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Welcome to Knowle Bridge Club
Player of the Month for April 2024
Player of the Month for April 2024

Congratulations to Marie Howarth, our Player of the Month for April (here receiving her prize from Tony Cundy)

 

Marie averaged close to 60%, playing with three different partners. Well done!

 

 

In second place was Jill Collins, and third were Paul and Bridget. All of these players scored very consistently in April.

When the contract is safe look for an overtrick

 

Here is Hand 10 from Wednesday 1st May.

 

Most pairs bid to 5 but only two Declarers found the best play.

 

Note: East's hand is only worth a bid of 2  when partner responds in her void suit.  Over any other response she should jump to 3 .

 

The K♠  is led by North.   How would you play as West?

 

ANSWER

 

West can see two losers (the K  and the Q♠) so the contract looks secure, but if South has the A there is an overtrick available.

 

Win the A♠  and lead the K immediately.  If South covers with the A , ruff and cross back to dummy's A♣ . Now lead the established Q  throwing your losing Spade away.

 

If North has the A  you have just exchanged your Spade loser for a Heart loser so nothing would be lost, but here your careful play produces 12 tricks and a near maximum score.

 

TIPS

1. In the bidding, downgrade your hand if partner responds in your void suit

 

2. When the contract is safe, look for a low risk possibility of an overtrick.

Quick Tip
Bridge Thoughts
  1. Bidding: When partner bids two suits and you have an equal number of cards in each suit, take partner back to the first suit even if it means increasing the level.

    You hold: Axxx K10x Jxx xxx

    PartnerYou
    11
    2?

    Bid 3. Raising hearts or passing partner's reverse, a one-round force, is a beginners mistake.

    EK

  2. Bidding: A direct raise of a second suit promises four card support (guaranteed).

    You hold: xx A10x A10x K10xxx

    PartnerYou
    12
    2?

    Rebid 2NT showing 11-12 high-card points. Dont even think of raising hearts with only three.

    EK

  3. Bidding: With two five-card suits open with the higher ranking suit, respond in the higher ranking suit, and overcall in the higher ranking suit. Do not worry about which is the stronger suit.

    You hold: x J10xxx AKQxx Kx

    Open 1, not 1. Respond 1 to an opening 1 bid and overcall 1 if the opening bid to your right is 1.

    EK

  4. Bidding: When the bid to your right is strong, a jump by you is weak; when the bid to your right is weak, a jump by you is strong.

    If partner opens 1 and RHO doubles, a jump to 2 by you is weak. If RHO opens 2 (weak), a jump to 3 by you is strong.

    EK

  5. Bidding: After you open 1 or 1 and partner responds 1NT denying support for your major, don’t rebid your major unless you have a six-card suit.

    EK

  6. Bidding: When holding three four card suits and a singleton, open the bidding 1 unless your singleton is in diamonds! If it is, open 1. You should have at least 12 HCP to open the bidding with this distribution.

    You hold: AKxx KJxx J10xx x

    Open 1.

    EK

  7. Bidding: A takeout double by a prevously passed hand shows 9-11 HCP with shortness in the opener’s suit. If the opponents have bid two suits, the double promises at least four-card support for both unbids.

    You hold: AJxx xx KJ10xx xx South (you) West North East

    South (you)WestNorthEast
    Pass1Pass1
    Dbl

    You show both unbid suits with your double. A 2 overcall might miss a spade fit.

    EK

  8. Bidding: A good idea when playing Blackwood is to count the king of the agreed suit as an ace! This is called 'Key Card Blackwood' or 'Five Ace Blackwood'. When using this convention do not contract for slam unless you have at least four of the five 'aces'.

    EK

  9. Bidding: When responding to a takeout double, jump the bidding in your long suit with 9-11 'revalued' points. An unbid five-card suit is worth 1 extra point and an unbid six-card suit is worth three extra points. Do not count points for jacks and queens in suits they have bid.

    You hold: AQ10x Kxx xx 10xxx

    WestNorthEastSouth (you)
    1DblPass?

    Jump to 2. Do not bid 1 which shows 0-8 points. Also, your jump is not forcing.

    EK

  10. Bidding: When responding to a takeout double with 12+ HCP, cuebid the opponent's suit to show a strong hand and then bid your suit(s) later. After you cuebid, any new suit bid by you is forcing.

    You hold: KQxx AJxx Qxx xx

    WestNorthEastSouth (you)
    1DblPass?

    Bid 2 to show a big hand (12+HCP). You and partner then bid four-card suits up the line until you connect in a 4-4 major-suit fit. If partner bids 2, bid 2; if partner bids 2, raise to 4. The one who knows, goes.

    EK

  11. Bidding: A 2NT response to a takeout double shows 10-12 HCP and is not forcing. A 1NT response to a takeout double shows 6-9 HCP similar to a 1NT response to an opening bid. Notrump responses to a takeout double guarantee at least one stopper (hopefully two), in the opponents' suit.

    You hold: KJ9x xx Q10x Jxxx (or AJxx)

    WestNorthEastSouth (you)
    1DblPass?

    With the Jxxx, respond 1NT. With the AJxx, respond 2NT. You don't need stoppers in the other suits. Partner is supposed to have them for the double.

    EK

  12. Bidding: After partner opens the bidding and second hand overcalls 1NT to show the strength of an opening 1NT bid, double for penalty if you have 9 or more HCP. Bidding a suit denies the strength to double.

    You hold: 10x KJxx AJxxx J10

    NorthEastSouth (you)West
    11NT?

    Double. You have them outgunned. You should be able to defeat 1NT easily. If you bid 2, you are showing fewer than 9 HCP with at least five diamonds, usually six.

    EK

  13. Bidding: It is dangerous to count extra points for short suits or long suits before the bidding starts.

    If partner bids your short suit, that reduces, not increases, the value of your hand. If one of your opponents bids your long suit, that decreases, not increases, the value of your hand. If you let the bidding develop, you will see whether your long or short suits are working for or against you.

    You hold: Axxx x Qxxxx xxx

    What is this hand worth? If partner opens 1, it is a minus 6-point hand. If partner opens 1, it is a 9-point hand (3 points for the singleton with four-card support). If LHO opens 1 and partner overcalls 1, the Q has lost it's value not to mention the fifth diamond.

    You are now looking at a minus 4-point hand! Be patient with distributional evaluations until you hear the bidding.

    EK

  14. Bidding: It is dangerous to use Blackwood holding a void. If you are missing two aces and partner shows one ace, you won't know which it is. It is usually better to cuebid when interested in a slam. Also, when responding to Blackwood, do not count a void as an ace. With one ace (or three) and a void, jump to the six level of the void suit if it is lower ranking than the trump suit. If the void suit is higher ranking than the trump suit, jump to the six level of the trump suit. With two aces and a void, respond 5NT.

    EK

  15. Bidding: When responding to an opening bid with two four-card majors, respond 1 and give partner a chance to rebid 1. If partner doesn't rebid 1, assume partner does not have four spades and bid accordingly.

    You hold: AJxx KQxx Jx xxx

    PartnerYou
    11
    2?

    Rebid 2NT and limit your hand to 11-12 HCP. Do not rebid 2. Partner does not have four spades.

    EK

  16. Bidding: When the opponents bid and support each other and you have the jack or queen of their suit, do not count points for those honors. They are worth nothing.

    Secondary honors may take tricks on defense, but seldom do when you are the declarer.

