- 16 -
THE RULES OF 1 TO 40
The Rule of 1: ‑ When there is just 1 trump out higher than yours, it is normally best to leave it out. To eliminate their top trump costs you two trumps and gives up the initiative, possibly neither of which you can afford.
The Rule of 2: ‑ When you are missing 2 non‑touching honors, and fewer than 9 pieces of the suit, it is usually superior to deep finesse; i.e., to first finesse for the lower missing one and then again for the higher. With 9 pieces, you should only use the simple finesse.
Example: AQ10X (or) KJ1OX
The Rule of 3: ‑ On a competitive part score deal, with the HCP's roughly evenly split between the opponents and your side, once the bidding has reached the 3‑level, tend to defend rather than to bid on; unless your side has 9 trumps, in which case you can compete to the 3-level.
The Rule of 4: ‑ Avoid giving partner 3-card support for his 5‑card Major suit if a likely 4‑4 fit is available in the other Major. The 5-3 Major side suit can later be used to throw off a losing trick and you usually will make one more trick with the 4-4 suit as Trump than you would have with the 5-3 suit as Trump in that hand.
The Rule of 5: ‑ When the bidding has reached the 5‑level in a competitive auction, tend to defend rather than to bid on. “The 5-Level belongs to the opponents”. In wildly distributed hands the opposite is true.
The Rule of 6: ‑ A 6‑card suit is revealed when responder bids 1NT and later follows with a change of suit.
Example: 1S P 1NT P
2H P 3C
The Rule of 7: ‑ In No Trump Contracts, when having only one stopper in the enemy’s led suit, add the number of cards held by both you and the dummy hand in that suit and deduct that number from 7. The answer is the number of times you must duck or hold up before taking the trick in order to sever the communication between the opponents so as to lessen the chances they can run the suit later.
Example: with five cards, duck twice; six cards, once.
The Rule of 8: ‑ With 8 cards in a suit, including the Ace, King, and Jack, it is normally best to finesse for the queen on the second round after playing the Ace. Similarly for the Jack if holding the King and Queen and ten, after playing the King. This is to eliminate the loss to a possible singleton honor.
The Rule of 9: ‑ With 9 cards including the Ace, King and Jack, it is normally better to play the two top honors hoping to drop the Queen; i.e., do not finesse on the second round. Similarly for the Jack when holding the King, Queen and ten of the suit. “Nine never, Eight ever”.
The Rule of 10: ‑ When contemplating a penalty double of a suit contract below game, in a deal where the HCP’s are evenly split between the sides (17-23), add your expected trump tricks to the number of tricks the opponent’s are committed to win based upon their stated contract. If the answer is 10 or more, the double is sound (When coupled with the Rule of 12), if below 10, the double is not sound; i.e., the Rule is not satisfied.
Partner opens 1S. You have the following hand: ( 7 Q103 AJ863 K952 ) Assuming the final contracts of the opponents to be: (a)2C (b)2D (c)2H, which contracts satisfy the Rule of 10? ( Ans. Only (b) should be doubled.)
- 17 -
The Rule of 11: ‑ In a No Trump Contract, if the opening lead is assumed to be the fourth‑highest, deduct the numerical number of the card led from 11. The answer is the number of cards in the three remaining hands, yours, Dummy’s and the second opponent’s, that can beat the card led. This rule can be utilized both by Declarer as well as the partner of the opponent who led.
Example: (1) West leads the 7, the 9 is the card to play. (Use by declarer) ???
Example: (2) West leads the 7, North's 6 is played, East should play the 9 (Use by the defense)
The Rule of 12: ‑ When contemplating a penalty double below game, on a deal where the HCP’s are approximately split between the two teams (17-23), add the number of trumps you hold to the number of tricks the opponents have contracted to win based upon their stated contract. If the answer is 12 or more, and the Rule of 10 is also satisfied, one can double for penalties with some reasonable likelihood that the opponent’s contract will not make. If the answer is below 12, you do not have a sound double. Thus:
Doubles at the 1‑level : 12‑7 tricks = 5 trumps needed
Doubles at the 2‑level : 12‑8 tricks = 4 trumps needed
Doubles at the 3‑level : 12‑9 tricks = 3 trumps needed
The Rule of 12: - In order to execute a simple two-suit squeeze, one should subtract the number of sure tricks one has from the number 12. That number tells you how many tricks you must duck (“Rectification”) and lose before you run off all your winners in a squeeze attempt.
The Rule of 13: ‑ If you have a strong trump fit (or a self‑sufficient trump suit) with no losers in the first three rounds of any suit, you are likely to win all 13 tricks. If you are unable to account for the first three rounds of every suit, be content to try for a sound Small Slam; the Grand Slam will not likely be there.
The Rule of 15: ‑ When considering opening the bidding in fourth position after three previous consecutive passes, statistically speaking, you will end the hand with a plus score for your team if you can count 15 or more (HCP's, plus one point for each physical Spade you hold); and a negative score for your team if the summation of the above two items is less than 15. If the Rule is not satisfied (15 or more) Pass out the hand and do not open the bidding.
The Rule of 20: - When considering opening the bidding in first or second position, statistically speaking, your hand is strong enough to open if you can count 20 or more (HCP’s , plus one point for every card you hold in the two longest suits); and is not strong enough to open if the count is less than 20.
The Rule of 30: ‑ When partner reveals a void and you have a strong trump fit (or self-sufficient suit), there are only 30 relevant points, not 40 in the deal in question. A Small Slam may then be bid on 23‑24 points, while a Grand Slam is feasible around the 26 point mark.
The Rule of 40: ‑ There are always 40 HCP's in the pack. When Dummy become visible, count Dummy's high-card points. Then add your own plus any shown on the lead, and any evidenced from the bidding. When you deduct this total from 40, you will have a good idea where the missing points are likely to be placed.