None vulnerable

Play Bridge: Playing through an Ace

Tips and tricks for bridge players new to experienced.

The bidding: North passes with his ugly eleven-count. It is important to understand that the flattest hand with a five card suit, 5332, with no intermediate cards and no easy rebid is best to be passed. This gives South, with a balanced 17 points, a chance to open one No Trump.

When partner opens one No Trump, one puts one’s hand into one of the following pigeon holes. The “stay low” range is 0 to 7 high card points, 8 to 9 is the invitational range, 10 to 15 is the game range, and 16+ is the slam range. North has no four or five-card major, so he bids three No Trump directly without Stayman or transfers.

The Lead: Ten of Spades, top of an interior sequence.

The play: Declarer wins the opening lead with the Queen of spades. He then crosses to the King of clubs and plays a small diamond to the Queen which holds. If East pops up with the Ace of diamonds, South will only get two spades, but will get four diamonds.

Declarer crosses to the Queen of clubs and puts another small diamond on the table. The Jack of diamonds holds. Declarer now can attack hearts. West wins the Ace of hearts and cannot play a spade without giving declarer an undeserved trick.

Results: Declarer wins two spades, three hearts, two diamonds and three clubs for ten tricks. Three No Trump makes plus one for +430.


-East is the danger hand because three spade tricks are safe if West leads the suit, and only two spade tricks are safe if East gets to lead the suit once.

-If East pops up with the Ace of diamonds to lead a spade, declarer will get two spades, zero hearts, four diamonds and three clubs to make +400.

-If declarer makes the mistake of playing a diamond to the King, losing to the Ace, he will get two spades and two diamonds before West cashes his spades. The defense will get three spades, one heart and one diamond, setting the contract by one for -50.

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