You finish this auction in a 3NT contract. What do you need to do before you play a single card?

Join Graeme as he guides Bajir through the important step you should take before you start playing.

PS – When you play this hand, try to practice the visualization technique we’ve been talking about.  What can you learn about West’s hand from the first two cards he plays?

45 Comments

  1. Profile photo of hagleyjazz hagleyjazz says:

    Well played @lynng. How do you stop them running all the clubs? I had to lose to the AH and they were away.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 2N
    P 3N P P
    P

  2. Profile photo of drroflstomp drroflstomp says:

    Agreed @hagleyjazz . Have you noticed @lynng has been on an absolute roll lately?!?
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 2N
    P 3N P P
    P

  3. Profile photo of newtz2001 newtz2001 says:

    @hagleyjazz, @drroflstomo I just didn’t touch the heart till I had no other options. After I was done taking my six diamond tricks I led across to the A really just hoping that after all the spade discards someone was sitting on a singleton K which was indeed the case. After that I took my Q to make the contract, gave away a heart and let them play out their clubs but I was already home free!

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

  4. Profile photo of dominicref dominicref says:

    I tried Gerber but N didn’t recognise it 🙁
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 2N
    P 3N P 4
    P 5 P P
    P

  5. Yes, well done @lynng, I noticed you’d made it so not to be outdone I played it again – and again – and again – & have now deferred to a champion!
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 2N
    P 3N P P
    P

  6. Profile photo of stevewehrle stevewehrle says:

    @lynng, others are now beginning to notice that you are at the top of the pile, lately. I take some pride that I spotted it first!!

    I also bid and made 3NT. Won the C lead; ran the D’s for 6 more tricks. Led a H to clear the A, and hunkered down to watch EW run their C’s. Fortunately they ran out and had to lead a H to my remaining KH and AS, for the last 2 tricks.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 2N
    P 3N P P
    P

  7. Profile photo of sandra123 sandra123 says:

    With a Club lead there is no way to make 3NT Making 6 D and 2 aces and that’s it Right?
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 2N
    P 3N P P
    P

  8. Profile photo of sandra123 sandra123 says:

    Well just made 10 because H finesse worked Don’t know why
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 2N
    P 3N P P
    P

  9. Profile photo of wandad wandad says:

    Second time I played, I held up on C till the 2nd play, ran the D and led an H to dummy’s Q overtaken by A in E. E led C Q and had no more! made it. I hate NT with a very short suit.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    P 1N P 3
    P 3N P P
    P

  10. Profile photo of hagleyjazz hagleyjazz says:

    @graeme and @bajir. Thanks for the video. Good to hear all the thought processes and even better to see that even when you think it through properly you still mightn’t get the best board ( i.e. drop the spade K).

    • Profile photo of bajir bajir says:

      That’s a really good point that maybe we didn’t emphasize enough – the “best” play does not always lead to the best results for a particular hand. It is so easy to fixate on whatever the highest score was for a particular hand, but that really isn’t the most helpful thing for all of us trying to improve our game. Thank you for emphasizing this point @hagleyjazz!

  11. Profile photo of normie616 normie616 says:

    Gee thanks for all the above tips .Made it relatively easy to make the 3N/T 2nd time around.Forget about the 1st time cheers normie sa
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 2N
    P 3N P P
    P

  12. Profile photo of whizkid whizkid says:

    Interesting hand. I made 3nt. Really the way the cards lie 3nt should be set if the defense discards correctly. There really is no squeeze present and no west in their right mind would pitch down to the singleton King of spades when they have no good reason to. West has 6 cards to throw on the diamonds, 3 diamonds and 3 hearts. As long as you keep the clubs and the Kx of spades in your hand then you will set the hand. You only throw the small spade after the diamonds are run and then a heart lead taken by your east’s Ace, then you throw the small spade so partner can lead that last club you figured out he has.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    P 2 P 3N
    P P P

  13. Profile photo of chaza2012 chaza2012 says:

    I ate the banana and then got 3NT. Was that right or should I have saved it until I’d won?

