Communication breakdown

3NT looks like it’s just a matter of setting up a few suits. Hard thing is to get back and forth between the hands and another diamond in the South hand would make things easier. Can you make 3NT?

41 Comments

  1. Profile photo of humbleme humbleme says:

    4S made 10.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 1N P 2
    P 2 P 3N
    P 4 P P
    P

  2. Profile photo of crunchie crunchie says:

    There is an overtricks there to be made by someone. If whilst in north you lead a spade picking east for the king you create a couple of spade tricks. Don’t play on hearts until cashing the ace at the end. Of course, if east doesn’t have the king and was leading the ace from 3 including the Jack this tactic will fall flat!
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1N P 3N
    P P P

  3. Profile photo of annvw annvw says:

    Took me a few tries to make 9 tricks in 3NT, let alone an overtrick
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 1N P 3N
    P P P

  4. Profile photo of rahamrick rahamrick says:

    I jumped to 3 NT, because I figured if I bid anything else, the computer would probably not let me end up there. It was a little risky, but I figured it was probably the best contract. came out making 9, with a good score. I see 1 player made 10.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 3N
    P P P

  5. Profile photo of dianaosborne dianaosborne says:

    Took me ages to make 3NT and that was when I called 3C instead of 2NT and then East lead different cards
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1N P 2
    P 2 P 3
    P 3N P P
    P

  6. Profile photo of weaksister weaksister says:

    Replayed & 2nd time made 3NT. I must be half asleep.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 2
    P 2N P 3N
    P P P

  7. Profile photo of palmtrees24 palmtrees24 says:

    Made10 tricks on 3rd try.
    Lot of thinking in that hand.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 1N P 3N
    P P P

  8. Profile photo of carro88 carro88 says:

    Could have made the 9 if i had counted black suits better
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1N P 2
    P 2 P 2N
    P 3N P P
    P

  9. Profile photo of normie616 normie616 says:

    3 N/T 2nd time around made it cheers normie sa
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 1N P 2N
    P 3N P P
    P

  10. Bid 3 nt & made the same
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1N P 3
    P 3N P P
    P

  11. Profile photo of deejaynz deejaynz says:

    Made 9 in 3NT… set the clubs up and cashed a couple of small ones… pretty pleased
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1N P 2
    P 2 P 2N
    P 3N P P
    P

  12. 3NT bid and made 9

    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 2
    P 2N P 3N
    P P P

  13. Profile photo of feltjen feltjen says:

    First time and bingo made 10 tricks! It made my day %uD83D%uDE00
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 1N P 3N
    P P P

  14. Profile photo of overtonmark overtonmark says:

    Frustrated that I bid 3NT and partner went to 4S despite not having guaranteed we had 8 spades.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 1N P 2
    P 2 P 3N
    P 4 P P
    P

    • Profile photo of graeme graeme says:

      Hi @overtonmark,
      You might have better luck if you just bid 3NT rather than 2C. As soon as North bids 1NT you know where you’re heading, right?
      North will also expect you to bid your longest suit first, so bidding 1S then 2C implies a 5-card spade suit.
      Anyway, give that jump to 3NT on the second round a shot and you’ll quickly get to the right spot.
      Hope that helps.

  15. Profile photo of overtonmark overtonmark says:

    Don’t really agree. In 5 card major you have to bid your 4 card major first.

  16. thought we should be in game but not sure whether should be suit or nt
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1N P 2
    P 2 P 2N
    P 3N P P
    P

  17. Profile photo of joanbutts joanbutts says:

    This hand shows how important entries are, and also unblocking. Where to win the first club? Better to win the %u2663K and unblock the %u2666Q, than to run it around to the %u2663A. It’s lucky, and unexpected that clubs break 3-3. You also want to be in North again to take the heart finesse (which sadly fails).
    A great hand which shows how important it is to plan the play before playing to trick 1.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 1N P 3N
    P P P

  18. Profile photo of joanbutts joanbutts says:

    Sorry the suit symbols didn’t show in my answer above. I meant win with the CK and unblock the DQ, than to run it around to the CA.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 1N P 3N
    P P P

  19. Profile photo of nelle nelle says:

    Bid 3NT and made game VERY HAPPY?
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 1N P 3N
    P P P

  20. Profile photo of overtonmark overtonmark says:

    I though bidding 2 clubs 2nd time around would give P a good understanding of the shape of my hand. If it is 5 4 in the black suits then only 4 left for the red suits and going to the 2 level was showing more than 9 points.

  21. One off in 4 spades. As usual I’m the odd one out. Will replay in nt’s.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 1N P 2
    P 2 P 4
    P P P

  22. Yes, made 3 nt. see above.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 2
    P 2N P 3N
    P P P

  23. Profile photo of rita928 rita928 says:

    Played 3n twice, down one fron the south and making when played from the north
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 1N P 2N
    P 3N P P
    P

  24. Bid 4 spades & made the same
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1N P 2
    P 2 P 2
    P 4 P P
    P

  25. Profile photo of rita928 rita928 says:

    Surprised to make 4s, from the south.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 1N P 2
    P 2 P 2N
    P 4 P P
    P

  26. Profile photo of rita928 rita928 says:

    Why does the computer bid spades twice, holding only the 7,5,3?
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 1N P 2
    P 2 P 2N
    P 4 P P
    P

  27. Profile photo of debdaniels debdaniels says:

    Shocking!! Very Happy to make 4S!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 1N P 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  28. Profile photo of debdaniels debdaniels says:

    3NT much harder to make than 4S—- congrats Graeme 11 tricks awesome!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 3N
    P P P

  29. Profile photo of cookers cookers says:

    Just showing my hand. Didn’t expect to be left in spades!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 2
    P 2N P 3
    P P P

  30. Profile photo of valeriejoan valeriejoan says:

    Made 3NT finally, kept going one light. Once I correctly counted clubs, I got there.

