Polling You 80, Extra 1, 6-5 Minor Suit Strong Jump Shift with Suit Quality, Losing Trick Count

Minor Suit 6-5 Strong Jump Shifts with Suit Quality, Losing Trick Count

Click here if you experience problems responding to the poll

Greetings Bridge Friends,

Welcome to another BridgeHands “Extra” lesson that intercedes our more voluminous, full length episodes.  Again you will have an opportunity to demonstrate your Strong Jump Shift bidding skills as well as some play skills from our prior lessons.

Click here to view Part 1 of the video lesson

Click here to view Part 2 of the video commentary

Click here to view Part 3 of the video commentary

Click here to view Part 4 of the video commentary

In these exercises, again South will hold very distributional hands with a 6-5 suit shape.  So when both long suits are in the MINORS and we are holding six-five shape, should we still “6-5, come alive?”  As we witnessed in our prior lessons, first off we should consider Suit Quality (of 9+), looking for a good Semi Self-Sustaining-Suits or better.   Also recall, we ought to look ahead and ponder whether we are prepared to play in a 3 Notrump contract, push to a 4 level contract in the minor, or go all the way to an 11 trick minor suit game or beyond.  Okay, let’s explore the wild world of minor suit 6-5 hands, moving around a card here and there and measure the impact on the bidding, line of declarer play and available tricks.  Be sure to view the entire video along with the concluding remarks for additional details.

In order to generate many more video lessons, beginning in the year 2013, we plan to frequently produce shorter, concise “no frills” video lessons without our all the detailed hand diagrams and written commentary.  You will find these lessons here on our blog in the Social and Advanced categories under the subheading Bidding and Play (see top of any blog page).   On a less frequent basis, we will continue to generate our popular and more comprehensive “Polling You” series.

Please login to view videos according to your membership permissions:

Click here to view Part 1 of the video lesson

Premium/ULTRA – Click here to view Part 2 of the video commentary

Premium/ULTRA – Click here to view Part 3 of the video commentary

Premium/ULTRA – Click here to view Part 4 of the video commentary

———-

 

Board 3
South Deals
E-W Vul
♠ 3 2
K Q 4 3 2
5 4 3 2
♣ 3 2
♠ 9 8 4
A J 10 9 8
J 9
♣ K 9 6
N
W E
S
♠ Q 7
7 6 5
K Q 10 7 6
♣ A 5 4
♠ A K J 10 6 5

A 8
♣ Q J 10 8 7
West North East South
2 ♣
Pass 2 Pass 3 ♠
Pass 4 ♠ All pass
Trick West North East South
1. W ♠ 4 ♠ 2 ♠ Q ♠ K
2. S ♠ 8 ♠ 3 ♠ 7 ♠ A
3. S ♠ 9 2 7 ♠ J
4. S 8 2 5 ♠ 10
5. S ♣ 6 ♣ 2 ♣ A ♣ J
6. E J 3 K A
7. S ♣ K ♣ 3 ♣ 4 ♣ Q
8. W 9 4 Q 8
9. E 9 5 10 ♠ 5
10. S ♣ 9 3 ♣ 5 ♣ 10
11. S 10 4 6 ♣ 8
12. S J Q 7 ♣ 7
13. S A K 6 ♠ 6
 Poll 80, Extra – Hand 0 (reprint of Hand 7 from Polling You #80)
.
Despite holding a 15 High Card Point hand, with a 6-5 shape and nice honors South aggressively opens 2 Clubs with a 4 Losing Trick Count hand.  While South’s losers may be Spades 1, Diamonds 1, Clubs 2, with less than 4.5 Quick Tricks (3 here) making such a strong opening call may come back to haunt South.  With 2 of the top 3 honors, North questionably responds 2 Hearts (generally it is better to have 8+ total points in hand plus 2 of the top 3 honors in your bid suit).  With a Self-Sustaining Spade suit this South jumps to 3 Spades (4 honors + 6 long = 10) – others might instead bid 2 Spades and rebid 3 Spades with 4 losers.  Regardless, North signs off in 4 Spades.
.
On play, West does not want to lead away from an unprotected Ace nor a Club King to South’s strong hand, thus settling for a trump lead (technically the middle Spade 8 is correct from 3).  On the safe lead of a Spade, East goes up with the Queen that loses to South’s King.  Declarer South clears the Spade suit in 3 tricks with East signaling for a Diamond should partner West again get on the lead.  On the fourth Spade lead, West pitches a Heart without much encouragement since the visible dummy to the left holds King-Queen.  With 2 Club losers, South switches to the ambiguous Club Jack, won by East’s Ace.  East comes back with the Diamond King, won by South’s Ace and West’s Jack (high-low from doubleton).  South continues leading the Club Queen, this time won by West’s King.  West follows with the Diamond 9 to East’s waiting Queen but declarer South ruffs in.  Procrastinating in hopes to squeeze the opponents a bit, South plays another trump before switching back to the Club 10.  Fortunately both opponents followed to the third Club play, this time a lucky 3-3 split (36 percent chance) on a 5-3-3-2 suit distribution.  Yet as it turned out, North’s Heart King-Queen honors were of no help on the mis-fitting hands.

