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BridgeHands eMagazine Newsletter
Newcomer & Novice: eMagazine #0 December 2005


In this issue


Do it with Finesse

Navigating BridgeHands

Hand Evaluation

Know Thy Law - Shuffling

Jargon - The opponents have the bathtub on their side!



Do it with Finesse

As declarer, we have three basic strategies to maximize our tricks: finesse, promotion, and ruffing. Let’s look at the finesse this month. First, be aware that depending on the lay of the cards, trying a finesse may not be the best strategy – perhaps promoting a side suit, ruffing and cross-ruffing, or putting the opponent in the lead may be more profitable. Yet when we choose to finesse, we still have several options: which way, when (timing), what card to lead (including sequences), how many tricks we should risk, etc.

1. Finesse West's K

A Q J 3 2

10 5 4

2. Repeat finesse West's J then K

A Q 10 3 2

6 5 4

3. Win A, then finesse Q

A 3 2

Q 5 4

4. Repeat finesse K or Q

A J 10 [x...]

4 3 2

5. Repeated finesse, lead Q

A 9 4

Q J 10

6. Finesse lower first, to 10

K J 10

4 3 2


7. Finesse lower first, to 9

A J 9

4 3 2

See finesse at BridgeHands to get started with several useful tactics.

Of course, there's a lot more to finesses for the serious student. Care to get a good book on finessing? Here's a few favorites: Bridge For Dummies, Fun Way to Serious Bridge, How to Play a Bridge Hands Also see BridgeHands Books on Finesses

Learn more about the Finesse



  Dear Bridge Friend,

Welcome to our introductory issue of BridgeHands Newsletter for Newcomers and Novice Bridge Players. While this issue will highlight features of the BridgeHands website, we promise to include the type of interesting Bridge information you'll find in future issues.

If you received this EMAIL from a friend and also wish to subscribe to BridgeHands, click here to signup.


  • Navigating BridgeHands

    It all begins at BridgeHands home page, our master navigation page. While navigation access to major BridgeHands sections is available is at the top of each BridgeHands webpage, the home page includes many sub-links found in those sections. Let’s take a quick look at our sections:

    Encyclopedia – thousands of Bridge terms organized alphabetically by category, including:

    Duplicate, Bidding, General, Play, Conventions, Jargon, Rubber. Terms also include a “star” proficiency rating to the left of each term: 1 – Newcomer, 2 – Novice, 3 – Intermediate, 4 – Advanced

    eMagazine – provides access to our subscription signup page and access to our archives.

    Laws – curious about a Bridge ruling? In addition to all the Contract/Rubber and Duplicate Laws, you will enjoy our complete reference library with lots of indices and cross-references.

    Products – check out interesting products offered by other Bridge vendors: Books, Software, flash cards, pamphlets, videos, and magazines

    Services – we offer BridgeHands Question & Answer EMAIL support, this free monthly eMagazine, and online Bridge webpage hosting for players, teachers, professionals, cruise directors, and Clubs.

    Reviews – check out our awesome index and details of over 1,500 Bridge books, categorized by New Books, Book Name, Bridge Topic, Author, Favorites, Target Audience (proficiency), and Bridge Category! We have a similar section for Bridge cruise ships and plan other areas in the future. Another great feature is that you can share your constructive opinion with others BridgeHands readers.

    Tournaments – want to review results from a prior major ACBL or WBF championship? We have an archive of their files at BridgeHands.

  • Hand Evaluation

    When we first learn Bridge, we are taught to evaluate our hand using 4-3-2-1 "HCP" - High Card Points. Then we learn the value of distribution points - length for declarer and side suit shortage for dummy (with trump support). If you want to dig even deeper, consider Environmental Factors and even Losing Trick Count

  • Know Thy Law - Shuffling

    How many times should a pack be shuffled before play? For Contract Rubber Bridge play, the Laws recommends at least five times; for those playing duplicate, the Duplicate Law 6 is more ambiguous, requiring the pack "be thoroughly shuffled" While that may seem like a lot of shuffling, here's some background on why we have such Laws.

      Read on...
  • Jargon - The opponents have the bathtub on their side!

    A whimsical superstitious reference by Rubber Bridge players that those seated in the direction of the home's bathtub will be dealt better cards. So when we say the opponents have the bathtub on their side, it's a way of saying they are getting all the good cards.

      Read on...
  • BridgeHands Q & A EMAIL Support
    BridgeHands offers Question and Answer EMAIL Support for your Bridge related questions. BridgeHands EMAIL responses are focused and often include a weblink to learn more details on your own. You may ask questions as often as you like and always buy more time as needed. BridgeHands EMAIL responses include a time log with your account balance.

    At an introductory price of $25 per hour, the Newcomer-Novice Q & A response usually requires only 5 minutes to answer typical questions. Serious prospective customers are entitled to one complimentary EMAIL Q & A response after submitting a brief marketing survey to BridgeHands - we look forward to your business.

    Ready to order now? Great! Please EMAIL and ask for BridgeHands Newcomer-Novice Q & A EMAIL service. You will receive an EMAIL invoice - click on "PAY NOW" at the bottom of the EMAIL. Your web browser will connect you to a secure webserver to process your credit card or other online account. That's it - you can then send your Questions directly to

    Also see BridgeHands Q & A for more information and other billing options (fax or phone). For the curious, we have archived sample Q & A sessions.

    Introductory Price: $25 per hour - Newcomer & Novice

    Learn More...

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