Advanced Bridge; The Higher Principles of the Game Analysed and Explained by Elwell, J. B. (Joseph Bowne)

book was produced from scanned images of public domain material from the Google Books project.)

Transcriber's Notes: Underscores “_” before and after a word or phrase indicate _italics_ in the original text. Equal signs “=” before and after a word or phrase indicate =bold= in the original text. Small capitals have been converted to SOLID capitals. Old or antiquated spellings have been preserved. The original text used both “redouble” and “re-double” interchangeably. In this edition only the modern spelling of “redouble” is used. -------------------------------------------------------------------

ADVANCED BRIDGE

MR. ELWELL’S BOOKS

ADVANCED BRIDGE: The Higher Principles of the Game Analysed and Explained, and their Application Illustrated, by Hands taken from Actual Play. $1.50, net. Postage, 8 cents.

BRIDGE: Its Principles and Rules of Play. $1.25, net.

THE ANALYSIS AND COMPLETE PLAY OF THE BRIDGE TOURNAMENT HANDS. 60 cents, net. Postage, 5 cents.

ADVANCED BRIDGE

THE HIGHER PRINCIPLES OF THE GAME ANALYSED AND EXPLAINED, AND THEIR APPLICATION ILLUSTRATED, BY HANDS TAKEN FROM ACTUAL PLAY

BY

J. B. ELWELL

AUTHOR OF “ELWELL ON BRIDGE” “BRIDGE TOURNAMENT HANDS”

SIXTH EDITION

NEW YORK CHARLES SCRIBNER’S SONS 1907

COPYRIGHT, 1904, 1905, BY J. B. ELWELL

[Illustration]

TO MR. HENRY I. BARBEY

WHO FIRST INTRODUCED BRIDGE IN AMERICA THE AUTHOR CORDIALLY DEDICATES THIS BOOK

PREFACE

In the study of any game, the foundation of success must be a thorough acquaintance with the principles of play. This once attained, future progress becomes easy and rapid.

Many writers on Bridge have left much of the play to the individual judgment and knowledge of the player, and in most works on this subject, illustrations of the fundamental principles are largely wanting.

The present work is an attempt to supply these deficiencies; this volume is intended to aid the Bridge student in acquiring a practical acquaintance with the various forms of attack and defence as outlined by the best players. Particular attention is given to the dealer’s play of the dummy hand, the management of trumps is outlined in detail, and the underlying principles are fully illustrated by the complete play of selected hands.

The writer has endeavoured to make this work simple in its arrangement and style so as to be adapted to the capacity of all lovers of Bridge, comprehensive and complete so as to be a sufficient and certain guide in the most difficult as well as in the easy situations.

The laws of Bridge published in this edition have been prepared by the author, who has used as a foundation the codes accepted by the principal clubs of the world. The author does not favour the exaction of a penalty for the dealer’s lead out of turn. The American opinion on this point is divided, but the English practice is to exact no penalty. Otherwise the various club codes show but minor differences.

CONTENTS

PAGE

PREFACE vii

THE LAWS OF BRIDGE 1

ETIQUETTE 22

BRIDGE FOR THREE PLAYERS 25

THE SCORE 27 Declaring to the score 27 Playing to the score 28 The non-dealer’s play to the score 29

THE DECLARATION 31 “No-Trump” declaration by the dealer 32 Rules for “No-Trump” declaration by the dealer 32 “No-Trump” with three aces 35 “No-Trump” with two aces and one other guarded suit 35 “No-Trump” with two aces 36 “No-Trump” with one ace 37 “No-Trump” without an ace 37 Examples of “No-Trump” makes 38 Hearts 38 Rules for the heart make 40 Five hearts including three honours 40 Five hearts including two honours 41 Five hearts with one honour 41 Four hearts with three honours 41 Examples of hands that should not be passed 42 Hearts in preference to “No-Trump” 42 Hearts, not “No-Trump” 43 Diamonds 43 Clubs 46 Spades 47 Passed makes 47 Abandoning spade hands 49

DOUBLING 51 Redoubling 54 Estimating the value of a hand 54 The lead when partner has doubled 55 The heart convention 57 The weak suit convention 57

THE NON-DEALER’S PLAY AGAINST A DECLARED TRUMP 59 The opening lead 60 Examples of opening leads 63 Inferences from high card leads 64 Inferences from low card leads 67 Examples of inference from opening leads 68 Original trump openings 70 Original trump openings from strength 72 The trump lead against a spade make 72 How to play to partner’s trump opening 73 Leading trumps to prevent a ruff in the weak trump hand 74 Short suit openings 74 Leading through strength 77 When to lead through strength 78 Choice of suits to lead through 79 Suggestions for third hand play 80 Inferences from third hand play 82 Leading up to dummy 87 The Echo 88 Forcing 89 Returning partner’s lead 91 Second hand play 91 When you play before the dummy 92 When you play before the dealer 94

INFERENCES 95 The value of information 96 How to draw inferences 97 Inferences regarding the make 98 General inferences 99

THE NON-DEALER’S PLAY OF A “NO-TRUMP” HAND 102 The original lead 103 The original lead at “No-Trump” 106 Opening a short suit against a “No-Trump” declaration 107 Unblocking 108 Returning partner’s lead 109 Holding up by the non-dealers 111 Examples of holding up 112 Taking out re-entry cards 115

THE DISCARD 116 The discard against a declared trump 117 The discard at “No-Trump” 118 Hints on discarding 121 The reverse discard 122 Discarding by the dealer 122

THE DEALER’S PLAY 124 Combining the hands of dealer and dummy 125 Ace, Queen, Jack Combination 125 Ace, king, jack combination 127 Ace, jack, ten combination 129 King, jack, ten combination 129 Miscellaneous combinations 130 Arranging the lead 131 Finessing 132 The finesse obligatory 134 Watching the discards in order to locate finesses 135 Second hand plays 136

MANAGEMENT OF TRUMPS BY THE DEALER 139 When to lead trumps 139 When not to lead trumps 141 Unblocking the trump suit 142 Not forcing your strong trump hand 142 Leading trumps to prevent a ruff 143 When to draw the remaining trumps 144 Discontinuing the lead of trumps 144 When to trump 146 Overtrumping 147 Re-entry cards 148 Forcing discards 148 Throwing the lead 150

THE DEALER’S PLAY OF A “NO-TRUMP” DECLARATION 151 Choice of suits 152 Keeping the commanding card of the adversaries’ suit 154 Re-entry cards 158 Unblocking 162 Overtaking 164 “Ducking” 167 “Overtaking and unblocking” 171 “Overtaking and ducking” 172 The defence against overtaking and “ducking” 173

CARD STRATEGY 175

LOST TRICKS 183

“YOUR PARTNER.” HIS IDIOSYNCRASIES, AND SOME OF YOURS 190

ILLUSTRATIVE HANDS 195

END PLAYS 277 Refusing to draw the losing trump 279 Leading the losing trump 280 Throwing the lead 281 Leading a singleton 282 Saving a low trump to lead 283 Refusing to over trump 284 The extra trump 285 Unblocking 286 Making a tenace 287

GLOSSARY 289

INDEX 293

INDEX TO ILLUSTRATIVE HANDS

NO. PAGE 1. Saving an entry card. Leading the losing trump 197 2. Not showing adversaries that the weak hand can “ruff” 199 3. Leading the losing trump 201 4. Arranging the lead 203 5. Not leading trumps until losing cards have been discarded 205 6. Leading through 207 7. Refusing to accept a force 209 8. Not taking a finesse which, if unsuccessful, would block the trump suit 211 9. Saving an entry card. Overtaking 213 10. Double entry 215 11. Making an entry card 217 12. A card of re-entry 219 13. Double entry 221 14. Overtaking to make an entry card 223 15. Not holding up an ace. Unblocking 225 16. Holding up a king 227 17. Overtaking, losing a trick, in order to make a suit 229 18. Not taking a finesse 231 19. Forcing discards to locate a finesse 233 20. Deschapelles coup. Finesse obligatory 235 21. Not allowing adversary to lead through a once guarded king 237 22. Not allowing an established suit to make 239 23. “Ducking” 241 24. Leading through dummy’s strength 243 25. Preventing a ruff by the weak trump hand 245 26. Preventing a ruff by the weak trump hand 247 27. Not forcing 249 28. Inference 251 29. Inference 253 30. Inference 255 31. Leading through 257 32. Overtaking by the adversary 259 33. Refusing to play the high card of a long suit 261 34. Arranging the lead 263 35. Not unblocking. Deschapelles coup 265 36. Abandoning a suit 267 37. Discarding commanding cards 269 38. Counting 271 39. Allowing the weaker hand to “ruff” 273 40. Not holding up an ace 275

ADVANCED BRIDGE

THE LAWS OF BRIDGE REVISED 1905

THE RUBBER

1. The partners first winning two games win the rubber. If the first two games be won by the same partners, the third game is not played.

SCORING

2. A game consists of thirty points obtained by tricks alone, exclusive of any points counted for honours, chicane or slam.

3. Every hand is played out, and any points in excess of thirty points necessary for the game are counted.

4. Each trick above six counts two points when spades are trumps, four points when clubs are trumps, six points when diamonds are trumps, eight points when hearts are trumps, and twelve points when there are no trumps.

5. Honours are ace, king, queen, knave and ten of the trump suit; or the aces when no trump is declared.

6. Honours are credited to the original holders and are valued as follows:

+---------------------------------+-----+-----+-----+-----+------+ | | | | | | NO | | DECLARATION. | ♠ | ♣ | ♦ | ♥ |TRUMPS| +---------------------------------+-----+-----+-----+-----+------+ | Each Trick above Six | 2 | 4 | 6 | 8 | 12 | | { 3 Honours | 4 | 8 | 12 | 16 | 30 | | { 4 " | 8 | 16 | 24 | 32 | 40 | | { 4 " (All in one hand) | 16 | 32 | 48 | 64 | 100 | |HONOURS{ 5 " | 10 | 20 | 30 | 40 | -- | | { 5 " (4 in one hand) | 18 | 36 | 54 | 72 | -- | | { 5 " (All in one hand) | 20 | 40 | 60 | 80 | -- | | { Chicane | 4 | 8 | 12 | 16 | -- | +---------------------------------+-----+-----+-----+-----+------+ | Rubber 100, Grand Slam 40, Little Slam 20. | +----------------------------------------------------------------+

7. If a player and his partner make thirteen tricks, independently of any tricks gained by the revoke penalty, they score Grand Slam and add forty points to their honour count.

8. Little slam is twelve tricks similarly scored, and adds twenty points to the honour count.

9. Chicane (one hand void of trumps) is equal in value to three honours, _i.e._ if partner of player having chicane scores honours he adds the value of three honours to his honour score, while, if the adversaries score honours, it deducts an equal value from their honour score. Double Chicane (a player and his partner both void of trumps) is equal in value to four honours, and the value thereof may be deducted from the total honour score of the adversaries.

10. The value of honours, slam, little slam, or chicane, is in nowise affected by doubling or redoubling.

11. At the conclusion of a rubber the scores for tricks, honours, Chicane, and Slam, obtained by each side are added, and one hundred points are added to the score of the winners of the rubber. The difference between the completed scores is the number of points won or lost by the winners of the rubber.

12. If an erroneous score affecting tricks be proven, such mistake must be corrected prior to the conclusion of the game in which it has occurred, and such game shall not be considered as concluded until the following deal has been completed and the trump declared, unless it be that the game is the last one of the rubber,--then the score is subject to inquiry until an agreement between the sides (as to the value of the rubber) shall have been reached.

13. If an erroneous score affecting honours, chicane or slam be proven, such mistake may be corrected at any time before the score of the rubber has been made up and agreed upon.

CUTTING

14. The ace is the lowest card.

15. In all cases every player must cut from the same pack.

16. Should a player expose more than one card, he must cut again.

FORMING TABLES

17. The prior right of playing is with those first in the room. If there are more than four candidates for seats at a table, the privilege of playing is decided by cutting. The four who cut the lowest cards play first.

18. After the table is formed, the players cut to decide on partners; the two lowest play against the two highest. The lowest is the dealer, who has choice of cards and seats, and who, having once made his selection, must abide by it.

19. Should the two players who cut lowest, secure cards of equal value, they shall re-cut to determine which of the two shall deal, and the lower on the re-cut deals.

20. Should three players cut cards of equal value, they cut again; if the fourth card be the highest, the two lowest of the new cut are partners and the lower of the two the dealer; if, however, the fourth card be the lowest, the two highest on the re-cut are partners and the original lowest the dealer.

21. Six players constitute a full table, and no player shall have a right to cut into a game which is complete.

22. When there are more than six candidates, the right to succeed any player who may retire is acquired by announcing the desire to do so, and such announcement shall constitute a prior right to the first vacancy.

CUTTING OUT

23. If at the end of a rubber, should admission be claimed by one or two candidates, the player or players having played a greater number of consecutive rubbers shall withdraw; but when all have played the same number, they must cut to decide upon the outgoers; the highest are out.

RIGHTS OF ENTRY

24. A candidate desiring to enter a table must declare such wish before any player at the table cuts a card, either for the purpose of beginning a new rubber or of cutting out.

25. In the formation of new tables, those candidates who have neither belonged to nor played at any other table have the prior right of entry. Those who have already played decide their right of admission by cutting.

26. A player who cuts into one table while belonging to another, shall forfeit his prior right of re-entry into the latter, unless by doing so he enables three candidates to form a fresh table. In this event he may signify his intention of returning to his original table, and his place at the new one can be filled.

27. Should any player quit the table during the progress of a rubber, he may, with the consent of the other three players, appoint a substitute during his absence; but such appointment shall become void with the conclusion of the rubber, and shall not in any way affect the substitute’s rights.

28. If anyone break up a table, the remaining players have a prior right to play at other tables.

SHUFFLING

29. The pack must neither be shuffled below the table nor so the face of any card be seen.

30. The dealer’s partner must collect the cards for the ensuing deal and he has the first right to shuffle the cards. Each player has the right to shuffle subsequently. The dealer has the right to shuffle last, but should a card or cards be seen during his shuffling, or whilst giving the pack to be cut, he must re-shuffle.

31. Each player, after shuffling, must place the cards properly collected and face downward to the left of the player next to deal.

THE DEAL

32. Each player deals in his turn; the order of dealing goes to the left.

33. The player on the dealer’s right cuts the pack, and in dividing it he must not leave fewer than four cards in either packet; if in cutting or in replacing one of the two packets a card be exposed, or if there be any confusion of the cards or a doubt as to the exact place in which the pack was divided, there must be a fresh cut.

34. When the player whose duty it is to cut has once separated the pack he can neither re-shuffle nor re-cut the cards.

35. Should the dealer shuffle the cards, after the pack is cut, the pack must be cut again.

36. The fifty-two cards shall be dealt face downward. The deal is not completed until the last card has been dealt face downward.

37. THERE IS NO MISDEAL.

A NEW DEAL

38. There must be a new deal--

_a_ If the cards be not dealt into four packets, one at a time, and in regular rotation, beginning at the dealer’s left.

_b_ If, during a deal, or during the play of a hand, the pack be proven incorrect or imperfect.

_c_ If any card be faced in the pack.

_d_ If any player have dealt to him a greater number of cards than thirteen.

_e_ If the dealer deal two cards at once and then deal a third before correcting the error.

_f_ If the dealer omit to have the pack cut and the adversaries call attention to the fact prior to the conclusion of the deal and before looking at their cards.

_g_ If the last card do not come in its regular order to the dealer.

39. There may be a new deal--

_a_ If the dealer or his partner expose a card. The eldest hand may claim a new deal.

_b_ If either adversary expose a card. The dealer or his partner may claim a new deal.

_c_ If, before fifty-one cards are dealt, the dealer should look at any card. His adversaries have the right to see it, and the eldest hand may exact a new deal.

_d_ If, in dealing, one of the last cards be exposed by the dealer or his partner, and the deal is completed before there is reasonable time for the eldest hand to decide as to a new deal. But in all other cases such penalties must be claimed prior to the completion of the deal.

40. The claim for a new deal by reason of a card exposed during the deal may not be made by a player who has looked at any of his cards. If a new deal does not take place, the card exposed during the deal cannot be called.

41. Should three players have their right number of cards, and should the fourth, not being dummy, have less than thirteen and not discover such deficiency until he has played any of his cards, the deal stands good; should he have played, he is answerable for any revoke he may have made as if the missing card or cards had been in his hand. The other pack may be searched for the missing card or cards.

42. If during the play of a deal a pack be proven incorrect or imperfect, such proof renders only the current deal void, and does not affect any prior score. The dealer must deal again (Law 38 _b_).

43. Any one dealing with the adversaries’ cards must be corrected before the play of the first card, otherwise the deal stands good. If any one deals when it is the turn of an adversary, such error must be corrected before the cards are dealt for the following deal.

44. A player can neither shuffle, cut nor deal for his partner without the permission of his adversaries.

DECLARING TRUMPS

45. The trump is declared. No card is turned.

_a_ The dealer may either make the trump or pass the declaration to his partner.

_b_ If the declaration be passed to partner, he must make the trump.

46. Should the dealer’s partner make the trump without receiving permission from the dealer, the eldest hand may demand,

1st. That the trump shall stand, or 2d. That there shall be a new deal.

But if any declaration as to doubling, or not doubling, shall have been made, or if a new deal be not claimed, the declaration wrongly made shall stand. The eldest hand is the player on the left of the dealer.

47. Should the dealer’s partner pass the declaration to the dealer it shall be the right of the eldest hand to claim a new deal or to compel the offending player to declare the trump; provided, that no declaration as to doubling has been made.

48. If either of the dealer’s adversaries make or pass the declaration, the dealer may, after looking at his hand, either claim a new deal or proceed as if no declaration had been made.

49. A declaration once made cannot be altered.

DOUBLING, REDOUBLING, ETC.

50. The effect of doubling, re-doubling, and so on, is that the value of each trick above six is doubled, quadrupled, and so on.

51. After the trump declaration has been made by the dealer or his partner, their adversaries have the right to double. The eldest hand has the first right. If he does not wish to double, he may ask his partner, “May I lead?” His partner shall answer, “Yes” or “I double.”

52. If either of their adversaries elect to double, the dealer and his partner have the right to redouble. The player who has declared the trump shall have the first right. He may say, “I redouble” or “Satisfied.” Should he say the latter, his partner may redouble.

53. If the dealer or his partner elect to redouble, their adversaries shall have the right to again double. The original doubler has the first right.

54. If the right-hand adversary of the dealer double before his partner has asked “May I lead?” the declarer of the trump shall have the right to say whether or not the double shall stand. If he decide that the double shall stand, the process of re-doubling may continue as described in paragraphs 52, 53, 55.

55. The process of re-doubling may be continued indefinitely.[1] The first right to continue the re-doubling on behalf of a partnership belongs to that player who has last redoubled. Should he, however, express himself satisfied, the right to continue the re-doubling passes to his partner. Should any player redouble out of turn, the adversary who last doubled shall decide whether or not such double shall stand. If it is decided that the redouble shall stand, the process of re-doubling may continue as described in this and foregoing laws (52 and 53). If any double or redouble out of turn be not accepted there shall be no further doubling in that hand. Any consultation between partners as to doubling or re-doubling will entitle the maker of the trump or the eldest hand, without consultation, to a new deal.

[1] In some clubs, doubling ceases whenever the value of the odd trick exceeds one hundred points; in other clubs the limit is placed at two hundred points.

56. If the eldest hand lead before the doubling be completed, his partner may redouble only with the consent of the adversary who last doubled; but such lead shall not affect the right of either adversary to double.

57. When the question, “May I lead?” has been answered in the affirmative or when the player who has the last right to continue the doubling, expresses himself satisfied, the play shall begin.

58. Should the eldest hand lead without asking permission, his partner may double, but only if the maker of the trump consent.

59. Should the right-hand adversary of the dealer ask permission to lead, the eldest hand does not thereby lose his right to double. Should the right-hand adversary of the dealer double before his partner has asked “May I lead?” the maker of the trump shall have the right to say whether or not the double shall stand. If he decide that the double shall stand, the process of re-doubling may continue as described in Laws 52, 53, 55.

60. If the right-hand adversary of the dealer lead out of turn, the maker of the trump may call a suit from the eldest hand, who may only double if the maker of the trump consent.

A declaration as to doubling or re-doubling once made cannot be altered.

DUMMY

61. As soon as the eldest hand has led, the dealer’s partner shall place his cards face upward on the table, and the duty of playing the cards from that hand shall devolve upon the dealer, unassisted by his partner.

62. Before exposing his cards, the dealer’s partner has all the rights of a player, but after his cards have been shown the dealer’s partner takes no part whatever in the play, except that he has the right--

_a_ To ask the dealer whether he has none of the suit in which he may have renounced.

_b_ To ask the dealer when called upon to play his highest or lowest card whether he has conformed to the penalty.

_c_ To call the dealer’s attention to the fact that a trick has not been completed.

_d_ To correct the claim of either adversary to a penalty to which the latter is not entitled.

_e_ To call attention to the fact that a trick has been erroneously taken by either side.

_f_ To participate in the discussion of any disputed question of fact which may arise between the dealer and either adversary.

_g_ To correct an erroneous score.

63. Should the dealer’s partner call attention to any other incident of the play, in consequence of which any penalty might be exacted, the fact of his so doing precludes the dealer exacting such penalty.

64. If the dealer’s partner, by touching a card or otherwise, suggest the play of a card from dummy, either of the adversaries may, but without consultation, call upon the dealer to play or not to play the card suggested.

65. Dummy is not liable to the penalty for a revoke; and if he should revoke and the error be not discovered until the trick is turned and quitted, the trick stands good.

66. A card from the dealer’s hand is not played until actually quitted; but should the dealer name or touch a card from the dummy hand, such card is considered as played, unless the dealer in touching the card or cards says, “I arrange,” or words to that effect.

CARDS EXPOSED BEFORE PLAY

67. If, after the deal has been completed and before the trump declaration has been made, either the dealer or his partner expose a card from his hand, the eldest hand may, without consulting with his partner, claim a new deal.

68. If, after the deal has been completed and before a card is led, any player shall expose a card, his partner shall forfeit any right to double or redouble which he otherwise would have been entitled to exercise; and in case of a card being so exposed by the leader’s partner, the dealer may either call the card or require the leader not to lead the suit of the exposed card.

CARDS EXPOSED DURING PLAY

69. All cards exposed by the dealer’s adversaries are liable to be called, and such cards must be left face upward on the table.

70. The following are exposed cards:

1st. Two or more cards played at once.

2d. Any card dropped with its face upward, or in any way exposed on or above the table, even though snatched up so quickly that no one can name it.

3d. Every card so held by a player that his partner can see any portion of its face.

71. A card dropped on the floor or elsewhere below the table is not an exposed card.

72. If two or more cards be played at once, by either of the dealer’s adversaries, the dealer shall have the right to call which one he pleases to the current trick, and the other card or cards shall remain face upward on the table and may be called at any time.

73. If, without waiting for his partner to play, either of the dealer’s adversaries should play on the table the best card or lead one which is a winning card, as against the dealer and dummy, or should continue (without waiting for his partner to play) to lead several such cards, the dealer may demand that the partner of the player in fault, win, if he can, the first, or any other of these tricks, and the other cards thus improperly played are exposed cards.

74. If either or both of the dealer’s adversaries throw his or their cards on the table face upward, such cards are exposed and are liable to be called; but if either adversary retain his hand he cannot be forced to abandon it. If, however, the dealer should say, “I have the rest,” or any other words indicating that the remaining tricks are his, the adversaries of the dealer are not liable to have any of their cards called should they expose them, believing the dealer’s claim to be true, should it subsequently prove false.

75. If a player who has rendered himself liable to have the highest or lowest of a suit called (Laws 82, 91, 92 and 100), fail to play as directed, or if, when called on to lead one suit, lead another, having in his hand one or more cards of the suit demanded (Law 76), or if called upon to win or lose a trick, fail to do so when he can (Laws 73, 82 and 100), he is liable to the penalty for revoke, unless such play be corrected before the trick is turned and quitted.

LEADS OUT OF TURN

76. If either of the dealer’s adversaries lead out of turn, the dealer may call the card erroneously led, or may call a suit when it is the turn of either adversary to lead.

77. If the dealer lead out of turn, either from his own hand or dummy, he incurs no penalty; but he may not rectify the error after the second hand has played.

78. If any player lead out of turn and the other three follow him, the trick is complete and the error cannot be rectified; but if only the second, or second and third play to the false lead, their cards may be taken back; there is no penalty against anyone except the original offender, who, if he be one of the dealer’s adversaries, may be penalised as provided in Laws 60 and 76.

79. In no case can a player be compelled to play a card which would oblige him to revoke.

80. The call of an exposed card may be repeated at every trick until such card has been played.

81. If a player called on to lead a suit have none of it, the penalty is paid.

CARDS PLAYED IN ERROR

82. Should the third hand not have played and the fourth play before his partner, the latter (not being dummy or dealer) may be called upon to play his highest or lowest card of the suit played, or to win or lose the trick.

83. If anyone, not being dummy, omit playing to a former trick and such error be not corrected until he has played to the next, the adversaries may claim a new deal; should they decide that the deal stands good, the surplus card at the end of the hand is considered to have been played to the imperfect trick, but does not constitute a revoke therein.

84. If anyone (except dummy) play two cards to the same trick, or mix a card with a trick to which it does not belong, and the mistake be not discovered until the hand is played out, he is answerable for any consequent revokes he may have made. If during the play of the hand the error be detected, the tricks may be counted face downward, in order to ascertain whether there be among them a card too many; should this be the case, the trick which contains a surplus card may be examined and the card restored to its original holder, who (not being dummy) shall be liable for any revoke he may meanwhile have made.

THE REVOKE

85. A revoke occurs when a player (other than dummy), holding one or more cards of the suit led, plays a card of a different suit. The penalty for a revoke takes precedence of all other counts.

86. A revoke is established if the trick in which it occurs be turned and quitted, _i.e._ the hand removed from the trick after it has been gathered and placed face downward on the table; or if either the revoking player or his partner, whether in his right turn or otherwise, have led or played to the following trick.

87. The penalty for a revoke is three tricks taken from the revoking player and added to those of the adversaries.

88. The penalty is applicable only to the score of the game in which it occurs.

89. Under no circumstances can the revoking side score game, in that hand. Whatever their previous score may have been, the side revoking cannot attain a higher score toward game than twenty-eight.

90. A player may ask his partner, whether he has not a card of the suit which he has renounced; should the question be asked before the trick is turned and quitted, subsequent turning and quitting does not establish a revoke, and the error may be corrected unless the question be answered in the negative or unless the revoking player or his partner has led or played to the following trick.

91. If a player correct his mistake in time to save a revoke, any player or players who have followed him may withdraw their cards and substitute others, and the cards so withdrawn are not exposed cards. If the player in fault be one of the dealer’s adversaries, the card played in error is an exposed card, and the dealer can call it whenever he pleases; or he may require the offender to play his highest or lowest card of the suit to the trick in which he has renounced.

92. If the player in fault be the dealer, the eldest hand may require him to play the highest or lowest card of the suit in which he has renounced, provided both adversaries of the dealer have played to the current trick; but this penalty cannot be exacted against the dealer when he is fourth in hand, nor can it be enforced at all from dummy.

93. At the end of a hand the claimants of a revoke may search all the tricks. If the cards have been mixed the claim may be urged and proved if possible; but no proof is necessary, and the revoke is established if, after it has been claimed, the accused player or his partner mix the cards before they have been sufficiently examined by the adversaries.

94. A revoke must be claimed before the cards have been cut for the following deal.

95. Should the players on both sides subject themselves to the revoke penalty neither can win the game by that hand.

96. The revoke penalty may be claimed for as many revokes as occur during a hand; but the accumulated penalty shall in no event exceed thirteen tricks. (See Law 7.)

GENERAL RULES

97. There should not be any consultation between partners as to the enforcement of penalties. If they do so consult, the penalty is paid.

98. Once a trick is complete, turned and quitted it must not be looked at (except under Law 84), until the end of the hand.

99. Any player during the play of a trick or after the four cards are played and before they are touched for the purpose of gathering them together, may demand that the cards be placed before their respective players.

100. If either of the dealer’s adversaries, prior to his partner’s playing, should call attention to the trick, either by saying it is his, or, without being requested so to do, by naming his card or drawing it toward him, the dealer may require that opponent’s partner to play his highest or lowest card of the suit led, or to win or lose the trick.

101. Either of the dealer’s adversaries may call his partner’s attention to the fact that he is about to lead out of turn, but if he make any unauthorised reference to any incident of the play the dealer may call a suit from the adversary whose turn it is next to lead.

102. In all cases where a penalty has been incurred, the offender is bound to give reasonable time for the decision of his adversaries; but if a wrong penalty be demanded none can be enforced.

103. The partner of the eldest hand may inform him that their adversaries have incurred a penalty, but may not give any further information. Should he suggest the penalty, or demand the enforcement of it, such action shall be deemed a consultation, and no penalty can be enforced.

NEW CARDS

104. Unless a pack be imperfect, no player shall have the right to call for one new pack. If fresh cards are demanded, two packs must be furnished and paid for by the player who has demanded them. If they are furnished during a rubber, the adversaries shall have their choice of new cards. If it is the beginning of a new rubber, the dealer, whether he or one of his adversaries be the party calling for the new cards, shall have the choice. New cards must be called for before the pack is cut for a new deal.

105. A card or cards torn or marked must be replaced by agreement or new cards furnished.

BYSTANDERS

106. While a bystander, by agreement among the players, may decide any question, yet he must on no account say anything unless appealed to; and if he make any remark which calls attention to an oversight affecting the score, or to the exaction of a penalty, he is liable to be called on by the players to pay the stakes on that rubber.

SPADE CONVENTION

I.--Where players agree “not to play spades” the rule is, that if the spade make is not doubled, the hand shall be played where either side is 20 or over.

II.--If the third hand player ask, “Shall I play?” or should he lead out of turn, or should the eldest hand lead without asking permission to play, the spade maker may take two on the score or may call a lead and require the hand to be played out.

III.--Should the third hand player double before his partner asks permission to play, the spade maker may decide whether the double shall stand or not; but the hand must be played out.

ETIQUETTE

It has been truthfully said that there is no game in which slight intimations can convey so much information as that of Bridge. In justice to those who, by their manner, give information, it may be stated that most of the apparent unfairness at the Bridge table is unintentional. Hesitation and mannerisms, however, cannot be too carefully avoided; such a breach of etiquette is an offence for which the adversaries have no redress except perhaps a refusal to continue the play.

It is obviously a greater fault to take advantage of information thus given. A play in your judgment may be perfectly sound, but you leave yourself open to criticism if it is in any way contingent on information obtained from your partner’s manner.

Cultivate uniformity in your style of play; let there be no remarkable haste or hesitation in making or passing; try always to use the same formula of words, and do not call attention to the score after the cards have been dealt.

Remember that any undue hesitancy in regard to doubling will deprive a fair-minded partner of the privilege of so doing. Such delays are too frequent at spade declarations.

Emphasise no play of your own and show no pleasure or displeasure at any other play.

Do not ask to have the cards placed unless it is solely for your own information.

It is an offence either to revoke purposely or to make a second revoke in order to conceal the first.

The dealer’s partner should not call attention to the score nor to any card or cards that he or the other players hold, and neither should he leave his seat for the purpose of watching his partner’s play.

When there is an unusual distribution of the cards, no remarks of any kind should be allowed.

After a hand has been played, it may be discussed to the common benefit; but the bore who is continually blowing up his partner to show his superior knowledge, together with the player who interrupts the game to discuss the play, should be ostracised from the card-room. Superiority of skill is shown by the play of the cards, not by mannerisms.

It is often difficult to refrain from showing pleasure at the accomplishment of a desired purpose, but undue elation is most aggravating to the adversaries.

Do not make a dig at the adversaries by confiding to your partner that your success was due to an ill-judged play of the opponent.

It is not good form to complain of poor cards, as you imply that the adversaries profit by your weak hands and not by their skill.

The better players rarely criticise unless asked to do so; it is usually the inexperienced player who offers an astonishing amount of gratuitous and unsought-for advice.

Do not tell your partner, after seeing all the cards, what he should have done, but think what you would have done in your partner’s place. Do not criticise at all, but if you must, criticise fairly.

BRIDGE FOR THREE PLAYERS

When the game is played by three persons, the cards are cut to decide which shall have the dummy; the one cutting the lowest card has the deal and a permanent dummy during the game or the rubber, as the case may be. It is then customary for each player to have dummy in turn, during one game or rubber.

In playing rubbers, 100 points are added to the score of the winning side.

In playing games, 50 points are added to the score of the winning side.

If the make is passed to dummy, four aces or three aces constitute a compulsory “no-trump” declaration; otherwise, dummy must declare the longest suit.

When there are two suits of equal length, dummy must select the suit, which counts most by spots, the ace counting eleven and the other honours ten each. If the suits are still equal, dummy declares the one having the higher trick valuation.

Only one adversary, the leader, can double.

If the dealer has seen the two hands, he is not allowed to redouble.

The dummy hand is not exposed until the doubling has been settled and a card led.

When the dummy is the leader, his partner must look at the dummy hand and lead from it before seeing his own cards; and dummy alone has the right to double.

There are various methods of playing Dummy Bridge. An approved feature is to allow either adversary to double the dealer’s make and to eliminate doubling on a forced make.

THE SCORE

Practise soon shows a player the relative importance of playing for the greatest possible number of points and tricks, and of playing to win or to save the game. No matter how cleverly the cards are managed, the player who underestimates the attention the state of the score demands, will unnecessarily lose many a rubber. The declaration largely depends upon the score, and much of the play is influenced by the number of tricks required to win or to save the game.

Most Bridge players take means to ascertain the score before announcing a declaration; it is only an occasional game that is lost by a hasty declaration regardless of the state of the score; but in the play of the hand, the score is frequently entirely overlooked. Interested in his scheme of play, the dealer will try for too much or too little, and quite lose sight of what should be his first goal--to win or to save the game.

DECLARING TO THE SCORE

With a game to the good, the advantage conferred by the position is too great to risk by a rash make. When you are a game ahead, make none but a conservative and sound declaration. When you are a game behind, the score justifies a bold make.

On the rubber game, particularly if the adversaries are over twenty, the dealer may attempt a forward declaration, but his partner should not be too reckless, realising that the dealer knew the situation and did not consider his hand worth a venture.

At twenty-four or more on the score, with a strong black suit the make should not be passed; average assistance in your partner’s hand will probably enable you to win the game; and with weak red suits, a passed red declaration may be doubled and the game won by the adversaries.

When the score is twenty-four to nothing against you either on the first game or when you are a game to the good, avoid a doubtful declaration which may enable the adversaries to win the game on your deal. There is a vast difference whether the adversaries start their deal wanting a few points or whether they have the first deal on a new game.

When the score is twenty-four all on the rubber game, the dealer may pass a fairly strong hand trusting he can win the game with any declaration; and at this score dummy should not hesitate to declare his best suit. It is highly probable that the adversaries would win out on the next deal.

PLAYING TO THE SCORE

Correct dealer’s play is closely influenced by the state of the score. The game is an important goal which should never be hazarded for the sake of an extra trick; but, if this goal is not assured, the loss of a few extra points in an effort to reach it, demands but small consideration.

When there is the slightest chance that the adversaries may win the game on your deal, hasten to secure the tricks needful to insure its safety. Many times the game can only be won or saved in case the cards lie in a certain position, and the dealer must assume that the cards are favourably placed and play the hand accordingly.

When the game is saved, but with no possibility of winning it, the seventh trick should be the objective point in the dealer’s play. When you cannot reach game, never hazard the odd trick in an attempt to win two tricks. In a no-trump declaration, the risk would be twenty-four points for a possible gain of twelve points; and if you lose the odd trick, it may enable the adversaries to win the game on their deal.