[Read more...]

Polling You #80: Strong Jump Shifts with 6-5: Suit Quality, Self-Sustaining Suits, LTC

Strong Jump Shifts with 6-5: Suit Quality, Self-Sustaining Suits, Losing Trick Count

 

Click here if you experience problems responding to the poll

Greetings Bridge Friends,

Welcome to BridgeHands lesson #80 where you will again have an opportunity to demonstrate your Strong Jump Shift bidding skills as well as some play skills from our prior lessons.

In these exercises, South will hold very distributional hands with a 6-5 shape in the major suits.  As the Bridge cliché goes, when holding six-five, “come alive.”  True, some would rather not spend much time thinking about “freak hands” considering that the six-five combinations only come up 1.4 percent of the time (6-5-1-1 and 6-5-2-0 are each .7 percent). Yet as we’ve seen in our prior lessons, even with so-called freak hands, wise players always consider Suit Quality, Self or Semi Self-Sustaining-Suits, Losing Trick Count and partner’s receptivity considering fit, Cover Cards and honors.   In fact, in our next lesson we will give special consideration when both our long suits are in the minors where we must choose between an 11 trick minor suit game, slam or risking a 3 Notrump game contract.  But for now, let’s focus on 6-5 hand in the major suit.  In both lessons we will evaluate the worth of singleton honors, a side suit doubleton with a primary honor as well as a worthless doubleton.  And as always, we will move around a card here and there, measuring the impact on the bidding, line of declarer play and available tricks.  In fact, most of these hands will require careful declarer and defender play to find the best contract so be forewarned, alert and put on your thinking cap!  Finally, be sure to view our entire video lessons along with the concluding remarks for additional details.

The following link is accessible to all visitors (Members see below):

Click here to view Part 1 of the video lesson (overview and hand 1 of 11)

The following link is accessible to BridgeHands Free, Premium and ULTRA Memberships:

Please login or register to view this content.

The following links are accessible by those subscribing to BridgeHands Premium Membership:
Please login or register to view this content.

Recall in our prior lessons the criteria for our advanced hand evaluation methods:

Highlights – Losing Trick Count and Cover Cards

- Prerequisite: 8+ card trump fit or self-sustaining suit
- Ace-King-Queen are not losers in 3+ card suits (except Q x x in a side suit)
- Generally, fourth card and beyond are not losers
- LTC – CC equals losers, as 6 LTC – 3 CC = 3 losers (major suit game)
- Extras: 5+4 trump, working Queens and Jacks, shortness

Trump Fit or Self-Sustaining Suit

  1. LTC is normally a 5-3 or longer major suit fit
  2. Occasionally one player has a long, strong suit
  3. We need an independent method to determine the suit quality and LTC when one player has a long, strong suit
  4. When evaluating Suit Quality, we generally assume partner may hold a singleton to ascertain the losers (LTC) in a long suit
  5. Adjust the above when partner bids Notrump, indicating 2+ card support

Self-Sustaining Suit and Suit Quality

  1. Limited to 1 loser when partner holds a singleton
  2. Reserved for situations when a player holds a long, strong suit
  3. Suit Quality equals the number of useful honors plus the suit length
  4. Self-Sustaining Suit usually equals a Suit Quality of 10 or more, lose 0-1 tricks
  5. Semi Self-Sustaining Suit equals a Suit Quality of 9, lose 1-2 tricks

Please refer to our Lessons 76 – 79 for more on LTC and Cover Card hand evaluation.

 Hand 1 (variation of Eddie Kantar hand 10)

Board 3
South Deals
E-W Vul
♠ K 10
9 8 4
A 10 6 5 3 2
♣ Q 8
♠ 9 2
K 3 2
9 4
♣ A K 9 4 3 2
N
W E
S
♠ 7 6 5
A 10
Q J 8 7
♣ J 10 7 5
♠ A Q J 8 4 3
Q J 7 6 5
K
♣ 6
West North East South
1 ♠
Pass 1 N Pass 3
Pass 3 ♠ Pass 4 ♠
All pass
Trick West North East South
1. W ♣ A ♣ 8 ♣ 5 ♣ 6
2. W ♣ K ♣ Q ♣ 7 ♠ 3
3. S 9 2 8 K
4. S ♠ 9 ♠ K ♠ 5 ♠ 4
5. N 4 A 7 5
6. N K 9 10 J
7. W ♠ 2 ♠ 10 ♠ 6 ♠ J
8. S 2 4 A Q
9. E ♣ 2 3 ♣ J ♠ 8
10. S ♣ 3 5 ♠ 7 ♠ A
11. S 3 8 ♣ 10 ♠ Q
12. S ♣ 4 6 J 7
13. S ♣ 9 10 Q 6

 

 

