Daily Bridge Tip 40

One option is to finesse ♦ 10 and then finesse ♦ Q which gives you a 75% chance.

A better plan is to take the 100% line.

After ♠ K holds, play ♠ Q and discard ♦ 10.

West will win ♠ A but you can now go to dummy again with ♣ K and discard ♦ Q on the winning ♠ J.

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Daily Bridge Tip 39

You may well have agreed to show attitude when partner leads the Queen.

But is this the most useful piece of information to give partner in this situation?

Look at it from partner’s perspective.

Declarer will play the King if she holds it.

When declarer plays low from dummy she holds either Kxx or xxx

If declarer holds Kxx, this will become apparent when it is played on the first trick.

If declarer holds xxx, partner will know you hold the King from the play to the first trick

In this situation, an attitude signal is superfluous.

Give a COUNT OR SUIT PREFERENCE SIGNAL (BY AGREEMENT) rather than an attitude signal.

Of course if declarer plays the Ace from dummy, you must give an ATTITUDE SIGNAL because the position of the King has not been revealed.

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Daily Bridge Tip 38

You have a choice of bids 1 ♠ and 2 ♥

1 ♠ shows an unlimited hand, whereas 1 ♥ shows a limited hand.

When you have a WEAK hand and a choice between a limited bid and an unlimited bid, choose the limited bid.

BID 2 ♥

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Daily Bridge Tip 36

You may well have agreed to show count when partner leads the King.

But is this the most useful piece of information to give partner in this situation?

Look at it from partner’s perspective.

Declarer will play low from dummy holding either Jxx or xxx

If declarer holds Jxx, a continuation of the suit would be disastrous.

If declarer holds xxx, a continuation would be good.

Give an ATTITUDE SIGNAL rather than count so partner knows what to do.

On this hand give an encouraging signal to tell partner you hold the Jack.

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Daily Bridge Tip 35

Playing another club looks safe but unnecessary, because if declarer has a third round club loser it is unlikely to disappear.

In fact if you do play another club, declarer will win A♣, play three rounds of diamonds and throw West in with the third club. West will then have to concede a heart trick or give a ruff and discard. Contract made.

To beat the contract East must switch to a red suit, but which one?

Pick the wrong one and declarer will make the contract with the same throw in as when a club is returned.

The answer lies with West’s play in the trump suit.

West should play 8♠ on the first round and 2 ♠ on the second, which is a SUIT PREFERENCE SIGNAL for the higher ranking side suit.

Had West wanted a diamond switch she plays 2 ♠ followed by 8♠

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Daily Tips

Thanks very much for the many kind comments that I’ve received.
The tips are based on aspects of the game where I’ve observed players doing the wrong thing at the table.
Please feel free to let me know any areas of play, defence or bidding that you find challenging.
We’ve only got to Tip 34 today, so there’s plenty of scope for many more!

Daily Bridge Tip 34

You must lead the Queen.

If you lead a small card, dummy plays low, partner plays Jack and declarer wins Ace.

Declarer then finesses the Ten to make all three tricks.

If you lead the Queen, declarer has to guess whether you’ve led from Qxx or QJx.

The same would apply if East had been on lead.

East must lead the Jack to give declarer a guess.

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Daily Bridge Tip 33

Although you may have agreed to give attitude when partner leads an Ace, it is advisable to give a SUIT PREFERENCE SIGNAL instead, whenever a singleton appears in dummy.

Partner needs to know you would like her to play a ♦ rather than a ♥

You signal with 2 ♣ (your lowest card requesting a switch to the lower of the two remaining non trump suits).
Had you wanted a heart switch you would have played 9♣.
Had you no strong preference, then 5 ♣ (your middle card) suggests to partner that a club continuation is preferable.

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Daily Bridge Tip 32

With no obvious lead from a strong hand your choice of lead concerns what is the least likely lead to give away a trick.
According to a study done by author David Bird in his book “Winning Suit Contract Leads” the lead that will beat the contract most often is 9|♠.

This will come as a surprise to those who would avoid a singleton trump lead at all costs.
However the fact that you have doubled, which generally suggests shortage, means that declarer may have read the trump position correctly anyway.

The best and worst suits to lead from the three other suits are

(Best) KQ63, K953, KJ72 (Worst)

The best and worst leads from various K high holdings are

(Best) KQJx, KQ10x, KQxx, Kxxx, KJxx (Worst)

Similarly from Q high holdings

(Best) QJxx, Qxxx, Q10xx (Worst)

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