  14. Profile photo of sbc49506742 sbc49506742 says:

    On this hand, West leads the 6C and later plays the 3C, how does one determine that this is not a doubleton but is a five or six card suit?

  15. Profile photo of wandad wandad says:

    finally figured it out for 3NT passed 1st C, E took it and led A of H. Oh thank you! ran Ds and Hs Last a S to ace and my Q was good
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1N
    P 2 P 3N
    P P P

  16. Profile photo of tomm24 tomm24 says:

    It’s a shame that Graeme knew that west had the King of spades. I would have liked to here what he thought how to play without knowing. If west was a person one could think that he wouldn’t discard a spade if he held the king but maybe he would do it to lead the declarer to take the finesse and make four club tricks instead of three by keeping a spade

  17. Profile photo of collar collar says:

    Made the 11 tricks. I would have played the diamonds 1st but might have finessed the hearts, beng the longer suit, had I not watch your video. Thanks
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 2N
    P 3N P P
    P

  18. Profile photo of sbc35763527 sbc35763527 says:

    Before watching the video, I delayed the C A until the second lead, then played the D’s, next S lead to my A capturing the S K, making 11.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 2N
    P 3N P P
    P

  19. Profile photo of MargM MargM says:

    Made the 3nt second time
    Bad play the first attempt
    Mm
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 2N
    P 3N P P
    P

  20. Profile photo of judyjunkin judyjunkin says:

    I ended up in 3 NT, but did not play it right.! I played the diamonds and then did not play the Ace of Spades. W had all the clubs which ruined me.! I watched the video AFTER I played the hand.Sorry I did not see the video first.!

  21. Profile photo of judyjunkin judyjunkin says:

    2nd time playing at 3 NT,I made my bid. I took the second Club trick, ran the Diamonds and then played Spades to the Ace and had a good Queen, which gave me 3 NT.! All is well that ends well.!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 2N
    P 3N P P
    P

  22. Profile photo of judyjunkin judyjunkin says:

    Different approach. Opened 2 Clubs and partner bid 2 Diamonds. I raised to 5 Diamonds and N went to 6! Bid and made.! Beautiful and not near the sweat .!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 2
    P 2 P 5
    P 6 P P
    P

  23. Profile photo of debdaniels debdaniels says:

    3NT makes 11 tricks. You make by ducking club lead. East plays A of H. Then goes back to clubs. You are home free taking the rest of the tricks for a score of 460!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 2
    P 2 P 3N
    P P P

  24. Profile photo of raelyn raelyn says:

    That was lucky making 12 tricks. Finessed the KH and luckily it worked.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 2N
    P 3N P P
    P

  25. Profile photo of holley holley says:

    Wasn’t game to risk finessing the KS so led H to the King and lost trick to the ace but still made 11tricks
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    P 1N P 2
    P 3N P P
    P

  26. Profile photo of fred fred says:

    After 1c,,id,1h,2d,3nt west led the K of spades. Won the lead, played K of hearts and with the h ace gone made 4. Wondered why west led the K of spades so played it again. Made 4 again. Never look a gift horse etc.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    P 1 P 1
    P 2 P 3N
    P P P

  27. Profile photo of michael102 michael102 says:

    Bid 3NT, made 11. Ducked first round of C. After A of H, I made 6 diamonds tricks then the remaining tricks.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1N
    P 2 P 3N
    P P P

  28. Profile photo of cherj cherj says:

    Held up A till second trick, played diamonds, counting spade discards, then led J spades to A. The K fell on my A, then the Q and the 5 were good.
    Made 11 tricks.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 2N
    P 3N P P
    P

  29. Profile photo of harleydave26 harleydave26 says:

    Bad defense by East who took the first club then played the Ace of hearts made this a no-brainer. Ten tricks were a sure thing, and I took 11 when the hearts broke. Of course, I held up on the original club lead as that was the only possible way to minimize the damage in that suit. That allowed East to make his mistake, and I lost only the one club trick.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 3N
    P P P