 Initially South’s hand appears to have questionable values with 13 High Card Points and a singleton Diamond King.  Now let’s check out South’s Suit Quality – 6 long plus 3 good honors equals 9, a Semi Self-Sustaining suit that often will not have more than 1 loser even when partner holds a singleton (assuming a simple finesse works).  So despite not knowing if the partnership have a trump fit, with a Semi Self-Sustaining Suit South can begin counting Losing Trick Count: Spades 1, Hearts 2-3, Diamonds 0-1, Clubs 1.  Thus South begins bidding 1 Spade, planning to make a forcing Strong Jump Shift if partner makes a bid.  With adverse vulnerability, despite a good 6 card Club suit holding a meager 10 HCP it’s too much of a stretch for West to make a 2 Club overcall.  North is willing to signoff in 1 Notrump call with 9 HCP, not quite enough to make a 2 Diamond call – also a stretch to count distribution points with Ace and 5 mediocre others.  Next South makes a 3 Heart SJS with a 5 Losing Trick Count.  Unsure of whether partner South holds 4 or 5 Hearts, North accepts a 4 Spade game.
.
West leads from the protected Club Ace to survey the dummy and without much thought, East plays the 5.  Unclear of a better continuance and noting the dummy’s Queen doubleton, West proceeds with the Club King which declarer ruffs.  South wins the singleton Diamond King and plays a low Spade to dummy’s King.  While unnecessary, South could not resist the urge to win the Diamond Ace and pitch a Heart – regardless, South can only lose two Hearts so a pitch is irrelevant.   Questionably switching to a Heart 9 to try a finesse in declarer’s closed hand, East innocently covers with the 10, to South’s Jack and West’s King (an error by East as we shall later see).   West returns a Spade to North’s 10 with South overtaking with the trump Jack, pulling trump and winning the remainder of the tricks to make game.  Let’s try again – both sides have made some play errors on this time.

 

[Read more...]

Polling You # 79, Extra #3 Strong Jump Shifts, Suit Quality, Losing Trick Count, Cover Cards

Strong Jump Shifts, Suit Quality, Losing Trick Count

Click here if you have problems viewing the Poll

Greetings Bridge Friends,

Welcome to BridgeHands third “Extra” lesson that intercedes our more voluminous, full length episodes. Again you will have an opportunity to demonstrate your Strong Jump Shift bidding skills as well as some play skills from our prior lessons.

Premium/ULTRA – Click to view video – Polling You 79 Extra 3, Strong Jump Shift

Premium/ULTRA – Click to view video – Polling You 79 Extra 3 – Part 2, Strong Jump Shift

In these exercises, South will hold strong two-suited hands with 5 great Spades, 5 Clubs and one or more top honor along with a red suit stiff Ace and a King doubleton.   While North will only hold a small Spade singleton, the good news is that partner will also have 5 Clubs and an assortment of 7-8 High Card Point combinations.     As we know, the three primary ways to make additional tricks are ruffs, promotions and finesses.    Also, when in slam with a two-suiter and a secondary fit, it’s not uncommon for the declarer to ruff out a 5 card suit with a 5-1 fit, anticipating the opponents hold a 4-3 pattern in the suit (62 percent odds).  In these exercises, we will explore various bidding and play combinations.  We will also move a few cards here and there to see the impact of bidding and play.   Be sure to view the entire video along with the concluding remarks for additional details.

Polling You #79 Extra 3a

Board 3
South Deals
E-W Vul
♠ 2
Q 2
J 5 4 3 2
♣ K Q 4 3 2
♠ K 10 6 5
A J 10 6
K Q 10 9 6
♣ —
N
W E
S
♠ 8 4 3
9 8 5 4 3
8 7
♣ 10 9 5
♠ A Q J 9 7
K 7
A
♣ A J 8 7 6
West North East South
1 ♠
2 Pass Pass 3 ♣
Pass 3 Pass 3 N
Pass 4 ♣ Pass 4
Pass 5 ♣ Pass 6 ♣
All pass
Trick West North East South
1. W K 2 8 A
2. S 6 ♣ 2 ♣ 5 ♣ A
3. S ♠ 5 ♠ 2 ♠ 3 ♠ A
4. S ♠ 6 ♣ 3 ♠ 4 ♠ Q
5. N A 2 3 K
6. W J Q 4 7
7. N 6 3 7 ♣ 6
8. S ♠ 10 ♣ 4 ♠ 8 ♠ 7
9. N 9 4 5 ♣ 7
10. S ♠ K ♣ Q 8 ♠ 9
11. N 10 ♣ K ♣ 9 ♣ 8
12. N Q 5 9 ♣ J
13. S 10 J ♣ 10 ♠ J

South holds a black hand with a 5=2=1=5 shape with 19 High Card Points plus a few more length points.   And while South would like to immediately begin counting Losing Trick Count, the Suit Quality in Spade is only 8, 5 long plus 3 in length (we need a SQ of 9 or more).  Many West’s will overcall 2 Diamonds despite the vulnerability.   South North pass after interference or respond 1 Notrump with West bidding, in either situation South will rebid 3 Clubs.   Now North should come alive cuebidding 3 Diamonds to show interest in game.  South assumes the cuebid asks for a stopper in West’s Diamond suit and bids 3 Notrump.   Yet with North’s 1=2=5=5 shape the auction is pulled to 4 Clubs.   With North’s change-up, South cuebids 4 Hearts to show a second round control (Heart King).  With no other controls to show, North rebids 5 Clubs and South ventures a 6 Club slam contract.

