After several episodes on major suit bidding, let’s take a break and turn our attention to declarer play. Early in our Bridge career we learned the three principal ways to earn extra tricks: ruffing, finessing and suit promotion. We will start of this series of lesson episodes focusing on 3 Notrump contracts – after all, everyone loves making a game bonus! Fair enough, so that narrows our play strategies to promotion plays and finessing.
As soon as the Left Hand Opponent faces their opening lead, it’s time for our fearless declarer to put on their thinking cap and orchestrate their aggregate resources to seize nine or more tricks. While 25-26 points is usually enough to make our beloved 3 Notrump beloved game contract, the pesky opponents are making plans of their own to set the contract. They too, would love to promote their long suit and/or garner enough finesses to make 5+ tricks and set declarer’s contract.
In this lesson we will highlight how to evaluate our winners and losers, differentiate slow and fast tricks, evaluate the probabilities/odds of common play tactics based on suit splits and outstanding High Card Points, experience the benefits of hold-back plays, witness a sleepy defender and the consequence of not “splitting honors,” paying careful attention to maintaining entries into distant hand and more.
We will start off slowly bidding and playing an easily attainable contract with 30-31 points between the dummy and declarer hand (hopefully not exploring slam which requires 33 points). Then over the next 10 hands the declarer will have to earn their keep, playing an onslaught of 25-26 point hands. And while they may look similar and in some cases be the same, the defenders hands will change and require varying tactics to bring home the contract. Better yet, we will witness some defender plays offering “gifts” during errant play – better to watch the transgressions here before heading to the table with your partner! And as always, we will entertain you with hand variations to underscore valuation with illustrative bidding examples with lots variations including animated card play and commentary. Of course here at BridgeHands, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and as always you’ll see lots of action playing hands at the table!
So sit right up and tune in to our BridgeHands videos!
Premium and ULTRA members are welcome to enjoy the three-part lesson segments (part 2 is 46 minutes, split into Part 2a and 2b). 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.