There are two types of slam – a small slam and a grand slam.
A small slam means you bid for and win 12 out of the 13 available tricks.
A grand slam means you bid for and win all 13 tricks.
Why Bid For a Slam?
If you are learning how to bid in bridge, you might be wondering why you would risk bidding for a small or grand slam when you could bid for fewer tricks and be certain of winning.
The answer is points. If you bid for and win a small slam, or a grand slam you will win a greater number of points. Conversely, if you bid for a slam and fail to achieve it your opponents will gain a greater number of points.
Points Scored for a Slam?
A small slam will score an extra 500 point bonus (or 750 if vulnerable)
A grand slam will score an extra 1000 point bonus (or 1500 if vulnerable)
These slam bonuses are in addition to the regular game bonus.
How Many Points Are Needed?
To consider bidding for a slam you need to know that you and your partner have enough points to justify the risk.
Small Slam (12 tricks) in suit contract 31+
Small Slam in No Trumps 33+
Grand Slam (13 tricks) in suit contract 35+
Grand Slam in No Trumps 37+
Do you have enough Aces and Kings?
There are 40 points available in total. It is possible to hold enough points for small slam (up to 34 points) but be missing two aces. If you are in this situation you risk losing two tricks, thus failing to make your small slam.
To help you decide whether you and your partner have enough aces and kings there are two main conventions that can be used – Blackwood and Gerber.
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