On play West begins with the Diamond King, top of broken sequence to South’s Ace.  South surveys the hands, counting 1 Heart loser and potentially a Spade loser.   Playing the Club Ace West shows out so South cashes the Spade Ace and ruffs the Spade Queen in dummy (West wisely ducks the gambit).  Without much thought, South quickly plays a low Heart to West’s Ace (more on this on hand 3b).  Unwilling to continue Diamonds with 5-5 between West and dummy North, West returns a Heart to North’s Queen.  South ruffs a Club in hand, followed a Club ruff in dummy.   After another Diamond ruff in hand and another Spade ruff in dummy, South is happy to see the suit will break 4-3, a 62 percent chance.  Using the required Diamond ruff to return to hand, South can now play their final Club trump however East has one remaining Club to set the contract by one trick.   In retrospect, we can see that a flawed declarer play caused South to go down one trick.  Let’s try another like of play in 3b.

The remainder of this lesson (and associated videos) is available for Premium and ULTRA members.

Please login or register to view this content.

Click to view video – Polling You 79 Extra 3, Strong Jump Shift

Click to view video – Polling You 79 Extra 3 – Part 2, Strong Jump Shift

Download hand diagram and commentary files

 

Polling You #79, Extra #3b

Board 3
South Deals
E-W Vul
♠ 2
Q 2
J 5 4 3 2
♣ K Q 4 3 2
♠ K 10 6 5
A J 10 6
K Q 10 9 6
♣ —
N
W E
S
♠ 8 4 3
9 8 5 4 3
8 7
♣ 10 9 5
♠ A Q J 9 7
K 7
A
♣ A J 8 7 6
West North East South
1 ♠
2 Pass Pass 3 ♣
Pass 3 Pass 3 N
Pass 4 ♣ Pass 4
Pass 5 ♣ Pass 6 ♣
All pass
Trick West North East South
1. W K 2 8 A
2. S 6 ♣ 2 ♣ 5 ♣ A
3. S ♠ 5 ♠ 2 ♠ 3 ♠ A
4. S ♠ 6 ♣ 3 ♠ 4 ♠ Q
5. N A Q 3 7
6. W J 2 4 K
7. S ♠ 10 ♣ 4 ♠ 8 ♠ 7
8. N 6 ♣ K ♣ 9 ♣ 6
9. N 9 3 7 ♣ 7
10. S ♠ K ♣ Q 5 ♠ 9
11. N 10 4 8 ♣ 8
12. S 10 5 ♣ 10 ♣ J
13. S Q J 9 ♠ J

South holds a black hand with a 5=2=1=5 shape with 19 High Card Points plus a few more length points.   And while South would like to immediately begin counting Losing Trick Count, the Suit Quality in Spade is only 8, 5 long plus 3 in length (we need a SQ of 9 or more).  Many West’s will overcall 2 Diamonds despite the vulnerability.   South North pass after interference or respond 1 Notrump with West bidding, in either situation South will rebid 3 Clubs.   Now North should come alive cuebidding 3 Diamonds to show interest in game.  South assumes the cuebid asks for a stopper in West’s Diamond suit and bids 3 Notrump.   Yet with North’s 1=2=5=5 shape the auction is pulled to 4 Clubs.   With North’s change-up, South cuebids 4 Hearts to show a second round control (Heart King).  With no other controls to show, North rebids 5 Clubs and South ventures a 6 Club slam contract.

Play through 4 continues as before.  On play West begins with the Diamond King, top of broken sequence to South’s Ace.  South surveys the hands, counting 1 Heart loser and potentially a Spade loser.   Playing the Club Ace West shows out show South cashes the Spade Ace and ruffs the Spade Queen in dummy (West wisely ducks the gambit).   This time South carefully considers play, realizing despite holding a huge hand play requires a Heart entry to the hand.  So the Heart Queen is called from North to West’s Ace, returning a Heart to South’s King.  Now South can win the two remaining Clubs from East’s hand before ruffing a Spade which West must play the final Spade King.  So after ruffing a Diamond in hand, South’s fifth Spade is now a winner to make the 12 trick slam.  Looking at the 5-1 Spade suit, the opponents indeed Spades split 4-3 following the 62 percent odds.

[Read more...]

Polling You # 79, Extra #2 Strong Jump Shifts, Suit Quality, Losing Trick Count, Cover Cards

Strong Jump Shifts, Suit Quality, Losing Trick Count

.
Click here if you have problems viewing the Poll

Greetings Bridge Friends,

Welcome to  BridgeHands second “Extra” lesson that intercedes our more voluminous, full length episodes.  Again you will have an opportunity to demonstrate your Strong Jump Shift bidding skills as well as some play skills from our prior lessons.

Polling You #79 Extra 2

Board 3
South Deals
E-W Vul
♠ 2
Q J 2
Q 9 7 6 5
♣ K 7 6 2
♠ K 9 6 5
10 9 8 3
10 8 4 3
♣ 9
N
W E
S
♠ 7 4 3
K 7 6 5 4
A
♣ Q 5 4 3
♠ A Q J 10 8
A
K J 2
♣ A J 10 8

 

For better or worse, after South makes a Strong Jump Shift to 3 Clubs the partners wind up playing in a 6 Club contract.

