Bridge Corner- Lesson 1 (Opening Bids at the one level)

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 Lesson 1: – Introduction to 4 card Acol and Opening bids at the 1 level

Suggested Reading (remember they are not Bibles)

  1. Bridge for complete Beginners – Paul Mendelson
  2. Bridge Winning ways to play your cards – Paul Mendelson
  3. Andrew Robson’s Essential Bridge Flipper

Facts: –

  1. Matches etc are lost by mistakes, not brilliances
  2. There is no such thing as a perfect bidding system – there will be hands your system will get wrong
  3. There are no “right answers”. It is up to the partnership to agree what the right answers are (both doing the same thing)
  4. Bidding is more important than the play of the cards. If you bid sensible contracts you do not have to be a    genius at playing the hands.
  5. Bridge is a partnership. You have to cope positively with a   partner and develop a system to suit both members of the partnership.

Bridge bidding system (covered by these lessons): –

Acol is the bridge bidding system that is “standard in British tournament play and widely used in other parts of the world”. It is basically a natural system using four card majors and, most commonly, a weak no-trump.

Facts: –

  1. There are 52 cards in a pack
  2. There are 4 suits which are ranked upwards – Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts and Spades
  3. No-trumps (NT) is ranked above Spades and is a limit bid
  4. The minor suits are Clubs ()and Diamonds ()
  5. The Major suits are Hearts () and Spades ()
  6. We will be playing the 4 card Acol system using weak NT (12-14 pts)
  7. There are 40 High Card Points (HCPs) in a pack
  8. Ace = 4pts, King = 3pts, Queen = 2pts, Jack = 1pts
  9. Balanced Hand – roughly the same number of cards in each suit (4,3,3,3 or 4,4,3,2 or 5,3,3,2)
  10. Distributional or an unbalanced hand where you have 1 (6 cards) or 2 suits (9+ cards across the 2 suits) that are much longer than the others. This will result in shortage in at least 1 of the remaining suits (e.g. 1 or a void)
  11. A distributional hand one should look at the loser count e.g. for every A, K or Q you are missing in the suit(s) that are bid is a lost trick; 1 card in a suit is only 1 loser,etc…
  12. In a distributional hand add 1pt for each 5 or 6 card suit and 2pts for each subsequent card and 2pt for a singleton and 3pts for a void
  13. A 4,4,4,1 distribution – pass with 12pts and bid best suit where possible below the singleton if you have 13+pts

Opening 1 of a Suit: – (agreed with Partner)

  • count – 12 – 19 HCPs
  • Must have 4 cards headed by an honour or any 5 cards or longer suit
  • Must be able to make a rebidg. rebid suit – must be promising 5 or more cards headed by at least 2 honours or bid a second suit which should have at least 4 cards headed by an honour (always bid the 5 card suit first if there is one in the hand first) or be able to make a rebid in NT

 Opening 1NT

  • 12-14pts HCPs ideally divided evenly across the 4 suits (this is often not realistic)
  • Balanced hand
  • Limit bid
  • No rebid unless partner responds that forces you to bid

What are the Opening Bids?

Hand Bid Ax KQJxxx Qxx xx Axxx AKxx Qxx Jx AKQx Qxx x AQJxx xx Axxxx KQx Axx Axx KQx AJxx Qxx Qxx Axxx KQx xxxx Qx AJxxx KQxxx x Qxxx x KJxx AKxx Kx KQxx QJxxx Ax AQxxx Kxx xxx Ax


Upper Bann U3A Bridge Lessons

Bridge Corner – Lesson 2 (Responding to a suit opening bid)

Points required between the partnership for part game or game (remember distribution also effects the number of tricks that can be won)

Points between
the Partnership
no. of tricks level
18-21 7 1
22-24 8 2
24+ 9 3 (3NT)
25-26 10 4 (4H/S)
27-28 11 5 (5C/D)

The responder also communicates hand strength through bidding by responding to partner’s opening bid uniquely according to their high card points.

