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Updated 10th December  2017

 
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Archived Tip of the Weeks

     

 

NOVICES TIP 1

When you are initially counting winners BE PESSIMISTIC and only count DEFINITE tricks eg AKX  opposite QXXXX  is only 3 winners with the potential of  2 extras if the suit breaks 32 , with  KQJ109 opposite 543  there are  NO WINNERS (even if this is trumps suit) since you haven't dislodged the Ace yet

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP 1

If you aren't sure what to overcall try using a Take-Out Double-it covers many more permutations that you would not normally bring to mind. 

eg a) you have more than 18 points and you are balanced - so double first then bid No Trump. Partner should be able to deduce that you have in excess of 18 otherwise you would have made an immediate 1NT overcall, Wouldn't you ?

b) you have a very powerful suit of your own and again around 18/19 points both too strong for a simple overcall or strong jump overcall so DOUBLE FIRST then bid your suit 

 

ADVANCED TIP 1

In card play there is the rule "8 ever 9 never", whereby if you have only eight cards in suit and you are looking for the Queen it is best to finesse and if you have 9 then you play for drop. Larry Cohen has turned this rule on its head for COMPETITIVE BIDDING and the rule he has come up with is totally the opposite 

in competitive bidding 8 never 9 ever- when you and your partner are known to hold only an eight card trump fit don't compete to 3 level when the opponents are pushing you up But with a 9 card fit then take the push to the 3 level- further examples of this can be found in his Bols tip http://www.haroldschogger.com/lcohen.htm

 

NOVICES TIP 2

 When Counting LOSERS BE OPTIMISTIC- with AXX  opposite X   you have No  Losers since you can ruff after one round 

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP 2

Be aware of the importance of 8's 9's and 10's especially in finesse positions that you thought might not have existed.

eg a) when you have 543  opposite AJ92 if you need tricks from this suit lead the 3 and when next player plays low try inserting the 9 leaving your Ace Jack in tact for a further finesse, in other words you are now finessing against 3 cards the KQ and 10 

 

                                                                                                   

ADVANCED TIP 2

If declarer or dummy has bid two suits and you are strong in one of the suits then lead a trump. The reason for this is that declarer could very easily try and ruff this suit out and by leading a trump you are removing two trumps.
 

NOVICES TIP 3

If declarer is running a long suit and both you and your partner are discarding MAKE SURE you DON'T both DISCARD the SAME SUIT. You protect one suit and partner should protect a different suit

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP 3

Keep length with dummy ie if you are not sure what to keep when discarding keep the same long suit as you can see in dummy. This can also be applied to the closed hand - keep same long suit that declarer might have bid during the auction.

 

ADVANCED TIP 3

If you have made a limit bid, then be respectful and leave all decisions to partner - Dont bid again unless forced or invited
 

NOVICES TIP4

  If you can't remember what has gone or how many has gone in a suit, try and work backwards by remembering what you had to start with, eg you can't remember how many trumps have gone- you have only three trumps left and you know you started with 5 so you probably have drawn 2 rounds only so far

 

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP 4

 Standard Stayman is for finding 44 fits so if you have good hand with 5 card major either bid it weakly at 2 level, use a transfer or bid it strongly at 3 level, but don't pussyfoot around using Stayman when you have 5. The reason for this is that if you have five you now only need three card support from partner not four!!

 

ADVANCED TIP4

  If you think you are in a good contract don't now be silly and go for an overtrick when making your contract is going to produce all the Match points. The corollary  applies that if you think you are in lousy contract, maybe 3NT and you think everybody else will be in 4S  making an overtrick, Now you have to go for that overtrick in order to compete for some sort of reasonable score.
 

NOVICES TIP 5

AIM TO HAVE A FIT :-

Minimum fit is 43 to obtain majority  holding of 7 cards in suit

IDEAL FIT is 44 or Better bringing total to MAGIC EIGHT

Magic eight can also be achieved by 53 or 62 or 71 or more cards in suit

It is necessary to recognise these fits especially in Majors otherwise many 53 and 62 fits get lost. As soon as partner bids 2 suits, partner’s first suit is likely to be FIVE (unless he was 4441 in first place) then if you have 3 card support for partner’s first suit the  the 53 fit comes to light – support partner now. As soon as partner repeats a suit he is likely to be showing 6 unless he can’t make any other bid now with 2 card support the 62 fit comes to light so be quick to support partner now with 2 card support. If partner pre-empts and is know to hold 7 if you have good outside hand but singleton in partner’s suit the MAGIC EIGHT is still there so raise the major as soon as possible.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP 5

If opponents open 1NT (especially weak) and the partner of the 1NT opener makes a weakness takeout and the auction is just about to subside at the 2 level - make sure you bid at all costs. Protect on as little as 7/8 points. You will be pleasantly surprised how often the opponents now take the push to the 3 level, go one down when you were just about to let them play a comfortable 2 level contract BALANCE  

 

ADVANCED TIP 5

1.  If you have AXXX in dummy and KJ10X in the closed hand and you are looking for the Queen- try leading the Jack from the closed hand, and you will be surprised how many people will cover. If there isn't a cover come up with dummy's Ace and finesse on the way back

 

NOVICES TIP 6

TIME IS IN THE EYE OF BEHOLDER 2 minutes is a long time so don't worry about holding people up and 2/3 minutes is an adequate of time for the auction and 2/3 minutes is also an adequate amount of time for the play. In  tournament bridge 8 hands an hour is allotted time. Normally people only get held up through being too talkative, not because of taking too much time over planning a hand - TAKE AS MUCH TIME AS YOU LIKE

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP 6

Long in Trump Lead Length- if you have 4 trumps and the you are on lead it is best to lead your other long suit. By doing this there may be the possibility that declarer will need to trump in before he wants to. Now he may lose control of the trump suit itself. Certainly don't lead from shortage since you will be coming to natural trumps anyway with you length.  

 

ADVANCED TIP 6

If you are trying to place cards in a CRITICAL suit and one opponent is already known to be long another  suit that he may have bid or led then in the CRITICAL suit assume that the same opponent will be short in this critical suit, particularly helpful when looking for a Queen and you have a two way finesse available.

 

NOVICES TIP 7

 Once you decide on plan, try and play in tempo so that you can keep track of what has gone. If you have long periods of trancing midway then you will lose track of your plan. By playing out semi-quickly now, you will be able to count much better

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP 7

Don't lead a singleton with a goodish hand  since you might not be able to get partner in for a ruff so make a positive lead instead.

eg you hold 

ª

QJ104

©

 952

¨

AKJ53

§

 3

and the opponents bid to 4© then lead A¨or Qª  not the 3§ assuming the opponents are reasonable and they get to 4©  with about 26 points and you have 11 so how many can partner have so make a positve lead from your own hand instead of trying to find an entry in partner's hand when he can't possibly have one.

 

ADVANCED TIP 7

3. Sitting over a KQ10  holding in dummy and you hold the Ace try ducking it more often and you will be pleasantly surprised when

a) declarer uses up valuable entry to return to hand to finesse again

b) he now finesses the Queen assuming the other defender had missing Ace and now you partner scores the Jack. if you go up with the Ace immediately declarer will have no choice but if you duck you give him losing option.

in situations like this

  dummy  
  KQ10  

J54

  A82 (you)
  9763  

Now when the king holds declarer is bound to assume west has missing Ace. it is even more satisfying if you can do this with a doubleton Ace holding very SMOOTHLY

 

NOVICES TIP 8

As declarer make sure you LEAD UP TO HONOURS eg

lead low towards AQX or KXX or KQX or KJX (never start the play from these holdings)

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  8

 Remember to only cover an honour with an Honour if you are likely to PROMOTE something for yourself or for your partner- this is most of time but if you see touching honours in dummy or you suspect that declarer has a good holding in the closed hand don't bother to cover.

 

ADVANCED TIP 8

 If you have shakey trump holding with maybe only 7 trumps between hand and dummy, try ducking a round and you will be surprised how less often you will lose control of the suit eg

with AKXX opposite XXX you have loser anyway so ducking can't cost and it can only gain when the suit break 42

 

NOVICES TIP 9

When leading against suit contracts don't lead away from tenaces eg avoid leading from AQX or KJX or A10X

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  9

Stayman Convention is mainly used to try and find 44 fits. If you have a five timer, either introduce it naturally or with Transfers.

 

ADVANCED TIP 9

Every time you make LIGHT OVERCALLS think of your bid as LEAD DIRECTING and then you will not overcall on trashy suits.eg

overcall on AQXXX or KQ10XXX or AJ109XX but not on JXXXX or QXXXX as its meaningless !!

 

NOVICES TIP 10

When you see dummy make sure you determine which hand is short hand and which hand is the long hand for each suit. Once you determine this then you can play each suit accordingly so that you DON'T GET BLOCKED. Make sure you play the high card(s) from the short hand first eg with AQ4 opposite KJ98 make sure you play AQ first

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  10

If you are thinking of overcalling and you aren't sure whether your suit is good enough to bid consider the Suit Quality Test (as laid out by Ron Klinger) The number of cards in the suit you are considering bidding plus the number of honours in that suit should equal tricks required

eg  with   ª AK762  © 76  ¨ 763 § Q65  yes overcall 1ª total is 5+2 =7 OK BUT

  with   ª Q7632  © A6  ¨ K63 § Q65  Now Pass  as total is 5+1 = 6 (despite having more points on this hand).

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 10

If the opponents bid and raise a suit and stop at the 2 level be quick to bid in the Pass out seat (for more details on this tip se Ron Klingers's A Guide to Better Duplicate

eg. if bidding goes   N     E     S      W  

                                    1©  NO  2©  NO

                                    NO  ?

as East holding ª 865432  © 10  ¨ A72 § K43 compete 2ª

or holding  ª 85  © 1053  ¨ KJ62 § AQ74 compete 2NT UNUSUAL (believe it or not !!)

 

NOVICES TIP 11

If you make any sort of LIMIT BID   DON'T BID AGAIN. Limit bids come in all sorts of guises and the most common ones are opening 1NT and 2NT or replying in No Trumps or in your partners suit. However if you make an pre-emptive opening bid of 3 of a Suit this is also a Limit bid and you certainly  must leave all decisions to partner. Other times that this manifests itself is when you open 1H and rebid 2H. Now your rebid is a limit bid. If responder now rebids his suit at the 2 Level it is Mandatory for you to now pass and not to fight it out with partner.  

eg 1©  - 1ª

    2©   - 2ª

Pass now by opener is your only option!!!  

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  11

In 4th seat this is time to bid protect yours and your partner's interest and this is why its called THE PROTECTIVE POSITION. In 4th seat a bid of 1NT shows only 10-14 points and a Balanced hand. If you just sit there and pass you will have some very happy opponents- Be competitive.

 

ADVANCED TIP 11

With a 6-5 pattern in touching suits, bid the higher ranking suit first if the suits are weak and you are minimum in high card points, whether you are opener or responder

egª AQ764  © J87432  ¨ - § KQ open 1ª and then you will get the chance to show both suits. (further details of this see 100 Winning Bridge Tips by Ron Klinger

 

NOVICES TIP 12

Don't forget to tell your partner whether or not you like a suit. If you like it make sure you play an ENCOURAGING SIGNAL, something like a 6 or 7 or 8. Conversely if you don't like your partner's initial lead play low, and BE ATTENTIVE to these cards. If you have choice of encouraging signal, i.e. you hold K962  and partner leads Ace play the 9 rather than the 6. The 9 is certainly likely to stir partner more than the 6. Would you prefer to have your aeroplane land  with small semaphore flags or large ones ???

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  12

Be aware of the RULE of 2O for light opening bids. If you are in doubt as to whether or not you can open then add your points and your 2 longest suits together and if the total comes to 20 or more then OPEN rather than  passing like a wimp.

eg ª AK7632  © K965  ¨ 3 § 32  total is 10 + 10  so open 1ª

or with  ª K7632  © KQ762  ¨ K3 § 5 total is comfortably 11 + 10 so open 1ª

 

ADVANCED TIP 12

The 5 level Belongs to the Opponents. This was one of the Bols Tips submitted by the American Ed Manfield. In a highly competitive auction when the opponents have ventured into the 5 level.- Let them be. You have probably  pushed them to a level higher than they wanted to be and if you now bid on you run the risk of a penalty when their contract was going off. (For details of this tip see The Complete Book of Bols Tips edited by Sally Brock and published by Chess and Bridge- alternatively you can go to http://www.haroldschogger.com/manfield.htm   where the rule is written up.

 

NOVICES TIP 13

On the other hand when Counting LOSERS BE OPTIMISTIC- with AXX  opposite X   you have No  Losers since you can ruff after one round 

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  13

1. a) Opposite a weak No Trump if you have a TOTALLY balanced 4333 hand and only 11 points do not invite - be happy to stay in 1NT. With a totally balanced 25 High card Points between the 2 hands you will be hard pushed to find a ninth trick.   

b) However opposite a weak No Trump and 12 High card Points and a five card suit treat the hand as if it is 13 points and go directly to 3NT. Now there is no need to invite as a 9th trick will materialize more often then not even opposite a minimum 12 count.

 

ADVANCED TIP 13

Partner leads from his 4th highest and the bidding has suggested that declarer has a certain stopper in the suit, sometimes it is correct to withhold your Ace in third seat and play your Queen instead if you have it. If partner has led from an original King holding then your queen will hold and if not it will be much more difficult for declarer to now hold up. In fact it might be too dangerous to hold up. More details of this can be witnessed by reading Shmuel Lev's Bols tip "WHEN YOU HAVE A HOLDING SUCH AS A-Q OR A-J IN THE SUIT LED BY PARTNER, DO NOT AUTOMATICALLY PLAY ‘THIRD HAND HIGH." 

(see his tip in full www.haroldschogger/shmuellev.htm)

in situations like this

  dummy  
  85  

J10732

  AQ9 (you)
  K64  

play the Queen. There are very few declarers who will duck this. Now communications between you and your partner will be kept open. If you had merely contributed your Ace at trick one. followed by your Queen declarer will have no problems in holding up will he ?

 

 

NOVICES TIP 14

Be Patient especially when you defend- the main problem that novices have with defence is that they are in too much of a hurry to take their Aces and Kings. Now its all well and good saying second hand plays high and third hand plays low but doing this is not enough alone. If one is extremely patient and wait for your tricks, you will be surprised that very often your original AQ9 or AJ8 holding will produce 2 tricks one of them being the setting trick as long as you are patient and don't go in with your high card too early.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  14

Against a small slam Favour an active lead from QXXX   or KXXX  suits rather than making a passive lead. By doing this you are well on the way to building a defensive trick for your side. All Partner needs to have is the other high honour you lack.

 

ADVANCED TIP 14

Playing Splinters is all well and good and can get you to good slams. But, also try and understand the inferences when partner doesn't splinter. If partners don't splinter then you know their holding is probably 5422  or 4432 as they didn't try and Splinter. Now you know there is much more chance that an outside suit can have 2 losers off the top

eg 

ª KQ98              ª   AJ43
© AQJ52              ©  K43             4 is limit of the hand maybe 5
¨ A2                     ¨  K654           LACK OF SPLINTER 
§ Q 4                    §  32               should alert you to this fact.
  1©                        1ª
  4ª
  BUT with less points the splinter allows you to bid the cold small slam
ª KQ98              ª   AJ43
© AQJ52             ©  K43              
¨ A32                  ¨  K654           
§  4                      §  32                
  1©                       4§
  now you are certainly interested!!!!!

 

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 15

If you listen to the sounds of the auction or the sound of a bid it will often point you to its correct meaning eg. if you open 1¨ and partner bids 1ª and you then rebid 2© and he now rebids 2ª this can ONLY BE WEAK and must be showing 6 card suit and a minimum hand so don't panic if you only have 1 or less Spades.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  15

If you have the choice to lead from an AK suit and a singleton suit choose the Ace lead most of the time. If you lead your ace you can always switch but if you lead your singleton and it turns out to be wrong it will be too late 

ª

AK965

©

 952

¨

3

§

Q853

after an uncontested auction of  1© -3© - 4© prefer to lead from your Aª rather than you singleton Diamond. Many experts have an agreement that the play of an Ace followed by a switch shows a singleton in the suit you switch to.  

 

ADVANCED TIP 15

As declarer when an opponent has preempted assume that all the outstanding key cards such as any   Queens and Jacks you have missing to be in the other player's hand, since the pre-emptor should really have nothing outside his long suit. Now a lot of your 2 way finesses will no longer be mere guesses.

NOVICES TIP 16

So that you can think in "straight lines" try to line your hand up with the dummy. So if dummy is from  left to right Spades, Hearts, Clubs Diamonds you hand should be held correspondingly then you will find it much easier to count your winners and losers.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  16

If your partner replies 2© to your 1© opener and you have a reasonable 15/16 points you might think game is a possibility, if so, ADOPT TRIAL bids . Bidding 3©  invitationally  to 4 is to be quite frank a total waste of  time and hardly constructive. A trial bid will pinpoint where you want help and allow you and partner to get to minimum games and to stop short of game where you have your values in the wrong suit. So after 1©  bid the suit you want help in  eg
ª AQ765 ª K954 ª AQ765 ª K954
© 76 © 542   but with the following  hand © 76 © Q42
¨ KQ5 ¨ J753   the bidding now goes ¨ KQ5 ¨ A3
§ A32 § K6 § A32 § 7654
1ª  2ª 1ª 2ª
3§ 4ª 3§ 3ª
and now we find a  and we stop short 
22 point game despite more points
TRIAL BIDS come in other guises and can be a lot of fun to play.
it also now frees up the immediate 3  rebid by opener as a disruptive pre-emptive measure thereby making life more difficult for the opponent who wants to balance.

 

ADVANCED TIP 16

Elimination Play can be very easy if you practice it even on the hands where an elimination play is not necessarily needed. In order to put an elimination play into play you must follow the following guidelines.

a. draw trumps. 

b. Take out a complete suit. 

c. Take out another complete suit. 

d. Now let them in and watch as they hopefully open a the crucial suit or give you a ruff and discard.

Maybe an elimination play is not necessary but by getting into good habits when it does come along and you pull it off you will have a rather wonderful feeling !!!

 

 

NOVICES TIP 17

If you can't remember what has gone or how many has gone in a suit, try and work backwards by remembering what you had to start with, eg you can't remember how many trumps have gone- you have only three trumps left and you know you started with 5 so you probably have drawn 2 rounds only so far

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  17

Next time you have support for a Minor THINK 3NT. Most of the time that you and partner will be able to make 11 tricks in Clubs or Diamonds you can probably easily make 9 or maybe even 10 in No Trumps. If you are playing in MP's pairs you want to be playing on an equal footing to the experts so that when you open the traveller you too are in 3Nt plus one for 430 rather than just 400 for a hard 5§ contract.

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 17

If you do not know what suit to play next try holding up so that partner can give you a signal on the following trick !!

 

 

NOVICES TIP 18

Draw all the opponents' trumps unless there is one out and the one out is a master - don't be a TWO FOR ONE Merchant

with AKXX  opposite XXXX  draw two rounds and if hopefully they break 32 then leave the remaining Queen out and hopefully you can use your remaining 4 trumps separately.

or with AKXXX  opposite XXXX  if you draw  and the suit breaks 31 then don't bother to draw the last one as it will always make.

 

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  18

Next time you have support for a Minor THINK 3NT. Most of the time that you and partner will be able to make 11 tricks in Clubs or Diamonds you can probably easily make 9 or maybe even 10 in No Trumps. If you are playing in MP's pairs you want to be playing on an equal footing to the experts so that when you open the traveller you too are in 3Nt plus one for 430 rather than just 400 for a hard 5§ contract.

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 18

If between the 2 hands you hold A J 10  and 2 low cards and the opponents lead this suit against your 3NT contract there is no need to hold up as you will get 2 tricks in this suit if you are patient. Some players hold up when they do not need to !!

eg

        J3  
 

N

 
Q9542     W             E   K87
 

     S

 
         A106  

when the 4 is led and East contributes the king at trick one there is no need to duck. Try it and see!! If you duck you will only obtain 1 trick instead of your rightful 2 !!  10's and 9's are much more important than you generally think.

 

NOVICES TIP 19

If you need to establish a second suit it might be wise to sometimes establish the second suit first if your trumps are a bit rickety.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  19

 If partner pre-empts and you have a good hand be prepared to raise partner to game with a singleton in his suit or even a void sometimes. Partner will not need help from you in his LONG suit so all the goodies you offer him outside will be dynamite. 

eg partner opens 1© and you hold

ª A854       raise to 4©
©  2              don't even consider 3NT 
¨ AK53     unless you want a new partner 
§ AK92     next week

 

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 19

Don't be lazy MAKE NO COST CUE BIDS when you can

eg

ª Q76             After  opening 1NT partner replies 3ª
© 76                bid 4 § cuebid agreeing the Spades and showing MAX
¨ AQ5         
§ AQ32                
 If you take this on board then every time your partner doesn't cuebid you will know they wont have an ace on the way !!

 

 

NOVICES TIP 20

Trumping losers in the short hand adds to your trick tally since you are not depleting your long suit. Conversely trumping in the Long hand doesn't always achieve very much and more often or not it weakens your control of "your" trumps suit. Trumping in is like eating chocolate not always that good for you. Next time you ruff something make sure you are actually achieving something and not just taking the chocolate !! 

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  20

 

If you bid in 3rd or 4th seat you can OPEN LIGHT. In third and fourth seat you do not have to have a rebid ready. Since your partner has already passed there is little fear of missing out on anything. You can certainly open all the following hands in 3rd and 4th seats and merely drop out of the auction thereafter.