THE NON-DEALER’S PLAY TO THE SCORE

The probabilities are not in favour of winning against declared strength. The score will indicate the number of tricks needful to save the game, and the adversaries should take no chances until this important object is attained. Until the game is saved, make no effort to gain extra tricks. Many a rubber which the prompt lead of a high card might have saved is lost by trying for too much.

If you find that the continuation of a certain line of play will lose the rubber, abandon your scheme and take the one chance of finding in your partner’s hand the cards that will save the game. The loss of an extra trick is of slight importance compared with the loss of the game.

THE DECLARATION

The advantage of the deal is enormous, and it is important to utilise it properly to make the largest possible score with the least possible risk. The make shows the great increase in percentage of the good player over the poor one. More rubbers are lost by bad makes than by bad play. The cautious man who passes “no-trumpers” will lose many games by his extreme carefulness. The reckless man loses even more by declaring “no-trump” when his partner must have a “no-trumper” to pull him through. As the element of luck has a potent influence on the result of a make, a sound declaration based on the merits of the hand may be unsuccessful. No one can select the winning trump every time, and an occasional loss must be borne with equanimity for the sake of the many successes; the make that will win with average strength in the dummy hand will pay in the long run. Do not hope for too much, or expect too little assistance from your partner; give him credit for no more and no less than the average hand. If you question yourself--what will my partner probably make it if I pass?--you will find it a great help in determining the declaration. He will usually make it your weak suit, and it follows that you may depend on him for protection in that suit.

A sound make may necessitate the sacrifice of the possibility of a large score for the sake of positively winning the game. The chance for the game takes precedence of all other considerations.

As Bridge is played for points, a fair amount of regard is also due the honour score. A declaration that is apt to give honours to the adversaries is a costly method of winning the game.

It is difficult for the beginner to understand the reason for certain formulated rules for the makes, but it will pay the average novice to accept the judgment of those who have learned by, often bitter, experience. Sound makes will win in the long run, and the rules should not be scorned merely because in a few hands the cards were badly placed.

“NO-TRUMP” DECLARATION BY THE DEALER

While a good red declaration is always preferable to a doubtful “no-trumper,” yet when a bold dash for the game must be made, a forward “no-trump” declaration is the safest risk; and experience certainly shows that what is called a doubtful “no-trumper” will succeed more often than it fails. Such a declaration has a great advantage over a light red make. There is a wider range for assistance in the dummy hand. The make does not disclose the dealer’s principal strength. It offers the adversaries a larger scope for errors, and an error is more costly in a “no-trump” hand. The opponents have no means of knowing their combined strength, and for this reason their best suit may never be made; while the dealer knows the suit to establish and can arrange the lead to bring it in. In short, the dealer can utilise his strength and the adversaries’ drawbacks to the best advantage in a “no-trump” hand. As a logical consequence, a strong player may take more chances in the make.

Your goal is the game, and at a love score, this can be reached with fewest tricks at a “no-trump” declaration. Therefore, lacking a good red hand, a “no-trump” declaration that with average strength in your partner’s hand will secure the odd trick, will more often win than lose.

What constitutes an average hand, and how much help should you expect from your partner, are frequent inquiries. As the trick-taking value of a hand may depend entirely on the distribution of the remaining cards, these questions are difficult to answer. An average hand, however, contains the equivalent of one ace, one king, one queen, etc.

An established suit that can be made before the adversaries obtain the lead the second time is always a great advantage.

A “no-trump” make that is not protected in three suits is dangerous, but, even if you are entirely void of a suit with real strength in the other three, you can reasonably expect your partner to supply protection in the missing suit. Aces are an important help in establishing your suits, and are much greater strength than kings or queens, which may be led through and captured. A no-trump make without an ace is liable to score honours for the adversaries--in rare cases 100 points--and is almost never sound.

RULES FOR “NO-TRUMP” DECLARATION BY THE DEALER

There should be a certain set standard for a “no-trump” make, but at times it is difficult to draw the line that divides the hands that should be passed from those that warrant a “no-trump” declaration. It is obvious that a good player will make more with a hand than a poor one; consequently a greater risk may be taken by players who thoroughly understand the finesse and strategy of the game. The make which would prove successful if played correctly, if badly played might be disastrous. Then again your adversaries must be regarded; if pitted against weak players, you are more apt to pull a “no-trumper” through than when matched against opponents who will take advantage of any failing in your hand or play.

{ 4 Aces. Declare { 3 Aces. “No-trumps” { 2 Aces and one other guarded suit. holding { 1 Ace and three other guarded suits. { 1 long established black suit (A K Q x x x) and one other Ace.

“NO-TRUMP” WITH THREE ACES

Unless you hold a strong heart hand, or, unless the game can be won with a trump declaration, three aces should usually be considered an obligatory “no-trumper.” No doubt a three-ace hand containing no other honour, is a weak one with which to make the strongest declaration; but experience demonstrates that if your partner holds an average hand or any one long suit, loss seldom occurs. When the make does lose, the points secured above the line usually compensate for the loss sustained in trick points, and if the rule is consistently followed, the total gain will be many times greater than the aggregate loss.

“NO-TRUMP” WITH TWO ACES AND ONE OTHER GUARDED SUIT

At a love score, if the ace suits contain additional honours, “no-trumps” should always be declared with two aces and a guarded honour in another suit. This is particularly true if the aces are red; if you hold the two red aces, it is doubtful if your partner could declare any other than a black make. A long suit, particularly one that can be easily established, is additional strength; and jacks, tens and nines are an important assistance to a two-ace “no-trump” declaration.

If all the remaining cards in the ace suits are small, and if the protection in the third suit is doubtful, “no-trumps” can scarcely be considered a safe declaration. A guarded honour or a protected suit is supposed to imply a certain trick; but a king once guarded or a queen twice guarded may be led through and captured.

Guarded suits are:

K Q J K 10 x Q J 10 Q x x K Q x K x x Q J x J 10 x x K J x K x Q 10 x J x x x

The value of these suits is greater or less according to the size of the top honour, the number of cards in sequence, and the length of the suit.

An ace suit may contain:

A K x A Q x A J x A 10 x A x x A

But the value of the ace suit diminishes according to the decreased value of the next card. A single ace is of little use in blocking the adversaries’ suit, and it may often block the long suit in dummy.

“NO-TRUMP” WITH TWO ACES

A “no-trump” declaration that is unguarded in two suits, is always dangerous; while you can rely on your partner to protect one suit, it is a bit sanguine to expect him to hold guards in two. However, a hand containing a long established suit, headed by ace, king, queen, and another ace, wins at “no-trump” many more times than it loses, and the make must, therefore, be classed as sound. If you hold two suits headed by ace king, and particularly if these suits are red, a “no-trump” declaration is preferable to passing; but with less strength, the make should not be attempted except at an adverse score.

“NO-TRUMP” WITH ONE ACE

With one ace and general protection in all the suits, “no-trump” should be declared. Of course, the adversaries may secure the honour score, and it is probable that such a hand will contain no long suit; but any good suit in your partner’s hand will ensure the safety of the make.

With one ace and but two other protected suits, “no-trumps” should not be declared unless the guarded suits include at least two honours. “No-trump” declarations with one ace and a single honour in each of two other suits are often made to the score, but a venture of this kind is dangerous and is more apt to lose than to win.

A six or seven card suit headed by ace, king, and queen, with a guarded king in another suit, will usually succeed as a “no-trumper.”

“NO-TRUMP” WITHOUT AN ACE

A “no-trump” make without an ace is almost never sound. There are, no doubt, extreme cases where, with a king and queen in each suit, this make may be justifiable; but the honour score obtained by the adversaries will usually far exceed the trick points secured by the dealer.

EXAMPLES OF NO-TRUMP MAKES

+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+ | ♥ | ♦ | ♣ | ♠ | +-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+ |A 8 5 3 |A 10 6 4 |7 2 |A 8 3 | |A Q 6 |7 3 |A J 10 8 4 |A 6 2 | |A 5 |A Q 10 8 |A J 10 6 |10 7 4 | |8 3 |A Q 7 5 |A J 10 7 |K J 5 | |K J 4 |8 6 |A J 7 4 |A 10 6 5 | |8 6 |A Q 10 7 |A K 7 5 |Q 8 4 | |A 10 8 6 |Q J 10 |A J 9 4 |7 3 | |A 7 5 |K Q 8 |Q J 10 6 |K 8 6 | |J 10 7 4 |A K Q |Q 8 5 |K Q 6 | |A 10 4 |A K 3 |K Q J 9 4 |Q 7 | |A |J 5 3 |9 3 2 |A K Q 9 7 5 | |K |A J 7 4 |A K Q 8 5 |6 3 2 | |K 7 |6 5 |7 2 |A K Q J 7 5 2| |K Q 6 |K J 7 |A K 4 2 |6 3 2 | |K J 9 7 |A Q 9 8 |K Q 6 4 |10 | |K Q 9 8 |K J 3 |A Q 10 4 |10 6 | +-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+

HEARTS

The advisability of a heart make is contingent on the length and strength of the heart suit, as well as on the probable trick-taking value of the hand. However, as the honour score must also be regarded, hearts should be declared with four honours irrespective of the strength of the other suits; the honour score will usually more than compensate for any possible loss in trick points.

Declare hearts with but four cards, including three high honours, provided you hold another long suit or two outside tricks; results show conclusively that this make is sound.

Hearts should be declared with five hearts, including two honours and at least one outside trick. Without this extra trick a five-heart declaration with two honours--unless they are ace and king--is unsafe.

Hearts should be declared with six trumps, including one honour; but, with fewer than six trumps, a one honour make is doubtful. Occasionally it may not be advisable to pass five hearts with one honour--holding, say, five hearts and four diamonds; your partner’s make would probably be black.

In considering such a declaration, the value of a long side suit that either is, or can be easily established, must not be overlooked. The strength of a five-card trump hand with a long suit and a re-entry card, is apparent to those who have had Whist experience. It requires but one trump honour from your partner to make this a winning hand, and unless the remaining cards are very unfortunately placed, it is difficult to defeat the make.

With a good side suit, do not hesitate to declare hearts with five, including an honour. Even a four-card side suit is usually a help. It is when the hand is divided 5, 3, 3, 2, that you are apt to lose by being forced to follow suit. Therefore a short suit is a help to a five-trump hand; to be sure, it may at times enable the adversaries to force you, but as you can always prevent the adversaries’ high cards in that suit from making, a short suit is a greater benefit than detriment.

RULES FOR THE HEART MAKE

Generally declare a red make holding six cards with one honour, five cards with two honours, or four with three honours. Some makes may be attempted with or without outside strength, while others require a certain amount of strength in side suits. The value of a long suit and the importance of inferring the probable passed make, has been mentioned.

Below are given various combinations of honours showing the strength required for a red make. Only general rules are cited and the particular value of the hand must be left to the individual judgment. In these examples, the score has not been considered.

FIVE HEARTS INCLUDING THREE HONOURS

A K Q } A K J } A K 10 } A Q J } With or without other tricks. K Q J } A J 10 } K Q 10 }

K J 10 } With one outside trick. Q J 10 }

FIVE HEARTS INCLUDING TWO HONOURS

A K With or without an outside trick.

A Q } K Q } A J } With one outside trick. K J } A 10 }

K 10 } Q 10 } With a four or five card plain suit, or two J 10 } outside tricks.

FIVE HEARTS WITH ONE HONOUR

} With any good four or five card plain suit, A } when partner will probably declare black, K } or with two or three outside tricks. Q } J } With an established black suit, especially 10 } when void in one suit, or with two or three } outside tricks.

FOUR HEARTS WITH THREE HONOURS

A K Q } A K J } With any good suit, with an outside ace, A K 10 } or with two or more outside tricks. K Q J }

EXAMPLES OF HANDS THAT SHOULD NOT BE PASSED

A number of hands are given below to illustrate the value of a long suit. If your partner holds an average hand the long suit can usually be made.

+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+ | ♥ | ♦ | ♣ | ♠ | +-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+ |J 10 8 6 4 |7 5 |A K 5 3 2 |8 | |10 9 8 7 5 |None |K Q J 7 6 3 |K 7 | |K J 8 6 4 |6 |8 3 |K 10 8 7 4 | |A 9 7 6 4 |K 8 6 5 3 |4 2 |6 | |J 9 8 7 4 |6 |A |K Q 10 8 7 6 | |K 9 8 6 5 |4 |A Q J 6 3 |3 2 | |Q 9 7 6 3 |None |K J 10 7 5 |A 10 4 | |A 9 8 5 3 |K 7 |6 |K Q J 9 6 | |10 9 8 6 5 |None |Q J 9 |A K Q 7 5 | +-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+

HEARTS IN PREFERENCE TO “NO-TRUMP”

There are many players who delight in declaring “no-trumps,” overlooking the fact that they may hold a suit declaration that would be certain to win the game without the risk attending a “no-trump” make.

Although one more trick is necessary at hearts, the chances are that if the game can be won at “no-trump,” it will be won with equal facility at hearts. The adversaries may hold an established suit or may establish and make a suit at “no-trump” which it would be impossible for them to bring in with a trump declaration. There is no rule so universally followed among the better players as that of declaring hearts in preference to “no-trump.”

HEARTS, NOT “NO-TRUMPS”

+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+ | ♥ | ♦ | ♣ | ♠ | +-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+ |A Q J 9 5 |A 6 4 |A 7 5 |7 3 | |K Q J 9 6 3 |A 7 5 3 |A |8 4 | |A K Q 9 8 |A Q 7 |A K Q J |4 | |A K Q 9 |A 8 4 |5 |J 10 8 6 3 | |A K Q 9 |7 |Q 1O 5 |K J 8 5 3 | |K Q J 9 7 |A |A 5 |K J 9 8 7 | |A K Q 9 8 |K Q 7 |A Q 5 3 2 |None | +-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+

DIAMONDS

As there are two declarations of greater value, it is often advisable to pass a fair diamond make to your partner in the hope that he may be able to make it a “no-trumps” or hearts. There is no declaration more universally disliked than diamonds. It is frequently spoken of as the “deadly” or “unlucky” diamond make. Players seem to be continually making or not making it at the wrong time. Often an original diamond declaration will find your partner with a game hand at “no-trumps” or hearts; again, when the make is passed and your partner declares spades, you make eternal vows never to pass a diamond hand.

The diamond is essentially a score make, and should be attempted at a score which admits of a reasonable chance to win the game. With a love score it requires a very strong hand to win the game; eleven of the thirteen tricks must be won. When the adversaries are 24 to your nothing either on the first or on the rubber game, it is most important that you win the game before it becomes the turn of the adversary to deal. Winning three or four odd tricks will be of little use, as in all probability the adversaries will make the number of points requisite to go out on their own deal. At this score, it is usually better to pass a fair diamond hand in the hope that your partner can make a stronger declaration.

If at least 24 points are necessary to win the game and there is a question between a diamond and a “no-trump” make, the preference should be given to the “no-trump” declaration. Each trick at “no-trump” is worth just twice as much as at diamonds, and if it is possible to win four or five odd tricks with diamonds, you will have no difficulty in making the fewer number required at “no-trump.”

In considering the advisability of a diamond make, infer from your hand your partner’s probable declaration. If you hold no ace, there is a fair chance that he will declare “no-trump.” If you hold but one or two hearts, you are likely to get a heart declaration; an honour included in these hearts would support the supposed make. If you hold length in the heart suit, say five diamonds and four hearts, there is small hope for a red declaration by your partner; at this time, and when your hand contains cards that preclude the possibility of a “no-trumper,” the make should not be passed.

Occasionally diamonds should be declared as a safety make, with a hand that affords little help to a “no-trump” or a heart declaration. Take the following hand:

♦ ♥ ♣ ♠ J 10 7 5 3 2 8 J 7 5 3 6 4

Should the hand be passed, partner will either declare hearts or “no-trump.” Unless he holds great strength or the cards are very fortunately placed, you must lose, and not only that, your partner’s make is also very apt to be doubled. If your partner holds a strong hand the diamond declaration may win the game; at any rate it will sufficiently increase your score to facilitate winning on your next deal. As a matter of fact, this hand was held and the make was passed. The dummy held the following hand:

♦ ♥ ♣ ♠ K 6 A K 10 6 2 K 9 Q J 9 5

Hearts were declared, the adversary doubled, and the dealer lost three by cards. While in this hand the remaining cards were unfortunately placed for the dealer, still it shows that a strong make may be defeated when you can lend it no support.

The general rules given for the heart makes may be applied to the diamond declaration.

CLUBS

An original club should be made only when the score is 18 or more, and the hand strong enough, with slight assistance, to win the game. As there are three declarations of greater value than either clubs or spades, unless there is a reasonable chance to win the game, black makes should not be considered. Your partner may be able to make a red or a “no-trump” declaration, and, failing these, his defensive black declaration may suit your hand. There are unpleasant occasions when you hold a strong club hand and your partner declares spades. When the make has been doubled and you have little strength to support it, you are very apt to regret that you did not make an original club. While this may be true of an occasional hand, don’t forget the many times your partner can give you a heart or a “no-trump” make which will enable you to win the game.

If, however, you hold a black hand when you are a game to the good, with 8 points or more on the second game, particularly if the hand contains four club honours, it may not be advisable to pass the declaration. The honour score together with the probable trick value of the hand will win more points than the average hand is worth, whereas you could not support your partner’s red declaration.

SPADES

Spades should never be declared offensively, unless to win the game at a score of 24 or more points. With a very weak hand some players advise a defensive spade make with the hope of preventing a disastrous passed make. Statistics, no doubt, prove the correctness of this theory, still but few of the better players attempt a defensive spade declaration unless the score justifies their so doing. If you are a game to the good and perhaps well along on the second game, with a hand too poor to support an average “no-trump” or red make, it might be wise not to risk the advantage already gained. Should the adversaries win the game on your deal, it would give them the first deal on the rubber game.

At a love score, however, no player should deprive his partner of the privilege of declaring the trump to win. Many times a passed “no-trump” or red make is strong enough with slight assistance to win the game.

PASSED MAKES

The success of an original “no-trump” make is often due to the fact that the adversaries do not discover the dealer’s weak suit; a passed “no-trumper,” however, is exposed, and has the additional disadvantage of the dealer’s acknowledged weakness. The dealer shows by passing that he has not a strong hand; neither has he much strength in the red suits; while this latter inference may be doubtful, for the dealer often passes with fair strength in diamonds and occasionally in both red suits, still the fact remains that a passed “no-trump” make that is weak in the red suits, is extremely risky.

It is remarkable how many passed “no-trumpers” go astray, and the number proves the necessity for more cautious passed makes. The dummy hand, in declaring the trump, should keep in mind the general rules suggested for the dealer, and be governed in his choice by the state of the score, by the general strength of his hand, and by the dealer’s acknowledged weakness.

A speculative spirit is so strong in some players that they find it difficult to resist announcing a make which they know to be unsound, yet with which they hope, by a fortuitous combination of circumstances, to win. Often the result of one hand, which proves nothing, will encourage this tendency toward unsound makes.

Be very careful about declaring a red trump with but four cards. The beginner’s distaste for spade makes, frequently leads to a light red make which is doubled, and the game thrown away. As a general rule, it is wrong to attempt a red trump unless the hand is worth at least four tricks. With fewer than four tricks, make the declaration that will lose the least. The score will often warrant a risky make, but consider that your partner knew the score and did not deem his hand worth a venture. Do not flatter your partner by a few kind remarks and then place a hand on the table that is a disgrace to your judgment.

When you are ahead on the game, avoid all weak heart and diamond makes. If you must gamble, a “no-trump” make is a safer speculation.

With four or more clubs, including two honours and one or two worthless spades, clubs will usually prove the more profitable declaration. For defensive purposes a club is useful and is a safer defence than an extremely weak spade, which the adversaries will probably double.

Do not hesitate to make it spades when your hand is weak; and be cautious at all times about making a declaration which will more easily win the game for your adversaries than for you.

ABANDONING SPADE HANDS

A custom that is rapidly growing in favour is that of not playing an undoubled spade make unless the dealer is 20 or more on the game. If the hand is not to be played, the dealer scores two points for the odd trick and the honours are credited to the side that holds them.

All Bridge players have objected at times to the tediousness of spade hands, and this may be the cause of the increasing popularity of this innovation in the more prominent clubs. When Bridge is played for a stake, the result is reached in a much shorter time by throwing spade hands, but there is no reason why other players should not find as much interest in a spade hand as in a stronger declaration.

The rule of abandoning spade hands unless the dealer is 20 or more is unsound. If this custom is to stand the test of time, it must be equitable. It should read: “If either side is 20 or more the hand should be played.” It is an obvious injustice to the adversaries not to play a spade hand when the dealer is, say, 14 and the adversaries 28; for, if the opponents do not double, they have no chance to win the game on that hand; while if they do double, a redouble might follow, which would give the dealer an excellent chance to win the game.

DOUBLING

With any kind of fair strength the novice at Bridge is invariably anxious to double; but a few experiences with an adversary glad to embrace the opportunity to redouble, will turn the course of his anxiety to a desire to conceal such strength as he may hold.

Ordinarily be satisfied to win at all on the opponent’s make. By doubling you not only place the strength and thus enable the dealer to finesse successfully, but your double is a warning to the dealer to be cautious in leading trumps, and therefore, lessens your chances of winning tricks.

To increase safely the value of the tricks it is essential that you consider the state of the score, the possibility of a redouble, and your position in regard to the maker.

The score is a most important factor, and even, at times, justifies a double with only a fair hand. For instance, suppose the odd trick wins the game for your adversaries, and does not win it for you; if you double and secure the odd trick, the additional count may enable you to win the game on that deal or the next.

It is bad play to double when you need only an odd trick to win the game. If you double you lessen your chance of winning the trick, and by opening the way to a redouble perhaps give the adversaries the game.

Doubling on the rubber game is dangerous. The increased value of the tricks may enable your adversaries to win the rubber on that hand, when, otherwise, you might go out on the next deal.

Your position in regard to the maker claims equal consideration. If the trump has been made at your right, you play after the strong hand, and are, therefore, in a good position to make your high trump cards; but, if you double when this arrangement is reversed, and the maker is over you, the dealer has this advantage.

As spades are made for safety, occasions for doubling the spade declaration obviously arise more frequently than any other; yet players are prone to go to extremes in doubling spade hands, for, while it does not require much strength to double a defensive spade declaration, there is always a possibility of great trump strength in the adversaries’ hands.

Do not double the make of hearts, diamonds, or clubs without some strength in the trump suit; as high cards, particularly if the suits are long, may be trumped, strength in the side suits alone is unreliable. Spades, however, may be doubled with but little strength in the trump suit.

Be particularly conservative in doubling a “no-trump” make; for but rarely does it pay to double with a hand containing general strength. Remember that while you are in the dark as to your partner’s hand, the dealer has the enormous advantage of seeing and combining his own hand and the dummy; that he knows what suit to avoid, and what suit to establish; and that your doubling will place him in a still more advantageous position by enabling him to locate honours and make successful finesses. Be cautious, also, when you hold fair strength in three suits and are weak in the remaining one. The maker is apt to hold a very long suit and you will not find it easy to discard, and at the same time protect your hand.

Usually it is not safe to double a “no-trump” make unless you hold a suit that you are reasonably sure is established. It is a gamble to double with a six-card suit headed by ace, king, and queen with no other trick in the hand. You depend on your partner to take one trick, which he may not be able to do; and, should you find your long suit protected in the adversaries’ hands, you run the risk of being very badly beaten. If the odd trick wins the game for the adversaries and does not win it for you, such a double may be justifiable; still you cannot hope to win more than 24 points by doubling, and you risk losing three or four odd tricks with a possibility of a redouble. While such a double will often succeed it can hardly be classed as sound.

As the younger hand, it may be wise to double a “no-trump” make in order to prevent great loss or to save the game. In other words, it may pay to show your partner by a double that you have strength in a particular suit. There are at present two methods used by Bridge players to indicate this strength, one known as the Heart Convention and the other as the Weak Suit Convention.

REDOUBLING

Although the score may sometimes warrant a redouble without extraordinary strength, a redouble practically avows the ability to take six, and probably, seven tricks. In estimating your hand consider the possibility of finding all the remaining trumps in one hand, and do not value honours in the side suits too highly, for if he holds great trump strength the maker is probably short in the other suits. A redouble at “no-trump” indicates protection in every suit.

The dealer should often redouble, not so much on the strength of his hand, but to the score; knowing that should the adversaries win the odd trick the game is lost, and that his redouble will equalise the situation and make it possible for the odd trick to win the game for either side.

ESTIMATING THE VALUE OF A HAND

In considering your probable tricks those in the trump suit are of course most certain.

On the right side of the maker three trumps with a single honour, ace, king, or queen, may be estimated as being worth but one trick.

Do not count on ruffing with a single trump.

Should you hold three trumps with two honours, headed by the ace king, the king queen, or even the king jack, you are reasonably sure of two tricks in the trump suit--as can also be said of four trumps with two high honours. Indeed in the last combination, with the third best card an eight or better, there are probably three trump tricks.

With four trumps including three, or five trumps including two honours, provided the suit is headed by the ace or king, you can reasonably expect to secure three tricks in the trump suit.

Aces and kings in the side suits are usually good for a trick each; but allow for the length of the suit, the shorter it is the less probability that your honours will be trumped. It is not safe to count on making your queens; they may be classed as doubtful tricks.

Spades may be doubled with four tricks. To double hearts, diamonds, or clubs you should be sure of five tricks.

THE LEAD WHEN PARTNER HAS DOUBLED

A double by your partner indicates some strength in trumps as well as in the side suits. It does not necessarily imply a desire to get the trumps out, nor should you invariably lead trumps when your partner has doubled; your play must be influenced by the general character of your own hand.

If you hold a short suit it is obviously a better lead than trumps. You may be able to ruff with your small trumps.

It is also bad play to lead trumps up to the maker. This would place your partner’s high cards in a position to be easily captured by the dealer.

When dummy is the maker, the trump lead from weakness through the strong hand gives your partner the advantage of position; but it is safer play to win the first trick, if possible, and decide on your subsequent play after seeing the dummy hand.

Avoid leading trumps to your partner if you hold the ace, the king, or the queen of trumps guarded; your partner may have doubled on high suit cards with but little strength in trumps.

In leading trumps from weakness always lead the highest card, so that your partner can discover the distribution of the suit, and place the dealer’s trumps.

As a doubled spade make does not of necessity show strength in trumps, it is not as a rule the custom of good players to lead spades, except from strength, before seeing the dummy hand. If you hold trump strength your partner has probably doubled on his suit cards, and your trump lead will insure the safety of his high cards. Should you hold a strong suit hand, your partner’s double is presumably an indication of trump strength, and the trump opening would be advisable.

With only fair strength in the side suits and weak trumps, especially where you hold a short suit, do not be tempted to lead the trump originally. Wait until you learn more of the position of the cards.

THE HEART CONVENTION

When you have the first lead and your partner has doubled a “no-trump” make, you are expected to lead your highest heart.

Under this system the younger hand does not double “no-trumps” unless he is willing that a heart should be led; and although the doubling power of the younger hand is reduced, it makes your lead, unless you have the misfortune to hold no heart, a practical certainty.

Should you hold an established suit and the ace of hearts you must, of course, double to have the heart led. When you hold an established suit of hearts, or a long suit of hearts that can be established in one lead and a sure card of re-entry, a double may save the game.

THE WEAK SUIT CONVENTION

In England and in some parts of this country, if the younger hand doubles it is a signal for his partner to lead the highest card of his weakest suit; trusting that this weak suit and the doubler’s long one will prove identical.

As this convention justifies a double with any established suit, it multiplies the opportunities to double; but, on the other hand, since the leader may have to choose between two weak suits, there is no certainty that he will make the desired lead; he may instead strike the dealer’s long suit with a disastrous result.

THE NON-DEALER’S PLAY AGAINST A DECLARED TRUMP

Remember that in playing against a trump declaration, unless it be spades, you are sure to find trump strength, probably five or more, with the maker. If you are weak in the trump suit, and your partner does not show strength by doubling, your best defence is an endeavour to save the game by making high cards early in the hand.

In playing against a red declaration, be on the defensive from the start. The only time that you can afford to be aggressive is when it is evident that the dealer is trying to establish a “cross-ruff,” or a “ruff” in the weak trump hand.

It is an advantage to win the first trick, as this enables you to see the thirteen cards in dummy. The scheme of play of a hand may be changed after the dummy is seen; therefore, it is not possible to state what should be done after the opening lead; but, as a general principle, it is safe either to continue the suit led originally or to endeavour to help your partner’s hand by leading through strength. You should be careful at all times neither to establish a suit for the adversary, nor to give the dealer an opportunity to discard his worthless cards.

When there is an established suit against you, unless you can stop the dealer’s lead of trumps, make all possible tricks before you give up the lead. If the dealer once obtains the lead, he may exhaust the trumps, and make the established suit.

As the dealer sees the dummy hand and his own, and therefore knows the cards that are against him, give your partner correct information regarding the cards you hold. While this may be valuable to the dealer in placing the cards, the knowledge will be of greater benefit to your partner and yourself.

THE OPENING LEAD

When trumps are against you, unless you lead your high cards early in the hand you may lose them. The dealer may be able to exhaust trumps, and make some one suit on which to discard his losing cards. When your hand is strong in each suit, there is not this danger; there can be no established suit against you.

No doubt the best opening that can be made against a trump declaration is from a combination containing both ace and king. The lead of the king from this combination gives you an opportunity to see the dummy and does not clear the suit for the adversary. While the king lead should usually be followed by the ace, in some cases, where it is apparent that the dealer’s weak hand can trump on the second round, or that the lead may clear the suit for the dealer or dummy, the suit should not be continued. It is rarely wrong to lead from a sequence, especially from one of three high cards. If you hold no sequence of three, perhaps those containing two honours in sequence, such as king queen, queen jack, or even jack ten, may be classed as good openings. Often when you hold no high card sequence, the lead is a disadvantage; experience shows that you make more tricks in a suit if it is led to you; for that reason it is often advisable to refrain from opening tenace suits or suits with a single honour.

The following are given as examples of combinations from which it is not advisable to lead:

A Q x x A J x x K J x x K x x x

In opening a suit headed by the ace, avoid the lead of a low card. The dealer may win the first round and find means to discard his remaining losing cards in that suit.

No objection can be raised to the lead of an ace with four or more other cards in the suit, but with less than five it is better play to avoid leading that suit. If the lead comes up to you, the ace may kill some high cards in the adversary’s hand and promote the value of the cards held by your partner; whereas if you lead the ace presumably only small cards will fall, making high ones good for the dealer.

If your hand is hopelessly weak in trumps and in side suits, even with but three cards in the suit, an ace should be led in order to save a grand slam.

If you are forced to open a suit containing a single honour, or a suit with two honours not in sequence, not including suits headed by the ace, the fourth best card should be led.

The following are given as examples of combinations from which the fourth best card should be led:

K J x x K 10 x x K x x x Q x x x Q 10 x x J x x x 10 x x x

With a long weak suit it is better play to lead the fourth best card. Any irregular lead may suggest a short suit to your partner, and loss may result from his incorrect interpretation of the lead.

EXAMPLES OF OPENING LEADS

THE UNDERLINED CARD INDICATES THE LEAD.

(_Hearts_) TRUMP DECLARED BY DEALER.

+---------------------------------------------------------+ | Transcriber's Note: | | The underlines have been replaced with square brackets. | | For example [K]. | +---------------------------------------------------------+

_Holding the Lead._ +--------------+----------------+---------------+--------------+ | ♥ | ♠ | ♦ | ♣ | +--------------+----------------+---------------+--------------+ | J 8 2 | K J 7 6 | A [K] Q 5 3 |7 | | 8 |[A] Q 6 5 4 2 | Q 8 4 | 9 8 | | J 10 | 10 8 4 | K J 9 |[A] 8 7 4 3 | | 6 4 |[A] Q J 10 9 | 7 3 2 | 9 6 4 | | 10 4 | A 6 |[A] J 7 5 3 2 | 8 7 5 | | 9 7 | A [K] 4 | A 8 6 4 3 | 7 6 3 | | 6 5 3 | 8 6 5 2 | K J 5 3 |[A] K | | J 6 5 | 9 6 4 2 |[A] 10 | 9 7 4 3 | | 9 5 3 |[A] 6 | K 9 5 2 | A Q 5 4 | | 8 6 5 | 9 6 3 |[A] J 9 4 | 10 5 3 | +--------------+----------------+---------------+--------------+

_Leading from a Sequence._ +--------------+----------------+---------------+--------------+ | ♥ | ♠ | ♦ | ♣ | +--------------+----------------+---------------+--------------+ | 8 6 | A 5 | A J 5 |[K] Q J 7 6 4 | | 9 8 6 4 | 7 | A 8 5 3 |[K] Q J 10 | | K 8 5 | 8 5 4 | 10 6 5 3 |[Q] J 10 | | K 10 5 | K 6 3 |[K] Q 8 5 | A 7 3 | | A J 6 | K 6 4 | 8 6 4 3 |[K] Q J | | Q 7 5 |[Q] J 10 6 | A 8 5 | A Q 7 | | J 6 4 | 10 |[K] Q J 9 7 5 | Q 7 3 | +--------------+----------------+---------------+--------------+

_Leading from Long Suits._ +--------------+----------------+---------------+--------------+ | ♥ | ♠ | ♦ | ♣ | +--------------+----------------+---------------+--------------+ | Q J 7 4 | K 10 8 [4] | A 7 | J 9 5 | | K 6 |[Q] J 9 6 4 | 9 8 6 | 6 5 2 | | 8 5 | A J 6 | K J [10] 8 5 | K 7 4 | | J 10 | Q J 7 [3] | A Q 6 3 | A J 8 | | A J 7 5 | 4 3 | 10 8 7 [4] 2 | Q 5 | | J 8 5 3 | K 10 7 [5] 3 | A 8 6 | 8 | | 8 6 4 | 9 5 2 | 8 6 3 | Q 9 6 [4] | | 10 6 | K 10 8 [3] | 10 7 6 2 | A J 5 | | K 10 7 | A J 8 | 10 7 5 [4] | Q 9 2 | | A J | J 6 4 | Q 10 8 [6] 2 | 8 5 3 | +--------------+----------------+-------------+----------------+

INFERENCES FROM HIGH CARD LEADS

It is not easy to determine from the lead of a high card how many cards are held in the suit. You can only assume the length from the number of cards you hold and the number in dummy. The fall of the cards may give the information, but you cannot rely altogether on the dealer’s play; it is his object to make it difficult for you to place the cards.

=The lead of an ace= denies the king. If the king is neither in dummy nor in your own hand, it should be placed with the dealer. Should your partner, however, lead an ace and follow with the king, the lead indicates that he holds no other card of that suit, and should enable you to locate the queen.

Among the better players the lead of an ace also denies the queen, since if the suit is led up to the ace, queen, tenace, two tricks may be made. This inference, however, should not be too rigidly drawn, because great length in the suit might justify an opening from an ace-queen combination.

The lead of an ace followed by the queen indicates the jack.

The lead of an ace followed by the jack indicates the ten, or no other card in the suit.

If it develops that your partner has led the ace from ace and two small cards, it indicates either a very weak hand or a tenace in some other suit.

=The lead of a king= indicates the ace, the queen, or both. Should the king win the first trick, you should infer that your partner holds the ace. If the king is taken by the ace, the queen is marked in your partner’s hand. If the king is followed by the ace, it denies the queen.

{ A K Q { A K J =The king should be led from= { A K x { K Q J { K Q x

=The lead of a queen= denies the ace and the king, consequently the lead places both of these high cards.

If a queen is led by your partner, you should infer that the lead is from jack ten; perhaps it would be better to say that the lead shows the jack. If you find the jack is either on the table or in your own hand, the lead was evidently from a short suit; queen and one or a singleton.