    EK

  17. Bidding: When all your honor cards are in your two long suits, add 1 extra 'purity' point.

    You hold: AKJxx KQxx xx xx

    All your high-card points are in your two long suits, so add 1 extra point to your hand. Think of having 14 points. If partner supports spades or hearts, your hand increases in value. If partner does not have support for either suit, your hand stays at 14 points. Hands that have eight-card fits or longer add extra distributrional points. Until the fit is uncovered, distributional points should not be added. It doesn't make sense. Hands that are misfitted should not add extra points, they should subtract points!

    EK

  18. Bidding: When RHO uses Stayman and you, fourth hand, have five clubs or six clubs headed by three of the top five honors, double to alert your partner you want a club lead against any eventual contract. A double of an artificial bid is a lead directing double.

    You hold: xxx xx xxx AKJxx

    WestNorthEastSouth (you)
    1NTPass2?

    Double. You want a club lead against any eventual contract the opponents may land in. Do not double with club length (Kxxxxx) unless you have the necessary honor strength.

    EK

  19. Bidding: Use a lead-directing double when the opponents go through Blackwood. If the response to 4NT is a suit you want led, double! Important!

    You hold: xx xxx KQ10x xxxx

    WestNorthEastSouth (you)
    1Pass2Pass
    3Pass4Pass
    4NTPass5?

    Double 5 to alert partner you want a diamond lead against an eventual spade contract. At the four level or higher a double of an artificial bid can be made with a strong three or four card suit (KQx(x), KJx(x)). If you don't double 5, partner will make a negative inference that you didn't want a diamond lead.

    EK

  20. Defend: When leading a suit partner has bid and you have supported, lead your highest card with three or four small cards.

    The high card lead denies an honor, partner knows of your length. If you haven't supported, lead low from three or four small cards to deny a doubleton. The lead of a high spot card in partner's unsupported suit shows shortness. With three or four cards headed by an honor (10, J, Q or K) lead low whether or not you have supported. If you plan to lead partner's suit holding the ace, lead it.

    EK

  21. Defend: If you lead ace from AKx(x) against suit contracts you should know:

    (1) The lead of the ace is a trick one convention. (2) After trick one, the king is led. (3) If the suit has been supported, the king is led. Leading the ace in a supported suit or in any suit partner has bid, supported or not, denies the king. (4) If the opponents wind up at the five or six level, the king is led. The lead of an ace at the five or six level, in theory, denies the king. (5) From AK doubleton, everything is reversed.

    EK

  22. Defend: To lead top of a sequence at notrump, the suit should have three adjacent honors (KQJx(x)). However, the third card in the sequence can be missing by one place-KQ10x(x) is considered a sequence, KQ9xx is not and fourth highest should be led.

    If the third card is missing by more than one place, lead fourth highest. From QJ942, lead the queen, but from QJ842, lead the four.

    EK

  23. Defend: To lead an honor at a suit contract, only two adjacent honors are necessary and the top honor is led.

    Lead the ace from AKx(x), the King from KQx(x), the Queen from QJx(x), the Jack from J10x(x), and the ten from 109x(x). At notrump, lead fourth highest from these combinations holding four or more cards in the suit. If you happen to have three cards headed by two adjacent honors (QJx), and think that is the suit to lead, lead the top honor and hope partner can work it out.

    EK

  24. Defend: In general the lead of a low card shows strength and the lead of a relatively high spot card shows weakness.

    EK

  25. Defend: When partner leads low from length and dummy has small cards, third hand plays high. However, if third hand has two or three equal high cards, third hand plays the lower or lowest equal. (From K10x, play the king, from KQx, play the queen, from KQJ(x), play the jack.)

    EK

  26. Defend: When returning the suit partner has led, with two cards remaining return the higher; with three cards remaining, return the lowest.

    Say partner leads low and dummy has low cards. If you have A-10-5, play the ace and return the 10. If you have A-10-6-5, play the ace and return the 5.

    EK

  27. Defend: When partner leads low from length and dummy comes down with an honor and you have a higher and a lower honor, insert the lower honor if dummy plays low.

    Say dummy has the Q-5-4 or the J-5-4 and you have K-10-6(x). If dummy plays low, play the 10. Say dummy has the K-7-6 or the Q-7-6 and you have A-J-3(2). If dummy plays low, play the jack.

    EK

  28. Defend: If partner leads a low card in one suit, gets in and shifts to a low card (showing strength) in another suit, partner wants a return in the second suit. If partner shifts to a high card in the second suit (top of nothing perhaps), he is asking for a return in the first suit.

    EK

  29. Defend: One doesn't lead the same against 3NT as against 6NT. Against 6NT avoid leading from an honor unless you have a sequence.

    With: K10763 J108 85 Q92 Lead the 6 against 3NT, but the J against 6NT. (If they have about 33 HCP, guess how many partner has!)

    EK

  30. Defend: At notrump it is important to keep communications with partner's hand. If partner's lead looks like top of a doubleton, it's usually a good idea not to take the first trick. Let partner keep that second card so when he gets in he can return your suit.

    This tip comes in very handy when you have A-K-x-x-x-(x) with no outside entry. If you duck the first trick, partner will be able to return the suit when he gets in.

    EK

  31. Defend: When declarer ignores a strong suit in dummy lacking one honor, assume declarer has the honor. If he doesn't, that would be the first suit he would be leading - the rule of 'Unattended Strong Suits'.

    If you see something like the K-Q-J-10-(x) or A-Q-J-10-(x) in dummy and declarer plays other suits, assume declarer has the missing honor.

    EK

  32. Defend: When there is a short side suit in dummy and declarer draws all of dummy's trumps, the inference is that declarer doesn't have any losers in that suit to ruff so it is safe to discard that suit.

    EK

  33. Defend: When discarding, keep length parity with the dummy.

    If dummy has four cards in a suit (A-K-Q-8), and you have four cards (9-4-3-2) one of which (the 9) could conceivably take a trick, be careful about discarding from that suit. Be very careful! Don't!

    EK

  34. Defend: It is important to count declarer's tricks as the play progresses. If you find yourself on lead and can see that declarer has enough tricks in three suits to make the contract, shift to the fourth suit. Some chance is better than no chance.

    EK

  35. Defend: When dummy tables, add declarer's likely point count to dummy's known point count.

    The bidding has gone 1NT-3NT. Partner leads and dummy has 10 HCP. Say the opponents are playing a 15-17 notrump range. Assume declarer has the middle count, 16, and proceed from there. The opponents have 26 HCP, give or take 1 point, leaving you and partner with 14. You know how many you have, so it is easy enough to figure out how many partner has. Do it!

    EK

  36. Defend: When defending a suit contract, there are two main techniques declarer uses to win extra tricks: (1) setting up a long suit in dummy, (2) ruffing losers in the short hand (usually the dummy.)

    If dummy comes down with a long and a short suit and you have the long suit bottled up, lead trumps because the long suit is not usable. If it appears that the long suit is usable, play an attacking defense going for outside tricks quickly. If the dummy comes down balanced, declarer has no place to get rid of losers and will eventually lose them, therefore you and partner should adopt a passive defense. Avoid breaking new suits if possible. Let them have what they have coming. Sit back and wait for your tricks. Your day will come.

    EK

  37. Defend: The best time to lead a short suit is with trump control. A-x-(x) or K-x-x are great trump holdings to lead from shortness. However, if ruffing will cost you a trump trick, leads from shortness with trump holdings such as J-10-x-x, Q-J-9-x or K-Q-9-x are counter productive.

    EK

  38. Defend: When signaling encouragement with equal spot cards, signal with the higher or highest equal.

    With A-9-8-7, signal encouragement with the 9 (which denies the 10). If you lazily signal with the 8, you are denying the 9! Some partners actually watch stuff like that.

