Social Lesson #16 – Bridge Partscore Contracts – Gaining Entries, Finesses, Unblocking, Endplays

Greetings Bridge Friends!

At long last, we conclude our series on Bridge promotion plays looking at partscore contracts and focusing our attention on gaining entries.  And while it might seem easy to make a contract when not playing for a game bonus, our opponents have other ideas – particularly when THEY have their fair share of honors.  In this lesson we begin with 10 hands, yet before the play is through, we expand the hand permutations and associated play to a whopping 35 hand variations.  So while sometimes a less than perfect line of play might turn out okay, be careful – on the next hand the opponents line of play may improve, our their card distribution might change and all is lost!

While finesses and ruffs often come into play for the declarer, promoting a long suit can be even more effective to gain extra tricks.  Yet when we are playing in a 1 or 2 Notrump contract, suit promotion plays are also the favorite play tactic for the defenders.  As always, we begin play in a suit contract by counting our losers, while in a Notrump contract we count our winners – desperate to first win our tricks before the opponents promote THEIR suit.  Today in our lesson on entries, we start off making obvious unblocking plays before delving into other options including ruffs, unintuitive finesses, endplays, and astutely using our power of observation.  Yes, it helps when we carefully use the power of observation, put on our thinking cap to make crucial inferences and “count out the hand.”  As we progress through each hand, as always we will explore what’s going on in the minds of each player, observing leads, attitude and count signals.  And while we will be making inferences as the play progresses, no, it won’t require you to head for Scotland Yard to follow the footsteps of Sherlock Holmes.

Part 1 – Entries and Promotion Play for all audiences – click here to view 23 minutes of video
Free, Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 2 – 18 minutes of video

Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 3 – 19 minutes of video
Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 4 – 27 minutes of video
Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 5 – 28 minutes of video
Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 6 – 17 minutes of video

But wait, there’s more!  Yes, in partscore contracts it is imperative that the defenders also put on their thinking caps and avoid “getting sleepy” during play!  Do you know when to cover an honor that has been led from the dummy?  Or when you should make a ducking play to gain extra tricks?  On a fair share of our hands, finding the best defense will also require YOU as the defender to count out the distribution on a suit… assuming your partner is cooperative.  And even your poor hand with no more than a lowly 10 on a punky side suit, you might want to hang onto it and to score the setting trick!  Of course, as declarer it is our duty to dazzle the opponents using tactics like falsecards, pseudo squeezes and the like.

Here at BridgeHands on all of our Bridge hands are full of discussions and analysis on hand evaluation, bidding and play with over 2 hours of animated card play with commentary.  Visitors are welcome to view the Part 1 series of our video lesson with several hands including critical decisions that will influence our card play.  Those with the Free BridgeHands membership may also watch Part 2 where we review another three hands with provocative play tips and strategies to ensure you bring home the contract. As a Premium and ULTRA member, you are welcome to enjoy the entire six-part lesson segments and future shows during your membership subscription period.   And as always, be sure to check out the hundreds of hours of videos in our archive that is growing by leaps and bounds, by clicking “Index to Videos” on the navigation above or simply click this link.

Happy Trails,

BridgeHands

Advanced #15: Rebids, Splinters, Jacoby 2 Notrump – Slow Shows, Fast Denies

In this 192 minute mega-episode we explore Splinter Bids, Jacoby 2 Notrump, cuebids, interference bids, defensive strategies and more.  BridgeHands provides commentary and illustrative Bridge hands to bid and play in response to our survey questions 12 through 21 with over 2 dozen hands regarding opener and responder rebids.  If you are looking to make more slams, especially when you and partner only have 25 or so High Card Points, you’ve come to the right place!

This lesson goes deep, very deep with a comprehensive discussion on how “Slow Shows – Fast Denies” bidding is both important for you and your partner to accurately bid your game and slam hands, as well as utilize obstructive tactics to minimize interference from the opponents.  Of course in some circumstances frisky opponents have a mind of their own.  But worry not Bridge friends, we will encounter some of these “messy” bidding scenarios in our lesson and provide you additional tactics to succinctly and elegantly counteract their obstructive bids.

As always, you can count on us to offer rich commentary on behalf of all players around the table along with animated card play.  So rather than having to “go it alone” and only seeing your own 13 cards and the dummy, as always you will be treated to see what is going on for all players from the moment the hands are dealt.  This format provide a rich, story-telling environment to provide a more lively and often dramatic journey with card by card narration.  Better yet, as each player’s turn we delve into the mind of that player, considering bids, agreements, leads, signals and inferences gained from each player’s perspective.

