Honor trick

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For criticism see Criticism of Honor trick

Honor tricks (American) or honour tricks (British) are a form of hand valuation in contract bridge, particularly associated with the Culbertson system (see Standard American). The full Culbertson table of honor tricks is as follows.

2: AK

1½: AQ

1: A; KQ; KJ10

½: Kx; QJx

plus values (2 plus values count as ½): K singleton; Qx; J with a higher card (except in AKQJ or QJ doubleton); singleton or void (but only 1 may be counted)

Honor tricks are also known as defensive tricks, being an estimate of the number of tricks the hand will take against opponents' trump contract. The total number in the 4 hands can vary from 6 to 11, but is usually around 8 to 8½. On this basis rough estimates can be made of a likely contract for different totals for the 2 combined hands:

4: 1 of a suit with a good fit

5: higher part-score

6: game in no-trumps or a good major fit

7: small slam with a good fit and enough controls

8: grand slam ditto