ª AQ764  ª K9  ª AJ10765
© 762 © 542 © 76
¨ K5 ¨ AQJ753 ¨ K65
§  432 § 63 § 32
Open 1ª just  open 1¨ open

Opening with 1ª   is particularly pre-emptive

 

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 20

a) If you partner opens and next hand overcalls 1NT if you have 8/9 points then make a PENALTY DOUBLE immediately to show that you have balance of power. 

b) If you bid on after partner opens and the opposition overcalls 1NT you are now showing less than 8 points and could compete on all sorts of rubbish, either supporting partner or freely bidding your own goodish 5 card suits  or 6 six card suits

 

 

NOVICES TIP 21

If you aren't sure what to bid then best to bid NEW SUIT even if its a three card suit in most scenarios a bid of new suit should be treated as forcing for one round.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  21

 In a competitive situation DON'T PUNISH PARTNER for competing. Sometime partners are competing and balancing knowing that you have points. Do not go and spoil it by bidding on.

This is particularly relevant when partner balances in 4th seat causing the opponents to bid on to the three level and you now go and bid one more (UGH) be pleased you have pushed them to three level. 

eg 

ª AQ76            After  partner passes for 2 rounds he 
© 76                  suddenly dredges up a bid of 2ª
¨ Q5                 after 1© - 2©   by the opposition
§ A32               when they now bid 3©   be happy to now Pass

 

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 21

If partner leads an Ace and there is a singleton in dummy, then there is little point in making an attitude signal so make a SUIT PREFERENCE Signal at trick 1. Playing a very high card would be asking for a switch to a higher suit and a particularly low card would be saying switch to lower ranking suit. Don't be a slave to signals as sometimes partner is known to hold nothing on the auction so he might not be able to signal anything !!!!!!!!

 

 

NOVICES TIP 22

The Double of 1NT opening bid is for PENALTIES  and promises one more point than the opponents maximum. Therefore if opponents are playing weak No trump you need 15 to double. and if they are playing 15-17 then you need 18 or more. Partners should stand the double and watch the opponents squirm. This is main disadvantage of weak no trump so make sure you take your penalties when you can. You will be at the receiving ends yourself sometimes.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  22

 If the contract belongs to you and your partner and they take a sacrifice 

a) make sure you double the final contract

b) lead a trump to cutback their powers of a possible cross ruff

 

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 22

If there seems to be no way to generate an extra trick, then try a dummy reversal, whereby the short hand will  eventually become the dominating trump drawing hand because you have done sufficient ruffing in the long hand that the short hand now has more trumps than the long hand originally started with.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 23

To Overcall the opponents 1NT opening bid requires a sensible suit either good quality 5 card suit or preferably 6 and LESS than 15 points (probably about 9-14). The reason its less than 15 points is because with 15 you would be doubling especially if you read tip 2 this month. (this tip is the corollary of tip 2)

you can make natural overcalls with all the following hands

ª AQ765 ª K9  ª  65
© 76 © 542 © 76
¨ K5 ¨ AQJ753 ¨ KQ5
§ A32 § 63 § AJ10953
overcall 2ª just  overcall 2¨ overcall 2§

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  23

 Looking for a missing queen and you have a two way finesse, If you want the defender to cover the honour, try leading an honour and if they don't cover as most players might then go up with the Ace or King and finesse on the way back

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 23

Even if you are not going to try an endplay it is often good  technique to get rid of as many suits as possible from both hands before letting the opposition in and then maybe you will get a pleasant surprise when one of the defenders  might give away a trick when  they get in

 

NOVICES TIP 24

If you are going to overcall with a minimum number of points then  make sure you SUIT QUALITY is up to scratch- you could even overcall with 6/7 points if you had  with 1ª

ª

 A K 9 7 6 4

©

 7 3 2

¨

 5 4

§

 3 2

 

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  24

 Lead back the higher of two remaining card in partner's suit so partner knows you started with three cards, otherwise play your lowest one back and then he can deduce that you started with 2 (and could not help yourself) or 4. This assumes he is watching all the small cards being played at tricks one and two.

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 24

Partner has led a suit in which you have a potentially blocking situation, so seriously consider unblocking at trick 1. Partner leads King promising Queen and Jack and you have A6,  you need to play that Ace to avoid blockage or if partner leads the Queen and you have King doubleton again throw away that King on the King immediately.

 

NOVICES TIP 25

Support Majors but when partner opens a Minor  introduce your Major even if you have support for the Minor

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  25

Attack when your opponents bid a small slam in a suit. Lead from KXXX or QXXX  , you only need partner to turn up with the other high honour to establish one trick or even two for the defence.

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 25

Don't take your aces too quickly when you defend, especially in second seat even if there is a singleton in the dummy and you are afraid your Ace might disappear. Declarer will often go wrong when  finessing if you are patient with those Aces you are not supposed to hold.

NOVICES TIP 26

Play the lower of touching honours when following suit - NB this is the opposite of leading

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  26

Try and work out what partner has led from, if they lead a two its probably 4th best from 4 card suit, if they lead a middling card and there are five in dummy and you have five too its probably a singleton.

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 26

Covering Honours and not covering honours is not always easy. If you can see all the touching honours in dummy then don't bother to cover. If there are two touching honours you can cover the second one, but not the first.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 27

If there are two touching honours in dummy don't cover first time around. Cover second time around with

                                         QJ95                       if you cover the Queen first time around declarer will be able to finesse your poor partner's

                             1083              K62               10 in a moment. Cover second time around and partner makes his 10

                                        A74

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  27

Not sure what to keep then keep the same long suit you can see in dummy - it's known as keeping length with dummy and prevents dummy's long card

 becoming a winner

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 27

In third seat try to hold back your honour to cover dummy's honour so in situations like this

                                   Q64                  partner leads the 2 and dummy plays low play your 9 and hope for the best. If declarer

                         1032          AJ9          has all the remaining high cards it makes no difference BUT IF partner has the 10 you will now

                                  K875                   maintain two tricks for the defence rather than the tricks to declarer

 

NOVICES TIP 28

Only ruff if its producing extra tricks - ruffing just because it makes you feel good is like taking sugar it just gives you a high and

 doesn't necessarily mean you are generating extra tricks,  especially if you are ruffing in the long hand

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  28

You have 8 trumps but lousy ones including the Ace, why not duck a round of the suit and then you will not lose control of the trump suit.

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 28

Counting your losers as well as your winners sometimes pinpoints hidden dangers on the hand. Where you thought you had an easy ride suddenly you see that there could be a problem. Now you can act on it and maybe keep one of the opponents off lead.

 

NOVICES TIP 29

No entries in the other hand why not ruff something to get to the other hand

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  29

Short of entries why not duck a round and keep that precious Ace in the dummy as your entry later, sometimes you might need to duck twice in situations like this                        A6543

                            KQ2               J10

                                       987

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 29

A ruffing finesse is often better than a simple finesse, because even if it fails you have been able to chuck a loser whilst doing it !!

 

NOVICES TIP 30

If you have high cards in a suit that you need to ruff do the ruffing early before cashing the high cards . You can always cash those high cards later once you have draw trumps

 AKQ65      opposite  7 play your  Ace then ruff a low one, return to West to ruff the remaining 5 and later on in the hand you can enjoy the KQ after drawing trumps.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  30

When the defenders try to make you ruff inn the long hnad so depleting your trump length consider discarding and in this way you will not lose control of the trump suit

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 30

If you have to make a decision about whether to take ruffing finesse or simple finesse the decide which "nasty" opponent you don't want to get the lead and then take the appropriate finesse through them so

                        AQJ10   if East is the safe hand and West the "nasty" opponent          AQJ10    if West is the safe hand and East is now

                                                do the simple finesse                                                                                 the nasty opponent do the ruffing finesse

                            9                                                                                                                       9   

 

NOVICES TIP 31

When you try and evaluate a hand don't just look at the points, look at the points and consider if they are "Good Points" or "Bad Points"  QJ54   is not so good as QJ109 and both these suits are "only" 3 points. Which of the following hands would you rather have ? a) ♠ A654 ♥ K86 ♦ Q32  ♣ J54  (10 points)   a) ♠ 54 ♥  86 ♦ 432  ♣ AKQ542  (9 points). The first hand has lousy balanced 10 points with no potential whereas the second hand has a great 9 points with potential of 6 tricks

 

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  31

Don't raise partner's second suit unless you have 4 card support

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 31

Playing Match Point Pairs, if partner offers two suits and the first suit is a Major promising five cards, prefer to  give "False preference" to the first suit holding two cards in the first suit and three in the second. You want to be playing in the 5:2 Major fit rather than the 4:3 Minor fit.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 32

Sometimes you need to get your second suit established before touching trumps. Leaving a  trump on the table by not drawing them means you cannot be as easily forced by the opposition

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  32

Most of the time when you have choice between a ruffing finesse and a simple finesse it is best to take the ruffing finesse option. Even if the rufing finesse fails you have managed to chuck a loser elsewhere and you have set up a winner from the ruffing finesse for later.

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 32

If you think that there might be a chance that you will be overruffed throw away  a loser elsewhere instead- loser on loser. Now you retain all your trumps and the other loser disappears.

 

NOVICES TIP 33

If somebody initially passes and then turns up with 10 points you know he will not have any more since he didn't open in the first place.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  33

Once dummy comes down add your points to dummy's points and take the total from 40 to tell you have many points the opposition have between them (see Novices tip this week)

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 33

Before tackling trumps sometimes it is a good idea to try a finesse elsewhere to decide how to actually play the trump suit. If your finesse outside has worked then you can take the safety play in trumps, if the finesse has failed then you might need to take a straight finesse in trumps too avoiding any possible safety play.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 34

If partner leads a Jack against 3NT and there are only low cards in dummy and you have the Ace or King make sure you put it on partner's Jack. He might have led from KJ109 or AJ109 and you do not want declarer getting away with blue murder by winning the first trick with the Queen. If declarer doesn't have the Ace and Queen sticking your King on will not cost

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  34

If your partner didn't open 1NT then you can rule out that he has a balanced hand with 12-14 points. There is so much to learn from bids that aren't made as well as bids that are.

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 34

Don't double borderline part scores that might only go one off. If they make you have given away a certain bottom and if they go off you will still get a relatively good score.

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 35

Not sure what to lead then eliminate what you can't lead, avoid leading from tenaces and unsupported honours and more often than not you will arrive at what you can lead

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  35

Two suits of equal length and you are leading against No Trumps then lead from the better suit as you need less from partner to make the suit good so with choice of leading from J642  or K642  lead from the K642 suit

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 35

If you drop high honour on partner's Ace lead it shows either a singleton, and, of course you could not help yourself or that you hold the honour below it. If partner leads Ace and you have QJ64 play the Queen and then partner knows you have Jack and if need be he could underlead his remaining King to get you in. (You are telling him you have an entry)

 

NOVICES TIP 36

If Spades is your suit never be afraid of bidding one more because you have the boss suit and you will not need to increase the level when you outbid the opposition- Be competitive with this boss suit.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  36

Support with 3 card support rather than reply 1NT especially if you have a doubleton elsewhere. The doubleton and three card support gives you some ruffing values.

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 36

After the opposition makes an informative Double you as partner of the opener should now be prepared to make weak raises in openers' suit so now 1♥   - Double   2♥  shows 4-5  points     

1♥   - Double   3♥  shows 6-9  points

1♥   - Double   2NT should now show good raise in partner's suit

 

 

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 37

With 4 or 5 rubbishy cards (a suit with no honours) against a No Trump contract prefer to lead 2nd highest and then a low one next and then partner will know you have not led from a good suit

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  37

If opponents end up in the third suit after bidding three suits lead a trump

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 37

A direct raise of 1to 4♠    or 1♥  to 4♥   should be done with WEAK DISTRIBUTIONAL hands two five card suits and no more than 6/7 points. The aim of the bid is two fold. Firstly, you might make the contract. Secondly, you might cut the opposition out if the contract might belong to them should they have the balance of points.

 

NOVICES TIP 38

The only time you might think of overcalling on a four card suit is if you have three honours such as AKQ6 or KQJ7 or AKJ3. The hand just about meets the SQOT test.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  38

If you are going to win a trump trick anyway with a holding such as K104 or Q104  consider not overtrumping and perhaps your one trump trick will turn into two trump tricks.

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 38

Don't finesse empty honours. If you have J65 opposite AQ42 lead the low one towards the Queen. Leading the unsupported Jack will just mean the opposition will cover to promote their 10 or 9.

 

NOVICES TIP 39

1NT reply is not just a reply showing 6-9 points balanced , it is also a catchall dustbin bid showing poor hand when you aren't able to go to the 2 level with hands like  

♠  32                    or                   ♠  void

54                   even                ♥ 653

Q9874                                    ♦ AJ654

KJ42                                      ♣ Q5432

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  39

If you are going to win a trump trick anyway with a holding such as K104 or Q104  consider not overtrumping and perhaps your one trump tricks will turn into two trump tricks.

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 39

If the opposition has found a fit at the 2 level make sure you balance as you cannot afford to let them make +110

 

NOVICES TIP 40

After making a pre-empt do not bid again as you have made a limit bid and now you must leave all decisions to partner.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  40

want to  make a forward going strong bid then employ a fourth suit forcing bid .

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 40

Use Culbertson's Law of Distribution. If your hand and the dummy hand is very distributional with a singleton in either hand then expect the opponents' hands to be distributed strangely too. Expect your trump suit to break 3:1 and not 2:2.

 

NOVICES TIP 41

If dummy has a long suit try to get it established so you can get all your extra tricks from that nice long suit

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  41

Trying to get your long suit going and short of entries to get to it, then duck a round and retain the high card Ace or King in situations like this

AK8542 opposite  93

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 41

Choice of ruffing finesse or simple finesse then its probably best to go for the ruffing finesse because even if ruffing finesse fails you can still throw away a loser from the other hand while you are doing the ruffing finesse

 

 

NOVICES TIP 42

With grotty trumps such as A654  opposite 8732   so that you do not lose control of the suit play a low card from each hand and retain that most valuable Ace .

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  42

Trying to get your long suit going and short of entries to get to it, then duck a round and retain the high card Ace or King in situations like this

AK8542 opposite  93

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 42

If you have a vulnerable holding that you do not want the defenders to lead through eg K65  opposite 432   you do not want the defenders to be leading through your king (you want to be last person to play) so when playing other suits,  try to lose the lead to the safe hand

 

NOVICES TIP 43

When you know you have a trump loser it is often better to lose that trick early rather then later.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  43

You can often prevent a trump promotion by discarding losers on losers rather than being in a hurry to ruff.

 

ADVANCED TIP 43

When the defenders try to make you ruff in the long hand and seriously deplete your trump holding consider discarding instead and maintaining your trump length.

 

NOVICES TIP 44

When you have a good fit of 4:4 or 5:4 or 5:5 and a reciprocal shortage facing length in the side suits consider a CROSS RUFF and trying to make all your trumps separately

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  44

If you notice declarer doesn't draw trumps, when you get in, attack declarer's trumps suit and draw two for one.

 

ADVANCED TIP 44

In order to keep communications open between your hand and dummy, when you have the Ace with two or three small cards facing a doubleton try ducking the first round of the suit.

 

NOVICES TIP 45

If you have entry problems because of a lack of high cards generally, then you might need to delay drawing trumps and to use the actual trump suit as the entries to transport yourself from one hand to the other. This is particularly applicable if you need to establish another suit.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  45

Be aware that you might have more entries than you originally thought in situations like this AQJ52  Opposite K1063 - if the suit breaks no worse then 3:1 then you have three entries to the K1063 side if you need an extra entry -the six can beat the 5 and two.

 

ADVANCED TIP 45

Be prepared to hold up your Ace more often even if a singleton is showing in dummy. Declarer who might have KJ in the closed hand will very likely now finesse the Jack not expecting you to hold up. If declarer has all the winning cards (KQJ) by holding up the suit, it is not yet established. Going in with the Ace straight away just helps declarer out more.

 

NOVICES TIP 46

If you are second player you should play low on a low card and not waste your honour on a low card

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  46

If in doubt, continue the suit led and don't open up new suits that might help declarer more than the defence.

 

ADVANCED TIP 46

Follow partner's defence especially if they make a strange switch. Continue their suit and get a pleasant surprise when they ruff because they switched to a less than obvious singleton.

 

NOVICES TIP 47

If you overcall more often, sometimes you will find fit with partner and be able to take a worthwhile sacrifice when partner subsequently supports you.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  47

If you are lucky enough to have two suits and the opposition have found a fit then introduce your other suit as you too will also have a fit and may be able to outbid them especially if that other suit is Spades.

 

ADVANCED TIP 47

If you do a direct cuebid over their opener it is of course Michaels Cue Bid. However if you DOUBLE JUMP CUE BID then its saying please bid 3NT if you have stopper in opener's suit- I have good hand and good source of tricks. Maybe the bidding has gone 1 and you have 

K7                    you fancy your chances in 3NT as long as partner has a Heart stopper so jump to 3  now

54

AKQJ764

♣  A5               

 

 

NOVICES TIP 48

Try to take photographic picture of your hand so that you can reconstruct it in the middle when you are trying to remember what has gone. If you remember that you started with 5 trumps and you have three left then you will be able to deduce that two rounds have gone so eight cards have gone.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  48

Not sure which way to take your two way finesse with KJ109 in the closed hand and A543  in dummy then try playing the Jack from the closed hand and if they don't cover (NB Most people will cover even if they shouldn't) go up with the Ace and finesse the other person on the way back.

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 48

You have all winners left bar one try ending up in the closed hand at trick 12 and maybe the opponents will save the wrong card.          
 

NOVICES TIP 49

As declarer when you are winning the trick and you have AKQ  of the suit win with the Ace and then you will remember the other two are high more easily and keep track of the suit

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  49

If you want to create an illusion and you have AKQ of a suit win the trick with the Ace and you might well fool the  defenders who might think the other defender has the missing high honours.

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 49

Dummy has a singleton and partner has led an Ace make sure you now give a SUIT PREFERENCE signal. No point in encouraging or discouraging or giving the count so best to say what suit you want your partner to switch to now J

 

NOVICES TIP 50

Even with 10 points, NO BID when partner opens 1NT as the total is never going to be more than 24 and if you bid 2NT partner should  treat that as invitational and will bid 3NT with a maximum 14 count. If they have just 12 and Pass then 8 tricks is going to be an uphill struggle. BE DISCIPLINED HERE  & PASS

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  50

Even if you haven’t got top trumps still draw trumps especially if you have good outside strength that you do not want the opponents to ruff

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 50

Really stuck for a lead in No Trumps, and nothing appeals, then lead dummy's second suit and very often you will find a delighted partner sitting over dummy with a good holding in that suit.

 

NOVICES TIP 51

With Ace or Ace Queen  opposite K1098762  play off the Ace early before it blocks you

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  51

Be competitive and sometimes you push the opponents out of their comfort zone.

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 51

Partner opens with weak 2ª and next player says Double be prepared to rush the auction with jump to 4ªand be disruptive further.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 52

Sometimes you need to set up your send suit before drawing trumps. You might need the trumps for entries. 

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  52

If you have long solid seven or more card Minor such as

57                   

54

AKQJ765

♣  35     

 

 and no outside strength instead of opening 3  Open 3NT and this is an even more effective pre-empt

 

ADVANCED TIP 52

Fourth suit forcing says “TELL ME MORE ABOUT YOUR SHAPE” do you now have 5 or even 3 card support for one of my suits. Bid your shape out

 

 

NOVICES TIP 53

Not sure where to win the tricks when drawing trumps then try and keep as many entries as possible in the hand with hardly any entries at the start of play. So if one hand has 7 entries and the other hand has only 2 then try and keep the two entries in the hand that started with two.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  53

If you open with a weak two or a weak three this is a limit bid and you should not bid again unless partner forces you to do so or invites you. All decisions rest with partner - do not take phantom sacrifices in a competitive auction and certainly don't make any fatuous Doubles

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 53

Not sure which way to  take you two way finesse with AJ1095 in one hand and K832 in the other if the Jack is in the closed hand why not start with the Jack- you will be surprised how many people will cover (even if they shouldn't) and if they don't cover then go yo with dummy's King and finesse on the way back- its not guaranteed but its better than nothing :)

 

NOVICES TIP 54

Not sure where to win the tricks when drawing trumps then try and keep as many entries as possible in the hand with hardly any entries at the start of play. So if one hand has 7 entries and the other hand has only 2 then try and keep the two entries in the hand that started with two.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  54

If you open with a weak two or a weak three this is a limit bid and you should not bid again unless partner forces you to do so or invites you. All decisions rest with partner - do not take phantom sacrifices in a competitive auction and certainly don't make any fatuous Doubles

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 54

Not sure which way to  take you two way finesse with AJ1095 in one hand and K832 in the other if the Jack is in the closed hand why not start with the Jack- you will be surprised how many people will cover (even if they shouldn't) and if they don't cover then go yo with dummy's King and finesse on the way back- its not guaranteed but its better than nothing :)

 

NOVICES TIP 55

With KQ4  opposite J10832    don't forget to play the King Queen first so as not to block the suit- when you don't have the top card in a suit the High Card from the short hand principle still holds good.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  55

If you overcall more often then you are helping partner with a lead- of course don't overcall if you do not want a suit led  J

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 55

If you overcall then your side will be in a good position to know when to take a viable sacrifice- Why give them a free run ?

 

NOVICES TIP 56

In No Trump, Don't leave singleton King or Queen in dummy as it is completely exposed to attack from the defenders in situations like this                   K5                or          Q6    go up with the honour and hope that the leader has led from

                               Q64                            K72    the Ace- then your remaining holding has some sort of protection and now it is a matter 

                                                                           of  keeping Right hand opponent off lead (West becomes the safe hand)

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  56

They lead and from dummy you should low play most of the time as this will certainly yield a high card from third player and you will be better placed.

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 56

Partner bids 4NT followed by 5NT confirming all key cards are held in the partnership and you have a good secondary suit such as KQ765 of a suit you can go directly to the Grand Slam now as partner is unaware that you are handing partner 5 tricks outside on a plate.

