Both vulnerable

Both vulnerable

Play Bridge: Strong hand with six Hearts and five Spades

Tips and tricks for bridge players new to experienced.

The bidding: The point counters may notice that South has the exact same number of HCP’s and the same shape as South’s hand in last week’s column. However, that is where all similarity ends.

In the last column, South had five HCP’s in his two singletons. He had a five loser hand but it could, in practice, have quite a few more depending on fits and breaks because the texture of the suits were poor.

This week, the same thirteen points have been transformed into eight tricks even if declarer has to play all the suits from his own hand. Furthermore, there is a good chance for ten tricks even if partner has no points as long as he has reasonable support for a major.

South opens his longer major because his hand is strong enough to rebid Two Spades after partner responds One No Trump. He does not have the normal 16 or 17 points needed for a reverse, but his hand is still good enough to reverse.

The hand is cold for Five of a major with only seven HCP’s from partner. Therefore, the hand has the playing strength of a 21-point hand.

West has five-five in the minors, but he has no bid because his suits are not playable opposite a worthless doubleton from partner. East has the unbid suits and no points in the opponents’ suits so he takes action and makes a takeout double.

West makes sure the opponents have a game and then bid Five Diamonds. North cannot bid any more and makes a forcing pass, telling partner he must double or bid five. South bids five, and the auction ends.

When the opponents take one out of a game, that has any normal expectation of making, they must play doubled if they play at all.

The Play: East leads the Club Ace from Ace-King because that is almost always a really good lead. He sees dummy and switches to a Diamond. Declarer claims eleven tricks.