INTERMEDIATE BRIDGE COURSE - 3 -
PLAY OF THE HAND
LESSON 2 - B
THE DEVELOPMENT OF TRICKS ‑ There are numerous ways of developing tricks that would otherwise not be there as quick winners. These methods include but are not limited to the following:
A. THE PROMOTION OF HIGH CARDS ‑ Giving up of one's high card(s), especially when a sequence of high cards is present, is one of the most certain methods of developing additional tricks. One must consider the losing of such a promotional trick to the opponents as early as is possible in the play of the cards before controls are expended in other outside suits.
Exercise 1: How many times would you have to give up the lead in order to promote otherwise
unavailable tricks, and how many winners would be produced in the following holdings?
DUMMY: KQJ10 J1098 Q1OX KX JXX
DECLARER: XXXX XXXX JXX QX lO9X
1‑3 3‑1 2‑1 1‑1 0
Notice that in the above examples, the more high cards you have in the suit, the more potential the suit has for the development of tricks ‑ even though the opponents have one or two higher cards. Patience is required and one must not be afraid of losing the lead to the opponents if, in the end, tricks are promoted.
Exercise 2: Assuming an outside entry in another suit in dummy, how many tricks would you expect to
develop through promotion, and which card would you play first in the following suit
DUMMY: KJ109X QJX KQlOX J1OX Q1098X
DECLARERER: QX KX JX QX KJ
4‑Q 2‑K 3‑J 1‑Q 4-K
Notice that by starting with the high card from the short side when promoting winners, you lessen the chance you will become stranded wondering how to return to the promoted winners across the table.
B. THE DEVELOPMENT OF TRICKS THROUGH LENGTH ‑ One can statistically conclude (in
all but the most unusual circumstance) that the division of missing cards within any suit amongst the opponents is as follows:
(1) If there are an even number of cards outstanding in a suit (2, 4, 6) ‑ then the cards tend to be unevenly divided. For example, if there are six cards held by the opposition, they would
probably be divided 4‑2 rather than 3‑3
(2) If there are an odd number of cards outstanding in a suit (3, 5, 7) ‑ then the cards tend
to be divided as evenly as possible. For example, if there are five cards held by the
opposition, they would likely be divided 3 2 rather than 4‑1.
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Exercise 1: If the opponents hold the number of cards shown below, how would you likely find the
Cards distributed between the two opponent's hands?
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
2‑1 3‑1 3‑2 4‑2 4‑3 5‑3 5‑4
Exercise 2: When deciding how many tricks you can expect to develop from a long suit holding, it
helps to estimate how the opponents holding is likely to be divided. In the following
examples, how many tricks would you get if the suit were to be divided as favorably as
DUMMY: AKXX AXXX AXXXX KXXXXX AKXXX
DECLARER: XXXX KQX KXX AX XXXX
3 3 4 5 4
Exercise 3: Giving of a trick to the opponents which you otherwise could have won is called
The ducking of a trick(s) can be very useful when trying to establish a long suit. Assuming
there are no outside high card entries in the dummy other than the ones in the suit shown,
how would you play the following holdings? How would you expect the opponent's cards
to be divided, how many tricks would you expect to take, and how many times should you
duck in order not to strand the established winners?
DUMMY: AKXXX AXXXX AKXXXX AXXXX AXXX
DECLARER: XXX KXX XX XXX KXX
3-2, 4 3-2, 4 3-2, 5 3-2, 3 4-2, 2
Duck Once Duck Once Duck Once Duck Twice - 0 -
When you have a limited number of winners in the dummy, it is oft times necessary to take your losses early in a suit so that you have enough cards left in declarer's hand to enable you to get to the winners you worked so hard to establish.
In conclusion, developing long suits, in order to promote winning tricks, works in no trump and in trump contracts. In a No Trump contract, you are attempting to develop extra winners. In suit contracts, however, you are trying to eliminate extra losers. Often all that is required is a normal division of the missing cards and the ability of declarer to play the cards in the proper sequence in order to take advantage of the distribution of the missing cards held by the opponents.
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