    EK

  39. Defend: When giving partner a ruff, the card you lead is suit preference telling partner which suit to return after the ruff.

    The return of a relatively high spot card asks for a return in the higher ranking of the two remaining suits. A return of your lowest card asks for a return in the lower ranking of the two remaining suits. The return of a middle card is designed to drive partner crazy. It actually means you have no preference.

    EK

  40. Playing Tip: Before playing to the first trick, review the bidding and make sure you remember the opening lead.

    Sometimes the opening lead is a small spot card and it is important to know exactly how small. If the opening leader later plays another small card in that suit, you really want to know whether it is a higher or lower card than the original lead. You really do!

    EK

  41. Playing Tip: If one (or both) of your opponents is a passed hand, assume that player has fewer than 12 HCP. If that player turns up with 10 HCP early on, play the partner for any missing queen, king, or ace.

    EK

  42. Playing Tip: There is nothing more important than counting your sure tricks before you begin to play.

    At notrump count your sure tricks outside of the suit you plan to establish. This tells you how many tricks you need in your main suit and then play accordingly.

    EK

  43. Playing Tip: As declarer, when you can to take a trick with one of two equal honors, take the trick with the higher equal. It is far more deceptive.

    Say you are playing notrump with the KQx. If a low card is led and RHO plays the jack, assuming you wish to take the trick, take it with the king. Do the same with the A-Q-J. If a low card is led and the 10 comes up on your right, take it with the queen, not the jack! If you take tricks with lower equals, you might as well be playing with your cards face up on the table!

    Major exception: With A-K-x-(x) at notrump take the first trick with the king. If you win with the ace, it is too suspect. If your only stopper is the ace, why aren't you holding up?

    EK

  44. Playing Tip: As declarer, when possible, withhold any spot card lower than the one that has been led or lower than the one played to your right.

    If the opponents are playing standard signals, this tip is sure to screw them up. Say the 3 is led against notrump and dummy has the A-K-5 and you have the Q-6-2. You play the king from dummy and third hand plays the 4. If you play the 6, concealing the deuce, consider the confusion you have caused: fourth hand won't know if partner has led from a four- or five-card suit (can't see the deuce) and the opening leader won't know if partner is signaling with something like Q-4-2. (can't see the deuce). If you play the deuce at trick one, East knows that West has led from a four-card suit and West knows that partner's 4 is discouraging. For shame.

    EK

  45. Playing Tip: When leading from the dummy to take a finesse with a number of equal honors in your hand, finesse with the higher or highest equal.

    Say you have the A-Q-J-10 in your hand and x-x in the dummy. When you lead low from dummy and second hand plays low, play the queen. You give away too much information if you play the 10. If the 10 loses to the king, second hand will know you still have the Q-J. If the queen loses to the king, second hand won't know you have the

    J-10. If the 10 wins, and second hand has the king, second hand knows you still have the Q-J. However, if the queen wins, second hand can't be sure you have the J-10.

    EK

  46. Playing Tip: When you have all the tricks but one and you are playing in a trump contract, play off every single one of your trump cards before you play your other suits. Keep the suit you have the loser in until the bitter end. Make them suffer!

    Remember, the most you can lose is the last trick.

    EK

  47. Playing Tip: At a suit contract holding A-x-x facing x-x-x and the suit is led, it is usually right to win the second round of the suit.

    If one of the opponents has a doubleton, you cut the communications between the two hands. It is also right to duck when dummy has x-x and you have A-x-x-(x). Ducking allows you to keep control of the suit. Do the same when dummy has A-x-x-(x) and you have x-x. Take the second trick with the ace. This assumes you have no place to put these losers.

    EK

  48. Playing Tip: Play the cards you are known to hold from the lead and third hand's play.

    Say the queen is led and dummy has x-x-x-x. You, the declarer, have the K-J doubleton. When third hand plays the ace, the king and jack are equals; however, third hand knows you have the king from the lead of the queen, but doesn't know you have the jack. If you play the king under the ace, the jack remains a mystery card. The opening leader also knows you have the king from partner's play of the ace. Get rid of that king! Remember, you are not costing yourself a trick when you make these plays because you have an equal to the card you are unloading in either your hand or dummy. Say the jack is led, dummy has 9-x-x-x, and you have Q-10 doubleton. When third hand plays the king, drop the queen. Why? The queen is a card they both know you hold. Third hand knows it from the lead of the jack and the opening leader knows it from the play of the king. You might as well show them your hand if you don't play that queen!

    EK

  49. Playing Tip: When fortunate enough to have a powerful trump suit and being forced to ruff, tend not to ruff with your lowest trump. That tiny trump might be your only way to get to dummy.

    EK

  50. Playing Tip: When drawing trumps try to keep a flexible entry position after trumps are drawn.

    Ideally you want to be able to enter dummy in the trump suit and also be able to enter your hand with a trump. Say you have the K-Q-J-4-3-2 and dummy has the A-10-5. If you play the ace and king, you have an entry to dummy with the 10 and you can get back to your hand by overtaking the 10. If you play the K-Q, you block the trump suit. You can get to dummy with the ace, but you can't get back to your hand with a trump.

    EK

  51. Playing Tip: If you have a number of equal honors and you want second hand to cover the first honor, lead your highest equal honor. If you don't want second hand to cover, lead your second highest equal honor. It works!

    Say you have the Q-J-10-9-x of trump and dummy has the K-x-x. If there is a danger of a ruff, lead the jack. If second hand has the ace, he may duck thinking partner has the queen and the ruff may be lost. Say dummy has the A-Q-x-x without a side suit entry and you have J-10 doubleton. If you need three tricks in the suit, lead the 10. Second hand, holding the king, is apt to play low thinking partner may have the jack. You can then lead to the queen for three tricks. If second hand covers, the suit is blocked and you can take only two tricks.

    EK

  52. Defend: When dummy is expected to have a long strong suit in a suit contract and there are two unbid suits, lead from the stronger.

    However, if one of the suits is headed by the ace, lead from the other. If the two unbid suits look like: K-J-x-x and K-x-x-x, lead from the K-J-x-x suit. If the two suits are A-J-x-x and Q-x-x-x, lead from the queen suit.

    EK

  53. Defend: If you can see that there are no possible defensive tricks coming from the side suits, give declarer a ruff and a sluff. It often promotes a defensive trump trick.

    EK

  54. Bidding: When decarer bids two suits, particularly if the first suit is a major, a 'tentative count' is available. Using that tentative count along with partner's opening lead often allows you to get a complete count on declarer's hand at trick one! for example...

    OpenerResponder
    11
    23
    3NTPass

    Declarer is presumed to have five hearts (5 card majors) and four diamonds. If partner's lead (2, say) gives you a count in that suit, you will have a count on the hand at trick one!

    EK

  55. Defend: Defenders take tricks with their lower or lowest equal. If you can take a trick with a jack or the queen, take it with the jack. Taking it with the queen denies the jack and can screw partner up.

    EK

  56. Bidding: After partner has described his hand and you know what the final contract should be, bid it! The one who knows, goes! Say partner opens 1NT (15-17) and you have 18 HCP points, balanced. There are least 33 points between the two hands so bid 6NT! If leaping so high scares you, go to a mirror and say 6NT out loud. Do it!

    EK

  57. Warm Up Tip: Never, but never forget you are playing with a partner. It pays to consider what things may look like from partners point of view, particularly when you are privy to information that partner isnt.