  30. Profile photo of davstevens davstevens says:

    At the outset I have six diamonds, one club, and one spade. I can get a heart trick, but once I lose the Ace whoever wins will lead a club (unless East has only two clubs and has the Ace of hearts) and I will lose four or five club tricks. When East plays the Queen of clubs I duck, and I win the Ace when East returns the Eight of clubs. West plays the three, so I guess East still has the deuce. So my tentative conclusion is that leading a heart will not win; I plan to take the spade finesse, however dangerous. First, though, I run six diamonds and East pitches discouraging spades–and the club deuce! Now I lead a heart from dummy and East rises with the Ace to lead a spade. I refuse the finesse and go up with the Ace, dropping the King since West stupidly pitched a spade. The rest are now mine, making five. If East pitches spades and hearts and keeps a club, and West keeps all the clubs and keeps the King of spades guarded, they beat me. But running the diamonds put pressure on both East and West, and any mistake allowed me to make it. Two mistakes let me make five.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 2N
    P 3N P P
    P

  31. Profile photo of blondie58 blondie58 says:

    Made 10… I was happy with that! 🙂
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 2N
    P 3N P P
    P

  32. Profile photo of nelle nelle says:

    Made 3NT second time around. My finesses always fail.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 2N
    P 3N P P
    P

  33. Profile photo of clebag clebag says:

    3 NT first time, easily without any help
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 2N
    P 3N P P
    P

  34. Profile photo of rahamrick rahamrick says:

    Rather opening 2 nt — I started with 1c, then jumped to 3 on North’s negative response. This threw west off on the lead, and I made 6 (dropping the spade K on the ace). I’ll try it again and see if it is I can bid and make it!


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

  35. Profile photo of rahamrick rahamrick says:

    Yes — it works. Score = 990!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    P 1 P 4N
    P 5 P 6N
    P P P

  36. Profile photo of maresi7 maresi7 says:

    3NT North NS 11 – EW 2
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    P 2 P 2
    P 2N P 3
    P 3N P P
    P

  37. Profile photo of cheri cheri says:

    Felt my only chance was on the spade finesse. I was surprised that it worked but maybe I shouldn’t have been 🙂 Now I will listen to the video!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 2N
    P 3N P P
    P

  38. Profile photo of mcbradford mcbradford says:

    I didn’t make three NTs so had another go. This time I opened 1C ( 12 – 21 open 1 of a suit) partner bid D’s each time I bid 4 up the line then partner bid 3C’s. Would that be 4th suit forcing? Does that mean go to NT’s?

    I reasoned that partner had only D’s so I bid 5 D.s and made 11.

    However, I see many others made 3NT’s so I will try again.

    Thank you for the lesson.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    P 1 P 1
    P 2 P 2
    P 3 P 5
    P P P

  39. Profile photo of angus angus says:

    made 3nt and hoped thta the Ks would drop

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

  40. Profile photo of hazelm hazelm says:

    Played 3NT from N (having opened 1S by miscounting the points). For some reason this produced AH lead from East, (can’t think why) and after that I made 12. Mistakes can be rewarded.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    P 1N P 3N
    P P P