So with over three hours of instructional video materials in our 6+2 part lesson, you won’t want to miss this lesson.  And as always, we have a plethora of  additional Bridge hands here at BridgeHands – we welcome you to view our online archive with hundreds of hours of Bridge videos are always available here:

Index to Videos” on the navigation above or simply click this link.

All audiences – Part 1 – Benefits of Slow Shows-Fast Denies – 22 minutes

Free, Premium an ULTRA audiences – Part 2, Splinters, hands 9-9b 22 minutes

Free, Premium an ULTRA audiences – Part 2b, Splinters, hands 10-11b 22 minutes

Premium and ULTRA Members – Part 3, Jacoby 2 Notrump, hands 12-12b – 24 minute video

Premium and ULTRA Members – Part 4, hands 13a-14 – 26 minute video

Premium and ULTRA Members – Part 4b, hands 15a-16 – 15 minute video

Premium and ULTRA Members – Part 5, hands 17-19b – 33 minute video

Premium and ULTRA Members – Part 6, hands 20-22 – 29 minute video

We hope you enjoy the show!

Please login or register to view this content.

Happy Trails,

BridgeHands

Social Lesson #15 – Bridge Suit Promotion Part II, Rule of 7, Hold Back, Endplay, Loser on Loser, Safety Plays, the Dangerous Opponent and more

Greetings Bridge Friends!

Here we go again with more on promotion plays and another 24 challenging yet glorious hands to quench your declarer thirst to bring home that game, slam or even a grandslam contract.  As always, we start off by considering our objective.  In a suit contract we begin by counting our losers, while in a Notrump contract we count our winners – desperate to first win our tricks before the opponents promote THEIR suit.  Depending on factors like our quick tricks, running suits, shortage, leads, bids and the like, after long (or even short honor-bound) suit promotion, we begin by considering ruffing and finesse plays.  As in our prior lesson, we will start off seeing the consequence when the declarer makes a quick play without evaluating the best line of play to make their objective.  Then we will carefully cover the best line of play declarer to proudly bring home our contract.

Part 1 – Promotion play for all audiences – click here to view 29 minutes of video
Free, Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 2 – 34 minutes of video
Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 3 – 35 minutes of video
Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 4 – 41 minutes of video
Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 5 – 40 minutes of video

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Social Lesson #14 – Bridge Suit Promotion, Rule of 7, Hold Back, Endplay, Loser on Loser, Safety Plays, the Dangerous Opponent and more

Between promotion, ruffing and finesse plays, certainly promotion plays gain us the most tricks hand over hand.  And when promotion plays are used in connection other plays, we rack up even more tricks.   In this two-episode MEGA lesson (Lesson 14 and 15), we will cover a whopping 37+ hands.  And if that is not enough, for each hand we will take 2 (or more) attempts, first illustrating the problem when we do not use our arsenal of suit promotion options, second where we us e one of a handful of suit promotion techniques .

As expected, you will see the Rule of 7 come into play on a fair number of Notrump contracts.  However, over the series of 16 hands (plus several warm-up hands) in Lesson 14 Day 3, we will learn that like all so-called “rules,” it pays to carefully consider other factors before blindly playing hands by rote.  Ditto on holdback plays when the opponent s lead a side suit where we have a 5 or 6 card suit – while we worry that the opponents may soon ruff the suit, when holding Ace-third opposite 2 or 3 little, sometimes we ought to duck winning the first trick.

Regarding safety plays, we will reinforce the wisdom of playing unfavorable odds (like 4-1 opponent suit splits) when we need to make a critical contract.   Then there’s the spooky “dangerous opponent,” the situation when our house of cards would fall apart (figuratively) should we let a certain opponent on the lead.  The consequence will likely lead the opponents to trap our finessable honors, promote THEIR suit, or both!

Loser on loser plays make sense when giving up a losing trick will gain more than one trick elsewhere (including avoiding a dangerous opponent).

Part 1 – Promotion play for all audiences – click here to view 40 minutes of video

Free, Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 2 – 27 minutes of video

Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 3 – 32 minutes of video

Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 4 – 33 minutes of video

Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 5 – 30 minutes of video on how to make challenging slam contracts and other tricky plays

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Advanced Lesson #14, Responder Rebids – Survey Questions 1-10 with Analysis, Commentary and Numerous Bridge Hands

Okay, at long last we have produced our first segment of our analysis, commentary and illustrative Bridge hands to bid and play in response to our survey questions regarding responder rebids!

You would think bidding and responses might be challenging enough, let alone figuring out various permutations of responder rebids.  But wait, there’s more!  Yes, in this lessons we push our look and explore responder REBIDS after opener’s rebid!  Whew, that might be a tall order to fill but we will give it our best shot based, taking a look at hundreds of your survey responses and as if to prove the point, we will explore 20 hands to demonstrate various lines of bidding and play.