Without looking at the hands, what West card do you suppose would be the killing lead?  Based on the bidding, would East’s play on the first make any difference?  If North held another primary honor instead of the working secondary honors, would that significantly affect their chances to make slam?  And finally, even with perfect “double-dummy” declarer play, if we exchanged the East-West trumps would that influence the outcome?   Inquiring minds must know! [Read more...]

Polling You # 79, Extra #1 Strong Jump Shifts, Suit Quality, Losing Trick Count, Cover Cards

Polling You # 79, Extra #1 Strong Jump Shifts, Suit Quality, Losing Trick Count, Cover Cards

(Click here if you are having problems accessing the poll)

Greetings Bridge Friends,

With our last five Polling You episodes running close to 3 hours of video each with over a dozen hands, BridgeHands will begin a trial, offering interim “Extra” lessons on a regular basis between our pithy, full length episodes.

Polling You #79 Extra 1a

♠ A 5 4
Q 9 7 2
K J
♣ K 7 6 3
♠ —


♣ —
N
W E
S
♠ —


♣ —
♠ K Q 10 9 8 6
A 4
Q 10
♣ A Q 2

After North opens 1 Club, as you will recall from our lesson on Suit Quality and Losing Trick Count, South should consider making a Strong Jump Shift.  In this extra episode we will explore the follow-up bidding, defense and learn how to boost your odds when faced with a challenging contract.   After play, we will re-arrange the East-West hands to ensure you are following the best line of declarer play with bad splits.

The remainder of this lesson (and associated videos) is available for Premium and ULTRA members.

Please login or register to view this content.

Thank you for tuning in to our first extra interim Polling You lesson.   BridgeHands appreciates your interest and support.

Happy Bridge Trails,

BridgeHands

Polling You # 79, Strong Jump Shifts, Suit Quality, Losing Trick Count, Cover Cards

Strong Jump Shifts: Suit Quality, Self-Sustaining Suits, Losing Trick Count

 

Click here if you experience problems responding to the poll

Greetings Bridge Friends,

Special Note: BridgeHands is committed to keep up with the latest internet industry practices, including the ability to view our videos on mobile and portable devices.  Accordingly, for videos going forward we will be supporting the new “HTML 5″ format.  This means for Polling You episodes #79 and beyond, you can watch our videos on your iPhone, iPad, Android or similar devices supporting the latest video standards.

Marching forward with our lessons on Losing Trick Count/Cover Cards and Self-Sustaining Suits/Suit Quality, it’s time to delve into bidding where we have strong hands with unbalanced shape.  Sure, we all love picking up a hand with nearly half the points in the deck, yet it can be a bidding challenge when holding a shapely hand with most of the points in two suits.  So what’s a player to do?  Let’s consider how the strong jump shift can help the opener eloquently describe their hand and drive towards a game contract.  But first, we have a bit of sad news. While our recent three lessons Losing Trick Count and Cover Cards has served us well, we cannot always use LTC/CC hand evaluation criteria to immediately count our winners and losers.  Of course as we’ve previously seen, when you do hold a semi self-sustaining suit then by all means go right ahead and begin using LTC (but use caution when both are minor suits).

The following link is accessible to all visitors (Members see below):

Click here to view Teaser for Non-Members in standard resolution (800×450)

 

The following links are accessible by those subscribing to BridgeHands Premium Membership:
Please login or register to view this content.
 Please login or register to view this content.

Let’s take a moment for a brief review:

Highlights – Losing Trick Count and Cover Cards

-         Prerequisite: 8+ card trump fit or self-sustaining suit
-         Ace-King-Queen are not losers in 3+ card suits (except Q x x in a side suit)
-         Generally, fourth card and beyond are not losers
-         LTC – CC equals losers, as 6 LTC – 3 CC = 3 losers (major suit game)
-         Extras: 5+4 trump, working Queens and Jacks, shortness

Trump Fit or Self-Sustaining Suit

  1. LTC is normally a 5-3 or longer major suit fit
  2. Occasionally one player has a long, strong suit
  3. We need an independent method to determine the suit quality and LTC when one player has a long, strong suit
  4. When evaluating Suit Quality, we generally assume partner may hold a singleton to ascertain the losers (LTC) in a long suit
  5. Adjust the above when partner bids Notrump, indicating 2+ card support

Self-Sustaining Suit and Suit Quality

  1. Limited to 1 loser when partner holds a singleton
  2. Reserved for situations when a player holds a long, strong suit
  3. Suit Quality equals the number of useful honors plus the suit length
  4. Self-Sustaining Suit usually equals a Suit Quality of 10 or more, lose 0-1 tricks
  5. Semi Self-Sustaining Suit equals a Suit Quality of 9, lose 1-2 tricks

Self-Sustaining Suits – Examples where SQ = 10

A K Q x x x x  = 3+ honors + 7 length = 10+
A Q x x x x x x = 2 honors = 8 length = 10
A K Q J x = 4+ honors + 5 length = 9+
K Q J 10 x x = 4 honors (without Ace) + 6 length = 10
Q J 10 9 x x x = 3 honors + 7 length = 10ish (discount 1 missing Ace and King)
J 10 9 8 x x x x = No! Inadequate with primary honors and Queen

Semi Self-Sustaining Suits – Examples where SQ = 9

A Q x x x x x = 2 honors + 7 length = 9
K Q J x x x = 3 honors + 6 length = 9
Q J 10 9 x x = 3 honors + 6 length = 9ish (body card 9 is helpful)
A K Q x x x = 3+ honors + 6 length = 9+ (count extra for top 3 honors in long suit)

Please refer to our Lessons 76 – 78 for more on LTC and Cover Card hand evaluation.

