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Bridge - Activision - Atari 2600     HTML Manual   

                          ACTIVISION BRIDGE INSTRUCTIONS

                 [Typed up] By: Dean St.Antoine

                      Copyright 1980 Activision AX-006-03 Rev 2

                      Game before: Skiing AG-005
                      Game after:  Tennis AG-007

                      Designer:    Larry Kaplan


You have in your possession the ultimate solitaire bridge game!  Bridge by
ACTIVISION deals you hundreds of millions of hands at random, provides a
computer partner who bids by rules, and even plays as your opponents after
you've established a contract.  You can play the same hand over and over again
until you're satisfied or keep dealing until you find a hand you want to play.
Best of all, you'll never again be without a game with Bridge by ACTIVISION.
Look inside to see how it's done.

Bridge by ACTIVISION was designed for people who already know how to play the
game. It won't teach you the basics - you'll want to read a good instructional
book or take some classes for that.  But it will give you virtually unlimited
opportunities to practice what you learn and sharpen your game - at your own


 1. Hook up your video game system. Follow manufactuer's instructions.
 2. With power OFF, plug in game cartridge.
 3. Turn power ON. If no picture appears, check connection of your game
    system to TV, then try steps 1-3 again.
 4. Plug in left Joystick Controller (it's the only one you'll need). Hold
    it with the button in the upper left.
 5. Set both difficulty switches at b (down) to begin.

Note to owners of Sears Tele-Game: On your system, difficulty switches are
called skill left (or right) player and a (or up) is expert and b (or down)
is novice.
 Select your game

 6. Select game with the game select switch.  The game number will appear at
    the top center of screen.
   If you want to bid and play:
       Game 1: 21 team points or more
       Game 2: 25 team points or more
       Game 3: 29 team points or more
    If you want to play without bidding (you set contract):
       Game 4: 13 team points or more
       Game 5: 21 team points or more
       Game 6: 25 team points or more
       Game 7: 29 team points or more
  (Point counts above are based on the standard American point count system
   popularized by Charles Goren and represent the total combined team points
   of your hand and your partner's.)

   Dealing a hand
 7. Deal a hand by pressing the game reset switch.  Your hand will appear at
    the bottom of the screen.  Every time you press game reset, you will get
    a new and completely different hand with at least the minimum team point
    count for that game you have selected.


 1. Select your bit with the Joystick.  It's your bid when you see the bid
    option flashing on and off in the upper right hand ocrner of the screen.
    Push the Joystick forward to raise the bid and pull it toward you to 
    lower the bid.  Bids increase through normal suit rotation (Clubs,
    Diamonds, Hearts, Spades, No-Trump). Pass ("P", which flaes in red) is
    always the lowest bid.

 2. When the bid you want is flashing on the screen, push the Joystick button
    to enter the bid.  It will appear in the center of the screen above your

 3. Your computer partner will then respond.  He recognizes most standard
    opening bids (see below) and uses Stayman and Blackwood conventions, where
    appropriate, to bid with you to establish a contract.  Your opponents
    do not bid; assume they pass every bid.  NOTE: YOUR PARTNER WILL RESPOND
    on how your partner bids see "How Your Partner Bids in Bridge by
    ACTIVISION", a special book included with this cartridge.

 4. After your partner bids, his bid will appear in the center of the screen
    above your bid.  Your next hightest available bid will begin flashing in
    the upper righty corner of the screen.  You should bid again if you are
    still seeking a contract.  The bidding continues until either you or your
    partner passes; the last bid before passing becomes the contract.

 5. If you pass instead of opening the bidding on any hand, the computer will
    deal a new hand.  Your partner will not open.

 6. When a contract is established, four things happen: 1) the contract bid is
    displayed in the upper right corner of the screen; 2) your partner's hand
    appears (since one of you is now dummy); 3) the upper left corner of the
    screen shows how many totals tricks you need to take to make your contract
    (in red, with a minus sign); 4) your opponent to the left of declarer leads
    a card from his hand and play begins.

 7. In games 4-7, where there is no bidding, you simply select the contract (or
    bid) you want to play by using the Joystick as in steps 1 and 2.  You may
    bid on your hand alone or you may check your partner's cards by moving the
    left difficulty switch UP to A and bid on both hands.  Once you select a 
    bid, play starts as described next.

(Insert picture of screen here)

PLAYING (after a contract is established)

 1. Playing a hand in Bridge by ACTIVISION is like playing any game of bridge.
    After the opening lead, you control the play of both hands on the table,
    weather North (your partner) or South (you) is dummy.  The computer plays
    East and West in proper order.

 2. When it is North's or South's turn to play, one of the cards in that hand
    will begin flashing. Move the Joystick left or right until the card you
    want to play is flashing.

