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Tricks of the Trade

by Leslie Varghese

Leads Example 1

What do you lead?

Lead a small club.

If you lead the ♣ A or ♣ K, the contract cannot be beaten.

You have to play North to have a stopper in ♠ ,  or  and hold at least two clubs which is not unreasonable given the bidding.

Leads Example 2

North leads 3 , 4  is played from dummy, you play J  and West plays the A♥. 

West leads 3  to East’s Q♦. 

J♣   is played from dummy, North wins with K♣ .

K  played by North, what do you play?

You have to unblock the Q on the K . If you don’t unblock the contract is unbeatable.

The reason is simple.  

East and West have a combined total of at least 25 or 26 high card points. You as South have 9 points. North has already shown 6 points and therefore cannot have any other honor card to get into the hand and run the heart suit.

Garbage Stayman

What do you do when partner opens 1NT and you hold the following?

♠ xxxx

 xxxx

 Jxx

♣ xx


You and partner need at least 20 points to have a chance of making 1NT.

If you have 0,1 or 2 points and one or two cards in clubs, bid 2♣  and pass any response by North.

Your partner has a better chance of making the contract or getting a better score than 1NT, going down.

 

Help Suit Game Try 1

You are south.

Opener needs to be more specific about his game try and not just bid 3  . If he can't bid game directly, all by himself, then there is a deficiency in his hand. In this hand, he has too many club losers. He needs HELP in clubs to make game. If he doesn't have club help, he can't make game. So, once the suit, here Hearts, is established by the bidding, the bid of a new suit is a HELP SUIT GAME TRY bid. It says, "If you have help for me in my game try suit, bid game, if you don't, just bid 3 of our suit." So, with this hand, after the 1 -2 bids, opener now bids 3♣ . He is saying that he can make game if partner has help in clubs. What do you bid with this hand?

 

Bid 3 .

So, with the HELP SUIT GAME TRY BID, you end up in game when you can make it and stop at the 3 level when you can't. -- From 0% success rate to 100% success rate! If you use this bid rather than the 3  bid for game invitation, you can use the 3  bid to be competitive only and NOT game invitation. Help Suit Game Try is NOT alertable.

Help Suit Game Try 2

You are south.

Opener needs to be more specific about his game try and not just bid 3 . If he can't bid game directly, all by himself, then there is a deficiency in his hand. In this hand, he has too many club losers. He needs HELP in clubs to make game. If he doesn't have club help, he can't make game. So, once the suit, here Hearts, is established by the bidding, the bid of a new suit is a HELP SUIT GAME TRY bid. It says, "If you have help for me in my game try suit, bid game, if you don't, just bid 3 of our suit." So, with this hand, after the 1 -2  bids, opener now bids 3♣ . He is saying that he can make game if partner has help in clubs. What do you bid with this hand? 

 

Bid 4 .

Bid game with less than two losers in the suit!!

So, with the HELP SUIT GAME TRY BID, you end up in game when you can make it and stop at the 3 level when you can't. -- From 0% success rate to 100% success rate! If you use this bid rather than the 3  bid for game invitation, you can use the 3  bid to be competitive only and NOT game invitation. Help Suit Game Try is NOT alertable.

Combined Trumps 1

You are North. What is your next bid?

At equal or favorable vulnerability, always bid to the level of your combined trumps!!

Bid 5  ! You and your partner have eleven cards in Diamonds.

Combined Trumps 2

You are north.

What is your next bid?

Double!!

You have 6 trumps. Opponents have only 7 trumps. Partner opened the bidding. By doubling you are preventing partner from making any more bids.