    EK

  58. Warm Up Tip:You cannot defend properly unless you remember the bidding.

    EK

  59. Warm Up Tip:You cannot defend properly unless you know what system the opponents are playing.

    EK

  60. Warm Up Tip:You cannot defend properly unless you watch the cards, particularly the little fellows.

    EK

  61. Warm Up Tip:You cannot defend properly unless you count.

    EK

  62. Warm Up Tip:You cannot expect your partner to defend properly if you make faces or show other signs of disapproval.

    EK

  63. Warm Up Tip:Keep one goal in mind: DEFEATING THE CONTRACT. Do not worry about overtricks unless you are defending a doubled contract or are playing tournament bridge.

    EK

  64. Warm Up Tip:A player who hesitates during the bidding is likely to have a problem hand. Keep the hesitation in mind.

    EK

  65. Warm Up Tip:The figure to focus on during the defense is the number of tricks you need at any given moment to defeat the contract. Defense is based on this figure.

    EK

  66. Warm Up Tip: Give your opening lead a little consideration. The fate of many a contract is determined by that one card. Use the bidding as a guide.

    EK

  67. Warm Up Tip:Make sure you and your partner are on the same wave length concerning leads and signaling conventions.

    EK

  68. Warm Up Tip:Don’t compound a crime. If you, or more likely partner, has made an error, do not lose your cool. Many contracts can still be beaten after one defensive error, seldom after TWO.

    EK

  69. Warm Up Tip:If partner makes a nice play, a kind word or two at the end of the hand goes a long way.

    EK

  70. Warm Up Tip:The speed of the play, may be a clue to declarers problem. When playing a 4-3 trump fit, play usually slows to a crawl.

    EK

  71. Warm Up Tip:When two possible defenses present themselves to defeat a contract, both equally likely, select the simpler.

    EK

  72. Warm Up Tip:If you can see the winning defense, take charge. Dont put additional pressure on partner if you dont have to.

    EK

  73. Warm Up Tip:Keep partners skill level in mind. Lead a weaker player by the hand.

    EK

  74. Warm Up Tip:Watch partners spot card signals. The stronger your partner, the more meaningful they are.

    EK

  75. Warm Up Tip:Keep your singletons and doubletons in the middle of your hand. Some players watch where your cards come from.

    EK

  76. Warm Up Tip:Try not to guard against non-existent or highly unlikely dangers; guard only against those that are consistent with the bidding and play.

    EK

  77. Warm Up Tip:As declarer, being able to take a trick with one of two equal cards, take the trick with the higher equal. The exception is at notrump when you have an AK stopper. If you plan to take the trick, take it with the king. Taking the first trick with the ace is very suspicious. If that were your only stopper, why didnt you hold up?

    EK

  78. Warm Up Tip:As declarer when leading a suit that has equal honors, lead the higher or the highest if you want it covered, lead the second highest if you dont want it covered. It works like a charm.

    EK

  79. Warm Up Tip:As declarer, play cards you are known to hold If it cannot cost you a trick. For example, if a queen is led, dummy has small cards, you have KJ doubletonand the ace is played on your right, play the king. NOT the jack. Third hand knows you have the king from the lead of the queen, and the opening leader knows you have the king from partners play of the ace. Since the king and jack are equals, and since they both know you have the king, PLAY IT!

    EK

  80. Warm Up Tip: Defend passively if side suit tricks cannot get away; defend aggressively if they can. Reread this tip!

    EK

  81. Warm Up Tip:Be on the lookout to double artificial bids (Stayman, Jacoby Transfers, cuebids, Blackwood responses) to help partner out on opening lead. However, low level doubles of artificial bids require both length and strength (typically five or six card length with 3+ honor cards in the suit). The higher the level of the artificial bid, the shorter your length must be-but you still must have honor strength in the suit (KQx, for example).

    EK

  82. Warm Up Tip:As declarer, assuming the opponents are playing standard leads and standard signaling, concealing cards lower than the one that has been led or lower than the one played by your RHO confuses the count plus the meaning of the signal.

    EK

  83. Warm Up Tip:The bidding is the key to defensive strategy and to a great extent influences the play of the hand. Treat the bidding as you would a best friend.

    EK

  84. Warm Up Tip:If you and partner lead Ace from Ace-King be forewarned that it is a trick one strategy only. After trick one the king is led from ace-king combinations. Also, the king is led from the ace-king in any supported suit or in any suit partner has bid, supported or not. It is also led when defending contracts at the five level or higher. The reason for this is that the ace is often led without the king at such a high level.

    EK

  85. Warm Up Tip:When signaling encouragement with equal spot cards, signal with the higher equal. With A987, signal with the 9. If you signal with the 8, you deny the nine!

    EK

  86. Warm Up Tip:Take your time before playing third hand to the first trick. It is often times the most important play you will make in the entire hand.

    EK

  87. Opening Bids: It is permissible to open 1NT or 2NT with a small doubleton. However, if your nerves are shot, at least have stoppers in the other three suits.

    EK

  88. Opening Bids: With four clubs and four spades, a hand strong enough to open 1NT, but no stopper in EITHER red suit, open 1C.

    With S. AKJ4 H. 87 D. 654 C. AKJ4

    (Open 1C) Ditto with four diamonds and four spades and no stopper in clubs or hearts, open 1D. If partner responds 1H, rebid 1S; if partner responds 2C, rebid 2S.

    EK

  89. Opening Bids: Do not bid a weak four card suit in response to an opening bid holding a good hand (an opening bid or better). If there is a slam in the hand, your response will usually lead to trouble. Among other calamities, it might encourage partner to bid 3NT with a singleton in that suit. If partner opens 1D, respond 1S with:

    S. AKQ10 H. 9432 D. AJ8 C. 76

    There is no rule from up above that dictates that you MUST respond one heart with four hearts and four spades although you almost always do.

    EK

  90. Opening Bids: As a general rule, with 4-4 in the majors, respond 1H to an opening bid of 1C or 1D, but with 5-5 in the majors, respond 1S regardless of the relative strength of the two suits.

    EK

  91. Opening Bids: With five cards in a minor and four cards in a major plus opening bid strength, respond in the minor and then bid the major. If partner opens 1D and you hold:
    S. AJ76 H. 54 D. 54 C. AK1076

    Respond 2C and then bid spades. DONT START WITH 1S!. With less than opening bid strength, bid the major first. S. KQ76 H. 54 D. 43 C. AJ764 Respond 1S.

    EK

  92. Opening Bids: As the opener, keep in mind that a 1NT response to an opening major suit bid frequently contains a singleton (usually in your suit), and may contain a void. It is one of the few notrump responses that does not show a somewhat balanced hand. If partner opens 1H, respond 1NT with: S. J54 H. - D. A5432 C. Q9653. This is the reason why you should have a six card major suit to rebid the suit after a 1NT response.

    EK

  93. Opening Bids: After a two level response to an opening bid, a new suit by the opener is forcing; after a one level response it is not-unless it is a reverse.

    OpenerResponder
    1H2C
    2D (forcing)
    OpenerResponder
    1D1H
    2C (not forcing)
    OpenerResponder
    1C1H
    2D (forcing -a reverse)
    EK

  94. Opening Bids: After a single raise, a new suit is forcing. Think of the 2D bid as having the strength of a reverse which means 17+ HCP, minimum.

    OpenerResponder
    1C2C
    2D (forcing)

    Opener is NOT running away from a short club. Opener is trying to get to game with a big hand. Opener may have: S. A4 H. 84 D. AK97 C. AK764. In this sequence, 2NT by the opener after the 2C response shows 17-18 HCP. When responder limits a hand with a single raise and opener bids again, opener is trying for game with extras.