 

NOVICES TIP 57

Dummy has K432   and  you have singleton 5 and left hand opponent leads the Queen- do not play the King. Play low and if you ruff enough times the Ace will fall from right hand opponent. Surely the leader has not led from the Ace so you know the Ace is on your right so little point in playing the King at trick 1 so in situations like this you will eventually establish a trick

                                                                          K432                                                                           

                                                   QJ1076                        A109

                                                                             5

 

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  57

Stuck for a bid when Overcalling THINK INFORMATIVE DOUBLE   especially if you have four cards in the unbid Major with hands like

♠     Q876           72               AKJ83          ♣ Q6    over 1♥  Double is much better than mere 2♦

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 57

If you are short in opponents' suit by overcalling you are  more likely to induce them to bid one more, defending 3  is better than defending 2

  

NOVICES TIP 58

If you reply in a NEW suit that is FORCING so even if you have 18 or 19 points you can just bid 1♠ over partner's 1 bid and you know the auction will not die

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  58

In Blackwood or Roman Key Card Blackwood you must not initiate 5NT for Kings unless you know you have all the Aces held in the partnership. If you only have three and think you can still make a small slam you just bid it. Bidding 5NT says you are interested in the Grand Slam and you would not be interested in the Grand Slam with an Ace missing would you ?

 

ADVANCED TIP 58

When you are strong in an Opponent's Suit you pass  without any trancing, hesitation or for that matter any reaction whatsoever. so with

♠     KQ1086           AJ2               AQ3          ♣ 76  you PASS when they open 1♠  There is no other bid known to man or bridge player and don't even dream

 of bidding 1NT

 

 

NOVICES TIP 59

Don't rescue partner, don't suffer from singleton syndrome so with  ♠  KQ1086    2      Q432   ♣ Q63  having replied 1♠ to partner's Opening bid of 1♥  they  then rebid 2♥  now NO BID and don't panic - they must have six if not 7 so why panic ?

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  59

Adopt Unassuming Cue bids and then all raises of partner's suit can be weak and less weak and good raise can be made by bidding the opponent's suit.

 

ADVANCED TIP 59

Minor suit partials and slams are fine even at Matchpoints if they give you a chance of a positive score. Sometimes the field goes overboard  and end up minus trying for un-makeable games, or stop in Games when you are bidding onto the Minor Suit Slam.

On the other hand Minor suit games are seldom correct  as 9 tricks will materialize in 3NT when only 10 tricks were available in the Minor suit

 

NOVICES TIP 60

Not sure what has gone, then try and remember what you started with. So if you started with five hearts and you only have two left then you can work out that you must have played three rounds.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  60

Not sure which way to take the two way finesse try advancing the Jack from the closed and maybe one of the opposition might cover, If they don't go up with the Ace or King showing in dummy then finesse on the way back.

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 60

Squeeze play is not particularly easy. So if trumps are not relevant why not play off all the remaining trumps and see how the opposition squirm and they might not be able to guard the crucial suit between them.

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 61

You have strength in declarer's main suit which doesnt end up as trumps then LEAD A TRUMP

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  61

With 109 opposite AQJ84  when finessing play the 10 and let it run then you will still be in that hand (assuming the finesse has been successful) to repeat the finesse again.

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 61

Not sure what to play next why not duck the Ace and declarer might misguess where the Ace is

 

NOVICES TIP 62

If the bidding goes 1♣      3♣  it shows 10-12 points and 4 card support so if the bidding goes  1♣     1♥

                                                                                                                                                                                2 ♣   3♣

                                                                      responder will still have 10-12 points as you have reached same destination in the auction of  3♣

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  62

If you Double then bid your suit later you are showing 17+ points and Six card suit.

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 62

If opposition outbids you and the contract belongs to you don’t forget to DOUBLE THEM !! J
 

NOVICES TIP 63

If the opposition opens the bidding and you have balanced 19 points becaseu you are too strong for a 1NT overcall (ie16-18) start with INFORMATIVE DOUBLE and then bid No Trumps at your next opportunity and partner should be able to deduce that you have 19+ points.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  63

Every time you OVERCALL Think INFORMATIVE Double and maybe you will use it more often

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 63

Partner leads an Ace and in dummy there is a singleton make sure you make a SUIT PREFERENCE SIGNAL at trick one. There is no point in making any other signal now. So a high card will ask for a switch to the higher of the remaining two suits (barring trumps) and a low card will ask for a switch to the lower of the two remaining two suits (barring trumps).
 

NOVICES TIP 64

You started life with a six or seven card trump suit and you have inadvertently lost count of how many trumps have gone. As you still have three left ,draw an extra round just in case there is still one out. This is known as drawing lurkers.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  64

Your partner has just raised you 1© opening bid to 2©   and you would like to invite then USE TRIAL BIDS rather than go a wishy washy 3©  because sometimes it is hard to judge whether or not to go onto Game. Sometimes you maximum 9 points will not be the right 9 points and sometimes your minimum 6 points will suffice. With Trial Bids you merely bid the suit you where you need assistance. If partner has the assistance they bid 4 and if they don't they retreat to 3.

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 64

If you play Trial Bids (see tip above) then this frees the bid of 3©  or 3  to be used destructively.  Therefore the sequence 1♠ -  2♠ -   3  is now used pre-emptively to distress the opposition and to stop the from easily balancing especially if your suit is Hearts and you no longer give them the breathing space to come in with 2.   They might be reticent to do so over the sequence   1©  - 2©  - 3© J
 

NOVICES TIP 65

It there are touching honours on show in the dummy then don't bother to cover the Honour with the Honour because the card you are trying to promote for your defending side is on show for all to see in the dummy.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  65

In a an artificial sequence such as the opponents using Stayman or Transfers don't forget to Double the artificial bid if you would like that suit led.

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 65

To create a trick for partner by covering an honour played, partner will generally need to have three or more cards in the suit. If he is marked with less by the bidding it rarely pays to cover especially in the trump suit in situations like this :-

                         Q 7 4 2                           Here it would be fatal to put you King on dummy's Queen  crashing partner's singleton Ace

A                                      K 8 5

                     J 10 9 6 3

 

NOVICES TIP 66

With a minimum hand 54 distribution do not show the second suit if the second suit is beyond your barrier bid otherwise partner will think you are stronger (It is known as a reverse) so with

 

 

ª

A Q 5 4    open 1©   and reluctantly rebid 2 © if partner bids 2 of a Minor

©

K J 9 6 5

¨

K 3

§

54

 

 

 

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  66

Upgrade 14 point hands with 5332 if all your honours are in the five card suit and treat it like a 15 count and open 1 of a suit intending to rebid in No Trumps

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 66

Not sure if you hand is worth a 2©  or a 3© response use the Losing Trick Count to sway you one way or the other. It often solves difficult decisions
 

NOVICES TIP 67

Having honours in your long suit pull their weight much more than having honours in the shorter suit   AQ4  has potential of two tricks whereas AQ8754 has the potential of 5/6 tricks.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  67

only use Michaels Cue Bids and Unusual No Trump with either very weak hands (6-10) or very strong hand (17+) otherwsie partner will not be able to judge the rest of the auction

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 67

To judge whether a hand is worth a Gam try then use Tony Forrester's brilliant tip from Secrets of My Success " That if you can give partner two specific cards totalling 6HCPs and Game is a good bet then you should make a Game try by using a trial bid but if that is not enough then do not invite Game
 

NOVICES TIP 68

Responder replies 1ª   followed by  2ª  this is a very minimum hand and Opener should respect Opener's wishes and only bid on with 18/19 points . Most of the time opener should now Pass.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  68

A JUMP in a NEW SUIT by Opener is GAME FORCING and responder has to keep bidding- it shows a hand containing 19+ points (even stronger than a reverse such as

ª

A K J 6 4        open 1ª  and rebid 3§

©

A 4

¨

7 2 

§

A Q J 4

 

 

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 68

You can support opener's suit with three card support if you have ruffing values or partner is promising five card BUT to SUPPORT Opener's SECOND Suit you should now have 4 card support since Opener's suit might only be a four card suit
 

NOVICES TIP 69

If you have four card suits and partner Opens the bidding you need to bid up the line and bid the first available suit - if you BYPASS a suit then partner is entitled to think you do not have that suit unless you are very strong and 5:4 in shape and will be that other suit later  so with

ª

J 6 4        reply 1¨  when partner has opened 1§

©

A K6 5

¨

Q 9 7 2 

§

3 4

 

 

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  69

Giving preference is not the same as supporting and it is your duty to give preference however bad your hand is so with

ª

K J 6 4 3      when partner opens 1©  you reply 1ª   then partner rebids 2¨  

©

4 2               you must remember to put partner back to 2© because partner must have bid his longest suit first so you PREFER

¨

Q 2              Hearts to Diamonds

§

7 6 5 4

 

 

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 69

Sometimes you will need to give FALSE PREFERENCE especially if you are playing Match Points so with

ª

K J 6 4 2      when partner opens 1©  you reply 1ª   then partner rebids 2¨  

©

4 2               you should put partner  back to 2© because partner must have bid his longest suit 

¨

Q 7 2           and now you would prefer to play in the known 5:2 fit rather than the 4:3 fit as Hearts scores better than Diamonds

§

7 6 5                              +110  or +140    ids so much better than +90 or even +110

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 70

If your partner passed originally and  then they reply afterwards it is NO LONGER FORCING and Opener is off the hook in having a rebid ready so with

ª

A K J 6 4        having opened 1ª   after an initial Pass by partner when partner then

©

6 5 4               replies 2© you can now Pass as 4 is a long way off, even if responder

¨

K J 9               had a maximum Pass in the first place.

§

3 4

 

 

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  70

Not sure what to bid next then Use NMF (NEW MINOR FORCING so with

ª

K 6 4        when you open 1©  partner replies 1ª   Now  rebid 2¨  despite having only three

©

A K J 4 2     Rebidding NT without Club stopper is not totally satisfactory and using the NMF  enables          

¨

A Q 2         responder to give delayed Heart support, rebid Spades or even do a fourth suit forcing bid         

§

7 2            NB Responder can also use NMF  when he is stuck for a bid too,

 

 

 

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 70

1NT   - 3§  or 3¨ reply of course is very strong Game Forcing BUT SHOULD DENY Four or five cards Major otherwise responder could have gone the Stayman route or a transfer route first so when partner opens 1NT and you have   

ª

K 9 6 4           

©

A 2                     prefer to use Stayman here

¨

A K Q 7 5 2            

§

7                                

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 71

After an Opening bid of 2NT there are no weak take-out bids unless you are playing transfers.  So with weak hand just pass. If its a long Major you might chance you arm and bid 4ª or 4© directly

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  71

If partner makes a trial bid and you cannot help in the trial bid suit but you can still help in a suit that can be bid lower than 3 of the agreed trump suit

ª

6 4                   you reply 2© to 1©  and then partner makes trial bid of 2ª

©

K 9 4 2               rather than just going back to 3ª   Bid 3¨  on the way to show some sort of help in Diamonds

¨

A Q 2                  

§

9 87 2            

 

 

 

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 71

Partner jumps to 3ª after you open 1NT and you have

ª

K 9 6                 don't forget to make ADVANCED CUE BID and say 4¨  to show Diamond Ace and fit in spades

©

A 2                    It would be very lazy just to go 4ª  

¨

A K 5 2             Bidding 4¨  says you are very happy to have a dialogue in possible slam

§

7 5 4 3                              

 

 

  

NOVICES TIP 72

If somebody leads a 2 against a No Trump contract if it is their 4th highest then you immediately know they only have four card suit and you immediately know distribution around the table of that suit. You also know that the person on lead has a balanced hand too as his longest suit is only a four card suit.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  72

If the bidding goes 1§   3§  then much of the time if opener has a good hand they should now bid 3NT rather than go off into 5 . Who wants to make 11 tricks when 9 tricks could be so much easier  ? so on following hand having opened 1§ and received a raise to the three level now bid 3NT

ª

6 4             

©

K 9 4                take a chance that partner has a spade stopper - after all they have to have their 10-12 points somewhere don't they ?

¨

A Q 2                  

§

A K 9 8 7 2            

 

 

 

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 72

If an opponent voluntarily drops an honour then the other defender is twice as likely to have the other missing honour and using restricted choice theory you should now finesse the other player in situations like this :-

 

 

        A K 9 5

 J 8 6

                                    Q      queen falls when you play the Ace- now disregard the eight Ever nine never rule and come back to hand

 

      10 7 4 3 2                        and finesse West for missing Jack

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 73

If you are playing off a long suit from hand or dummy then from the other hand keep another long suit that might also produce winners.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  73

In 4th seat with Light Openers use the rule of 15 to encourage you to bid on the right hand and to stop you bidding light on the wrong hand where you open the door for the opposition. Add your HCPs and the number of spades you have and if the total is 15 or more GO FOR IT - if not throw the hand in

ª

A 7 5  2                                                    ª 6 5  

©

Q 9 4                Open 1C as total is    ©  Q 9 4                     throw hand in

¨

6 5                     11+3 = 15                     ¨  A J 9 8 7 2             11-2 = only 13     

§

A J 9 8 7                                               §   A 7 5  2            you do not want to give them opportunity to compete now with

 

      the Majors  (Open Door Policy)

 

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 73

You and your partner bid a Minor and the opposition overcalls in a Major. You still fancy chances of 3NT . Use DAB Directional Asking Bid ie you bid the opposition's suit looking for a stopper in that suit - if partner has the necessary stopper than can now bid 3NT.

  

NOVICES TIP 74

If in doubt bid one more especially at the two level- if you bid to the three level maybe the opponents will bid one more and be out of their comfort zone.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  74

If you are thinking of bidding on miserable 5 points think it through- If partner is going to scream at you when your hand comes down at dummy then DON'T if not then go for it (or if your hand is likely to be concealed then go for it

ª

A 10 7 5                                                                        ª A 10 9 8 6 5  

©

J 9 4                JUST PASS             BUT                    ©  9 4                    certainly bid 1ª

¨

6 5  4                   nothing going                                 ¨  3 2             very good suit and you will be ending up as declarer      

§

7 6 4               for this hand                                        §   7 5  2            if partner rebids 3NT as you will go 4ª

 

      

 

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 74

If a Minor suit has been agreed such as 1  3  then the introduction of new suit is looking for 3NT or possible slam. Partner with values in an unbid suit at three level is expected to bid that suit so you can  bid  3NT next.

you have

ª

6 4             

©

K 9 4                you open 1§ and partner goes 3§ so now bid 3 looking to partner to bid 3¨ and then you can bid 3NT

¨

A K 2                you do not really want to be in 3NT with the opponents taking the first 5 tricks in Spades do you ?  

§

A K 9 8 7              

 

 

 

 

  

NOVICES TIP 75

What should you do over the opposition's weak opening 2 or 3 Bid. Do the same as if they had opened 1 of a suit. Still make

a) sensible overcalls in a suit

b) 1NT with 16 -18 POINTS AND BALANCED (16-18 BUT OVER A PRE-EMPTIVE 3 BID MAYBE 17-19 WOULD BE BETTER)

c) Informative Double.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  75

Use the SQOT guideline for sensible overcalls- Add the Honours in the suit you are considering overcalling in plus the number of cards in that suit and the total needs to come to tricks required.

ª

A Q 7 5 2         over 1ª here 5 Spades plus two honours                           ª  7 6 4                 do not overcall 2   now                                            

©

K  9 4                = Seven - Yes OK                                                  BUT         © 8  4                   5 + 2 = 7 - NO Not OK

¨

8  4                                                                                                                      ¨ K  9 4

§

7 6 4                                                                                                                    §  A Q 7 5 2         

 

      

 

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 75

If you have strong support for opener's second suit  and not sure what to bid next use fourth suit forcing  as a means to an end

ª

A 10 7 5 2         you reply 1ª  to partner's opening bid of 1¨ and then miracle of miracles they rebid   2©                                                                   

©

K J 9 4                you should now rebid 3§  to see what partner does next

¨

A  4                         

§

7 6 4               

 

      

 

 

  

NOVICES TIP 76

To overcall 1NT you need a balanced 16-18 points so if you have any sort of balanced 13/14 or even poor 15 point hand JUST PASS.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  76

Prefer to play weak jump overcalls rather than  strong because picking up strong 16 point hands is much less likely that 6-10 point hands with six card suit and you get into the auction much more quickly and weak jumps are much more fun to play

 

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 76

Play the Gambling 3NT opening bid which shows a solid seven card Minor with no outside defensive tricks so with

ª

 5 2         Open 3NT  and be an unfriendly destructive opponent.                                                                  

©

 9 4               

¨

A  K Q J  8 6 5                         

§

7 6  

 

      

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 77

To make a pre-emptive overcall you need to make a double jump for it to be a pre-emptive bid so over 3©   then 3ª   or 4¨ or 4§ would all be deemed to be pre-emptive overcalls

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  77

After partner makes an informative double MAKE SURE you do a jump in new suit if you have 8 or more points. With 0-7 you would merely bid your best suit.

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 77

With 11 or 12 playing tricks needing partner to have specific Ace Open 4NT which says NAME THAT ACE.  so with

ª

                                          Open 4NT  - if partner has Heart Ace and bids 5© you can bid 7¨                                                                  

©

 K Q J 10                                              - if they have no Ace (5§) you can bid 6¨

¨

A  K Q J  10  6 5                                    -  and if they have two Aces (5NT reply) you can bid 7NT

§

A K

 

      

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 78

 With J976  opposite AQ108   when finessing be aware that your QJ109876 are all equal cards and that you should play the Jack or 9 and let it run . Now if the finesse works you are still in the right hand to repeat a winning finesse.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  78

If opposition opens and you have a balanced hand with 19+ points start with DOUBLE and then bid No Trumps later and partner should be able to deduce you have this number of points. With 16-18 you would have bid 1NT straight away and with less you would just have passed.

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 78

 

 When declarer leads low towards dummy's KQ10 and you are sitting over dummy with A87 duck the first round when the King wins and declarer might very well finesse your partner again for the missing Ace and  now you can put on the  Ace and maybe partner's Jack will be promoted when the cards are around the table as follows :-

                                                       KQ10

                                               J32            A87

                                                       9654

 

  

NOVICES TIP 79

 With three small cards if you are on lead try playing the MUD convention (Middle Up Down) rather than top of rubbish. So with 853 play the 5 followed by the 8. By doing that partner will know for sure when you are leading from a Doubleton and when you aren't

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  79

If opposition opens and you have a huge one suited hand (maybe 18+ points and good six card suit) start with DOUBLE and then bid your suit later and partner should be able to deduce you have this number of points. With less you would have made a mere simple overcall from the start (simple overcalls promising from 8/9 up to about 16/17).

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 79

 Looking for a queen and you have a two way finesse available, if one person has already shown considerable length in a different  suit (maybe they pre-empted or bid a suit twice or partner showed out in that suit, then they are likely to be short in your crucial suit where the finesse needs to be taken and the longer hand is twice as likely to have the Queen, so, if in doubt and for no other reason,  finesse that person for the missing Queen.

  

NOVICES TIP 80

 Remember the bidding to help you work out who has what and more often than not it can be very revealing to help you place the opponents' high cards.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  80

Somebody leads a small card against your suit contract you immediately know they don't really have a good lead- they will not hold any AK combination or other decent honour sequence.

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 80

Before committing to a play in a suit test the waters elsewhere. If a finesse in another suit is working then you may be able to take a safety play in the first suit. If it doesn't work then you may have to take a finesse in the first suit as well. 

  

NOVICES TIP 81

a) If you double their opening bid of 1NT it shows 15+ points and it is for penalties

b) if responder Doubles the 1NT overcall, this too is for Penalties and responder is showing 8+ points (opposite known 13)

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  81

About to overruff the opposition, think again and consider discarding a loser elsewhere. (A loser on Loser Play). This will often avoid the embarrassment of a trump promotion (sometimes called an uppercut)

 

ADVANCED TIP 81

You have top cards in one suit opposite a singleton but need to establish the suit, try taking one top card then ruffing a small card. The other top cards can always be enjoyed later.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 82

With two five timers in all situations, whether opening, replying or overcalling you bid the higher suit first (HIGH FIVES)

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  82

After intervention all raises of partner's suit should now be weak and pre-emptive as follows

N           E        S         W

1©      1ª       2©         should now be just 3/4 points   and

1©      1ª       3©         should be 6-9

with more use an Unassuming Cue bid  ie bid 2ª

 

ADVANCED TIP 82

When the bidding goes   1©      2§  NO NO then it is incumbent on Opener to reopen the bidding at all costs with a Double, especially if they have just one or two Hearts. Partner might just be waiting to say Double  for Penalties and you will be doing it for him.!!!!!

 

NOVICES TIP 83

A Jump in a new suit by opener is GAME FORCING and promises 18/19 points because responder is initially only promising 6 so with

ª

A Q 10 7                                        You open 1¨  and partner replies  1©                                                                 

©

K 5                                            you can now make a jump bid of 2ª and this is now Game Forcing

¨

K Q J  10  6                                     

§

A 3

 

      

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  83

Partner makes an Informative double and you have very weak hand and length in opener's suit and you are not strong enough to convert it to Penalties then under duress you will have to bid a three card suit so with

ª

8 7

©

Q 7 6                                            After 1¨  Partner Doubles you have no choice but to REACT with 1©

¨

7 6 4 3 2                                     

§

6 5 4

 

      

 

ADVANCED TIP 83

When the bidding has gone 1ª  2§  NO NO it is incumbent on Opener to reopen the auction at all costs with a DOUBLE especially if they have 1 or less clubs. Partner could easily be waiting to CONVERT your reopening Double.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 84

Unless there is a very good reason you should ALWAYS RETURN YOUR PARTNER'S SUIT (ARYPS). Partner could be getting his suit established, or partner might be getting a ruff because they have led from shortage and finally it is good for partnership morale to respect your partner's lead.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  84

ELIMINATION ELIMINATION ELIMINATION. - if you set about eliminating all side suits after drawing trumps it yields dividends more often than not and opponents will do you dirty work in the problem suit that you have avoided playing so far.

