Contributed by Glenn Nicholls

  1. Terminology and Houses
  2. Rank and Bidding
  3. Scoring
  4. Rules
  5. A Question of Balance

The Medieval Quest known as TigerBridge

Which is a Fulcrum Game

The playing of the card game of Contract Bridge is still widely played, but at New-Camelot it was found that the game would be more popular with simplified scoring and changes to the bidding system, and so they made modifications, and the modified game is called TigerBridge and is a more popular pastime, sometimes played for fun, but usually as a serious game in the form of a tournament or match where players go in Quest of the elusive Balancing Point. The modifications are as follows:

Terminology was changed to what was thought to be more appropriate:

Suits are known as Houses
Trumps are known as Crests
The Contract is known as The Proclamation
Declarer is known as Proclaimer
Dummy is known as The Lookout
Tricks are known as Rounds
Undertricks are known as Roundsunder
Overtricks are known as Roundsover
Passing during the bidding is known as Declining

The Houses and their rank were changed to what was thought to be more appropriate. The TigerBridge names and ranking for bidding purposes are shown with Contract Bridge equivalents.

Contract Bridge
No Crests (lowest rank)No Trumps (highest rank)

The Rank of the cards was changed to what was thought to be more appropriate. The TigerBridge ranking is shown with Contract Bridge equivalents.

Contract Bridge

The Bidding. It was felt that a bid to win a certain number of rounds should mean precisely what is said, and so a bid of seven towers means that the bidder has proclaimed to take seven rounds with towers as crests. The minimum number of rounds that can be bid is five and the maximum number of rounds that can be bid is nine and there is no doubling and so no re-doubling. The total possible number of bids in TigerBridge is therefore twenty-five. The bidding numbers for TigerBridge are shown with Contract Bridge equivalents.

Contract Bridge
FiveNo equivalent
SixNo equivalent
No equivalentFour
No equivalentFive
No equivalentSix
No equivalentSeven

The Scoring was simplified by awarding one point for every roundover to proclaimer’s partnership up to a maximum of five and one point for every roundunder to defenders’ partnership up to a maximum of five. These points are called set points. Upon a partnership reaching a minimum of six set points and leading by two or more set points this forms a set and one game point is credited to them and a new set begun; excess set points are carried forward to the new set except when the game is concluded. The game is concluded when a partnership wins two sets, and if their opponents have not won a set an additional game point is awarded. The game score therefore is either 2-1 or 3-0 to the winning partnership.

The Scoring Table is set out below:

by Proclaimer
Set points awarded
to Proclaimer’s Partnership
For each roundover
to a maximum of five
by Proclaimer
Set points awarded
to Defenders’ Partnership
For each roundunder
to a maximum of five
Partnership set
points awarded
Partnership game
points awarded
Minimum of six and
difference of two or greater
(excess carried forward to next
set except when game concludes)

A game is concluded upon a partnership reaching two game points. An additional game point is awarded to the winning partnership if their opponents have no game points.

The remaining rules of TigerBridge generally follow those of Contract Bridge, with one or two exceptions. The main rules are listed below.

  1. The last player to bid is proclaimer and this bid is the proclamation.
  2. Proclaimer’s partner is The Lookout.
  3. Proclaimer plays The Lookout’s cards.
  4. Defenders are the partnership not holding the proclamation.
  5. The bidding ends when three players have declined in succession after a bid.
  6. Play of cards is clockwise.
  7. The lead on the first round is by the defender to proclaimer’s left.
  8. The Lookout must turn his/her cards upright after the first card is played.
  9. Players must follow house if able to do so.
  10. A round is won by the highest crest played, or if no crest is played, the highest card of the house led.
  11. A bid must be higher than the previous bid.
  12. Bids rank first according to the number bid, and second according to the house designated as crests or no crests.
  13. The winner of a round must lead to the following round.
  14. Partners may be determined by agreement or by a draw of cards where number ranks high, followed by rank of house.
  15. Dealer is determined initially by a draw of cards where number ranks high followed by rank of house. The deal then passes to the player on the left of the current dealer thereafter.
  16. The player to the left of dealer has the right of first bid.
  17. Bidding takes place in a clockwise direction.
  18. Should all the players decline to bid, they must proceed to the next deal.
  19. Clocks are not used, though in tournament or match play players would be expected to state their bid, decline to bid or play their card in no more than one minute. Should a player persistently exceed this time, then it is in order for an opponent to insist that this guideline be followed.
  20. Though not compulsory, two packs of cards should be used, one of the Leopard design and one of the Tiger design. Each design is shown on both halves of the card backs.

The Leopard design shows a female Amur Leopard. The TigerBridge design shows the world’s largest cat, the Siberian Tiger, but just his face.

A Question of Balance. One of the purposes of the scoring and bidding systems was to bring in the idea of a balancing point in the bidding. This can best be illustrated with an example of TigerBridge where the partnerships are called "AB" and "XY". We will assume all the players know that AB can take ten rounds in lakes and that XY can take four rounds in forests and that this is the most rounds they can win. The bidding could go as follows:

AB bid 5 lakes which gives 5 roundsover and 5 set points to AB
XY bid 5 forests which goes 1 roundunder and gives 1 set point to AB
AB bid 6 lakes which gives 4 roundsover and 4 set points to AB
XY bid 6 forests which goes 2 roundsunder and gives 2 set points to AB
AB bid 7 lakes which gives 3 roundsover and 3 set points to AB
XY bid 7 forests which goes 3 roundsunder and gives 3 set points to AB

We have reached the balancing point of seven rounds where set points awarded have evened out. In some situations the balancing point will be between bids, as would be the case were AB able to take nine rounds and XY six rounds; here the balancing point would be a theoretical seven and a half rounds. If the bidding were to continue in the example, the following would apply:

AB bid 8 lakes which gives 2 roundsover and two set points to AB
XY bid 8 forests which goes 4 roundsunder and gives four set points to AB
AB bid 9 lakes which gives 1 roundover and one set point to AB
XY bid 9 forests which goes 5 roundsunder and gives five set points to AB

As can be seen, both partnerships would want to hold the proclamation below the balancing point, but above the balancing point both partnerships would want their opponents to hold the proclamation. In the above example all the players were assumed to know the whole situation, but in a game of course this would have to be deduced from the bidding, and the balancing point would be a matter of judgement and could change according to the bidding. The bidding could also be subjected to disruptive bids and bluff and counterbluff.

Last updated: 2nd March 2005