How do you get it right

Sometimes what is right on one hand isn’t right on the next one.  This is the same principle on many card games whether it is blackjack, baccarat, poker or our favorite bridge.

Since we have mentioned some gambling games, it is worth mentioning that a lot of card games can now be played online with live dealers.

This is not the case yet for bridge and is something that could incease the games popularity.

Casino games like live roulette UK, live blackjack and live poker are extremely popular and can be found in almost every single online casino. Bridge might not be a gambling game but neither is backgammon which can also be found in some online casinos.

So why not give the chance to bridge players to play their favorite game online like blackjack or poker players. We are not asking for bridge to become a gambling game, but it could be offered as an extra game to play online with a min fee like backgammon.

Anyway, lets go back to our topic and look at the hand below:

 You are West on these successive hands

Hand 15            dealer S          NS vulnerable.

You pick up                S            8 6 2

H            K 5 4 3

D            K 5

C            A J 7 3

You hear the following auction       S            W            N            E

P            P            1D            P

1S         P            2S            P

P            ?

You decide to pass, even though the opposition have petered out at the 2 level and you have the other major, so you lead H3.

Dummy goes down     S            K J 5

H            2

D            A Q J 4 2

C            Q 8 5 4

Partner wins the first trick with AH, and continues with AS (all following small) and 3S, won by declarer with the QS.

Declarer now advances the D10, and without thinking, you play small.  Now it’s all over.  A small diamond from declarer picks up your King, and after cashing the SK, declarer runs three more diamond tricks, discarding three hearts from hand and conceding only CA.

The full hand is                                 North

S            K J 5

H            2

D            A Q J 4 2

C            Q 8 5 4

West                                                                           East

S          8 6 2                                                               S            A 3

H         K 5 4 3                                                            H            A Q 10 7

D         K 5                                                                   D            9 8 7 6

C          A J 7 3                                                            C            9 6 2


S            Q 10 9 7 4

H            J 9 8 6

D            10 3

C             K 10

“You should have covered the D10 with the K”, says partner, “I held the 9876, and he can’t establish the diamonds without ruffing one.  That would keep him to 9 tricks.”

“Yes, of course”, you agree, being the perfect partner. “Still, we’ve got another one to play”

Hand 16            Dealer W        EW vulnerable

This time you pick up           S             A 6

H            Q 9 8 7 2

D            K 5

C            8 7 3 2

The auction is            W            N            E            S

P            1H            P            1S

P            2S            P            3NT

P            4S            P            P

This time the final pass is easy, particularly with your heart suit under the opener.  Since the bidding sounds like a four-four fit, you decide to cut down on ruffs by leading AS and the dummy is

S            10 5 3 2

H            A K J 6 5 4

D            8 7

C            K

All follow small, so you continue with the 6S to the 3, Q and K.  Declarer now plays a third round of spades, and you discard the C2, partner following with the 9.

Now declarer leads the H10.  With the memory of the last hand clear in your mind, and holding the 987 yourself, you go in with the Q, partner following with the 3.  Now declarer plays KH, JH, throwing diamonds from hand.  He ruffs the H4, plays a club to the K, and discards yet another D on the H5.  You win with the H9, but cannot prevent declare taking the last four tricks with AC, AD in his hand, and the last trump and master heart on the table.

The full hand this time is                 North

S            10 5 3 2

H            A K J 6 5 4

D            8 7

C            K

West                                                                           East

S          A 6                                                                  S            Q 9 7

H         Q 9 8 7 2                                                        H            3

D         K 5                                                                   D            Q J 9 3

C          8 7 3 2                                                            C            Q J 10 9 5


S            K J 8 4

H            10

D            A 10 6 4 2

C            A 6 4

Even though a minor suit lead would have worked better, there is no way of defeating the contract as long as declarer gets the spade suit right, since there are three spade tricks, three heart tricks, AD, AC, KC and a ruff in dummy.

However, this time, covering the H10 has given declarer eleven tricks, rather than the more frequent ten.  If you duck the H10, declarer can ensure his contract by ducking as well, but is now in the wrong hand to set up the long heart trick.  He can use the CK as an entry to cash the AH and KH, but when the hearts break badly, has no way of getting back to dummy for the established sixth heart.

(Of course, having seen all the hands, declarer could overtake the H10 with the HJ, but that risks the contract if the hearts are 5 – 1 with the Q offside.)

Fortunately, partner doesn’t realise this, but declarer does.

“Isn’t it interesting,” he comments, “last time you had to cover, and this time you have to duck !”