{Q J 10 {Q J 9 {Q J x =The queen should be led from= {Q J {Q x {Q

=The lead of a jack= denies the ace, the king, and the queen; consequently your partner holds no higher card of the suit; against a declared trump, it usually indicates a short suit.

There is some difference of opinion among Bridge players as to this lead; the jack is sometimes led from king queen jack, from king jack ten, and even from ace jack ten. The lead of a jack as the top card does away with the confusion that is caused by numerous interior leads. It simplifies the lead and facilitates the placing of higher cards.

{J 10 9 {J 10 =The jack should be led from= {J x {J

=The lead of the ten= indicates the king jack and ten and denies both ace and queen. If either the king or the jack is in your hand or in dummy, the ten lead denies any higher card, and is probably the top of a short suit.

{ K J 10 x { 10 9 x =The ten should be led from= { 10 9 { 10 x { 10

=The lead of a nine= denies all higher cards of the suit; it is led only as a top card, and usually indicates a short suit.

{ 9 8 x =The nine should be led from= { 9 x { 9

INFERENCES FROM LOW CARD LEADS

An application of the Rule of Eleven will materially assist you to draw correct inferences from the lead of a small card. It will indicate whether the lead is from a short or a long suit.

If you see more high cards than the Rule of Eleven would allow, you can mark the lead, not as fourth best, but as the top of a short suit. If the lead indicates a long suit, you can often determine the exact combination of cards from which it has been made.

=The Rule of Eleven=

Deduct the size of the card led from eleven, and the difference will show how many cards higher than the one led are held _outside_ the leader’s hand.

The lead of an eight or a seven (except at no-trumps) is more apt to be from a short than from a long suit; combinations in which these cards would be fourth best are seldom opened by good players.

It will be easier for your partner to read your lead, if with long weak suits, headed by jack, ten, or nine, you lead the fourth best card. These cards can be led to indicate a short suit.

You can determine the length of your partner’s suit by noticing the fall of the low cards.

When it is evident that your partner has led the lowest card of his suit, his lead indicates exactly four cards. If your partner is leading from a long suit and plays down on the second round, he holds more than four cards.

EXAMPLES OF INFERENCE FROM OPENING LEADS

A is the leader, Y the dummy, Z the dealer.

7♠ 3♠ x-------x | Y | A♠ | A B | 8♠ 5♠ 4♠ | Z | x-------x

A’s lead of the ace denies the king and probably the queen; both of these cards should be placed in the dealer’s hand.

8♠ 7♠ 4♠ x-------x | Y | Q♠ | A B | A♠ 9♠ 3♠ | Z | x-------x

Third hand should play ace on queen; king is in the dealer’s hand. A has probably led from queen jack ten.

9♠ 5♠ 4♠ x-------x | Y | J♠ | A B | K♠ 6♠ 3♠ | Z | x-------x

B should play the three; his partner’s lead indicates the top card, and also shows that both ace and queen are in the dealer’s hand.

J♠ 8♠ 5♠ x-------x | Y | 10♠ | A B | A♠ 6♠ 4♠ | Z | x-------x

A’s lead of ten with jack on the table indicates the top of a short suit. King and queen should be placed in the dealer’s hand.

8♠ 7♠ 4♠ x-------x | Y | 9♠ | A B | A♠ 10♠ 3♠ | Z | x-------x

The lead indicates the top, probably, of a short suit. King, queen, and jack are all marked in the dealer’s hand.

ORIGINAL TRUMP OPENINGS

If a trump has been declared by the dealer it is not, as a rule, good play to lead trumps up to his strong hand; this lead would necessarily place any high trump cards that your partner may hold in a bad position. If, however, you hold a sequence in trumps and strength in the side suits consisting of combinations from which you do not wish to lead, a trump lead is admissible.

The following are given as examples of hands from which the trump should be led when the dealer is the maker. In these cases hearts are trumps.

+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+ | ♥ | ♦ | ♣ | ♠ | +-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+ | [K] Q J | A Q x x | K x | K J x x | | [K] Q | K J x x | A Q x | K x x x | | [Q] J 10 | A J x x | A Q x | K x x | +-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+ The underlined card indicates the lead.

+---------------------------------------------------------+ | Transcriber's Note: | | The underlines have been replaced with square brackets. | | For example [K]. | +---------------------------------------------------------+

When dummy is the maker of the trump, there are many hands from which the trump should be led as an initial opening. If you hold tenace suits, or suit containing single honours, and the adversary or your partner leads to you, you are in a better position to make your high cards, hence a trump opening in order to throw the lead.

If, however, you hold a sequence in any one suit, the trump lead is not necessary. Leading from a sequence is always good play, and rarely results in loss.

The following hands are given as examples of original trump openings when dummy is the maker.

+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+ | ♥ | ♦ | ♣ | ♠ | +-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+ | [J] 10 | A Q x | K J x x |A Q x x | | [9] x | A J x x | A x x x |K x x x | | [7] 3 | A Q x | K x x x |K J x x | | [8] 5 | A Q x x x | A J x |K Q x | +-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+ The underlined card indicates the lead.

+---------------------------------------------------------+ | Transcriber's Note: | | The underlines have been replaced with square brackets. | | For example [K]. | +---------------------------------------------------------+

ORIGINAL TRUMP OPENINGS FROM STRENGTH

It is advisable to lead trumps from strength in comparatively few hands, for the reason that the lead indicates to the dealer the position of the trump strength held against him. If, however, you hold four or five trumps without an honour, and combinations in the plain suits from which you do not wish to lead, the trump may be led through the strong hand. This is especially true of a four-trump hand, which contains three cards of each of the other suits.

Avoid opening the trump from strength when you hold a single honour, or even two honours. You will gain, by waiting for the lead to come to you.

THE TRUMP LEAD AGAINST A SPADE MAKE

As a rule, the aggressive spirit that should characterise the non-dealer’s play of a spade hand is lacking. While a spade is not necessarily made from weakness, the declaration in itself shows sufficient weakness in the side suits to embolden the adversaries’ play. With a hand containing five trumps (spades) the initial opening should be the trump. Your partner must hold suit strength which your trump lead will protect.

If your five trumps contain a tenace and you can advantageously lead from another suit, it may be advisable to wait for your partner to lead to your tenace, particularly if by doubling you have indicated trump strength.

If you have been redoubled and your hand contains four trumps and strength in the side suits, the trump lead requires more careful consideration.

Unless your partner has doubled the spade declaration it is impossible for you to place the trump strength, and you should be cautious about leading originally from a short trump suit.

HOW TO PLAY TO PARTNER’S TRUMP OPENING

Any trump opening from your partner is an indication of strength, usually of strength in the side suits. It does not necessarily follow that your partner wants the trumps out, but _it is_ an indication that he is anxious to have his suits led to. If you win the first trick in the trump suit, look to see if dummy offers you an advantageous lead. If you hold fair strength in the side suits with no protected honour in trumps and no short suit, there can be no objection to the return of the trump lead; but if you hold a tenace over dummy’s strength in trumps, or a high card that is protected, it would be a bad play to return the trump lead. Wait until your partner or the adversary leads up to you. Do not return the trump lead if you hold a short suit. Lead the short suit. You may be given an opportunity to make one of your trumps.

LEADING TRUMPS TO PREVENT A RUFF IN THE WEAK TRUMP HAND

When the dealer seems backward about leading trumps, the inference is that he is trying to establish a ruff in the weak trump hand, and you should be on the alert to prevent this by leading trumps (through the strength). It may be necessary for you to lead the trump after your initial lead. It may be advisable to stop leading a suit, which would help to establish a ruff in the weak hand; or it may be essential that you try to place your partner in the lead, so that he can lead the trumps through the strong hand. If you are weak in dummy’s long suit, it is always more or less dangerous to lead trumps. When this is the case, your lead might help the dealer to exhaust trumps and make this long suit.

SHORT SUIT OPENINGS

In Bridge the term short suit implies a singleton or a two-card suit, although, strictly speaking, any suit of fewer than four cards is short. With a very weak hand (no high cards in any suit) it is evident that the only possible way of making tricks is by a short lead, which may enable you to ruff the suit on the second or third round. With a hand that contains tenace suits or suits with a single honour, it is often advisable to lead short; this opening gives you a double advantage; you may have an opportunity to ruff, and you throw the lead with the purpose of having your honour suits led up to.

With most players the desire to make a small trump is very strong, and often leads to thoroughly unsound openings. It is always wrong to open a short suit when you hold an ace king suit. Why play in the dark, when by leading the king of your ace king suit, you are in a position to hold the lead until you have seen dummy and can judge as to the advisability of the weak lead? A suit headed by king queen is also a safer opening than a short lead, which may establish the suit for the dealer; although, if you hold an honour that will stop the adversaries’ trump lead, say an ace or a guarded king, you are almost certain to be in the lead before the dealer has an opportunity to discard worthless cards on his established suit. Any short lead may establish a suit for the dealer or dummy; in fact, the chances are that it will. If you are weak in trumps and have little or no strength in the side suits, you have not much to lose by the short lead. The dealer will establish and make his suit with or without help. On the other hand, if you are strong in trumps, you may be able to make it most difficult for the dealer to exhaust the trumps and make a suit unless, by your weak lead, you establish it for him.

With strength in trumps the short opening is unsound, particularly with four trumps is it apt to ruin your hand. One force given your hand makes it easy for the dealer to exhaust your trumps and to make the suit that you, by your short lead, have established.

With four trumps open your long suit. The maker probably holds five trumps, and when one force is given to his hand, you have an equal number. Even though your trumps are small the dealer must exhaust his own to draw them, and a card of re-entry in your hand or that of your partner will probably enable you to make your suit. At any rate, you have made it difficult for the dealer to establish his suit, or retrieve any subsequent error in his play.

With five trumps and any good suit the latter should be opened. When the make has been passed, should you hold no long suit, choose preferably a short red suit. In other words lead up to the dealer’s supposed weakness.

With six trumps little or no objection can be raised to the short lead. When the trump situation is known you may be forced to lead them to the maker, so that you should early in the hand try to take as many trump tricks as possible.

At all times select the highest card of a short suit for the lead. This is done to give requisite information to your partner. Unless he can see, in his hand or dummy, great strength in the suit, the lead of a very low card is most difficult to read as short.

The following are given as examples of hands from which a short suit may be led. The trump (hearts) declared by the dealer. The card underlined indicates the lead.

+---------------------------------------------------------+ | Transcriber's Note: | | The underlines have been replaced with square brackets. | | For example [K]. | +---------------------------------------------------------+

+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+ | ♥ | ♣ | ♦ | ♠ | +-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+ | K 5 2 | A J 6 4 |[10] 9 | A Q 5 3 | | A 9 3 |[8] 6 | 9 7 4 2 | Q 8 6 4 | | A Q 8 | K J 6 3 |[J] 10 | K 8 4 2 | | A 9 3 |[Q] | K 8 6 4 2 | J 8 5 3 | | Q 5 2 |[J] 10 4 | K 8 4 | K 5 4 2 | | J 7 3 | A Q 9 6 |[K] Q | K J 4 2 | | 8 6 2 |[9] | J 8 6 4 2 | 10 8 4 | | 7 5 | Q 6 4 3 |[9] 8 | 10 6 5 3 2 | +-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+

LEADING THROUGH STRENGTH

The fundamental idea of leading through strength is to help your partner to make his high cards by allowing him to play after the exposed hand. “Leading through” means to make a person play second hand to the trick. You always lead through your left hand adversary.

Should your partner hold K J x with A Q x in dummy, it is obvious that if you lead through the suit, your partner may win two tricks, whereas if he is forced to lead up to the strength, one trick at least would be lost. Players will often say, “How can I know that my partner has any high cards in that suit?” Perhaps you cannot be certain of the distribution of the high cards; in leading through strength you hope that your partner holds the missing honours, realising that if all the strength is with the dealer, nothing is lost. “Leading through strength” is simply looking ahead and foreseeing what may happen. In other words, not placing your partner in a position whereby he may be forced to lead up to the strength in dummy.

WHEN TO LEAD THROUGH STRENGTH

After taking the first trick, study the dummy carefully in order to see which suit may be led through advantageously. If there are two suits to choose from, select the suit in which you are short, hoping it may afford you an opportunity to make a small trump.

The fall of the cards will often indicate that your partner can trump the second or third round of the suit you are leading. Before giving him the ruff, consider that he will be compelled to lead, and if there is no suit in dummy that he can lead to advantageously, it is better for you to lead through the strength on the table than to force your partner to lead up to the strong hand. Of course, if it is necessary to save the game by all means give your partner the ruff, but if, on the other hand, you hold the ace or guarded king of trumps, _i.e._ a high card that will stop the adversary’s trump lead, it is preferable to lead through dummy’s strength. Later you can stop the trump lead and give your partner the ruff.

CHOICE OF SUITS TO LEAD THROUGH

In leading through strength, certain suits are preferable to others. A guarded king in the dummy is an ideal suit to lead through when you hold the queen, jack, ten of the same suit. By leading the queen, if your partner holds the ace, you can prevent dummy’s king from making.

In leading through strength, avoid a suit in which you yourself hold a protected honour. For instance, holding king, jack, small, it would be bad play to lead through ace, queen, ten, as this would give the dummy an opportunity to make three tricks in the suit.

The following may be classed as good combinations from which to lead through strength in dummy:

=Holding= =Lead through=

J 10 9 } 10 9 x } A Q x in Dummy x x x }

x x x A J x or A x x in Dummy

10 9 x } K J x in Dummy x x x }

Q J 10 } Q J x } Q x } K x x in Dummy J 10 x } 10 9 x } x x x }

J 10 9 } J 10 x } Q x x in Dummy x x x }

In leading through any of these combinations, the top card of a sequence should be led. In fact, with three cards or fewer in a suit, it is almost an invariable rule to lead the highest card.

The following are combinations which should be led through only as a last resort:

=Holding= =Avoid leading through=

{ A J x Q x x { A 10 x in Dummy { K J x { K 10 x

{ A Q x { A J x K x x { A x x in Dummy { Q J x { Q x x { Q x

J x x x { A 10 x { K 10 x in Dummy

SUGGESTIONS FOR THIRD HAND PLAY

When you are trying to win the trick, play high third in hand; but if your cards, or your cards combined with those in the dummy are in sequence, play the lowest card of the sequence.

Do not finesse against your partner; help his hand at the sacrifice of your high card. If, however, you hold ace, jack, small,--with king or queen in dummy,--the play of the jack is permissible; your partner’s lead practically shows one of these honours.

When you hold the ace and your partner leads a jack through a guarded king or queen in dummy, it is often good play to pass the first trick. By playing the ace you will probably establish two high cards for the dealer.

If your partner’s lead clearly indicates a short suit, with the ace marked in the dealer’s hand, do not sacrifice a king. Allow the dealer to win the trick cheaply, if necessary, but keep your king guarded. By playing a low card you may deceive an unwary dealer, and at any rate you will put the dealer to some trouble to catch your king.

At “no-trump,” provided the dummy holds an honour, you should finesse deeply in your partner’s suit. The application of the Eleven Rule will materially help you in finessing. When there is a guarded queen in the dummy and you hold the king, ten, small, or ace, ten, small, to finesse is sound play. If dummy holds a twice guarded king and you hold the ace, jack, small, it often pays not to take the finesse, for should you abandon the suit to wait until your partner can again lead through the king, you may take out the only re-entry card in his hand.

Unless your partner holds two re-entries, you gain nothing by the finesse.

INFERENCES FROM THIRD-HAND PLAY

It is very important for the leader, especially in a “no-trump” hand, to be in a position to determine whether his suit should be continued or abandoned. Careful notice of the card your partner plays to the first trick will often enable you to place the high cards in that suit, and in this way suggest your subsequent play.

The following are given as illustrations of inferences to be drawn by the leader from third-hand play:

A and B are partners, and the underlined card in each example indicates A’s lead; Y’s cards are exposed.

+---------------------------------------------------------+ | Transcriber's Note: | | The underlines have been replaced with square brackets. | | For example [K]. | +---------------------------------------------------------+ 8♠ 7♠ x-------x | Y | K♠ 10♠ 6♠ [5♠] | A B | Q♠ | Z | x-------x A♠

B’s play of queen denies the jack, which should therefore be marked in the dealer’s hand. The small cards cannot be placed.

6♠ 3♠ x-------x | Y | A♠ J♠ 7♠ [5♠] | A B | 9♠ | Z | x-------x K♠

B’s play of the nine denies the eight and the queen. Both of these cards must be in the dealer’s hand. The ten should be placed with B. The leader, in order to catch the dealer’s queen, must await a return of the suit.

7♠ 3♠ x-------x | Y | Q♠ 9♠ 6♠ [5♠] | A B | J♠ | Z | x-------x A♠

The play of the jack denies the ten and the king; both of these cards are marked in the dealer’s hand. Should A continue this suit, it would allow the dealer to make tricks with both ten and king. The suit must be abandoned until the lead can come from B’s hand.

J♠ 8♠ x-------x | Y | K♠ 9♠ 7♠ [6♠] | A B | Q♠ | Z | x-------x A♠

B’s play of the queen with the jack exposed on the table denies the ten, which must be in the dealer’s hand.

10♠ 7♠ 5♠ x-------x | Y | J♠ 9♠ 8♠ [6♠] | A B | K♠ | Z | x-------x A♠

B’s play of the king denies the queen. To continue the suit might allow the dealer to make two tricks. A should abandon the suit until B can return it through the dealer’s hand.

J♠ 7♠ 2♠ x-------x | Y | 10♠ 9♠ 6♠ [4♠] | A B | Q♠ | Z | x-------x A♠

It is impossible to tell whether the king is held by the dealer or by B. The suit, however, may be continued with the ten. If B holds the king this may shut out the jack. If the dealer holds the king probably nothing will be lost.

8♠ 7♠ 5♠ x-------x | Y | [Q♠] J♠ 10♠ 9♠ | A B | A♠ | Z | x-------x

B’s play of the ace denies the king, which should be placed with the dealer.

K♠ 6♠ 5♠ x-------x | Y | Q♠ 8♠ 7♠ [2♠] | A B | A♠ | Z | x-------x

It is customary holding the ace and jack with the king or queen in dummy to finesse the jack third in hand. B’s play of ace would, therefore, deny the jack, which is marked with the dealer. Avoid continuing the suit.

K♠ 6♠ 4♠ x-------x | Y | Q♠ 7♠ 5♠ [3♠] | A B | 10♠ | Z | x-------x 8♠

As the dealer does not take the ten, the ace and jack are presumably in B’s hand. B’s play of ten denies the nine, which should be placed with the dealer.

6♠ 4♠ 2♠ x-------x | Y | J♠ 8♠ 7♠ [5♠] | A B | A♠ K♠ | Z | x-------x

B plays ace to the first trick, and returns the king; this indicates no more cards in the suit, and marks the queen in the dealer’s hand.

LEADING UP TO DUMMY

With dummy on your right, you should invariably lead up to the weak suit. This is especially important when you hold no high cards in the suit, for in this case the strength lies between your partner and the dealer. By leading through the dealer’s hand you give your partner the advantage of position; otherwise he may be forced to lead up to the dealer’s strength.

In leading up to weakness, the general rule of leading the highest card of a sequence should be followed. It is often good play, when dummy holds no honour in the suit, to lead a card higher than dummy’s best. This permits your partner, if the lead is not covered, to pass the trick.

If dummy’s weakness is in the trump suit, your best play will often be to lead trumps through the dealer’s strong hand, rather than to lead up to the high cards in dummy. If you hold a guarded king and dummy a guarded queen, do not be tempted to lead up to this honour.

It would be obviously wrong to lead up to a king if you hold the ace. You must wait until this suit is led by the adversary or your partner. Do not lead up to an ace in dummy if you hold the king. You are reasonably sure to make a trick with this card if you wait until the suit is led by the dealer or your partner. If you hold a sequence headed by the queen or jack, little or no objection can be raised to your leading up to an ace or king, and on each occasion the highest card of the sequence should be led.

Should you lead a low card up to dummy’s strong suit, your lead would indicate a singleton and a desire to “ruff.”

THE ECHO

In Whist the play to a lead of a high and then a lower card is a signal for a lead of trumps, and is necessarily an indication of strength in trumps.

In Bridge this convention is used to show control of the third round of the suit led. Some players use this echo or signal to show that they can trump the third round of the suit, while with others it implies control of the third round either with the high card or by a “ruff.”

This signal should not be used except on your partner’s lead of king, as otherwise it would give information to the dealer. To use it on the adversary’s lead would help the dealer to make successful finesses, and to mark the distribution of the suits. Be careful when you use this signal not to echo with an honour. If you hold Q x, J x, 10 x, do not play the honour to the first trick; not only is your partner apt to think you have no more of the suit, but these honours are too valuable to throw away.

FORCING

To force is to make a player trump. This will, of course, reduce his trump strength and weaken his hand. It is as a rule good play to force the adversary’s strong trump hand. It will often prevent his exhausting the trumps, and hinder his bringing in an established suit.

The beginner hesitates to force the strong trump hand. He feels that he is wasting a high card and allowing the adversary to make a small trump, not realising that no card of this suit can make, unless the trumps are exhausted.

If no force be given to the strong hand, it is, ordinarily, an easy matter for the dealer to exhaust trumps and make a suit; unless there is unusual length in trumps, judicious forcing will do more than anything else to break down a strong trump hand.

Do not lead a suit with the intention of forcing the strong hand unless you hold the commanding card or can mark this card with your partner; you may give the dealer an opportunity to win the trick and to discard a worthless card.

You should hesitate to force when by doing so you establish the remaining cards of the suit for your opponent.

You should not attempt to force the strong hand when there is an established suit against you, particularly when it can be inferred that the dealer has all the high cards in the trump suit. At this time, make what you can in the remaining suit before you give up the lead.

It is wrong to force the weak hand. You lose one of your high cards, and the maker’s trumps are still intact. Do not continue a suit when it is shown that the weak hand can “ruff.”

In playing against the make, if you infer that your partner is weak in trumps and also short in a side suit, it is usually advisable to allow him to make small trumps by forcing him. This should always be done when a short suit has been led by your partner. His lead practically asks for the “ruff.”

If, however, your partner has doubled, be more careful about forcing him. By reducing his trump strength you may severely injure his hand.

It is bad play to lead a suit that both the dealer and the dummy can trump. It allows the dealer to trump in one hand and to discard a worthless card in the other.

RETURNING PARTNER’S LEAD

Ordinarily it is not possible to establish a suit against the dealer’s strong trump hand, and this does away with the usual argument in favour of returning your partner’s original lead. On the contrary, it is probably the last thing that should be done. Your play is to make any high cards you may hold, and then to search for a weak suit in the dummy hand. If you lead up to this weakness, the dealer cannot place the strength in the suit, and your partner is in a very good position to win a trick cheaply.

After making your high cards, should there be no weak suit in dummy to lead up to, return your partner’s lead.

SECOND-HAND PLAY

When opposed to the dealer the question of correct second-hand play is relative to your position at the table. That is whether you play before the dummy or before the dealer. In other words, whether the dummy is at your left or whether the dealer is at your left.

If you will try to infer why the dealer is leading that suit, it will assist you to decide on the correct second-hand play. It is, of course, reasonable to suppose that he has some strength in the suit. What this strength may be you must judge from the cards that you hold and those that you see on the table.

WHEN YOU PLAY BEFORE THE DUMMY

It is evident that when dummy is weak the second-hand play is greatly simplified. You either play higher than dummy’s best, or pass the trick to your partner. Should dummy hold strength or a high card in the suit, it is usually better to play higher than any card dummy holds. For instance, if you hold K x x, with the queen and others on the table, your second-hand play would be the king; otherwise the queen in dummy may win the trick. In this position, however, there are times when a low card should be played. For instance, dummy holds K with others, and you hold A J x; the second-hand play is low; for should the adversary take the trick with the king and return the same suit you win two tricks instead of one. If you hold ace and one or two small cards with king and jack in dummy, the second-hand play should be a low card. Should the dealer finesse the jack, your partner may win the trick.

Should dummy hold over you in a position to overtake any card you may play, unless you hold two honours in sequence, always play your lowest card. For instance, when you hold K J x, and dummy holds A Q x, it is useless to play any card but the lowest. Dummy is sure to win two tricks in the suit.

If you hold K Q x with A J x in dummy, your two honours are in sequence and the lower honour should be played.

Should you hold A Q x with K J x in dummy, the ace is the best second-hand play. If a low card be played, the dealer, by finessing the jack, can place the ace and the queen in your hand, and of course he will not continue the suit; while if the ace is played, the queen, not being so clearly marked, may win the third round.

Usually cover an honour with an honour even though you know that your high card will be lost. Do so whenever you hold a fourchette; whenever you hold the ten of the same suit, which you may eventually make good; or whenever, by covering, you can reasonably hope to make a card good in partner’s hand. It is not, however, advisable to cover a queen led holding K x x x unless one of the small cards be a nine or better; the adversary will find it difficult to catch a king that is three times protected. On the other hand, a king that is once or even twice guarded can be easily captured, and for that reason, and with the object of promoting a card in your partner’s hand, it is usually good play to cover the lead of a jack or queen.

Do not give the dealer an indication of the cards that you hold by hesitating in your play. Decide on and play a card quickly. If there is a doubt as to your play, play your lowest, remembering that the dealer must guess the position of missing honours.

WHEN YOU PLAY BEFORE THE DEALER

When the dummy is weak and you play before the dealer, it is with the assurance that the missing strength in the suit is over you. This strength may be held by the dealer or by your partner. As he is leading the suit, the chances are that the balance of strength is with the dealer; therefore, unless you know that you can win the trick, do not play a high card.

With ace and others in a suit, if you do not play the ace second in hand, the dealer may win the trick and discard his worthless cards in that suit. The second-hand play of an ace is particularly necessary later in the hand, and when the trumps are against you.

When you play before the dealer follow the same general rules as to covering an honour, and as to playing the lower of two honours in sequence. If dummy holds an ace and others of a suit, and you hold K J x play the king second hand. With small cards of a suit in dummy and ace queen and others in your own hand, the ace should be played second in hand.

INFERENCES

There is no subject in Whist or Bridge so interesting as that of inferences. Each card that is played carries with it some information that will often render valuable aid to the play of the hand.

To be able to read the cards correctly, and to draw the proper inferences, requires not only experience, but a certain amount of inherent card genius. The beginner marvels at the amount of information obtained by the expert, wondering how it can possibly be secured. To the average person who sits down to watch a game of Bridge there is nothing more demoralising than to see how readily the good player finds out the location of most of the high cards, and, in many cases, even the distribution of the various suits.

Strange as it may seem, writers on Bridge and Whist have, as a rule, devoted little space to this almost inexhaustible subject. A good-sized book could be written entirely on inferences; and let no one be discouraged at his lack of skill in this direction, for, even among the good players, errors are very common. The best Bridge players, however, are undoubtedly those who can draw inferences quickly and correctly.

THE VALUE OF INFORMATION

When playing against the dealer, give your partner all possible information. Any deception or play of false cards, any irregular lead that is not conventional, will often react to the benefit of the dealer.

Information may be given by leading correctly, by taking a trick as cheaply as possible, by discarding properly, by correct second-hand play, and by returning or not returning your partner’s lead.

At times the information that you give your partner may benefit the dealer by enabling him to mark the distribution of a suit, but more often is it of greater value to your partner. The dealer knows from the start the exact cards that are held against him; while your partner needs all the information you can give to combine with you in defending the dealer’s attack.

There are players who claim that you should not lead the fourth best card against a trump declaration, asserting that the information it gives may benefit the dealer, and that, should a card lower than the one led be played, your partner may think it a short lead. These players make the distinction of leading their lowest card against a declared trump, and the fourth best only against a “no-trump” declaration. This may appeal to those who neither count cards nor apply the useful Eleven Rule, but it does not satisfy the clever player, who wishes to count his partner’s suit, and to determine the exact combination of cards it contains.

If you deprive your partner of the information to which he is entitled, you rob Bridge of much of its intellectual pleasure. How can he know when the weak hand can “ruff” your suit? How can he tell whether a lead will force the strong hand or give it a discard? How can he count your hand or the dealer’s? How can he make correct end plays without knowing the position of the cards?

Without this help to partnership play you are in no position to combat the dealer. It is not difficult to win tricks from adversaries who neither give, nor make use of information.

HOW TO DRAW INFERENCES

Bridge is in this respect a much easier game than Whist. In Bridge the declaration and the exposed dummy hand, both absent in Whist, lend enormous assistance in locating the cards.

The beginner invariably becomes interested in his own cards, or those of the dummy, and plays without paying any particular attention to the card that is led or to the one that wins the first trick; in other words he knows nothing about the location of the cards in that particular suit, and his disregard of the fall of the cards continues throughout the entire hand.

A notice which nothing escapes, the ability to count cards, and absolute confidence in your partner’s play, is the _sine qua non_ of correct inferences.

Notice particularly the card that your partner leads; if it be a high card, understand what it indicates; and, if it be a low card, ascertain whether it is led from a long or a short suit.

Watch the cards as they fall, the adversaries’ as well as your partner’s, with unceasing attention, and make a mental interpretation of each play, with due allowance for the dealer’s false cards.

Don’t jump at a conclusion which masses the remaining cards of a suit, but count each suit accurately, with a certainty of the particular cards that must be held by the dealer and your partner.

Much of the intellectual enjoyment of Bridge is derived from playing your hand in conjunction with your partner’s. Credit your partner with playing for the common interest of the hands and place absolute confidence in the information he gives you. A trust in your partner’s Bridge ability will overcome many an obstacle in the way of drawing inferences.

INFERENCES REGARDING THE MAKE

In many hands the declaration and the cards in dummy will show you the dealer’s probable strength; and will also suggest the number of trumps held by your partner.

For instance, should you hold three trumps with three in the dummy, you cannot expect your partner to hold more than two trumps, allowing for at least five in the dealer’s hand.

Should you hold four trumps, with three on the table, your partner cannot have more than one; he may have none.

Although at times you can place high cards in the trump suit, it is difficult to locate honours in a “no-trump” hand. However, keeping the general rules for the make in view, you can form some idea of the adversary’s strength.

When the dealer has passed the make you can often infer from his subsequent play the absence of certain cards. For instance, should the dealer, having passed the make, play two aces, he probably does not hold much strength in the other two suits.

GENERAL INFERENCES

When your partner makes what appears to be an unusual play, do not condemn it, but ask yourself why the play was made. For instance, Why does your partner not lead through the strength in dummy? It may be that he has an honour in that suit, and is waiting for the adversary to lead.

Why does your partner lead up to dummy’s strong suit, instead of to the weak one? He is probably leading a singleton, or he may be very long in that suit and hopes that you will trump.

Why does the dealer not lead trumps? He may be trying to establish a “ruff” in the weak hand; he may be trying to arrange the lead so that his trumps can be led advantageously from the weak hand; or it may be because the balance of trump strength is against him.

Why does your partner abandon his long suit against a “no-trump” make? It is because his card of re-entry has been taken out, because the suit is hopelessly against him, or because he is waiting for you to lead through the dealer’s hand.

Why does your partner refuse to return your lead in a “no-trump” hand? It is either because he has no more of your suit, or because he considers that his suit is stronger.

Why does your partner immediately return your lead against a declared trump, instead of showing his own suit, or leading up to dummy’s weakness? He is evidently anxious to trump the third round of your suit.

With a “no-trump” hand, why does the dealer part with the ace of his adversaries’ suit on the first round? It is because he has that suit protected, because he can see enough tricks to win the game, or because he is afraid that some other suit may be made against him.

After you have led up to the weak suit in dummy, and your partner has taken the trick cheaply, why is it that he does not return that suit? He is evidently waiting for you to lead through the dealer’s hand.

If, against a “no-trump” declaration, you are in doubt as to the location of the winning card in your own suit, notice the card that your partner plays in returning your lead, and remember that he will return his highest card. This will enable you to tell what higher cards are in dealer’s hand.

If you lead a high card, against a “no-trump” make, notice the card that your partner plays to the trick. If he has four or more of that suit, he will not play his lowest.

If the dealer takes out the commanding trump, he is either trying to make you lead up to high cards in his hand, or some long suit is established against you. If it is for the latter reason, be cautious about forcing him. Make what you can in the remaining suit. It may be dangerous to lose the lead.

If the dealer continues to lead trumps after the trumps in the other hands are exhausted, you should be careful not to give information that will be of use to the dealer in locating successful finesses.

THE NON-DEALER’S PLAY OF A “NO-TRUMP” HAND

Usually lead from your longest suit, against a “no-trump” declaration, trusting that it will prove to be the weak spot in the maker’s hand, or that you may be able to take out any high cards held against you and eventually establish the suit. To make an established suit, it may be necessary to have a card of re-entry. Therefore, be careful not to lead aces and kings in order to see dummy. These cards should be reserved as re-entry cards, and will no doubt be found most useful later in the hand.

As leader infer from the fall of the cards, relying on your partner’s correct third-hand play, the position of the remaining cards of your long suit. Correct inferences will assist you to decide whether to continue or to abandon the suit. If you find the cards so placed that an advantageous lead of the suit must come from your partner, plan carefully how best to put him in the lead.

If you know that the adversary has two high cards of your long suit, especially when your card of re-entry has been taken out, abandon your suit, and endeavour to help your partner by leading the suit which you infer must be his. This may be your only chance to save the game.

If the dummy has a long suit, and no card of re-entry, do not be in a hurry to part with the commanding card of that suit. Wait until the suit is exhausted in the dealer’s hand, so that he cannot lead it to dummy. If, however, dummy has a sure card of re-entry there is little reason for holding up your high card. It is better play to take the first trick and hope that your partner holds a card that will stop the suit.

When a high card of dummy’s long suit is marked in your partner’s hand, it is well to take out dummy’s re-entry card before the suit is established.

Notice carefully your partner’s discards in order to determine his strong suit, as well as to be able to infer what high cards he is endeavouring to protect. This will help you to discard correctly. Avoid playing a selfish game, and do not feel indignant if your partner, instead of returning your lead, attempts to play for his own suit. His hand may fully justify the change of lead. By changing the lead he shows not only a good suit, but also a card of re-entry.

THE ORIGINAL LEAD

The long suit is the best opening lead against a “no-trump” declaration. While the declaration is, in itself, an indication of general strength, in the majority of makes by the dealer one suit is left to the dummy to protect, and your long suit may be the weak spot in the dealer’s hand.

The leads against a “no-trump” declaration differ from those that are in use against a trump declaration, for the reason that high cards cannot be ruffed. With great length or considerable strength in your long suit a high card should be led, but unless you can reasonably expect to catch all of the remaining cards, your partner should be given an opportunity to win the first trick in the suit.

If you hold no card of re-entry, except perhaps a high card in your own long suit, you should be careful not to take out of your partner’s hand the only card that he may have to return your lead, for if you have no card of re-entry, and your partner has none of your suit to return, your suit, even though established, is useless.

As unblocking is a very important feature of the play against a “no-trump” declaration, it is necessary that you show your partner from what combination of cards you are leading. The failure to unblock is largely due to a lack of confidence in partner’s lead.

Those who are not familiar with the correct leads at “no-trump” would do well to remember that the lead of a high card indicates three honours or seven cards in the suit.

Frequently in opening a hand you will have two suits of equal length to choose from. It is then advisable to keep the suit headed by the higher card, for re-entry. For instance, holding two suits, one headed by an ace and the other by the jack or queen, open the weaker of the two, saving the ace as re-entry. This principle is sound; in practice it may sometimes be found that your partner is strong in the suit you do not open. Nevertheless, this lead from the weaker of two suits, if consistently followed, will gain in the long run. If you hold a red and a black suit, of equal length, especially if the “no-trump” declaration has been made by the dummy, give the preference to the red suit, inferring that the dealer is weak in red cards.

