National Rubber Bridge, entries close 31 March ... details below

Club re-opens Tuesday 23rd February, normal service resumed!

National Rubber Bridge, entries close 31 March ... details below

National Rubber Bridge

Entries are now open for this tournament


The format is that clubs with 2 or more entries to hold a knock-out event at club level and the club winners will then enter the general pool at a level appropriate for your number of entries.  Ask someone in your Club to promote local entries.  Please get behind this.  If Auckland/Northland have enough entries (20+?) it may be allowed two finalists to go through to National Congress.


  • Entry fee:  Nil
  • Venue:  At clubs or at private homes
  • Entries to: Email   Please include your phone number, email and your club or clubs.  A confirmation of entry will be sent.
  • The draw for the first round or two will be arranged by location.  You will be given the draw and then will have about 2 weeks to arrange and play your first match with your opponents
  • Entries by  31 March 2021
  • For the overall Auckland winning pair the final three rounds of this tournament are played at National Congress 25th September -2nd October at Mt Maunganui. This tournament fits in around the pairs events
  • The finalists must be available to play in Mt Maunganui
  • The pair/s going to Mt Maunganui will receive an accommodation/travel subsidy
  • There is significant prize money for the overall winners
  • The initial knock out rounds are to be completed as soon as possible but are dependent in the size of your club entry and the total entry. If your club entry is large then 2 pairs may enter the final knock out stages
  • The draws will be as far as possible selected by location



  • It is a game played with the shuffling of hands and you score according to what you make.  It’s the same as duplicate except you do not get a bonus of 50 for a part score but more than one part scores that add up to 100 constitute a game.
  • You need two games to make a rubber and then get a bonus for the rubber.  A slam bonus still applies At the end of the 30 board match there are bonuses for  one game in and for a part score
  • How well you do does not depend as much on how good you are but rather on what cards you hold
  • The only systems allowed are those played in JUNIOR Tournaments
  • For more information on rubber bridge – please contact Grant Jarvis.

New Zealand Bridge Manual 



1. Matches

 All matches are to be played under the rules laid down in The International Laws of Contract Bridge 2014.


2. Formats

 Formats are up to the individual Regions to organise but should fall within one of the following two methods. 


(a) A one-venue event held over a day or a weekend. In this case, a Pair must not have more than one bye and, if numbers are awkward, the event may be run with one or both of the following two features. 

 (i) Closest Loser(s). In this case, the Pair who lost by the closest margin may be allowed through to fill out the draw, e.g. 14 Pairs could produce 7 winners and 1 closest loser to make a full draw of 8 Pairs for the quarter finals.

 (ii) Repechage. In this case, first-round losers play a series of short matches to allow one or two to get back into the event, e.g. 24 Pairs would reduce to 12 winners, who play off for 6 quarter-final places, and 12 losers, who play a series of 10-board matches for the other 2 quarter-final places. 


In either case, any draw that puts two Pairs together who have previously met will be declared invalid and completely redrawn, unless the competition has progressed to a stage where it is impossible to avoid Pairs meeting again.


(b) An event held over a longer period of time, generally in people’s homes. Early rounds can be drawn with a geographical bias, to reduce travelling. If there is a substantial difference in numbers from various areas, the Regional Committee may permit a format that effectively gives a Pair more than one bye. Under this format, there can be no closest losers or repechage as in (i) or (ii). 


3. Length of Matches

 All matches will be of 30 deals, unless there is a good cause, such as a repechage, to run shorter matches. A passed-in hand constitutes a deal.


 4. Incomplete Rubbers 

 If, at the end of the specified length of the match, a rubber is not finished, the score is computed as follows: if only one game has been completed, the winners of that game will be credited with 300 points; if only one side has a part score (or part scores) in a game not completed, that side is credited with 100 points.


