Lesson one

Instructions: Click on the link (the number of a deal) and after the movie appears, click on “Next” to have the opening lead. You can then click on “Play” and play the hand for yourself or by following my notes.

Deal One

You could play the King of spades from dummy, but only if you really believe that West has the Ace.

The danger, if you play the King at trick one, is that East can return a spade to the Queen.

West then may play a diamond, setting up East’s King before you can knock out the Ace of hearts.

If you duck the trick, West will never be able to gain the lead for a diamond lead.

Now you can win any return, give a trick to the Ace of trumps and finally claim your game.

Deal two

You have a certain diamond loser and need to ruff two hearts, but only have one high trump in dummy.

You can see what may happen if you try to ruff the third round of hearts.

The key is to throw a loser on a loser, namely the losing diamond on the third heart.

Now you can draw out the last trumps, ruff a diamond and claim the slam.

In effect, you substituted a heart ruff for a diamond ruff.

Deal three

If you play the Queen of spades, East will win the King and force out the Ace of clubs.

Then, when you lose the diamond finesse to West’s King, West will take the King of clubs and you will go down one.

The solution is to spurn the spade finesse since you cannot afford to allow the opponents to knock out your Ace of clubs before you have set up diamonds.

Note that if West leads the Jack of spades, it is very unlikely that he has the King of spades.

Therefore it costs nothing to reject the finesse.

Your first obligation is to test the diamond finesse, so that you can throw off a club loser.

Deal four

You take the third spade and should realize that you need to generate an extra trick in the diamond suit.

Your only hope is to play through North.

Play a low diamond and if North plays the 6, let it ride.

The point is that the 6 is the lowest spot card outside your hands so that South will be forced to take it.

If North covers the 6, win the King, go back to your hand and lead a second low diamond.

The moral of this hand is that you need to count all the spot cards to make sure you can let it ride.

Deal five

It is likely that East holds the Ace of diamonds.

It is important to take three diamond tricks.

If you win trick one and then lose to East’s Queen of diamonds, West will be able to lead a heart.

The Queen will be covered by the King and whether you win or duck, your Ace will be forced while the Ace of diamonds is still out.

The key here to hold off until hearts have been played again.

That way, you will be sure to set up three diamond tricks since West will not be able to lead a heart after taking the Queen of diamonds.

Deal six

Take one

You can’t afford a fourth loser here so must win the Ace.

Say you take the Ace and lead the Queen of diamonds following by the Ace and King of diamonds, and the King is ruffed low by East.

Let’s first see what would happen if you overruff and then lead trumps.

East wins with his Ace and leads a club which West wins.

South then leads a diamond which is ruffed by North’s Jack of hearts.

You lose a spade and the contract.

Take two

If, instead, you discard your club loser on the King of diamonds, South would not be able to get in to lead another diamond for North to ruff.

The moral of this hand is to cut communication by ducking once when a ruff is threatened.

In other words, if you plan to discard a loser on a long suit, but defender ruffs in, do not overruff; simply discard your loser.

 

 

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