  • 0-5 points: A hand in this range normally should not bid (i.e. should pass)
  • 6-9 points: This is a minimum response hand. You can show support for partners bid with a simple raise to the 2-level if you have 4 cards of the partner‘s suit, bid a new suit if you can do so at the one-level (never deny a 4 card major), or respond 1NT otherwise.
  • 10 or 11 points: any new suit bid at the 2-level promises opening partner at least 10 points. With specifically 10 or 11 points, you have a medium strength hand, and can bid another 4-card suit but at the two-level now in hopes of discovering the 8-card fit. You plan eventually to invite partner to a game contract.
  • 12 or more points: you have a maximum hand and desire a game contract. – however bid slowly at the beginning to allow partner to further describe the strength/distribution of his/her hand. This will enable the partnership to find the best contract to be in.

What is the Responder’s bid to a suit opening bid?

Opening
Bid
    Responder’s Hand Responder’s Bid Why?
1C Axxx Jxx Kxxx xx
1S QJx AKxx xx Jxxx
1H Jxx Qxxx KJxx xx
1S KQxx Axx xx Qxxx
1D Kxx xxx Qxx Jxxx
1H Ax KJxx QJxxx Ax
1D KQx Qxx Ax Qxxxx
1C xxx Jxxx Qxx Qxx
1S x AQxxxxx Kx xxx
1D AJxxx Qxx Qx KQx

Bridge Corner – Lesson 3 (Responding to 1NT with balanced hand)

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 Lesson 3: – Responding to 1NT (balanced hand – 12-14pts)

Responses: –

  1. Conventional (for information only)

We are not using this bidding system.

  • 0-5pts and a 5 card suit bid at the 2 level – weak take out
  • 6-10pts and a balanced hand – PASS
  • 6-11pts and a 5 card major bid at the 2 level
  • 12+pts and 6 or more cards bid 3C/D (if possible be in 3NT – often easier to make)
  • 12+pts and a 5 card major bid 3H or 3S
  • 11-12pts and balanced bid 2NT
  • 13pts+ and balanced bid 3NT
  1. Non-conventional

(Remember we are all U3A UPPER BANN)

THIS IS OUR BIDDING SYSTEM

  • 0-10pts and a balanced hand pass
  • 11pts and a balanced hand (no 4 card major) – bid 2 spades
  • 12pts and a balanced hand (no 4 card major) – bid 2NT
  • 13+pts and a balanced hand (no 4 card major) – bid 3NT
  • Bid 2 Clubs with 11+pts. and at least one 4 card Major in your hand – Staymen. Responses from NT opener – 2Ds – no 4 card major, 2Hs – 4 card H suit, 2Ss – 4 card S suit (if both Majors bid in an ascending order), Responder will then bid either 2NT or 3NT (if the responder goes back to NT then the opener can expect his partner to have 4 cards in the other Major and may choose to bid that suit) or support the Major by bidding a 3 or 4 contract
  • Transfers (aim is to keep the NT hand hidden and thus more protected from leads etc.) – Bid 2Ds with 0+pts and a 5 or more card Heart suit – response from opener – 2Hs. Responder will bid on if pts. are available (2NT – 11/12pts, 3NT – 13+pts thus allowing the opener to choose best contract or 3Hs or 4Hs showing a 6 card major and appropriate points) ; Bid 2Hs with 0+pts and a 5 or more card Spade suit – response from opener – 2Ss Responder will bid on if pts. are available (2NT – 11/12pts, 3NT – 13+pts thus allowing the opener to choose best contract or 3Ss or 4Ss showing a 6 card major and appropriate points)
  • With a weak hand and 6 or more Clubs bid 2Cs and after openers response bid 3Cs and opener passes
  • With a weak hand and 6 or more diamonds bid 2Ds and after openers bid 2Hs bid 3Ds and opener passes
  • Or you can also Transfer both Minors (only with a 6 card minor suit and a weak hand). Responder bids 2Ss (2Ss no longer means 11pts and balanced – 2NT from responder will now mean 11/12pts) and opener responds 3Cs; responder bids 3Cs and opener bids 3Ds.

What is the Responder’s bid to a 1NT Opening Bid?

