPs.
Repeat this for each board and add up the total IMPs.
If the total IMPs for team A is +19 – 12 that gives a score of +7. In that case, team B should have score of –7.
The captains should agree the score.
Repeat all this for the second half to get an overall score for the match.
The handicapping should then be applied. Handicaps for a team are the sum of the individual handicaps.
Suppose Team A has a handicap of +32 and Team B has a handicap of -4. The net handicap that should be applied to the scores in 36. Suppose Team A wins the match by 24 IMPs. After the handicapping this is converted to 12 to Team B, who are therefore the winners.
To take another example, suppose Team C has a handicap of +12 and Team D has a handicap of 0. Team D wins the match by 5 IMPs, which is converted to a 17 IMP win to D after handicapping.
If, at the end of 24 boards, the difference between the handicapped scores is two IMPs or fewer the result is a draw.
After the match
The winning captain must inform the league secretary of the result as soon as possible. The easiest way to do this is using the form on the web site. Please send the raw scores as well as the adjusted scores as these might become important at the end of the season in the event of a tie.
Do not worry if you have a problem. Just record the raw IMPs for each side (or even just keep all the personal score cards) and contact the League secretary using the Contact League form on the website or otherwise and I will be happy to help.