 

ADVANCED TIP 84

Try to RUFF with the WEAKER trumps and use the TOP TRUMPS for DRAWING TRUMPS

 

 

NOVICES TIP 85

You have a singleton or doubleton in the hand with fewer trumps (usually dummy) then this is clear sign to delay drawing trumps and do some ruffing in the short hand first while you have some trumps there.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  85

You have good trumps between the two hands and a good side suit that needs establishing then more often than not you will need to dislodge an opponents Ace or King in that side suit first, keeping trumps in both hands so you cannot be forced.
 

NOVICES TIP 86

After partner makes an informative double and you merely bid your best suit this shows 0-7 points only. If you have more REMEMBER to JUMP in your BEST SUIT.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  86

In the balancing seat you can BORROW a king so when the bidding goes 1♥ NO NO ? now you can bid with 3 less points (ie a King) ie you can join is with as few as 8 /9 with a suit overcall and in this position 1nT is only 10-14

 

ADVANCED TIP 86

Don't be a slave to Signals THINK FOR YOURSELF - don't stop thinking when partner signals  see Barry Westra's Bols tip don't follow partner's signals blindly http://www.haroldschogger.com/westra.htm

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 85

Defend Slams by attacking while Game contracts can be defended passively. For more pointers on this Garozzo tip see Bols Tip

www.haroldschogger.com/garrozo.htm

 

NOVICES TIP 86

After partner makes an informative double and you merely bid your best suit this shows 0-7 points only. If you have more REMEMBER to JUMP in your BEST SUIT.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  86

In the balancing seat you can BORROW a king so when the bidding goes 1♥ NO NO ? now you can bid with 3 less points (ie a King) ie you can join is with as few as 8 /9 with a suit overcall and in this position 1nT is only 10-14

 

ADVANCED TIP 86

Don't be a slave to Signals THINK FOR YOURSELF - don't stop thinking when partner signals  see Barry Westra's Bols tip don't follow partner's signals blindly http://www.haroldschogger.com/westra.htm

 

NOVICES TIP 87

In Acol the bidding sequence 1♣  1NT   shows 8-10 balanced 4333 shape with 4 clubs whereas 1♣   2♣  shows 6-9 points and bit more shape maybe 4432 or 5422

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  87

After partner has made an informative Double and you have 8 or more points remember to JUMP BID in your suit (see tip 86).

 

ADVANCED TIP 87

Once the opponents have opened with a weak 2 or a weak 3 if you overcall then you cannot pre-empt too. All your bids should be up to scratch. You can't pre-empt a pre-emptor

 

NOVICES TIP 88

When you DEFEND you must COUNT YOUR WINNERS and potential winners in the same way you would do so as declarer and then you can try and work out how to obtain extra tricks to defeat your opponents.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  88

Not sure what to play next then hold up your Ace to enable partner to signal when he cannot follow suit

 

ADVANCED TIP 88

If you have an overwhelming amount of trumps in one hand then look for a trump reduction play to generate an extra trick particularly if you are unable to finesse an opponent's trump Queen or King.

 

NOVICES TIP 89

Analyze partner's Opening Lead :-

i) Is it a possible singleton  ii) Is it top of a Doubleton  iii) Is it top of a Sequence

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  89

When both you and your partner has bid a suit a Double of 3NT demands the suit bid by your partner to be led.

 

ADVANCED TIP 89

A defender with trumps (maybe 4 or more) should not attempt to shorten his trumps. In fact he should try and shorten declarer's trumps by leading and persevering with his long suit as much as he can.

 

NOVICES TIP 90

When the bidding goes

W       N      E     S

1♥     NO   2♥  NO

 NO    ?    and it comes back to you COMPETE- bid something  and push the opponents up - double or bid 2ª

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  90

As PARTNER of the INFORMATIVE DOUBLER adopt RESPONSIVE DOUBLES into your repertoire as follows

W       N      E     S     South 's Double shows a hand like  ª  K753    whereby you are happy to play in either

1♦     DBL   2♦  DBL                                                                ♥  K854      Major

                                                                                                 ♦  1053

                                                                                                 ♣  J8                                                         

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 90

Not sure what to discard  throw away what you don't want and woe betide the partner who gets in and plays that suit back J

 

NOVICES TIP 91

If you have a five or six card suit headed by a no card higher than a 9 then against No Trump contracts lead second highest rather than 4th highest. If you adopt second highest leads from "bad" suits then partner will know when to switch if there is no future in the suit that has been led.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  91

If your partner, the other defender, plays the cards in an abnormal way then he is trying to send you a MESSAGE and usually the message will be a suit preference signal to tell you what to switch to next        

 

ADVANCED TIP 91

After an Opening bid of 4ª  Double should be for penalties and 4NT should be Take-out  but over other 4 Openers Double should be take-out - if agreed you and your partner might ;like to p;lay it the other way around but you do need to agree it beforehand.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 92

Lead top card from a Doubleton but from three small cards play MUD (Middle Up Down) and then partner will be in a position to know whether you will be able to ruff the third round or not when its a doubleton.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  92

There is much to be gained from bids that aren't made as bids that are made especially about the distribution. If your partner doesn't support your major immediately but subsequently supports it then you know THEY ONLY HAVE THREE otherwise they would have made a different bid earlier in the auction and supported straight away. Other such inferences can be made a long the way (       

 

ADVANCED TIP 92

Doubles of freely bid slams and 3NT contracts should be LIGHTNER DOUBLES calling for an unusual lead- if you think you can defeat the contract by one trick any way and do not  want an unusual lead then don't double otherwise partner will lead the wrong suit and the contract might still make. (No good being greedy for one trick)

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 93

Upgrade hands with 10s and 9s and downgrade hands with 2s and 3s. K542  is not as good a suit as K1098 is it ?

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  93

Don't Open sub minimum hands in 3rd seat unless you want that suit led 

it is ok to open  1 with  ª AQ984                but not with      ª  J8643

                                        ♥  K63                                               ♥   A94

                                        ♦  32                                                  ♦   K64

                                        ♣ 542                                                ♣   Q8

 

ADVANCED TIP 93

If as a Passed hand you jump in a new suit this says I have a FIT in YOUR SUIT  and a fairly reasonable hand that was almost an Opener in first place.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 94

If 3NT is a possible contract then bid it. This piece of advice  was coined by Bob Hamman the world's No 1 player

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  94

Adopt 5 Card Stayman over 1NT openers (as well as 2NT Openers) because so many people now Open 1NT with a five card Major and by doing this you will be able to find all those 5:3 fits fairly quickly

 

ADVANCED TIP 94

As partner of the overcaller (the advancer), adopt COMPETITIVE DOUBLES to show good values and interest in the remaining suits especially if responder has only just given a mediocre weak reply in Opener's suit in situations like this :-

    N     E         S        W

   1♥     2 ♦     2♥      DBL    Double will now show 8+ points and interest in Spades and clubs, the unbid suit

 

NOVICES TIP 95

Try Passing with 18 points if the bidding has gone 1ª  - 2♣  by the opponents as you can alreeady account for 21 points from the opponents' bidding so partner has 2 or less.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  95

In IMPS or Teasm play take safety plays but in MPS where every overtrick is vital throw caution to the wind. With AKQJ43 opposite 72 needing five tricks and no entry to the loing hand play a low card from each hand to cater for 50 break but playing MPS go for broke and play from the top expecting the more normal 3:2 or 4:1 break.

 

ADVANCED TIP 95

As dealer try and Open the bidding especially if you want a suit led

ª

A 10 6

 

ª

Q J 10

   

©

 8

or     

©

K J 9 5 4

   

¨

 K 9 3

 

¨

A 8 7 6

   

§

 K J 9 8 6 2 

 

§

10

In Rixi Marcus' Bols Tips she  says as dealer, both these  hands should be opened

http://www.haroldschogger.com/markus.htm

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 96

Use the rule of 14 to help you bid in a lower ranking suit at the 2 level. You add your HCPs plus your longest suit and if the total is 14 or more then you may bid that suit. You can also hear my dulcet tones explaining the rule of 14 by going to www.haroldschogger.com/teachingmovies.htm

If the total is less than 14 Use the DUSTBIN bid response and say 1NT

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  96

In a basic sequence if the bidding goes 1©  - 2NT it shows 11-12 points and if it goes 1© - 3NT it shows 13-15 . If you go around the houses and show another suit on the way but come to the SAME FINAL BID it means the same so  1©   -   1ª        or      1©     -     1ª

                                                                                                                                                                             2§     - 2NT               2 §    -   3NT

                                                                                                                                     it still shows                11/12 here              and    13-15 here

I call it Theory of Final Destination and can be applied in other situations where you bid in new suit and then jump to 3 level in partner's suit to still show 10-12 points (but no 4 card support)

 

ADVANCED TIP 96

Playing 5 card Majors even if you have a fit in the Major with 4333 hand you can still sometimes rebid 2NT or 3NT as there might be no advantage to being in No Trump.
 

NOVICES TIP 97

Needing 4 tricks out of 5 with AQ73  opposite 98642  do NOT take an immediate finesse. Play Ace and then low towards the Queen just in case the cards are like this :

            AQ73

J105                         K

            98642               if you commit to an immediate finesse you will lose 2 tricks in the suit

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  97

Be aware of Misfitting hands and drop the auction as soon as possible With

ª

K Q J 9 7 3

   

 

   

©

 

      

 

   

¨

 J105

   

 

   

§

  A J 10 5

   

 

  rebid 2ª when  partner replies 2©     and if partner should then bid 3© be prepared to Pass with such a horrid Misfit

 

ADVANCED TIP 97

In desperate situations don't telegraph your problem  to the opponents or they will punish you with a double or bid and find their best contract, If you are really courageous with

ª

J 5

   

 

   

©

 4 3

    

 

 

   

¨

 Q 6 5 4 3 2

   

 

   

§

  8 7 2 

   

 

  reply 3NT immediately to partner's 1NT (weak)

Last person will find it hard to double or compete with 14 points J

see Jeremy Flint's Bols Tip Don't Cry Before you are hurt  http://www.haroldschogger.com/flint.htm

 

 

NOVICES TIP 98

Upgrade long suits with Honours  and downgrade doubleton Queens and Jack so Q765   is much better than  Q5 when assessing the suit.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  98

Short of entries to dummy to your long suit DUCK so with A876 5 opposite 432   you might need to duck twice here retaining the Ace as your entry

 

ADVANCED TIP 98

Instead of overruffing try discarding a loser elsewhere and then  set up your ruff in a different  suit later.

a) you cut down the risk of a trump promotion

b) you keep control of thee trump suit

 

 

NOVICES TIP 99

Shortage points only kick in if you have four card support for partner's suit a FIT. This can be as a direct response or as Opener's rebid once partner has introduces a suit in which he has support. Now opener can re-evaluate his hand and count extra points for voids, singletons and doubletons. Harold hates shortages the rest of the time and would prefer it if people told him that they had two five cards suits or a six card suit and a four card suit. Having a void or singleton is not the core strength of most hands.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  99

If your partner in 4th seat protects and you have a good 10+ points DO NOT GET EXCITED. When partner is protecting he is bidding in the knowledge that you have these points so DO NOT PUNISH him for protecting. You will not be popular if you do so (

 

ADVANCED TIP 99

 Partner makes a trial bid of 2ª  over the sequence 1©  2©

if you cannot help in the Trial Bid suit you should of course retreat to 3 of the agreed suit BUT IF you can show some other feature that is less than 3 of the agreed suit then attempt to show it so

ª

10 5

 

ª

9 4

   

©

 Q 8 6 5

or     

©

K J 9 5

   

¨

 Q 9 3

 

¨

A 8 7 6

   

§

 K J 4 2 

 

§

10 3 2

  Now bid 3§     now bid 3¨

 

  

NOVICES TIP 100

Needing only 4 tricks from this combination AKQ54  opposite 762 and a shortage of entries to the long hand you should duck a round and then you can accommodate an unfriendly 4:1 break

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  100

If you play transfers and want to do a weakness take-out into a Minor Suit then you really need to have Six card suit rather than just 5. The reason for this is because you will now be playing at the three level instead of the 1 level

 

ADVANCED TIP 100

 Avoid 2NT reply showing 11/12 points balanced as its a horrid stifling reply. Adopt Jacoby 2NT reply  which shows a good hand and a fit and asks partner to to show shortage.
 

NOVICES TIP 101

Partner opens 1NT and you have 10 points then JUST PASS- if you were to bid 2NT that would be an invitation to partner to bid 3NT with a maximum hand and your partnership would not have enough points to make 9 tricks

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  101

With AXX  opposite XX   consider ducking in this suit to maintain the Ace as an entry when you really need it.

 

ADVANCED TIP 101

 In 4th seat with 17/18 points PASS when the bidding comes around to you 1   NO    2♣   ?   as you know opener has 13 points and responder has good 8+ points so your partner has Ziltch- can you remember to say No0 Bid under these circumstances

  

NOVICES TIP 102

33 points is enough for 6NT so if your partner opens 1Nt (12-14 points) and you have 21 then without any scientific frills you should bid 6NT straight away no messing.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  102

Needing three tricks from the following combination

                                                        A2     opposite J10643

 

Play Ace and a low one from both hands and you will always be OK if the suit breaks 33  or one of the opponents has KingDoubleton or Queen Doubleton

 

ADVANCED TIP 102

 If you can give declarer enough rope he might hang himself- so with J105  in dummy you see 962 drop the J10 and if declarer has AKQ2 in closed hand he might think the suit is breaking badly and play low to the 9 and waste an entry unnecessarily. For more details on this tip and the whole hand where declarer goes wrong see "Give Declarer Enough Rope by Tim Seres"  www.haroldschogger.com/timseres.htm

 

 

NOVICES TIP 103

If you know that you have a NINE CARD TRUMP FIT then add one extra point to your hand regardless- UPGRADE IT- if partner were to raise your bid to the three level and you started off with 5 when you only promised 4 then you know you have a nine card fit or If you are playing 5 card Majors and you started off with six, again you would know that a nine card fit has been found.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  103

If you jump rebid in your original suit 1♥  then 3♥  this shows 6/7 playing tricks or 6 loser hand but if responder is minimum they can now Pass. The JUMP REBID in SAME SUIT is NOT FORCING

 

ADVANCED TIP 103

 You are not sure what to bid after there has been intervention over your partner's Opener then NEGATIVE DOUBLE is probably the answer so if the bidding goes
N E S W

 

 

1♣

1

?

 

 

 

and you, North,  have

Q 7 6 2

A K 6 5

5 4

A   8

 

bidding in a new suit is unlimited and forcing and so is a Negative Double.

 

 

 

  

NOVICES TIP 104

With 

A K 7

A K 6 5 3 2

Q 5 4 

8

Don't just  fall in love with your Hearts Remember to DOUBLE their weak 1NT to show any 15 point hand

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  104

Use the Law of Total Tricks to upset the Opposition once partner overcalls. No Matter how many points.

if you have 3 card support now know you have guaranteed 8 trumps between you so raise to level of fit and bid 2 of overcaller suit

if you have 4 card support now know you have guaranteed 9 trumps between you so raise to level of fit and bid 3 of overcaller suit

if you have 5 card support now know you have guaranteed 10 trumps between you so raise to level of fit and bid 4 of overcaller suit

(With a good fit and good hand see next tip below)

 

ADVANCED TIP 104

 

If partner Overcalls and you have good fit and 10 or more points then use UCBS  Unassuming Cue Bids so with

Q 7 6 

8 2

A K 7 4 3

K  9 8

 

bid 2  when partner has overcalled their 1  bid with 1 .

The corollary of this is that if you actually raise partner's suit you will be weak -  see Intermediate Tip 104 above

 

NOVICES TIP 105

If you have sufficient winners in the non trump suits then you should draw trumps straight away even if you don't hold the top one - you don't want the opponents trumping those outside winners do you ? L

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  105

On every hand no matter whether its in No Trumps or a Trump Contract Count both winners and losers.

 

ADVANCED TIP 105

 

Choice between a ruffing finesse and a simple finesse most of the time its correct to go with ruffing finesse because even if its wrong you are ditching a loser  from the other hand. Also when considering a ruffing finesse and simple finesse you should check who is the safe hand and who is the danger hand when doing so.

  

NOVICES TIP 106

If you need to establish a side suit you might need to keep trumps as entries so do not be in hurry to draw trumps under these circumstances.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  106

If your partner rebids 4ª or  4♥ or 3NT over your 1 level change of suit reply this rebid shows a very strong 18/19 points as you have only promised 6 points. Therefore it is not a closing bid and if you have a good hand you can now BID ON if you want to do so.

 

ADVANCED TIP 106

If you have a good hand and partner has bid 2 suits do not just give support for the second suit  create a forcing bid of some sort- best way to do this most of the time is to bid Fourth Suit Forcing.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 107

You only have 4 trumps in the long hand and three in dummy and the opposition force you to ruff. Consider discarding a loser instead and you might not lose control of the trump suit.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  107

In the 4th seat you do not need to have a good quality suit to protect, With

ª109543              bid 1ª   in 4th seat after there

92                     has been an Opening bid of 1♥

KJ7

♣ AQ5

 

ADVANCED TIP 107

If you want to play simple two suited overcall over their 1♣  Opening bid then you could try TRUSCOTT defence to 1♣ where each suit bid shows that suit and the suit above it and it works like this

1 = Diamonds and Hearts

1 =  Hearts and Spades

1ª = Spades and Clubs

2♣ = Clubs and Diamonds    

with all other bids being weak Jump overcalls

 

 

NOVICES TIP 108

Once you run out of a suit don't making a sweeping gesture and change your hand so its still red black red black as everybody will know you have run out of a suit J

 

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  108

With an outside suit of QJ1095  opposite void don't try to ruff ouyt this whole suit do a "ruffing finesse" and eventually you can establish the 109

 

ADVANCED TIP 108

With K54  opposite 632     or

        Q54   opposite 632  

  arrange to be last person to play and not the second with either your King or Queen. This is known as an avoidance play. You need to let the lead come all the way around to your king or Queen to give it some chance of making.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 109

Against a 3NT contract with a choice of two leads (from 4 card suits) prefer to lead a Major suit (they didn't bid Majors or Stayman or Transfer) as partner might be able to help more easily  in that suit to establish it

 

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  109

Be eager to shorten declarer in the long hand . If declarer has to trump in sooner than he wishes he could easily lose control of the trump suit. This is particularly effective at trick one when you have 4 trumps and you lead from your other long suit rather than leading from shortage. This is sometimes known as "long in Trump Lead Length".

 

ADVANCED TIP 109

A Reverse is forcing for one round and cannot be Passed. However bad your hand is, you must either give preference to partner's first suit, raise partner's second suit, repeat your suit or bid NT with a sub minimum hand, but you cannot Pass.

  

NOVICES TIP 110

With 6:4 shape prefer to show the 4 card suit as your rebid rather than repeat the six card suit, especially if it is a Major, so with

A J 9 6 5 3             open 1   and plan to rebid 2

K Q 3 2

5 4 

8

 

 

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  110

A Redouble after your partner opens the bidding shows the BALANCE OF POWER 8/9+ points. and no support for Opener's Suit, and a willingness to eventually make Penalty Doubles.

 

ADVANCED TIP 110

If the opponents come in on your auction, and you would still like to be in No Trumps and are worried about their suit use DAB (Directional Asking Bid) by bidding their suit asking partner to bid No Trumps with at least QXX  or JXX  in the opposition's suit as you have half a stopper yourself.

  

NOVICES TIP 111

Use the Michaels and Unusual No Trump convention only with weak hands 6-10 points or very strong Hands (17+). Partner will be able to gauge how strong you are by your next bid. If you are weak you will probably drop the auction and if you are strong you will carry on bidding.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  111

If you have intermediate values and 6:5 shape do not use Michaels or UNT as partner will not be able to judge how far to go so with

 3             Initially overcall 2  when they open 1  or 1  

 2

A J 9 8 6 3 

K Q J 5 4

 

ADVANCED TIP 111

When using the 4th suit forcing convention prefer to bid out your distribution rather than bidding NT, just because you have stopper in the 4th suit so with

A Q 6 4 2         after the bidding has gone

Q 2                 1♠      2♣              

K Q 9 4 2       2       2

2                       prefer to bid 3 showing 5:5 shape

                       rather than 2NT just because you have ♥Q

 

  

NOVICES TIP 112

Once there has been an Opening Bid and an Informative Double there is realistically speaking only 14 points between the other two players so bid accordingly. Most of the time you and partner will just play in a part-score.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  112

Over their Opening 2♠ or 3♠ bids   OVERCALL in the same way that you would have done over their 1♠  Opening bids.

a) Still make suit overcalls with good qualoty suits, slightly more points now as you are bidding at the 3 and 4 level.

b) Still overcall No Trumps at the appropriate level to show 16-18 points balanced.

c) Still make Informative Doubles with liking for the unbid suits or any 18+ point hand.

 

ADVANCED TIP 112

In 3rd and 4th seats after partner has Passed you can pre-empt  4 of a MAJOR suit with a good hand if you no longer think Slam is possible.

 

NOVICES TIP 113

If you have AQ10 opposite 543 and you need 3 tricks then you have to commit to an immediate Double finesse and lead the 3 and when next player plays low play that 10 (and hope for the best) and hope that 2nd player had both the missing Jack and King.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  113

With AK943  opposite Q82  needing 4 tricks and to guard against a 5:0 bad break play a low card from either hand and then finesse the 8 or 9

 

ADVANCED TIP 113

If there is a choice between taking a finesse (50% chance) or playing for a dummy reversal - needing their trumps to break 3:2 (68% chance) - then take the dummy reversal line for your extra trick.
 