    Responder’s Hand Bid Why?
1. Jxxx xx Kxxx Qxx
2. Qxx Axxx Kxx Qxx
3. Qxxxx xxx xx Jxx
4. KJx Jx AKxxx Qxx
5. Qxx Axx KJx Qxxx
6. Kx AJxxx Qxx QJx
7. Qx xxx xx Kxxxxx
8. KQx Qxx Jxxx Kxx
9. x Jxx AJxxxx xxx
10. QJxx Jxxx Kx Kxx

Bridge Corner – Lesson 4 (Consolidation work lessons 1 – 3)

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Lesson 4 – Revision of the Bidding System so far.

 

  1. Opening 1 of a suit – 3 facts: –

 

 

  1. Opening 1NT – 4 facts: –

 

 

 

  1. Responses to 1NT: –

2C

 

 

2D

 

2H

 

2S

 

2NT

 

3NT

 

 

  1. Responding to a suit opening:-

Minimum pts. required: –

At the 1 level

 

At the 2 level

 

5 Supporting partners suit – pts. required and no. cards

 

at the 2 level

 

at the 3 level

 

at the 4 level

 

  1. When assessing a hand’s strength what else should be considered?

Bidding Sequences

 

  1. Opening Hand                                  Bidding sequence                          Final Contract

 

 

xx AxxxxKQx Axx

 

Responder Hand
Qxxx Jx Axxx KJx

 

  1. Opening Hand

 

Axx KQx AJxx Qxx

 

Responder Hand

 

Qxxx xxx Kxx Kxx

 

3 Opening Hand

Qx AJxxx KQxxx x

 

Responder Hand

 

AJx Kxx xx AQxxx

  1. Opening Hand

 

 

Kxxx AKxx Qxx Jx

 

Responder Hand

 

QJxx Jxxx Kx Kxx

 

 

  1. Opening Hand

 

Jxx KQx Axxx QJx

 

Responder Hand

 

Qxxxx xxx Jx xxx

 

6.Opening Hand Bidding Sequence Final Contract

 

QJx Axx Ax AQxxx

 

Responder Hand

 

Xxx Qxx KJxxx Jx

 

 

  1. Opening Hand

 

QJxx AJx Kx Qxxx

 

Responder Hand

 

x xxx AJxxxx Jxx

 

 

  1. Opening Hand

 

KJx Axx Kxx QJxx

 

Responder Hand

 

Qx KQxxx Axx(D)Kxx

 

9 Opening Hand

 

KJxxx Ax xx KQJx

 

Responder Hand

 

Ax KJxx KJxxx Ax

 

 

10 Opening Hand

 

KQxxx Qx Axx KJx

 

Responder Hand

 

Axxx KJxx KQxx x

Lesson 5: Overcalls

The contract level sets a specific target of tricks that must be won to make the contract: –

Level Number of tricks to be won
  1 7   2 8   3 9   4 10   5 11   6 12   7 13

If the declarer makes the contract (including any overtricks then a positive score is given. If the declarer fails to make the contract, the defenders are said to have set or defeated the contract (declarer has gone down), and are awarded points for doing so.

Points awarded for contacts made: –

Contract
or
Points Contract
or
Points Contract
No Trumps
Points
  1   70   1   80   1   90
  2   90   2   110   2   120
  3   110   3   140   3 400/600
(game) NV/V
  4   130   4 420/620   4 430/630
(game) NV/V (game + 1 extra trick)
  5 400/600   5 450/650   4 460/660
(game) NV/V (game + 1 extra trick) (game + 2 extra tricks)

(Slams will be dealt with later)

IMG_0636NV = non vulnerable (green on the boards) – if the declarer fails to make a contract 50pts are given to the defenders for each trick not achieved. Points awarded for bidding and making a game are lower (400/420)

V = vulnerable (red on the boards) – if the declarer fails to make a contract 100pts are given to the defenders for each trick not achieved. Points awarded for bidding and making a game are higher (600/620). Caution is needed when competing for a part contract when vulnerable e.g. down two tricks = 200pts. which is more than the opposition would get for making their part game (PASS is often sensible)

Opening Leads

To begin play, the defender on the declarer’s left makes the opening lead. In more formal play, the opening leader does so by first placing the card face down on the table to afford his partner an opportunity to ask questions about the auction, then faces it when partner has no further questions. This practice also allows the defender to return the card to his hand without penalty if the lead is not his to make.