5. Tie Breaks

Ties at the end of the match will be resolved by the addition of two deals to the length of the match. This means that Contestants retain all the conditions of the match as at the end of the last board, e.g. the dealer, vulnerability, scores below and above the line (but not the bonus points computed for an incomplete rubber at that stage) etc., and play a further two deals. The score is then recalculated including the bonus points for an incomplete rubber, if any. If the scores remain tied, the procedure is repeated. In effect, the tie break is a continuation of the match for a further two deals each time, until a winner is found. Some formats may require the resolution of ties between Pairs who have not been in direct competition. One example of this would be a format in which the closest loser also survived to the next round. If there was a tie between two or more Pairs for such a qualification, it is to be resolved by tossing a coin or drawing lots.


6. Slow Play 

 In a type (a) one-venue format, the timing of the event may be disrupted by excessively slow play. If this happens, the organisers must not shorten any matches, but can use the following measures to encourage participants to maintain a reasonable speed of play.


(a) A penalty may be imposed on one or both Pairs in a match, which would take effect from the start of the next match. A standard penalty would be approximately 300 points, but this is only a guideline that can be varied by the Director, taking into account each individual case. For example, if the Director deems that the responsibility for slow play in a quarter final is being, or was, equally shared, he/she may rule that the winner of the match will start the semi-final with a deficit of 300 points. If the Director believes one Pair to be mostly responsible for the slow play in question, then he/she can rule that the penalty will apply only if that Pair wins the match.

 (b) The Director can file a report to the Region giving details of the incident and recommending that the Region not accept entries from this Pair for the Rubber Bridge Knockout in the following year. The Director may also warn Players that such an action may be taken if their speed of play does not improve.


7. Substitutes

 (a) Format (a) events

 These are one-venue events and include the play-offs at the National Congress. The Director may approve a substitute for one match or part thereof. Should that Pair win the match but then still be unable to continue, then the substitution will be revoked and the other Pair will proceed to the next round.  

 (b) Format (b) events

 These events are held at times to suit the Players and often in private homes. No substitutes will be allowed under any circumstances. Pairs who are unable to complete their match within the allocated timeframe will forfeit their match and their opponents will progress to the next round.


8. National Finals

The winning Pair in each Region progresses to the National Final held at the Hamilton Congress. In the Region with the largest number of entries, the beaten finalist will also qualify for the National Final. If there is a tie for the largest number of entries between two or more Regions, it will be broken by random lot.


9. Replacement Pairs

 Should a Player or Players become unavailable to play in the National Final after having qualified, the Pair will be replaced using the following method.


(a) If the Pair came from a Region with only one Pair in the National Final, that Pair will be replaced by the beaten finalists. 


(b) If the Pair came from a Region with two Pairs in the National Final, that Pair will be replaced by the beaten finalists in the Region with the second-largest entries.


In both cases, if that Pair is unavailable (even if it is because the Players are already replacing another Pair), there will be no further replacement and the National Final will proceed with fewer than eight pairs.




1. The objective is to allow methods that could be used by any two Players forming a partnership for the first time for a game of Rubber.
Only systems that are allowed to be played in Junior Tournaments can be used (page D41).


2. Contestants are expected to follow the intention and "spirit" of the Regulations.


3. Before the start of the match, Players should agree, as far as practical, on the legality of their opponents’ system. If unsure of the legality of any bid or method, the Contestants, before the match starts, should: 

 • in a type (a) event, consult with the Director; 

 • in a type (b) event, consult with any Director.


4. Conventions permitted in this competition are those that Players in Junior Tournaments can be expected to play. A list of permitted conventions is included in the following section (page D7). Players may agree to play other conventions provided they are consistent with the spirit of the event. They must be agreed before play starts on the first board and a written record of the agreement should be made.


5. Penalties

Should it be ruled that a Pair has used an unauthorised convention and attention is drawn to it immediately, the non-offending Pair will have the choice (after completion of the hand) of 


(a) 200 points above the line and the result cancelled, or 


(b) the result on the hand plus an additional 100 points above the line.


In either case, it will count as a played hand.


If attention is drawn to the irregularity after either non-offending Player looks at his/her cards on the next deal, then only penalty (b) can be applied.