When you are opening from a long weak suit, and especially when you hold no re-entry card, endeavour to inform your partner that your long suit is weak. Don’t encourage your partner to return your lead unless there is a fair chance to establish and make your suit. From each of the following combinations it is best to lead the highest card:

10 9 7 6 9 8 6 4 8 7 5 3

When the top cards are not in sequence the lead of the highest may lose a trick, and it is, therefore, safer to lead the second best. As with

10 [8] 7 5 2 9 [7] 6 4 3 The underlined card should be led.

+--------------------------------------------------------+ | Transcriber's Note: | | The underlines have been replaced with square brackets.| | For example [K]. | +--------------------------------------------------------+

If, however, you hold a long weak suit, and, say, two or more possible re-entry cards, do not hesitate to encourage a return of the lead by opening a low card.

THE ORIGINAL LEAD AT “NO-TRUMP”

+------------+---------------------------------------------------+ | LEAD | HOLDING | +------------+---------------------------------------------------+ | | Ace, Queen, Jack, and others with a re-entry | | | card. | | =Ace= | Ace, with 7 or more others. | | | Ace, Queen, with 5 others. | | | Ace, Jack, with 5 others. | +------------+---------------------------------------------------+ | | Ace, King, Queen and others. | | | Ace, King, Jack and others. | | | Ace, King, ten, and 3 others, with a re-entry | | =King= | card. | | | Ace, King and 5 or more others. | | | King, Queen, Jack and others. | | | King, Queen, ten and others. | | | King, Queen and 5 others. | +------------+---------------------------------------------------+ | | Queen, Jack, ten and others. | | =Queen= | Queen, Jack, nine and others. | | | Ace, Queen, Jack and others. No card of re-entry | +------------+---------------------------------------------------+ | =Jack= | Jack, ten, nine and others. | +------------+---------------------------------------------------+ | =Ten= | King, Jack, ten and others. | +------------+---------------------------------------------------+ | =4th Best= | From other combinations. | +------------+---------------------------------------------------+

OPENING A SHORT SUIT AGAINST A “NO-TRUMP” DECLARATION

If, as leader, your long suit is worthless, and your hand is generally weak, there is a chance that your short suit may prove to be your partner’s long one, and that the lead may help him to establish his suit. While the odds are two to one against the success of a short lead, in this case it may gain and certainly cannot lose much. If, however, you hold five or six cards in your suit, open it; there is always a chance that your partner may hold sufficient length in the same suit to help you establish and bring it in.

If your long suit contains but four cards headed by one honour, king, queen, or jack, with no other re-entry card in the hand, and you hold a good supporting short lead, like jack ten or nine (particularly if the make has been passed, and your short suit is a red one) the short opening admits of no criticism.

If you hold a three or four card suit headed by ace, king, and queen, no matter the length in other suits, the opening lead should be from the ace king queen combination. With three cards of re-entry you can certainly afford to lead one of them to determine whether conditions justify the long suit lead.

The dummy hand may discourage the lead of your long suit and make it advisable to try for your partner’s suit instead.

UNBLOCKING

To be able to use proper judgment in ridding yourself of cards that you fear may block your partner’s suit, you should thoroughly understand the leads, and above all things, you should have perfect confidence that your partner has made the correct one. Remember that a high card led against a “no-trump” declaration indicates great strength or great length, and that you can rarely lose more than one trick by throwing your own high card on the one led by your partner; whereas a failure to unblock will often occasion the loss of several cards in your partner’s hand. If you hold four cards in the suit that your partner leads (provided of course the lead is high) save the lowest card, playing the third best to the first trick, and then play up. With five cards, play the fourth best to your partner’s high card lead, and then play up or down as the situation demands.

With length in the suit that your partner leads, especially as an original opening, it is often advisable to indicate your strength by playing first a high and then a lower card. This echo or signal encourages your partner to continue the suit.

With three cards in your partner’s suit two of which are honours, the lower of the honours should be played to the first trick. By playing the lowest card of all you will invariably block the suit.

With three cards including but one honour, the middle card should be played to a high card lead, and the honour should be thrown or played to the second lead. Be careful to return the highest card of your partner’s suit, as this will minimise loss from blocking and allow your partner to continue the suit without interruption.

The following are given as examples of unblocking:

+-------------+----------------+----------+ | HOLDING | ON PARTNER’S | PLAY | | | LEAD OF | | +-------------+----------------+----------+ | J 9 8 7 2 | K | 7 | | J 8 5 3 | K | 5 | | K Q 7 | A | Q | | Q J 8 | K | J | | K Q 5 | J | Q | | Q 8 3 | K and A | Q on A | +-------------+----------------+----------+

RETURNING PARTNER’S LEAD

To return partner’s lead, or to play for your own long suit? At times you will find this a most difficult question to decide. It can be stated that ordinarily it is better play to return your partner’s original lead, for rarely are two suits made against a “no-trump” declaration. In fact, it is hard enough to bring in one suit.... It will assist you to settle this difficulty if you notice carefully the card led by your partner, and infer from it the length of his suit. You can often tell how many cards of that suit are in the dealer’s hand. If, for instance, your partner’s lead indicates four cards and there are three cards of that suit in dummy and two cards in your own hand, it is evident that the dealer must hold four, and the chances are, if the lead is returned, he will eventually be left with the master card. As it is, of course, your purpose to avoid making cards good for the adversary, should you hold a good suit under these circumstances and a sure re-entry card, abandon your partner’s lead by all means and play for your own hand.

When dummy holds four cards in your partner’s suit, hesitate to return the lead, if by so doing you may establish the suit for your opponent; but when dummy is weak in the suit, lead at the first opportunity, through the dealer’s hand. Sometimes, if your own long suit is headed by ace and king, it is well to lead the king before returning your partner’s lead. This should always be done if the queen is on the table, to make sure that your suit will eventually be led through dummy’s queen. If you hold ace queen or ace queen jack over the king in dummy, you would naturally prefer that your partner lead the suit; but with a hand containing a sure re-entry card in another suit, particularly when you hold the commanding card of the adversaries’ suit, do not wait for your partner to lead; establish the suit yourself. If, with no re-entry card, you intend playing for your own long suit, do not draw all the cards of your suit from your partner’s hand. If your partner has a card of your suit as well as a card of re-entry, your suit will make; otherwise it is useless.

With four cards or fewer of your partner’s suit, the highest card should always be returned. This is done in order that the suit may not be blocked, and also to show your partner what high cards are held by the dealer. When it is evident that you and your partner hold an entire suit with the same number of cards in each hand, it is well to arrange the lead on the last round of the suit according to whether you would prefer to lead up to weakness or to have your partner lead through dummy’s strength.

With five cards of your partner’s suit, especially if his lead indicates but four, it is very difficult to decide how the suit should be returned. If a low card is returned, it may lead your partner to believe that all the high cards are in the dealer’s hand, and induce him to discontinue the suit. On the other hand, the return of a high card may block the suit so that you will be left with a card which may never make. No rule can be given for this situation. It must be left to the judgment of the player.

HOLDING UP BY THE NON-DEALERS

Holding up is a strategy resorted to at “no-trump.” The idea is to retain a high card until one hand is exhausted and cannot lead the suit to the opposite hand. Holding up does not often gain when the hand with the long suit contains an entry card except at such times as the dealer does not or cannot overtake; usually it is better play to take the trick and trust that your partner can eventually stop the suit. Do not hold up a high card if you can block the suit later, or if there is a possibility that your partner holds an honour in the suit.

The following are examples of holding up:

(The underlined card indicates the lead.)

+--------------------------------------------------------+ | Transcriber's Note: | | The underlines have been replaced with square brackets.| | For example [K]. | +--------------------------------------------------------+

K♠ J♠ 10♠ 9♠ 8♠ 7♠ +-------+ | Y | | A B | A♠ 6♠ 5♠ | Z | +-------+ [Q♠]

In this case, dummy holds no entry card. The ace should not be played by B until the dealer has no card of the suit.

A♠ J♠ 10♠ 9♠ 7♠ 5♠ +-------+ | Y | 4♠ | A B | K♠ 6♠ 3♠ | Z | +-------+ [Q♠]

If dummy holds no entry card, B should not take the first trick.

[Q♠] J♠ x-------x | Y | | A B | A♠ 8♠ 5♠ | Z | x-------x

B should pass both the queen and the knave. By passing the second trick, if the dealer fails to overtake, or if the dealer does not hold two re-entry cards, the suit cannot be made.

A♥ K♠ J♠ 9♠ 8♠ 7♠ 6♠ x-------x | Y | 2♠ | A B | A♠ 5♠ 4♠ | Z | x-------x [Q♠]

Y has an entry card. B should refuse to win the trick, trusting that Z has no other card to lead.

A♠ 10♠ 7♠ x-------x | Y | K♠ 6♠ 3♠ | A B | | Z | x-------x [Q♠]

A should refuse to cover the honour. If he waits until the third round, the suit is blocked. Z may have no re-entry card.

[Q♠] J♠ x-------x | Y | | A B | K♠ 6♠ 4♠ | Z | x-------x

In this case, the honour should be covered. If Z holds the ace, the suit is blocked.

A♠ J♠ 8♠ 6♠ 4♠ x-------x | Y | Q♠ 5♠ | A B | | Z | x-------x [10♠]

A should cover the ten led. It may establish the king and nine in B’s hands. If Y has no card of re-entry B can then hold up.

[K♠] x-------x | Y | | A B | A♠ 7♠ 5♠ | Z | x-------x

As Y has no other card to lead, B should refuse to part with the ace. Z cannot make the suit without two re-entry cards.

TAKING OUT RE-ENTRY CARDS

If you hold the commanding card of the adversary’s suit, endeavour to take out your opponent’s re-entry before the suit is cleared. It is equally important that you take out this re-entry card if you know that your partner has the command of the adversary’s suit. In extreme cases do not hesitate to sacrifice a king or queen in order to accomplish this purpose. When the dealer attempts to make a card of re-entry for an established suit, hold up a higher card in order to frustrate his scheme of play.

THE DISCARD

This part of the game merits much more consideration than a cursory knowledge of Bridge would suggest. The ordinary Bridge player is confused by the many difficulties attendant on discarding, and his cards are apt to be injudiciously thrown away. It would greatly simplify the discard if you were always to throw away your lowest card or to follow some other hard-and-fast rule; but, unfortunately, the discard is so affected by the particular situation and by the previous play as to preclude the possibility of establishing such a rule. When you advise the beginner to throw away a high card instead of a two spot, the situation appears to him hopeless; he fails to realise that at times high cards have little value, and, to obtain the lead, honours and even smaller cards must be properly protected.

When opposed to the dealer, it should be your aim both to protect your hand and to give your partner information. As the eldest hand, your opening lead indicates strength or weakness; any subsequent discard is simply the card that you can best spare, and is not intended to convey any definite information. As the original leader, it is important that you know your partner’s suit, and this information he should convey to you by a recognised system of discarding decided on before beginning the game. Thus the discard from the strength or from weakness refers only to the first card thrown away by the younger hand.

There are three methods of discarding used by Bridge players, each having the same object--to protect the hand and to give information.

1st. Strength both with a trump and at “no-trump.”

2d. Strength with a trump and weakness at “no-trump.”

3d. Weakness both with a trump and at “no-trump.”

Some merit may be claimed for each; but there is a wide difference of opinion regarding the relative values of these discards. In Whist, as well as in Bridge, there has always been more or less discussion on this point. It can, however, be stated that the foremost authorities on Whist have uniformly agreed that with strength declared against you, the best discard is from your strong suit.

THE DISCARD AGAINST A DECLARED TRUMP

The great majority of Bridge players use the strength discard against a trump declaration, and there is little doubt that this is sound. It is imperative that you protect honours in the weaker suits, for rarely will your long suit be brought in against the dealer.

The claim made by those who use the weak discard against a trump make is that it permits them to throw away a short suit, and thus eventually to establish a “ruff.” When a player is discarding from strength, this “ruff” can be obtained with equal facility by the proper use of the reverse discard.

Without a doubt the weak discard should be used on a spade declaration that has been doubled either by you or your partner. In this case, trump strength is probably with you, not against you. The same argument cannot be used, however, on a doubled heart, diamond, or club, whereas spades may have been declared from weakness, the other declarations indicate trump strength.

THE DISCARD AT “NO-TRUMP”

The writer has placed himself on record as being in favour of the strength discard, and since doing so has seen nothing that would tend to change his views on this subject.

A theory of good play may be so unfortunately worded as to convey a mistaken impression, and it is amusing to hear the various methods of discarding discussed by players of little experience; not long since, a hand was published to illustrate the loss of one trick by discarding strength, when an ace is first lost by bad play, and the discard so palpably wrong as to insult the partner’s intelligence.

To those who have not taken the time to analyse hands thoroughly, the discard of a card that may possibly make, naturally seems the waste of a trick; but consider how seldom a suit, not led originally, is brought in against a “no-trump” make; remember that you do not expect to win on the adversary’s make, but only hope to minimise your loss, and that often in trying to save all the cards of your long suit, honours in the weaker suits are unguarded which, if properly protected, would have won tricks.

An objection that is raised to discarding from weakness at “no-trumps” is that one discard does not positively show your strong suit. In many hands, to be sure, your partner can obtain the information from the cards in dummy, but at times, when one suit has been led and another discarded, your partner is left in doubt as to the suit to lead, and a wrong guess may result in serious loss.

Again, the discard from weakness may betray your partner’s hand, by giving information that will enable the dealer to finesse successfully. The dealer is more likely to have strength in your weak, than in your strong suit.

The discard from weakness is of no material help to your partner in discarding, as you may hold a high honour in your weak suit, while with the strength discard, your partner, when he is forced to protect his hand, does not fear to unguard honours in your suit.

If you were to play a hundred deals of “no-trump” hands, making the first discard from the weak suit, and then replay the hands making the first discard from strength, the result would be overwhelmingly in favour of the strength discard. It is impossible to make the first discard from weakness uniformly without unguarding honours in the adversaries’ suits, and only the novice attempts to do so.

To say that one should always make the discard from weakness or from strength is wrong both in theory and in practise. No hard-and-fast rule can be followed without loss. With confidence that an intelligent partner will read your discards, you can allow common sense and reason to dictate the occasions to deviate from the rule.

You should aim first, to protect your hand; second, to give your partner information; and, third, to keep your long suit. In the majority of hands, it is immaterial whether you discard from strength or from weakness, but in those which show a difference, the strength discard does not in any hand lose more than one trick, while the loss occasioned by the discard from weakness varies from one to four tricks in a hand.

If you use the strength discard and find it advisable in any particular hand to throw away your weak suit, you can always do so by using the reverse discard. This is also true when the weak discard is used, but, unfortunately, in the latter case, two cards from your strong suit must be thrown away.

No matter what system of discarding you may use, occasionally a trick will be lost, but after an analysis of over ten thousand deals the writer is of the firm opinion that the discard from strength at “no-trump” will lose less than the discard from weakness.

HINTS ON DISCARDING

If three suits have been led or shown, do not attempt to discard from strength. You question your partner’s intelligence. If your only four-card suit contains but one honour, do not indicate strength unless you are particularly desirous of having that suit led to you.

When you have no suit that you are anxious to show, discard from the suit led originally by your partner, or even, when it is obviously established, from the adversary’s suit. This implies that you have no strength to indicate, but you are protecting your hand.

It is bad policy to discard all the cards of one suit, as it betrays any strength your partner may hold.

As the younger hand, infer from your partner’s discards what suit he is guarding.

When the dealer can lead through a king in your hand, try to keep it twice guarded.

It would be unwise to discard from an established suit if you hold a sure re-entry card; as all you require is the lead, the best discard is from the suit containing the re-entry card.

If you hold a tenace or strength in a suit over the dummy hand, it may be a better discard than your longest suit.

When your partner has shown a four or five-card suit, don’t look to him for much further strength.

Protect all four-card suits even if they are but to the nine or ten, and remember a jack or ten twice guarded will often block the dealer’s suit.

Watch the dealer’s discards and protect the suit that he is saving.

THE REVERSE DISCARD

In discarding, the play of a high and then a lower card reverses the original meaning of the discard. If you adopt the strength discard, and wish to throw away your weak suit at “no-trump” do so by discarding first a high and then a lower card. If you use the weak discard and wish to protect your weak suits, discard first a high and then a lower card from your strong suit.

The reverse discard may be used when it is shown that two discards can be made.

DISCARDING BY THE DEALER

The discard offers fewer difficulties to the dealer whose two hands reveal the suit that should be protected, and show the cards that can be conveniently spared.

In a “no-trump” hand it is especially necessary to guard all weak suits; not forgetting that a four-card suit to the ten will often block the opponent’s lead.

The second suit that they will open is often shown by the adversary’s discards; and this, too, will aid you to prepare a proper defence.

When you hold trump strength discard losing cards from one hand on winning ones in the other.

At times it may be necessary to discard high cards to unblock a suit and to protect honours in another suit.

In discarding endeavour to conceal both your weakness and your strength; you may often mislead your opponents and tempt them to lead to your strong suit.

THE DEALER’S PLAY

The dealer’s play of the twenty-six cards is undoubtedly the most interesting that Bridge offers; the skilful management and keen perception required to combine the two hands against adversaries ready to take advantage of the slightest error, make this part of the game correspondingly difficult. With no partner to mislead, the dealer can use strategy to deceive the opponents, while he gains the same information from each adversary’s play as if he were the partner of both. His opportunities to draw inferences are almost innumerable, and give him occasional openings to prepare clever pitfalls for the unwary adversary.

The opening lead--Is it from a long suit or a short suit? What honours are held by the original leader? What cards are placed by the third hand play? These are all questions that must be premised by a thorough knowledge of the correct leads and third hand play. In addition, the dealer must be familiar with the most advantageous play of the various combinations or cards, must locate honours by his adversaries’ discards and arrange the lead accordingly; must know how to unblock as well as how and where to make entry cards. A knowledge of trump management--to know when to lead and when not to lead trumps--is no small part of the dealer’s requirements.

A hand that is well and quietly played merits commendation, which partner and opponents seldom hesitate to bestow.

COMBINING THE HANDS OF DEALER AND DUMMY

As dealer, whether you are playing a trump or a “no-trump” declaration, take a mental stock of the cards you hold early in the hand, and decide from which hand each combination should be led.

Although at times it may be impossible to arrange the lead, it may be stated here that the advantages that accrue from the correct play of most combinations of cards, are obtained by invariably leading a suit from the weak to the strong hand; in most cases the high card from the weak.

The four most important combinations and those that are held most frequently are:

A Q J A K J A J 10 K J 10

ACE, QUEEN, JACK COMBINATION

Perhaps with no one of these combinations can you so often gain tricks as by the correct play of ace queen jack.

These cards may be held in four different ways.

+------------------+-------------------+ | _In One Hand._ | _In the Other._ | +------------------+-------------------+ | A Q J | x x x | | A Q x | J x x | | A J x | Q x x | | A x x | Q J x | +------------------+-------------------+

With this combination either in a trump or in a “no-trump” hand endeavour to catch the adversary’s king by leading the highest card from your weak hand toward the ace; if the king is not played second in hand you can lose nothing by taking the finesse; for when it is guarded in the fourth hand the king will win no matter how the cards are played. The advantage of leading the high card is that, if you retain the lead, you can again lead from the weak hand.

Better results will, of course, be obtained if you hold ace queen jack ten, or even ace queen jack nine in the two hands; otherwise the adversary, by covering the honour led, may eventually establish a ten or nine against you.

If you hold ace, queen, and two or three small cards in one hand and jack and small cards in the other, the best play of the combination is to lead a low card up to the ace queen; if the finesse is successful, the lead of the ace may capture a once-guarded king without establishing a ten or nine for the adversaries. But if pitted against weak players, on account of their well-known dislike of sacrificing a high card, the lead of the jack toward the ace queen is advisable.

The number of cards in the suit will often influence you in taking or not taking the finesse. With eight cards or fewer in the two hands, the finesse is practically obligatory. With nine cards in the two hands, the finesse should usually be taken. With ten cards in the two hands, it is largely a matter of luck. With ace queen and jack in one hand and small cards in the other there is a slight percentage in favour of the finesse. Otherwise try to gain information by leading the highest card toward the ace, and if it is not covered, play the ace on the chance of finding the king alone.

If you do not hold the jack it is a losing play to lead a queen toward the ace. This is a common mistake and should be carefully avoided.

With ace, queen, ten and nine in the two hands, it cannot be considered altogether bad play to lead the queen toward the ace; but if this is done it may be necessary to take a finesse on the second round. The adversaries’ discards, however, will often show you how this combination should be played.

ACE, KING, JACK COMBINATION

This combination can be held in four different ways:

+-----------------+-----------------+ | _In One Hand._ | _In the Other._ | +-----------------+-----------------+ | A K J | x x x | | A K x | J x x | | A J x | K x x | | K J x | A x x | +-----------------+-----------------+

With the first arrangement of this combination the lead should come from the weak hand and the jack should be played. In the second the jack may be led from the weak hand toward the ace king; although unless you also hold the ten, little can be gained by this play, for if the adversary covers the jack with the queen, as he should, the ten will be established against you. In the two remaining cases a low card should be led up to the jack.

With each of these combinations, unless you hold nine cards or more in the combined hands, the finesse should be taken.

With ace jack in one hand and the king in the other, or with king jack in one hand and ace in the other, unless you also hold the ten of the suit, do not lead the jack toward the ace; for if the adversary covers the jack with the queen, the ten is established against you.

If you hold nine cards in the two hands it is not sound play to finesse; with but four cards against you the queen will probably fall in two rounds of the suit.

ACE, JACK, TEN COMBINATION

These cards may be held in four different ways:

+------------------+------------------+ | _In One Hand._ | _In the Other._ | +------------------+------------------+ | A J 10 | x x x | | A J x | 10 x x | | A 10 x | J x x | | A x x | J 10 x | +------------------+------------------+

As there are two high cards against this combination, you must take a double finesse. The play is similar to that given for the previous combinations. Lead the high card from the weak hand, and, unless it is covered, pass the trick; then wait until the suit can again be led from the weak hand, and take a second finesse.

KING, JACK, TEN COMBINATION

There are three ways in which these cards may be held:

+------------------+-----------------+ | _In One Hand._ | _In the Other._ | +------------------+-----------------+ | K J 10 | x x x | | K J x | 10 x x | | K x x | J 10 x | +------------------+-----------------+

In each of these cases the play is practically the same; lead the highest card from the weak hand and finesse. If by the finesse you succeed in forcing the ace, wait until the suit can be led through the queen.

If you hold this combination with nine or more cards of the suit, it is often difficult to determine whether a finesse should or should not be taken; if you play the king and it wins the first trick, you may drop both ace and queen on the next lead.

MISCELLANEOUS COMBINATIONS

If you hold a sequence of three high cards in the combined hands, while, of course, it is better form to lead from the weak hand, it makes but little difference from which hand the suit is led. Therefore, if you cannot conveniently place the lead, do not hesitate to lead from the strong hand. Should you, however, hold a sequence of two high cards in one hand with small cards in the other, for instance:

+------------------+-------------------+ | _In One Hand._ | _In the Other._ | +------------------+-------------------+ | K Q x | x x x | | Q J x | x x x | +------------------+-------------------+

it is always advisable to lead from the weak hand. Should the queen win in the first combination, wait until you can again lead the suit from the weak hand.

COMBINATIONS TO BE AVOIDED.

+------------------+-----------------+ | _In One Hand._ | _In the Other._ | +------------------+-----------------+ | Q x x | A x x | | J x x | A x x | | Q x x | K x x | | J x x | K x x | | J x x | Q x x | | K x x | x x x | +------------------+-----------------+

A suit containing a single honour or one with a single honour in each hand should be avoided. There is a difference of one or two tricks in each of these combinations dependent on whether you or the adversaries open the suit. When it is an advantage to have a suit led by the opponents, endeavour, by throwing the lead, to force your adversaries to lead the suit to you.

ARRANGING THE LEAD

Assuming that you understand how to play the various combinations of cards, it becomes necessary, as soon as the opening lead has been made, to plan a well-defined scheme of play.

Do not hesitate to pause a few moments to study thoroughly the two hands, so that you can play quickly and intelligently. Be assured that when you play a hand with a vague, uncertain feeling, you are playing it badly. Many a hand is ruined by careless and hasty play to the first trick.

In a “no-trump hand” this first trick is often of great importance. Before you touch a card in the dummy decide for which suit you wish to play, from which hand it should be led, and in which hand you need an entry card.

In mapping out your play of a trump hand, try first to infer whether the lead is from a long or a short suit; then decide whether or not you should lead trumps, and if so, from which hand you should lead them; and looking ahead still further, place an advantageous lead for your long suit.

FINESSING

It has already been stated that with certain combinations in the two hands, you should finesse, and that you can do so, unless you hold great length in the suit with but small chance of loss. When a finesse goes against you, it is due to an unfortunate distribution of the cards and not, as one is apt to feel, to your own bad play. However, the subject of finessing, in common with all other parts of Bridge, requires a knowledge of the particular situation, and there are many occasions when it is unwise to finesse.

It would be bad play to finesse deeply in trumps when it is evident that your adversaries can “ruff” a suit, or that a “cross-ruff” is imminent. It may be important that you have two, or even three rounds of trumps. The finesse may gain one trick, whereas if it goes against you, and the adversaries “ruff” your good cards, you may lose several tricks.

In a “no-trumper,” if your opponent has an established suit, be careful not to take a finesse, which, if it loses, will afford the adversary an opportunity to make his established suit. It is much better play to finesse against this player, especially if you know that the other adversary has no card of his partner’s suit.

As dealer, you should be careful about taking a finesse, which, if it loses, will block your suit, and allow your adversary to take out your card of re-entry.

If you hold a guarded honour in the suit originally led by the adversary, do not take a finesse, which, if it loses, will allow your right-hand adversary to lead through this honour. The entire suit may be made against you.

If you hold the king of a suit once or twice guarded in one hand, and only small cards of that suit in the other, do not take a finesse, which may allow the adversary to lead through this king.

If you have a strong hand and a weak dummy you would, of course, prefer that the lead come up to you. Therefore, take your finesse, so that if it loses, you will have, at least, this advantage.

With ace, king, and jack in one suit, and especially if these cards are all in one hand, it is often good play to take one round of the suit before attempting a finesse. The fall of the cards may help you to locate the queen.

When you hold eight cards to the ace, king, and jack in the two hands, the adversary’s queen is frequently unguarded. Finessing then becomes a question of the score and of the possible loss that an unsuccessful finesse would entail. You should risk the loss of a trick in order to win the game, provided the loss of a trick does not lose the game. If the game cannot be won, and it is merely a question of winning or not winning the odd trick, do not finesse. That one trick may prevent the adversaries from winning the game on the next deal.

THE FINESSE OBLIGATORY

This is an arbitrary finesse, which is often forced upon you, when, unless the cards of a suit are in a certain position, there is no possibility of winning. Perhaps the best way of defining the finesse obligatory is to give an example showing the position as it most frequently occurs:

K♠ 7♠ 3♠ x-------x | Y | | A B | | Z | x-------x Q♠ 9♠ 8♠ 6♠ 5♠

“Z” is the dealer, and leads a low card to the king in dummy, which wins the first trick. The suit is returned, the ace being marked with “A.” If “A” holds both ace and knave, no matter how the dealer plays, “A” must win two tricks. Unless the knave is in “B’s” hand, and “A” holds the singleton ace, the adversary must win two tricks. The dealer should, therefore, play his lowest card, not the queen.

WATCHING THE DISCARDS IN ORDER TO LOCATE FINESSES

The amount of information to be gained from the adversary’s discards is apt to be underestimated. Careful notice of the discards, particularly in a “no-trump” hand, will often help you to locate honours and to determine where a finesse should be taken; moreover, it will simplify the end play, show you chances to throw the lead, and give you opportunities to force the opponents to lead up to your hand.

If the king of your long suit is against you and on the wrong side, it will probably make, but this is not true of the queen. If you hold in the two hands ace king, jack or ace king jack, ten of a suit, unless you can place the queen, you are compelled to guess where to take the finesse. If, however, you can advantageously lead another suit try to force the adversaries to discard, one will undoubtedly protect the queen of your suit, and the other, not knowing perhaps that you are trying to gain information, will probably discard from his weak suit; the discard thus enabling you to finesse successfully.

This information can often be similarly obtained in a trump hand by leading an extra round of trumps. If, however, you are forced to lead the suit without any knowledge of the situation, lead a card which will tempt your adversary to cover; for instance, holding ace x x in dummy with king jack ten in your own hand, lead the jack. If the jack is not covered, it is often good play to take the first trick with the ace, and, on returning the lead, to play the ten. As the jack was not covered you infer that the queen is held by the other adversary.

If you have no finesse in your suit, it often pays to give the adversaries a chance to make a finesse possible for you. For instance, with A x x in dummy and K 10 9 in your own hand, unless both queen and jack are unguarded, or unless you can tempt them to play badly, the adversaries must make one trick in the suit. The play is to lead the ten, for if it is covered, either with jack or queen, you have the advantage of a finesse on your return of the suit.

SECOND HAND PLAYS

Showing the play of the different combinations between dealer and dummy. In each case a small card is led and the second hand is the hand that is led through:

+--------------+---------------+------------------------+ | _2d Hand._ | _4th Hand._ | _Play._ | +--------------+---------------+------------------------+ | A K x | J x x | K, or Low | | A K x | 10 x x | K (T) Low (NT) | | A Q x | J x x | Low | | A Q x | 10 x x | Low | | A Q x | x x x | Queen (T) Low (NT) | | A J x | Q x x | Low | | A 10 x | J x x | Low | | A x x | Q x x | Low | | K Q x | x x x | Queen | | K J x | x x x | Low | | K J | x x x | Jack (T) King (NT) | | K J | A x x | Jack | | K J x | 10 x x | Low | | K 10 x | J x x | Low | | K x x | Q x | Low | | K x | x x | Low (T) King (NT) | | K x | J x x | Low | | K x | Q x x | Low (T) King (NT) | | K x | Q 10 x | Low | | K x | A 10 x | Low | | K x | A J x | Low | | Q J x | x x x | Jack | | Q J x | A x x | Jack | | Q 10 x | A x x | Low | | Q x x | K x x | Low | | Q x x | x x x | Low | | Q x | A x x | Queen | | Q x | A 10 x | Low | | Q x | A J x | Low | | Q x | K x x | Low (T) Queen (NT) | +--------------+---------------+------------------------+

(T) with a declared trump. (NT) at no trump.

+--------------+---------------+------------------------+ | _2d Hand._ | _4th Hand._ | _Play._ | +--------------+---------------+------------------------+ | A K x | J x x | K, or Low | | Q x | J x x | Low | | Q x | x x x | Queen | | J 10 x | A K x | Ten | | J 10 x | A x x | Ten | | J x | A K x | Jack | | J x | A Q x | Low | | 10 x | A K x | Ten | | 10 x | A Q x | Ten | | 10 x | A J x | Low | +--------------+---------------+------------------------+

MANAGEMENT OF TRUMPS BY THE DEALER

The surest test of a player’s skill is the ability he displays in handling trumps. Habits that are wrong in theory are frequently formed, and errors in judgment are common in the trump management. The difficulties are as numerous as the combinations are varied. Only general rules can be given, and the constantly changing situations must be met by the skill and originality of the player.

WHEN TO LEAD TRUMPS

One of the first points for the dealer’s consideration is the advisability of the trump lead. As he usually holds the balance of trump strength in the combined hands, generally speaking the dealer should lead trumps.

A common excuse for avoiding the trump lead is that the hands contain no long suit; if this is true, why not try to establish your trump suit? If you hold five trumps in one hand, the chances are that three rounds will leave you with two long trumps and the adversaries powerless to “ruff” any high card you may hold; by refusing to lead trumps you may enable the opponents to “overruff” your strong hand and make their trumps separately. It may be to your advantage to have the other suits led by the adversaries and your trump lead will often force them to do this.

At times you will have the choice of two ways of playing the hand. One, to trump losing cards in your weak hand; the other to exhaust trumps and discard your losing cards on the commanding cards of a long suit. If your trumps are strong and your long suit established, the trump lead is preferable. With an established suit and high trumps against you, postpone the trump lead until you have allowed your weak hand to “ruff” the losing cards.

However, with five trumps in the strong and four in the weak hand, as you will probably exhaust trumps in two rounds, it is safer to lead the trumps first. You can then “ruff” in your weak hand without danger of being “overruffed.”

If you hold seven or more trumps in the combined hands, do not make the fact that your strong hand has been forced an excuse for not leading trumps. If you are protected in the adversaries’ suit and can lead the trumps advantageously from the weak to the strong hand, always lead them.

To lead trumps with this number is the rule, not the exception, but occasionally when they cannot be led from the weak hand it is better to make as many trumps as possible by “ruffing.”

WHEN NOT TO LEAD TRUMPS

Perhaps the simplest rule that can be given is, do not lead trumps when there is a short side suit in the weak trump hand. You will obviously gain by trumping losing cards in the weak hand.

As it often requires two rounds to exhaust the short suit in the weak hand, try not to show your intention too clearly, or the adversaries will circumvent your scheme of “ruffing” by a trump lead. Remember, also, that you cannot obtain the “ruff” unless you hold, or can make, an entry card in your strong hand.

When your combined hands contain fewer than seven trumps, the balance of strength is with the adversaries, and, in this case, unless your trumps or side suits are exceptionally strong, avoid the trump lead.

With but six trumps and an established suit against you, it would be dangerous to lead trumps. One adversary must hold at least four trumps, and it may be that all the remaining trumps are in one hand. The trump lead would only help the adversaries to make their suit.

When the commanding trump is against you, endeavour to discard your losing suit cards from one hand on winning ones in the other before you give up the lead.

UNBLOCKING THE TRUMP SUIT

As dealer, be careful to lead your trumps in such a manner that you will not find it impossible to continue the lead. The simplest method of unblocking the trump suit is to lead or play the high trumps from the shorter hand.

Occasionally to avoid blocking the suit, it will be necessary to “ruff” with a high instead of a lower trump. For instance, with ace and ten of trumps in dummy and king, queen, jack, nine and eight in your own hand, if you “ruff” with dummy’s ten, you will block the trump suit; even a temporary discontinuance of the trump lead may result in loss.

When you lead the queen toward the ace, holding the ace, jack, ten, nine, seven in one hand and queen, eight, four in the other, you must provide for the possible necessity for leading three times through the king by playing the nine of trumps on the queen lead. A careless play of the seven may make it impossible to capture the adversary’s king.

NOT FORCING YOUR STRONG TRUMP HAND

The greatest weakness and the most expensive fault in the beginner’s game is his predilection for trumping in the strong trump hand. When trumps are hopelessly against you, it may be necessary to make what you can by ruffing, but with the advantage of the make, you are seldom compelled to play a defensive game. When you needlessly force your strong hand to trump, you reduce your power to exhaust the adversaries’ trumps, to establish your suit, and to be left with the last trump--which is, par excellence, the dealer’s game.

To trump in the weak hand is always advisable, nor can any objection be raised to a “cross-ruff,” but force your strong hand only as a last resource.

If you hold the losing one of two remaining trumps, try to force the winning trump from the adversary’s hand; to force your own hand instead will materially prejudice your chance of making a suit.

LEADING TRUMPS TO PREVENT A RUFF

When it is apparent that one adversary can “ruff” a suit, or when a “cross-ruff” is imminent, it is important that you guard against such a contingency by at least two rounds of trumps. Of course, if you hold the commanding trump, this presents no difficulties; but, when the winning trump is with the adversary, you should try to tempt him to hold it up second in hand by refraining from a high card lead. For instance, with queen and seven of trumps in one hand and king jack ten nine eight in the other, lead the seven instead of the queen.

If your trumps are in sequence you can often obtain two rounds by leading the lowest of your sequence rather than the highest card.