Remember always to reflect what the bidding has been before choosing your lead card.

  1. Leading against NT contracts

There are two steps in choosing the lead against a NT contract:

  • Choosing the SUIT
  • Choosing the CARD

Choosing the best suit to lead is the most critical aspect. Once we’ve decided on the suit, selecting the appropriate card is usually a matter of rote.

In no-trumps you are trying to establish a suit; and part of this process is maintaining communications with partner, so it’s much more of a patient waiting game – less emphasis on the actual lead of an honour, more about trying to eventually benefit from the length of the suit.

Choosing the Suit: –

The key to choosing the best suit to lead is to listen to the auction. The standard guidelines are:

  1. Lead partner’s suit
  2. Otherwise, lead the longest suit, but: – avoid the opponents’ suits,
  3. With a choice of suits, lead the longer
  4. Lead an unbid suit from weakness or strength

Choosing the Card: –

  1. Always lead the highest card in you partner’s bid suit
  2. Lead the 4th highest of your longest and strongest suit (provided that it has not been bid by the opposition)
  3. From any 3 card honour sequence always lead the top honour (KQJx).
  4. From a sequence of two honours with one card exactly two below the lowest honour, lead the highest card, (sometimes referred to as a 2 &1/2 honour sequence) e.g. KQ1043 – the 10 is two below the Q
  5. Lead an intermediate card from a weak suit (MUD)
  1. Leading against Suit Contracts

The opening lead can often be critical to the success or failure of a contract, so it’s important to get off to the right start whenever possible. There are two aspects to the opening lead:

  • Choosing the suit – requires good judgment
  • Choosing the card – once the suit has been decided is more a matter of rote.

Against a suit contract it’s usually the first two rounds of a suit that are important, and consequently it’s often correct to concentrate on the quick trick taking potential of a suit – i.e. honours. Subsequent rounds are less important, since there is a high probability that they are going to be ruffed in any case.

One golden rule of bridge – on the opening lead never under-lead an ace against a suit contract.

If you do under-lead an ace, this may enable declarer or dummy to make a singleton king. Also following this rule enables partner to make the correct play in the following situation:

J9652 (W)

Q74 (S)

K103 (E)

A8 (N)

Against a suit contract West leads 5 (a low card – implying that he has an honour). Dummy plays 4. ‘Knowing’ that your partner would not under-lead the A, you must play 10. If instead you played the K, you present declarer with two spade tricks instead of one.

 

Remember to always reflect what the bidding has been before choosing your lead card.

Choosing the Suit: –

The key to choosing the best suit to lead is to listen to the auction. The standard guidelines are:

  1. Lead partner’s suit
  2. Lead an unbid suit – don’t lead away from a king
  3. MUD – lead “middle – up – down” of unwanted suit
  4. Lead a singleton or doubleton (high card first – not king or queen) of unwanted suit
  5. Lead the trump suit

Choosing the Card: –

Lead the top of a doubleton or a singleton (hoping for a rough)

  1. From any honour sequence always lead the top honour. From an interior honour sequence lead the top of the internal honour sequence – this does include the ‘10’) e.g. KQxxx

QJxx

AKxx

J10xx

KJ104

Q1097

  1. Lead middle card of MUD
  2. Lead lowest trump card when 2/3 low trump cards (reduces oppositions chances of cross roughing)
  3. Lead fourth highest card of an unbid suit

Leads against a contract

 

Final Bid by Hand of Card Why?

Contract Partner Lead Player Led

1   3NT       no bid       J10x Qxxxx xx Kxx

2   3D       1H       Qxx Jx xxx Kxxxx

3   3NT       no bid       Jxx KQJxx Qxx xx

4  4H       no bid       Axxx Jxx xxx Kxx

5   2NT      no bid       KQ10xx xx Kxx Jxx

6   5C       no bid       Axx Qxxxx xx xxx

7   1NTX      Double      QJx Kxxx Qxxx xx

8   3S       no bid       Jx Jxxxx Kx Axxx

9   3D       no bid       K10xx xxx xxx Qxx

10   4H       no bid       Kxxx xxx x QJxxx

Lesson 6: Responding to overcalls

IMG_20141003_112036An overcall can be obstructive on its own but it is far more effective if your partner holds some support and can raise your overcall to a higher level. This uses up vital biding space your opponents would far rather preserve.

