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Trestle - contract bridge for 6 players - help requested


My friend Duane Friedrich (we call him Fred) has invented a card game for six players that he calls "Trestle".

There are six suits of 19 cards. The extra suits are called giraffes and elephants. The suits are still in alphabetical order, so the new suits are in between the majors and the minors, with giraffes being higher. The extra spot cards go from 11 to 16, so each suit goes from 2 to 16, then jack, queen, king, and ace.

The game is played by two teams of three players. The six players are North, Two, Four, South, Eight, and Ten. North plays with Four and Eight, and South plays with Two and Ten. The declarer is still the first player to call a suit and both of his teammates hands are exposed after the opening lead.

A game is 160 points. Points below the line are scored similar to 4-player bridge, with minors scoring 20 below the line, majors 30 below the line, and notrump 40 for the first trick and 30 thereafter. The mammals (giraffes and elephants) score 25 below the line.

Book is 9 tricks, so 1 level bids are contracts to take 10 out of 19 tricks. Bids go from 1 club to 10 notrump. Therefore game in notrump requires 15 out of 19 tricks. You would bid 5NT for game. Similarly, you would bid 6 of a major for game, 7 of a mammal for game, and 8 of a minor suit for game. Small and grand slams are 9 and 10 level bids.

Here is an example of how a hand might play:

Contract: 8

Lead: 14

Ten                                                     Two

A 15 14 12 2                                     8 3

A 3 2                                               15

G A 16 4                                               G 12 8 5

E -                                                       E 12 7 3 2

A 12 7                                               K Q 16

15 7 6 5 4                                         J 16 11 9 3 2


                                J 11 10                               

                                Q 11 8 7                               

                                G 3                               

                                E Q 16 8 6 4

                                J 6 4

                                A K Q

Eight leads the 14 of clubs, won by the ace as North and Four both show out.

A diamond is led to Two and a spade is ducked to North, who has no more trumps. Declarer wins the return, plays two more rounds of diamonds, and crossruffs. Declarer can ruff two giraffes in hand with the KQ, two hearts in Two, possibly two spades in Two, and some number of elephants in Ten.

Unfortunately, Eight is also void in elephants and can score a trump promotion, which sets 8.

This hand illustrates part of the difficulty of notrump contracts in Trestle. Notrump might make only 13 tricks where clubs has a good play for 17.

Here's a fun fact: The total number of possible bridge hands is 635,013,559,600. The total number of possible Trestle hands is 2,024,174,282,713,371,059,040!

Fred has just made Gold LM and so at his party we want to have the first ever Trestle hand. I would like to enlist some help for anyone who might want to develop a standard/easy bidding system for Trestle. If you would like to help please message me.

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