June 24, 2024

Keep re-evaluating your hand as the bidding progresses.



With every bid that is made by the other three players, your hand will either get better or worse. Let us say your s are QJ (alone). Is this holding worth three points? The answer is that it depends: if partner bids s then it is worth considerably more (partner may have eg  K10xxx); but if an opponent bids s then the queen and jack are virtual waste paper and your  holding might just as well be  32.

South Deals
None Vul
8 6 4
J 10 9 7
6 3
A K Q 4
A Q 10
5 2
A K 9 7 5 2
9 7
W   E
J 7 5 2
8 6
10 8 4
J 10 8 2
K 9 3
A K Q 4 3
6 5 3
West North East South
2  3  Pass Pass


When South first picked up his cards, he counted 15 points. Why, then, when his partner had given him jump support for s showing 10-12 points, did he refuse to go on to Game? The answer is that his 15 points had dwindled down to 12 because his  QJ were now almost certain to be worth nothing. Even 3  should have failed.

West led  A, followed with  K, then switched safely to ♣ 9. Declarer won ♣ Q, cashed  AK drawing the opposing trumps, cashed ♣ AK, then trumped ♣ 4. He crossed to  J then led dummy’s ♠ 4. East followed with ♠ 2 and he played ♠ 9.

West won ♠ 10 but had no good lead. If he led a , declarer could discard a ♠ from one hand and trump in the other, and if he led a ♠ then declarer’s ♠ K would score a trick. Declarer had restricted his losses to two s and two ♠s.

East should have risen with ♠ J – a tough play – when dummy’s ♠ 4 was led. Now declarer would have had to lose three ♠ tricks and fail.

ANDREW’S TIP: Keep re-evaluating your hand as the bidding progresses.

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