GLOSSARY  -  S to Z

 

 
 
 
 
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SACRIFICE:   A bid higher than the opponents to keep them from playing in a game or slam. Hopefully the penalty from the sacrifice is less than the bonus from the opponent's game or slam. Get a note from your doctor before you sacrifice over an opponent's part score.
 
SECOND HAND:  The player who plays the second card to the trick. The maxim Second Hand Low applies only for Defenders.
 
SEQUENCE:  A numerical sequence of cards of adjacent rank in a given suit. The suit may contain additional cards not in the sequence.  Usually, the highest ranking card in the suit is at the top of the sequence.
         A Two card Sequence: A K or Q J 4
         A Three card Sequence: K Q J or 10 9 8 4
If you are the first person to play the suit, lead the top of the Sequence.  If you are the third person to play the suit, play the bottom of the Sequence. see BROKEN SEQUENCE and INTERNAL SEQUENCE
 
SET:   When Declarer does not make his Contract he is Set. Sometimes it is not even his fault. see GO DOWN.
 
SHORT CLUB: Nothing to do with a small stick. When playing Five Card Majors there is a hand: 
       4 Spades   4 Hearts   3 Diamond   2 Clubs 
that presents a peculiar problem. Either bid a three card Diamond suit or a two card club suit. The SAB (Standard  American Bidding) people open this hand One Diamond. 
     The Short Club people open the bidding One Club. This bid is alertable; that is the opponents must be told you are playing a Short Club. Failure to do so could result in a beating, exile, death or both.
 
SHUFFLE:   To mix the cards thoroughly. Then it's off to Buffalo.
 
SIDE SUIT:  A suit other than the trump suit (or the suit that you want to be trump).
 
SIGNALS:  Signaling in Bridge, which goes back to the days of Whist, is done by the Defensive team only.  No sense signaling Dummy; and Dummy should never signal Declarer. Since most signals are made with spot cards, (no gestures, grimaces or cell phones) it is crucial to take notice, and even to remember, what card partner plays.
 
SIGN OFF BID:  A bid that asks Partner to pass.  Sometimes called the "Drop Dead Bid".  Why?  Because if your Partner bids again he should drop dead.
 
SINGLETON:   What the word implies: a single card in a particular suit. Again it is possible to have more than one Singleton per hand. Deal again if you have four Singletons
 
SLAM:    A Small Slam is any six (6) level contract that is made.  A Grand Slam is any seven (7) level contract that is made.  Reason for bidding Slams?  Because they are there and because they offer a very nice bonus.
 
SLOW LOSER: A loser that can not be lost as soon as Declarer gives up the lead, but may  be lost at a later date.  This gives Declarer the opportunity of eliminating the loser. This is usually done by standard Bridge methods such as Trumping, Dumping or Finessing. 
 
SPLIT:  The distribution of the outstanding cards in a suit.  See BREAK.
 
SPLITTING HONORS:  Second hand play on defense is usually a low card. But if you have two or more honors and want to insure getting one trick in the suit, then you might have to Split your honors that is play one of them
 
STAYMAN:    So you want to find a 4/4 fit in the majors after partner opens 1 No Trump.  Not so easy.  At least not until Sam Stayman invents the Stayman Convention.  (He called it the 2 C Convention.)  A  bid of 2 C over partner's 1 No Trump opener asks partner to bid a four card major suit. This is a very popular convention that can be found in almost every home.
 
STOPPER:   A combination of cards which will stop the opponents from running a suit if they were to lead that suit.  Stoppers are a concern when bidding and playing in No Trump. In playing in a trump contract the trump suit is the Stopper and the Stopper is the trump suit and trump suit is the Stopper etc.
  
STRONG NO TRUMP:  Another cornerstone of SAB. (Five Card Majors being the other.) This means that the range of an opening bid of One No Trump is 15 to 18. Most people either play 15 - 17 or 16 - 18.
 
STRONG TWO BID:   The traditional use of an opening two-bid in a suit to show a powerhouse hand. The modern equivalent is the Weak Two Bid, which has become part of SAB (the Standard American Bidding system). Anyone still wishing to use the Strong Two Bid should be encouraged to visit a Bridge Psychiatric Clinic.
 
SUPPORT:   The number of cards held in a suit that partner has bid.  Good support is the Golden  Fit - eight cards in the Combined Hands.  If partner has a seven card suit, then good Support is one card.  If partner has an eight card suit, then good Support is a void.  Here is a case where you can support  someone with nothing. see A FIT.
                                                           
SURE TRICKS:  Are tricks Off the Top.  Sure winners.  It requires no great bridge talent to take the Sure Tricks.  A smart chimpanzee can do it.  Bridge brilliance is creating winners not taking winners.
  
TAKE OUT DOUBLE:   A double that asks partner to bid a suit.
 