[Read more...]

Polling You # 78, Preempts and Suit Quality, Losing Trick Count, Cover Cards

Preempts:  Weak 2 Bids, Suit Quality, Self-Sustaining Suits and more

.

Click here if you experience problems responding to the poll

Greetings Bridge Friends,

Welcome back to Part 3 and 4 of our continuing preemptive bidding journey.  While at first look, making a preemptive bid and response looks deceptively simple.  Yes, right you are on both accounts!  In this episode we  delve deeper into Suit Quality, Self-Sustaining Suits, Losing Trick Count, Cover Cards and how to bid when its the opponents who made a pesky 2 or 3 level preemptive bid.

As we saw in the prior section, preemptive styles come in three forms:
aggressively hot preemptors willing to take more risks, conservatively mild preemptors requiring solid values and disciplined weak bidders bidding somewhere in between.  When it comes to considering honors in their long suit, aggressive types are likely to get by with 4 of the top 6 (including the 9 spot), conservative preemptors look for 2 of the top 3 honors and disciplined are probably okay preempting 3 of the top 5.  Since it is imperative to have solid partnership agreements as a prerequisite to finding the best contracts, it seems prudent to spend some time discussing partnership bidding styles in different situations.

Our aggressive preemptors tend not to worry as much about vulnerability compared to a conservative bidder.  Same when it comes to seat position – aggressive types are less concerned preempting with so-so values in the second seat while conservative types are sensitive to the fact the preempt has a 50-50 chance to challenge partner’s strong hand.  And our aggressive bidder is likely to be friskier when holding a long Spade suit, knowing the opponents have to overcall at the next higher bidding level to compete.
The following link is accessible to all visitors (Members see below):

Click here to view Teaser of Part 3 video commentary in standard resolution (800×450)

Click here to view Teaser of Part 3 video commentary in high resolution (1280×720)

The following link is accessible by those subscribing to BridgeHands  Free Membership (Premium and Ultra Members please proceed to the next section):

Click here to view Teaser of Part 4 video commentary in standard resolution (800×450)

Click here to view Teaser of Part 4 video commentary in high resolution (1280×720)

The following links are accessible by those subscribing to BridgeHands Premium Membership:
Click here to view Part 3 video commentary in standard resolution (800×450)
Click here to view Part 3b video commentary in standard resolution (800×450)
Click here to view Part 3c video commentary in standard resolution (800×450)
Click here to view Part 3d video commentary in standard resolution (800×450)
Click here to view Part 4 video commentary in standard resolution (800×450)

Click here to view Part 4b video commentary in standard resolution (800×450)
Click here to view Part 4e video commentary in standard resolution (800×450)

The following links are accessible by those subscribing to BridgeHands ULTRA Membership:

Click here to view Part 3 video commentary in high resolution (1280×720)
Click here to view Part 3b video commentary in high resolution (1280×720)
Click here to view Part 3c video commentary in high resolution (1280×720)
Click here to view Part 3d video commentary in high resolution (1280×720)
Click here to view Part 4 video commentary in high resolution (1280×720)

Click here to view Part 4b video commentary in high resolution (1280×720)
Click here to view Part 4e video commentary in high resolution (1280×720)

———-

Greetings Bridge Friends,

Welcome back to Part 3 and 4 of our continuing preemptive bidding journey.  While at first look, making a preemptive bid and response looks deceptively simple.  Yes, right you are on both accounts!  In this episode we  delve deeper into Suit Quality, Self-Sustaining Suits, Losing Trick Count, Cover Cards and how to bid when its the opponents who made a pesky 2 or 3 level preemptive bid.

As we saw in the prior section, preemptive styles come in three forms:
aggressively hot preemptors willing to take more risks, conservatively mild preemptors requiring solid values and disciplined weak bidders bidding somewhere in between.  When it comes to considering honors in their long suit, aggressive types are likely to get by with 4 of the top 6 (including the 9 spot), conservative preemptors look for 2 of the top 3 honors and disciplined are probably okay preempting 3 of the top 5.  Since it is imperative to have solid partnership agreements as a prerequisite to finding the best contracts, it seems prudent to spend some time discussing partnership bidding styles in different situations.

