North south vulnerable

North south vulnerable

Strong takeout doubles

Play Bridge: Tips for bridge players, new to experienced.

The bidding: East, with 14 points, opens one diamond, his higher ranking and longer minor. He has a perfect two club rebid avoiding notrump with a singleton spade. Even if partner has four spades, a minor is probably a better place to play than one notrump.

However, South has other plans with a massive hand that would have been opened two clubs had his opponent passed. If somebody doubles and then bids his own suit, he is showing 16 points or more. Here South doubles then makes a cuebid telling partner he is strong in his next bid.

North only gives minimum responses but his spade support should lead to an entry and South knows where all of the missing points are since East opened.

The contract: Six spades by South

The opening lead: The three of diamonds. Minor suit openings are not always lead directive, but with the opponents bidding the majors, a diamond is as good as any lead. West must lead a small diamond to tell partner he has three or more cards in the suit.

The play: West wins the ace of diamonds and returns a diamond to South’s King.

South cashed the ace of hearts and plays the eight of spades to the ten. He then plays the queen of hearts which East covers and South ruffs with the ace. South plays the seven of spades to the jack, drawing the last trump and runs hearts pitching his clubs. The club finesse is not necessary. The third entry (2 to the 4) to the dummy also is not necessary.

The result: Six Spades making 6 for +1430.


-If East had not covered the queen of hearts, South would have discarded a club. This is called a ruffing finesse.

-There are other ways to make the contract. The club finesse could be taken and a small club ruffed in dummy.