    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1N P 2
    P 2 P 2N
    P 3N P P
    P

  31. Profile photo of johna johna says:

    Took me ages to make 9 tricks. Kept getting blocked. Even then, I had master tricks to spare but couldn’t stop EW making their 4 tricks, AK spades, K heart, QC. There must be a way to squeeze an overtrick but time has run out today. After several consecutive top boards to finish the year I’ve reverted to a near beginner again in 2017.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 1N P 3N
    P P P

  32. Profile photo of squarepeg61 squarepeg61 says:

    Took several tries, but I finally managed nine tricks in 3NT.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 1N P 3N
    P P P

  33. Profile photo of mozzab mozzab says:

    Bajir – we need a video for this one, I have tried a few time and cannot make 9, very frustrating!!

    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 2
    P 2N P P
    P

  34. Profile photo of chance22 chance22 says:

    Once again I find myself in the largest group – over 650 who made only 7 tricks in 3NT.

    On the second try I made 8, and finally made 9 by doings things I would not have done on the first try. For example, the first time through, I took the QS after it became good in order to find out if the split was 3-3. This took away what turned out to be a crucial entry from North to South, so I stopped doing that. And on a final try, in order to ascertain the club split, I deliberately lost a club trick – while keeping the Ace and King aloof, so to speak.

    All the lead losing, the entry issues, the needed splits, some apparently lucky breaks (like the KS falling from East), high hearts all crowded together and falling all over each other%u2026

    @joanbutts, you say, “A great hand which shows how important it is to plan the play before playing to trick 1.” I am 100% for planning, but I just can not figure out how to have planned this. If you have the time, could you explain the plan that you had?

    Thanks for your help and best wishes.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 2
    P 2N P 3N
    P P P

  35. Profile photo of joanbutts joanbutts says:

    @chance22
    It’s a very lucky hand (imo) for 3N to make. You would not expect the clubs to be 3-3 when they’re led, you would not expect the AK of spades to both be in East either, and the heart finesse is as usual only a 50% shot. When you count the sure tricks in the beginning there are only six – two in clubs, three in diamonds and one in hearts.
    Looking for three more is tough.
    One clue is that on the C6 lead, the rule of 11 doesn’t really work, because it tells you that there’s only one card above the C6 in the West hand. This is unlikely if you are missing the QJ108 because the correct lead from J108x or QJ10x would be a high one. So it’s possible that the lead is from three clubs not four. Still I’d be hoping that diamonds were 4-3 and I could get to the fifth diamond via a heart. So it is probably best to give up on the heart finesse and using a vital entry to get back to take it. I’d win the CK, unblock the DQ, and play a low heart back towards the Q10x. If West takes the HK and continues clubs, you win, cross to the HA and test clubs. Bingo they are 3-3. Now you have a third entry with the HQ to play AK of diamonds. So you take four clubs, three diamonds and two hearts.
    Sorry if this sounds complicated, but it IS! Planning the play is not one bit easy, and requires a lot of thought, and often Plan A has to become Plan B or Plan C as you discover more about the breaks.
    When making your plan, think of ABC. A = look at your “Assets” – winners right there now between the two hands (and work out how many short of you contract you are.
    B = “Browse” the checklist for which techniques you need to use to develop these tricks
    C = “Consider” the order of play to make sure you can GET to the tricks.
    Check my Lessons and Shop for more tips
    GOOD LUCK!

    • Profile photo of chance22 chance22 says:

      @joanbutts

      Thanks so much for your detailed response.

      Yesterday I finally started writing down an orderly planning framework (starting with losers for suit contracts and sure tricks for NT, plus length, promotion, finessing, ruffing, and a new category called “issues”). But I did not have “Order of Play” on the list. It is there now as an official category, which should bring some focus on those often-troublesome entry issues. Very helpful.

      Re your comment, “…often Plan A has to become Plan B or Plan C as you discover more about the breaks.” This is also very helpful: to specifically acknowledge 1) there is a plan, but 2) changing the plan in light of events is PART OF THE PROCESS, and roadblocks should not be a cause for throwing up one’s hands!

      Also very instructive to read about the rule of 11 in action, here as evidence that West may have 3 clubs. BTW, in my play, I never saw a club lead. East always started off with the SA, then led H3, and if I didn’t take that, the H4. So hearts were somewhat off the table early. Then when EW got the lead again, they again played a heart, so no heart entries left. In my posts, I usually give the opening lead, but I think I was so frustrated I forgot! Later today I will try some bidding variations to see if I can recreate the conditions you describe.

      I checked out your site. I think “A Guide by your Side” is where I am going. I use Audrey Grant Bridge at a Glance often for bidding.

      Thanks again.

  36. Profile photo of joanbutts joanbutts says:

    @chance22
    My pleasure. Yes, the Consider the order of play is the most important of all part of the plan.
    Warren Buffett made the comment about changing plans. He said it reminded him of business because the play is a series of calculations and re-calculations. And it’s true – as you play out each trick, you get more information about the suits, and the shapes. THIS is the most important part of playing and defending…counting out a hand.
    I thought a club was led always, so the SA and H3 change things a bit. Honest, I would’t expect to make 3NT on this hand very often.

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