Our aggressive preemptors tend not to worry as much about vulnerability compared to a conservative bidder.  Same when it comes to seat position – aggressive types are less concerned preempting with so-so values in the second seat while conservative types are sensitive to the fact the preempt has a 50-50 chance to challenge partner’s strong hand.  And our aggressive bidder is likely to be friskier when holding a long Spade suit, knowing the opponents have to overcall at the next higher bidding level to compete.
The following link is accessible to all visitors (Members see below):
Click here to view Teaser of Part 3 video commentary in standard resolution (800×450)

Click here to view Teaser of Part 3 video commentary in high resolution (1280×720)

The following link is accessible by those subscribing to BridgeHands  Free Membership (Premium and Ultra Members please proceed to the next section):

Click here to view Teaser of Part 4 video commentary in standard resolution (800×450)
Click here to view Teaser of Part 4 video commentary in high resolution (1280×720)
\

The following links are accessible by those subscribing to BridgeHands Premium Membership:
Click here to view Part 3 video commentary in standard resolution (800×450)
Click here to view Part 3b video commentary in standard resolution (800×450)
Click here to view Part 3c video commentary in standard resolution (800×450)
Click here to view Part 3d video commentary in standard resolution (800×450)
Click here to view Part 4 video commentary in standard resolution (800×450)

Click here to view Part 4b video commentary in standard resolution (800×450)
Click here to view Part 4e video commentary in standard resolution (800×450)

The following links are accessible by those subscribing to BridgeHands ULTRA Membership:

Click here to view Part 3 video commentary in high resolution (1280×720)
Click here to view Part 3b video commentary in high resolution (1280×720)
Click here to view Part 3c video commentary in high resolution (1280×720)
Click here to view Part 3d video commentary in high resolution (1280×720)
Click here to view Part 4 video commentary in high resolution (1280×720)

Click here to view Part 4b video commentary in high resolution (1280×720)
Click here to view Part 4e video commentary in high resolution (1280×720)

[Read more...]

Polling You # 77, Preempts and Suit Quality, Losing Trick Count, Cover Cards

.

Click here if you have problems viewing the Poll.

——-
In our continuing series on Losing Trick Count/Cover Cards and Self-Sustaining Suits/Suit Quality, we will take a look at everyone’s favorite bid, the beloved preempt.  After all, what’s not to love about making an obstructive bid with a long suit with less than an opening hand, right?   Well, like everything in our Bridge bidding arsenal there’s a time and a place for every bid under heaven.  Unfortunately, without partnership agreements and following a disciplined approach, you and your partner’s care and feeding of preemptive bids may or may not work in your favor.   So let’s see how the above mentioned tools can improve our Bridge prowess.
The following link is accessible to all visitors (Members see below):
The following link is accessible by those subscribing to BridgeHands  Free and Premium Membership:

The following links are accessible by those subscribing to BridgeHands ULTRA Membership:
Click here to view Part 1 of the video commentary in high resolution
Click here to view Part 1b of the video bidding and play in high resolution
Click here to view Part 2 of the video commentary in high resolution

Click here to view Part 2b of the video bidding and play in high resolution


Review – Losing Trick Count and Cover Cards

-         Prerequisite: 8+ card trump fit or self-sustaining suit

-         Ace-King-Queen are not losers in 3+ card suits

-         Generally, fourth card and beyond are not losers

-         LTC – CC equals losers, as 6 LTC – 3 CC = 3 losers (major suit game)

-         Extras: 5+4 trump, working Queens and Jacks, shortness

[Read more...]

Polling You # 76, Suit Quality, Losing Trick Count, Cover Cards

.

Click here if you have problems viewing the Poll.
——-
The following link is accessible to all visitors (Members see below):
Click here to view Part 1 of the video commentary in standard resolution
Click here to view Part 1 of the video commentary in low resolution



>The following link is accessible by those subscribing to BridgeHands  Free Membership:
Click here to view Part 2 of our video commentary in standard resolution
The following links are accessible by those subscribing to BridgeHands  Premium Membership:

Click here to view Part 3 of our video commentary in standard resolution

Click here to view Part 3b of our video commentary in standard resolution

The following links are accessible by those subscribing to BridgeHands ULTRA Membership:

Click here to view Part 2 of our video commentary in HIGH resolution

Click here to view Part 3 of our video commentary in HIGH resolution

Click here to view Part 3b of our video commentary in HIGH resolution


Now that we’ve mastered the basics of Help Suit Game Tries using the benefits of Losing Trick Count and Cover Card theory, let’s hone our skills adding some more methods to our hand evaluation and bidding arsenal.  In segment 3b of Polling You #76, we will discover an additional use of LTC where we have a self-sustaining suit.

 As you’ll recall, the Help Suit Game Try is an excellent method for opener to explore game after the partnership find a trump fit (1S – 2S…  or 1H – 2H…).   So when responder shows a major suit fit with a minimum hand, opener can make a Help Suit Game Try with extras – a 6 Losing Trick Count hand.

Basics of Losing Trick Count:

1.      Prerequisite: partnership must find a 8+ card suit

2.     Considering the top three cards in a suit, Aces, Kings and non-isolated Queens are not losers

3.     Aces and voids are not losers, nor are solid top holdings like Ace-King, Ace-King-Queen…

4.     Ace-doubleton, King-doubleton, Ace-King third or a singleton counts for 1 loser

5.     Ace-third, King-third, and doubletons count 2 losers (perhaps Queen-third in an unsupported side suit)

6.     Provided the hand has entries, the maximum losers in a suit is limited to three; longer suits, including side suits longer than three cards are considered promotable tricks regardless of the honor holdings of the first three cards

Losers = 0:  A, AK, AKQ[x…], Void –
Losers = 1:  Ax, AKx[x…], KQ, Kx, KQx[x…], x
Losers = 2: Axx[x…], Kxx[x…], Qx, xx, and Qxx[x…] (actually 2.5)

Later we will make refinements to our LTC hand evaluation guide.