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  • Hands I Played Today
    Hand Contract Score
    Hands I Played Yesterday
    Hand Contract Score SP
    Yesterday’s Ladder
    Congratulations to the top 100!
    Rank Player SP
    1 danilala 80
    1 Lidi 80
    3 sbc35763527 79
    4 Onoville 77
    4 sbc18844023 77
    6 Rosiea 76
    6 vickiadnams 76
    8 Janton45 75
    9 dianaashm 73
    9 sbc26554499 73
    9 tkb 73
    9 firie 73
    13 Lizzielou 72
    13 starwise 72
    15 eddstac 71
    15 bookie 71
    17 mendoza 70
    17 atomgirl 70
    17 Timbo 70
    20 johnsmart 69
    20 MargeryAnn 69
    22 Ron1945 68
    22 JDM20 68
    22 cat10 68
    22 Sue35 68
    26 EileenAitchison 67
    26 mdstiver 67
    28 Macymoo 66
    29 sbc50311711 65
    29 ChristyFarley 65
    29 sbc25722123 65
    32 BobSky 64
    33 Golfmadviv 63
    33 Vigg75137 63
    33 craigbr 63
    33 rosepetal14 63
    33 PaulGill 63
    33 Spanner 63
    33 cinnamon 63
    33 lizzy 63
    33 sbc41372817 63
    42 vicwaitt 62
    42 chalker546 62
    42 sbc4306656 62
    42 beahessick 62
    46 sbc13499315 61
    46 Taranaki2 61
    46 Tukurua 61
    46 newcastlewe 61
    46 vemsley 61
    46 jeffrey 61
    46 Sallyb 61
    46 jeffreyt 61
    46 GeorgMilos 61
    46 sbc14011743 61
    46 sbc28900929 61
    46 JOHNkib 61
    46 bruce1 61
    46 sbc4453983 61
    46 Cape 61
    61 sbc7083662 60
    61 sbc9191490 60
    61 bevkaron 60
    61 donmather 60
    61 Mogsie 60
    61 sbc13928533 60
    61 sbc56954 60
    61 Rosie196 60
    61 Barbot 60
    61 sbc29640019 60
    61 GIVMFITZ 60
    72 sbc12542868 59
    72 Mickey 59
    72 entropyrules 59
    72 KevinOC 59
    72 sbc54872161 59
    72 sbc2426950 59
    72 Fer001 59
    72 Liz210 59
    72 Jaydeo 59
    72 jbufton 59
    72 sbc25684628 59
    83 sbc3122486 58
    83 churchy 58
    83 owen 58
    83 Meriel 58
    83 Shapour 58
    83 sbc32455392 58
    89 MaryMG 57
    89 gayebartlett 57
    89 MarjorieSmith 57
    89 sbc2440977 57
    89 Francees 57
    94 DianaP48 56
    94 Jean07 56
    94 PetraBrom 56
    97 sbc8589927 55
    97 Lynette 55
    97 gavinghanzi 55
    97 sbc9155870 55
    97 bridgemad 55
    This Week’s Ladder
    Congratulations to the top 100!
    Rank Player SP
    1 dianaashm 232
    2 sbc56954 215
    3 EileenAitchison 214
    4 johnsmart 213
    5 danilala 212
    6 Rosiea 211
    7 starwise 206
    8 sbc35763527 204
    8 sbc4296252 204
    10 KevinOC 200
    11 entropyrules 199
    11 drcunn1 199
    11 atomgirl 199
    11 JDM20 199
    15 firie 197
    15 Mickey 197
    15 whoami 197
    18 mdstiver 196
    18 Mogsie 196
    20 Ron1945 193
    20 Janton45 193
    22 JcksPA 192
    22 eddstac 192
    24 Onoville 191
    25 Spanner 189
    26 sbc28900929 188
    27 barbara123 187
    27 chalker546 187
    29 banksia9 186
    30 lizzy 185
    31 Vigg75137 184
    32 BobSky 183
    33 Macymoo 181
    34 Elston 180
    34 Taranaki2 180
    36 sbc4453983 179
    36 jmak 179
    36 Golfmadviv 179
    36 Rosie196 179
    36 sbc4745969 179
    41 trishh 177
    41 sbc2426950 177
    41 sbc26554499 177
    41 Mumble 177
    45 Cary2 174
    46 JOHNkib 173
    46 rosepetal14 173
    46 sbc54872161 173
    46 PaulGill 173
    50 Arch 172
    51 maire 171
    51 JoyWelsford 171
    53 bookie 169
    53 Oma115 169
    55 Jaydeo 168
    55 jeffrey 168
