Dumb-Bunny Bridge

Apparently the rules for Dumb-Bunny Bridge are not transcribed by any gaming authority, but since we've been playing it for years, we have a pretty good idea what the rules are (or should be!). This page will tell you everything you need to know to play your own game. Hopefully.

The absolute minimum number of players is 4, but the practical minimum number is 8. There's no upper limit to the number of players.

Players are divided into groups of four, which is two teams of two. Partners sit opposite each other. They are considered a team for score-counting purposes, but they do not share cards, or information about cards, or anything else.

Each group of four gets one deck of cards, which is shuffled and fully dealt. (So, 13 cards each.) The task of shuffling and dealing rotates each round.

Here is the scorecard, at least for our version of the game.

Basic Play (no trump)

A game of Dumb-Bunny Bridge can have any number of hands; in the version outlined here we have 16. A hand consists of 13 tricks, which is one for each of the cards the players have.

The player to the left of the dealer starts the first trick by placing any one of their cards in the center of the table. That card establishes the trick's suit (clubs, hearts, diamonds, spades).

Play proceeds to the left, with each player placing one of their own cards in turn. Each player must match the trick's suit, if they have any cards of that suit. (If they don't have any cards in the trick's suit, they can play any card they want.)

Additionally, if they can, each player must play a high enough value (2 through ace) to take the trick. If a player cannot take the trick, then they can play any suited card.

A trick is "taken" by the person who played the highest value card of the trick's suit. That person then leads the next trick. The trick can be physically taken by either partner; usually one is designated for taking all the cards to that they're all in one place.

At the end of the hand, each player's score is the number of tricks they and their partner took.

Trump Suits

A hand may be played with a pre-designated trump suit. Unlike normal play, a card from a trump suit always beats cards in a trick's suit. If multiple trump cards are played in a trick, they are ranked by value, like regular play, and the highest-value trump wins.

Playing with a trump suit introduces an additional rule: if you do not have a card in the trick's suit, you must play a trump (if you have it). Additionally, if a trump has already been played, you are still bound to the rule that you must play a high enough card to take the trick (if you can).

Example 1

Let's run through a quick example of a trick. Assume no trump.
  • Player one: leads with a 10 of hearts, establishing hearts as the trick's suit.
  • Player two: has two hearts: the 7 and the jack. Since they could take the trick, player two has to play the jack of hearts.
  • Player three: has a bunch of low hearts. But since none of them can beat a jack, they can play whichever heart they want. They choose the 3 of hearts.
  • Player four: has the 6 and ace of hearts. Even though their partner (player two) is already winning the trick with the jack, player four still has to play the ace of hearts because it would take the trick.
Player four took this trick, so they lead the next trick.

Example 2

What happens if you don't have the trick's suit?
  • Player one: leads with the jack of clubs.
  • Player two: cannot beat the jack, so plays the 4 of clubs
  • Player three: does not have any clubs! Since there's no trump, player three can play any card in their hand; let's say the 4 of diamonds
  • Player four: has both the queen and ace of clubs, so they could play either to take to the trick; let's say the queen of clubs.

Example 3

What happens when there's a trump? Let's say hearts are trump:
  • Player one: leads with the queen of spades
  • Player two: is out of spades, but has trumps (hearts), so they play the 5 of hearts.
  • Player three: is also out of spades, and also has trumps (hearts), but has both the 3 and 10 of hearts. Only one of those can beat the 5 of hearts, so player three has to play the 10 of hearts.
  • Player four: is out of spades and hearts, so they can play any card they want; let's say the 2 of diamonds.
Here's a totally unnecessary flowchart showing how to decide which card to play:

Dumb-Bunny Modifications

The fun of Dumb-Bunny Bridge is its modifications to each hand. One hand you swap scores with the other team, another you play face-down so that you have no idea what's you're playing. Each hand may or may not have a trump. After some hands, you swap partners and/or tables!

Drinking is encouraged.

See the scorecard (linked near the beginning) for our Bunny-Dumbifications.


Questions? Comments? Email info@almadenvalleykiwanis.org!
Last updated: 9/5/2011