Losing Trick Count – High Card Point “Decoder” (estimates)

10 LTC = 3-5 HCP = Sub-Minimum = 1 Cover Card

  9 LTC = 6-9 HCP = Responder Minimum = 2 Cover Cards

  8 LTC = 10-12 HCP = Responder Medium/Invitational = 3 Cover Cards

  7 LTC = 13-15 HCP = Opener Minimum = 4 Cover Cards

  6 LTC = 16-18 HCP = Opener Maximum = 5 Cover Cards

So if opener has a 6 LTC hand and rebids again at the 3 level, responder should accept the game try with 3 Cover Cards.  And you’ll recall Cover Cards are typically  Aces and Kings.  With good trump support, count additional “covers” for: Singletons = 1, Void = 2.  We can also count “covers” for working side suit Queens and Jacks.  A fourth trump, especially without a trump honor, counts as a full cover card.

After responder’s 2H/S signoff bid, with 6 LTC opener rebids a help suit with 2+ losers, bidding “up the line” by suit rank.  With spread losers in the minors and perhaps Hearts, opener may rebid 2 Notrump with a flattish 5-3-3-2 shape.

With 2.5-3 cover cards, responder should accept openers help suit game try, particularly with useful honors or shortness in openers help suit.   But even when responder has little help in openers asking suit, with 2+ covers responder can try a “counter suit” game try (also up the line but not above agreed upon suit).   If opener finds responders counter suit helpful, now opener can rebid game.  In instances where responder holds a flat 4-3-3-3 shaped hand, with 2.5 – 3 cover cards, responder may choose to rebid 3 Notrump despite the 5-3 major suit fit.  With a flattish 5-3-3-2 hand and balanced honors, opener may accept the 3 Notrump gambit knowing responder has no ruffing power.

[Read more...]

Polling You # 75, Losing Trick Count and Cover Cards

Click the above Title/Heading to view entire article & comments

Losing Trick Count and Cover Card Evaluation
.

.

——-
The following link is accessible to all visitors:
Click here to view Part 1 of the video commentary
The following link is accessible by those subscribing to BridgeHands  Free Membership:
The following links are accessible by those subscribing to BridgeHands  Premium and ULTRA Membership:
Hand evaluation – the foundation of solid Bridge bidding and prerequisite to successfully making your contract during play.  Early in our career we are taught the value of High Card Points beginning with the 4-3-2-1 approach that focuses on one’s honor holding.  In time we learn the value of long suits, useful to develop extra tricks through promotion plays.  Conversely, when we have good trump support for partner and a short side suit, again our hand can generate extra tricks.  In this lesson we will build on the basics of hand evaluation, taking a look at “The Law of Total Tricks” and working our way up to the benefits of Losing Trick Count hand evaluation.

Aside from obstructive preempts and competing in partscore contracts, bidding is all about making contracts and knowing when to stop short, lacking values.  And to make our contracts requires accurate partnership bidding.  Sound bidding is predicated on good hand evaluation and solid partnership communication skills.  Of course, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and sound bidding is predicated on the ability of partnership hands to make tricks.

As always, tricks made during play is based three elements: Power, Promotion, and in the case of suit contracts, Ruffing

Power: Reflecting on hand evaluation, we begin counting our High Card Points.

Promotion: Next we consider the shape of our hand, adding extras for a “good” long suit headed by top honors – a promotable trump or side suit to gain extra tricks during declarer play.

Ruffing: Side suit shortness, especially in the dummy also can help generate extra tricks provided we have enough trump to gain ruffing tricks as declarer.

Speaking of honors, presents come in several sizes:

  1. Primary honors – Aces and Kings are usually more desirable than Queens and Jacks, especially at higher level contracts.
  2. Working honors – Clustering honors in fewer suits can earn extra tricks through finessing during declarer play.
  3. Picking up a self-sustaining suit is an extra special present – everyone loves to pick up a long, strong suit that is guaranteed not to lose more than one trick… even when partner only holds a worthless singleton.  Even a semi self-sustaining suit with two losers in an unsupported suit makes a nice gift.  Shortly, we will get into more details on this concept.

While counting 1 extra point for each card beyond the first four trump works well for 5 and six card suits, with 7+ card suit and two suited hands length point valuation undervalues the worth of the hand.  Certainly a 12 card suit heading missing the Ace is worth more than 6 (K=3, Q=2, J=1) plus 8 points.  Despite its 14 point valuation, clearly we can see the hand will take 11 tricks even when partner has a bust hand.

Speaking of the more garden variety partnership fits, in Bridge we always look forward to finding a “golden fit” with partner, a major suit with 8+ combined length that usually generates at least 4 tricks in the trump suit.

[Read more...]