    EK

  95. Opening Bids: When considering whether to open 1NT, treat a five card suit headed by three of the top five honors (or two of the top three honors with a 9 thrown in) as worth one extra point. In other words, with 17 HCP and a strong five card suit, treat the hand as an 18 point hand. If you play a range of 15-17, do not open 1NT. Open the bidding in the five card suit and then jump in notrump. You pick up:

    S. A107 H. J92 D. K5 C. AKQ76

    Open 1C and jump to 2NT if partner responds 1D, 1H or 1S. Too strong to open 1NT.

    EK

  96. Responder Bids: When partner opens 1H and you have five spades and three hearts, raise to 2H with 6-9 HCP. With 10-12 HCP, respond 1S and bid 3H at your next opportunity.

    a. S. KQ876 H. Q43 D. 65 C. 876

    Raise 1H to 2H

    b. S. KQ876 H. AJ3 D. 65 C. 876

    Respond 1S and if partner rebids 2C, 2D or 2H, bid 3H.

    EK

  97. Responder Bids: In the sequence 1H-1S, 2C-2H, your 2H preference shows TWO hearts, not three. With three hearts tend to raise directly.

    a. S. AJ543 H. 105 D. Q542 C. 104

    Is a normal responding hand for the example sequence.

    b. S. K54 H. 875 D. J432 C. Q54

    With 6H-7HCP, three nondescript hearts, plus a balanced hand, respond 1NT to a 1H opening bid. If partner rebids 2C or 2D, return to 2H in theory showing a doubleton heart. Not to worry, partner will not complain when he sees what you put down. Raising to 2H is too encouraging with 6-7 point abominations.

    EK

  98. Responder Bids: After partner opens 1H or 1S and there is an intervening overcall, a jump cuebid by responder shows a singleton in the opponents suit, at least four card support for partners suit plus minimum of 14-15 support points. It is a mild slam try. Say partner opens 1H and the next hand bids 2C and you hold:

    S. AJ87 H. KQ43 D. Q1098 C. 3

    With 15 support points, jump to 4C making it easier for partner to evaluate her hand.

    EK

  99. Responder Bids: A jump cue bid after a minor suit opening bid also shows a singleton in the jump suit, but this jump promises five or six card support and denies a side four card major. Say partner opens 1C and the next hand overcalls 1D and you hold:

    S. A43 H. K43 D.2 C.KJ8743.

    You have a perfect 3D response.

    EK

  100. Responder Bids: When partner bids 4NT, Blackwood, and you have 1 or 3 aces along with a void, jump to the SIX level of your VOID suit. If your void suit is higher ranking than the trump suit, jump to the six level of the trump suit. Say you hold either of these hands:

    a. S. - H. AJ5432 D. 543 C. J982
    b. S. J98 H. AJ5432 D. - C. 5432

    Partner opens 1H, you bid 4H and partner bids 4NT. With (a) bid 6H showing 1 ace with a higher ranking (spade) void. With (b) jump to 6D showing one ace and a diamond void.

    EK

  101. Responder Bids: If you play strong jump shifts, a jump shift should be made with one of three hand types: (1) A strong one suited hand; (2) A hand that has strong support for partners suit; (3) A balanced type hand with a five or possibly a six card suit with much of the strength on the outside. With (1) rebid your suit; With (2) return to partners suit; With (3) rebid some number of notrump.

    EK

  102. Responder Bids: A convention worth considering is Leaping Michaels. Basically, this is the idea. If your RHO opens 2H or 2S, weak, or the bidding comes around to you in 4th seat LHO having opened 1H or 1S and having been raised to 2H or 2S, a leap by you to 4C or 4D is "Leaping Michaels. But what does it show? It shows a strong hand with five or six cards in the minor that you have just bid plus FIVE cards in the unbid major. For example, if your RHO opens 2S, bid 4C with: S. - H. QJ987 D. A6 C. AK9874 The jump is not forcing, but responder doesnt need much to bid game. Bid the same if your LHO opens 1S, partner passes and RHO raises to 2S. In addition, when playing Leaping Michaels, you can use the direct cuebid of the opponents suit at the three level to ask partner for a stopper in their suit when holding a solid six or seven card suit plus outside strength but no stopper in their suit. For example, if your RHO opens 2H, bid 3H with: S. A4 H. 54 D. AKQ10764 C. K5. Bid the same if your LHO opens 1H, partner passes, and RHO bids 2H. Note: A good partner will have a stopper. If partner has a weak hand with no stopper, partner should bid 4C which partner corrects to diamonds if necessary. Responder can also jump to 5C (which will be corrected, if necessary) or, perhaps, cuebid openers suit with a singleton.

    EK

  103. Blackwood: Every 4NT bid is not Blackwood. If your last bid was 1NT or 2NT and partner bids 4NT, that is not Blackwood. It is a natural, invitational, bid which can be passed.

    EK

  104. Blackwood: Do not use Blackwood prematurely with a void. Say you pick up:

    S. AKQ876 H. - D KQ8 C. AKQ3
    YouPartner
    2C2D (waiting)
    2S3S (positive)
    ?

    Do not bid 4NT! If partner shows you an ace, you wont know which one it is. Cuebid 4C. If partner has the AD, you will hear about it.

    EK

  105. Blackwood: 19 Do not ask partner for kings via 5NT unless the partnership has all of the aces and you are interested in a grand slam. Partner is allowed to jump to seven directly if 13 tricks can be counted.

    You hold: S. KQ10876 H. 2 D. AQJ42 C. 4
    PartnerYou
    1C1S
    4S4NT
    5H?

    Bid 6S. Do NOT bid 5NT asking for kings. You are missing an ace and partner might go ballistic and bid a grand.

    EK

  106. Blackwood: Do not use Blackwood prematurely holding two or more losers in an UNBID suit.

    You hold: S. KQ987 H. Q107 D. AKJ7 C. 2
    PartnerYou
    1C1S
    3S?T

    Cuebid 4D. Do not bid 4NT until you hear a heart cuebid, a suit in which you have two or more quick losers.

    EK

  107. Blackwood: When responding to a regular 4NT Blackwood bid, respond 5C with either no aces or all four aces.

    EK

  108. Blackwood: Do not count a void as an ace when responding to Blackwood.

    EK

  109. Blackwood: hen responding to regular Blackwood holding 0 or 2 aces (0 is optional and is only done facing a huge hand after you have already shown a pitiful one) aces along with a void, jump to 5NT. Note: When responding to Keycard Blackwood, the king of the agreed suit is counted as an ace.

    S. A1087 H. AJ843 D. QJ87 C. -
    PartnerYou
    1H4C (1)
    4NT5NT (2)

    (1) Splinter jump- strong hand- usually a singleton (Some play that it shows a void!)
    (2) Two aces (keycards) with a club void

    EK

  110. Blackwood: When partner asks you for kings, via 5NT, do not answer for kings if you can count 13 tricks. Bid a grand. Answering for kings tells partner you cannot count 13 tricks knowing that the partnership has all four aces.

    You hold: S. 6 H. KQ1076543 D. KQ4 C. 4
    YouPartner
    4H4NT (1)
    5C (2)5NT (3)
    ?

    (1) Regular Blackwood
    (2) 0 or 4 aces, clearly 0.
    (3) Kings? Also tells you that partner has all four aces as the 5NT bid PROMISES joint possession of the four aces. Knowing that, bid 7NT as you can count 13 tricks: 8 hearts, 3 diamonds and both black aces.

