Friday, October 19, 2012

Declaring Diamonds

As there are two declarations of greater value than diamonds, there is often a question as to the advisability of passing the make with a fair diamond hand and of giving partner an opportunity to declare no-trump or hearts. The dealer should always make the trump diamonds holding four or five honours in his hand, irrespective of the state of the score; holding less than four honours the dealer must be influenced by the number of points that are necessary to win the game, and by the strength of his hand. Many players are prejudiced against an original diamond declaration when the score is love all; and, while the writer believes it safer at this score to declare diamonds with a fair hand than to chance the uncertainty of a passed make, yet the make SHOULD be passed:—

When behind on the first game—as 0-24.

Having lost the first and with nothing scored on the second game.

When nothing on the rubber game.

In each of these positions, as the adversaries have the next deal and may win the game, it is imperative that you score thirty points. To accomplish this with a diamond trump it is necessary to win eleven of the thirteen tricks; therefore, unless you hold a hand of more than the average strength, it is advisable to pass the make in hopes that partner can declare hearts or no-trump.

If there is a question between a diamond and no-trump declaration, the latter is usually preferable; for while the risk is greater the reward is double.

A diamond make is advisable whenever there is a fair chance to win the game, as when but two or three odd tricks are needed.


The dealer should declare diamonds: Holding—
6 Diamonds, including 1 honour and some protection in other suits.
5 Diamonds, including 2 honours and some protection in other suits.
4 Diamonds, including 4 honours, with or without protection in other suits.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Non-Dealer's Play Against a Declared Trump

The principles of play adopted against a trump and against a no-trump declaration are entirely different; and it is for this reason that Bridge is confusing to the beginner. The important principles that govern the play against a trump declaration are:

  • To hold the lead in order to see the dummy hand.
  • To make high cards before they can be trumped.
  • To give your partner information.

The importance of first seeing the thirteen cards in the dummy is self-evident. The play of an entire hand is often influenced by the cards in the dummy; therefore, if you can win the first trick, you are in a better position on the second lead to play your own and your partner's hand to advantage.

These combinations should be selected in their order for the original lead without reference to the length of the suit.

Ace from any other combination except A Q with one or two more.
Q J 10

As the maker, more especially if the trump is red, has shown strength, your first consideration should be to save the game. This is best done by leading your Aces and other high cards before the dealer has a chance to discard and to trump. This is particularly true when there is an established suit in the dummy hand; for then the dealer may be able to exhaust trumps and discard his own losing cards on this established suit.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

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. If, for instance, your partner lead an eight spot, the dummy having the queen and you holding A 10 x of the suit, as you see three cards above the eight, you know the dealer cannot play higher and that your partner must have led from K J 9 8.
    Q 6 2 (11 - 8 = 3)
8   A   B A 10 4

This rule is especially important at "no-trump"; but players should not give it much attention unless the card originally led is higher than a five.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Declaring Hearts

In considering a heart make, the dealer should be influenced by the general strength of his hand and by the number of honours he holds in the trump suit. Hearts should always be declared with four or five honours in the hand irrespective of the strength of other suits; the honour score will probably more than compensate for a possible loss of trick points. A heart declaration with less than two honours is not advisable—unless the hand contain great length in the trump suit or great strength in the other suits—as the honour scores made against the hand will usually exceed its trick value.

As it requires three odd tricks to win a game of thirty points without a trump, and but one trick more to win a game with a heart trump, the dealer will often have occasion to choose between the two makes. With a strong heart hand and a doubtful "no-trumper," or if the hand contain one unguarded suit, hearts should always be given the preference. As the adversaries have the lead and the privilege of doubling, a weak suit exposes the hand to some danger at no-trump.

The dealer should declare hearts holding—

6 Hearts, including 1 honour and some protection in other suits.
5 Hearts, including 2 honours and some protection in other suits.
5 Hearts, including 1 honour with a good five-card plain suit, or with strong protection in other suits.
 4 Hearts, including 3 honours and some protection in other suits.
4 Hearts, including 4 honours, with or without protection in other suits.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Card Shuffling and Dealing in Bridge

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is no misdeal in Bridge.

There must be a new deal—
  • If the cards be not dealt into four packets, one at a time, and in regular rotation, beginning at the dealer's left.
  • If, during a deal, or during the play of a hand, the pack be proven incorrect or imperfect.
  • If any card be faced in the pack.
  • If any player have dealt to him a greater number of cards than thirteen.
  • If the dealer deal two cards at once and then deal a third before correcting the error.
  • 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.
  • If the last card do not come in its regular order to the dealer.

There may be a new deal—
  • If the dealer or his partner expose a card. The eldest hand may claim a new deal.
  • If either adversary expose a card. The dealer or his partner may claim a new deal.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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.

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.

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.

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.

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