NOVICES TIP 114

One covers an honour with an honour IF YOU CAN PROMOTE SOMETHING FOR YOURSELF OR POSSIBLY PARTNER. If declarer leads queen from table and there is QJ1054 then DON’T COVER.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  114

If you have Ace   opposite K876   and need to take a ruff in this suit, take your ruff early, you can always enjoy the King later.

 

ADVANCED TIP 114

Once the auction is underway what suit do you bid next with these 4441 hands- bid the suits up the line. 

  

NOVICES TIP 115

Take the pressure off partner and bid Game in your long suit rather than pussyfooting around.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  115

With very strong 18/19 point 4441 hands bid slowly otherwsie you will not find the right strain- you might even get to a fit in your third suit if you bid it.

 

ADVANCED TIP 115

In a competitive auction whereby you have decided to take a sacrifice, if you want a different suit led to the one that you are both bidding then bit in on the way if you can bid 5♣  before going on to 5♥ (the agreed common suit)  if Clubs is the suit you want led.

 

NOVICES TIP 116

Opening 1NT and 1ª  is good for your bridge health as these bids are pre-emptive, preventing the opposition from making a bid at the 1 level should they wish to compete.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  116

With Misfitting hands bid slowly and let the opponents join in. Maybe they will be the wrong end of the misfitting hands and go off instead of you and partner.

 

ADVANCED TIP 116

When they Double you try and alternative another contract might be better. Don't lie Down and Die (see Paul Marston Bols Tip "Take the Hint")
 

NOVICES TIP 117

As declarer, ensure that there is at least one entry remaining in the weak hand where you want to establish the long suit.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  117

A simple finesse is 50% and a suit breaking 3:2 is 68% so if your contract can be brought in only  by establishing a suit that needs a suit to break 3;2  tehn go after this suit rather than rely on the 50% finesse chance. If the suit breaks badly you can still do your finesse but if you have put all your eggs in the finessing bag straight away it will be too late J

 

ADVANCED TIP 117

With a two way finesse available with A1054  opposite KJ32 lead the Jack from the closed hand and see if you can tempt a cover from the opposition.
 

NOVICES TIP 118

With a hand like this

ª

 A Q 5 4 2           bidding 1NT is good to protect your AQ tenace in Spades and your KJ

©

  K J 7                  tenace in Hearts  with the lead coming around to you if the contract

¨

 5 4                      ends up in No Trump

§

Q 5 4

 

 

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  118

Support with three card support and ruffing values so with

ª

 5 4 3          it is correct to reply 2ª   to partner's 1ª opener rather than an inferior incorrect 1NT reply

©

 3 2                          (NB you have wonderful ruffing values in Hearts)

¨

 Q 7 5 3 

§

 K Q 6 5

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 118

If you have already made a limit bid DO NOT BID AGAIN - thats completely undisciplined- leave it up to partner
 

NOVICES TIP 119

Once the auction is underway with two four card suits you bid up the line- you bid the suit that is available first so with

ª

 A 2               you reply 2¨   when partner has opened 1ª   because Diamonds comes first up

©

 A K J 7        the line         

¨

 Q 5 4 2           (NB If you incorrectly reply 2© partner will think you have five)           

§

 9 5 4

 

 

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  119

To support Opener's second suit you NEED TO HAVE FOUR CARD SUPPORT  because opener's suit might only be four

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 119

Because so many players are now playing wide ranging 2NT rebids to show 17-19 points and they might have opened 2NT with 20 then a rebid of 3NT to show a traditionally Balanced 19 points is almost redundant therefore it is recommended that after a sequence 1§ -  1©  a rebid of 3NT should be on a hand with a long Minor and a great source of tricks  such as

ª

 K J 5       

©

 7 3 

¨

 K 7

§

 A K J 8 7 5

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 120

As a Defender 2nd hand generally pays low except for the following "obvious"  and "less obvious" situations :;-

1. To take the setting trick- don't get caught napping

2. To quickly grab the lead to give partner a ruff.

3. To take a trick that might disappear- you have K54   an dummy has Q7   and declarer leads low from closed hand

4. Preserve a possible entry to partner's hand, the other defender.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  120

Don't lead a singleton trump as its sure to destroy any holding partner might have - partner might have J765   or Q76

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 120

If you think partner has led from shortage, maybe a Doubleton don't rush to go in with your Ace. If you wait one round and partner plays the suit again now you can take the Ace and now give him his ruff.
 

NOVICES TIP 121

If partner has not yet made a bid then all low level Doubles should be INFORMATIVE. If you Open 1 of a suit and opposition intervenes and partner Passes when you come back with a Double it is still informative as in following situation :-

ª

6

©

Q 9 8 5

¨

A K J 9  5

§

K 5 3

N

E

S

W

1 ¨

1ª

NO

NO

DBL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  121

Once either member of the partnership has made any sort of limit bid then all Doubles thereafter against the opposition's intervention should be treated as Penalty for Blood.

 

ADVANCED TIP 121

VERY occasionally you can overcall at the One Level with a four card suit if the suit is headed by AKQ   or KQJ - it would meet the Suit Quality Test (honours plus cards in suit need to equal tricks required ie 4+3 =7) and would suggest a good lead to partner. What you lack in length you certainly make up for in quality,

 

NOVICES TIP 122

Do not bid a new suit when you have a Major suit fit and a perfect limit bid available so with

ª

9 8 4 2          reply 3ª     immediately and don't even dream of bidding 2¨

©

7 2

¨

A KQ 4

§

J 3 2

 

 

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  122

If the bidding goes 1ª  - 2©   reply and now opener rebids 2NT or 3NT responder knows partner cannot have more than 2 Hearts otherwise he should have supported Hearts straight away

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 122

Don't be Afraid to respond     Bid 1ª  with

ª

Q J 10 9 5           and watch how Stansby and Martel kept the opponents out of a cold 3NT contract

©

10 7                     for more details see Mark Horton's Bols tip "Don't be afraid to compete"

¨

5 4 3                     www.haroldschogger.com/mark_horton.htm

§

10 6 2

 

NOVICES TIP 123

With four card support for a minor but your own four card Major introduce your 4 card Major  so with

ª

Q 8 4 2          reply 1ª  when partner opens 1¨    and you could always support with  3¨ later if need be

©

7 2

¨

A K 9 4

§

J 3 2

 

 

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  123

If the bidding goes 1ª  - 2♣   reply and now opener rebids 2 and  responder the rebids  2NT or 3NT you know responder has no more than 2 Spades otherwise responder would now be giving delayed support to the known five card Spade suit.

 

ADVANCED TIP 123

If you want to win the first trick and partner has bid and you have K62 in partner's suit lead the unsupported  King and hope partner has the Ace

 

 

NOVICES TIP 124

The key to good informative doubles is Shape not High Card Points

ª

K Q 4 2          Double 1©  here   but  just Pass with this  ª K Q 9 4

©

7                                                                                                     © A 6 4

¨

A J 9 4                                                                                           ¨ K 9 4

§

J 8 3 2                                                                                             § J 4 2

 

 

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  124

Unless you have a huge hand, do not make an Informative Double with shortness in an unbid Major- if you have shortness then you will have a five card suit in a Minor, that you can bid  won't you ? J

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 124

If in Doubt, at all costs, Try to re-open auctions with a Double just in case partner is lurking with a Penalty Double in situations like this

ª

A K 9 8 6 3

©

Q 9 8  

¨

K J 9 

§

 5 3

N

E

S

W

1 ª

2§

NO

NO

DBL

rather than just repeating 2ª 

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 125

In the 4th Seat (sometimes known as the Pass-Out Seat or Protective Seat) 2NT shows 19-21 points balanced in situations like this :-

N       E        S      W

1¨    NO    NO   2NT

 

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  125

If you Open 4 or 5 of a suit this is still, a Pre-empt and will show an eight or nine card suit with no outside values, sometimes called a stronger pre-empt but possibly even more damaging to the opposition  so with

ª

A K Q 9 8 6 5 3     Open 4ª

©

9 8  

¨

§

 5 3

and with

ª

 3                             Open a Menacing 5¨

©

9 8  

¨

A Q J 9  8 7 6 5 4

§

 5

 

ADVANCED TIP 125

After a 2§ Opener, if partner makes any sort of positive bid then slam is likely and thereafter you should BID SLOWLY to get the best out of your auction. You only bid quickly when you know where the hand is going

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 126

If you are playing weak No Trump and have 5332 shape including a five card Major you should open 1NT so with

ª

A  Q 9       Open 1NT  and you will not have rebid problems

©

Q J 9 8  5

¨

K 5

§

 5 4 2

However if you have full bloodied 14 points plus five card suit NOW UPGRADE the hand and treat it like a FIFTEEN COUNT

ª

5 4                             Open 1©   ready to rebid 1NT if partner replies 1ª

©

Q J 9 8 5  

¨

A J 9 

§

 A Q 9

                      

 

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  126

When responding, when  should you prefer to bid a Major rather than a longer Minor ? If you have 10 or more points and five clubs and 4 spades reply 2§,  your longer suit. However if you have only 7/8 points and five clubs and 4 spades now YOU HAVE TO reply 1ª  as you are not strong enough to go to the two level.

 

ADVANCED TIP 126

You are involved in a very competitive auction and are about to take a save in against their 4ª contract but you want a Diamond led then bid 5¨ on the way, as a lead directing action, just in case the opposition do in fact take the push to 5ª

 

 

NOVICES TIP 127

You are in 4th position and by the time the bidding gets to you it has gone    1¨ NO 1ª     ?

if you now Double it says  I have Opening bid values and I like the two remaining suits so you could Double with

ª

A  9        

©

Q J 9 8  

¨

7 5

§

 A J 5 4 2

                      

 

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  127

Lead an Ace when the opponents had an exploratory auction looking fior 3NT and then avoided bidding it.

 

ADVANCED TIP 127

An essential key to competitive bidding is for the hand with shortness in the opponents suit to take action and either Double or id a suit rather that passively Passing,

 

 

NOVICES TIP 128

Any sign of a  Misfit drop the auction as soon as possible. 

Signs of a Misfit :-

1. Partner bids a suit and you have singleton in that suit.

2. The opponents bid a suit and you have that suit.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  128

Play the Gambling 3NT convention which shows a long solid Minor suit. a pre-empt on hands like this

ª

10  9       

©

 5                                      Most of the time partner will bid 4§   and you will leave it if Clubs is your suit but bid 4¨ if it is Diamonds.

¨

6 5                                    Partner should only leave it in with stoppers in three suits.

§

 A K Q J 7 5 4 2

 

ADVANCED TIP 128

Playing MP Pairs, Partner offers you two suits, sometimes you will have to give false preference to the Major suit rather than playing in a possible 4:3 fit       so with, especially as the Major suit scores better

ª

9 5                               after bidding has gone   1ª    NO     1NT   NO

©

5 3 2                                                                         2¨       NO         ?           you must now bid 2ª   just about  preferring to play in 5:2 Spade fit

¨ Q J 5

§

 K  J 7 5 4

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 129

Partner opens 2§  and you have   balanced hand with 8 or more points reply 2NT straight away and partner will know you are making a positive bid and that you are balanced (very precise information in one go)

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  129

If you have a fit and a huge hand between you, more often than not, it is safer to play in 7NT than 7 of a suit especially if you can count 13 tricks  as nobody can ruff the first trick. Also playing MPS it scores better, assuming that most people will be bidding the Grand Slam (which can be a very dangerous assumption when it comes to bidding Grand Slams J)

 

ADVANCED TIP 129

If you are playing transfers and a weak No Trump consider breaking transfers in the following manner after 2  and 2 transfer (with your regular partner after a full discussion) :-

a) with a Fit and a minimum hand rasei the agreed suit to the three level pre-emptively

b) with a fit and a Maximum hnad and 4333  bid 2NT

c) with a fit and 4432 bid 3 of your Doubleton and partner can then judge where the best contract will be.

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 130

You really do need to have 6 points to reply and you should not take a chance on 5 points unless it is perhaps accompanied by a six card Major. If you take a chance on 5 points and your partner, opener now jumps to 3NT he is going to be very cross when you only put down 5 points. He has jumped to 3NT with a balanced 19 point hand expecting at least 6 from you and you must not disappoint him

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  130

If the opponents are in a strange contract that is likely to give them a top go onto the attack ands switch and try and find partner even if it gives away overtricks.

 

ADVANCED TIP 130

Don't give the correct count in a suit if you think it will be helping declarer more than it will help partner- weigh up you opponent. So with K762   play the 2 (normal count showing odd) if your method is count and you think declarer is watching hard.

 

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 131

When you first get your hand take a MENTAL PHOTOGRAPH of the DISTRIBUTION . If you do this and then start to play the hand out and forget what has gone you can work backwards and suddenly remember that you started with 5 Hearts. If you only have 2 left then it must mean you have drawn 3 rounds and so on.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  131

If  your partner has made an INFORMATIVE DOUBLE and you have 12 points then you have almost the maximum hand possible for the last player then the STRONGEST BID, you can make, is to CUE BID Opener's suit. You actually bid the same suit as the Opener and this is message to partner that you are exceedingly strong and want to make a Game forcing bid

 

ADVANCED TIP 131

Your partner makes a Lead of an Ace and in dummy there is a singleton, when you follow suit at trick one make sure you play a SUIT PREFERENCE SIGNAL on partner's lead. There is no point in encouraging or discouraging. There is no point in giving the count. BUT there is a lot of point in saying what suit your partner should switch to at trick 2. If you follow with a lowish card you want the lowest suit (excluding the trump) and if you  follow with a highish card you want the higher suit again barring the trump suit.

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 132

With A54  opposite Q32   the correct way to finesse is to lead up to the card (from the other hand\) you are trying to promote. Here you are trying to promote the Queen so lead the 4 towards the Queen hoping next player has the missing King. DO NOT start by playing the queen as there is no mileage in that play at all.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  132

If you have a choice between a limit bid of any description and a non limited bid ALWAYS take the limit bid option. In fact there would be no choice as the limit bid option wins hands down so with

ª

9 8 4 2          reply 3ª  when partner opens 1ª    and do not even dream of bidding  2¨

©

7 2

¨

A K 9 4

§

K 3 2

 

ADVANCED TIP 132

Looking for the opponents Queen and not sure which way to finesse in a situation like this :- (2 way finesse)

                  ??????

AJ1054    opposite K932

                 ????????

 where you can finesse either player for the missing Queen then try playing a Jack from the closed hand.

Since so many people cover honours with honours even when they shouldn't  if the Queen appears (great) and if it doesn't go up with the King and finesse on the way back the other opponent - More on this from Zia's Tip If they dont cover

 

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 133

Be aware of the Barrier Principle and it works like this :-

If you open 1§  then your barrier bid is 2§          If you open 1¨  then your barrier bid is 2¨

If you open 1©  then your barrier bid is 2©          If you open 1ª  then your barrier bid is 2ª

so if you Open the bidding and then BID BEYOND YOUR BARRIER BID next time around you are showing a better than minimum hand, generally at least 15/16 points, a hand that you can control the auction to the three level. This is usually referred to as a Reverse bid, but Barrier bid principle is an easier way to understand it.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  133

Don't forget to give preference when partner offers you two suits in a situation like this :-

ª

5 4 2          reply 1NT after  opens 1ª    but when partner now rebids 2©  don't forget to show preference back to 2ª

©

Q 7 2

¨

A 9 4

§

AJ 8 3 2

 

ADVANCED TIP 133

A short suit lead is a good lead if you have trump control such as A65  in the trump suit.

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 134

If partner makes a mistake if you can stay calm you could still save the day - be calm  see Lawrence tip on Ecstasy

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  134

Don't Lead a singleton against a trump contract when you have a relatively good hand because its wishful thinking to think that partner can grab the lead and give you a ruff  if he cannot have any points.

 

ADVANCED TIP 134

If you make a Weak two in Spades against their 4© contract,with the following hand, and want to indicate what you want played next try making a suit Preference signal with your initial lead

ª

K J  8 6 4 2        lead  ª2 to ask for a Club Switch, if you had wanted Diamonds you would lead the ª8

©

Q7 2

¨

6 4

§

A Q 2

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 135

If nothing else appeals, leading the Ace in partner's bid suit is most acceptable. In all post mortems you will always win if you lead partner's suit. If it turns out badly, blame partner for overcalling on bad quality suits J

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  135

Playing Match Points Bridge where every overtrick or every undertrick is vital, make a PASSIVE LEAD.

 

ADVANCED TIP 135

Whenever declarer appears to have no more losers remaining in the side suits (suits other than trumps) then the defenders should try and create an extra trick from an UPPERCUT (trump promotion) if there is any chance of defeating the contract.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 136

In Blackwood if you are not sure what the agreed suit is for trumps then it is the last bid suit before Blackwood was initiated so in the auction

1ª       2

2      4NT       4NT is Blackwood and Hearts is now understood to be the agreed common suit

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  136

To differentiate between 95     and 952  when leading lead adopt the following

9 (Top of doubleton) from 95    and lead 5 ( MUD-Middle Up Down)    NB MUD can only be from three cards without an Honour (nothing higher than the 9)

 

ADVANCED TIP 136

Your partner leads an Ace and in dummy there is a singleton remember to give a suit preference signal at trick one on the first trick.

 So if partner leads the Heart Ace against 4ª  if you  hold

ª

9  2          Play the 9 to say you want partner to switch to a Diamond

©

9 7 2

¨

A K 9 4

§

7 5 3 2

 

 

NOVICES TIP 137

Don't leave a Bare King or Queen on the table (its rude J) if the opponents lead a suit against  your 3NT contract.

In dummy you have Q6  and in your hand you have K32- go up with dummy's Queen and hope the opponent has led from the Ace. In this way your K3 left in your hand is still some sort of guard- it is protected.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  137

Only count SHORTAGE POINTS if you have a FIT with partner

 

ADVANCED TIP 137

If you do an immediate DOUBLE JUMP CUE BID of the Opponents' Suit it is saying I have great source of tricks PLEASE BID 3NT if you have stopper in Opener's suit            so with

ª

9  2          Overcall 3ª  when the opposition Opens 1ª

©

A 6

¨

A K Q J 9 6 5

§

K 4

 

NOVICES TIP 138

Partner Opens 1NT 12-14 and you have any hand with 0-10 points and 5 cards in Spades or in Hearts or in Diamonds immediately rescue to 2ª  or 2© or 2¨ as a weak take-out

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  138

Once you partner has endorses a suit and made  a limit bid in that suit your first priority is now to work out whether you want to stay in a part score (and now Pass) invite to Game (maybe a trial bid)  or possibly invite to slam (maybe a Cue Bid or Blackwood). At this point in time after the endorsement you are the one in charge, the captain of the auction, since your partner has just made a limit bid.

 

ADVANCED TIP 138

The only reason you should be repeating a five card suit is because you do not wish to bid beyond your barrier bid and you are not strong enough to Reverse. If this is not the case then you have made an incorrect bid from the off. You should have opened 1NT at your first opportunity and then you would not have this problem now.

 

NOVICES TIP 139

If partner Opens 1♣ or 1 and you have support for that suit BUT you have your own 4 card Major then introduce the Major. You can always give delayed support for the Minor later in the auction. Your four card Major at this point of the auction is sacrosanct.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  139

Shortage points should only be applied once a fit has manifest itself. When Opening and responding in new suits  Long Suits are the key to success and then you should be counting length points.

 

ADVANCED TIP 139

If you are on the cusp of deciding whether or not to go onto a Slam, then as a secondary check, why not use the Losing Trick Option. Under these circumstances I find the Losing Trick Count comes into its own.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 140

To reply you only need 6 points and with all 6 point hands you should do so because partner might have a really good hand and then between you, you might be able to make Game.

However, if the person between you and partner bids (intervenes) then you are off the hook and with a bare 6 points, unless you can support, you should No Bid for the time being. You know partner has another bid.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  140

When you defend, after winning the first trick you should play back top of two remaining cards and the lowest of three then partner can work out the distribution of the hand

 

ADVANCED TIP 140

Once either of you has made any sort of limit bid then after that. ALL DOUBLES should be deemed to be for PENALTIES. If you stick to this rule wo be tide any opponents coming in unwisely.

 

NOVICES TIP 141

If you have to dislodge two top cards from the opponents' hands to make your 3NT contract and they attack a suit in which you have two of their top cards STILL HOLD UP for ONE ROUND,  to cut communications between the two defenders.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  141

On all hands in crucial suits imagine the layout of the cards in the opposition's hands. If you have 7 cards between you in that suit, then the suit could be breaking 33, or 42 or even 51 or 60. If you have 8 cards between you in that suit then the suit could be breaking 32, or 41 or even 50.You must think about this every single time.

 

ADVANCED TIP 141

The reason you should count LOSERS as well as Winners is that sometimes this pinpoints where you need to be careful. Suddenly what looks like an easy hand could be problematic if the wrong defender got in and cashed a trick (loser to you) that you should have disposed of earlier in the hand.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 142

If you don't have trump control (no Ace) and the opponents attack your problematic non trump  suit in which you have A54   you may need to dump the 54 on winners in an outside suit before touching trumps. SOMETIMES DUMP LOSERS BEFORE DRAWING TRUMPS

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  142

If there is only way way to make a contract assume that the cards lie in your favour. If you have K7  opposite 32 and need one trick from this suit then assume that the Ace is sitting before the King and your finesse will work J

 

ADVANCED TIP 142

If there is a chance that you will be overruffed , then don't ruff at all, but throw a loser instead. This is known as a LOSER ON LOSER PLAY and cannot cost. You are exchanging one loser for a different loser.

 

NOVICES TIP 143

Do not trump in the long hand. Most of the time this achieves nothing as you have counted these cards as winners. Also you might be putting your contract into danger as you lose control of the trump suit. You run out of trumps. (UGH J)

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  143

If you are going to embark on a cross ruff and try and make all your trumps separately maybe do 4 ruffs in each hand then you need to cash your outside winners first (Aces and Kings). If you do not do so, then  at the eleventh hour after cross ruffing, one of the opponents might have shed cards in your Ace King suits and will trump you. This is less likely to happen at the beginning of the hand.