If attention is drawn to the matter after Players have left the table at the end of the match, no penalty will be applied unless no Director is present, in which case it should be drawn to the attention of the Regional Committee at the earliest practical opportunity.


The penalty provisions in the Regulations should be implemented only for a gross breach that leads to damage. 






The following short summary has been prepared to assist Players with regard to the basic requirements and treatments that are approved to be played at the New Zealand National Rubber Bridge Competition. 


1. Opening Bids




Opening strength; minimum suit length, 2 cards; OR  Simple Precision with no relay or artificial response other than the negative 1♦ response 1♦ Opening strength; minimum suit length, 3 cards; OR  Precision style (opening strength, any distribution)

1♥ 1♠ Opening strength; minimum suit length, 4 cards

1NT Balanced; lower limit at least 11 HCP 2♣ Very strong; forcing; any distribution; OR               Opening strength; minimum suit length, 5 cards (Precision style)


Very strong; forcing; any distribution; OR               Opening strength; minimum suit length, 5 cards; OR    Weak; minimum suit length, 6 cards 2♥ 2♠ Weak; minimum suit length, 6 cards; OR                  Strong; minimum suit length, 4 cards

2NT Balanced; lower limit at least 18 HCP Suit bid, 3+ level May be weak; minimum suit length, 6 cards 3NT Very strong; OR  "Gambling" (with a long minor suit)




"Precision" may also include any convention / treatment that is allowed to be played at this level with a natural system. 


Unless otherwise noted, the suit to which the "minimum length" applies must be the suit named in the bid.   


For the purposes of this table, the following definitions of strength apply 

 "Opening strength":  At least 11 HCP or equivalent with allowance for distribution (for which the guideline is: Add one point for every card after the eighth in the two longest suits).   "Strong":  At least 15 HCP or equivalent. 
 "Very strong":  At least 19 HCP or equivalent.


 "Weak":  Less than opening strength. 


2. Responses to Opening Bids 

Any artificial negative response to a forcing opening, including "impossible" 1♦ response to Precision 1♣.


Artificial forcing responses promising trump support (e.g. 2NT, splinter bids). 


Stayman or Baron responses to NT bids, including modified forms. 


Transfer or range-finder responses to NT bids.   2NT enquiry response to weak 2-suit opening. 


2♦ enquiry response to Precision 2♣ opening.


3. Calls Over Opponents’ Natural 1 Suit Opening

Any suit bid that promises 4+ cards in the suit.   A cue bid showing a very strong hand.   Any bid (including a cue bid) that shows two suits (5+/5+), at least one specified; must be either "weak only" or "strong only".   Jump cue bid asking partner to bid 3NT with a stopper in that suit.


4. Others

Any defence to opponent’s 1NT opening.


Any defence to opponent’s artificial forcing opening.


Any meaning of "double" in any sequence.


Any ace-asking bids and responses.


Any treatment for a cue bid made after the first bid by one’s own side.


 5. Permitted Conventions

 Opening Gambling 3NT

Responses to 1 suit openings

Any artificial negative response to forcing opening, including "impossible" 1♦ response to Precision 1♣  Artificial forcing responses promising trump support (e.g. Jacoby 2NT, Bergen raise, splinter bids)

Responses to NT opening and NT intervening bids

Stayman or Baron, including modified forms

 Transfers and range finder

Response to weak 2♣ opening 2NT enquiry

Response to Precision 2♣ opening 2♦ enquiry

Intervention after opponents’ natural 1 suit opening Cue bid that shows a strong hand.    Any bid that shows a two-suited hand (5/5), either weak or strong but not both (e.g. Michaels, unusual NT)   Jump cue bid asking partner to bid 3NT with a hold in that suit

Intervention after opponents’ 1NT opening Any defence

Intervention after any artificial opening by opponent Any defence

Other Any ace-asking enquiry and responses. 

Any meaning of cue bid after first bid by own side

Posted: Mon 22 Feb 2021