    EK

  111. Blackwood: With two aces and a void, respond 5NT.
    Note: the void cannot be in partners first bid suit.

    You hold: S. 876 H. AJ10874 D. - C. AJ94
    YouPartner
    1S2H
    3H (1))4C (2)
    4NT (3)?

    (1) Forcing (2) Cuebid (3) Regular Blackwood
    Respond 5NT showing two aces plus an unknown void- which in this case must be diamonds as you normally do not show a void in partners first bid suit.

    EK

  112. Takeout Doubles: When responding to a takeout double, add one extra point for an unbid four card major and two extra points for an unbid five card major. Then if your total comes to 9-11 working points ( do not count anything for jacks or queens in any suit bid by an opponent) make a single jump response, not forcing. With less than 9 working points, make a non-jump response. With more than 11 revalued points, cuebid the opponents suit. Say your LHO opens 1C, partner doubles, the next passes and you are gazing at these possible hands:

    You hold:
    a. S. A874 H. K4 D. 10843 C. 9743 8 revalued points — (one extra for your 4th spade) respond 1S
    b. S. A874 H. K4 D. J1043 C. 976 9 revalued points — (one extra for the 4th spade) respond 2S
    c. S. AK874 H. 76 D. 87 C. 10832 9 revalued points — (two extra for the five card spade suit) respond 2S
    d S. AK87 H. K5 D. A432 C. J87 15 revalued points (CJ not counted) respond 2C

    WestNorthEastSouth (you)
    1Pass2Pass
    3Pass4Pass
    4NTPass5?

    The ideal distribution for a takeout double is 4-4-4-1 with a singleton in the opening bidders suit. With this distribution, 11 HCP is enough to double an opening bid. Doubling with 10 HCP, even with the perfect distribution, is pushing the pencil. If you do, your singleton should not be an honor, and it doesnt hurt to have strong intermediates either. A passed hand takeout double logs in at 10-11 HCP. 9 HCP is permissible if you are feeling frisky and have a singleton in the opening bidders suit

    EK

  113. Takeout Doubles: With a 4-4-4-1 pattern, it is normal to pass if the opponent opens in one of your four card suits and then double later if they find a fit in your singleton suit.

    You hold: S. AJ65 H. 4 D. KQ98 C. A1087

    EastSouth (you)WestNorth
    1DPass1HPass
    3H?

    Double. The bidding has come up just the way you were hoping. Your double shows at least an opening bid with short hearts, diamond length, plus support for the unbid suits. Pefect.

    EK

  114. Takeout Doubles: It is risky to double an opening bid holding a small doubleton in an unbid major, particularly a small doubleton in spades. To pull this off, you should have 19+ H.C.P

    You hold:
    (a) S. 43 H. AK98 D. AK75 C. AJ9
    (b) S. 43 H. Q1042 D. AK75 C. AJ9

    EastSouth (you)
    1C?

    With (a) you are strong enough to double. If partner bids the expected 1S, rebid 1NT showing 18+to 19 HCP.
    With (b) overcall 1NT directly. You dont need stoppers in all four suits to overcall 1NT, just one or two in any suit they have bid.

    EK

  115. Takeout Doubles: A takeout double followed by a suit bid is stronger than overcalling in the suit directly.
    With a doubleton in the openers suit, you need 17+ HCP to double and then bid a five card suit. With less, overcall.
    With a singleton in the openers suit and some 5-4-3-1 pattern, you need 15+ HCP to double and then bid your five card suit.

    You hold:

    EastSouth (you)WestNorth
    1CDblPass1S
    Pass2H

    With S. AJ4 H. KQ986 D. KQ3 C. J4 Overcall 1H. The CJ is not working.
    With S. AJ42 H. KQ986 D. A102 C. 7 Dbl. and then bid hearts if partner doesnt bid spades.
    With S. AJ4 H. KQ986 D. AK4 C. 32 Dbl. and then bid hearts.

    EK

  116. Takeout Doubles: Review: To make a jump response to a takeout double you need 9-11 "revalued points".
    (1.) Unless you are responding in notrump, do not count jacks or queens in the openers suit.
    (2.) Add 2 extra points if you have a five card major and a second extra point if the hand has a side four card suit as well.

    You hold: S. AK543 H. Q43 D. 8743 C. 5

    If partner doubles a 1H opening bid, do not count anything for the HQ, but give yourself three extra points, two for the fifth spade and one for the fourth diamond bringing your grand total to 10 revalued points. The proper response is 2S, the same response you would have made without the HQ.

    EK

  117. Takeout Doubles: When revaluing, count three extra points for a six card suit plus one more if the hand has a side four card suit. If partner doubles a 1H opening bid and you have

    You hold:

    Respond 2S. You have 6 HCP plus 3 extra for the six card suit.

    EK

  118. Takeout Doubles: If your hand reevaluates to more than 11 points, cuebid and then bid your suit.

    You hold: S. KQ54 H. A9543 D. Q8 C. 54

    If your partner doubles a 1C opening and next hand passes count our revalued strength. Yyou have 11 HCP plus two extra for the fifth heart and one extra for the fourth spade bringing your total to 14. Start with a cuebid of 2C and if partner bids 2D, bid 2H, forcing. If partner bids 2H or 2S, raise to game.

    EK

  119. Takeout Doubles: One time you can cuebid with fewer than 12 revalued points is when partner doubles a minor suit opening bid and catches you with two four card majors along with 9-11 revalued points. Cuebid and then raise partners expected 2H or 2S rebid to the three level, not forcing.

    You hold: S. A843 H. A1074 D. 92 C. Q98

    If partner doubles 1D, respond 2D and then raise partners likely 2H or 2S rebid to the three level.

    EK

  120. Preemptive Bidding: Do not open with a beneath game preempt holding two aces or one ace and two kings. You are too strong defensively.

    EK

  121. Preemptive Bidding: Vul. vs not, your suit should contain 3 of the top 5 honors or 2 of the top 3 honors.

    EK

  122. Preemptive Bidding: After you preempt, and partner bids a new suit beneath the game level, you cannot pass. A new suit is forcing. Don't get cold feet!

    EK

  123. Preemptive Bidding:After opening 3C and hearing partner respond 3D, show a major suit stopper if you have one.

    You hold: S. QJ4 H. 3 D. 42 C. AJ108743.

    Bid 3S to show a spade stopper. The 3S response does not show a real suit. A 3C or 3D opening bid is not supposed to conceal a four card major.

    EK

  124. Preemptive Bidding: Although most three bids show 7 card suits, if you have 7-4 distribution, with a long major, think about opening four.

    You hold: S. AQJ10543 H. 4 D. Q1086 C. 3

    This hand is a clear 4S opening bid. The fourth card in the four card suit is usually worth an extra trick.

    EK

  125. Preemptive Bidding: If partner responds 3NT to your three level preempt, that ends the auction. It's not on your head to take it out. Partner may have a solid suit perhaps with a singleton or void in your suit. Do not cross partner's intentions!

    EK

  126. Preemptive Bidding: Preempt as often as possible consistent with the vulnerability. It drives the opponents mad.

    EK

  127. Preemptive Bidding: After you preempt, partner is in charge and takes ALL sacrifices. Reread this one.

    EK

  128. Preemptive Bidding: When partner, a preemptive bidder, doubles an eventual contract (usually a slam contract), it is almost always an alert of a side suit void. Try to find it on opening lead. Do not lead partner's suit! Do not lead a trump!