 

ADVANCED TIP 143

If you need an extra entry to dummy and there is not an obvious one then look to the trump suit itself so with AKQJ1083  opposite 97  needing an entry to the right hand be aware of the power of that 9 and 7 and retain the 8or 3 to get over to it.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 144

With long strong trumps between the two hands RUFF HIGH enough so you don't get OVERRUFFED. Flaunt it.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  144

If you need to take two finesses assess which player you don't mind losing the finesse to. Avoid the danger hand, the hand who might switch to a suit and immediately  take you off.

 

ADVANCED TIP 144

Leave a high trump in the short hand, usually dummy as you might need it as an entry to get to dummy later.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 145

If somebody opened 1NT (12-14 or 15-17) and you edn up declarer you can immediately calculate the two defenders hands and work out where all the key cards are.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  145

Analyze the opening lead ;- Is it a singleton, is it start of Doubleton ? Is it top of sequence ? Then use this information to play out the hand.

 

ADVANCED TIP 145

Only make a JUMP SHIFT if a) you have 16+ points and a self supporting suit of your own or b) you have 16+ points and a FIT with partner.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 146

If partner bids 2 suits you should only support partner's second suit if you have four card support. Opener might only have four in his second suit.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  146

If you have declarer's other suit lead a trump if the bidding goes  

ª

A Q 10 8                         1ª      1NT              lead a Heart with this hand.  It looks like dummy is short in Spades            

©

7 3                                   2©        NO              you want to win some of your Spades don't you ?

¨

K 7 6 5

§

J 10 9

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 146

Active Auction - Active Defence,  Passive Auction- Passive Defence.

If the bidding has confidently gone 3§   3NT you know they have a good source of tricks so you should be doing ACTIVE DEFENCE and probably leading an Ace AND SEE WHAT IS GOING ON.

If the bidding has hesitantly gone 1NT- 2NT 3NT and you know they barely have 25/26 points between them then PASSIVE DEFENCE is key trying not to give anything away and certainly not giving them a ninth trick on a plate.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 147

Dummy has three trumps and a void then DON'T DRAW TRUMPS but try to do as many ruffs in dummy, the short hand, as you can.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  147

If you DOUBLE their 1NT OVERCALL this is for PENALTIES and shows 8+ points. If partner has already opened and you have 8 points then they "aren't making 1NT"

 

ADVANCED TIP 147

  1. Your partner leads an Ace and at trick one, dummy has just a singleton, you, the other defender must make a suit preference signal at trick one. You follow suit with a high card you want the higher of the two remaining suits (exclude trumps) and if you play a low one you want the lower  suit so with :-
   

ª

9  7 2               Follow suit with the 2 when partner leads Spade Ace and there is a singleton Spade in dummy.

©

7 6 4                The Spade Two asks for a Club switch.

¨

9 6 5 2

§

A K 6

 

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 148

Don't play back the same suit as they have led especially in No Trump- you dont want to be helping the defenders out do you ?

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  148

Normally it is correct to bid your longest suit first but with 65 shape and a minimum hand wanting to show both suits and not wanting to reverse you might occasionally have to lie so with :-

ª

A Q 9 7 5        Open 1ª  rather than 1©   and then you can rebid 2© and still be in control

©

K J 10 9 5 4

¨

5

§

 4

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 148

1. Bid slowly when you don't know where the hand is going and you need to exchange information to get to the best possible fit.

2. Bid quickly when you know where the hand is going and you have found your fit.

3. Bid quickly with weak hands and a fit to take valuable bidding space away from the opposition.

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 149

If you think all your remaining cards are winners STILL PLAY FROM THE TOP just in case you have made a mistake L

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  149

The opponents lead a suit DON'T BE IN A HURRY to commit to a high card from dummy at trick 1

 

ADVANCED TIP 149

Play off that last trump and be pleasantly surprised when the next player is being squeezed at trick 10 or 11.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 150

To Open 1NT you do not need to have an honour in all suits. As long as you have 4333 or 4432 or 5332 you can open 1NT so with

ª

 A K 7 6    open 1NT and here you have two suits with no honours

©

A K 8

¨

9 5 4        The same applies if you are playing Strong No Trump promising

§

4 3 2                  15-17  (maybe stick ©Q in )

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  150

If you have miserable Aceless hand and the hand conforms to Rule of 20 curb your natural instincts and Pass rather than Open especailly if you are going to have rebid problems later

ª

 Q 6    

©

K Q          don't dream of Opening this hand despite 11 + 5 + 4 UGH

¨

K J 7 4     

§

8 7 5 3 2                

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 150

Never make the 2NT or 3NT direct replies to 1 of a suit as they stifle Opener and there is always something better. If need be with a 4333 hand just reply 2♣ after partner opens   1ª.

 Adopt a 2NT reply as Jacoby asking partner to further describe his hand showing singletons, extra strength and balanced hands.

Ad

 

 

NOVICES TIP 151

If you have 4/5 points and good four card support for the Major don't be afraid to reply 2 of same Major so with

ª

 A 9 7 6          reply 2©  when partner opens 1©   you could be a lot worse than this

©

 8 7 5 4          don't be shy here - ti won't kill you to bid 2©

¨

5 4        

§

4 3 2                 

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  151

Over a Major support the Major but over a Minor introduce a Major so 

ª

 A Q J  4 2          but here                 

ª

  9 8 54

©

 9 8 5 4          

©

 K 7 4

¨

K 7 4     

¨

A Q J  4 2

§

43              

§

43
    reply 3© to 1© opener   reply 1ª  when partner opens 1¨

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 151

Because a reply of 2©  to a 1ª Opener should promise a five card suit ,Opener must always be prepared to support as soon as possible with three card support. If you do not do so, partner is entitled to think

a) you don't have three cards  support or

b) you are getting to make a very strong reply in  Hearts later.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 152

Partner opens 1NT and you have terrible hand with NO POINTS but you do have FIVE CARD SUIT then remember to do a WEAKNESS TAKE-OUT BID and reply 2ª or 2© or 2¨  - do not be lazy and just Pass.

ª

  9 7 6          reply 2©   and expect partner to Now Pass.

©

 8 7 5 4 2         

¨

9 5 4        

§

4 3                   
 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  152

Playing weak No Trump and four card Suitswith 15-19 points and TWO FOUR CARD MAJORS open 1© rather than 1ª  and then its easier to get to fit in either Major particularly when partner has a balanced hand with 4 Hearts. If you had opened 1ª in the first place it would be some much more difficult to get to that fit now.

ª

 A Q J  4            Open 1©    and with either of the              

ª

  9 6

ª

 K975

©

 J 8 5 4              following two hands we get to the correct fit easily

©

 K Q 9 7

©

 4 3 2

¨

A Q 4            

¨

K 8 5

¨

 5 4

§

K3                   if you had opened 1ª and partner has the first hand it is virtually

§

4 3 2

§

K Q 9 7
                          impossible to now get to that Heart fit        

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 153

Singletons and Voids are really good when you have a FIT but when you have a misfit they are worth nothing

ª

  K 8 7          reply 3©   and expect partner to Now Pass.

ª

 K 8 7   reply 1NT when partner Opens 1© 

©

 8 7 5 4       when partner opens 1©           

©

8   now your misfitting singleton

¨

K Q 9 5 4      as your hand now improves    

¨

K Q 9 5 4   is worth Zilch UGH

§

4                      with the singleton

§

8 7 5 4  
 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  153

If you are not sure how high to bid and you have seven losers then make sure you bid Game if partner has already opened. It is safe to assume that most Opening Bids promise a  7 loser hand

ª

 KQ J  4  3          Reply 4©     when partner opens 1©             

©

 J 8 5 4                 as you have a seven loser hand too

¨

4 3            

§

 K 3
                          

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 153

Don't deny a four card Major at the 1 level however bad it is  so with

ª

 6 5  4  3          Reply 1ª     when partner opens 1§             

©

 J 8                  you can always come back to Clubs later if

¨

4 3                   needs be

§

 K Q 6 3 2
                          

 

 

NOVICES TIP 154

SILENCE IS GOLDEN TIME- if the opening bid is 1 of a Suit and you, the next player, have same suit or balanced 13/14 points you MUST PASS.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  154

 With

ª

 J 9 4 2                        

©

  6 5 3                

¨

 A K 7           

§

 9 5 4

 

                        

lead 4th highest Spade against No Trump contract and do not lead from your AK suit as you need the AK as entries to your Spades

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 154

SHAPE is KING – don’t worry about points when you have six and seven card suits  or 65 shaped hands BID ON  even if partner saying Nothing

 

 

NOVICES TIP 155

All Rebid problems usually occur because you have forgotten to Open 1NT in the first place - so don't forget to do so even with reasonable five card Major so with

ª

 A J 9 4 2          and also      ª  A K 6           

©

  J 5 3                                      © 8 5 3          

¨

 A K 7                                       ¨ A K 7 2          

§

 9 5 4                                        §  8 5 4

 

playing weak No Trump Open both of these 1NT

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  155

 Because 1ª   2©  reply  promises 5 card suit,  Opener's priority is now to support with three card support acknowledging the 5:3 fit as quickly as possible.

ª

 A J 9 4 2                        

©

  6 5 3                

¨

 A K 7           

§

 K 4

 

now rebid 3© over the 2©  reply rather than going into No Trump

 

ADVANCED TIP 155

If on one hand there is a 4:4 fit available and a 5:4 fit available play in the 4:4 fit and then after you have drawn trumps you will be able to get a discard from the five card suit, and make more tricks. If you play in the 5:4 fit there will be no useful discards afterwards

ª

 A K 7 6 4       

ª

 Q 7 6 4  

©

A K 8 6  

©

 Q J 6 4  

¨

A 2         

¨

 9 5  

§

K 6                     

§

 Q 6 4  

you can make 6©    but one down in 6ª

you don't get the losing Diamond away on 5th Spade when played in Spades

 

 

NOVICES TIP 156

When taking a finesse plan where you want to be and plan to remain in same hand if you need to finesse more than once  so in following layout

                                           A Q 10 7                              play the Jack first dropping the 10 from dummy or the 9 first dropping the 7 from dummy

                            K 7 5 4                      2                        you want to be in South to perform the finesse three times so stay in South

                                           J 9 8 6

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  156

 If you have a two way finesse check to see who the danger hand is and then finesse through that player especially in No Trumps when that danger player has a few winners left in his hand

 

ADVANCED TIP 156

When there is a choice between a ruffing finesse and a simple finesse most of the time it is correct to take a ruffing finesse. The reason for this is becaseu even if it doesn't work you can throw a  loser away while you are performing the ruffing finesse

 

NOVICES TIP 157

Most of the time, it is best to do the trumping in your dummy rather than in your hand. Dummy invariably will be the short hand in trumps and your own hand will be the long hand. Ruffing in the short hand, dummy will therefore generate extra tricks. If you ruff in your hand, the long hand most of the time you aren't achieving very much because you have already counted them as tricks. 5 tricks or 4 tricks and one ruff or 3 tricks and 2 ruffs still only makes 5 tricks.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  157

 If you are well endowed in your trump suit and have virtually all the high cards from Ace down to the 9 then if ruffing, ruff high if you can afford to do so to avoid the embarrassment of being overruffed  UGH J

 

ADVANCED TIP 157

Active Auction Active Defence Passive Auction Passive Defence, - if you think the opponents have bid confidently and they have long side suit to cash then ATTACK and lead from a suit such as Q876  or K765  to try and build tricks from these holdings. But if they have bid hesitantly and just have their 25/26 points in a 3NT contract lead passively and try to give nothing away.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 158

If no other lead appeals then lead a trump - it will generally be safe.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  158

Leading from a doubleton Queen is one of the worst leads in bridge. More often than not declarer will be looking for that Queen and you are handing it to him on a plate

 

ADVANCED TIP 158

With AJ109 in closed hand and K753  in dummy looking for Queen why not play the Jack from closed hand and see if you can induce a Cover. If they dont cover go up with the King and finesse on the way back

 

NOVICES TIP 159

Look Out for tricks from QJ7  opposite 543   lead from the 543 hand twice and you have 75% chance of building one trick  finessing opponents' Ace and King

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  159

If a two way finesse is available AJ54  opposite K1032 then finesse through the danger hand not minding a loss to the safe hand.

 

ADVANCED TIP 159

Consider Using Unassuming Cue Bids in all seats. Originally they were devised for overcaller's partner but responder can use them too. This frees up all raises in same suit by partner in both these positions as Pre-emptive

 

 

NOVICES TIP 160

Persevere with Long suits even if you do not hold enough high cards so with A7653   opposite 842 if you follow through with this suit eventually the suit will produce 3 extra tricks for you if the opponents cards divide 3:2. (68% chance).

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  160

In the "free bid" situation, whenever there is any sort of intervention, if you can still make your planned rebid then do so. If you are minimum just Pass as you know partner still has another bid.

 

ADVANCED TIP 160

Short of entries over to your dummy or hand, try ducking a round retaining the Ace in dummy in situations like this where there is no outside entry

                                    AQ765

K93                                             J42

                                   108

Play low on from South   and from North and when you next regain the lead now take a finesse through West and hope suit breaks well for you if its your only road  to success.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 161

Rule of 1 - if there is one trump out higher than all yours then most of time it is correct not to draw it as its a bad exchange rate (2 for1) (But also see Advanced Tip this week)

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  161

If you intend playing the hand on a CROSS RUFF LINE before doing so cash all the outside winners first. At the eleventh hour after doing all your cross ruffs you do not want to be surprised by the opposition who can suddenly ruff these winning cards because while you were cross ruffing and they were unable to overruff you they threw cards from those suits (UGH)

 

ADVANCED TIP 161

If dummy has a good suit, (with no outside entries) and it will run and there is still one trump out even if its higher than all yours still draw that trump. You do not want to be in the invidious position  where the opposition ruffs your winner in dummy and you are unable to get back to dummy

 

 

NOVICES TIP 162

If declarer leads a Queen from dummy and you have the King do not cover if there is also the Jack in dummy. Do not cover first time around when you can see touching honours. The reason you cover an honour with an honour  is to try to promote the card below it, but you can see the honour, (Jack here), you are trying to promote, is still in the dummy.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  162

Bidding on over a weak 2 from partner and you are not sure if you should bid onto Game or make an Invitation then "with reservations" you can use the RULE OF SEVENTEEN - add your High Card Points plus the cards in partner's bid suit and if the total is 17 or more then make a move forward.

 

ADVANCED TIP 162

If somebody hesitates and doesn't have the Queen this is cheating. However instead of getting into a flap about it, use it to your advantage. If they hesitate they don't have the missing Queen or Jack you are looking for in  two way finesse positions and finesse the other person. If you suspect your opponent is a hesitator but are not sure, then play a suit where you have all the missing cards, as if you are finessing and see if they hesitate. After that you can actually play your problem suit and know which player is likely to hesitate when you need to make that all important two way  finesse.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 163

Play one suit at a time and then you can keep track as to how many have gone. Counting more that one suit is almost impossible when you start.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  163

If you have a seven loser hand and partner has already opened then you should be in Game so with

ª Q J 9 5 3     you should be raising 1ª  straight to 4ª with this hand making a pre-emptive raise trying to keep the opposition
© 7 2               out of a potential Heart Game
¨ KQ 9 7 3
§  2

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 163

If partner has not Splintered when they could have done so then don't expect them to have a singleton

If the bidding has gone

1©     1ª

4ª    then partner is likely to hold

ª Q J 9      
© A K 97 2               and should have neither a singleton Club nor singleton Diamond, otherwise he should have taken the 
¨ K  3                      splinter option and bid 4§  or 4¨  instead of 4ª
§ A J

(NB People are always saying Splinters don't come up but the implications of not splintering when you could have done so are just as important)

 

 

NOVICES TIP 164

Play unblocking honours as soon as possible before they give you grif so with KQ opposite AJ543   play this suit early- if you do this then laterly you will not have to overtake

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  164

Because odd cards in the opponents hands are likely to split well never underestimate the value of only having 6 cards between tow hands with the suit breaking 5:1 so with A7654  opposite 3 if you persevere with this suit eventually the last card will be establishedwhen the opponents' cards break 43 (eg KQJ10  in one hand and 982 in the other) BUT you will have to count the suit.

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 165

If you reply 3 of a Suit when partner Opens 1NT  it shows a very strong hand, usually 15+ points, looking for a Slam

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  165

After partner replies 3 of a suit to your 1NT if you now bid 3NT you show no interest in a slam. Any other bid should be a Cue bid agreeing the suit and co-operation in seeking a Slam in responder's suit (3 card support and maximum point count - 14 for weak No trump and 17 for strong No Trump).

 

ADVANCED TIP 165

If you bid a new suit when REPLYING, after intervention, you are showing a five or more card suit. If you only have four card suit then you should be employing a Negative Double instead.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 166

Don't distort hand patterns- if you have 4432 Open 1 of your suits and rebid No Trump. If you try to rebid the other suit partner will think you are 54 shape and you aren't.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  166

Do not open 3 of a Suit with a good hand 11+ honour  points. If you have11+ honour points and seven card suit then you have normal 1 of a suit opener so with :-

ª

 A Q                         

©

  KQ 7 6 5  4 3                

¨

 9 7           

§

 3 4

 

 Open 1© 

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 166

With KQ105  opposite A632   play off the King first and then low towards to Ace and every time the suit breaks badly with the Jack under teh Q10 you will still be able to finesse the Q10 that you carefully preserved.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 167

If you partner replies in the 2 level promising 8+ points (10 with distribution) and you now JUMP IN ORIGINAL SUIT this is now Game Forcing. If you have 15/16 points and six card suit and partner has  10+ points then you should definitely be making game shouldn't you ?

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  167

Avoid Opening rotten 12/13 point hands with 4441 shape with part of your points being a singleton queen or King so with

ª

 K                        

©

 A Q 7 6                  

¨

 K J 54           

§

 9 5 4 3

 

 JUST PASS 

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 167

You have an exceedingly good hand and partner has opened, just reply in a new suit and give your partner the platform to make his rebid and then you will be better placed where to go next,  so with

ª

 A K  9 4                      

©

  6                  

¨

 A K J 5 4           

§

 K Q 6

 

reply 2¨ and then you can bid another new suit  next  you need SPACE 

                   because at the moment you have no idea where the contract will end up

 

 

NOVICES TIP 168

In a suit contract, PREFER to set up a second suit to get your contract rather then randomly ruffing cards just because you have a shortage, especially if that shortage is in the long trump hand and you would be making tricks from that trump suit regardless.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  168

If you are establishing a suit and have to lose a trick in the suit lose it straight away and then if the suit subsequently breaks badly you are still in control so with                                                     

                                                                                                           AK654    opposite 732 

completely duck a round in this suit. If the suit then breaks 32 you will be OK but if it breaks 4:1 you will still be in control of the suit.

 

ADVANCED TIP 168

The opponents lead against your 3NT contract and between you hand and the dummy you have both the Ace and King  in a situation like this

                                                             A 5 4  

                       Queen led

                                                               K 7

if you need to give up the lead twice, to establish your suit, then hold up for one round, to cut communications between the two defenders.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 169

If you are short of entries to dummy's long suit that needs to be established then delay drawing trumps and actually use the trumps as entries once the suit has been established.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  169

In third seat don't automatically play high if there is an honour in dummy and partner's lead has promised an honour 

 so with 2 lead                                             dummy has Q73                                  and you have K 10 8 

 when its your turn to play after declarer  has played (3) low from dummy, you should play the 10 not the king.

You need to keep your position.

 

ADVANCED TIP 169

The opponents lead against your 3NT and you are thinking of holding up DON'T if a switch to a different suit would be even more uncomfortable.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 170

When you defend you should adhere to declarer's rules of playing the high card from the short hand so if partner leads fourth highest card and you have AQ6  make sure you win first trick with Ace and fire back the Queen (high cards from short hand) so you do not get blocked. You know partner is the long hand because he lead that suit.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  170

Playing duplicate a 1NT contract don't panic when you are in trouble. All the other EWs  will also be in trouble-  so go for loss limitation and try and go one off. Much of  the time one off is a good result when all the other pairs are going 2 and 3 off.

 

ADVANCED TIP 170

Make helpful lead directing bids especially in 3rd seat. If you stick your neck out (even a four card suit with top honours) with a bid in third seat and don't win the auction at least partner will know what suit to lead

 

 

NOVICES TIP 171

If you have an honour in partner's suit other than the Ace then lead a small card retaining the honour just in case partner needs an entry back to your hand later on in the Game. Low card promises an honour in partner's suit.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  171

Don't lead a singleton with a good hand expecting partner to get in and give you a ruff. Partner is marked with Nothing so make a positive lead from your side of the table instead.

 

ADVANCED TIP 171

Before making your lead, try and work out what declarer and dummy's' shape is - did they bid 2 suits ? Did they go into No Trump? If you work out the shape first, you might well lead a different suit.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 172

When you get in do not cash winners in declarer's suit- you will be helping the declaring side more than the defending side.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  172

In third seat if you hold K106  over dummy's high card, don't automatically play the King in third seat play the 10.  Try to retain a higher card than dummy's card- Keep your position.

 

ADVANCED TIP 172

Do not cover the honour (especially in trumps suit) if dummy has Ace Doubleton and you started with K54. All you have to do is play low for two rounds and your King will win

 

 

NOVICES TIP 173

When you are leading of course you should be leading Tops of Sequences. However when FOLLOWING suit you do the OPPOSITE and follow suit with the lowest of touching cards

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  173

Don't lead a singleton with a good hand expecting partner to get in and give you a ruff. Partner is marked with Nothing so make a positive lead from your side of the table instead.

