Original Card Games by David Parlett
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Players 2   Cards 52   Type Plain tricks
"Honeymoon Bridge" is the usual name or almost any adaptation of Bridge for two players: you can see a selection of them on the Pagat website. Here's another one. It works. Which is about all that can be said for it. You may prefer to get back to your honeymoon. (Believe it or not, we spent much of ours playing Piquet.)
Deal one card face down to the left, one to your opponent, one to the right, one to yourself, and so on till you have dealt four hands of 13 cards.
Taking umbrage
If either or both of you is dissatisfied with your hand, you may exchange it, sight unseen, for the one on your right. This is called "Taking umbrage". If either of you takes umbrage, the two spare hands must then be taken up, reshuffled, and dealt out again as two replacement hands.
The bridge
The spare hand at dealer's right is then spread out - still face down - in a row of overlapping cards between the two players. These constitute the 'bridge'. The other spare hand will eventually become the dummy.
Dealer bids first and the auction proceeds as at Bridge until one player passes. If one player doubles, the other may either bid higher, pass, or redouble. A redouble must be followed by a pass.
When one player passes, the last to name a contract may make up to six discards face down and draw a like number from the top of the bridge. The other player may then do likewise, but may not exchange more cards than the first player. After the draw, whoever named the last contract may not pass but must continue the auction by either repeating it or naming a higher one. The same procedure is followed so long as two or more cards remain in the bridge. Whenever a player passes, the last bidder may draw not more than half the number remaining, and the non-bidder may draw not more than the bidder. If, however, the last bidder at any time declines to draw any cards, then the non-bidder may discard and draw up to as many as remain. The last named bid becomes the final contract and debars any further bidding, doubling or redoubling.
If only one card remains in the bridge when a player passes, the last named bid is the contract, and neither player may bid further, double or redouble. The Declarer may make one final discard and draw, or else pass that privilege to the Defender.
Defender leads to the first trick, then exposes and arranges the dummy on the table. When it is down, Declarer plays a card from hand and Defender contributes a card from dummy. Throughout play, the dummy is not the exclusive property of either player. It is always played from by the winner of the previous trick, and any trick taken in dummy is added to those of the player who played from it. Whoever wins the trick in hand leads to the next trick from hand, waits for the other to play, then furnishes the third card from dummy. Whoever wins the trick in dummy leads to the next trick from dummy, waits for the other to play, then furnishes the third card from hand.
Score as at Rubber or Chicago Bridge as preferred. If, however, Declarer took umbrage and then went down, the score for undertricks is doubled (in addition to any other doubles that may be applicable).
It is legal, though sneaky, to keep bidding in an unintended suit in order to induce your opponent to keep discarding from the suit in which you really hope to establish an eventual contract. Defender should always lead an Ace if possible. Both players should be ready to win or discard high in dummy in order to prevent their opponent from eventually cashing dummy's winners.