Chapter 1
GETTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT
© 2004  Marty Bergen
Page 13
GETTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT
Thinking After
Seeing Dummy
Try
not to think about:

What other contract would you prefer to be in?

Any bad bids that your partner may have made.

Any of your bids that worked out badly
(despite being very reasonable).
Try to memorize:
Most importantly:
Do
not start playing without a plan. Entire books have been written
in which the fate of each deal depends on what declarer did at
the first trick! Even an imperfect plan is better than none.
© 2004  Marty Bergen
Page 14
GETTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT
Where,
Oh Where Should I Be?
When you have a
choice of where to win a trick, think carefully about where
you’ll need to be
later on.
Contract: 3NT
Lead:
J 

North
A
9 7 5 4
K 7 4
A K 10
A 4 



West
K
10
J 10 9 5
2
J 9 7 5
7 5 

East
Q
J 8 3
Q
8 6
Q 2
K 8 6 3 



South
6
2
A
3
8 6 4 3
Q J 10 9 2 


West North
East South
Pass 1
Pass 1NT
Pass 3NT All
Pass
What
would you do at trick one? You have three choices:
A. Win the
A
B. Win the
K
C. Duck in both hands
I suggest making your decision before
reading on.
© 2004 Marty Bergen
Page 15
GETTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT
You have six sure
winners in aces and kings: one spade, two hearts, two diamonds
and one club. You need three extra tricks, and it would be nice
if you could get all three from the same suit.
One suit stands out
– clubs. No other suit offers any hope of developing three
additional tricks. The only significant club you’re missing is
the
K,
so you should be able to win four tricks while losing just one.
Do not make the
mistake of winning the
=A
and leading the
Q.
Also, don’t duck the opening lead. A
second heart lead will prematurely force out your precious
=A
entry to the long clubs.
As long as you can
get to your hand
after the clubs are
established, you’re sure to win three extra club tricks.
Therefore,
you must save the
A
for later.
Instead, you must
win the opening heart lead with dummy’s king and play the
A,
and then continue with the
4.
It makes no
difference who has the
@K.
EW can win the
K
whenever they want, but you’re sitting pretty with your club
winners and carefullypreserved
A.
Remember: When you
are setting up a suit,
"Use up the honor(s)
from the short side first."
This guideline has
very few exceptions.
© 2004  Marty Bergen
Page 16
GETTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT
Bridge Mathematics
"Fascinating in so
many ways, there is one aspect of bridge that bores me intensely
– the pursuit of hairsplitting percentages and abstract
probabilities." Victor Mollo
Many players
believe that bridge is a mathematical game – but that is not
true. Yes, basic arithmetic is very relevant in bridge, just as
it is in life. However, the key to bridge is logic and
reasoning.
If a player passes
his partner’s opening bid of one in a suit, you are confident
that he has fewer than six points. If that player shows up with
an ace during the play, you will be confident that any missing
queens, kings, or aces are held by his partner. Simple enough.
You do need to know
some basic percentages – fortunately, nothing could be simpler.
When you lead low toward the AQ, the king will be located
favorably half the time. A simple finesse, then, has a 50%
chance of success. Of course, you already knew this.
Basic percentages
also play a significant role in understanding the likely
distribution of the defenders’ cards. Whether or not you are a
whiz with numbers, don’t fret – this will prove to be an easy
topic to learn.
© 2004  Marty Bergen
Page 17
GETTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT
Here are the
important principles:
1.
When you are missing an odd number of cards, expect them to
divide as evenly as possible.
If you’re NS in an
8card fit, EW have 5 cards. You can’t expect them to divide
2½2½; therefore expect 32. The same holds true when your side
has 10 cards. Their 3 cards are probably divided 21.
2.
When you are missing an even number of cards, do not expect
them to divide perfectly.
If your side has a
total of 7 cards, the other side has 6, and those 6 will divide
perfectly (33) only slightly more than 1/3 of the time. It
isn’t likely that the suit will split 51; so expect the suit to
split 42.
You are now armed
with all the bridge mathematics you need. But, for those who
want more specifics:
When
you are missing 5 cards:
A
32 split will occur 67.83% of the time.
A
41 split will occur 28.26% of the time.
A
50 split will occur 3.91% of the time.
When
you are missing 6 cards:
A
33 split will occur 35.53% of the time.
A
42 split will occur 48.45% of the time.
A
51 split will occur 14.53 % of the time.
A
60 split will occur 1.49% of the time.
© 2004  Marty Bergen
Page 18
GETTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT
This
Dummy is No Dummy
When dummy tables
his cards, he should hold the suit led and put it down last.
Why should he do
that? It forces declarer to look over the other three suits
before playing to the first trick. There’s no question that
many makable contracts are lost when declarer plays too
quickly at trick one.
Most players are so
excited to become declarer that, as soon as dummy is tabled,
they’re off and running. Even if they are one of the five best
players in the world, they can’t play effectively at that
speed.
By the way:
There are
lots of other little things you can do to help partner when
tabling dummy.
Alternate colors
– don’t put clubs next to spades, or diamonds next to
hearts.
Each suit should be arranged from highest to lowest. The
higher cards must be closer to you.
Make sure to space the cards neatly so that declarer can
easily see how many you have in each suit.
In a notrump contract, keep the suit(s) bid by your side on
your left. This reduces the chance of a confused declarer
thinking that one of those suits became the trump suit.
© 2004  Marty Bergen
Chapter 2 :Count
Your Way to the Top .......................... 19