Important points about competitive bidding: –

  • If your opponents have an 8 card fit in a suit, then your side will almost always have an 8 card fit in one of the other suits. So it is an extra good time to compete when your opponents have found a fit.
  • When your side holds the majority of the points, you try to reach the best contract for your side, using as much bidding as you require to ascertain the correct biding level and which suit will be trumps
  • When your side holds the minority of points, your aim is to cause as much disruption as possible to your opponents’ biding, sometimes stealing the contract from them at low levels
  • When you do not expect to make the contact you must never lose more than 1 or 2 tricks (particularly when vulnerable) as this could be a worse outcome than the opposition making a part game.

1 In response to partner’s suit overcall: –

  • PASS – weak hand (no fit guaranteed)
  • Single raise: three or more trumps, 7-10 total points, including distribution
  • New suit: at least five cards. Depending on agreements, either forcing one round or simply constructive. Typically 10+pts
  • Jump shift: A good 5/6card suit and opening bid values or better. Forcing for one round.
  • 1NT: 6-11 pts, no fit, stopper(s) in opener’s suit.

2NT: 12-15 pts, no fit, stopper(s) in opponent’s suit.

 

2 Response to 1NT overcall (no interference): –

 

  • PASS – less than 8pts and no 5 card major
  • 2S – 8pts, NT hand with no 4 card major
  • 2NT – 9pts, NT hand with no 4 card major
  • 3NT – 10pts, NT hand with no 4 card major
  • 2C – 8+pts and at least one 4 card major (Staymen)
  • 2D – 0+pts and 5 Hearts (Transfer)
  • 2H – 0+pts and 5 Spades (Transfer)

 

3 Responses to Takeout Double: –

 

Normally, (assuming the right hand opponent passes) the doubler’s partner should make a descriptive bid indicating a long suit of his own and the high-card strength:

  • A minimal-level bid of a suit indicates a weak hand (normally, below 9 high-card points).
  • A jump bid of a suit shows a long (at least a 5-card) suit and invites the partner to bid on if the double was not minimal. Normally, such bid is made with 10+ points.
  • A bid of 1NT shows 6-10 pts. and balanced hand with at least one stop in the opponent’s suit. A bid of 2NT shows 11-12 pts. and balanced hand with stop(s) in the bid suit
  • The takeout double can be passed for penalties in extreme situations, when the hand has 5-6 or more excellent trumps. By passing, the doubler’s partner is promising at least three trump tricks.
  • If the right hand opponent bids, the doubler’s partner is not forced to make a bid anymore; if one is made, it is a free bid, indicating a certain minimum strength and/or length in the suit bid (e.g. 6-7 points).

4 Responding to 1NT doubled by partner (right hand opponent passes): –

  • Pass – the double is for penalties
  • 5 card suit and very weak (less than 5 points) bid suit
  • Only a 4 card suit and very weak – Pass

 

Responses to Overcalls (assume no bidding from opener’s partner)

 

Opening Overcall    Responder’s hand              Responder             Why

Bid                                                                                      Bid

  1. 1S             2D         xx(S),xx(H),QJxx(D),AJxxx(C)

 

  1. 1H            2D       xx(S),Jxxx(H),KJx(D),KJxx(C)

 

  1. 1S           2D       AQx(S),Kx(H),Kxx(D),Qxxxx(C)

 

  1. 1NT     X        xxxx(S),Kxx(H),Jxxx(D),xx(C)

 

  1. 1D       1NT   xx(S),Qxxxx(H),Jxx(D),xxx(C)

 

Opening Overcall     Responder’s hand               Responder             Why

Bid                                                                                      Bid

 

  1. 1H        X    KQxxx(S),xx(H)Ax(D),Qxxx(C)

 

