INTERMEDIATE BRIDGE COURSE                                                   

PLAY OF THE HAND

 

LESSON 8‑B

 

 

 

 

Combining Techniques: - All the techniques, previously discussed, can be combined in various ways, depending upon the circumstances.  Many of these techniques work synergistically in powerful combination.  In the following suit holdings, assuming sufficient entries between the two hands, how would you play the following (Promotion, Finesse, or Length), and how many tricks would you expect if the missing high cards lie favorably and the suit divides as expected?

 

EXERCISE 1

 

   DUMMY:        QJ1052         762          KQ862           AQ932          Q1032

  DECLARER:      843            AQJ83        75              6              K654

 

   METHOD:       P & L          F & L       F(P)& L          F & L        P & F & L

  # TRICKS:        3              5         (2)3(4)            3              3

 

          Conclusion:  Often a suit requires the use of a combination of techniques in order to develop the maximum number of winning tricks.

 

 

 

1. Choosing A Technique:  - Most technique application for winning tricks requires a combination of alternatives in order to give declarer the maximum number chance of success resulting in the maximum number of winning tricks.  What is the maximum number of possible tricks, and via which combination of techniques, for the following examples?

EXAMPLE 2

 

      DUMMY:          AJ63          A842          AKJ3          842          K9532

     DECLARER:        K942          KJ753         862           KQ6          874

 

      METHOD:       Finesse       A/K Drop      Finesse      Finesse       Finesse        

                 “Eight Ever”   “Nine Never”

   MAX.# TRICKS        4              5            4             2            3

 

          Conclusion:  The best way to play a particular suit may depend upon such things as how many tricks are needed to guarantee the contract.   Inferences from the bidding are oft times helpful, but usually declarer desires the maximum number of tricks.  A useful guideline when you are missing the Queen of a suit is: “Eight (or Less) Ever, Nine Never”.  When no other information is available, this is a good axiom to follow.

 

 

 

 

 

2. Combining Alternatives:  When playing two or more suits in order to develop tricks, one must often be careful to play the suits in the proper sequence making maximum use and careful conservation of entries.  If the first plan does not work, a back-up alternative should be pre-planned.  On the following hands, assuming a 3NT contract, the lead of a Jack of Hearts, and no other available information; which suit, Clubs or Diamonds, should be played first, and why?

                                                           

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

  - 16 -

EXERCISE 3

 

             DUMMY                  DUMMY                DUMMY

             742                    K4                   KQ8

             7642                   752                  73

             KQ                     KQ4                  962

             KJ72                   J10832               AQ842

 

             DECLARER               DECLARER             DECLARER

             A863                   A862                 A42

             A83                    AK8                  A2

             A985                   862                  AKQ5     

             AQ                     KQ5                  7653

 

                       CLUBS                   CLUBS               DIAMONDS

 

          Conclusion:  When putting your declarer play plan into action, try and combine the best possibilities in the various suits in order to give you the maximum opportunity to make the contract, and within that context, the most number of tricks.   Never loose sight of the objective!   It is the contract and any inherent entry problems which might be present.  The best suit to play first may not always be the one that looks the most attractive.

 

3.      Choosing An Alternative:  When more than one suit can provide the number of tricks necessary, you will oft times not be able to try everything.   One must choose the plan which has the greatest possibility for success.   Don’t go after a suit because it looks easy, if it does not provide you with the number of necessary tricks for your stated contract.   If you need a favorable lie of the cards, try to pick the suit with the greatest odds.   Remember, if you need a suit to divide, an odd number of cards tends to divide evenly, and an even number, oddly.   If your choice is between any finesse in one suit (50% chance of success), and a 3-3 division in another suit, choose the finesse.    A 4-2 division is more likely than a 3-3, and so the chances of any 3-3 split occurring is less than 50%.    Finally, if the opponents force you into a position where there is only one suit which will give you the tricks you will need, go for it.  Go with your only alternative.    In the following, finding yourself in a 3NT contract, and a Queen of Spade opening lead, which suit, and why, should you attack?

 

EXERCISE 4

 

                    DUMMY                  DUMMY                DUMMY

                    K82                    642                  73                       

                    963                    QJ3                  Q103

                    AQJ7                   KQJ                  AKQ3

                    QJ4                    Q1053                J1043

 

                    DECLARER               DECLARER             DECLARER

                    A93                    AK3                  A2

                    AKQ                    AK82                 AKJ7

                    985                    862                  642     

                    K1095                  KJ8                  KQ82

 

                                     CLUBS                   CLUBS               DIAMONDS

 

          Conclusion:  Although there seems to be much to consider, knowing what you are trying to accomplish solves most of the problems.  EVEN IF YOU DO NOT MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION, AFTER  MAKING A PLAN, YOU ARE ALWAYS IN A POSITION TO LEARN THE NEXT TIME.      ALTERNATIVELY, IF YOU NEVER PLAN OUT THE PLAY OF THE HAND, BUT MERELY PLAY THE FIRST CARD THAT LOOKS ATTRACTIVE, YOU MAY PLAY FOR YEARS AND NEVER IMPROVE.

 

 

 

  

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                       - 17 -