But fear not, in this segment we will limit our analysis to the first 10 of the 40 questions in the survey.

We will take a look at various forms of the Help Suit Game Try, a nifty method to use after opener bids a major, responder tries signing off in 2 of the major, yet opener wants to probe a bit more with a 6 Losing Trick Count Hand.  Next we will take a look at several scenarios where partner opens, with RHO making a suit bid or Takeout Double.  What does it mean when we make a redouble, suit bid at the cheapest level or jump a level, respond 2 Notrump, BROMAD bids, jump to the 3 level in RHO’s suit, etc.?  Then on the second 5 survey questions, we really begin to open up the bidding, play and our commentary with an assortment of bids.

So with over two hours of instructional video materials in our 5 part lesson, you won’t want to miss this lesson and consider our BridgeHands animated card play with commentary and our recommendations.  Of course, bidding is only half the game and we will have lots to ponder when it comes to declarer and defender play.   And as always, we have a plethora of  additional Bridge hands here at BridgeHands – we welcome you to view our online archive with hundreds of hours of Bridge videos are always available here:

Index to Videos” on the navigation above or simply click this link.

All audiences – Part 1 with four variations of the first hand – 24.5 minutes

Free, Premium an ULTRA audiences – Part 2, hand 2 – 19 minutes

Premium and ULTRA Members – Part 3, hands 3-5 – 38 minute video

Premium and ULTRA Members – Part 4a, hands 6-8 – 25 minute video

Premium and ULTRA Members – Part 4b, hands 9-10 – 19.5 minute video

 

We hope you enjoy the show!

Please login or register to view this content.

Happy Trails,

BridgeHands

SURVEY for Advanced Lesson #14 – Rebids

Greetings Bridge Friends!

We will be producing Advanced Lesson #14, “Rebids, Part 1″ shortly  In the interim, we welcome your responses to the attached survey/questionnaire.  Good luck and happy hunting!

Click here to begin the slam bidding survey.

FYI – below is a copy of the survey questions and possible responses (click the above link to take the actual survey).

In our upcoming Advanced Video Lesson #14 in addition to our commentary including an assortment of hands to bid and play (with animation), we will share everyone’s consolidated survey results along with our feedback.

[Read more...]

Social Lesson #13 – Bridge Safety Play, Endplay, Spot Cards and more…

Okay, now that we are getting the hang of suit promotion, finesses and ruffing as the declarer, let’s turn our attention at some new tricks to develop extra tricks at the table.   Yet before we begin counting our proverbial chickens before the eggs have hatched, in many situations its more important to ensure we will make our auction than risking an unfortunate suit distribution by the opponents that might cause us to lose the contract.  Enter the Safety Play where we are willing to give up an overtrick to the opponents in order to safely fulfill our contract.  For instance in a 3 Notrump contract with no outside entries to the dummy that contains a 5-3-3-2 long minor suit headed by the Ace and King and 3 little in declarers hand, opener should duck one trick in dummy and THEN later win the two top honors to make four total tricks (assuming the opponents hold the likely 3-2 suit distribution).   And how about a similar situation when declarer holds 3 in the minor suit and opener holds a 6 card suit headed by the Ace-King-Queen – now what?  True, the opponents 4-1 suit split is only a 28 percent chance, but wouldn’t you normally want to make the contract more than three-quarters of the time?

As we have discussed in our prior Polling You lesson # 52-54, the Endplay can is a great alternative to making a “brute force” finesse play in certain circumstances.  The most classic form of the endplay is when the declarer has a combined major trump suit length of 9 cards, 4-2 or 4-3 in two side suits, and a 3-3 “mirrored” declarer-dummy suit length fit in a third suit that contains an Ace-Queen combination.  In this situation, rather than risking the 50-50 percent finesse attempt, the declarer is wise to “strip down” the 4-3 and 4-2 side suit before allowing the Left Hand Opponent to gain the lead.  That way the LHO is stuck for a lead, either finessing self or partner in the waiting Ace-Queen side suit, or leading a suit that dummy will ruff and the declarer pitching a side suit loser in their own hand.

Lastly, we will look at several situations where either the declarer or the dummy (or both) can potentially gain a critical trick with a side suit 10 or less.  After all, promotion is a beautiful thing, even if it is no more than a side suit in Bridge!   So let’s check out our bidding play of Bridge hands here at BridgeHands with over 15 hand variations and 100 minutes animated card play with commentary.

Visitors are welcome to view the 28 minute, Part 1 series of our video lesson with a handful of subtle variations that will influence our card play.   Our Premium and ULTRA members are welcome to enjoy the entire four-part lesson segments.   Additionally, be sure to check out the hundreds of hours of videos in our archive by clicking “Index to Videos” on the navigation above or simply click this link.