WHEN TO DRAW THE REMAINING TRUMPS

When you are left with but one remaining trump, and that the commanding one, usually lead it to draw the losing trumps.

When there are but two other remaining trumps, trust that your trump lead will find them divided. If you have reason to know that both are in one hand, one must of course make; but lead the commanding trump, so that _but_ one _can_ make.

With the best trump in your hand and one against you, it is only in critical situations that you should refrain from drawing the losing trump. For instance, when the adversaries hold an established suit and the commanding card of your suit, it is a better play to clear your suit and then refuse a force until the adversary who holds the remaining trump cannot lead his partner’s suit. Take care, however, to accept the force at the right time, for a delay in trumping may allow the adversary to discard a losing card of your suit.

DISCONTINUING THE LEAD OF TRUMPS

There are many positions difficult to define when it is advisable to discontinue the trump lead. An obvious case is when the commanding trump is against you and the lead would entail your loss of two trumps for one card, which the adversary must make in any case. The best play is to force the adversary to “ruff” with the high trump, for then your trumps may make separately.

When you hold but two trumps with two against you, be careful about taking the third round of trumps when your adversaries hold an established suit; if the trumps are divided no doubt the lead will save a trick; but you risk finding both trumps in one hand, in which case the adversary will draw or force your remaining trump and make his suit. The trump lead cannot win more than one trick and it may lose several.

With three remaining trumps, if your suit is established, the third round should always be taken. Should you find after one or two rounds that the trumps are banked in one hand against you, it is, as a rule, better to force the opponent’s hand than to continue the trump lead. This gives you the long trump, which is no inconsiderable advantage.

The adversaries’ high trumps are sometimes placed after one round, so that it may be advisable to discontinue the trump lead temporarily until you can lead to better advantage from the weaker hand.

When you hold the commanding card of each side suit and do not wish the lead of your long suit to be interrupted, it is good play to lead the losing trump. If, however, you are not in a position to win any card the adversary may lead, it is better play to force the commanding trump.

WHEN TO TRUMP

If the adversary attempts to force your strong hand, it is usually advisable to accept the force. Only in rare cases does it pay to allow the opponent to continue the lead of his established suit.

At times you can afford to give the adversary one trick, knowing that, on the next lead, your weak hand can take the “ruff.”

With two trumps against you it is often good play to discard rather than to “ruff” with the commanding trump. But to gain by your play, you should hold a certain entry card in the suit that the adversary must lead.

With one trump against you, do not use your one remaining trump until the leader’s partner is exhausted in the leader’s suit.

If the adversary leads a suit which you can trump in either hand, the “ruff” should invariably be taken in the weak hand, and a discard made in the strong one.

You are sometimes in a position to know that if you trump, your adversary will overtrump. When the best card is led, it is usually good play to trump immediately and if possible with a card which will not unguard an honour in your own hand, but will force a high card from the opponent. If a suit is led, of which you hold the commanding card in the opposite hand, your best defence is to take a discard, which will prevent the adversary from making a high card later in the hand. If you can make no advantageous discard, your best play is to trump, especially if the trumps in your combined hands are in sequence, for, if the adversary wins the trick, his high trump will probably make in any case.

OVERTRUMPING

It is only the experienced player who can resist the temptation to overtrump. The beginner jumps at every trick without realising that he can often gain by waiting. Overtrump when your hand is weak and your trumps low; but, if overtrumping takes out your only high card in the trump suit, especially if it is the commanding trump, it is nearly always better to discard. Your winning trump is bound to make, and it is better play to throw away a suit that you can ruff later with one of your small trumps.

Frequently by overtrumping you make it easy for the adversary to draw your remaining trumps, which, had you not weakened your hand, he would be powerless to do. For instance, where you hold the best and the fourth best trump, with the second and third best in your adversary’s hand, should you overtrump, your adversary will, of course, be in a position to catch your smaller trump, while by refusing the trick you retain the extra trump and are enabled to draw the adversary’s last trump.

RE-ENTRY CARDS

It is of little use to establish a suit unless it is possible to get the lead in the hand that contains it; therefore, the reservation of a re-entry card in the hand that has the long suit is of great importance. A preferable re-entry is, of course, the last trump or trumps.

Arranging the trump lead so that the last round will be taken in the desired hand is often a necessary precaution.

After the adversaries’ trumps are exhausted, you may be compelled to place the lead in the opposite hand by an extra round of trumps, and often it is necessary to trump with a high card, saving the low trump to lead to the opposite hand.

It not infrequently happens that in order to get the lead in the opposite hand, you are forced to trump your own commanding card.

FORCING DISCARDS

Should you find as dealer that you have a losing card and a number of winning trumps, always lead the trumps to give the adversaries a chance to make an error in discarding.

If the adversary holds the ace, dummy the king, and you a singleton of a suit, your hand otherwise consisting of long trumps and established cards, by first leading the singleton you may tempt the second hand adversary to hold up the ace; while if you lead the established cards, the adversaries can count your hand and will make no such mistake.

Whenever you hold but six or seven cards of a suit in the combined hands, endeavour to make your adversaries discard before you indicate any strength. You will find that many times the discards will necessarily benefit your hand.

With two or three remaining trumps in your hand, you should lead at least two rounds of trumps before opening the suit of which you have but six cards. An example of the situation is given below:

K♣ 8♣ 6♦ 6♠ 5♠ 4♦ x-------x | Y | | | | Z | x-------x A♣ Q♣ 5♣ 3♣ 9♥ 7♥

In this case hearts are trumps. The dealer is left with the two remaining trumps, and holds in his combined hands but six clubs. Should the clubs be led before the trump suit, the adversaries would be left with the commanding club. The dealer should play his two trumps to force discards from his opponents’ hands before he opens the club suit.

With four or five long trumps, when but one other suit has been opened, you will almost invariably gain tricks by forcing the adversaries to discard. Any error they may make in selecting the suit to protect may enable you to take tricks with cards that would otherwise be valueless.

THROWING THE LEAD

The disadvantage of the lead is at times most apparent, and you can often gain by forcing your adversary to lead a suit which you cannot well afford to open.

When there are tricks that the adversaries must win, try to make this necessity a benefit to your hand.

Occasions for throwing the lead arise most frequently in the end play; there are the nice situations where you gain the advantage of position by leading a losing trump or suit card.

However, situations where it is advisable to throw the lead are so frequent and varied in occurrence throughout the _entire_ play that the subject can only be treated in a general way. Perhaps covered by one suggestion; when you cannot lead a suit advantageously, try to force the adversary to lead it to you.

THE DEALER’S PLAY OF A “NO-TRUMP” DECLARATION

As soon as the hand has been opened, make a comprehensive examination to determine the possibilities of your combined hands. Are you strong enough to win the game? Can you win the odd trick? Shall you be able to save the game?

With no other possibility in the hand, make a determined effort to save the game. If you are weak in one suit and hold the command of the suit that is opened, your danger may lie in allowing the adversaries to retain the lead.

When you hold an established suit, you cannot but gain by forcing the opponents to discard; they may unguard honours in their weaker suits or give you information that will locate high cards.

Do not forget that your strength is in your long suit, and that you are often dependent on your other high cards to establish this suit. To the mind of the novice, the loss of the lead is a calamity, and he will often lead all his high cards, leaving the command of his own suit, as well as of the others, with the adversaries.

Remember that it requires no skill to make aces and kings, and that your goal in a “no-trump” hand must be the establishment of the small cards of your long suit.

With fair possibilities in the hand, ascertain before you play a card from dummy, first: which is your longest suit; second, how can it be most advantageously led; and, third, in which hand there is the greater need of an entry card.

CHOICE OF SUITS

There is no rule so necessary to good play as that of retaining the control of the shorter suits and playing to establish the longest suit in the combined hands. Do not let the fact that your long suit contains but a few high cards discourage you--the lead can entail but small loss as the commanding cards would probably make in any case.

When, as frequently happens, your combined hands contain two suits of equal length, make a careful selection of the suit to be played for.

When the ace of one suit and the king or the queen of the other are against you, play for the suit of which the adversary holds the ace. The ace must win, while the fuller information that comes later in the hand may enable you to catch the king or queen by a finesse. Then you can better afford to discard from a suit headed by the ace than from a suit in which an honour must be protected. Moreover, you deprive the adversary of a sure re-entry card.

With two suits of equal length, be careful not to play for one in a hand that contains no re-entry card.

When you hold two suits of equal length, it is usually wise to play for the suit that is exposed on the table and conceal the strength in your own hand. In other words, don’t give the adversaries unnecessary information.

In choosing between two suits select the one that will gain you the greater number of tricks. For instance, when you hold two eight-card suits, one divided five and three and the other four and four, there are clearly more tricks to be made in the former.

Be cautious about playing for a suit of no more than seven cards, for you will often find the remaining cards most unequally divided. When you hold but six cards in the combined hands the balance of strength is with the adversaries, one of whom must hold at least four cards. Try to force your opponents to discard before you indicate strength in six- or seven-card suits.

With two entire suits against you, you cannot afford to lose the lead. Make what tricks you need to save the game and pin your hope on successful finesses.

With but one suit against you, do not fear to establish your long suit. It is not so dangerous to give up the lead when you hold a protection in the suit led originally. The adversary, not knowing your weakness, will probably return the original lead.

KEEPING THE COMMANDING CARD OF THE ADVERSARIES’ SUIT

As a general rule, do not part with the command of the adversaries’ suit until one adversary is exhausted in the suit, and therefore unable to return his partner’s lead; unless the original leader has a sure card of entry you may be able to prevent this player from getting into the lead. Usually do not refuse to take a trick with a king or queen when the higher card or cards have not been played. The adversaries may lead through and capture a single guarded honour.

If you find that there is another entire suit against you, it pays to take the first lead and make what tricks you can in the two remaining suits. Even in some rare cases, the play of a well-guarded king in dummy is the one chance to make or save the game.

Sometimes the cards of your long suit will be so unfortunately placed that the continued lead would establish it for the adversaries. In this situation, keep the command of that suit, and make a bid for better luck in establishing another.

Unless there is no possibility of losing the game, do not hesitate to take the first lead whenever you are assured of a sufficient number of tricks to win the game.

Often by taking the first trick you promote the value of another card in your own hand or in dummy. In other words, you temporarily give up the control, with the knowledge that you will eventually hold the master card of the opponents’ suit.

J♠ 8♠ 2♠ 10♠ 8♠ 6♠ 4♠ x-------x x-------x | Y | | Y | | A B | | A B | | Z | | Z | x-------x x-------x A♠ 3♠ A♠ 5♠

10♠ 9♠ 2♠ x-------x | Y | | A B | | Z | x-------x A♠ J♠

In these cases, by taking an honour led or played, the dealer can eventually stop the adversaries’ suit.

At times, if you take the first trick, the suit will be protected, provided it is not led by your right-hand adversary.

4♠ 3♠ 7♠ 6♠ x-------x x-------x | Y | | Y | | A B | | A B | | Z | | Z | x-------x x-------x A♠ 10♠ 8♠ 2♠ A♠ J♠ 5♠

In these two cases, if an honour is led, the first trick should be passed. If a low card is led and an honour played, the first trick should be taken. Otherwise the opponent may immediately lead through your hand.

Holding the king, queen, and a small card of the adversaries’ suit, you are assured of at least one trick, with the possibility of two, but remember, if you take the first trick, your hand may be led through; it is often safer to win the third round than the first.

Q♠ 8♠ 6♠ 4♠ x-------x x-------x | Y | | Y | | A B | | A B | | Z | | Z | x-------x x-------x K♠ 5♠ 2♠ K♠ Q♠ 3♠

5♠ 2♠ x-------x | Y | [6♠] | A B | Q♠ | Z | x-------x K♠ J♠ 3♠

Should you win the first trick in any one of these cases, endeavour to prevent your right-hand adversary from obtaining the lead.

When the adversaries can take two tricks in your long suit, it is better to win the first and third than the first and second tricks in their suit.

J♠ 6♠ 3♠ x-------x | Y | | A B | | Z | x-------x A♠ Q♠

In this case a low card is led, and you can win the first trick with the queen. By doing this you are forced to take the first and second rounds. If you take the first trick with the ace, your queen will be sacrificed to the king, but your jack controls the third round.

Unless there is another suit against you, it is safer to win the second and third tricks of the adversaries’ suit than the first and third.

K♠ 7♠ 2♠ x-------x | Y | | A B | | Z | x-------x A♠ 4♠

Should you wait to win the second trick with the ace, there is a chance that your right-hand adversary will be exhausted in the suit, and unless the original leader has two cards of re-entry his suit cannot be made.

RE-ENTRY CARDS

Clear your long suit before you take out your card of re-entry is a simple rule that is often violated. When you have made the “no-trump” declaration, any possible re-entry in the dummy hand should be used to bring in a suit or to lead a suit advantageously from the weak hand. In fact, much of the success of a “no-trump” hand depends on the dealers’ skill in saving and making re-entries in the weaker hand.

A re-entry may be an ace or a three. It may be the master card of your long suit or a guarded honour in the adversaries’ suit.

When you can win the original lead in either hand, consider well the question of re-entries before you touch one of dummy’s cards.

Save all possible re-entry cards, remembering that often in order to gain any material advantage from a finesse you must be in a position to lead twice from the weak hand.

For instance, holding any one of the following combinations:

Q♠ J♠ K♠ J♠ K♠ Q♠ x-------x x-------x x-------x | Y | | Y | | Y | | A B | | A B | | A B | | Z | | Z | | Z | x-------x x-------x x-------x A♠ K♠ 5♠ A♠ Q♠ A♠ 4♠

In order to make an entry card in the suit led originally, it may occasionally be necessary to overtake a card played by the dummy.

When your long suit is blocked, try to establish an entry card before you make the situation clear to the opponents. Otherwise they will not allow you to enter and make your suit.

If you hold four cards of a suit in each hand, it may be possible to obtain the lead twice in one hand. For instance, holding

K♠ 7♠ 5♠ 3♠ x-------x | Y | | A B | | Z | x-------x A♠ Q♠ 8♠ 2♠

If you lead the deuce and play the king, you have deprived dummy of the only entry card in the suit. If, however, you lead the eight, dummy’s seven will probably be the master card on the fourth round. Such a re-entry is often of great assistance in opening the next suit.

When you hold a nine-card suit divided five and four, it may be necessary to use both the third and fourth rounds of the suits as re-entries to lead another suit advantageously. This is a chance for good play that is often overlooked in the pleasure of making a long suit.

Q♠ 7♠ 5♠ x-------x | Y | | A B | | Z | x-------x [K♠] 8♠ 4♠

When dummy’s re-entry is a guarded king or queen, and you have no means of knowing the position of the ace, try to establish this re-entry by sacrificing a high card from your own hand.

J♠ 6♠ 3♠ J♠ 5♠ 3♠ x-------x x-------x | Y | | Y | | A B | | A B | | Z | | Z | x-------x x-------x A♠ Q♠ 2♠ K♠ Q♠ 2♠

In both of the examples given above, the dealer to make a re-entry card for the dummy should sacrifice a high card from his hand.

UNBLOCKING

There is frequent necessity in the dealer’s play for ridding one hand of high cards in order not to interrupt the lead of smaller cards from the other hand. It is well to look ahead and prepare for this contingency, for often in the middle of a hand you will quite unexpectedly find that unblocking will enable you to make small cards that the adversaries have made good by reckless discarding.

When you hold more cards of a suit in one hand than in the other, you can invariably prevent blocking, if you lead or play the high cards from the shorter hand. At times a suit may be unblocked by discarding the winning card or cards from one hand, but the first rule covers the majority of cases where there is necessity for unblocking.

J♠ 9♠ 8♠ 2♠ x-------x | Y | | A B | | Z | x-------x A♠ K♠ 7♠ 4♠ 3♠

10♠ 8♠ 2♠ x-------x | Y | | A B | | Z | x-------x A♠ K♠ 7♠ 6♠ 4♠ 3♠

In both of the above examples the dealer, holding nine cards of a suit in the combined hands, hopes to catch the queen by leading the ace and king. Blocking in these cases can be avoided by retaining the lowest card in the dummy hand.

When you hold but one re-entry card, be careful not to take a finesse, which will block your suit.

K♠ 10♠ 7♠ 5♠ 3♠ x-------x | Y | | A B | | Z | x-------x A♠ J♠

Q♠ J♠ 10♠ 7♠ 4♠ x-------x | Y | | A B | | Z | x-------x A♠ 8♠

In the above examples dummy is supposed to hold one re-entry card in another suit. Should the dealer make an unsuccessful finesse, the adversary will at once take out the re-entry card, and the suit, being blocked, cannot be made.

OVERTAKING

It not infrequently happens on the initial opening of a hand that you have the option of winning the trick either in your own hand or in dummy; if you find that your cards of the suit led are all of equal value it is essential that you consider the advisability of overtaking a trick that you have already won.

With no re-entry in a hand, overtaking is often the only means of making a suit.

K♠ J♠ x-------x | Y | | A B | | Z | x-------x A♠ Q♠ 8♠ 6♠ 4♠

K♠ Q♠ x-------x | Y | | A B | | Z | x-------x A♠ J♠ 8♠ 7♠ 4♠

In the above examples, if the dealer holds no re-entry card, he must overtake one of dummy’s high cards in order to make the suit.

The adversary will often attempt to block the dealer’s lead by holding up the winning card until one of the dealer’s hands is exhausted in the suit. Whenever this is the apparent object of the adversary, you can still continue and establish your suit by overtaking the last card from the shorter hand.

Q♠ J♠ x-------x | Y | | A B | | Z | x-------x K♠ 10♠ 9♠ 7♠ 4♠ 3♠

K♠ J♠ x-------x | Y | | A B | | Z | x-------x Q♠ 10♠ 9♠ 7♠ 3♠

In the above examples, if the dealer holds but one re-entry card he must overtake the second lead. Otherwise, if the adversary holds up the ace, the dealer must use his re-entry card to establish the suit, which he can then never make.

Overtaking is not confined to the dealer’s play, and it is much more difficult for the adversaries to determine when to resort to this strategy. As a rule, when the dealer is apparently holding up the winning card, and when the cards of your suit are of equal value, it is safer to overtake your partner’s card than to risk his being unable to continue the lead.

“DUCKING”

When a hand contains no re-entry card, the successful play of the long suit may depend on a refusal to win the first trick; at times both the first and second tricks in the suit must be passed.

When you wish to make a long suit in a hand containing no re-entry card, do not play the commanding card of the suit until you are reasonably sure that the remainder of the cards will fall. Use care not to exhaust the shorter of the two hands before the suit is established.

The situation is more clearly shown by the following examples:

A♠ K♠ 7♠ 6♠ 5♠ 3♠ x-------x | Y | | A B | | Z | x-------x 8♠ 4♠

The dealer should refuse to win the first round of the suit. With no card of re-entry, should he lead the ace and king, the command would be left with the adversaries and the suit would not be made.

A♠ 9♠ 7♠ 5♠ 2♠ x-------x | Y | | A B | | Z | x-------x 8♠ 4♠ 3♠

The dealer must allow the adversaries to win the first and second tricks; otherwise the suit cannot be made.

A♠ 8♠ 6♠ 4♠ 2♠ x-------x | Y | | A B | | Z | x-------x Q♠ J♠ 3♠

The dealer should lead the queen toward the ace, but should the second in hand adversary cover with the king the dealer must pass the trick; otherwise the third round will be blocked by the nine or ten.

A♠ Q♠ 6♠ 5♠ 4♠ x-------x | Y | | A B | | Z | x-------x 3♠ 2♠

The dealer should pass the first trick and not attempt the queen finesse until the second round. One trick, it is true, may be lost, but the play may win four tricks.

One or two leads of a suit may show a distribution of the cards which must give the adversary one trick. When this is the case, be careful to lose that trick while you have still another card of the suit to lead to the opposite hand.

A♠ K♠ Q♠ 7♠ 5♠ 3♠ 2♠ x-------x | Y | NONE | A B | J♠ 10♠ 6♠ 4♠ | Z | x-------x 9♠ 8♠

The dealer finds at the first lead that the second in hand adversary has no card of the suit. The jack is, therefore, three times protected in the opposite hand and the dealer should pass the first trick.

With nine cards of a suit in the combined hands headed by ace and king, all the remaining cards will probably fall on two leads, but when the suit is divided, six and three, with no card of re-entry in the long hand, it is safer to make sure of five tricks by passing the first round.

A♠ K♠ 9♠ 8♠ 6♠ 4♠ x-------x | Y | | A B | | Z | x-------x 7♠ 3♠ 2♠

Even when there is a re-entry card in the hand containing the long suit, if the adversaries must make a trick in the suit it is better play to lose the first trick. The re-entry may be an important card to retain.

When you hold a guarded honour in the suit led originally, or with a once-guarded king in an unopened suit, place the lead so that these honours will be lead up to. This can often be done by “ducking” or passing a trick.

“OVERTAKING AND UNBLOCKING”

The double necessity arises only on rare occasions. When the dummy contains no re-entry and the adversary opens a suit in which dummy has length, arrange the play of your own cards so as not to block the dummy’s suit.

A♠ 9♠ 6♠ 4♠ 2♠ x-------x | Y | K♠ J♠ 7♠ [5♠] | A B | 3♠ | Z | x-------x Q♠ 10♠ 8♠

Should the first trick be won with the eight, the dealer cannot overtake the ten without loss. The ten should, therefore, be played and the lead continued with the queen. If the adversary covers, the trick must be passed. The eight should then be led through the jack.

“OVERTAKING AND DUCKING”

Occasionally the initial opening will prove to be the dummy’s long suit. To make this suit without a card of re-entry in dummy it may be necessary for the dealer not only to overtake dummy’s trick in order to lead the suit through the original leader’s hand, but also to allow the adversary to win the second trick, if an attempt is made to force dummy’s high card.

A♠ 10♠ 9♠ 8♠ 7♠ x-------x | Y | [5♠] | A B | 4♠ | Z | x-------x K♠ 3♠ 2♠

A♠ 10♠ 9♠ 8♠ 7♠ x-------x | Y | [4♠] | A B | 3♠ | Z | x-------x Q♠ 5♠ 2♠

The dealer should in both cases overtake dummy’s trick in order to continue the lead from the weaker hand. The original leader will probably attempt, by playing a high card, to force the ace; in which case the dealer must pass the second trick. The dummy will then hold a tenace over the remaining honour, and the dealer can make four tricks in the suit.

THE DEFENCE AGAINST OVERTAKING AND “DUCKING”

When you open a suit and find that it is dummy’s strength do not attempt to win the second trick if the dealer leads through your hand, that is, unless you can mark the dealer with no other card of the suit to lead; by taking the third round instead, you will often save a trick or two.

A♠ 9♠ 7♠ 6♠ 5♠ 4♠ x-------x | Y | K♠ 10♠ 8♠ 2♠ | A B | NONE | Z | x-------x Q♠ J♠ 3♠

In this case the dealer takes the first trick with the jack and leads the queen. No attempt should be made to cover the card. In this way the dealer is forced to win the third round and dummy’s suit is blocked.

CARD STRATEGY

When players have largely grasped the fundamentals of bridge they are frequently filled with complaisance and self-satisfaction that is gratifyingly reassuring to them, but that does not tend to improve their game.

Each hand played, wherein they feel that they have committed no blunders, brings a sense of contentment; but, unfortunately, they overlook the tricks which they may have lost by the lack of a little card strategy.

These are the tricks, which won, decide rubbers. There is always trouble for the player who is looking only for “what he deserves,” and complacently assists the strategy of his opponents by not meeting it with an equal display of skill in attack, or shrewdness in defense.

Good players are frequently likely to be deceived by holding up small cards, though as a matter of fact novices never appear to be fooled by such tactics; play a high card like a King or a Queen, however, and the poor player is decidedly apt to be frightened away from the play of his own suit.

To whomsoever it falls to play the dummy hand there is abundant opportunity to baffle, mislead and confuse the opponents, and still be playing strictly within the etiquette and the admitted possibilities of bridge. In fact it is only just to one’s partner to exercise one’s best endeavor and employ one’s brightest wits to bring about a brilliant finish.

A little of the combative disposition is a valuable adjunct to good bridge play. Combine that with clever strategy and a most commendable desire to send your adversaries on innumerable wild-goose chases, and there will be no further playing merely for “what the hand deserves.”

Pitfalls in the form of false leads, false carding and clever underplay should be dug for your adversaries at every opportunity. Whenever they can do the same thing, the adversaries will not scruple to place them for you.

There are hands in bridge which may be said to play themselves. One holding all the winning cards could scarcely be expected to lose. That, however, is purely primary. As the player himself recognizes, it is something that could scarcely have been avoided. On the other hand, when some well-planned ruse has found the opposition with no sentries posted, and their camp is thrown into confusion by the clever capture of a trick or two which they never had dreamed it possible to lose, you may feel the elation that is a part of bridge when the game is played to the full measure of its theory.

Frequently a hand is picked up at the bridge table which on its face may be read as hopeless, unless, by some means, the adversaries can be induced to blunder. Never exercise charity in a case of that kind. Make it a point to tempt them not only to blunder once, but again and yet again. It is surely far more strategic for a weak hand to take a strong hand prisoner than it is for the strong hand to capture the weak hand.

Subjoined are a few “ifs” that are well to be remembered, for all too frequently the situation arises where one of them may become most effective if you have retained its significance in your memory.

If you find that in some suit a certain number of tricks will go to your adversaries, and that to lead from your best suit is disadvantageous, throw the lead and see what will happen.

If you wish to make four tricks in a suit with but three in sight, give the adversaries a chance to discard a card or two before you show your strength.

If you are anxious to know which of your adversaries holds the Queen of the suit in which you hold the Ace, King, Jack, force a discard and see how kind they will be to you. If no discard can be forced, then give the adversaries the lead and let the suit come up to you.

If you are reasonably certain of winning all the tricks but one, lead out your remaining trumps. You cannot lose and, if your adversaries are uncertain about their discard, the extra trick may be gained.

If you hold the Queen and two small cards of a suit, with small cards of the same suit in dummy and the adversary opens with the King, keep your lowest card. The leader may be tempted to believe that his partner is echoing, and he will establish your Queen by leading the Ace. Do not attempt this play however if you hold length in the suit.

If the King is led and you have length as well as strength in the suit, play your highest card on the King, for if the adversary continues with the Ace, the younger hand will probably ruff the third round and you should therefore endeavor to frighten your opponents from the suit.

If a suit is led and the card played by the younger hand is not higher than the ten, do not win the first trick with the Ace holding Ace, King, Queen. The elder hand cannot have King, Queen, Jack, and taking the first trick with the Ace would clearly show the situation.

If you hold a singleton King lead the suit from dummy at the first opportunity, being careful to select as a card to lead a ten or a nine. This gives the impression that you intend to finesse. You may tempt the adversary, with the Ace second in hand, to pass the trick, whereas were a small card led he would probably make no such mistake.

If you hold a small card as a singleton with King and Jack, or King and others in dummy, do not wait until your adversary can count your hand, but lead your singleton early in the hand and do not finesse.

If you want high cards to fall, lead high cards. It is astounding how difficult one finds it not to cover an honor led. With this in mind, with a singleton Ace in your hand, and a sequence in dummy from the Queen to the nine, the adversaries will make no mistake if a low card is led, while the Queen is a temptress that few can resist.

If you hold ten cards of suit in your hand and that of the dummy with the Ace and King both against you, no doubt you will lose two tricks in the suit; but when you do lead it lead your highest card. You may tempt your second hand adversary to cover and the other honor may fall.

If you have nine or more cards in your hand and that of the dummy headed by Ace and King, it is usually unwise to finesse; but it is always good play to lead the Jack towards the high card in the opposite hand as it may tempt your adversary to cover.

If the adversary, after seeing dummy, lead through a King Jack suit he probably has no high cards in the suit. To play the King can do but little harm, and, if he has the Ace, you may shut it out.

If you have Queen, ten and one small in dummy, and Ace, nine, small in your own hand, lead the small card. If the King is not put up second in hand, play the ten; if the Jack wins the trick the King is probably in the same player’s hand, and you must get the lead in dummy to come through this hand. Without the ten in either hand pass the first trick and make no effort to win with your Queen. This may be your only hope to get two tricks in the suit.

If you have the Ace, King, small in your hand and Jack and two small in dummy, the discard may show that your left hand adversary holds the Queen protected. To steal a trick here, you must play the Ace and underplay with the hope that this player will mark the King in his partner’s hand and not play high.

If at “No Trump” a high card is led against you originally, and you have length in that suit, hold up the lowest card to make the adversary think his partner is unblocking.

If at a loss what suit to play for at “No-Trump” choose the one that is shown in dummy, so that the adversaries may not discover the weakness or strength of your own hand.

If at “No-Trump” you are playing a poor hand with little or no hope of winning, or even perhaps of saving the game, try leading the suit that is all against you. Often the adversaries will hold imaginary tenace over your cards and come “banging up” to your strong suit. The collision will be more disastrous to them than you.

If you must lose the lead at “No-Trump,” conceal the strength in your own hand and do not jump around and show strength in three suits, for then when you do lose the lead the adversaries cannot make a mistake as to their own strong suit.

If your adversary’s lead at “No-Trump” is a Jack and you have Ace, King, Queen in your hand, take the first trick with the Queen. Never win with the King. Many players lead the Jack from King, Jack, ten or Ace, Jack, ten.

If a Queen is led at “No-Trump” and you hold both the Ace and King, do not win the first trick with the Ace. The Queen lead sometimes indicates the Ace and Jack, and you may mislead an adversary by playing the King, whereas the Ace would clearly show the situation.

If you are playing “No-Trump” do not blank the Ace in dummy unless you want this suit led to you. Keeping a small card with the Ace may lead the adversaries to believe that you have a high card in your own hand and they may hesitate to lead the suit.

Another point that it is well to emphasize is in regard to being forced to lead disadvantageously from a suit. Be very careful in a case of that kind not to break a possible tenace by leading a high card. For instance with Ace, ten and two small in your hand and Jack and two small in dummy, you are forced to lead the suit from your own hand. Play the small card. Often the adversary makes the mistake of playing a high card second in hand, giving you, perhaps, a tenace over your right hand opponent.

Too much haste in showing ability to ruff by your weak hand frequently brings disaster. In fact a trump lead from you will discourage the trump attack by the adversaries, and they are only too likely to give you the ruff without defining your purpose.

Inference frequently will come to you from the cards held in the combined hands as to what suit will probably be led by the adversaries, but do not expose your weakness by discarding from this suit.

Last, but one of the most important facts of all, decide which of your cards you mean to play before fingering them. Indecision may tell your adversaries exactly what they are most eager to know.

Bear in mind that these suggestions are advanced to try to impress all players with the fact that there may be much more in the hand than it seems to deserve, and that “much more” is the real test of skillful bridge. It is a far greater source of enjoyment than lackadaisically wading through deal after deal, stirring only the surface of the shallow water and not venturing into those more fascinating depths where the secrets of bridge await those who will try for them.

LOST TRICKS

One development of bridge, seldom touched upon, has to do entirely with what may be designated the “lost tricks.”

Hands that play themselves are, to an extent, colorless and featureless accessories of the game; but the “lost tricks” are the “might have beens” of bridge that rankle in the memory long after the rubber is finished.

They are usually found in hands that require a thorough understanding of the score, good judgment and keen perception, and are lost many times because of a lack of understanding between partners.

There can be nothing more trying to one’s finest nervous sense than to play with a partner in whom one has little confidence, who makes each situation as difficult as possible, gives no correct information as to his own hand by the play of the cards, nor seeks to take advantage of the information correctly given by his partner.

There is one essential to bridge which must never be overlooked, nor can its importance be too strongly impressed upon all players, and that is, that to play the game well involves the closest kind of a business partnership in which implicit confidence must exist. Evil effects attendant upon deceit cannot be too highly overestimated, nor can such play be too severely condemned, if your aim is to attain, as nearly as possible, the standard of perfection.

All players must understand that rules are but the mere convention of the game, holding it to certain conformity, that, it is evident, is necessary for its preservation and the perfect enjoyment of its enthusiastic devotees. Certain rules, that govern the technicalities, are absolute, as they are in any game of cards, but rules in general are not the masters of bridge; rather should they be considered as second to circumstance and the fall of the cards. Brilliant plays are made in contravention to rules, yet we would not attempt to deduce from that fact the theory that rules are not essential to the game.

There are those disaffected individuals who rail at everything. To them rules are bogey men; conventions are pitfalls. They scoff at partners who play as such, and argue weakly for disconcerted play in which one puts down a card, his partner another, and for all the information that either conveys to the other a pinch of snuff would be generous recompense. You might as well take a chance on a card of any denomination or of any suit, as to try to adhere to a union of forces with such a school of philosophy to guide you.

Do not be influenced by theories somewhat wildly and illogically advanced by players thus minded. Time and experience will assuredly teach you that heresies fail in bridge, as they fail in other subjects where cool, philosophical reasoning will lead to a sane and intelligent understanding.

Never forget that the dealer is in the possession of the strength of twenty-six cards all the time. If you, with half that force, play at random, and your partner, with no more numerical strength than you possess, is also playing a fourth of the game on his individual account, with no particular interest in what is being done with the other three-fourths of the fifty-two cards, it is surely not common sense to imagine that you and your partner are likely to be superlatively blessed with success.

United play in bridge is absolutely essential to success. This has been demonstrated from the inception of the game, and those who are most mindful of this fact are those who see fewer ghosts of “lost tricks” stalking dejectedly about as they recall the hands of the past.

Occasions do arise however when you may deceive the dealer and not your partner. If you wish the dealer to finesse, it will often pay to play a high card second in hand, holding a small one. For instance, with King, Jack, nine, four and three in dummy, the dealer leads the Ace and then a small card. By playing the ten from the ten, five, deuce on the second round of the suit you may lead the dealer to believe that you hold the Queen or no other card in the suit, and this may tempt him to finesse.

When Ace and Queen are in dummy over your once guarded King, you will probably be led through and your King be captured. It will pay you at times, especially if the card next to the King is a nine or ten, to lead the suit in the hope that the dealer will play the Ace second in hand and that he will infer from your lead that the King is in your partner’s hand.

Should you and your partner hold all the remaining cards in a suit, do not hesitate to play or discard a card of the suit so as to mislead the dealer and make it difficult for him to count your own and your partner’s hand.

To enumerate the many situations wherein tricks are lost and where partners go astray would need a keen observer and a pencil and pad at almost every rubber that is played.

It is usually accepted that a short suit is led for the purpose of establishing a ruff. Very good. Yet players are often met who complain about being forced after showing a desire to ruff. Then avoid giving the invitation. Your partner can only read it as you played to him and followed out your own suggestion as he felt in duty bound to do.

It is not invariably necessary that you open a short suit and play for a ruff. It does seem to be a common impulse. There appears to exist a desire on the part of most who play bridge to do something with trumps, and players are always eager to begin their employment, hoping to see Aces and Kings go by the board. Your short suit lead may establish that suit for your opponent, and bring disaster through an effort to make a small trump trick; while, on the other hand, the lead of your long suit may force and so weaken the dealer’s trump hand as to make it impossible for him to take out the trumps against him.

Tricks are lost by players not showing the correct numerical strength of their long suit. A player who leads the deuce from a six card suit assuredly would not have done so had he confidence in the ability of his partner to read or count his hand.

Frequently the under card of a sequence is led, or the highest card of a sequence is played second or third in hand, and repeatedly that has cost a trick or two because it conveyed misinformation.

One who continually leads the top of long, weak suits against a declared trump, gives misinformation and often leads his partner to believe that he is opening a short suit, and frequently a trick or two is lost by the dealer obtaining discards.

The player who continually refuses to part with the best trump should bear in mind that ruffing with the commanding trump rarely loses a trick, and often gains one.

Remember that the partner who doubles usually has trump strength, and so do not strew his pathway with obstructions by forcing him when it is most fatal to his chances.

