Lesson 5 Basic Declarer Play

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Lesson 5 Basic Declarer Play

  1. 1. Bridge Lessons - Beginners<br />NYU Bridge and Spades Club<br />
  2. 2. Lesson 5<br />Basic Declarer Play<br />
  3. 3. Pre-requisite<br />Review Lesson 2 – Basic Leading and Playing<br />Lesson 2 was introduced first to facilitate early game-playing. Now we’re getting into slightly more details regarding declarer play – the first important milestone to cross for any budding bridge player<br />
  4. 4. Step 1: Count Your Winners<br />If you have enough winners, take them and claim your contract<br />For trump games, you have to draw out all of opponents’ trumps before you can claim winners in other suits as sure winners<br />By drawing out opponents’ trumps, you make the game an NT game<br />If you don’t have enough, you have to find other ways to generate more winners<br />
  5. 5. Step 2: Promotion<br />Holding KQJT may give you 6 points but does not present any immediate winners. Therefore, you need to promote your winners.<br />When holding a sequence, playing any card within the sequence will force opponents to play a higher card (if they want to win the trick). With KQJT, after opponents play A, the other 3 become winners.<br />Drawing out opponents’ high cards to “promote” your other cards to winner status – hence this is known as card promotion<br />This is also known as “establishing a suit”<br />
  6. 6. Step 3: Run Long Suit<br />Caveat: unless it is the trump suit – there is usually no point in running a trump suit after opponents are out.<br />Holding AKxxx opposite Qxxx may look like just 3 winners, but it stands to make 5 winners as the cards under the AK will most probably become winners as opponents will probably run out after A, K and Q are played.<br />Again, remember to draw trumps before playing such a suit out if playing in a trump contract.<br />
  7. 7. Step 4: Trumping in Short Hand<br />Holding 5-3 in spades (trump suit), trumping with one of the 5 does not generate an extra trick. <br />You were already going to take 5 tricks (or however many you were supposed to get depending on which high cards you have)<br />Only trumping in the hand with 3 trumps will generate extra tricks, provided the trump card used is not a winner<br />
  8. 8. Step 5: Finessing<br />Review Lesson 2.<br />2 kinds of finessing<br />Playing towards an honour when missing the one above it, hoping the opponent in between has the missing honour<br />E.g. leading low to the Q in AQxx<br />Sandwiching an honour<br />E.g. leading Q from QJxxx into Axxx<br />
  9. 9. Cross-ruffing as a Possible Strategy<br />Sometimes, it does not make sense to play out all your trumps – you may just have insufficient winners overall. <br />Cross-ruffing can help you make full use of your trumps. Generally this is only possible with distributional hands.<br />E.g. Dummy’s hand: Declarer’s hand:<br />S: Txxxx S: QJxxxx<br />H: Jxxxx H: -<br />D: - D: Qxxxx<br />C: AKx C: Qx<br />Declarer opens 2S and Dummy bids up to game (4S). 2S is a pre-empt, which you will learn about eventually.<br />Trump the hearts in declarer and the diamonds in dummy! These hands can generally make 4S even with only 15 points between them.<br />
  10. 10. Note: Finessing<br />In general, we leave finessing as a last resort. This is because it only has a 50% chance of working out while other ways of playing generally have higher chances of working out.<br />E.g. with an 8-card fit, opponents split 3-2 about 68% of the time. i.e. holding AKQ in a 5-3 fit will give you 5 tricks 68% of the time.<br />
  11. 11. Congratulations!<br />You are now a full-fledged Bridge Beginner!<br />

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