The game of Auction, or Auction Bridge, as it is generally called ("Auction Whist" is perhaps a more appropriate title), has been so completely and so suddenly revolutionized that books written upon the subject a few months ago do not treat of Auction of to-day, but of a game abandoned in the march of progress. Only a small portion of the change has been due to the development of the game, the alteration that has taken place in the count having been the main factor in the transformation. Just as a nation, in the course of a century, changes its habits, customs, and ideas, so Auction in a few months has developed surprising innovations, and evolved theories that only yesterday would have seemed to belong to the heretic or the fanatic. The expert bidder of last Christmas would find himself a veritable Rip Van Winkle, should he awake in the midst of a game of to-day.
ple to master. A foolish bid may cost hundreds of points. The failure to make a sound one may lose a rubber, whereas mistakes in the play, while often expensive and irritating, are rarely attended with such disastrous results.
 Also known as "the Bid" and "the Call."
Any good player who has to choose between a partner who bids well and plays poorly, and one who is a wild or unreliable bidder, but handles his cards with perfection, without hesitation selects the former.
To be an expert player requires natural skill, long experience, keen intuition, deep concentration, and is an art that cannot be accurately taught either by the instructor or by a textbook. Bidding has been reduced to a more or less definite system, which may be learned in a comparatively brief space of time. Consequently, any one possessed of ordinary intelligence, regardless of sex, age, temperament, or experience, may become an expert declarer, but of all who attempt to play, not more than forty per cent. possess that