  1. 1D     X     Qxx(S),Jxxx(H),Kxx(D),Qxx(C)

 

  1. 1S   1NT  Jxx(S),Axxx(H),Qxxx(D),Qx(C)

 

  1. 1NT  2D  Ax(S),QJxxx(H),Kx(D),Jxxx(C)

 

  1. 1H   X     xxx(S),Qxx(H)Jx(D)KJxxx(C)

Lesson 7: The Play

The contract level sets a specific target of tricks that must be won to make the contract: –

Level Number of tricks to be won
  1 7   2 8   3 9   4 10   5 11   6 12   7 13

If the declarer makes the contract (including any overtricks then a positive score is given. If the declarer fails to make the contract, the defenders are said to have set or defeated the contract (declarer has gone down), and are awarded points for doing so.

Points awarded for contacts made: –

Contract
or
Points Contract
or
Points Contract
No Trumps
Points
  1   70   1   80   1   90
  2   90   2   110   2   120
  3   110   3   140   3 400/600
(game) NV/V
  4   130   4 420/620   4 430/630
(game) NV/V (game + 1 extra trick)
  5 400/600   5 450/650   4 460/660
(game) NV/V (game + 1 extra trick) (game + 2 extra tricks)

(Slams will be dealt with later)

IMG_0636NV = non vulnerable (green on the boards) – if the declarer fails to make a contract 50pts are given to the defenders for each trick not achieved. Points awarded for bidding and making a game are lower (400/420)

V = vulnerable (red on the boards) – if the declarer fails to make a contract 100pts are given to the defenders for each trick not achieved. Points awarded for bidding and making a game are higher (600/620). Caution is needed when competing for a part contract when vulnerable e.g. down two tricks = 200pts. which is more than the opposition would get for making their part game (PASS is often sensible)

Opening Leads

To begin play, the defender on the declarer’s left makes the opening lead. In more formal play, the opening leader does so by first placing the card face down on the table to afford his partner an opportunity to ask questions about the auction, then faces it when partner has no further questions. This practice also allows the defender to return the card to his hand without penalty if the lead is not his to make.

Remember always to reflect what the bidding has been before choosing your lead card.

  1. Leading against NT contracts

There are two steps in choosing the lead against a NT contract:

  • Choosing the SUIT
  • Choosing the CARD

Choosing the best suit to lead is the most critical aspect. Once we’ve decided on the suit, selecting the appropriate card is usually a matter of rote.

In no-trumps you are trying to establish a suit; and part of this process is maintaining communications with partner, so it’s much more of a patient waiting game – less emphasis on the actual lead of an honour, more about trying to eventually benefit from the length of the suit.

 Choosing the Suit: –

The key to choosing the best suit to lead is to listen to the auction. The standard guidelines are:

  1. Lead partner’s suit
  2. Otherwise, lead the longest suit, but: – avoid the opponents’ suits,
  3. With a choice of suits, lead the longer
  4. Lead an unbid suit from weakness or strength

 Choosing the Card: –

  1. Always lead the highest card in you partner’s bid suit
  2. Lead the 4th highest of your longest and strongest suit (provided that it has not been bid by the opposition)
  3. From any 3 card honour sequence always lead the top honour (KQJx).
  4. From a sequence of two honours with one card exactly two below the lowest honour, lead the highest card, (sometimes referred to as a 2 &1⁄2 honour sequence) e.g. KQ1043 – the 10 is two below the Q
  5. Lead an intermediate card from a weak suit (MUD)
  1. Leading against Suit Contracts

The opening lead can often be critical to the success or failure of a contract, so it’s important to get off to the right start whenever possible. There are two aspects to the opening lead:

  • Choosing the suit – requires good judgment
  • Choosing the card – once the suit has been decided is more a matter of rote.

Against a suit contract it’s usually the first two rounds of a suit that are important, and consequently it’s often correct to concentrate on the quick trick taking potential of a suit – i.e. honours. Subsequent rounds are less important, since there is a high probability that they are going to be ruffed in any case.

One golden rule of bridge – on the opening lead never under-lead an ace against a suit contract.