    55 jobowler 168
    58 JackieSohn 166
    58 tommyswami4 166
    58 graecam 166
    61 GlendaLewis 165
    61 cinnamon 165
    61 Lidi 165
    61 squatch 165
    61 vemsley 165
    61 MaryMG 165
    67 PetraBrom 164
    67 PIEROGAGLIA 164
    67 sbc16359143 164
    67 gavinghanzi 164
    71 Bibby 163
    71 Fer001 163
    73 AmyO 162
    73 otoole 162
    73 Jmveniot 162
    76 prairiejeanne7 161
    76 bluewren 161
    76 sbc4306656 161
    79 sbc18008770 160
    79 cat10 160
    79 sbc10809774 160
    79 sbc4646054 160
    83 sbcm1950 159
    83 sbc41372817 159
    83 Barbot 159
    83 GIVMFITZ 159
    83 lesley62 159
    83 Timbo 159
    83 vicwaitt 159
    90 bridgelou 158
    90 Matuku 158
    90 GeorgMilos 158
    90 sbc4327767 158
    94 churchy 157
    94 Shapour 157
    94 Bluebag 157
    94 sbc20666370 157
    98 sbc4336502 156
    99 sbc3122486 155
    100 bevkaron 153
    Overall Ladder
    My Points 594, My Rank 1412. Congratulations to the top 100!
    Rank Player SP
    1 eddstac 20005
    2 Golfmadviv 19267
    3 JcksPA 19213
    4 entropyrules 18864
    5 Rosie196 18775
    6 sbc28900929 18646
    7 dianaashm 18242
    8 starwise 18231
    9 danilala 18194
    10 bexter 18023
    11 Cary2 17976
    12 atomgirl 17936
    13 sbc4453983 17880
    14 JoJoe 17864
    15 PaulGill 17751
    16 Elston 17735
    17 Janton45 17678
    18 LynnG 17220
    19 Barbot 17187
    20 Matuku 16617
    21 johnsmart 16486
    22 Jaydeo 16399
    23 sbc4296252 16347
    24 Onoville 16330
    25 PetraBrom 16276
    26 tommyswami4 16121
    27 Jmveniot 16120
    28 Meriel 16041
    29 JackieSohn 15977
    30 Spanner 15923
    31 chalker546 15855
    32 stecho 15814
    33 sbc56954 15574
    34 Tentacoli 15573
    35 sbc35763527 15550
    36 Francees 15420
    37 Macymoo 15150
    38 sbc21268238 15146
    39 otoole 14995
    40 whoami 14983
    41 polymath 14966
    42 sbc4306656 14947
    43 lesley62 14926
    44 tkb 14800
    45 Fer001 14713
    46 LindyLoo 14702
    47 drcunn1 14476
    48 sbc19643216 14442
    49 sbc13928533 14410
    50 JOHNkib 14216
    51 mcginty 14116
    52 jmak 14100
    53 Robyn 14012
    54 Judyc 14007
    55 sbc32455392 13995
    56 sbc18008770 13987
    57 vemsley 13895
    58 Lidi 13712
    59 sbcm1950 13673
    60 RentiaVink 13668
    61 Mogsie 13636
    62 MissingYou 13617
    63 margz1955 13583
    64 sbc2440977 13542
    65 sbc38134777 13413
    66 Baygon2014 13412
    67 Darrjenn 13347
    68 vickiadnams 13263
    69 billkay43 13231
    70 JoyWelsford 13061
    71 Pjay 13021
    72 Loveit 12848
    73 Mickey 12846
    74 sbc10809774 12817
    75 rosepetal14 12809
    76 MrsB 12780
    77 Arrowsmith 12634
    78 gayebartlett 12463
    79 owen 12420
    80 brianaigh 12336
    81 sbc15766325 12237
    82 monica 12169
    83 sbc9155870 11837
    84 barbara123 11721
    85 Joanne 11693
    86 bluewren 11505
    87 Trishy59 11494
    88 sbc4327767 11397
    89 joycejohn 11362
    90 banksia9 11158
    91 sbc10307130 11101
    92 sbc41372817 11099
    93 pammack 10819
    94 Vicks 10797
    95 rml1931 10736
    96 darlene 10733
    97 Deka 10669
    98 nero43 10615
    99 sbc26554499 10606
    100 sbc11338500 10571
    Following
    Rank Player SP
    1 Bajir 2341
    2 Tina 1731
    3 graeme 957
    4 qamarabbasi 256
    5 Harish 38
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