 

ADVANCED TIP 173

If the opponents Double your transfer sequence if you complete the transfer, when you did not have to do so, you are now promising 3 cards or more in the transfer suit.  If you Pass partner can still bid and will now know you only have two card support.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 174

Every time you are about to play an ACE, THINK- should I be trying the Queen and finessing ? Should I wait because I am in second seat and see what partner does (2nd hand plays low)

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  174

With KQ98   opposite A6543  play off the Ace first and when the suit breaks 4:0 with the J10 onside you will still be able to finesse up to the KQ98 twice. You have left the KQ98 tenace intact.

 

ADVANCED TIP 174

In connection with Intermediates Tip174 above, when you are the person not following suit make sure you discard a card of the same colour the first time the suit is played because so many players are careless and will not notice that you did not follow suit.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 175

Most of the time it is not correct to play back the suit that the opponents lead. Are you playing their tune or your tune ?

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  175

Once your partner Opens the bidding and you have 4 card suits you should be bidding up the line. This means you reply in the first available suit. (if you go past a suit you are saying you have no interest ion that suit so with

ª

  7

©

A Q 6 5

¨

K J 9 8

§

J 8 7 6

reply 2§   when partner opens 1ª  as that's the first available suit up the line

 

ADVANCED TIP 175

If you have very good support for partner's second suit and a good hand use the 4th suit forcing bid to show the full value of your hand and then come back to partner's first next, so with
                               You            Partner

ª

A K 7 6                                    1¨

©

A Q 6 5 3               1©            1ª

¨

7 6                          2§  and then come to Spades later

§

K 8

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 176

Every time you ruff are you achieving anything ? If you ruff in the long hand, probably not so don't just ruff for ruffing's sake

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  176

If you are gong to cross ruff the hand make sure you cash the winners in a side suit first. If you don 't ,at the eleventh hour one of the opponents might have thrown all those cards away while you were doing your cross ruffing and will now ruff you - OOPS

 

ADVANCED TIP 176

Lead aggressively against a confidently bid contract. If they bid 4ª  and have shown a source of tricks outside the trump suit, you need to find four tricks quickly, so lead from  a KQ or even an unsupported Ace. 

.

 

NOVICES TIP 177

You were just about to Open 1  and the opposition open 1 JUST SAY NO BID you are at conflict with them so why get involved.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  177

 You have a balanced 13/14 points and right hand opponent opens 1 of a suit or 1NT SAY NO BID. There is no known overcall available with this hand so you MUST PASS

 

ADVANCED TIP 177

Can you work out if partner has a void without him cuebidding. If the opponents are bidding and supporting a suit and the bidding suggests they have at least 9 and you have four in this  suit then you know partner "must have" a void. Use the opponents bidding to work out partner's distribution.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 178

If declarer has bid 2 suits and ended up in the second bid suit  and you have declarer's first bid suit lead a trump. Dummy can't have too many cards in this suit and if you want to win tricks in this suit you need to draw trumps at every opportunity so lead a trump

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  178

Do not lead away from an Ace at trick one in a suit contract. Your Ace is made to beat an opponent's King or Queen and if you lead it all you do is capture low cards, not very enterprising is it to do that ? L

 

ADVANCED TIP 178

 Partner opens 1 of a Minor and you have fit and a good hand bid a new suit even if its only three but prefer to make your manufactured bid in a Minor as partners are far much more likely to support a Major than a new Minor.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 179

Every time you bid you should NOT match the bid up to the hand but you should be saying "What am I doing, am I opening, am I replying or am I overcalling ?" If you do this you will not get muddled up in your point counts- eg Opening 1NT is 12-14, replying 1NT is 6-9 but overcalling 1NT is 16-18

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  179

We all know that second hand plays low. This also includes in second position not to ruff in. Partner will be finishing the trick off so why ruff in before partner has had a chance to play. Ruffing in in second position is almost the same as second hand plays high which of course is totally wrong J

 

ADVANCED TIP 179

 After opening pre-emptive  2ª or 3ª  do not bid again and leave all decisions to partner. Opening 2ª or 3ª are  limit bids so why would you want to bid again   ??

 

 

NOVICES TIP 180

With grotty trumps    A 543   opposite 9762   play a low card from each hand then Ace next  and then the opposition can enjoy their last winning trump any time they wish to do so.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  180

In 3rd seat retain a high card over dummy, and don't automatically play high

 so when partner leads the 2 in following setup and declarer plays low from dummy you should play the 10 not the Ace. Retains your Ace over dummy's King.

If you play the Ace declarer gets 2 tricks. If you patiently play low declarer only gets one tricks from this suit.

                                                 K 7 5   dummy

                                                                          you

                          J  9 5 2                            A 10 6 3

 

                                        Q 8 4

 

ADVANCED TIP 180

 If you manage to push the opponents to the 5 level do not Double them. If they go off you are getting a good board any way. If you Double and they now make it all your good work of pushing them to the 5 level has been negated.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 181

What does leading away from An Ace against a suit contract (BAD LEAD) mean ?  If you have a suit such as A65   or A932  and you lead a card from this suit, invariably you are helping declarer's cause more than you own. In the  following situation if you avoid leading from your Ace suit your side will win at least two tricks but if you play your Ace or lead a low one you will allow declarer to make two tricks

                                           Q 3 2

                YOU  A 6 5 4              J 10 9

                                        K 8 7

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  181

If a defender tries to make you ruff in the long hand (which might lead to losing control of the trump suit) then try discarding a non trump loser instead.

                        

 

ADVANCED TIP 181

 If one of the defenders ruffs in and you are about to overruff Think Again. It might be better to discard a loser instead. If you overruff then you might be open to a trump promotion by the unfriendly defenders in following situation.

                 5 4

 10 7 6                   J 3 2

           A K Q 9 8

You have a certain loser elsewhere so discard it now rather than overruffing. If you overruff the Jack with the Queen then eventually West's 10 will be promoted, a nasty uppercut or trump promotion for the defenders.

  

 

 

NOVICES TIP 182

Before you duck the first trick in  a No Trump contract, only do so, if you are happy that the defenders will not switch to an even worse suit. If the defender has led fourth highest 2 then he  has probably led from a four card suit so perhaps he can't do that much harm in the suit led as you first thought possible.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  182

If all hope of another defensive trick has gone and you have 1032  of trumps play another winning card in suit, knowing nobody has any left and play partner for Jack and another trump. By doing this you might produce an extra trick from a trump promotion in a situation like this

                             9 8

            10 3 2                 J 4

                      A K Q 7 6

as long as partner can be persuaded to ruff with the Jack, eventually your 10 will win from this uppercut, (trump promotion)

                        

 

 

NOVICES TIP 183

Even when you don't have all the top cards you must still enforce the high card from the short hand rule so as not to GET BLOCKED so  with

Q J  7 6 opposite K 3 2  play the King first

10 8 4  opposite Q J 5 3 2 play the 10 first

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  183

Assuming plenty of entries With   J 6 5     opposite K Q 3 2   try to lead from the J 6 5 side twice and then when the suit breaks badly in the following scenario you will be ahead of the game

                                                       K Q 3 2

                                          A 8                   10 9  8 7

                                                         J 6 5                                     (NB This tip almost conflicts with Novices Tip 183  but it isnt quite the same L )                                        

 

ADVANCED TIP 183

 If the bidding is about to subside in the two level, yiou as the last player must do everything in your power to BALANCE

in a situation like this

  N     E     S     W

1    NO   1ª  NO

2  NO   NO    ?

West should try and bid at all costs as he knows his partner has values. West can now bid with as few as 7/8 points and if he doubles he is merely showing the other two suits. Better to bid. Maybe the opponents will take push to three level and it will be easier to defeat a three level contract than a two level contract. If they don't take the push you might make 2 or 3♣  or at worse go one off 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 184

If you don't have control of trumps suit (NO ACE) then sometimes before drawing trumps you might need to dump a loser first

so in a Spade contract here in order to make 10 tricks you will need to play two rounds of Hearts immediately to dump one of your Diamond losers

 

K J 9

 

 

Q 8 7 5 4 3

 

A K 10 3

 

 

6

 

Q 9 6 3

 

 

8 7 2

 

J 5

 

 

A Q 4

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  184

Always Lead Partner 's Suit (ALPS) and you will certainly win all the post mortems. Bad lead then blame partner for poor overcall L

                                     

 

ADVANCED TIP 184

If somebody makes a passive lead then don't expect that player to have an Ace King suit otherwise they might have led from the Ace/king suit initially 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 185

Only count one suit at a time - first trumps, then forget about them and the count another suit

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  185

Partner leads an Ace and d dummy has a singleton REMEMBER to make a SUIT PREFERENCE SIGNAL at trick one. Tell partner what you want him to switch to. If you follow suit with high card you are saying switch to the higher suit and if you play a low card you are asking partner to switch to lower suit (exclude the trump suit here so only two suits remain).

                                     

 

NOVICES TIP 186

If you have holding in a suit such as A54  or K43  or AQ8 or AJ105 or KJ6  and you are leading against a Suit contract AVOID LEADING from THESE HOLDINGS. More often than not, it helps declarer more then the defending side. This is known as not leading away from an unsupported honour or away from a Tenace.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  186

When overcalling with simple overcall it is best to have all your honours in the overcall suit rather than have scattered non working honours in the other suits.                                 

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 186

 Only make weak 2 with a five card suit if you have AQJ106 in the suit otherwise stick to six card suits.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 187

If you have a terrible terrible hand ignore leading 4th highest of your longest suit and make a short suit lead and try and find partbner- usiually a Major if the opponents havent transferred or bid Stayman as all indicators suggest that partner must have that Major.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  187

If you have a good holding in either declarer's or dummy's first bid suit LEAD A TRUMP as declarer will try and take ruffs in this suit. Each time you get in also play a trump.                             

 

ADVANCED TIP 187

 Can you make a suit preference signal at Trick 1 - yes you can if you have imagination. Having Opened 3   partner raises you to 4  and last player now bids 5  and that ends the auction. What do you lead on this hand ?

-

K J 9 6 4 3 2

 6 2

Q 10 3 2

9 is telling partner to switch to a Spade if he gets to win the first trick with the Ace (after all he did support Hearts)

 

 

NOVICES TIP 188

Once partner has overcalled you only need THREE CARD SUPPORT because partner is promising 5 card suit

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  188

THINK STAYMAN- Every single time your partner opens 1NT you need to consider Stayman as an option even if you dismiss it- by doing this you will always remember to use Stayman at the right time eg reply 2to partner's Opening Bid of 1NT looking for that Spade fit.

 

A K 10 5

10 5

 K Q 9 7 3

K 3

                           

 

ADVANCED TIP 188

Occasionally you can underlead an Ace if you think you can put declarer to an early guess. You have suit that dummy as bid and you have A65 of this suit if you lead the suit and dummy turns up with KJ94  most declarers will think you have not led from an Ace suit and play you for the Queen and try dummy's Jack. partner will be delighted to win first trick with the Queen

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 189

If you want to make weak take-out in Clubs after 1NT you bid 2♣ and then repeat 3♣. and partner should now Pass. To make this bid you need 6 card suit

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  189

Opponent leads  King (probably from KQ7 and in dummy you have A43  and in hand you have J72  consider holding up and now that opponent cannot profitably continue the suit without helping you out.                     

 

ADVANCED TIP 189

Do not lead 4th Highest if they Open a Gambling 3NT. Lead an Ace and see what is going on. Leading 4th highest might just give them the contract.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 190

Don’t suffer from singleton Syndrome – its not good for your bridge health- Partner bids No Trump and you have the dreaded singleton be happy and pass. Partner knows what he is doing

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  190

When you defend 1NT or 2NT defend PASSIVELY and try to give nothing away. The fact that the opponents are in just 1NT or 2Nt means that the points are fairly evenly spread and 7 or 8 tricks is going to be touch and go                    

 

ADVANCED TIP 190

Not sure whether or not to bid onto Game or onto a Slam then use the LOSING TRICK Count as a secondary check

so when the bidding goes
  N E  S   W
  1ª NO 2§ NO
  2© NO 4©  

 

ª

Q 10 5           Now the losing  trick Count now tells you to rebid 4©  rather than just 3©

©

A Q 9 5  

¨

10

§

J 10 9 5 4

 

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 191

If responder repeats first suit at two level they are very weak with 6 card suit- they have to have six as they have rejected both of opener’s suits and insisted on theirs.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  191

To support responder’s second suit this shows four support because Opener might only have 4 card suit.                  

 

ADVANCED TIP 191

Overcalling 1 over 1♣ should be done on good hand as 1D has no pre-emptive value whatsoever, whereas overcalling 1ª over 1♣ is very pre-emptive and can be done with a multitude of weak hands.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 192

When you defend Aces and Kings are meant to beat the declarer's high honours so leading an unsupported Ace or King merely helps the declaring side more than the defending side.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  192

If you Open 2♣  and one of the opponents Doubles you in low part score, consider REDOUBLING as you will probably muster 8 tricks just from the outside suits and they will certainly be sorry for doubling for a lead in the middle of your 2♣ sequence                 

 

ADVANCED TIP 192

                                   With      K Q 10 5 4

         J 8 6                                                            A 7 3  (you)

                                   opposite 9 2        

  if you have the Ace with two low cards sitting over the King  play low on first round and give the illusion you don’t have the Ace . Now declarer might try finessing the Queen next and then you can pounce with your Ace and hopefully promote partner’s Jack.

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 193

What makes a good 13 or a Bad 13?    

This is a bad 13                         whereas this is a very good 13 and you should accept invitations if and when partner invites

ª A 5 4 3                                          ª K Q 10 9 5

 K 4 3                                             ♥  A 10 9

  K Q 4                                              K J 9

♣ J 6 5                                             ♣ 10 9                

                               so 2s 3s and 4 and very balanced make for bad 13s and 10s 9s and 5 card suits make for good 13s

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  193     

Needing two tricks, with 103 opposite AJ92 play the 10 and finesse once and then do it again and as long as the opponents honours are split or both with Left Hand Opponent you will make two tricks (75% chance)            

 

ADVANCED TIP 193

On some hands you bid correctly and you do badly and visa versa but overall bid correctly and you will gain in the long run

 

 

NOVICES TIP 194

With A  opposite KQ1096   plays off that Ace early before it gives you grief later and you get blocked

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  194  

If responder bids 2 suits this also shows 5:4 shape and now Opener can support responder’s second suit with 3  card support.

               

 

ADVANCED TIP 194

When you are well endowed with good intermediates remember to keep in correct hand to repeat a finesse so with   

                                                                                            J 10 6 opposite A Q 5 

 play the Jack ready to let it run for a finesse  and keep in correct hand to finesse again if need be.

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 195

Normally it is correct to play back the suit partner has led, maybe they are looking for a ruff or they want to get his suit established in No trump ARYPS- always return your partner's suit

 

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  195  

If you play Duplicate and you are very nervous and one of the opponents gets stroppy, IMMEDIATELY SUMMON the TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR- it is the only way to deal with these people and they will be so shocked you have done so it will teach them a salutary lesson

               

 

ADVANCED TIP 195

Discard a card of same colour and if its early enough in the play declarer will not notice and miscount trumps.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 196

If you make any sort of limit bid you should not bid again (unless invited or forced). If you Open 1NT and the auction gets competitive and your partner competes to the three level do not go to 4. He has made the decision to compete to three. If he thought he could make 4 he would have bid 4 himself

 

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  196

If you are in middle of transfer sequence and one of the opponents doubles the transfer bid then if you complete the transfer you are guaranteeing 3 card support at this stage. If you only have two just Pass and await developments.  

 

               

 

ADVANCED TIP 196

If you Double their Opening Bid of 2♣  or their response of 2 the double should be showing a willingness to sacrifice in the suit - it is not lead directing

 

 

NOVICES TIP 197

With A6532  opposite KJ87  you are going to finesse the Jack and lead low from the A6532 side but before you commit to a finesse play off the Ace first just in case  Right Hand opponent has a singleton Queen and no finesse was needed. You will feel really sick afterwards to committing to an immediate finesse later to discover that the Queen was singleton all the time

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  197

You are defending and the auction is over, in the same way that declarer adds his points to dummy's points you should also add your points to dummy's points and take the total from 40 and try and work out what your  partner has and what declarer has- of course use the bidding to help you work it out

 

ADVANCED TIP 197

If partner opens 2♣  and one of the opposition makes a fatuous Double and you think just from the outside suits you can scramble 8 tricks REDOUBLE and this is to play. They will not be in hurry to make a Double like that in a hurry will they ? +560 or +760 is very nice thank you very much

 

 

NOVICES TIP 198

With 1086 opposite AQ954  play the 10 and let it run to finesse. The chances of getting 4 tricks have a  75% success rate.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  198

With a good hand just reply in new suit and give opener a chance to Rebid and then you will be better placed as what to do next, so with

ª  5                                reply 2♣ when partner opens 1   or 1D and see what they bid next.

  K10                          Once they have rebid 1NT showing balanced 15/16 points you can NOW go FULL THROTTLE.

AQJ8

♣ KJ1096

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 198

If you are sitting over dummy with AQJ105 and dummy has K43 and partner leads from singleton or top of Doubleton DO NOT PLAY the suit back as you have a natural winning finesse against dummy and you should be patient.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 199

Do stay with the same suit when you defend a No Trump contract. a) the suit might become established b) you will not open up other suits.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  199

Prefer to be in 5:2 fit that 4:3 fit so if partner bids two suits and you only have doubleton in first suit still go back to first suit especially if it’s a Major.

 

ADVANCED TIP 199

When you rebid 1NT it shows balanced hand 15/16. HOWEVER if partner is passed hand now it shows 18/19- you are on your own. 

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 200

If you make a pre-emptive overcall in lower ranking suit you have to go to 4 level in that suit so after 1,  4 or 4♣ would be a pre-emptive overcall.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  200

Leading King from KQ is sometimes as good as leading Ace from AK.

 

ADVANCED TIP 200

If the opponents bidding is subsiding in 2♥ and you have weakish distributional hand then you partner MUST HAVE POINTS and you can now bid on with your other five card suit. It is known as PROTECTION

so with   ª A J 6 43       overcall 1ª and when it comes back to you bid 3

              3                   it is also safe to bid because the opponents have found their fit in Hearts

               K J 10 3 2     so you must have a fit somewhere (probably in Diamonds)

             ♣ 8 4

 

 

NOVICES TIP 201

With AQJ1075  opposite 932  please play the 9 and stay in correct hand to do a second finesse.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  201

If you need to ruff something in the short hand then delay drawing trumps until you have done so.

 

ADVANCED TIP 201

If the opponents find a fit, then mathematically speaking, your side has a fit too, so if in doubt, bid on and get a nice surprise when a fit manifests itself in your second suit that you have just  introduced.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 202

If partner opens the bidding and next player overcalls 1NT and you have 8 or more points POUNCE with a PENALTY DOUBLE.- you have the balance of Power

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  202

You can Pass your partner's Informative Double if you have at least 8/9 points and 5/6 cards in the Opener's Suit- you will have converted partner's informative Double into a Penalty Double by passing.

 

ADVANCED TIP 202

If somebody leads a trump you can assume they have strength in your other bid suit and they are trying to cut out ruffs.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 203

All you need to make a WEAK TAKE-OUT bid of 2♣ or 2 or 2ª after partner opens 1NT is a FIVE CARD SUIT, enabling your partnership to have at least 7 cards in the suit (at worst partner should turn up with two card support)

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  203

If somebody splinters and you think declarer will try and make all his tricks on cross ruff lines LEAD A TRUMP

 

ADVANCED TIP 203

Declarer bids 2 suits and you have strength in declarer's first bid suit then lead a trump to cut back on declarer's ruffing in dummy. You can assume dummy will be short in that suit. (see last weeks' Advanced Tip 202)

 

 

NOVICES TIP 204

To overcall you need GOOD QUALITY SUITS – you are indirectly saying, even if we don’t win the auction, please lead my suit so AQXXX is good merchantable quality and JXXXX or even QXXXX  IS NOT.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  204

Whatever range of No Trump you play a rebid of 1NT opposite a PASSED PARTNER (not deceased J) shows 18/19 points because you are bidding by yourself opposite a part er who has announced less than 6 points.

 

ADVANCED TIP 204

Getting an 11th  trick in 4ª is vital in Match Point Pairs. Secure  your contract then make sure you are in correct hand after you have got your 10th tricks and  risk a finesse for that extra overtrick to get your Top.

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 205

Sometimes you need to get your second suit established before drawing trumps because you will need to use the trumps later as entries back to the established suit.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  205

What does lead away from an Ace mean ? It means that if you have a suit with small cards headed by an Ace and you are defending a suit contract.

 

ADVANCED TIP 205

With K97 opposite AQ83   play off the Ace first and if the 10 or Jack falls (its probably a singleton and now you can  finesse the other person for the missing honour as in the following situation

                                    K 9 7

            J                                                  10 5 4 3 2

                                 A Q 8 6

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 206

If you are well endowed in all suits this is clear sign to DRAW TRUMPS and not run the gauntlet that one of your outside winners will be trumped.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  206

Thinking of holding up in No Trump contract, think again if  a switch to another suit could make matters worse for you. Now Don't Hold Up.

 

ADVANCED TIP 206

Opponents lead from their long suit and between your hand and dummy you have the Ace and King but need to give up the lead twice to establish your suit therefore to cut communications between the two defenders HOLD UP ONCE despite having both the Ace and King

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 207

Think Stayman EVERY TIME partner opens 1NT even if you dismiss it after thinking it- you always take out an umbrella even if its not raining and you don't always use it either.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  207

If there has been a stuttering auction where the opponents have cautiously bid Game eg 1NT  2NT 3NT where points have not been at a premium try to make a PASSIVE LEAD and give nothing away.

 

ADVANCED TIP 207

With Q87 opposite A1095  play the Queen and let it run- play for split honours and you will get three tricks 75% of the time (with nothing else to go on from the bidding).

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 208

If you can afford it DO RUFF HIGH to avoid being overruffed.