There is one type of partner who is particularly trying. He is that persistent individual who, having acquired the notion of establishing his long suit at “No-Trump” keeps at it with a bland faith that would be amusing were it not so vexing. With little or no chance of ever getting in, he sacrifices the only hope of saving the game by refusing to switch off and see what his partner has got.

Think, too, how your partner must feel when marked with a card of your established suit, and in the lead, he witnesses a discard on your part of one of your good suit, and is met with the feeble apology that you had a “King or Queen to protect.”

It is a maxim in bridge that the weaker hand should always consider itself subordinate to the stronger, ready to sacrifice the high card holding so that it will be a gain to the partner in the end.

How selfishly and at what cost partners will decline to unblock because it appears to them to mean the sacrifice of too high a card. Too long they cling to their Queens and their Kings only to see the great army of “lost tricks” obtain fresh recruits because they would not, or could not, read what their partners were vainly trying to publish before them.

Another rather cool invitation and one bound to be fraught with disastrous results is when you request your partner to play for a suit in which you have neither length nor strength. It would be just as logical to ask him to play for cards in your adversaries’ hands.

It is always good practice in bridge not to attempt to play for too much. To bring in two suits is, of course, a very delightful sensation, but it is a great deal better to confine your efforts to bring in one sure suit than to attempt two with the result of getting neither. Bear in mind that when one is a bit greedy, “lost tricks” are likely to foot up rapidly.

Before the subject of “lost tricks” is abandoned it is well to call attention to what may be sacrificed by bad makes. Players overanxious to win will attempt declarations which they know to be unsound, being influenced by a speculative impulse rather than by sound judgment.

Countless rubbers are lost--not tricks, but rubbers--because players do not know the score and, because they lack that information, are not playing with an intelligent idea as to how many tricks are absolutely essential to save the game.

In conclusion bear this in mind for it is a justifiable loss of a trick: Do not hesitate to lose when the only chance is to find in your partner’s hand the card that will save the game; you may be astonished to ascertain how often this will happen during the ordinary course of play.

Play so to perfect your whole game as to take care of the “lost tricks.” The winning tricks, it will quickly be discovered, take care of themselves.

“YOUR PARTNER.”

HIS IDIOSYNCRASIES, AND SOME OF YOURS

All games of cards, even the simplest--those that require but little thought or mental analysis--afford an excellent field for the study of human nature.

Players frequently permit little mannerisms and idiosyncrasies to intrude, and, if not corrected at the start, the habit is likely to grow.

For the most part such offenses are, of themselves, but trivial breaches, as it were, of the etiquette of the card-table; but at times they are intensely irritating and the cause of some displeasure that finds relief in word or action, both of which may quite seriously disrupt bridge harmony.

When a rubber of bridge is in contemplation and after the preliminaries you sit down to play, it is just possible that “your partner” may have his ideas about the game. If you have omitted to ascertain in advance what they are, it will help neither of you in the least if you immediately begin to differ as to leads, discards and signals. Your game will strongly resemble a tug-of-war--both at opposite ends of the rope, instead of at one end pulling conjointly.

It is an invariable custom that the player who cuts the lowest card has the choice of seats and the cards. If “your partner” objects to moving do not advise that he would better change. Very likely his reasons why he should not are quite as urgent as any that you can advance to the contrary, and why interject at the start anything that shall tend to create a slight element of discord.

If you ask “your partner” for advice rest assured of criticism during the remainder of play, whether it be for a rubber or for an evening. It is one thing to consult, quite another to request. The moment that you show subserviency you admit superiority, and there are those who play bridge, and some with little experience or knowledge, who as critics, in their own estimation, are _par excellence_. Better agree with “your partner” at the start on the common principles that are essential to be observed, and then play with an eloquent silence that will command respect and admiration at the table.

If you pass the make with a weak hand and your partner declares “No-Trumps,” look as cheerful as possible, and make up your mind to do the best that you can with the cards that have been given to you. If you begin by abusing your partner for the make, you practically say that your hand is weak and that the situation is hopeless. That is most valuable information for your adversaries.

Some times “your partner,” sitting behind the dummy hand, has a queer way of waking up just as you are leading a thirteenth card from his hand, and asking you whether you have a card of the suit led, thus distracting your thoughts from the selection of a proper discard.

The partner behind the silent hand, to hasten the play, has no right to touch or suggest the use of a single card from those which lie exposed before him, yet often players find the impulse to push out a card from dummy almost irresistible.

Haste and waste are antitypes in bridge as they are in everything. Playing the hand as if you are in a hurry to catch a train may lend a spectacular appearance to your disposition of the cards, but many a rubber is lost by not stopping to give the situation the careful thought that it demands.

The occupant of the “high chair” usually has a monopoly of giving advice. That kindly and courteous soul who can see it all--and who may know it all, or imagine he does, which amounts to the same thing in this particular case--and who sees no hand played without voicing personal ideas as to the methods used, is a well-meaning adjunct to the game, even if occasionally distressing.

When a player spreads out all the cards of an abandoned spade hand, scrutinizes each with an air of anxious concern, and conjectures as to what might have happened had some other declaration been attempted, it tries everybody at the table. What is done with a hand cannot be undone. All time at bridge should be devoted earnestly to what confronts a player, not to what is of the past.

A penalty of some kind should be exacted from the player who makes a practice of insisting that the dealer has led from the wrong hand. It is very disconcerting and frequently disturbs the one criticized to such an extent as to interrupt the train of thought for the subsequent lead.

Post mortems have their interest and are unmistakably convincing as a rule. Don’t venture upon them unless you are certain what the scalpel is going to reveal, and above all things when the corpse is buried don’t continue to talk of the harassing details with another hand awaiting play.

Be careful how you criticize in all cases. It is not an invariable rule that he who points out the first mistake had the best reason for doing so. How about a blunder that may have been committed earlier by the critic himself, and the possible embarrassment that may follow if a complete analysis of all the cards played is insisted upon.

There are personalities in bridge that can be avoided in addition to arguments with “your partner” or public criticism of his play. The actual time saved in “claiming all the rest” will not shorten the game by two minutes. Better play all the cards out and save yourself the possible mortification of having it placed in evidence that you had not read your hand, that of “your partner” and those of your adversaries, as intelligibly as you had imagined.

Bridge knowledge is not acquired in a moment. Some persons are naturally better players than others. Intuition is an aid to some, the ability to forecast assists others, but both are powerless without a thorough grasp of all the details that are accessory to the game.

In connection with this subject it may not be out of place to observe that while the object of the game is to take tricks, the same number can be made in a great many different ways. That you did not happen to lose on a hand is no palliation for the very bad play of which you may have been guilty. Always bear in mind the fact that there is a right way and a wrong way to play, and that the acquirement of playing by the right method should be the purpose of all who devote their time to the game.

Play bridge as if a genuine pleasure, whether winner or loser, and eventually you will discover that it is far easier to win in that spirit than it was with the critical idea predominating; and, if you do lose, it is with the consciousness of good will toward your fellow man, who happens, in this case, to be “your partner.”

Endeavor to be serene under all circumstances. Keep in mind that it is a pastime for sound mental training. Never forget that a cool head is a most valuable essential, and try just as far as possible to sink all peccadilloes in play, avoid all whimsicalities and correct all personal mannerisms.

ILLUSTRATIVE HANDS

The following hands are illustrative of the principles discussed in the previous chapters, and while, to the experienced players, some of the points will appear simple, the hands all show interesting situations which merit careful study from those who wish to improve their Bridge play.

All the hands have been taken from actual play and show by no means unusual situations. The writer has endeavoured to eliminate freakish distributions of cards and unsound play.

Play each illustration as though but one hand were exposed, without previous reference to the notes.

In each case Z is the dealer and A the leader.

+-----------------------------------------------------+ | Transcriber's Note: | | The square brackets indicate which card was lead. | | For example [K]. | +-----------------------------------------------------+

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 1

Many players would be tempted to declare “no-trumps” with this hand, but the declaration of hearts is sound. No risks should be taken with a strong heart make when one weak suit is held.

TRICK 1.--There are two lines of play that could be adopted by the dealer in this hand, one to exhaust the trumps and try for the spade suit, the other to try to establish a ruff in the weaker hand. The former course is preferable. As Z holds but one trump, the adversaries would probably prevent the ruff. To make the spade suit an entry card may be necessary. Y takes the lead, in order to save Z’s entry card.

TRICK 8.--This position will be appreciated by all students of the game. Z has three good spades and the commanding diamond, Y the losing trump and the ace of clubs. Should Y now lead a diamond and take Z’s re-entry card, the adversaries’ trump would stop the suit. Leading the losing trump is a clever play.

SAVING AN ENTRY CARD. LEADING THE LOSING TRUMP.

It is the first game, score sixteen to nothing, in favor of the dealer. Z deals and passes the make. Y declares hearts.

♠ 9 ♣ A 6 5 3 No. 1 ♦ A 4 2 ♥ A K Q 7 5

x-------------x ♠ J 6 5 | Y | ♠ K 10 8 ♣ 7 4 2 | | ♣ K Q J 10 ♦ Q 10 8 6 | A B | ♦ J 9 ♥ 9 3 2 | | ♥ J 10 8 4 | Z | x-------------x

♠ A Q 7 4 3 2 ♣ 9 8 ♦ K 7 5 3 ♥ 6

+-------+-------+-------+-------+--------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+--------+ | 1 | 6♦ | [A♦] | 9♦ | 3♦ | | 2 | 2♥ | [K♥] | 4♥ | 6♥ | | 3 | 3♥ | [Q♥] | 8♥ | 5♦ | | 4 | 9♥ | [A♥] | 10♥ | 8♣ | | 5 | 5♠ | 9♠ | 10♠ | [Q♠] | | 6 | 6♠ | 2♦ | 8♠ | [A♠] | | 7 | J♠ | [5♥] | K♠ | 2♠ | | 8 | 2♣ | 7♥ | [J♥] | 7♦ | | 9 | 4♣ | [A♣] | K♣ | 9♣ | | 10 | 8♦ | 4♦ | J♦ | [K♦] | | 11 | 7♣ | 3♣ | 10♣ | [7♠] | | 12 | 10♦ | 5♣ | J♣ | [4♠] | | 13 | Q♦ | 6♣ | Q♣ | [3♠] | +-------+-------+-------+-------+--------+ The dealer makes a small slam.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 2

TRICK 2.--This situation demands careful attention. If the diamond is led from Y’s hand for Z to trump, the adversaries must obtain the lead at the next trick, and would promptly lead trumps to prevent any further ruffing. Z can estimate that he has but five sure tricks in the two hands, three trump tricks, the diamond trick, the ruff, and the possibility of making a trick with the king of clubs. This, however, would give the adversaries the game and the rubber. To win the game, two ruffs must be obtained and Z cannot afford to make the situation clear to his opponents. He leads the seven of clubs from Y’s hand in order to establish the cross-ruff.

It is this form of strategy that wins games and rubbers for the clever player. Z takes the one chance to win the game.

TRICK 3.--B’s best play is unquestionably the trump. He has both the spade and the club suit protected, his partner is marked with strength in diamonds, and he can lead trumps with safety, but not knowing that the weak hand can ruff, he returns his partner’s original lead.

TRICK 7.--A can stop the cross-ruff by trumping with the king of hearts, but this play would not afford him any advantage, as Y would discard a losing spade, and Z may not have another trump.

TRICK 8.--There is no reason for B to trump. To discard is his best play.

NOT SHOWING ADVERSARIES THAT THE WEAK HAND CAN “RUFF.”

It is the rubber game, score twenty-four all. Z deals and passes the make. Y declares hearts.

♠ 9 6 5 ♣ 7 No. 2 ♦ A 5 3 2 ♥ Q J 10 5 4 +-------------+ | Y | ♠ K Q | | ♠ A 10 8 7 ♣ 10 8 6 | A B | ♣ A Q 5 2 ♦ K Q J 9 6 | | ♦ 10 8 7 ♥ A K 3 | Z | ♥ 7 2 +-------------+ ♠ J 4 3 2 ♣ K J 9 4 3 ♦ 4 ♥ 9 8 6

+---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+ | 1 | K♦ | [A♦] | 7♦ | 4♦ | | 2 | 6♣ | 7♣ | [A♣] | 3♣ | | 3 | 6♦ | 2♦ | 10♦ | [6♥] | | 4 | 8♣ | 5♠ | 2♣ | [K♣] | | 5 | 10♣ | [4♥] | 5♣ | 4♣ | | 6 | 9♦ | 3♦ | 8♦ | [9♥] | | 7 | Q♦ | [5♥] | Q♣ | 9♣ | | 8 | J♦ | 5♦ | 7♠ | [8♥] | | 9 | Q♠ | 6♠ | [2♥] | J♣ | | 10 | [K♥] | 10♥ | 7♥ | 2♠ | | 11 | [K♠] | 9♠ | 8♠ | 3♠ | | 12 | [A♥] | J♥ | 10♠ | 4♠ | | 13 | 3♥ | [Q♥] | A♠ | J♠ | +---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+ The dealer wins two odd tricks.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 3

TRICK 4.--When the commanding trump is against you, the best play is usually to force your adversary to “ruff” with it, but if you hold an established suit in one hand, it often pays to take out the winning trump. Your long suit can then be continued without interruption.

LEADING THE LOSING TRUMP

It is the first game, score love all. Z deals and makes it hearts.

♠ 5 4 2 ♣ A Q J 8 6 3 No. 3 ♦ 7 5 ♥ 9 5 +-------------+ | Y | ♠ A K Q 8 7 6 3 | | ♠ J 10 9 ♣ 10 5 4 | A B | ♣ 9 7 ♦ K | | ♦ Q J 10 9 8 ♥ J 3 | Z | ♥ Q 8 2 +-------------+ ♠ ---- ♣ K 2 ♦ A 6 4 3 2 ♥ A K 10 7 6 4

+---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+ | 1 | K♠ | 2♠ | 9♠ | [4♥] | | 2 | 3♥ | 5♥ | 2♥ | [A♥] | | 3 | J♥ | 9♥ | 8♥ | [K♥] | | 4 | 3♠ | 4♠ | [Q♥] | 6♥ | | 5 | K♦ | 5♦ | Q♦ | [A♦] | | 6 | 4♣ | 3♣ | 7♣ | [K♣] | | 7 | 5♣ | [A♣] | 9♣ | 2♣ | | 8 | 10♣ | [Q♣] | 10♠ | 2♦ | | 9 | 6♠ | [J♣] | J♠ | 3♦ | | 10 | 7♠ | [8♣] | 8♦ | 4♦ | | 11 | 8♠ | [6♣] | 9♦ | 6♦ | | 12 | Q♠ | 7♦ | 10♦ | [7♥] | | 13 | A♠ | 5♠ | J♦ | [10♥] | +---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+ The dealer makes a small slam.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 4

TRICK 1.--To win the game the king of hearts must be in B’s hand and the lead must be arranged so that Y can lead the jack of hearts toward the ace queen. To make an entry card in Y’s hand, Z throws his king of diamonds on the ace.

TRICK 2.--A would like to change the suit, but, undoubtedly, the diamond is his best lead.

ARRANGING THE LEAD

It is the rubber game, score eight to twenty-four against the dealer. Z, the dealer, declares Hearts. ♠ 9 8 6 4 ♣ 9 8 6 4 No. 4 ♦ Q 4 ♥ J 5 4 +------------+ | Y | ♠ K 5 | | ♠ A Q J 10 7 ♣ 10 3 2 | A B | ♣ A 7 ♦ A 9 8 7 6 3| | ♦ J 10 5 ♥ 8 6 | Z | ♥ K 9 2 +------------+ ♠ 3 2 ♣ K Q J 5 ♦ K 2 ♥ A Q 10 7 3

+-------+------+------+------+------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+------+------+------+------+ | 1 | [A♦] | 4♦ | 5♦ | K♦ | | 2 | 3♦ | [Q♦] | 10♦ | 2♦ | | 3 | 6♥ | [J♥] | 2♥ | 3♥ | | 4 | 8♥ | 5♥ | 9♥ |[10♥] | | 5 | 6♦ | 4♥ | K♥ | [A♥] | | 6 | 2♣ | 4♣ | [A♣] | K♣ | | 7 | 7♦ | 4♠ | J♦ | [7♥] | | 8 | 8♦ | 6♠ | 7♠ | [Q♥] | | 9 | 3♣ | 6♣ | 7♣ | [Q♣] | | 10 | 10♣ | 8♣ | 10♠ | [J♣] | | 11 | 9♦ | [9♣] | J♠ | 5♣ | | 12 | 5♠ | 9♠ | [A♠] | 2♠ | | 13 | [K♠] | 8♠ | Q♠ | 3♠ | +-------+------+------+------+------+ The dealer wins three odd tricks.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 5

TRICK 2.--To many players a trump lead at this trick would seem imperative, but if trumps are led, the adversaries obtain the lead and must make three tricks in the club suit. The clubs must be discarded before the adversaries obtain the lead. The king of spades should be led, otherwise the spade suit would be blocked.

TRICK 4.--It seems like tempting fate for Z to lead his high cards, but nothing can possibly be lost. The discards which Y takes on these high cards offset any trump that the adversary might make. There is everything to gain and nothing to lose.

NOT LEADING TRUMPS UNTIL LOSING CARDS HAVE BEEN DISCARDED

It is the rubber game, score eighteen to nothing in favour of the dealer. Z deals and passes the make. Y declares hearts.

♠ K 3 ♣ 9 8 7 No. 5 ♦ A ♥ K Q J 9 6 4 2 +-------------+ ♠ 5 4 2 | Y | ♠ J 10 9 7 ♣ 6 3 2 | | ♣ A K Q J ♦ J 9 7 5 2 | A B | ♦ 10 8 4 ♥ 5 3 | | ♥ A 10 | Z | +-------------+ ♠ A Q 8 6 ♣ 10 5 4 ♦ K Q 6 3 ♥ 8 7

+-------+-------+-------+------+------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+------+------+ | 1 | 5♦ | [A♦] | 4♦ | 3♦ | | 2 | 2♠ | [K♠] | 7♠ | 6♠ | | 3 | 4♠ | 3♠ | 9♠ | [A♠] | | 4 | 2♦ | 7♣ | 8♦ | [K♦] | | 5 | 7♦ | 8♣ | 10♦ | [Q♦] | | 6 | 5♠ | 9♣ | 10♠ | [Q♠] | | 7 | 3♥ | J♥ | [A♥] | 8♥ | | 8 | 2♣ | [2♥] | K♣ | 4♣ | | 9 | 5♥ | [K♥] | 10♥ | 7♥ | | 10 | 3♣ | [Q♥] | J♠ | 5♣ | | 11 | 6♣ | [9♥] | J♣ | 10♣ | | 12 | 9♦ | [6♥] | Q♣ | 6♦ | | 13 | J♦ | [4♥] | A♣ | 8♠ | +-------+-------+-------+------+------+ The dealer makes a small slam.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 6

TRICK 2.--Should B lead another round of hearts the weak hand would “ruff” and the strong hand would discard.

TRICK 4.--The dealer requires every trick to win the game. To accomplish this both finesses must be successful. The trumps held in the two hands are in sequence from the six to the queen, and should B have the king of trumps three times protected, the lead must be kept in Y’s hand. Many a hand has been ruined by the incorrect play of this position.

TRICK 10.--Z has the opportunity to make a brilliant coup. To catch the ten of spades he must lead through A’s hand, and, therefore, trumps Y’s winning club in order to obtain the lead.

LEADING THROUGH

It is the first game, score love all. Z deals and makes it diamonds.

♠ A J 9 7 5 ♣ K Q J 7 No. 6 ♦ Q 8 6 ♥ J +-------------+ ♠ K 10 6 4 | Y | ♠ ---- ♣ 8 6 4 2 | | ♣ A 5 ♦ 3 | A B | ♦ K 5 4 2 ♥ K 10 9 7 | | ♥ A 8 6 5 4 3 2 | Z | +-------------+ ♠ Q 8 3 2 ♣ 10 9 3 ♦ A J 10 9 7 ♥ Q

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | 7♥ | J♥ | [A♥] | Q♥ | | 2 | 2♣ | 7♣ | [A♣] | 3♣ | | 3 | 4♣ | [J♣] | 5♣ | 9♣ | | 4 | 3♦ | [Q♦] | 2♦ | 9♦ | | 5 | 6♣ | [8♦] | 4♦ | 7♦ | | 6 | 8♣ | 6♦ | 5♦ | [10♦] | | 7 | 9♥ | 5♠ | K♦ | [A♦] | | 8 | K♠ | [A♠] | 2♥ | Q♠ | | 9 | 10♥ | [K♣] | 3♥ | 10♣ | | 10 | K♥ | Q♣ | 4♥ | [J♦] | | 11 | 4♠ | 7♠ | 5♥ | [8♠] | | 12 | 6♠ | [9♠] | 6♥ | 3♠ | | 13 | 10♠ | [J♠] | 8♥ | 2♠ | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer wins five odd tricks.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 7

TRICK 1.--As there are but six trumps in the two hands, Z knows that one adversary must hold at least four trumps, and should the force be taken and the trumps led, the adversaries would make the entire suit of diamonds. Z must wait until Y is able to take the ruff, in this way keeping his own trump strength intact.

TRICK 3.--A is placed in a difficult position.

TRICK 7.--With the best trump against him, Z must force the commanding trump, for, no matter how the adversaries play, the spade suit must be brought in.

REFUSING TO ACCEPT A FORCE

It is the first game, score eight all. Z deals and makes it hearts.

♠ Q 4 3 ♣ A 10 9 8 7 5 No. 7 ♦ 7 5 ♥ 9 3 +-------------+ ♠ 6 2 | Y | ♠ 10 7 ♣ K | | ♣ Q J 6 ♦ A K Q 8 3 2 | A B | ♦ J 10 9 6 4 ♥ J 10 8 2 | | ♥ 7 5 4 | Z | +-------------+

♠ A K J 9 8 5 ♣ 4 3 2 ♦ ---- ♥ A K Q 6

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | [K♦] | 5♦ | 6♦ | 2♣ | | 2 | [Q♦] | 7♦ | 9♦ | 3♣ | | 3 | K♣ | [A♣] | 6♣ | 4♣ | | 4 | 2♥ | 3♥ | 4♥ | [A♥] | | 5 | 8♥ | 9♥ | 5♥ | [K♥] | | 6 | 10♥ | 5♣ | 7♥ | [Q♥] | | 7 | 2♠ | [Q♠] | 7♠ | 5♠ | | 8 | 6♠ | 3♠ | 10♠ | [A♠] | | 9 | [J♥] | 4♠ | 10♦ | K♠ | | 10 | A♦ | 7♣ | J♦ | [6♥] | | 11 | 2♦ | 8♣ | 4♦ | [J♠] | | 12 | 3♦ | 9♣ | J♣ | [9♠] | | 13 | 8♦ | 10♣ | Q♣ | [8♠] | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer wins four odd tricks.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 8

Many players might criticise the make of this hand without realising its tremendous possibilities. A hand with five trumps and an established suit is a difficult one for the adversaries to defeat. As Z is short in two suits, there are not many tricks for the adversaries outside of the trump suit. Z hopes to find an honour in trumps with his partner which would enable him to exhaust the trumps and make his suit.

TRICK 2.--Many players would find it difficult to resist the temptation of leading trumps up to the ace and queen in Y’s hand, but the danger lies in having the finesse go wrong, for this would enable the adversary to force the strong trump hand and the trump suit would be blocked. To get the lead the dealer would again have to force his own trump hand. If either adversary held four trumps this would be ruinous.

NOT TAKING A FINESSE, WHICH IF UNSUCCESSFUL, WOULD BLOCK THE TRUMP SUIT

It is the first game, score love all. Z deals and makes it hearts.

♠ 6 ♣ 8 7 6 3 2 No. 8 ♦ A 5 4 3 2 ♥ A Q x-------------x ♠ 9 8 5 2 | Y | ♠ 10 ♣ K 10 4 | | ♣ A Q J 9 5 ♦ K Q J 9 | A B | ♦ 10 8 7 ♥ 7 2 | | ♥ K 8 6 4 | Z | +-------------+ ♠ A K Q J 7 4 3 ♣ ---- ♦ 6 ♥ J 10 9 5 3

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | K♦ | [A♦] | 7♦ | 6♦ | | 2 | 2♥ | [A♥] | 4♥ | 3♥ | | 3 | 7♥ | Q♥ | [K♥] | 5♥ | | 4 | 9♦ | 2♦ | 10♦ | [9♥] | | 5 | J♦ | 6♠ | 6♥ | [J♥] | | 6 | 4♣ | 3♦ | 8♥ | [10♥] | | 7 | 2♠ | 4♦ | 10♠ | [A♠] | | 8 | 5♠ | 5♦ | 5♣ | [K♠] | | 9 | 8♠ | 2♣ | 9♣ | [Q♠] | | 10 | 9♠ | 3♣ | J♣ | [J♠] | | 11 | Q♦ | 6♣ | 8♦ | [7♠] | | 12 | 10♣ | 7♣ | Q♣ | [4♠] | | 13 | K♣ | 8♣ | A♣ | [3♠] | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer makes a small slam.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 9

TRICK 1.--Z must save an entry card for the spade suit.

TRICK 2.--A refuses to part with the control of the adversary’s suit.

TRICK 3.--Should Z not overtake the jack of spades, A would again refuse to part with the control, and hence this entire suit would be blocked. This situation frequently occurs and is often misplayed. When your cards are in sequence and should you know that the adversary is holding up, always overtake to obtain the lead so that you can continue to establish your suit.

TRICK 4.--A cannot afford to lead any other suit and continues with the diamonds.

SAVING AN ENTRY CARD. OVERTAKING

It is the first game, score love all. Z deals and passes the make. Y makes it “no-trump.”

♠ Q J ♣ A Q J 2 No. 9 ♦ A 5 3 ♥ A 8 7 4 x-------------x ♠ A 6 3 | Y | ♠ 5 2 ♣ K 8 7 | | ♣ 9 5 4 ♦ Q J 7 6 2 | A B | ♦ 10 9 8 ♥ K 10 | | ♥ Q J 9 6 5 | Z | +-------------+ ♠ K 10 9 8 7 4 ♣ 10 6 3 ♦ K 4 ♥ 3 2

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | 6♦ | [A♦] | 8♦ | 4♦ | | 2 | 8♠ | [Q♠] | 2♠ | 4♠ | | 3 | [A♠] | J♠ | 5♠ | K♠ | | 4 | Q♦ | 3♦ | 9♦ | [K♦] | | 5 | 6♠ | 4♥ | 5♥ | [10♠] | | 6 | 2♦ | 7♥ | 6♥ | [9♠] | | 7 | 7♦ | 8♥ | 4♣ | [8♠] | | 8 | 10♥ | 5♦ | 5♣ | [7♠] | | 9 | 7♣ | 2♣ | 9♣ | [10♣] | | 10 | 8♣ | [J♣] | 10♦ | 6♣ | | 11 | K♣ | [A♣] | 9♥ | 3♣ | | 12 | K♥ | [Q♣] | J♥ | 2♥ | | 13 | J♦ | [A♥] | Q♥ | 3♥ | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer makes a small slam.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 10

TRICK 1.--Z false cards the king of spades in order to deceive his adversaries.

TRICK 2.--The lead of the club suit must come from Y, but if a low heart is led, it will take out Y’s only card of entry. With the purpose of making two cards of entry, Z leads the high cards from his own hand.

TRICK 4.--As all the hearts have fallen, Z can safely overtake the jack, to lead the queen of clubs toward the ace. Should Z continue with another round of hearts, Y would have no way of obtaining the lead after the club suit was established. The low heart must be saved as a card of entry.

DOUBLE ENTRY

It is the first game, score love all. Z deals and makes it “no-trump.”

♠ 4 2 ♣ Q J 10 6 3 No. 10 ♦ 4 3 ♥ K 5 4 3 x-------------x ♠ A 9 8 7 6 | Y | ♠ J 5 3 ♣ 8 5 | | ♣ K 7 4 ♦ K 8 5 | A B | ♦ Q J 10 9 6 ♥ 10 7 6 | | ♥ 9 8 | Z | +-------------+ ♠ K Q 10 ♣ A 9 2 ♦ A 7 2 ♥ A Q J 2

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | 7♠ | 2♠ | J♠ | [K♠] | | 2 | 6♥ | 3♥ | 8♥ | [A♥] | | 3 | 7♥ | 4♥ | 9♥ | [Q♥] | | 4 | 10♥ | [K♥] | 6♦ | J♥ | | 5 | 5♣ | [Q♣] | 4♣ | 2♣ | | 6 | 8♣ | 3♣ | 7♣ | [9♣] | | 7 | 5♦ | 6♣ | K♣ | [A♣] | | 8 | 6♠ | [5♥] | 3♠ | 2♥ | | 9 | 8♠ | [J♣] | 5♠ | 2♦ | | 10 | 9♠ | [10♣] | 9♦ | 7♦ | | 11 | [A♠] | 4♠ | 10♦ | Q♠ | | 12 | K♦ | 3♦ | J♦ | [A♦] | | 13 | 8♦ | 4♦ | Q♦ | [10♠] | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer makes a small slam.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 11

TRICK 1.--As the club suit is blocked, Y needs two entry cards, one to establish the suit and the other to obtain the lead and make it. Z, therefore, overtakes the jack of spades with the ace, to make it possible for Y to have two entry cards.

TRICK 5.--Without reference to the position of the cards, A’s lead of the five of spades is bad. The game is lost unless B holds the diamond suit, and his best play is undoubtedly the ace and the jack of diamonds. As the cards are placed, however, this would give the dealer an additional trick.

MAKING AN ENTRY CARD

It is the rubber game, score twenty-four to nothing against the dealer. Z deals and makes it “no-trumps.”

♠ Q J ♣ Q J 10 9 7 3 2 No. 11 ♦ 8 6 ♥ A 2 x-------------x ♠ 10 7 5 4 2 | Y | ♠ 9 8 6 ♣ K 6 4 | | ♣ 8 5 ♦ A J | A B | ♦ Q 10 9 5 ♥ K J 10 | | ♥ 9 8 7 3 | Z | +-------------+ ♠ A K 3 ♣ A ♦ K 7 4 3 2 ♥ Q 6 5 4

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | 4♠ | J♠ | 6♠ | [A♠] | | 2 | 4♣ | 2♣ | 5♣ | [A♣] | | 3 | 2♠ | [Q♠] | 8♠ | 3♠ | | 4 | [K♣] | Q♣ | 8♣ | 2♦ | | 5 | 5♠ | 6♦ | 9♠ | [K♠] | | 6 | 10♥ | [A♥] | 3♥ | 4♥ | | 7 | 6♣ | [J♣] | 5♦ | 3♦ | | 8 | J♦ | [10♣] | 7♥ | 4♦ | | 9 | J♥ | [9♣] | 8♥ | 5♥ | | 10 | 7♠ | [7♣] | 9♥ | 6♥ | | 11 | 10♠ | [3♣] | 9♦ | Q♥ | | 12 | [A♦] | 8♦ | 10♦ | K♦ | | 13 | [K♥] | 2♥ | Q♦ | 7♦ | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer wins four odd tricks.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 12

TRICK 5.--Z finds that the seven of diamonds is a card of re-entry and plays to establish the club suit.

TRICK 12.--Z can well afford to chance the making of a small slam.

A CARD OF RE-ENTRY

It is the first game, score love all. Z, the dealer, makes it “no-trumps.”

♠ 8 4 2 ♣ 8 7 5 4 3 No. 12 ♦ 7 4 3 2 ♥ A x-------------x ♠ 10 9 7 3 | Y | ♠ K J 5 ♣ 9 6 | | ♣ Q J 10 ♦ 10 5 | A B | ♦ J 9 8 ♥ Q J 7 6 4 | | ♥ 10 9 8 5 | Z | +-------------+ ♠ A Q 6 ♣ A K 2 ♦ A K Q 6 ♥ K 3 2

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | 6♥ | [A♥] | 8♥ | 2♥ | | 2 | 5♦ | 2♦ | 8♦ | [A♦] | | 3 | 10♦ | 3♦ | 9♦ | [K♦] | | 4 | 6♣ | 4♦ | J♦ | [Q♦] | | 5 | 9♣ | 3♣ | 10♣ | [A♣] | | 6 | 3♠ | 4♣ | J♣ | [K♣] | | 7 | 7♠ | 5♣ | [Q♣] | 2♣ | | 8 | 4♥ | 2♠ | 10♥ | [K♥] | | 9 | 9♠ | [7♦] | 5♥ | 6♦ | | 10 | 7♥ | [8♣] | 9♥ | 6♠ | | 11 | J♥ | [7♣] | 5♠ | 3♥ | | 12 | 10♠ | 8♠ | J♠ | [Q♠] | | 13 | Q♥ | 4♠ | K♠ | [A♠] | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer makes a small slam.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 13

TRICK 1.--Z cannot afford to hold up the ace of spades, as the entire diamond suit is against him. The game can neither be saved nor won unless the king of clubs is in B’s hand. Should this be the case, it may be necessary to lead twice from Y’s hand.

Z proceeds to make these entry cards by leading the high hearts from his own hand. The situation is one that is not only interesting but instructive.

DOUBLE ENTRY

It is the rubber game, score twenty-four to nothing against the dealer. Z deals and makes it “no-trump.”

♠ 7 5 ♣ 9 8 6 No. 13 ♦ 7 6 5 4 ♥ K 5 4 3 x-------------x ♠ K J 10 8 6 4 3 | Y | ♠ Q 2 ♣ 7 4 | | ♣ K 10 3 ♦ J | A B | ♦ A K Q 10 3 2 ♥ J 9 7 | | ♥ 10 8 | Z | +-------------+ ♠ A 9 ♣ A Q J 5 2 ♦ 9 8 ♥ A Q 6 2

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | 10♠ | 5♠ | 2♠ | [A♠] | | 2 | 7♥ | 3♥ | 8♥ | [A♥] | | 3 | 9♥ | 4♥ | 10♥ | [Q♥] | | 4 | J♥ | [K♥] | 2♦ | 6♥ | | 5 | 4♣ | 9♣ | 10♣ | [J♣] | | 6 | 3♠ | [5♥] | 3♦ | 2♥ | | 7 | 7♣ | [8♣] | 3♣ | 2♣ | | 8 | 4♠ | 6♣ | K♣ | [A♣] | | 9 | 6♠ | 7♠ | Q♠ | [Q♣] | | 10 | 8♠ | 4♦ | 10♦ | [5♣] | | 11 | J♦ | 5♦ | [Q♦] | 8♦ | | 12 | J♠ | 6♦ | [K♦] | 9♦ | | 13 | K♠ | 7♦ | [A♦] | 9♠ | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer wins four odd tricks.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 14

TRICK 1.--Z’s only hope to win the game is to establish and make the diamond suit in Y’s hand. To do this it may be necessary to have an entry card.

TRICK 2.--B very properly refuses to part with the commanding diamond and waits until the last diamond has been played from the dealer’s hand.

TRICK 5.--There is little excuse for the dealer’s play of the ace of clubs at this point. He cannot lose by playing a low card.

OVERTAKING TO MAKE AN ENTRY CARD

It is the first game, score love all. Z, the dealer, makes it “no-trump.”