TECHNICAL TERMS: Try to refrain from using the Technical Terms Great, Fantastic, Wowwee, Super Duper, especially in a high stakes money game. Your opponents might construe these Technical Terms to be beyond the pale of standard Bridge bidding and correct the situation by moving your nose to the side of your head.
 
THIRD HAND:  The player who plays the third card to the trick. The maxim Third Hand High applies only for Defenders.
 
TO RUFF:   The same as “To Trump”. Comes from the time when dogs were present at Bridge games and were signaling their masters.
 
TO TRUMP:   Any player may, at his turn to play, providing he has no cards remaining in the suit led, play a card of the trump suit. A trump beats any card in any plain (non-trump) suit. 
        If more than one player trumps, the highest trump played wins the trick. You do not have To Trump but may play a card in any other suit. There have been those who wanted to change the word “trump” to “donald”. But “To Donald” would seem foolish.
 
TOUCHING HONORS:  Two or more honors in a sequence.  In a hand where you have K Q J 3 2, the first three honors are touching.  All Touching Honors are Equals. see SEQUENCE or EQUALS.
 
TRAFFIC LIGHT BIDS:  RED: A close out bid.  Partner shut up, do not bid again.  GREEN: Forcing. Partner you must bid again.  If you pass,  you die.  YELLOW:  an Invitational bid. Partner it is up to you: pass or bid again.  If you obey the traffic signals  and do not  try to jump the light, then the bidding will be easy.  If not there could be a Bridge accident.
 
TRICK:   After each Player in turn has played a card, the highest card of the suit led (or trump) wins. These four cards are called a Trick and are taken by the winning team. (They are returned at the end of the game.) The person who won the Trick plays the next card. All this is quite easy and not at all tricky.
     
TRICK SCORE:   The number of customers seen by a prostitute in one evening. Or in Bridge the number of points scored for making the contract.  (Could be in the evening or day.)  This does not include bonus points for game or slam; bonus points for making a doubled contract; or the special rubber Bridge bonuses. Trick Score is the same for all types of Bridge: Duplicate, Rubber, Chicago, etc.
 
TRUMP EXTRACTION:  Pulling or drawing all of the opponent's trump.  This could sometimes even involve giving up the lead.  But it might be  better to momentarily lose control then to lose the contract.
 
TRUMP SUIT:   Selected cooperatively by  Declarer and his Partner.  Deciding factors are suit length (preferably eight of more cards between the two hands) and suit strength (preferably one or more of the top honors).
 
UNBALANCED HAND:   A hand that is not a Balanced Hand. It will have at  least a Void, a Singleton or two Doubletons.
 
UNBALANCED PARTNER:  Some one who wants to play Bridge more than 10 hours a day.
 
UNDERBID:  Not bidding game or slam when it might be the re.  Not living up to one's potential.  Being greedy: taking a sure part score rather then trying for a game that might not make. Being afraid: scared to be set.  These two factors, Greed and Fear, distinguish a persons approach to bridge - and to life.
 
UNDERTRICKS:  The number of tricks that the declarer was set by.  Example: if the bid was 3 No Trump and the declarer made 7 tricks then he was set by 2 tricks or there there were 2 Undertricks.
 
UNDERWEAR:  Clothing worn next to the skin under the outer garments. Nothing at all to do with Bridge. See OVERTHERE.
 
UPPERCUT:   Ruffing high by one Defender in order to promote a trump trick in the hand of the other Defender. Failure to ruff high enough will soften the blow and not promote anything.
 
VOID:  No cards in a particular suit. It is possible to have two Voids per hand. Three Voids is unlikely (thirteen cards in one suit.) And four Voids per hand is. . . very Zen.
 
VULNERABILITY:  We are not all vulnerable all of the time; but some of us are vulnerable some of the time. The side that has won a game in Rubber Bridge is Vulnerable. In Chicago the Vulnerability rotates. In Duplicate, Vulnerability is indicated on the boards and the pockets are usually red. (For danger!) To be Vulnerable is to be subject to higher penalties and bonuses.
 
WEAK NO TRUMP:  The range of an opening bid of One No Trump is 11 to 14. Once a popular bid that became part of SAB (Standard American Bidding) but rarely used today. A very dangerous bid if playing for money. There are people now living at a Bridge Shelter because they used the Weak No Trump.
 
WEAK TWO BID:   A mild pre-empt. Usually a six card suit (not Clubs), and 6 - 10 points.  It would be nice if the suit was headed by two honors and there was no Side Suit in a four card major.
 
YARBOROUGH:   A hand with no honors. Named after the famous Duke of Yarborough, who during a Bridge session had three hands in a row without an honor. He politely left the table and went to his room. He emerged a week later with two cards rolled up; one in his left ear and the other up his right nostril. (Some authorities claim that it was his right ear and left nostril.)

 
 

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