    EK

  129. Opponent has preempted: Be agressive defensively with a singleton in the opponent's suit. You can make a takeout double with as few as 12-13 HCP if you have the magic 4-4-4-1 distribution. With a small doubleton in the opponent's suit, check your support for the unbid majors. If you have four card support for either one or both of them, you can risk a takeout double with as few as 14 HCP. With three card support for the unbid major, you need 15-16 HCP, minimum, to make a takeout double. Also, when making a takeout double do not count unsupported jacks or queens in the opener's suit.

    EK

  130. Opponent has preempted: When partner makes a non-jump response to your takeout double of an opening preempt, assume partner has 4-5 HCP. His actual range is 0-8, so you should take a middle of the road position.

    EK

  131. Opponent has preempted: If your RHO opens 3C or 3D and you overcall 4C or 4D, you show a major two-suiter, at LEAST 5-5 with opening bid values.

    EK

  132. Opponent has preempted: If your RHO opens 3H and you overcall 4H, you are showing a spade-minor two suiter, at least 5-5 with opening bid values and then some.

    You hold: S. AJ943 H. A D. 2 C. KQ10876

    Partner bids 4NT to ask for your minor.

    EK

  133. Opponent has preempted: The double of an opening 4H bid is TAKEOUT oriented and the doubler must have at least three spades. If you have strong hearts, you are fixed. You must pass and hope partner reopens with a takeout double. A bid of 4NT over a 4H opening bid shows the minors, 5-5 or 6-5 either way.

    You hold:
    (a) S. A2 H. KQ5 D. A8765 C. Q98
    (b) S. AJ4 H. 5 D. KJ984 C. AK43
    (c) S. 4 H. 3 D. KQ984 C. AQJ874

    If your RHO opens 4H, pass with (a) (it only hurts for a little while), double with (b) and bid 4NT with (c).

    EK

  134. Opponent has preempted: And how should you deal with a 4S opening bid? I was afraid you would ask that. Conventional wisdom is the following:

    1. Double shows either a strong balanced hand, at LEAST the strength of a strong opening notrump bid- or spade shortness, perhaps: S. 4 H. AJ87 D. AK54 C. KJ43 Responder only pulls a double of 4S with a distributional hand. A response of 4NT is a two or three-suited takeout.
    2. With the strongest three-suiter imaginable, overcall 5S forcing the hand to slam. Perhaps: S. - H. AKJ9 D. AKQ4 C. KQ1076

    EK

  135. Defend: Don't lead a trump when the opponents are misfitted.

    EK

  136. Defend: If partner is marked with a singleton trump, there is no point in leading a trump from Kxx because neither of you will be able to continue the suit. Try another lead and hope partner will find the trump switch, if necessary.

    EK

  137. Defend: Deceptive leads in the trump suit include the 9 from 109x and the jack from QJ doubleton.

    EK

  138. Defend: When dummy has shown a long side suit plus trump support, a trump lead is desirable if you have dummy's long suit bottled up; otherwise it is the worst lead in the world!

    EK

  139. Defend: Do not lead a singleton vs. a voluntarily bid small slam if you have an ace. Partner can't have the ace and you will probably be helping declarer no end by placing the missing honors in partner's hand. On the other hand, a singleton lead against a small slam when you don't have an ace has a much better chance of succeeding. With a little luck partner will have the ace of your singleton suit or the ace of trumps.

    EK

  140. Defend: You do not lead the same against 3NT (or 4NT) as you do against 6NT.

    You hold: S. K10764 H. Q84 D. Q76 C. 83

    If the bidding goes 1NT- pass- 3NT (or 4NT) - all pass, you have an automatic spade lead. However if the bidding goes 1NT-pass-6NT- all pass, a spade lead is horrible. Why? The opponents presumably have about 33 HCP to contract for 6NT which means your partner is busted. There is no point in leading away from an honor. Lead a club and hope to make two tricks if declarer finesses into you.

    EK

  141. Defend: When leading partner's suit against suit or notrump with three or four small, lead high if you have supported the suit, low if you haven't.

    EK

  142. Defend: After leading high from three small in partner's supported suit, (862) play the middle one next. Lead the 8 and then the 6. If you have not supported, lead the 2. Leading high in an unsupported suit shows shortness.

    EK

  143. Defend: fter leading low from four small in partner's unsupported suit, (8632) play your lowest one next. Lead the 2 and then the 3. This assumes you have not supprted the suit. If you have supported, lead the 8.

    EK

  144. Defend: If you have led high from four small, play your lowest one next. With 8632, lead the 8 and then play the 2. In all of these cases, your second card is present count.

    EK

  145. Defend: When partner doubles a slam contract after having bid a suit, do NOT lead partner's suit or a trump. . Partner usually has a void (or an outside AK), it's your job to figure out which and make the killing lead!

    EK

  146. Defend: Be on the alert to double artificial bids (Stayman, Jacoby Transfers, cuebids and Blackwood responses) if you want the lead in that suit. These are all Lead Directing Doubles. Very important not to fall asleep at the switches if you can make a lead directing double.

    EK

  147. Defend: To make a Lead Directing Double at a low level, particularly the two level, you need five or six cards in the suit headed by at least three honor cards. To double an artificial bid made at the four level or higher, all you need is strength in the suit, not length (KQx), even QJx if the bid to your right shows the ace.

    EK

  148. Defend: When leading an unbid suit at notrump with four cards not headed by an honor, it is too misleading to lead low which shows strength, You are better placed to lead your highest or next highest card. If your highest card is an eight or lower, lead high. If your highest card is a nine or a ten, lead your second highest card. Lead the 8 from 8543, but lead the 6 from 9642. Lead the 7 from 10732 if you want another suit returned.

    EK

  149. Defend: Make sure you discuss with your partner what you are going to lead from AKx(x) against a suit contract. Whichever you decide upon, lead the other from AK doubleton.

    EK

  150. Defend: Be advised that if you lead the A from AKx(x) vs. a suit contract, that is a trick one convention only. During the rest of the hand, the king is led from the AKx(x). The reason being that after trick one a defender is likely to want to lead an ace without the king and does not want partner to think that he has the king. If you are on lead against a spade contract with S. xx H. xxx D. AKxx C. AKxx and declarer to lead the DA, if you next decide to lead a club, lead the king. If you lead the ace, you deny the king. (This is the second trick, remember).

    EK

  151. Defend: If you and your partner have decided to lead ace from ace-king, be advised that the king is still led at trick one when:
    (1) The suit has been supported by EITHER player.
    (2) Partner has bid the suit and you have not supported.
    (3) The contract is at the five level or higher.
    (4) You have AK doubleton.

    EK

  152. Defend: ou and partner might try leading the queen from the AKQ vs. a suit contract. Assuming partner can read the lead (almost always can), third hand gives count. There are two advantages to this lead:
    (1) The opening leader can tell how many tricks in the suit can be cashed.
    (2) If you lead ace from ace-king, partner knows you can't have the queen when you lead an ace.

    EK

  153. Defend: Lead inferences. If partner doesn't lead your suit, assume partner either:
    (1) Is void
    (2) Is leading a singleton
    (3) Is leading top of a sequence
    (4) Has the ace and fears declarer has the king (particularly true if partner has supported the suit.)
    (5) Has forgotten the bidding

    EK

  154. Defend: Before making your opening lead, add your HCP to declarer's estimated HCP. For example say you have 10 HCP and RHO opens 1NT (15-17) and winds up playing 3NT dummy also having 10 HCP. Take declarer's middle count, 16, and add that to dummy's 10 HCP telling you that the opponents are playing 3NT with 26 HCP give or take a point. That 26 added to your 10 HCP tells you that partner has 4 HCP. Say you lead a suit and partner plays the ace. Don't look around for any more high card points in partner's hand because if you do, you will be sorely dissapointed. O.K partner may have a jack. Making a habit of doing this will turn you into a better defensive player, much better.

