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I am in a group that says we play party bridge and the rules for honors are different than for rubber bridge. What exactly are the differences between party bridge and rubber bridge, and why are they different?

For example, are the honors scored the same in both party bridge and rubber bridge?

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I know of no rules for Party Bridge named as such, but there are other scoring table besides standard Contract Rubber Bridge; it is possible that your friends are referring to what is best known as Chicago Scoring. Also known as Four-Deal Bridge, Chicago scoring frequently, though not always, omits scoring points for Honours; I played it both ways while learning the game many years ago. To the best of my knowledge the rules for scoring Honours are always only On or Off - I know of no variations beside making it optional.

Chicago Scoring puts more points in play per hand than Rubber Bridge scoring, and is consequently also frequently preferred for high-level money games - the greater number of points in play further reduces the luck element over a session, and more easily accommodates rotating a fifth or sixth person in and out of a game.

This same dynamic is valuable in a party setting, because each table should finish a four-deal round in under 30 minutes. Players can then socialize for a few minutes before receiving their new seating assignment, typically determined either round-robin or progressive. A 6-round session should easily play in under 4 hours while still allowing frequent opportunities for socializing, or even in close to 3 hours for a more serious-minded group.

However if you attempt to break in to a new money game and find Rubber Bridge scoring being proposed, remember the old Poker adage - if you don't know who the sucker is, it's probably you. Amateur players will sacrifice far too often and frequently to save the rubber, and good players will rapidly fleece any person or partnership that exhibits this behaviour.

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