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!

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

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.

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

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