Fit Points

When you play a hand of bridge in a trump contract the shape of your hand can make a huge difference to its strength. Fit points are a way of evaluating the strength of your hand in light of its shape and they are added to the high card points in your hand.

You can add fit points to the value of your hand as soon as, but only when, you know you have an 8 card fit in a suit with partner. Say partner opens 1♠ and you have a four card spade suit. You know straight away that you have a fit and so can add fit points immediately. Make sure to show the full value of your hand in your response.

Once you are sure you have an 8 card fit you can add the following values to your hand-

  • 4 points for a void
  • 3 points for a singleton
  • 1 point for a doubleton
  • 1 point for each trump above the 8 card fit

Let’s have a quick look why shortages are worth these values.

An Ace is worth 4 points because it provides 1st round control; the first time the suit is played you will win the trick. A void is worth 4 points in a trump contract because it also provides 1st round control; the first time the suit is played you can trump it and will win the trick.

The same applies for Kings and Singletons; they provide second round control

Doubletons are not worth as much as Queens because by the 3rd round of playing the suit you run the risk of opposition trumping

The south hand here becomes much more valuable once they know partner has some spade support. South has 10HCP. However, in a spade contract they can add 4 points for the club void, 3 for the singleton diamond and 2 for extra trumps. That means that in spades the actual value of the south hand is 19 points. This means that north/south can make 4 spades here despite only having 19HCP between them.

Don’t Double Count Points!

If you have a shortage which contains an honour then you can only count the points for one, whichever is highest.

So if you have a singleton J you can count 3 points for a singleton but must subtract 1 for the now useless Jack.

A singleton King is worth 3 points no matter how you count it.

As usual there is an exception. If you have a singleton A you can count 7 points for it. This is because you have 1st round control with the A (4 pts) and 2nd round control due to the singleton (3 pts).