 3. When the card you want to play is flashing, push the Joystick button.  The
    card's number and suit will now appear in the middle of the screen.

 4. After all four hands have played their cards on a trick, the card that took
    the trick will start flashing.  If your team took the trick, the number of
    tricks remaining to make your contract will decrease (or your overtricks
    will increase, if you've already made your bid).  After you've reviewed the
    trick, press the Joystick button again to take the cards off the table.

 5. If your team won the trick, a card in the winning hand will begin flashing.
    You start the next trick by choosing a card to lead from that hand.
    Continue play as in steps 2 and 3 above.  If East or West took the last
    trick, the computer will lead from the proper hand and the card will 
    appear on the table.  Continue play as above until all tricks are played.

    After the last trick is played and you push the Joystick button to clear
    the table, your bid will appear just above your hand, and the number of 
    undertricks (negative, in red) or overtricks (positive, in black) you made
    will be displayed in the upper left corner of the screen. If zero (0)
    appears there, you made your bid exactly.  Nicely bid and played! If you
    overbid or underbid and want to play that hand again, take a look at
    "Replaying a Hand" on the next page.

(another picture of the screen goes here)


Replaying a hand

You can play any hand over again as many times as you like. Just start bidding
again after the last trick is cleared by following the steps outlined in
Bidding.  If you don't want to replay the hand, press the Joystick button when
the "P" is flashing, and the computer will deal a completely new hand.

Starting over

One of the great things about Bridge by ACTIVISION is that you can start
playing over again in the middle of a hand, if you don't like the way the hand
is playing.  To start over, you must first finish playing a trick, but, instead
of simply pressing the button to clear the trick, pull the Joystick toward you
and hold it there while pressing the button.  The hand will reset at the 
beginning, and you can start the bidding over again. You may want to try this
a few times to practice the procedure.

Taking a Peek

Use the left difficulty switch to determine whether your partner's hand is 
visible durring the bidding:

  a (up)    - Displays both your hand and your partner's.
  b (down)  - Displays your hand only.

Use the right difficulty switch AFTER YOU HAVE PLAYED A HAND to see what your
opponents held.  East will show on the top of the screen, West on the bottom.
A flashing red "E" will appear beneath the East hand.

  a (up)    - Displays East and West hands after play is complete.
  b (down)  - East and West hands are not displayed at any time.

NOTE: As long as the right difficulty switch is UP at A, you cannot deal a new
hand by pushing your Joystick button.  You must push game reset to deal a new

How your Activision computer partner bids

A complete description of how your computer partner responds to your bids is
discussed in a booklet titled "How Your partner Bids in Bridge by ACTIVISION"
enclosed with this cartridge.


Tips from Larry Kaplan, designer of Bridge.

(Larry's Mug Shot goes here)

Larry Kaplan has been playing bridge since high school.  Like most of us, he 
frequently had had the experience of not being able to find a fourth, let
alone a second or thrid, to play bridge.  He has solved this problem with
Bridge by ACTIVISION.  Larry is a senior member of the Activision design team
and a veteran video game designer.

"Our game, like bridge with cards, has millions of possible hands.  I calculate
that our computer can deal over five hundred million different hands.  None of
us in the design group has yet seen the same hand twice, and we play almost 
every day.

"I can't give you tips on how to beat the game, because the point isn't to beat
it.  Its purpose is to let you have fun running through a wide variety of
Bidding and playing situations, with your choice of minimum partnership point
counts, playing and replaying as many hands as you want without having to 
gather up other players to practice.

"Many people who have tried Bridge by ACTIVISION say that it can help partners
better understand each other's bidding and interpretation of the point count
system.  some of you may quarrel with some of my computer playing rules, but
I tried to adjust the computer bidding and playing to reflect the way a vast
majority of players would react.  Bridge is a wonderfully flexible game, and
most players develop their own sytle of bidding and playing.  That's part of
the fun of it.

"I hope you enjoy our game of Bridge.  I'd love to hear from you with your 
comments.  Good luck!"

(Larry Kaplan's signature here)

"P.S. I would like to thank a good friend and great bridge player, Jack Verson,
for his invaluable assistance on Bridge by ACTIVISION."

Look for more exciting video game cartridges by ACTIVISION wherever you buy
video game cartridges. Drop us a note and we will add you to our mailing list
and keep you posted on new ACTIVISION game cartridges as they become available.

        Activision, Inc., 3255-2 Scott Blvd., Santa Clara, CA 95051

-------------------Atari 2600 Instructions Archive-------------------

This document obtained from the History of Home Video Games Homepage, �1997-1998 by Greg Chance