If you do under-lead an ace, this may enable declarer or dummy to make a singleton king. Also following this rule enables partner to make the correct play in the following situation:

♠ J9652 (W)

♠ Q74 (S)

♠ K103 (E)

♠ A8 (N)

Against a suit contract West leads ♠5 (a low card – implying that he has an honour). Dummy plays ♠4. ‘Knowing’ that your partner would not under-lead the ♠A, you must play ♠10. If instead you played the ♠K, you present declarer with two spade tricks instead of one.

 

Remember to always reflect what the bidding has been before choosing your lead card.

Choosing the Suit: –

The key to choosing the best suit to lead is to listen to the auction. The standard guidelines are:

  1. Lead partner’s suit
  2. Lead an unbid suit – don’t lead away from a king
  3. MUD – lead “middle – up – down” of unwanted suit
  4. Lead a singleton or doubleton (high card first – not king or queen) of unwanted suit
  5. Lead the trump suit

Choosing the Card: –

Lead the top of a doubleton or a singleton (hoping for a rough)

  1. From any honour sequence always lead the top honour. From an interior honour sequence lead the top of the internal honour sequence – this does include the ‘10’) e.g.                                 KQxxx

QJxx

AKxx

J10xx

KJ104

Q1097

  1. Lead middle card of MUD
  2. Lead lowest trump card when 2/3 low trump cards (reduces oppositions chances of cross roughing)
  3. Lead fourth highest card of an unbid suit

Leads against a contract

 

Final          Bid by         Hand of                                       Card                 Why?

Contract   Partner     Lead Player                                   Led

1  3NT       no bid   J10x(S),Qxxxx(H),xx(D),Kxx(C)

 

2  3D           1H     Qxx(S),Jx(H),xxx(D),Kxxxx(C)

 

3 3NT   no bid   Jxx(S),KQJxx(H),Qxx(D),xx(C)

 

4 4H   no bid   Axxx(S),Jxx(H),xxx(D),Kxx(C)

 

5 2NT no bid KQ10xx(S),xx(H),Kxx(D)Jxx(C)

 

6 5C     no bid   Axx(S),Qxxxx(H),xx(D)xxx(C)

 

7 1NTX Double   QJx(S),Kxxx(H),Qxxx(D),xx(C)

 

8 3S   no bid       Jx(S),Jxxxx(H),Kx(D),Axxx(C)

 

9 3D   no bid     K10xx(S),xxx(H),xxx(D)Qxx(C)

10 4H   no bid   Kxxx(S)xxx(H)x(D)QJxxx(C)

 

Bridge Corner – Lesson 8 – The Play continued

The dummy spreads his/her hand on the table with each suit in a column from highest to lowest facing the declarer, customarily with any trump suit on declarer’s left and the colors of the suits alternating. The rules of play are similar to other trick-taking games, except that the declarer directs the play of cards from the dummy in addition to playing cards from his own hand. Dummy is allowed to try to prevent declarer from infringing the rules, but otherwise must not interfere with the play; for example, dummy may attempt to prevent declarer from leading from the wrong hand (by stating, e.g., “you won the last trick in dummy”) but must not comment on opponents’ actions or make suggestions as to play.

IMG_20141003_112927The hands play clockwise around the table, and each hand must “follow suit” (that is, play a card of the suit lead to the trick) if able. A hand that cannot follow suit may either “ruff” (play a trump) if there is a trump suit or discard (play a card of any other suit). The hand that plays either the highest trump or, in a trick that contains no trumps, the highest card of the suit led to the trick wins the trick for its side and proceeds to lead to the next trick. The play continues until all thirteen tricks are played. The declarer or a defender may “claim” the rest of the tricks by showing his hand and stating how he will take them.

In duplicate bridge, each player retains the card played from his hand to each trick and lays it on the table turned in the direction of the side that won the trick, thus keeping the hands separate to return them to the board at the end of play.

