BAM Board a Match Scoring & Tactics

BAM Scoring

This Team Event uses a Board-A-Match (BAM) form of scoring which many experts consider as the “purest” form of the game. Instead of "IMP” comparison , the board is scored as either a "WIN" a "LOSS” or a “TIE”. If the N-S pair is +620 and the E-W pair at the other table is +100, the result is "2" -- a full win. If a team is -800 E-W at one table and also -2,000 by the N-S pair at the other table, it is simply a loss or "0." If both tables achieve the same score, say +170 at each table, it is a tie and 1 for each team. At the end of the session, each team adds up its ties (worth 1 each) and wins (worth 2 each). If 26 boards are played, an average session is 26 points. Whoever gets the most points in the event is the winner.


In match points, overtricks are important as the small differences count.

In IMPs, the focus is on making the contract and overtricks are of small value. Vulnerable games are strived for as 620 against 170 yields a bountiful 10-IMP win.

What about BAM?

  • It is more like matchpoints than IMPs.
  • At BAM, the part score battle can be intense - doubling a part score is more prevalent than in any other form of scoring.
  • Even at matchpoints, tight doubles of part scores risk bottom boards and are often avoided. But at BAM, if a player suspects his opponents have already out-competed him, a penalty double is often a no-lose proposition.
  • Game and Slam bidding is not a big deal. If game (or slam) is at least 50%, then it is worth bidding. There isn’t the need to push for close games (as at IMPs).

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