 

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  208

Completely misfitting hands JUST PASS so when the bidding goes

       N      E       S     W

     1ª    NO     2♣    NO

     2ª    NO     ?     and you, South,  hold

 ª-

   K654

   KJ105

  K7654  partner cannot hold another 4 card suit so now Just pass 2ª.

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 208

Careless talk costs lives so if the bidding goes 1ª – 3ª  and you think you can make 6 just bid it and do not start cuebidding and highlight your weaknesses .If you start cuebidding and end up in 5 level you might still go one off but if you conceal your weaknesses and they get the wrong lead you may conjure up 12  tricks.

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 209

Leading with a DOUBLETON then lead TOP of that doubleton so partner knows you have two. If you have three small then adopt Middle Up Down (MUD to distinguish between a trebleton and a Doubleton

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  209

With AKJ96  opposite 854  play the Ace before committing to a Finesse of the Queen just in case there is a singleton Queen floating about

 

ADVANCED TIP 209

One of the criteria for making a JUMP reply in new suit is 16+ points and self supporting suit so with

ª A

AQJ10732 

A95

♣ Q64

it is absolutely right to reply 2 when partner opens 1♣. However when partner rebids 2♣ now rethink and be prepared to support Clubs as you know they have five or more.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 210

Leading the 10 from 1094 or 1095 turns out to be a good lead a lot of the time when you are stuck for anything else

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  210

You must play in your 5:3 fits in Majors rather than 3NT. Even if 3NT can make, invariably you will make that extra trick playing in 4ª or 4

 

ADVANCED TIP 210

 

No obvious way to generate extra tricks THINK DUMMY REVERSAL whereby you ruff enough times in the long hand that the short hand becomes the dominant trump drawing hand, most commonly found in 5:4 fits.

ª

A Q 7 6 2

N

ª

K J 8 3          in Spade contract, spades broke 4:0 so try ruffing 2 clubs in long hand first

©

A K 5 2

W                 E

©

J 7

¨

7 6 3

 

¨

A K 10 2

§

3

S

§

Q 10 9

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 211

Please don’t ruff in long hand and reduce the number of trumps. You were making all those trumps regardless.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  211

Open light in 3rd seat as its good for your bridge health and often messes up the opposition especially if you open 1ª

so with

ª  K Q J 4 3 
©  10 9 8 2
¨  Q 8 4 2
§  
Open 1ª just

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 211

In second seat a DOUBLE of 1NT shows 15+ points and is for Penalties. In FOURTH SEAT it also says I would have Doubled the weak No Trump- I am the one with the good hand,15+ points.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 212

To do a weakness take-out after 1NT you need 5 or more card suit and then that guarantees at least 7 trumps (worse case scenario partner only has two).

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  212

Leading 10 from109X is very often a good lead as it creates a position against dummy

 

ADVANCED TIP 212

BE FLEXIBLE

One of the criteria for making a JUMP reply in new suit is 16+ points and self supporting suit so with    2H .

ª  A                            it is absolutely right to reply  2©
©  A Q J 10 7 3      when partner opens 1§
¨  A 9 5                     However when partner rebids 2§ now rethink and be prepared to support Clubs as you know they have five or more.
§  Q 6 4

 

 

NOVICES TIP 213

With horrid 4441 hands and only 11 or 12 points JUST PASS as you will have problems later in your rebidding.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  213

If you want to put pressure on opponents as what to keep and protect play off all your trumps bar one and see them squirm.

 

ADVANCED TIP 213

With K1098543 opposite  7   or K109854  opposite 73 and a lack of entries, play low from hand twice and pray for a doubleton Ace. Doubleton Ace occurring has  more chance than a precise doubleton QJ

 

 

NOVICES TIP 214

If the opponents bid THREE SUITS and then end up in the Fourth one LEAD A TRUMP

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  214

 

Opening 3NT shows 7 card SOLID MINOR suit with nothing with nothing more than a Queen or Jack outside. It is a mere pre-empt. in a Minor.

ª  3 2                            
©  7 3      
¨  J 9                     Open 3NT here
§  A K Q J 6 4 2

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 214

Once you have pre-empted DO NOT BID AGAIN – a pre-empt is a Limit bid.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 215

If you reply 2NT directly it shows 11/12 points balanced, if you go round the houses and still bid 2NT it still shows 11/12

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  215

 To do a weakness take-out in Clubs after partner opens 1NT you bid 2♣ and then rebid 3♣ and now you NEED SIX CARD SUIT as you are now trying for 9 tricks instead of 7

 

ADVANCED TIP 215

If you and partner have a fit and the opponents are bidding and you have three small in their suit you can work out that partner has a singleton or even a void and your hand value goes up in leaps and bound.

 

NOVICES TIP 216

Why do we draw trumps so we will not get our outside winners ruffed ? Draw trumps even with lousy trumps

 

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  216

 When you pre-empt you must not have an outside Ace. That idea of having an outside Ace was sort of applicable 50 years ago when  I first started playing bridge but now it goes against the whole philosophy of pre-emption

 

ADVANCED TIP 216

In 4th seat you only need a FOUR CARD SUIT to PROTECT- its better to protect and push the opponents out of their comfort zone- why let them play in 1

 

NOVICES TIP 217

Please reply in 4 card Major firstly, even if you have 4 card support for the Minor.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  217

Leading away from an Ace is against SUIT CONTRACTS. You can certainly lead from your longest suit in a No Trump contract.

 

ADVANCED TIP 217

If you have a suit that could be established such as AK65 opposite 432  play it early and if suit breaks 4:2 no worry but if it does break 33 then you can establish the thirteenth card while you still have entries – also you might still be able to ruff the thirteenth card in dummy with a trump (assuming you haven’t drawn trumps) if the suit has broken 4:2

 

 

NOVICES TIP 218

Please don’t overcall on balanced 13 point hands- Just be disciplined and PASS.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  218

You only make a rebid if you can BUT you have to if partner bids in a new suit. If partner doesn’t’ bid then you are now off the hook.

 

ADVANCED TIP 218

When splintering, it is best not to splinter into a singleton Ace as partner will not be able to evaluate the rest of the hand and will expect your 13/14 points in the other three suits.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 219

Stay with SAME SUIT while it is fresh in youer mind.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  219

If you make an informative Double and then bid No Trumps next you are showing a BALANCED hand with 19 or more points. 

   So with

ª K 7

  A K8                     double and then bid No Trumps here

  A Q J 7  

♣  K7 6

 

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 219

If somebody makes a trump lead rather then an unbid suit then they probably have awkward holding in those other suits so should you be looking for a queen then that player is more likely to hold the queen you are looking for.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 220

If both opponents are bidding and you have 14 points DROP OUT the Auction as you can work out partner has ZILTCH.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  220

Overcaller’s partner should take every opportunity to support with three card support. Here support 2ª if partner overcalls when the bidding goes

1♥    1ª  NO  ?? 

ª 10 9 7

  10 4 3                      bid 2ª  now

  A Q 6 5 4   

♣  K 2

 

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 220

When you embark on a cross ruff cash all the outside winners first and then proceed to do your cross ruff. If you do the cross ruffing first they may throw cards in those outside Aces and you might not get to make them at the 11th hour

 

 

NOVICES TIP 221

With KQ8 opposite 532  you will need to lead up to the King Queen twice so do manage your entries well and if need be win first trick in dummy.

 

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  221

If opener Jumps to Game in responder's suit this is very strong indeed and is not a closing bid, likewise if Opener jumps straight to Game in his own suit after partner replies in a new suit  this is not closing either.

 

ADVANCED TIP 221

If partner Opens 4ª he really should not have two Aces but he could have Ace of his long suit and a singleton so if you want to make slam try cue bid lowest Ace to give partner chance to show singleton now 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 222

The reason Second hand plays low because partner is still there and will be finishing the trick off

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  222

With 5422 and horrid hand rebid 5 card suit when partner does a fourth suit forcing sequence.- not ideal as partner will think you have six but sometimes you are simply fixed- Sh…. Happens J

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 222

Needing 1 trick from 8 opposite KJ654   play this suit as early as possible and play low and try that King and hope second person has played low from Ace- put the pressure on the opposition.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 223

Silence is Golden especially when you have same suits as opposition

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  223

If declarer doesn’t draw trumps then as soon as you get in you should broach trumps and cut back on declarer’s ability to make all his trumps separately from a cross ruff.

 

ADVANCED TIP 223

With KQ943  opposite 1085   needing four tricks finesse Ace first – if no ace appears  come back to hand and finesse again BUT if 4th player has held  up the Ace then declarer is bound to come back to hand and finesse again and now Jack Is promoted (nice Con)  for partner in situations like this  :-                                                          K Q 9 4 3

                                           J 7 2                              A 6

                                                                10 8 5

if last player plays Ace straight away then declarer is bound to finesse the Jack

 

NOVICES TIP 224

Don’t play the High controlling cards in the opposition’s suits, this is applicable to both declarer and each defender.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  224

When you have A765  don’t lead it and if you ever get the lead don’t play this suit BE PATIENT and wait for declarer to play the suit and then you will make the Ace and partner might make the Queen and declarer will never make his King

 

 

NOVICES TIP 225

Please BE COMPETITIVE – push the opponents one level up and see them go one off

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  225

If you have two five card suits it is good to overcall their 1NT Opener  as you have shape on your side

 

ADVANCED TIP 225

With A8632 opposite 954 keep playing low for two rounds and you keep control of the suit as you still have the Ace

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  226

With J985 opposite AQ10 needing all four tricks from this suit and no entry to the J985 side (after getting there once) play low to the Queen. Now play the Ace and hope for doubleton King. Now you can overtake your 10 to play J9

Hope the suit breaks around the table as follows               A Q 10

                                                                                               K 6                   7 4 3 2                                

                                                                                                          J 9 8 5

 

ADVANCED TIP 226

Partner opens the bidding and you have a very strong 2 suited hand BID SLOWLY as you need to exchange as much information as possible so with

 

A 9 8 5 4      reply 2  only when partner opens 1

4

3

A K J 7 5 4

 

 

NOVICES TIP 227

As declarer don’t play into the opposition’s hands. Don’t play back the suit they led.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  227

If you only have one entry on the dummy make sure you use it wisely, maybe for taking a finesse while you are there.

 

ADVANCED TIP 227

Partner opens the bidding 1  and you have

5 4      reply 1   rather than  1

A K 4 3    a) you must bid up the line

J 8 7 3     b) if partner has Hearts and now bids them then the stronger hand

9 5 4                will be playing the contract

 

 

 

 

NOVICES TIP 228

If partner has passed your opening bid of 1ª then you immediately know he has less than 6 points.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  228

If you have all winners left bar one play them all off and at trick 13 maybe one of the opponents will save the wrong winning card.

 

ADVANCED TIP 228

You bid slowly when you don’t know where the hand is going and you want to get to your best fit. Bridge players with Strong Hands do it Slowly J

 

 

NOVICES TIP 229

Leading and following suit are opposite - when you lead low says Like but when you follow suit it says Dislike, when you lead high you dislike but when you follow suit High you Like

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  229

You bid quickly When you know where the hand is going OR when you want to pre-empt the opposition.

 

ADVANCED TIP 229

If you have good source of tricks and reasonable 14/15 points and stopper in opponents suit , but not as balanced as you might like to be you can occasionally overcall 1NT - slightly off centre bid.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 230

Leading 10 from109X is very often a good lead as it creates a position against dummy

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  230

Two four card suits - If you bid your rotten suit the opponents will not lead it, if you end up in No Trump- always a good reason to bid that suit J

 

ADVANCED TIP 230

If both opponents are freely bidding new suits and in 4th seat you have 15/16 points PASS- your partner cannot have anything.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 231

When you defend, Aces and Kings are meant to beat High Cards

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  231

You want to get your Passed partner to bid the say DOUBLE

 

ADVANCED TIP 231

With K 10 9 6 5 4 3 opposite 7   the best way to try and contain your losers to just two is to play low card twice and hope for doubleton Ace which is much more likely than doubleton Q J

 

 

NOVICES TIP 232

When the bidding goes 1NT or 2NT opener followed by a 4NT Reply this is QUANTITIVE and is INVITATIONAL to 6NT and says to Opener bid 6 if you are Maximum (14- if weak No Trump or 17 (if strong NT)_or 22 after 2NT ) and to merely Pass with a Minimum.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  232

The reason you COVER and HONOUR with an HONOUR is to try and PROMOTE SOMETHING  FOR YOUR SIDE. If touching honours are showing in dummy or you believe them to be in the closed hand then Don’t cover in situations like this :-

you have queenand dummy has J1098 don’t bother but

if you have Queen and dummy has J854  NOW COVER as you might promote partner’s 10.

 

ADVANCED TIP 232

If you have a VOID and the opponents bids this suit then your hand GOES UP IN VALUE since  any values in partner’s hand are now  likely to be outside that suit.

 

 

NOVICES TIP 233

In second hand don’t be in hurry to ruff in. Partner might have a higher card and there is no need to ruff in. Also by ruffing in, this is equivalent of second hand playing high and as we all know second hand plays low. Partner is still there for the current trick

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  233

If there is a choice between playing in two 6:2 fits it is best to play in the weaker player’s long suit otherwise you might not be able to get to that hand. so when the bidding goes   

                                                             West    East

                                                                 1♥     1ª

                                                                  2♥      2ª   now Opener must respect his partner's wishes and PASS.

 

ADVANCED TIP 233

Opposite a Passed partner, a 1NT rebid now shows 18/91 as the opener is virtually on his own opposite a partner who might have Zero points.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
   

 

ADVANCED TIP 2

If declarer or dummy has bid two suits and you are strong in one of the suits then lead a trump. The reason for this is that declarer could very easily try and ruff this suit out and by leading a trump you are removing two trumps.
 

NOVICES TIP 3

If declarer is running a long suit and both you and your partner are discarding MAKE SURE you DON'T both DISCARD the SAME SUIT. You protect one suit and partner should protect a different suit

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP 3

Keep length with dummy ie if you are not sure what to keep when discarding keep the same long suit as you can see in dummy. This can also be applied to the closed hand - keep same long suit that declarer might have bid during the auction.

 

ADVANCED TIP 3

If you have made a limit bid, then be respectful and leave all decisions to partner - Dont bid again unless forced or invited
 

NOVICES TIP4

  If you can't remember what has gone or how many has gone in a suit, try and work backwards by remembering what you had to start with, eg you can't remember how many trumps have gone- you have only three trumps left and you know you started with 5 so you probably have drawn 2 rounds only so far

 

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP 4

 Standard Stayman is for finding 44 fits so if you have good hand with 5 card major either bid it weakly at 2 level, use a transfer or bid it strongly at 3 level, but don't pussyfoot around using Stayman when you have 5. The reason for this is that if you have five you now only need three card support from partner not four!!

 

ADVANCED TIP4

  If you think you are in a good contract don't now be silly and go for an overtrick when making your contract is going to produce all the Match points. The corollary  applies that if you think you are in lousy contract, maybe 3NT and you think everybody else will be in 4S  making an overtrick, Now you have to go for that overtrick in order to compete for some sort of reasonable score.
 

NOVICES TIP 5

AIM TO HAVE A FIT :-

Minimum fit is 43 to obtain majority  holding of 7 cards in suit

IDEAL FIT is 44 or Better bringing total to MAGIC EIGHT

Magic eight can also be achieved by 53 or 62 or 71 or more cards in suit

It is necessary to recognise these fits especially in Majors otherwise many 53 and 62 fits get lost. As soon as partner bids 2 suits, partner’s first suit is likely to be FIVE (unless he was 4441 in first place) then if you have 3 card support for partner’s first suit the  the 53 fit comes to light – support partner now. As soon as partner repeats a suit he is likely to be showing 6 unless he can’t make any other bid now with 2 card support the 62 fit comes to light so be quick to support partner now with 2 card support. If partner pre-empts and is know to hold 7 if you have good outside hand but singleton in partner’s suit the MAGIC EIGHT is still there so raise the major as soon as possible.

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP 5

If opponents open 1NT (especially weak) and the partner of the 1NT opener makes a weakness takeout and the auction is just about to subside at the 2 level - make sure you bid at all costs. Protect on as little as 7/8 points. You will be pleasantly surprised how often the opponents now take the push to the 3 level, go one down when you were just about to let them play a comfortable 2 level contract BALANCE  

 

ADVANCED TIP 5

1.  If you have AXXX in dummy and KJ10X in the closed hand and you are looking for the Queen- try leading the Jack from the closed hand, and you will be surprised how many people will cover. If there isn't a cover come up with dummy's Ace and finesse on the way back

 

NOVICES TIP 6

TIME IS IN THE EYE OF BEHOLDER 2 minutes is a long time so don't worry about holding people up and 2/3 minutes is an adequate of time for the auction and 2/3 minutes is also an adequate amount of time for the play. In  tournament bridge 8 hands an hour is allotted time. Normally people only get held up through being too talkative, not because of taking too much time over planning a hand - TAKE AS MUCH TIME AS YOU LIKE

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP 6

Long in Trump Lead Length- if you have 4 trumps and the you are on lead it is best to lead your other long suit. By doing this there may be the possibility that declarer will need to trump in before he wants to. Now he may lose control of the trump suit itself. Certainly don't lead from shortage since you will be coming to natural trumps anyway with you length.  

 

ADVANCED TIP 6

If you are trying to place cards in a CRITICAL suit and one opponent is already known to be long another  suit that he may have bid or led then in the CRITICAL suit assume that the same opponent will be short in this critical suit, particularly helpful when looking for a Queen and you have a two way finesse available.

 

NOVICES TIP 7

 Once you decide on plan, try and play in tempo so that you can keep track of what has gone. If you have long periods of trancing midway then you will lose track of your plan. By playing out semi-quickly now, you will be able to count much better

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP 7

Don't lead a singleton with a goodish hand  since you might not be able to get partner in for a ruff so make a positive lead instead.

eg you hold 

ª

QJ104

©

 952

¨

AKJ53

§

 3

and the opponents bid to 4© then lead A¨or Qª  not the 3§ assuming the opponents are reasonable and they get to 4©  with about 26 points and you have 11 so how many can partner have so make a positve lead from your own hand instead of trying to find an entry in partner's hand when he can't possibly have one.

 

ADVANCED TIP 7

3. Sitting over a KQ10  holding in dummy and you hold the Ace try ducking it more often and you will be pleasantly surprised when

a) declarer uses up valuable entry to return to hand to finesse again

b) he now finesses the Queen assuming the other defender had missing Ace and now you partner scores the Jack. if you go up with the Ace immediately declarer will have no choice but if you duck you give him losing option.

in situations like this

  dummy  
  KQ10  

J54

  A82 (you)
  9763  

Now when the king holds declarer is bound to assume west has missing Ace. it is even more satisfying if you can do this with a doubleton Ace holding very SMOOTHLY

 

NOVICES TIP 8

As declarer make sure you LEAD UP TO HONOURS eg

lead low towards AQX or KXX or KQX or KJX (never start the play from these holdings)

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  8

 Remember to only cover an honour with an Honour if you are likely to PROMOTE something for yourself or for your partner- this is most of time but if you see touching honours in dummy or you suspect that declarer has a good holding in the closed hand don't bother to cover.

 

ADVANCED TIP 8

 If you have shakey trump holding with maybe only 7 trumps between hand and dummy, try ducking a round and you will be surprised how less often you will lose control of the suit eg

with AKXX opposite XXX you have loser anyway so ducking can't cost and it can only gain when the suit break 42

 

NOVICES TIP 9

When leading against suit contracts don't lead away from tenaces eg avoid leading from AQX or KJX or A10X

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  9

Stayman Convention is mainly used to try and find 44 fits. If you have a five timer, either introduce it naturally or with Transfers.

 

ADVANCED TIP 9

Every time you make LIGHT OVERCALLS think of your bid as LEAD DIRECTING and then you will not overcall on trashy suits.eg

overcall on AQXXX or KQ10XXX or AJ109XX but not on JXXXX or QXXXX as its meaningless !!

 

NOVICES TIP 10

When you see dummy make sure you determine which hand is short hand and which hand is the long hand for each suit. Once you determine this then you can play each suit accordingly so that you DON'T GET BLOCKED. Make sure you play the high card(s) from the short hand first eg with AQ4 opposite KJ98 make sure you play AQ first

 

INTERMEDIATES TIP  10

If you are thinking of overcalling and you aren't sure whether your suit is good enough to bid consider the Suit Quality Test (as laid out by Ron Klinger) The number of cards in the suit you are considering bidding plus the number of honours in that suit should equal tricks required

eg  with   ª AK762  © 76  ¨ 763 § Q65  yes overcall 1ª total is 5+2 =7 OK BUT

  with   ª Q7632  © A6  ¨ K63 § Q65  Now Pass  as total is 5+1 = 6 (despite having more points on this hand).

 

 

ADVANCED TIP 10

If the opponents bid and raise a suit and stop at the 2 level be quick to bid in the Pass out seat (for more details on this tip se Ron Klingers's A Guide to Better Duplicate

eg. if bidding goes   N     E     S      W  

                                    1©  NO  2©  NO

                                    NO  ?

as East holding ª 865432  © 10  ¨ A72 § K43 compete 2ª

or holding  ª 85  © 1053  ¨ KJ62 § AQ74 compete 2NT UNUSUAL (believe it or not !!)

 

NOVICES TIP 11

If you make any sort of LIMIT BID   DON'T BID AGAIN. Limit bids come in all sorts of guises and the most common ones are opening 1NT and 2NT or replying in No Trumps or in your partners suit. However if you make an pre-emptive opening bid of 3 of a Suit this is also a Limit bid and you certainly  must leave all decisions to partner. Other times that this manifests itself is when you open 1H and rebid 2H. Now your rebid is a limit bid. If responder now rebids his suit at the 2 Level it is Mandatory for you to now pass and not to fight it out with partner.  

eg 1©  - 1ª

    2©   - 2ª

Pass now by opener is your only option!!!