Part 1 – Declarer play for all audiences – click here to view 28 minutes of video

Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 2 – 27 minutes of video

Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 3 – 21 minutes of video

Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 4 – 25 minutes of video on how to make challenging slam contracts

Happy Trails,

BridgeHands

Advanced Lesson #13, 2/1 Slam Bidding, Jacoby 2 Notrump, Splinter Bids, Cuebids and more

Greeting Bridge Friends,

Finally, it’s time to step up to the table and take our best shot at bidding and making a slam contract.  Whether you play the 2/1 system, Standard American or something else, in this lesson we will cover many of the popular slam methods and conventions to propel your partnership to bid and make the coveted 12 trick contract – or more!  In addition to cuebidding controls, we will explore Blackwood and Gerber conventions including 14-30 and 03-14 Roman Keycard Blackwood, the Jacoby 2 Notrump mild slam asking sequence, splinter bids and even discuss Exclusion Blackwood, Blackwood responses with voids, the three possible meanings of a 5 level major suit raise (depending on the context) and more.   And that’s just the beginning!  Here at BridgeHands you’ll have the opportunity to play over 15 Bridge Hands that will go beyond finesses and promotion plays, including lead-directing plays, squeeze plays, analyzing inferences, etc.

So with over 2 hours and 40 minutes of animated video material, you won’t want to miss this lesson, discuss partnership agreements you may have missed, and consider adopting some of our BridgeHands recommendations.  And as always, we have a plethora of  additional Bridge hands here at BridgeHands – we welcome you to view our online archive with hundreds of hours of Bridge videos are always available here:

Index to Videos” on the navigation above or simply click this link.

All audiences – Part 1, Bidding Theory – 29 minutes

Free, Premium an ULTRA audiences – Part 2, Review 15 Question Survey Results – 38 minutes

Premium and ULTRA Members – Part 3 – Serious 3 Notrump, Cuebidding Controls – 36 minute video

Premium and ULTRA Members – Part 4, Jacoby 2 Notrump, Blackwood and more – 22 minute video

Premium and ULTRA Members – Part 5a, Splinter Bids, Blackwood and more – 24 minute video

Premium and ULTRA Members – Part 5b, Splinter Bids, Blackwood and more – 17 minute video

Premium and ULTRA Members – download PowerPoint slides

We hope you enjoy the show!

Please login or register to view this content.

Happy Trails,

BridgeHands

SURVEY for Advanced Lesson #13 – 2/1 Slam Bidding

Greetings Bridge Friends!

We will be producing Advanced Lesson #13 on 2/1 slam bidding during the upcoming (fourth) week of October.  In the interim, we welcome your responses to the attached survey.  Good luck and happy hunting!

Click here to begin the slam bidding survey.

FYI – here’s is a copy of the survey questions and possible responses (click the above link to take the actual survey).

In our upcoming Advanced Video Lesson #13 in addition to our commentary on over 15 slam-oriented hands with animation, we will share everyone’s consolidated survey results along with our feedback.
[Read more...]

Social Lesson #12 – Bridge Suit Promotion, Holdbacks, Endplays, Bath Coup, Frozen Suit, Rule of 7 and more…

Once again it’s time to play in a 3 Notrump contract so declarer’s primary focus is to make extra tricks – primarily using suit promotion and finesses.  You know the drill, promote our long 5 card suit and madly pitch losers in the other hand.  Of course the opponents have the same idea, promote THEIR suit before the declarer does – after all, imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.  And oh, by the way, the opponents have a possible advantage making the first lead.   At any rate, in this episode we will head off on another direction, exploring other declarer play strategies including:

Hold-up plays, end-plays, avoid leading frozen suits, entries/re-entries for repeated finesses, Bath Coup, unblocking and more.

And while we often use the Rule of 7 to disrupt the opponents transportation, we will also witness when NOT to use the rule.   In each of our 7 hands, we will have 2-3 variations to witness the consequence of declarer and opponent lines of play.   So don’t delay, come by BridgeHands and watch 75 minutes of our show, complete with a bit of theory and lots of bidding and animated card play with commentary.

Premium and ULTRA members are welcome to enjoy the three-part lesson segments.   Additionally, be sure to check out the hundreds of hours of videos in our archive by clicking “Index to Videos” on the navigation above or simply click this link.

Part 1 – Declarer play in 3 Notrump contracts – for all audiences – click here to view 22 minutes of video

Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 2 – 25 minutes of video

Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 3 – 30 minutes of video

Happy Trails,

BridgeHands