    EK

  155. Lead: With trump length, lead length.

    AR

  156. Lead: Lead from shortage when holding the ace of trumps.

    AR

  157. Bidding: Avoid minor-suit games but not minor suits.

    AR

  158. Lead: Play a minimum opener to have five + cards in the suit opened.(Assuming a Weak No Trump is being played.)

    AR

  159. Defending: Think before making the reflex play. When defending, work out partner’s possible holdings in the suit he has led.

    AR

  160. Play: Take a split second before playing any card that is not completely routine.

    AR

  161. Defending: As a defender, lead a trump when you have a surprisingly good hand

    AR

  162. Bidding: Is your hand better than it might be? If the answer is yes and your partner is inviting you to keep bidding, accept his invitation!

    AR

  163. Bidding: Play bridge with confidence - especially when making a frisky bid!

    AR

  164. Bidding: The five-level belongs to the opponents.

    AR

  165. Bidding: Opening the lower ranking suit then rebidding the higher ranking suit shows a five-six shape.

    AR

  166. Bidding: When the opponents are in the one contract you are confident of defeating, do not double or they may remove themselves to a contract you are not confident of defeating.

    AR

  167. Bidding: Do not bid a suit you do not wish to be trumps.

    AR

  168. Play: When leading a suit for partner to trump, a high card asks for a return of the higher ranking suit, a low card asks for the lower raking suit.

    AR

  169. Bidding: Do not bid bad suits on good hands.

    AR

  170. Bidding: A jump rebid in a new suit by Opener is forcing to game.

    AR

  171. Bidding: When the first three bids between a partnership are in different suits, a bid of the fourth suit shows a game going hand and asks partner to describe his hand further.

    AR

  172. Bidding: Do not play partner for perfect cards. As soon as you find yourself saying “If”, take the cautious route!

    AR

  173. Bidding: A 1NT Opener should rarely bid again.

    AR

  174. Bidding: If you are unable to make your planned No Trump rebid because of an intervening bid, Pass!

    AR

  175. Bidding: Consider things from partner’s point of view, and be prepared to take control if you know what to do and partner may not.

    AR

  176. General: A victorious defence is better than a victorious post-mortem!

    AR

  177. Bidding: If you open the bidding in a suit, you must make a second bid if partner changes the suit.

    AR

  178. Play: When one opponent plays a critical card in a suit, play his partner to have the adjacent card in the same suit.

    AR

  179. Defending: Do not re-sort you hand when you have run out of a suit or declarer may use the fact that you are void to his advantage!

    AR

  180. Bidding: Do not confuse genuine support with mere preference.

    AR

  181. Play: By counting your sure tricks outside trumps, you can plan how many trump tricks are required for your contract.

    AR

  182. Defending: Defending a trump contract, generally lead ace from ace-king in preference to any alternative opening lead - including a singleton

    AR

  183. Bidding: Discount queens and jacks outside trumps when responding to a preempt.

    AR

  184. Bidding: Be wary of letting the opponents uncover a ♠ fit - adopt cautious part-score tactics with short ♠s.

    AR

  185. Play: As declarer, play the highest of touching cards to leave the defenders in the dark.

    AR

  186. Defending: Make partner’s life easy in defence.

    AR

  187. Bidding: Do not double a contract unless you will be happy if they run to an alternative contract.

    AR

  188. Bidding: Do not double a freely bid Small Slam on the basis of holding two - even three - aces.

    AR

  189. Bidding: The double of a freely bid Slam asks partner to find an unusual lead.

    AR

  190. Play: Do your thinking about what to lead to the next trick before winning the last trick, not after. Perhaps it is wrong to win the trick at all!

    AR

  191. Bidding: When you know the correct contract, bid it!

    AR

  192. Play: If you know how to defeat a contract, do not give partner the chance to do the wrong thing.

    AR

  193. Bidding: Keep re-evaluating your hand as the bidding progresses.

    AR

  194. Bidding: Work out declarer’s hand-pattern using clues from the bidding and the play to date.

    AR

  195. Play: Keep equal length with dummy.

    AR

  196. Bidding: A player bidding No Trumps should leave the choice of final contract to his partner.

    AR

  197. Bidding: When partner has revealed his hand very accurately, play the hand in your mind during the auction in order to choose the final contract.

    AR

  198. Defending: As a defender, duck when declarer takes a repeatable finesse.

    AR

  199. Play: Generally play the missing high card to be with the opponent holding greater length.

    AR

  200. Defending: As a defender, don’t trump a low card.

    AR

  201. Bidding: When responding, bid four card suits “up the line”.

    AR

  202. Bidding: If in doubt, play in No Trumps after an opponent has preempted.

    AR

  203. Bidding: Bid to the “total trump level” in support of partner’s overcall.

    AR

  204. Bidding: With 10+ points and 3+ card support for partner’s overcall, bid the opponent’s suit – an Unassuming Cue Bid.

    AR

  205. Lead: Do not lead a singleton if you do not wish to trump.

    AR

  206. Play: Do not automatically cover an honor with an honour – unless it will promote a lower card for the partnership.

    AR

  207. Play: Defending is not easy! Bear that in mind when declaring – try to create the impression that you own a different hand to the one you actually possess

    AR

  208. Bidding: Two outside aces and a top honour in the suit that partner has preempted equals nine tricks. Consider bidding Three No Trumps.

    AR

  209. Bidding: Listen carefully to the opponent’s bidding. If they bid and support a suit in which you have some length, you know partner is very short.

    AR

What is your bid?

 

Here is Hand 15 from Wednesday, 15th May.

 

Your partner (South) opens 1NT (12-14) and West passes.

 

What is your bid?

 

 

 

ANSWER

 

A weak transfer to 2 may look obvious, but there is a better bid!

 

Stayman can be a very flexible friend.  It can often be used with extremely weak hands, so long as you can cope with any response.

 

Here, you will be delighted if partner responds 2  or 2♠  and can bid 2  if partner bids 2  (no four card Major).

 

Click SHOW ALL HANDS

 

Here, after 2♠ from South, West will probably bid 3  West was unable to bid 2 on the first round because most systems over 1NT (Buchanan / Landy etc) show two suits.

 

After 3♠  from North and 4 from East, South should compete to 4♠ .  Although all these bids are made in a competitive spirit, 4♠  is a very makeable contract on this deal.

 

HINT

Stayman can be preferable to a transfer bid, but only use it if you can cope with any reply.

 

Here is a wonderful example:  Partner opens 1NT (12-14) and you hold ♠ 9753;  J642;  98653; ♣ -.

 

The opponents must have 25-27 points so must have a game, probably 3NT or 5♣ 

 

Bid 2♣  (Stayman) intending to pass any response.  Your disruptive bidding will undoubtedly hamper the opponents!   (TC)

 

               

A Wednesday Evening in September 2023
A Wednesday Evening in September 2023

Photographs of the hall during duplicate bridge play September 2023.

Where are we?

Knowle Village Hall, St. Johns Close, Knowle, Solihull, B93 0HN

WELCOME!

We play in the Village Hall every Wednesday evening at 7 PM.Arrive before 6.50 PM please.

Visitors will be made welcome. Table money is £2.50 including tea/coffee)

There is free parking after 6pm outside the Village Hall (or walk across from Tesco's car-park).

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