♠ 9 8 3 ♣ J 7 No. 14 ♦ K J 7 6 3 2 ♥ K Q x-------------x ♠ K Q 5 | Y | ♠ J 10 7 ♠ K Q 5 | | ♣ Q 10 9 5 ♦ 10 | A B | ♦ A 9 5 ♥ J 9 6 5 3 2 | | ♥ 10 8 7 | Z | +-------------+ ♠ A 6 4 2 ♣ A 4 3 2 ♦ Q 8 4 ♥ A 4

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | 5♥ | Q♥ | 7♥ | [A♥] | | 2 | 10♦ | 2♦ | 5♦ | [Q♦] | | 3 | 2♥ | [J♦] | 9♦ | 8♦ | | 4 | 3♥ | 3♦ | [A♦] | 4♦ | | 5 | 6♣ | 7♣ | 5♣ | [A♣] | | 6 | 6♥ | [K♥] | 8♥ | 4♥ | | 7 | 5♠ | [K♦] | 10♥ | 2♣ | | 8 | 8♣ | [7♦] | 9♣ | 3♣ | | 9 | 9♥ | [6♦] | 7♠ | 4♣ | | 10 | Q♠ | 9♠ | 10♠ | [A♠] | | 11 | [K♠] | 3♠ | J♠ | 2♠ | | 12 | [J♥] | J♣ | 10♣ | 4♠ | | 13 | [K♣] | 8♠ | Q♣ | 6♠ | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer wins three odd tricks.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 15

TRICK 1.--It is wrong to hold up an ace when one entire suit is against you. You must take the lead and make all that is possible in the other suits.

TRICK 2.--The spade suit looks tempting, but the club suit is longer and the dealer cannot afford to run the risk of the adversaries’ obtaining the lead. Hasty and careless play to the first lead of clubs would ruin the hand. Y must begin to unblock.

TRICK 8.--The game is saved and cannot be won unless the finesse in the spade suit is successful.

NOT HOLDING UP AN ACE. UNBLOCKING

It is the rubber game, score twenty-four to nothing against the dealer. Z, the dealer, makes it “no-trumps.”

♠ A 10 9 6 5 ♣ 10 9 4 No. 15 ♦ 5 4 2 ♥ 7 4 x-------------x ♠ K 8 2 | Y | ♠ 4 3 ♣ Q 5 | | ♣ J 6 ♦ J 10 3 | A B | ♦ A K Q 9 7 6 ♥ Q 10 9 8 3 | | ♥ K J 5 | Z | +-------------+ ♠ Q J 7 ♣ A K 8 7 3 2 ♦ 8 ♥ A 6 2

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | 8♥ | 4♥ | K♥ | [A♥] | | 2 | 5♣ | 9♣ | 6♣ | [A♣] | | 3 | Q♣ | 10♣ | J♣ | [K♣] | | 4 | 3♦ | 4♣ | 6♦ | [8♣] | | 5 | 10♦ | 7♥ | 3♠ | [7♣] | | 6 | 3♥ | 2♦ | 4♠ | [3♣] | | 7 | J♦ | 4♦ | 7♦ | [2♣] | | 8 | 2♠ | 5♠ | 9♦ | [Q♠] | | 9 | 8♠ | 6♠ | Q♦ | [J♠] | | 10 | K♠ | [A♠] | 5♥ | 7♠ | | 11 | 9♥ | [10♠] | J♥ | 2♥ | | 12 | 10♥ | [9♠] | K♦ | 6♥ | | 13 | Q♥ | 5♦ | [A♦] | 8♦ | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer makes a small slam.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 16

TRICKS 1 AND 2.--Z refuses to part with the ace of hearts, and waits until B’s last heart has been played.

TRICK 4.--B cannot afford to win the queen of clubs with the king. The dealer may have another club to lead. As the dummy holds no card of entry, B hopes to block this suit by waiting until the last club has been played from the dealer’s hand.

TRICK 5.--The dealer can, without doubt, make an extra trick by playing the ace of clubs, but he imagines that the king of clubs is with A.

HOLDING UP A KING

It is the first game. Score 8-0 against the dealer. Z, the dealer, declares “no-trumps.” A leads for the first trick.

♠ 5 4 2 ♣ A J 10 8 7 3 No. 16 ♦ 8 6 ♥ 4 2 x-------------x ♠ J 8 6 | Y | ♠ A 10 3 ♣ 9 4 | | ♣ K 6 2 ♦ 10 9 5 | A B | ♦ K J 4 2 ♥ K Q J 5 3 | | ♥ 10 8 6 | Z | +-------------+ ♠ K Q 9 7 ♣ Q 5 ♦ A Q 7 3 ♥ A 9 7

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | [K♥] | 2♥ | 6♥ | 7♥ | | 2 | [Q♥] | 4♥ | 8♥ | 9♥ | | 3 | 3♥ | 2♠ | 10♥ | [A♥] | | 4 | 4♣ | 3♣ | 2♣ | [Q♣] | | 5 | 9♣ | 10♣ | [K♣] | 5♣ | | 6 | 5♦ | 6♦ | 2♦ | [Q♦] | | 7 | 6♠ | 4♠ | [A♠] | K♠ | | 8 | 9♦ | 8♦ | K♦ | [A♦] | | 9 | 8♠ | 5♠ | 3♠ | [Q♠] | | 10 | [J♠] | 7♣ | 10♠ | 7♠ | | 11 | [J♥] | 8♣ | 6♣ | 9♠ | | 12 | [5♥] | J♣ | 4♦ | 3♦ | | 13 | 10♦ | A♣ | [J♦] | 7♦ | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer loses two odd tricks.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 17

TRICK 1.--To win the game Z must establish and make the club suit; as A holds both queen and jack of clubs, he must make one trick.

TRICK 2.--A plays very badly in attempting to win this trick. This mistake, however, is often made. Should A refuse to win this trick it would be impossible for the clubs in Y’s hand to make.

TRICK 9.--B’s only hope is to find his partner strong in spades.

OVERTAKING, LOSING A TRICK, IN ORDER TO MAKE A SUIT

It is the rubber game, score love all. Z, the dealer, makes it “no-trumps.”

♠ 8 6 4 ♣ K 10 9 8 6 5 No. 17 ♦ 10 6 ♥ 5 4 +-------------+ ♠ K 10 5 | Y | ♠ Q J 3 ♣ Q J 7 2 | | ♣ ---- ♦ 5 4 2 | A B | ♦ A J 9 7 3 ♥ 9 8 3 | | ♥ K J 10 6 2 | Z | +-------------+ ♠ A 9 7 2 ♣ A 4 3 ♦ K Q 8 ♥ A Q 7

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | 2♣ | 5♣ | 2♥ | [A♣] | | 2 | [J♣] | 6♣ | 3♦ | 4♣ | | 3 | 9♥ | 4♥ | 6♥ | [Q♥] | | 4 | 7♣ | [8♣] | 7♦ | 3♣ | | 5 | Q♣ | [K♣] | 9♦ | 2♠ | | 6 | 2♦ | [10♣] | 10♥ | 7♠ | | 7 | 4♦ | [9♣] | J♦ | 9♠ | | 8 | 5♦ | 10♦ | [A♦] | 8♦ | | 9 | 5♠ | 4♠ | Q♠ | [A♠] | | 10 | 3♥ | 6♦ | 3♠ | [K♦] | | 11 | 8♥ | 5♥ | J♠ | [Q♦] | | 12 | 10♠ | 6♠ | J♥ | [A♥] | | 13 | K♠ | 8♠ | [K♥] | 7♥ | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer wins four odd tricks.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 18

TRICK 2.--Should Z finesse and lose, Y’s suit would be blocked and the adversary would undoubtedly take out Y’s only re-entry card. The suit must be cleared before this re-entry card is gone and many games and rubbers are lost by hasty play in positions of this kind.

NOT TAKING A FINESSE

The score is eighteen to nothing against the dealer. Z deals and makes it “no-trumps.”

♠ 8 7 ♣ J 10 9 6 5 4 No. 18 ♦ 7 3 2 ♥ A K x-------------x ♠ Q 4 | Y | ♠ K J 10 9 ♣ K 8 | | ♣ 7 3 2 ♦ Q 9 6 | A B | ♦ 10 8 5 ♥ Q J 8 7 6 2 | | ♥ 10 9 5 | Z | +-------------+ ♠ A 6 5 3 2 ♣ A Q ♦ A K J 4 ♥ 4 3

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | 7♥ | [K♥] | 5♥ | 3♥ | | 2 | 8♣ | 4♣ | 2♣ | [A♣] | | 3 | [K♣] | 5♣ | 3♣ | Q♣ | | 4 | 2♥ | [A♥] | 9♥ | 4♥ | | 5 | 6♥ | [J♣] | 7♣ | 2♠ | | 6 | 4♠ | [10♣] | 8♦ | 3♠ | | 7 | 8♥ | [9♣] | 5♦ | 5♠ | | 8 | J♥ | [6♣] | 9♠ | 6♠ | | 9 | 6♦ | 2♦ | 10♦ | [K♦] | | 10 | 9♦ | 3♦ | 10♠ | [A♦] | | 11 | Q♠ | 7♠ | J♠ | [A♠] | | 12 | [Q♦] | 7♦ | 10♥ | 4♦ | | 13 | [Q♥] | 8♠ | K♠ | J♦ | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer wins four odd tricks.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 19

TRICK 1.--Should Z refuse to win the first round of spades with the king, his hand may be led through and the king captured. He cannot gain by holding up this high card unless the original leader holds a six-card spade suit as well as the ace of hearts. In other words, he will lose if A has a four-or a five-card suit, and can only win if A holds a six-card suit and the ace of hearts. In the play of any hand, the usual, not the unusual distribution of the cards should be considered.

TRICK 2.--Z must play the hand with a certain goal in view--eight tricks. If he leads the diamonds, he is compelled to guess, and a wrong guess would be disastrous. As the ace of hearts must win, Z hopes, by allowing the spades to make, to obtain information which will guide him to a successful finesse.

TRICKS 4, 5, AND 6.--Why does B protect both clubs and diamonds?

TRICK 9.--A’s discard of the two of diamonds is informative and as B is protecting the diamond suit the dealer can safely infer the location of the queen.

FORCING DISCARDS TO LOCATE A FINESSE

It is the rubber game, score twelve to twenty-four against the dealer. Z passes the make. Y declares “no-trumps.”

♠ 9 5 ♣ A 8 7 3 No. 19 ♦ A 10 8 6 ♥ K Q 3 x-------------x ♠ A J 10 7 6 | Y | ♠ Q 4 ♣ K 10 6 | | ♣ Q 5 4 ♦ 9 4 2 | A B | ♦ Q 5 3 ♥ 8 2 | | ♥ A 9 6 5 4 | Z | +-------------+ ♠ K 8 3 2 ♣ J 9 2 ♦ K J 7 ♥ J 10 7 4

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | 7♠ | 5♠ | Q♠ | [K♠] | | 2 | 2♥ | Q♥ | [A♥] | 7♥ | | 3 | [10♠] | 9♠ | 4♠ | 2♠ | | 4 | [A♠] | 3♣ | 4♥ | 3♠ | | 5 | [J♠] | 7♣ | 5♥ | 8♠ | | 6 | [6♠] | 8♣ | 6♥ | 2♣ | | 7 | 6♣ | [A♣] | 4♣ | 9♣ | | 8 | 8♥ | 3♥ | 9♥ | [J♥] | | 9 | 2♦ | [K♥] | 5♣ | 10♥ | | 10 | 4♦ | 6♦ | 3♦ | [J♦] | | 11 | 9♦ | 8♦ | 5♦ | [K♦] | | 12 | 10♣ | [A♦] | Q♦ | 7♦ | | 13 | K♣ | [10♦] | Q♣ | J♣ | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer wins two odd tricks.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 20

TRICK 2.--Z cannot afford to lead diamonds from Y’s hand, as this would take out the only entry card.

TRICK 3.--B waits until Z’s last diamond has been played.

TRICK 6.--Z endeavours to establish an entry card for Y by sacrificing a high card from his own hand. B again tries to block the dealer’s game.

TRICK 7.--The ace of hearts is now marked with B, and the Finesse Obligatory must be taken. Unless the jack of hearts lies with A, Y can never make the diamond suit.

TRICK 11.--It is very difficult for A to mark the two of clubs.

DESCHAPELLES COUP. FINESSE OBLIGATORY

It is the rubber game, score love all. Z, the dealer, makes it “no-trumps.”

♠ 9 8 5 4 ♣ 8 No. 20 ♦ J 9 7 5 4 ♥ Q 10 6 x-------------x ♠ K 10 6 | Y | ♠ Q J 7 ♣ 10 7 6 5 3 | | ♣ J 9 4 ♦ 10 6 | A B | ♦ K 8 3 ♥ J 3 2 | | ♥ A 9 5 4 | Z | +-------------+ ♠ A 3 2 ♣ A K Q 2 ♦ A Q 2 ♥ K 8 7

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | 5♣ | 8♣ | J♣ | [A♣] | | 2 | 6♦ | 4♦ | 3♦ | [A♦] | | 3 | 10♦ | 5♦ | 8♦ | [Q♦] | | 4 | 6♠ | 7♦ | [K♦] | 2♦ | | 5 | 3♣ | 4♠ | 9♣ | [K♣] | | 6 | 2♥ | 6♥ | 4♥ | [K♥] | | 7 | 3♥ | 10♥ | [A♥] | 8♥ | | 8 | 6♣ | 5♠ | 4♣ | [Q♣] | | 9 | J♥ | [Q♥] | 5♥ | 7♥ | | 10 | 7♣ | [J♦] | 9♥ | 2♠ | | 11 | 10♠ | [9♦] | 7♠ | 3♠ | | 12 | K♠ | 9♠ | J♠ | [A♠] | | 13 | [10♣] | 8♠ | Q♠ | 2♣ | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer wins four odd tricks.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 21

TRICK 2.--Z infers that the adversaries will not continue with the spade suit as Y holds a tenace over A’s cards. Every suit is protected, but it would be dangerous to have clubs led through, for, should A obtain the lead, this entire suit might be brought in. In all probability the adversaries will make a trick in diamonds and Z prefers that the first be taken by B.

TRICK 3.--B leads an irregular card in hearts so that A can mark his suit. Z cannot afford to have A lead and so takes this trick.

NOT ALLOWING ADVERSARY TO LEAD THROUGH A ONCE GUARDED KING

It is the rubber game, score eight to twenty against the dealer. Z deals and makes it “no-trumps.”

♠ K J 7 ♣ K 7 No. 21 ♦ K 8 3 ♥ 10 8 5 4 3 x-------------x ♠ Q 10 9 6 3 | Y | ♠ 8 2 ♣ 10 8 4 | | ♣ A Q J 9 5 3 ♦ Q 7 2 | A B | ♦ J 9 ♥ K J | | ♥ Q 9 2 | Z | +-------------+ ♠ A 5 4 ♣ 6 2 ♦ A 10 6 5 4 ♥ A 7 6

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | 6♠ | 7♠ | 8♠ | [A♠] | | 2 | 2♦ | 8♦ | [J♦] | 4♦ | | 3 | J♥ | 3♥ | 9♥ | [A♥] | | 4 | 7♦ | [K♦] | 9♦ | 5♦ | | 5 | Q♦ | 3♦ | 2♠ | [A♦] | | 6 | 4♣ | 4♥ | 3♣ | [10♦] | | 7 | 8♣ | 5♥ | 5♣ | [6♦] | | 8 | 3♠ | [J♠] | 9♣ | 5♠ | | 9 | 9♠ | [K♠] | J♣ | 4♠ | | 10 | [K♥] | 10♥ | 2♥ | 6♥ | | 11 | [Q♠] | 8♥ | Q♣ | 7♥ | | 12 | [10♠] | 7♣ | Q♥ | 2♣ | | 13 | 10♣ | K♣ | [A♣] | 6♣ | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer wins two odd tricks.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 22

TRICK 1.--Z hopes to exhaust the hearts in B’s hand.

TRICK 4.--To make two odd tricks is simple. To win the game A must not get the lead. With an established suit against you, you should not take a finesse, which would allow the adversary with the established suit to obtain the lead. To lead the queen of clubs from Y’s hands would be dangerous. The possibilities lie in the diamond suit. Z, therefore, leads a diamond and allows B to win the trick. The dealer must play the ace of clubs, for, should the diamonds fall, the game is assured.

NOT ALLOWING AN ESTABLISHED SUIT TO MAKE

It is the rubber game, score twenty-four to nothing against the dealer. Z deals and makes it “no-trumps.”

♠ Q J 3 ♣ Q 9 No. 22 ♦ A K 8 6 5 2 ♥ 7 6 x-------------x ♠ 9 7 5 | Y | ♠ 8 6 2 ♣ K 8 | | ♣ 6 4 3 2 ♦ Q 4 3 | A B | ♦ J 10 9 ♥ K Q J 10 5 | | ♥ 9 4 2 | Z | x-------------x ♠ A K 10 4 ♣ A J 10 7 5 ♦ 7 ♥ A 8 3

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | [K♥] | 6♥ | 2♥ | 3♥ | | 2 | [10♥] | 7♥ | 4♥ | 8♥ | | 3 | J♥ | 3♠ | 9♥ | [A♥] | | 4 | 3♦ | 2♦ | [9♦] | 7♦ | | 5 | 8♣ | 9♣ | 2♣ | [A♣] | | 6 | 5♠ | [J♠] | 2♠ | 4♠ | | 7 | 4♦ | [A♦] | 10♦ | 5♣ | | 8 | Q♦ | [K♦] | J♦ | 7♣ | | 9 | 7♠ | [8♦] | 6♠ | 10♣ | | 10 | 9♠ | [6♦] | 8♠ | J♣ | | 11 | 5♥ | [5♦] | 3♣ | 10♠ | | 12 | Q♥ | Q♠ | 4♣ | [K♠] | | 13 | K♣ | Q♣ | 6♣ | [A♠] | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer wins four odd tricks.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 23

TRICK 3.--With four spades in B’s hand, to make this suit Z must allow B to win the first trick.

TRICK 10.--Z hopes to make the king of diamonds by leading from the weak hand.

“DUCKING”

It is the first game, score love all. Z, the dealer, makes it “no-trumps.”

♠ A K Q 10 7 5 4 ♣ 9 6 4 No. 23 ♦ 10 7 ♥ 3 x-------------x ♠ ---- | Y | ♠ J 9 3 2 ♣ Q 10 8 5 | | ♣ K J ♦ Q 6 3 2 | A B | ♦ A J 9 4 ♥ Q 10 7 6 4 | | ♥ 9 8 5 | Z | +-------------+ ♠ 8 6 ♣ A 7 3 2 ♦ K 8 5 ♥ A K J 2

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | 6♥ | 3♥ | 8♥ | [J♥] | | 2 | 2♦ | 4♠ | [9♠] | 8♠ | | 3 | 4♥ | 4♣ | 9♥ | [A♥] | | 4 | 5♣ | [Q♠] | 2♠ | 6♠ | | 5 | 7♥ | [A♠] | 3♠ | 2♣ | | 6 | 8♣ | [K♠] | J♠ | 3♣ | | 7 | 10♣ | [10♠] | 4♦ | 7♣ | | 8 | Q♣ | [7♠] | 9♦ | 5♦ | | 9 | 10♥ | [5♠] | J♦ | 2♥ | | 10 | 3♦ | 7♦ | [A♦] | 8♦ | | 11 | Q♥ | 10♦ | 5♥ | [K♥] | | 12 | 6♦ | 6♣ | J♣ | [K♦] | | 13 | Q♦ | 9♣ | K♣ | [A♣] | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer wins five odd tricks.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 24

Holding the ace, king, and jack of a suit, provided the queen is not in dummy, it is often advisable to wait until your partner can lead through the dealer’s hand. To lead through a king in dummy is sound play, especially when you hold a sequence. Z cannot gain by covering the honour led. He hopes that the ace will fall to the first or second lead.

TRICK 5.--B indicates his suit before returning his partner’s original lead.

LEADING THROUGH DUMMY’S STRENGTH

It is the first game, score eight to nothing against the dealer. Z, the dealer, passes the make. Y declares hearts.

♠ J 2 ♣ K 9 8 No. 24 ♦ 6 4 3 ♥ A Q J 7 5 x-------------x ♠ 10 7 5 | Y | ♠ A K 6 4 ♣ Q J 10 | | ♣ A 6 5 4 ♦ A K J 5 | A B | ♦ 9 8 2 ♥ K 6 3 | | ♥ 8 2 | Z | +-------------+ ♠ Q 9 8 3 ♣ 7 3 2 ♦ Q 10 7 ♥ 10 9 4

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | [K♦] | 3♦ | 2♦ | 7♦ | | 2 | [Q♣] | 8♣ | 4♣ | 2♣ | | 3 | [J♣] | 9♣ | 5♣ | 3♣ | | 4 | 10♣ | K♣ | [A♣] | 7♣ | | 5 | 5♠ | 2♠ | [K♠] | 3♠ | | 6 | [J♦] | 4♦ | 9♦ | 10♦ | | 7 | [A♦] | 6♦ | 8♦ | Q♦ | | 8 | 7♠ | J♠ | [A♠] | 8♠ | | 9 | 10♠ | [5♥] | 4♠ | 9♠ | | 10 | 3♥ | [A♥] | 2♥ | 4♥ | | 11 | [K♥] | 7♥ | 8♥ | 9♥ | | 12 | 5♦ | [J♥] | 6♣ | Q♠ | | 13 | 6♥ | [Q♥] | 6♠ | 10♥ | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer loses three odd tricks.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 25

TRICK 1.--Many players would be tempted to lead the supporting diamond rather than to open the four-card suit.

TRICK 2.--Should B lead the ace of spades the ruff would be established in the weak hand. As B holds protection in all of the suits, his best play is to lead trumps through the strong hand.

TRICK 3.--It would be bad play for A to return his partner’s lead of trumps. He holds the king of trumps protected and must wait until his partner can again lead through the dealer’s hand. It would be wrong to continue his original lead of spades, as the dealer could then stop the lead of trumps and give dummy the ruff. A infers from his partner’s lead of trumps that he holds strength in the other suits, and the ten of diamonds is undoubtedly his best play.

TRICK 4.--B again leads through the strong trump hand, A makes his king and leads his losing trump to draw two for one. No matter how the dealer may play he cannot prevent his adversaries from making the remaining tricks in spades or in diamonds, it being impossible to obtain the lead in dummy.

PREVENTING THE WEAK HAND FROM RUFFING

It is the rubber game, score sixteen to eight in favour of the dealer. Z, the dealer, makes it hearts and A leads for the first trick.

♠ 5 4 ♣ K Q 6 5 2 No. 25 ♦ K J 4 ♥ 7 6 4 +-------------+ ♠ Q 10 9 2 | Y | ♠ A K 6 ♣ 9 7 4 | | ♣ J 10 8 3 ♦ 10 9 5 | A B | ♦ A Q 8 2 ♥ K J 2 | | ♥ 5 3 | Z | +-------------+ ♠ J 8 7 3 ♣ A ♦ 7 6 3 ♥ A Q 10 9 8

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | 2♠ | 4♠ | [K♠] | 3♠ | | 2 | [J♥] | 4♥ | 5♥ | 8♥ | | 3 | 10♦ | J♦ | [Q♦] | 3♦ | | 4 | [K♥] | 6♥ | 3♥ | 9♥ | | 5 | 2♥ | 7♥ | 2♦ | [10♥] | | 6 | 4♣ | 2♣ | 3♣ | [A♣] | | 7 | 5♦ | K♦ | [A♦] | 6♦ | | 8 | 9♠ | 5♠ | [A♠] | 7♠ | | 9 | [10♠] | 4♦ | 6♠ | 8♠ | | 10 | [Q♠] | 5♣ | 8♦ | J♠ | | 11 | [9♦] | 6♣ | 8♣ | 7♦ | | 12 | 7♣ | Q♣ | 10♣ | [Q♥] | | 13 | 9♣ | K♣ | J♣ | [A♥] | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer loses three odd tricks.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 26

TRICK 1.--A is almost strong enough to lead the trump originally, but holding the ace and king of a suit his best play is to take a view of the dummy hand.

TRICK 2.--The queen of spades falling in the dealer’s hand indicates that the weak hand will ruff. A leads trumps through the strong hand.

TRICK 3.--B has no reason to wait for the trumps to be led through again, as he does not hold a tenace over dummy. He, therefore, leads the ace and then a low trump in order to exhaust trumps from the weak hand.

PREVENTING THE WEAK HAND FROM RUFFING

It is the first game, score love all. Z, the dealer, passes the make. Y declares hearts. A leads for the first trick.

♠ 9 4 3 2 ♣ A K 6 No. 26 ♦ 7 ♥ K J 9 5 3 x-------------x ♠ A K J 10 | Y | ♠ 8 7 6 5 ♣ Q J 8 3 | | ♣ 10 2 ♦ A Q 2 | A B | ♦ K J 8 4 ♥ 7 6 | | ♥ A Q 8 | Z | +-------------+ ♠ Q ♣ 9 7 5 4 ♦ 10 9 6 5 3 ♥ 10 4 2

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | [K♠] | 2♠ | 5♠ | Q♠ | | 2 | 7♥ | 3♥ | [Q♥] | 2♥ | | 3 | 6♥ | 5♥ | [A♥] | 4♥ | | 4 | 2♦ | 9♥ | 8♥ | [10♥] | | 5 | 3♣ | [K♣] | 2♣ | 4♣ | | 6 | 8♣ | [A♣] | 10♣ | 5♣ | | 7 | [J♣] | 6♣ | 6♠ | 7♣ | | 8 | [A♠] | 3♠ | 7♠ | 9♣ | | 9 | [J♠] | 4♠ | 8♠ | 3♦ | | 10 | [10♠] | 9♠ | 4♦ | 5♦ | | 11 | [A♦] | 7♦ | 8♦ | 6♦ | | 12 | Q♣ | [J♥] | J♦ | 9♦ | | 13 | Q♦ | [K♥] | K♦ | 10♦ | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer loses two odd tricks.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 27

TRICK 2.--The dealer after taking the force leads trumps in order to bring in the established spade suit.

TRICK 4.--This is the critical point in the hand. A can continue to force the strong trump hand, but as the trumps are evidently all established in the dealer’s hand, it would enable the dealer to take out the remaining trumps and make the spades.

This situation is interesting and deserves careful study. It is too late to force when the adversary holds an established suit against you. You must make what you can in the other suits before giving up the lead.

TRICK 5.--A overtakes the queen of clubs in order to continue the lead.

TRICK 7.--B discards his only spade.

TRICK 8.--A gives B the opportunity to make his losing trump.

NOT FORCING

It is the first game, score love all. Z, the dealer, makes it hearts.

♠ A K Q J 8 7 6 ♣ 10 8 No. 27 ♦ 10 8 ♥ J 9 +-------------+ ♠ 10 2 | Y | ♠ 9 ♣ K J 9 2 | | ♣ A Q 6 ♦ A K Q J 7 | A B | ♦ 9 6 5 4 3 2 ♥ A 5 | | ♥ 7 4 2 | Z | +-------------+ ♠ 5 4 3 ♣ 7 5 4 3 ♦ ---- ♥ K Q 10 8 6 3

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | K♦ | 8♦ | 2♦ | [3♥] | | 2 | 5♥ | [J♥] | 2♥ | 6♥ | | 3 | [A♥] | 9♥ | 4♥ | K♥ | | 4 | 2♣ | 8♣ | [A♣] | 3♣ | | 5 | [K♣] | 10♣ | Q♣ | 4♣ | | 6 | [J♣] | 10♦ | 6♣ | 5♣ | | 7 | [9♣] | 6♠ | 9♠ | 7♣ | | 8 | 10♠ | J♠ | [7♥] | 3♠ | | 9 | 7♦ | 7♠ | 3♦ | [8♥] | | 10 | 2♠ | [8♠] | 4♦ | 4♠ | | 11 | J♦ | [Q♠] | 5♦ | 5♠ | | 12 | Q♦ | K♠ | 6♦ | [10♥] | | 13 | A♦ | A♠ | 9♦ | [Q♥] | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer wins the odd trick.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 28

TRICK 1.--Z false cards the ace of hearts to tempt A to again lead the suit.

TRICK 3.--The correct play of third hand is high unless two or more honours are held in sequence, in which case the lower honour is played. B’s play of the jack denies the ten and the king. It would, therefore, be bad play for A to continue his suit. He must wait until his partner can lead through the dealer’s hand.

A’s best lead is through the strength of the dummy hand, and he leads the highest card of his sequence.

TRICK 4.--B must wait until his partner can again lead through the king of diamonds, and so returns his partner’s original lead.

INFERENCE

It is the rubber game, score twenty-four to nothing against the dealer. Z, the dealer, makes it “no trumps.”

♠ 10 5 3 2 ♣ 9 7 4 No. 28 ♦ K J 3 2 ♥ 8 2 +-------------+ ♠ 7 6 4 | Y | ♠ Q J 9 8 ♣ A K | | ♣ 6 2 ♦ 10 9 5 | A B | ♦ A Q 8 4 ♥ Q 9 7 6 3 | | ♥ J 5 4 | Z | +-------------+ ♠ A K ♣ Q J 10 8 5 3 ♦ 7 6 ♥ A K 10

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | 6♥ | 2♥ | J♥ | [A♥] | | 2 | [K♣] | 4♣ | 2♣ | Q♣ | | 3 | 10♦ | J♦ | [Q♦] | 6♦ | | 4 | [Q♥] | 8♥ | 5♥ | 10♥ | | 5 | 9♥ | 2♠ | 4♥ | [K♥] | | 6 | [A♣] | 7♣ | 6♣ | J♣ | | 7 | [7♥] | 3♠ | 8♠ | 7♦ | | 8 | [3♥] | 5♠ | 9♠ | 3♣ | | 9 | [9♦] | 2♦ | 4♦ | 5♣ | | 10 | 5♦ | 3♦ | [8♦] | 8♣ | | 11 | 4♠ | K♦ | [A♦] | K♠ | | 12 | 6♠ | 10♠ | Q♠ | [A♠] | | 13 | 7♠ | 9♣ | J♠ | [10♣] | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer loses three odd tricks.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 29

TRICK 1.--With three cards of re-entry in his hand A can afford to lead one of them in order to gain information as to the position of the cards in his long suit. Winning the first trick, A can clearly see the situation. The play of the two of hearts by B indicates that he cannot hold four cards in the heart suit. Should A continue leading hearts he must establish one or more cards in the dealer’s hand.

TRICK 3.--A cannot afford to lead spades, as Y holds a double major tenace over his hand. As Z, the dealer, has passed the make, A can mark strength in the diamond suit with B. He, therefore, abandons his own suit and endeavours to help his partner by leading the singleton diamond. B overtakes the jack of diamonds and continues with the suit.

INFERENCE

It is the rubber game, score twenty to nothing against the dealer. Z, the dealer, passes the make. Y declares “no-trump.”

♠ A Q 10 ♣ A Q J 8 4 2 No. 29 ♦ A 2 ♥ 8 5 +-------------+ ♠ K J 8 5 4 3 | Y | ♠ 7 ♣ 9 7 | | ♣ K 6 ♦ J | A B | ♦ K Q 10 9 8 7 6 ♥ A K Q 3 | | ♥ 7 6 2 | Z | +-------------+ ♠ 9 6 2 ♣ 10 5 3 ♦ 5 4 3 ♥ J 10 9 4

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | [K♥] | 5♥ | 2♥ | 4♥ | | 2 | [Q♥] | 8♥ | 6♥ | J♥ | | 3 | J♦ | 2♦ | [Q♦] | 3♦ | | 4 | 3♠ | [A♦] | 6♦ | 4♦ | | 5 | 7♣ | [A♣] | 6♣ | 3♣ | | 6 | 9♣ | Q♣ | [K♣] | 5♣ | | 7 | 4♠ | 10♠ | [K♦] | 5♦ | | 8 | 5♠ | Q♠ | [10♦] | 2♠ | | 9 | 8♠ | 2♣ | [9♦] | 6♠ | | 10 | J♠ | 4♣ | [8♦] | 9♠ | | 11 | K♠ | 8♣ | [7♦] | 10♣ | | 12 | [A♥] | J♣ | 7♥ | 10♥ | | 13 | 3♥ | A♠ | 7♠ | [9♥] | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer loses four odd tricks.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 30

TRICK 1.--B’s play of the queen denies the jack, which A marks with the dealer.

TRICK 2.--The dealer can lead his high spades, but this lead might establish a trick in the suit for his adversaries. His best play is to conceal the strength in this suit, and to establish the club suit.

TRICK 3.--A is placed in a difficult position; if he continues with his diamonds the jack will make. He must place the lead with B so that the dealer’s hand may be led through. The heart suit is better than the spade suit, as dummy holds an honour to lead through.

TRICK 4.--B must wait until his partner can again lead through the king of hearts, and so returns A’s original lead.

Should A continue with the lead of diamonds at trick two the dealer would win four odd tricks instead of losing that number.

INFERENCE

It is the rubber game, score sixteen to nothing against the dealer. Z, the dealer, makes it “no-trump.”

♠ 9 8 7 5 ♣ 8 6 5 4 No. 30 ♦ 8 3 ♥ K 8 7 +-------------+ ♠ 4 3 2 | Y | ♠ J 10 6 ♣ A 3 | | ♣ 10 2 ♦ K 10 9 7 2 | A B | ♦ Q 6 5 ♥ 6 5 2 | | ♥ A Q J 9 4 | Z | +-------------+ ♠ A K Q ♣ K Q J 9 7 ♦ A J 4 ♥ 10 3

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | 7♦ | 3♦ | Q♦ | [A♦] | | 2 | [A♣] | 4♣ | 2♣ | K♣ | | 3 | 6♥ | 7♥ | [J♥] | 3♥ | | 4 | [9♦] | 8♦ | 6♦ | 4♦ | | 5 | [K♦] | 5♣ | 5♦ | J♦ | | 6 | [10♦] | 6♣ | 10♣ | 10♥ | | 7 | [2♦] | 8♣ | 6♠ | 7♣ | | 8 | 5♥ | 8♥ | [Q♥] | 9♣ | | 9 | 2♥ | K♥ | [A♥] | J♣ | | 10 | 3♣ | 5♠ | [9♥] | Q♠ | | 11 | 2♠ | 7♠ | [4♥] | K♠ | | 12 | 3♠ | 8♠ | 10♠ | [A♠] | | 13 | 4♠ | 9♠ | J♠ | [Q♣] | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer loses four odd tricks.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 31

TRICK 2.--B’s return of the three of hearts shows the situation to A. It is the rule at “no-trump” to return partner’s suit with your highest card. A can mark Z with two cards in the suit higher than the three.

TRICK 3.--It would be bad play for A to lead his king of hearts, as this would establish the queen for Z. A opens the low diamond, hoping that B can obtain the lead.

LEADING THROUGH

It is the rubber game, score love all. Z, the dealer, makes it “no-trump.”

♠ K Q J 4 3 ♣ K Q J 7 No. 31 ♦ J 5 2 ♥ 10 x-------------x ♠ 6 5 | Y | ♠ 8 7 2 ♣ 9 3 | | ♣ 10 6 5 4 ♦ Q 10 6 4 | A B | ♦ A 7 3 ♥ K J 8 7 6 | | ♥ A 3 2 | Z | +-------------+ ♠ A 10 9 ♣ A 8 2 ♦ K 9 8 ♥ Q 9 5 4

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | 7♥ | 10♥ | [A♥] | 4♥ | | 2 | [J♥] | 2♦ | 3♥ | 9♥ | | 3 | 4♦ | 5♦ | [A♦] | 8♦ | | 4 | [6♥] | J♦ | 2♥ | 5♥ | | 5 | [K♥] | 7♣ | 3♦ | Q♥ | | 6 | [8♥] | 3♠ | 7♦ | 9♦ | | 7 | Q♦ | 4♠ | 2♠ | [K♦] | | 8 | 5♠ | J♠ | 7♠ | [A♠] | | 9 | 6♠ | [Q♠] | 8♠ | 10♠ | | 10 | 3♣ | [K♠] | 4♣ | 9♠ | | 11 | 9♣ | [K♣] | 5♣ | 2♣ | | 12 | 6♦ | [Q♣] | 6♣ | 8♣ | | 13 | 10♦ | [J♣] | 10♣ | A♣ | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer wins the odd trick.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 32

TRICK 1.--B’s play of the jack denies the ace, which must be with the dealer.