If upon reviewing dummy after the opening lead, declarer assesses that he does not have enough tricks immediately available to make his contract, he can try to develop additional tricks through a variety of methods. These include:

  • Losing tricks to the defenders‘ high cards in order to “promote” the remaining cards of that suit in his hand.
  • Running out long suits after the defenders’ cards in that suit are exhausted, to force defenders to discard useful cards.
  • The “finesse, in which a low card is led toward a high card in the hope of trapping a high card held by the defender who must play in between.
  • In trump contracts, declarer should try to take out all the trump cards of the defenders to avoid ruffing from the defenders
  • In trump contracts, the declarer may attempt to cover losers in his hand by trumping them in dummy, while also taking care to draw out the defenders’ trumps if necessary. (Cross ruffing)
  • Cutting communications between the two defenders, for instance by allowing them to win early tricks in a suit until they are unable to use the suit as an entry.
  • The “squeeze play in which a defender is forced to choose which card to discard before declarer has to make his own discard choice.

Discards

A discard occurs when he/she are no longer able to follow the suit that has been led. A discard should be used to send a signal to the partner about a suit that you have strength in and would like your partner to lead should your partner win a trick.

The standard method for sending a signal with a discard is a high card in a suit to encourage and low card in a suit to discourage.

However, we are going to learn an alternative method where a discard gives a suit-preference signal (“McKenney”).

First, let’s establish what constitutes a suit-preference discard. It is the play of a card directing partner’s attention to some other suit. That other suit is never the suit led or the suit discarded, and in suit contracts it will never be the trump suit – on which the discard is most likely to occur. So, in a suit contract, it will be one of two other suits.

The signal conveyed to partner is that the play of a high card of a poor suit asks for the higher-ranking remaining suit, whilst the play of your lowest card in a poor suit asks for the lower- ranking remaining suit, e.g.: –

There have been 2 rounds of Spades played and the hand below has no more Spades. What card does he/she discard to signal to his/her partner his best suit?

  1. KQ102   973   J1083
  2. Q95   J94   AJ765

 

Bridge Corner – Lesson 9: Overcalls Revision

IMG_0799An Overcall is any bid of a suit or NT after an opponent/s have bid.

List the main objectives of an overcall

2. Overcall in a Suit –

Guarantees at least how many cards in the suit bid?

And what two other things?

To overcall a suit: –
How many HCP at the 1 level?
How many HCP at the 2 level?
How many HCP at the 3 level?
1NT overcalls of a suit: –
How many HCP are indicated?
What other thing would be expected?

Takeout Double
List at least 4 things that you expect from this bid?

Doubling 1NT opening.
List at least 3 things that can be expected by this bid: –

Opening Bid Over-callers hand Overcall Why

Editing in progress – please be patient

 

Hand Bid   ♠   ♥   ♦   ♣
1. 1S K3 AJxx Qxxx Axx
2. 1NT Qxx xx AQxxx KJX
3. 1H QJxx Axxx Ax Kxx
4. 1NT AJx QJxx KQx KJx
5. 1D Qxx KQxxx xx Qxx

 

Bridge Corner – Lesson 10: Responses to overcalls

IMG_0802A suit overcall can be obstructive on its own (helps with leads) but it is far more effective if the partner holds some support and can raise the overcall to a higher level that reduces vital bidding space of opponents.

Identify 3 rules for raising a bid: –
1.
2.
3.

Responses to partners suit overcall: –
Pass – Why?
Single raise- Why?
Bid new suit – Why?
Jump shift to a new suit – Why?
1NT – Why?
2NT – Why?

Responses to 1NT overcalls (no interference): –

Pass – Why
2S – Why?
2NT – Why?
3NT – Why?
2C – Why?
2D – Why
2H – Why?

Responses to Takeout Double: –

What should you expect about the doubling hand?

No interference – What are the bids available? Explain what each bid should mean.

Responding to 1NT doubled by partner.

What should you expect from the doubling hand?
What are the bids available? Explain each bid that you can make.
Response to Overcalls (assume no bidding from opponents)

Opening
bid
Overcall Responder’s
hand
Responder’s
bid
Why?
1. 1H 2C Kxx xxx Qxxx Axx
2. 1D 1NT Ax QJxx Jxx Qxx
3. 1NT X Jxxxx x Qxxx xxx
4. 1C 1H KQxxx xx Axxx Kx
5. 1S X Qxx Jxxx KJ xxxx