Psychic Five Match Sprint Bridge

A bridge variant for five players, invented by Chad Cumby, Chris Ege, Oliver Gugenheim, Matt Hellige, and Josh Unterman on 27 March 2013.

The rules, especially for scoring, are still in flux. This page is an RFC.

The deal.

The first card is placed face down in the center of the playing area. Each player is dealt ten cards. The last card is placed face up on top of the first. These two cards become the Skat or the flop.

The auction.

The auction proceeds as in bridge, beginning from the dealer. The lowest bid is 1♣ the highest is 6NT.

Doubling and re-doubling are allowed, as in regular bridge.

The auction is complete when there are four consecutive passes.

The winner of the auction is the person who makes the highest bid, not the person who first names the suit that is declared trump.

At the end of the auction the winner (the attacker) selects from the four remaining players who will be the dummy. The other three players become defenders.

The play.

The cards from the dummy's hand are placed (face down) opposite the attacker, so that there is at least one defender on each side. Depending on where the dummy was relative to the dealer, the order of play in the first trick might be defender-defender-dummy-defender-attacker or defender-dummy-defender-defender-attacker.

After one or two defenders have played one card (depending on configuration) the dummy is revealed. At this point, the dummy must decide whether to play with the defenders for the purpose of scoring, or with the attacker. Once this is declared, from the dummy's ten cards and the two cards in the Skat, the attacker builds a hand that will be played. The face down card in the dummy must remain face down until after it is selected or rejected. (Hence the 'psychic' in the name.) The two extra cards are set aside, but revealed so suit counts can be kept.

At this point, play of the hand is simply the same as bridge, except for there being only ten tricks (of five cards each) and three defenders to play instead of two.

The scoring.

Book is four cards, which is why the highest bid is 6NT.

Scoring is akin to rubber bridge.

Minor suits are worth 30 points per trick bid and made. Major suits are worth 40, NT 50. So, 2NT, 3 of a major, or 4 of a minor makes a game. Five tricks is a small slam and six a grand slam.

Penalties are assessed not as positive points for the defenders, but as negative points for the attacker. The defenders get no points regardless of the outcome of the hand. The dummy is scored either with the attacker or with the defenders depending on the declaration given when the dummy was revealed.

Note on the sprint.

The auction tends to jump suddenly from low level bidding to high levels. (Hence the 'match sprint' in the name.) This is because there is no purpose to be served in providing information in your bidding. On the contrary, since every other player is your opponent, every bid you make gives them information and deprives them of space to give you information.