TRICK 2.--Should A allow the queen of hearts to win this trick, his re-entry card would be taken out before his suit is cleared. He must overtake his partner’s card in order to establish the suit.

TRICK 4.--The dealer hopes that the ace of clubs is with B, as this would shut out A’s heart suit.

OVERTAKING BY THE ADVERSARY

It is the second game, score twenty-four to nothing against the dealer. Z, the dealer, makes it “no-trump.”

♠ Q 4 2 ♣ 10 9 6 No. 32 ♦ A J 10 5 4 ♥ 5 3 x-------------x ♠ 9 8 3 | Y | ♠ J 10 6 5 ♣ A 7 | | ♣ 5 4 3 ♦ 8 3 | A B | ♦ Q 9 7 2 ♥ K 10 9 8 6 4 | | ♥ Q J | Z | +-------------+ ♠ A K 7 ♣ K Q J 8 2 ♦ K 6 ♥ A 7 2

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | 8♥ | 3♥ | [J♥] | 2♥ | | 2 | [K♥] | 5♥ | Q♥ | 7♥ | | 3 | 4♥ | 2♠ | 4♣ | [A♥] | | 4 | [A♣] | 6♣ | 3♣ | K♣ | | 5 | [10♥] | 4♦ | 5♣ | 7♠ | | 6 | [9♥] | 5♦ | 2♦ | 2♣ | | 7 | [6♥] | 10♦ | 5♠ | 8♣ | | 8 | 8♦ | J♦ | Q♦ | [K♦] | | 9 | 7♣ | 9♣ | 6♠ | [Q♣] | | 10 | 3♦ | 10♣ | 10♠ | [J♣] | | 11 | 3♠ | 4♠ | J♠ | [A♠] | | 12 | 8♠ | Q♠ | 7♦ | [K♠] | | 13 | 9♠ | [A♦] | 9♦ | 6♦ | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer wins the odd trick.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 33

TRICK 2.--As A holds no card of re-entry except the ace of diamonds, he cannot afford to win this trick. He must trust B for a card of re-entry and a diamond to lead. The play can only lose one trick, and it may save the game.

TRICK 3.--Z must establish the spade suit.

REFUSING TO PLAY THE HIGH CARD OF A LONG SUIT

It is the rubber game, score love all. Z, the dealer, makes it “no-trumps.”

♠ 9 8 7 ♣ J 10 7 5 No. 33 ♦ K 4 2 ♥ K Q 5 x-------------x ♠ 6 2 | Y | ♠ A 5 3 ♣ 9 6 2 | | ♣ K 8 3 ♦ A 10 7 6 5 | A B | ♦ Q 9 3 ♥ 6 4 3 | | ♥ 10 9 8 7 | Z | +-------------+ ♠ K Q J 10 4 ♣ A Q 4 ♦ J 8 ♥ A J 2

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | 6♦ | 2♦ | [Q♦] | 8♦ | | 2 | 5♦ | 4♦ | 9♦ | [J♦] | | 3 | 2♠ | 7♠ | [A♠] | 4♠ | | 4 | [A♦] | K♦ | 3♦ | 4♣ | | 5 | [10♦] | 8♠ | 3♠ | Q♣ | | 6 | [7♦] | 9♠ | 5♠ | 2♥ | | 7 | 9♣ | 5♣ | 3♣ | [A♣] | | 8 | 6♠ | 7♣ | 8♣ | [K♠] | | 9 | 2♣ | 10♣ | 7♥ | [Q♠] | | 10 | 6♣ | J♣ | 8♥ | [J♠] | | 11 | 3♥ | 5♥ | 9♥ | [10♠] | | 12 | 4♥ | Q♥ | 10♥ | [A♥] | | 13 | 6♥ | [K♥] | K♣ | J♥ | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer wins two by cards.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 34

TRICK 1.--B wins the first trick with his lower honour in sequence.

TRICK 2.--The usual rule at “no-trump” is to return partner’s lead with your highest card. This is done to prevent blocking and in order not to mislead. To arrange the lead, B returns the low spade, knowing that he can neither deceive nor block his partner’s suit. He arranges the lead so that hearts may be led through the dealer’s hand.

ARRANGING THE LEAD

It is the first game, score love all. Z, the dealer, makes it “no-trump.”

♠ 2 ♣ J 6 4 3 No. 34 ♦ 9 8 7 6 2 ♥ 5 3 2 x-------------x ♠ A J 9 7 6 | Y | ♠ K Q 5 4 3 ♣ 8 7 2 | | ♣ 10 9 ♦ 5 4 | A B | ♦ J 10 ♥ A 8 4 | | ♥ Q J 10 7 | Z | +-------------+ ♠ 10 8 ♣ A K Q 5 ♦ A K Q 3 ♥ K 9 6

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | 7♠ | 2♠ | [Q♠] | 8♠ | | 2 | [J♠] | 2♥ | 3♠ | 10♠ | | 3 | [A♠] | 3♥ | 4♠ | 3♦ | | 4 | [9♠] | 5♥ | 5♠ | Q♣ | | 5 | 6♠ | 3♣ | [K♠] | K♣ | | 6 | 4♥ | 4♣ | [Q♥] | 6♥ | | 7 | 8♥ | 2♦ | [J♥] | 9♥ | | 8 | [A♥] | 6♦ | 7♥ | K♥ | | 9 | 8♣ | 6♣ | 9♣ | [A♣] | | 10 | 4♦ | 7♦ | 10♦ | [A♦] | | 11 | 5♦ | 8♦ | J♦ | [K♦] | | 12 | 2♣ | 9♦ | 10♥ | [Q♦] | | 13 | 7♣ | [J♣] | 10♣ | 5♣ | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer loses two odd tricks.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 35

TRICK 1.--With the ace and a small card, to your partner’s high card lead at “no-trumps,” the ace should usually be played, but B cannot afford to overtake his partner’s king, as it would eventually establish the ten of spades for Y.

TRICK 3.--Unless A holds the king of hearts, the game is lost, no matter what B may lead. To make a possible re-entry for A, B sacrifices his queen of hearts. Z hopes that B has but two hearts and so refuses to win this trick.

It makes but little difference what Y now leads. A’s spades must make.

NOT UNBLOCKING. DESCHAPELLES COUP

It is the rubber game, score eighteen to twenty-four against the dealer. Z, the dealer, passes the make. Y declares “no-trump.”

♠ 10 9 8 4 ♣ A K J No. 35 ♦ A Q J 9 ♥ A J x-------------x ♠ K Q J 6 5 3 | Y | ♠ A 7 ♣ 8 3 | | ♣ Q 5 4 2 ♦ 6 5 | A B | ♦ K 4 3 2 ♥ K 8 6 | | ♥ Q 5 4 | Z | +-------------+ ♠ 2 ♣ 10 9 7 6 ♦ 10 8 7 ♥ 10 9 7 3 2

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | [K♠] | 4♠ | 7♠ | 2♠ | | 2 | 3♠ | 8♠ | [A♠] | 2♥ | | 3 | 6♥ | J♥ | [Q♥] | 3♥ | | 4 | 8♥ | [A♥] | 5♥ | 7♥ | | 5 | 5♦ | [A♦] | 2♦ | 7♦ | | 6 | 6♦ | Q♦ | [K♦] | 8♦ | | 7 | [K♥] | J♣ | 4♥ | 9♥ | | 8 | [Q♠] | 9♠ | 3♦ | 6♣ | | 9 | [J♠] | 10♠ | 4♦ | 7♣ | | 10 | [6♠] | 9♦ | 2♣ | 9♣ | | 11 | [5♠] | K♣ | 4♣ | 10♣ | | 12 | 8♣ | [A♣] | 5♣ | 10♥ | | 13 | 3♣ | [J♦] | Q♣ | 10♦ | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 36

TRICK 2.--The dealer’s best play is undoubtedly to establish the club suit. A has little reason to pass this trick; taking the king with the ace may establish the jack in B’s hand.

TRICK 3.--Players will so often play for their own suit, with little or no regard for their partner’s hand. If the high cards in your suit are against you, and your card of entry has been taken out, abandon the suit and endeavour to help your partner. A infers that his partner’s suit is diamonds and leads the supporting jack through the king.

ABANDONING A SUIT

It is the rubber game, score eighteen to nothing against the dealer. Z, the dealer, declares “no-trump.”

♠ J 9 8 7 5 ♣ 5 4 No. 36 ♦ K 3 2 ♥ K 8 7 x-------------x ♠ 6 4 2 | Y | ♠ K 10 ♣ A 9 2 | | ♣ 10 7 3 ♦ J 4 | A B | ♦ A Q 10 9 7 5 ♥ J 6 4 3 2 | | ♥ 9 5 | Z | +-------------+ ♠ A Q 3 ♣ K Q J 8 6 ♦ 8 6 ♥ A Q 10

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | 3♥ | 7♥ | 9♥ | [10♥] | | 2 | [A♣] | 4♣ | 3♣ | K♣ | | 3 | [J♦] | 2♦ | 5♦ | 6♦ | | 4 | 4♦ | 3♦ | [9♦] | 8♦ | | 5 | 2♠ | K♦ | [A♦] | 3♠ | | 6 | 4♠ | 5♠ | [Q♦] | Q♠ | | 7 | 2♥ | 7♠ | [10♦] | 6♣ | | 8 | 2♣ | 8♠ | [7♦] | 8♣ | | 9 | J♥ | [K♥] | 5♥ | Q♥ | | 10 | 9♣ | 5♣ | 7♣ | [Q♣] | | 11 | 6♠ | 9♠ | 10♣ | [J♣] | | 12 | 4♥ | J♠ | 10♠ | [A♠] | | 13 | 6♥ | 8♥ | K♠ | [A♥] | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer loses the odd trick.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 37

TRICK 1.--The dealer’s first object should be to win the game. By playing the ace of spades, Z is assured of ten tricks--four in clubs, four in diamonds, one in spades, and one in hearts--whereas the play of a low spade or the queen might enable B to win the trick and establish the heart suit against the dealer; in this case, should A hold the king of clubs the game could not be won.

TRICK 2.--In order to unblock the diamond suit the ace and king in Y’s hand must be led.

TRICK 3.--Whether or not B covers is of minor importance, for the play of a low card does not alter the result of the hand.

TRICK 5.--Z finds that his club suit is blocked by the two commanding cards in the dummy. The only possible way to make the balance of this suit is to discard the jack and ten of clubs on the two winning diamonds.

TRICK 11.--Z takes out A’s king of spades, retaining the ace of hearts for re-entry.

“DISCARDING COMMANDING CARDS”

It is the first game, score love all. Z deals and passes the make. Y declares “no-trump.”

♠ A Q 5 3 2 ♣ Q J 10 No. 37 ♦ A K ♥ A 3 2 +-------------+ ♠ K J 9 7 | Y | ♠ 10 8 ♣ 4 3 2 | | ♣ K 5 ♦ 5 4 2 | A B | ♦ 10 9 8 6 ♥ K 8 4 | | ♥ Q J 10 9 6 | Z | +-------------+ ♠ 6 4 ♣ A 9 8 7 6 ♦ Q J 7 3 ♥ 7 5

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | 7♠ | [A♠] | 8♠ | 4♠ | | 2 | 2♦ | [A♦] | 6♦ | 3♦ | | 3 | 4♦ | [K♦] | 8♦ | 7♦ | | 4 | 2♣ | Q♣ | K♣ | [A♣] | | 5 | 5♦ | 10♣ | 9♦ | [Q♦] | | 6 | 3♣ | J♣ | 10♦ | [J♦] | | 7 | 4♣ | 2♥ | 5♣ | [9♣] | | 8 | 4♥ | 2♠ | 6♥ | [8♣] | | 9 | 9♠ | 3♠ | 9♥ | [7♣] | | 10 | J♠ | 3♥ | 10♠ | [6♣] | | 11 | [K♠] | 5♠ | 10♥ | 6♠ | | 12 | 8♥ | [A♥] | J♥ | 5♥ | | 13 | K♥ | [Q♠] | Q♥ | 7♥ | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer makes a small slam.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 38

TRICK 1.--The jack of clubs must be played to the first trick, for otherwise the club suit would be blocked, and it is useless to lead through A’s hand. B’s best discard is a spade. As A’s lead indicates a four-card suit, B can count Z with six clubs.

TRICK 2.--A cannot afford to win this trick, for if Z has an entry card the clubs will be made. B should not shorten his diamonds or hearts as Y has four cards of each. He cannot lose by discarding an honour in spades. The queen gives A information, and if necessary enables B to unblock.

TRICK 4.--A’s lead may be from four spades; B must keep the low spade.

TRICK 6.--B can now count all the cards in both A’s and Z’s hands. A has shown four spades, four clubs, and is marked with the queen of diamonds alone; he must, therefore, have three hearts. Z has three remaining clubs, two diamonds, one spade, and two hearts. B unblocks the spade suit.

TRICK 8.--A can now count both B’s and Z’s hands; B must have four hearts and the ace of diamonds alone; Z has the remaining clubs, a diamond and two hearts.

TRICK 9.--It is immaterial what Z now discards; if he discards a diamond, A leads the heart; if he discards a heart, A leads the ace of clubs, and forces Z to lead a diamond to B.

“COUNTING”

It is the rubber game, score eight to nothing against the dealer. Z passes the make. Y declares “no-trump.”

♠ A K ♣ K J 5 No. 38 ♦ K 7 5 3 ♥ K 7 5 2 x------------x ♠ 7 5 3 2 | Y | ♠ Q J 10 6 4 ♣ A Q 3 2 | | ♣ ---- ♦ Q J | A B | ♦ A 10 9 8 ♥ J 6 4 | | ♥ Q 10 9 8 | Z | +------------+ ♠ 9 8 ♣ 10 9 8 7 6 4 ♦ 6 4 2 ♥ A 3

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | 2♣ | [J♣] | 4♠ | 4♣ | | 2 | 3♣ | [K♣] | Q♠ | 6♣ | | 3 | [Q♣] | 5♣ | 8♦ | 7♣ | | 4 | 2♠ | [K♠] | 10♠ | 8♠ | | 5 | [J♦] | 3♦ | 9♦ | 2♦ | | 6 | 3♠ | [A♠] | J♠ | 9♠ | | 7 | [Q♦] | 5♦ | 10♦ | 4♦ | | 8 | [7♠] | 2♥ | 6♠ | 8♣ | | 9 | [5♠] | 5♥ | 8♥ | 6♦ | | 10 | 4♥ | 7♥ | Q♥ | [A♥] | | 11 | 6♥ | [K♥] | 9♥ | 3♥ | | 12 | A♣ | 7♦ | [A♦] | 9♣ | | 13 | [J♥] | K♦ | 10♥ | 10♣ | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer loses the odd trick.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 39

TRICK 2.--A should not continue the lead of diamonds; the weak hand would “ruff.”

TRICK 3.--Z can exhaust the trumps and make the club suit, but will then be left with two losing diamonds. Before attempting to get the trumps out, he must allow Y to trump these losing cards.

TRICK 5.--Hasty play by the dealer at this point would incur a loss of four or five tricks. If Y trumps with the eight of hearts, the trump suit is blocked and Z has no way of obtaining the lead. Ruffing with the ace enables the dealer to unblock the trump suit and make the clubs.

ALLOWING THE WEAKER HAND TO “RUFF”

It is the first game, score sixteen to nothing against the dealer. Z deals and makes it hearts.

♠ 10 7 6 4 ♣ K Q J 8 3 No. 39 ♦ 6 ♥ A 8 6 x-------------x ♠ Q J 9 8 5 | Y | ♠ K ♣ 9 | | ♣ 10 7 6 2 ♦ A K Q 10 8 | A B | ♦ J 9 4 2 ♥ 3 2 | | ♥ 9 7 5 4 | Z | +-------------+ ♠ A 3 2 ♣ A 5 4 ♦ 7 5 3 ♥ K Q J 10

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | [K♦] | 6♦ | 2♦ | 3♦ | | 2 | 9♣ | 3♣ | 2♣ | [A♣] | | 3 | 8♦ | [6♥] | 4♦ | 5♦ | | 4 | 5♠ | 4♠ | K♠ | [A♠] | | 5 | 10♦ | [A♥] | 9♦ | 7♦ | | 6 | 2♥ | 8♥ | 4♥ | [K♥] | | 7 | 3♥ | 6♠ | 5♥ | [Q♥] | | 8 | 8♠ | 7♠ | 7♥ | [J♥] | | 9 | 9♠ | 10♠ | 9♥ | [10♥] | | 10 | Q♦ | [K♣] | 6♣ | 5♣ | | 11 | J♠ | [Q♣] | 7♣ | 4♣ | | 12 | A♦ | [J♣] | 10♣ | 2♠ | | 13 | Q♠ | [8♣] | J♦ | 3♠ | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer makes a small slam.

ILLUSTRATIVE HAND NO. 40

TRICK 1.--It would be bad play to hold up the ace of hearts.

The adversary can only make the queen and jack, the nine being three times guarded in Z’s hand. The spade suit must be established at once.

TRICK 5.--As A holds a possible card of re-entry in diamonds, he continues his own suit.

TRICKS 7 AND 8.--Clever play to unblock the club suit and to obtain the lead with the eight of spades. Z discards his losing diamonds.

NOT HOLDING UP AN ACE

It is the rubber game, score love all. Z, the dealer, makes it “no-trump.”

♠ 8 6 5 ♣ K Q 4 No. 40 ♦ 7 6 5 4 2 ♥ A 10 x-------------x ♠ A 10 | Y | ♠ 4 3 2 ♣ 8 3 2 | | ♣ J 10 9 7 6 5 ♦ K 8 | A B | ♦ J 10 9 ♥ K Q J 5 3 2 | | ♥ 7 | Z | +-------------+ ♠ K Q J 9 7 ♣ A ♦ A Q 3 ♥ 9 8 6 4

+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | TRICK | A | Y | B | Z | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ | 1 | K♥ | [A♥] | 7♥ | 4♥ | | 2 | [A♠] | 5♠ | 2♠ | K♠ | | 3 | [Q♥] | 10♥ | 5♣ | 6♥ | | 4 | [J♥] | 2♦ | 3♠ | 8♥ | | 5 | 2♥ | 4♦ | 4♠ | [9♥] | | 6 | 10♠ | 6♠ | 6♣ | [Q♠] | | 7 | 2♣ | 4♣ | 7♣ | [A♣] | | 8 | 3♣ | [8♠] | 9♣ | 7♠ | | 9 | 8♣ | [K♣] | 10♣ | 3♦ | | 10 | 3♥ | [Q♣] | J♣ | Q♦ | | 11 | 8♦ | 5♦ | 9♦ | [A♦] | | 12 | 5♥ | 6♦ | 10♦ | [J♠] | | 13 | K♦ | 7♦ | J♦ | [9♠] | +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ The dealer wins four odd tricks.

END PLAY

End play must be premised by correct inferences drawn throughout the previous play of the hand. The last three or four tricks often present opportunities for brilliant play; opportunities which must be lost without a clear understanding of the position of the cards.

It is in the end play that the novice is most deficient. He plays the last few cards carelessly, without the least thought of the possibilities they offer.

In striving to gain by clever end play, do not lose sight of the fact that the game should be made before you incur unnecessary risks. With the game once won, you are justified in resorting to any strategy that may gain extra tricks.

The best play of the last cards of a hand is most often obtained by throwing the lead. The following are examples of this, as well as other methods of gaining tricks.

REFUSING TO DRAW THE LOSING TRUMP

No. 1 8♣ 7♣ 5♣ 4♣ 6♦ x-------------x | Y | 9♣ 2♣ | | A♣ 6♣ 3♣ K♦ 7♦ 3♦ | A B | 8♦ 5♥ | | | Z | x-------------x K♣ Q♣ J♣ K♥ 10♣

Hearts are trumps. Z should lead ♣ king.

LEADING THE LOSING TRUMP

No. 2

K♣ 9♣ 4♣ 4♦ 2♦ x-------------x | Y | 7♣ 3♣ | | K♦ Q♦ J♦ 10♦ 9♦ 7♦ | A B | K♥ 3♦ | | | Z | x-------------x 6♣ 5♥ A♦ 6♦ 5♦

Hearts are trumps. Z should lead ♥ 5.

THROWING THE LEAD

No. 3

6♣ 5♣ J♦ x-------------x | Y | ♣xx | | Q♥ | A B | | | | Z | x-------------x A♣ Q♣ 7♥

Hearts are trumps. Clubs have not been led. Spades have all been played. Y has the best diamond. Z leads ♥ 7.

LEADING A SINGLETON

No. 4

4♦ 7♣ K♣ J♣ x-------------x | Y | | | | A B | | | | Z | x-------------x 10♦ 8♦ 5♥ 3♣

Hearts are trumps. Z holds the two commanding diamonds and the thirteenth trump. Clubs have not been led. Z leads ♣ 3 in the hope that A may hold the ace and not play it.

SAVING A LOW TRUMP TO LEAD

No. 5

Q♠ 6♥ 5♣ 7♦ x-------------x | Y | K♦ 10♦ | | 9♦ 5♦ 7♠ 3♠ | A B | 10♠ 7♣ | | | Z | x-------------x Q♥ J♥ 3♥ 4♣

Hearts are trumps. A leads ♦ king. Z trumps with ♥ jack and leads ♥ 3.

REFUSING TO OVERTRUMP

No. 6

5♣ K♦ 7♦ x-------------x | Y | J♣ | | A♣ J♦ 4♦ | A B | K♥ 10♥ | | | Z | x-------------x 4♣ A♥ 9♥

Hearts are trumps. Y leads king ♦. B ruffs with ♥ 10. Z should discard.

THE EXTRA TRUMP

No. 7

7♠ 5♠ K♣ 7♣ x-------------x | Y | A♥ 10♠ | | A♠ 4♣ 10♥ 9♥ | A B | J♣ 6♣ | | | Z | x-------------x 6♠ 8♦ Q♥ 8♥

Hearts are trumps. Z should lead ♠6, not ♦8.

UNBLOCKING

No. 8 Q♥ 4♠ 3♠ x-------------x | Y | | | K♣ Q♣ J♣ | A B | J♠ 10♠ 7♣ | | | Z | x-------------x A♣ 8♥ 6♥

“No-trumps.” A leads ♣ king. Y should discard ♥ queen.

MAKING A TENACE

No. 9

Q♦ 8♦ 5♣ x-------------x | Y | | | K♥ 8♥ 4♥ | A B | K♦ 10♦ 4♣ | | | Z | x-------------x A♥ J♥ 5♥

Hearts are trumps. The remaining trumps are all with A and Z. Z should lead ♥ five.

GLOSSARY

=Book.=--The first six tricks won by the same partners.

=Bring-in.=--To make the cards of a suit.

=By Cards.=--The number of tricks won, more than six, or over the “Book,” is the number by cards. For instance, eight tricks are equal to two by cards.

=Cards of Re-entry.=--A winning card which will bring into play another suit. Sometimes the re-entry is in the suit itself, but when a suit with a re-entry is spoken of, it means that the re-entry is in another suit.

=Chicane.=--A hand dealt without a trump.

=Command.=--The best card or cards of a suit. The ability to stop the suit at any time.

=Coup.=--A brilliant play resulting in gain.

=Covering.=--Putting a higher card on the trick when not the last player.

=Cross-ruff.=--When two suits are being trumped by opposite hands.

=Des Chapelles Coup.=--Sacrificing a high card, by leading it to make an entry card for your partner’s hand.

=Discarding.=--When unable to follow suit, throwing away a card of a suit which is not trumps.

=Doubling.=--Increasing the value of the trick points.

=Doubtful Cards=.--Cards which may or may not win tricks.

=Ducking.=--Refusing to play the master card of a suit, with the object of making the smaller cards in the suit.

=Dummy.=--The player whose cards are exposed on the table.

=Duplicate.=--A modification in which each hand is played more than once.

=Echo.=--Playing a higher card before a lower, to your partner’s high card lead.

=Eldest Hand.=--The player on the dealer’s left.

=Entry Card.=--A card, with which you can obtain the lead.

=Established Suit.=--A suit in which the partners can win every trick.

=Exposed Card.=--Any card which is shown, but is not played to the trick, such as one or two cards inadvertently played at once.

=Fall.=--The cards as they are played.

=False Cards.=--Playing the ace, holding the king, or any similar attempt to conceal the cards held.

=Finesse.=--Any attempt to win a trick with a card which is not the best in the hand, nor in sequence with it.

=Follow.=--The cards played of the suit led.

=Forcing.=--Making a player trump to win the trick.

=Fourchette.=--The card next higher and next lower than the one led. Holding jack, nine, ten led--you hold a fourchette.

=Fourth Best.=--Counting from the highest card in the suit.

=Going Over.=--Doubling the value of the trick points.

=Guarded Suits.=--A high card so protected by smaller cards that it cannot be caught by the adversaries’ lead of higher cards.

=Holding Up.=--Refusing to play the best, and sometimes the second best card, of a suit.

=Honours.=--In trumps the A K Q J 10 of the suit. At “no-trumps,” the four aces.

=Leader.=--The first player to any trick.

=Leading Through.=--Leading suit with a view to what the second hand holds in it.

=Leading Up To.=--Playing a suit with a view to what the fourth hand holds in it.

=Little Slam.=--Twelve tricks won out of thirteen.

=Long Suit.=--A suit of more than three cards.

=Long Trump.=--The last trump in play.

=Losing Cards.=--Cards which cannot possibly take tricks.

=Love-all.=--The state of the score before either side has made a point.

=Master Cards.=--Any card of a suit the best in play.

=Odd Trick.=--The first trick over the book of six.

=Opening.=--You “open” a suit when you are the first to lead a card from the suit. The original leader is said to make the opening lead.

=Original Lead.=--The opening of the hand.

=Pass.=--When no effort is made to take a trick.

=Revoke.=--Renouncing while still holding cards of the suit led.

=Round.=--The cards that compose the trick.

=Rubber.=--Two out of three games.

=Ruffing.=--Trumping a trick.

=Sequence.=--Two or more cards of equal value.

=Short Suit.=--Any suit of less than four cards.

=Singleton.=--A suit of which you hold originally but one card.

=Slam.=--Winning all thirteen tricks.

=Tenace.=--The best and third best of a suit. Ace and queen are tenace over the king, jack.

=Third Hand.=--The leader’s partner.

=Throwing the Lead.=--Purposely playing a losing card that you may not retain the lead.

=Unblocking.=--Getting rid of a card that may stop the run of a long suit.

=Underplay.=--Playing a low card with a higher card in hand.

=Weak Suits.=--Those in which tricks are impossible, or very improbable.

=Weakness.=--Inability to stop a suit.

=Younger Hand.=--The partner of the original leader.

INDEX.

Ace, king, jack combination, 127 Ace, queen, jack combination, 125 Ace, jack, ten combination, 129 Ace and king, lead from, 60 Ace, lead of, 64 Ace denies king, 64 Accepting force, 143 Advantages of discarding strength, 120 Arranging the lead, 131 Avoid leading trumps, 141 Avoid weak red makes, 33 Avoid opening trumps, 70 Avoid leading from short trumps, 72 Avoid leading from suit with one honour, 72 Abandoning spade hands, 49

Bridge for three players, 24 Bridge, laws of, 1 Bystanders, 20

Cards exposed before play, 13 Cards exposed during play, 14 Cards played in error, 16 Changing suits, 74 Choice of suits to lead through, 79 Choice of suits to play for, 151 Chicane, 4 Clubs, 46 Convention, heart, 57 Convention, weak suit, 57 Covering honour with honour, 93 Combining hands of dealer and dummy, 125 Combinations to be avoided, 131 Cutting, 3 Cutting out, 4

Dealer’s play of “no-trump” declaration, 151 Dealer’s play, 124 Defensive play against red makes, 59 Dealing out of turn, 13 Declaration, the, 31 Declaring to the score, 27 Declaring trumps, 8 Deal, a new, 7 Deal, the, 6 Defence against overtaking and ducking, 172 Desire to ruff, 75 Diagrams of good combinations to lead from, 62 Diagrams of bad combinations to lead from, 61 Diamonds, 43 Diamonds, original, 43 Diamond make for safety, 45 Diamond make, rule for, 45 Discard, the, 116 Discarding strength, advantages of, 117 Discard against declared trump, 117 Discard from weakness, 119 Discard from strength, 118 Discard at “no trump,” 118 Discarding, hints on, 121 Discarding partner’s suit, 121 Discarding by the dealer, 122 Discontinuing lead of trumps, 144 Discards, forcing, 148 Doubling, 51 Doubling gives information to partner, 53 Doubling to the score, 53 Doubling on the rubber game, 52 Doubling spades, 52 Doubling no-trump, 53 Doubling, redoubling, etc., 9 Doubling to prevent loss, 53 Ducking, 166 Dummy, 11

Echo, the, 88 Eleven, rule of, 67 Estimating the value of a hand, 54 Establishing adversaries’ suit, 81 Establishing small cards, 151 Etiquette, 21 Examples of fourth-best leads, 62 Examples of bad openings against declared trump, 61 Examples of hands that should not be passed, 42 Examples of opening leads, 63 Examples of inference from opening leads, 68 Examples of leading trumps to the maker, 71 Examples of leading trumps through dummy, 71 Examples of no-trump makes, 38 Examples of short suit openings, 77 Examples of second hand plays, 137 Examples of unblocking, 109 Examples of original leads at no trump, 106 Exhausting trumps, 144 Exposed card before play, 13 Exposed card during play, 13

False-carding, 122 Finesse obligatory, 134 Finessing, 132 Finessing by dealer, 132 Finesses, locating, 135 Finessing against partner, 81 Five hearts including three honours, 40 Five hearts including two honours, 41 Five hearts with one honour, 41 Forming tables, 3 Forcing discards, 148 Forcing strong hands, 89 Forcing, 89 Fourchette, 94 Four hearts with three honours, 41 Fourth best leads, examples of, 62 Fourth best lead, 96

General inferences, 99 General rules, 19 Giving correct information to partner, 60 Giving partner ruff, 75

Holding up by non-dealers, 111 Holding up, examples of, 112 Hearts, 38 Hearts in preference to “no trump,” 42 Heart combination, 39 Heart convention, the, 57 Hearts, not “no-trumps,” 43 Hesitating in play, 93 Hints on discarding, 121 Holding the lead, 63 Honours, value of, 4 How to draw inferences, 97 How to play to partner’s trump opening, 73

Illustrations of inferences from third hand plays, 82 Information, give to partner, 61 Inferences from opening leads, examples of, 68 Inferences from third hand play, 82 Information, value of, 96 Information, giving partner, 96 Inferences, how to draw, 97 Inferences, general, 99 Inferences, 95 Inferences regarding the make, 98 Information given by doubling, 52 Inferences from low card leads, 67 Inferences from high card leads, 64

Keeping command of adversary’s suit, 153 Keeping the lead, 151 King, jack, ten combination, 129

Laws of Bridge, 1 Locating trumps, 104 Locating finesses, 135 Long suits, leading from, 60 Long suit, value of, 42 Low card leads, inferences from, 68 Leading trumps, examples of, 71 Leading up to dummy, 87 Leading to force, 89 Letting partner ruff, 90 Leading fourth best, 96 Leading red suit to dealer, 105 Leading weak suit at no-trump, 105 Leading from weak hand, 130 Leading trumps to prevent a ruff, 74 Leads out of turn, 15 Leading through strength, 77 Leading through king in dummy, 79 Leading long with four trumps, 76 Leading short with six trumps, 76 Leading red suit on passed make, 75 Leading highest of short suit, 76 Lead when spades are trumps, 72 Leading trumps to throw the lead, 71 Leading trumps from sequence, 70 Leading trumps to prevent a ruff, 143 Leading up to strength, 70 Leading from long suit, 62 Lead of the ace, 64 Lead of ace and king, 65 Lead of the king, 65 Lead of the queen, 65 Lead of the jack, 66 Leading jack from king, jack, ten, 66 Lead of the ten, 66 Lead of the nine, 67 Leading to save slam, 60 Leading from sequence, 61 Leading from ace and king, 65 Leading trumps in doubled spades, 56 Leading from weak trumps, 74 Leading through weakness, 78 Lead when partner has doubled, 55 Leading short suits, 68

Making high cards, 60 Making to score, 31 Management of trumps by dealer, 139 Miscellaneous combinations, 130 Misdeal, 10

New deal, 7 New cards, 20 Non-dealer’s play against a “no-trump” hand, 102 Non-dealer’s play to the score, 29 Non-dealer’s play against a declared trump, 59 “No-trump” declaration by the dealer, 32 “No-trump” with three aces, 35 “No-trump” with two aces and one other guarded suit, 35 “No-trump” with two aces, 36 “No-trump” with one ace, 37 “No-trump” without an ace, 37 Not returning lead of trumps, 73 Not leading from single honour suits, 72 Not leading from tenace suits, 72 Not forcing strong trump hand, 142

Obtaining a ruff, 141 Opening leads, examples, 63 Opening a short suit against a “no-trump” declaration, 107 Original lead at “no-trump,” examples of, 106 Original lead at “no-trump,” 103 Opening short with strong hand, 74 Opening lead, the, 60 Opening lead against trump declaration, 60 Original lead, the, 103 Original lead at “no-trump,” 106 Original trump openings, 70 Original trump openings from strength, 72 Overtaking and ducking, 171 Overtaking and unblocking, 170 Overtaking, 163 Overtrumping, 147

Passed makes, 47 Passed red makes, 49 Passed black makes, 48 Placing high cards, 81 Placing partner in lead, 75 Playing before dummy, 92 Playing ace second in hand, 94 Playing through strength, 77 Playing to the score, 28 Playing before dealer, 94 Preventing ruff, 74 Preventing ruff, leading trumps to, 143

Redoubling, 10, 54 Returning partner’s lead, 91, 109 Re-entries, saving, 157 Red makes defensive, 39 Re-entry cards, 148 Reverse discard, 122 Revoke, the, 17 Rights of entry, 5 Rubber, the, 1 Ruff, obtaining a, 140 Ruff, preventing a, 74 Ruff, desire to, 75, 88 Ruff, giving partner, 78 Ruff, letting partner, 88 Rule of eleven, 67 Rules for “no-trump” declaration by the dealer, 34 Rules for the heart make, 40

Saving game, 151 Saving re-entries, 157 Score, the, 27 Scoring, 1 Seeing dummy hand, 59 Second hand plays, 136 Second hand plays, examples of, 137 Short suit openings, examples of, 77 Short suit openings, 74 Second hand play, 91 Shuffling, 6 Slam, 4 Short suit, leading from, 74 Spades, 47 Spades, original, 47 Strength indicated by trump opening, 70 Strength indicated by doubling, 51 Suggestions for third hand play, 80

Taking out re-entry cards, 115 Trumps, leading in doubled spades, 73 Trumps, avoid leading, 72 Trump, original openings, 70 Trumps, leading up to strength, 70 Trump, opening from strength, 72 Trump lead, not returning, 73 Trusting partner, 99 Trumping losing cards, 141 Trump opening indicates strength, 72 Trump lead when weak hand can ruff, 74 Trump lead against a spade make, 72 Trump opening from strength, 72 Tenace, not leading from, 62 Third hand play, 80 Throwing the lead, 150

Unblocking, 161, 170 Unblocking trump suit, 142 Unblocking, 108 Unblocking, examples of, 109

Value of long suit, 42 Value of tricks, 4 Value of information, 96

Watching dealer’s discards, 135 Watching fall of cards, 98 Watching partner’s play, 98 Watching adversaries’ play, 98 Weakness, leading through, 71 Weak trumps, leading from, 71 Weak suit convention, the, 57 When to lead through strength, 78 When to lead trumps, 139 When not to lead trumps, 141 When to draw the remaining trumps, 144 When to trump, 146 When you play before the dummy, 92 When you play before the dealer, 94 Win the first trick, 59