THIRD PLAYER PLAYS HIGH
Defence play can be tricky but satisfying too.
Unlike declarer play, one can't see ones partner's hand but at least your partner wants to defeat the contract as you do. Often partner's first card to a trick will be low through dummy and unless you, (the 3rd player) play high declarer will win a cheap trick. Third player plays high is Crucial in defence.
Change of suit responses.
With 10 points plus, all change of suit responses need only a 4 card suit except for a new Major suit response at the two level which must show a five card suit. (With less than 10 points apply the Rule of 14).
If partner opens 1S and you only hold 4H you must find an alternative bid, as 2 hearts guarntees 5 cards in hearts.
Weak 2 & Premptive Opening Bids v Rule of 20.
Confirm before opening a weak 2 or a premptive bid, that you are not able to open one of a suit, using the rule of 20.
(For the rule of 20 add up your High Card Points and add the length of your two longest suites. If the total is 20 or more then you can open the bidding with your longest suit, at the one level).
If not able to do so then continue with the weak 2 or premptive bid.
An overcall in a suit indicates 5 good cards in the suit.
It does not guarntee opening points but neither does it preclude them.
The rule of 20. Rule of 20 is used only when opening the bidding. It is used to test whether hands with less than 12 points are suitable for opening.
Add up your High Card Points and add the length of your two longest suites. If the total is 20 or more then you can open the bidding.
During the bidding, you can only ask an opponent for an explanation of a bid made by them or their partner when it’s your turn to call. And you must ask the partner of the player who made the bid, not the player who made it.
Use the ‘STOP’ card when making a jump bid (including opening bids): take the card out, leave it on the table for ten seconds, then put it away. The next player shouldn’t bid whilst the ‘STOP’ card is still on the table. This automatically creates a short pause for thought, avoiding the inference that a player who passes quickly has nothing to think about.
Just because you have more high card points between you than your partners doesn't mean you have to be in a contract .You may score more points by doubling your opponents contract .
You must learn to trust your partner. Try to make a picture of the cards she/he holds, deduced from the bidding information and the leads .
1 NT opening bid
If you have 12 to 14 points and a balanced hand (no more than one suit with only 2 cards) you must open 1NT .
If you forget to bid it then you can't bid it at a later stage as it will misinform your partner.
Try not to take too long when bidding or when playing a card. Best practice is to always try and play in tempo.
It is good practice not to put away the bidding cards until a lead has been made .
Only on Gentle Duplicate evenings are you allowed to leave the contract displayed on your bidding box during play.
Unless dummy has left the table, declarer should never touch dummy's cards, even to rearrange them. This avoids arguments about wether a card has been played or not.
Declarer should tell dummy what card to play and dummy must respond without hesitation.
Length before Strength. Except when opening with a NT bid then always bid your longest suit first.
Be aware, before you start play, of how many tricks you need to defeat opponents contract.
No Trump rebids.
When you open the bidding 1 of a suit with 15-16 points, planning to rebid 1NT, PASS if your partner responds 1NT. (A 2NT rebid would show 17-18 points).
Never deny a 4 card Major
When responding to an opening bid of 1C, 1D or 1H with less than 12 points - bid a four card Major at the one level if you can rather than bidding a long minor at the two level. (It doesn't matter how poor the suit is!).
When opening one of a suit then always have another bid ready in case your partner makes a forcing reply, (so look carefully at your hand for that second bid).
Not necessary when you open 1NT, you don't have to speak again.
And from Andrew Robson's Acronyms and Ditties
Taps, Hot and Cold for those really difficult to bid 4-4-4-1 hands .
H (hot for hearts) and C (cold for clubs)
with a Black suit singleton open 1H i.e. with a singleton Spade or Club open 1 H
with a Red suit singleton open 1C i.e. with a singleton heart or diamond open 1C
It may seem a little strange but it really makes your next bid much easier if partner bids .
Conventional opening of 2 clubs meaning I have 23 points or more .
This opening bid cannot be passed by partner.
A negative response of 2 diamonds to the 2 clubs convention means that the responder has 7 points or less and is saying "do not bid for a slam".
A positive response to a 2 club opening bid invites the partnership to find a fit and possibly bid a slam .
Overcalling 1NT differs to a bid of 1NT as an overcall.
Sometimes there is confusion if it is assumed they are the same.
Overcalling (after) an opening bid of 1NT is not much different to an overcall over an opening such as 1♠ . You'd have a good five/six card suit, with honours, and at least 8/9 points.
To bid 1NT as an overcall,you should have 15-18 points, balanced with a stopper in the suit opened.