Common Mistakes in Bridge: How to respond with a weak hand?
December 15, 2016
Which Ace? | ♠A732 ♥Q9865 ♦53 ♣A6
December 18, 2016

Right play, wrong result | ♠KJ653 ♥64 ♦32 ♣AQ98

Right play, wrong result

Q1. How can you make 5 spade tricks on today’s hand?
Q2. Without seeing all four hands, what’s the best percentage play to make 5 spade tricks.

Unfortunately for the good players, the answers to the above questions are not the same. With that suit combination a second round finesse is normally best. No good on this hand, though.

47 Comments

  1. Profile photo of says:

    Bit 4s and got 11 tricks
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  2. Profile photo of baygon2014 baygon2014 says:

    First time I played safe and played in 3nt. However, I feel I should have been more aggressive in my bidding – for you can establish that you have the necessary shape for 6 spades. Playing 6 spades is tricky but it can be made – win the opening heart lead -Two rounds of spades followed by four rounds of clubs discard a losing diamond on the last club and allow them to trump – you can now cash all your winners.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 4
    P 4N P 6
    P P P

  3. Profile photo of ted11 ted11 says:

    Same result as @anneliese45
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  4. Profile photo of nzrudolph nzrudolph says:

    Bid 3NT and managed 12. East lead a small heart for my KH. I played spades first with AS and decided to go for the drop with KS which caught their Queen making the rest of my 3x spades good. I went north for KC and cashed the 2x Ace’s, finally back south for the last 3x club tricks.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 6N
    P P P

  5. Profile photo of JenB JenB says:

    Bid 2NT and got a slam! Not many points for under bidding but don’t know how I could have managed to get to that!
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3
    P 4 P 4N
    P 5 P 5N
    P 6 P 7N
    P P P

  6. Profile photo of marcie-g marcie-g says:

    Pure gamble – bid 6 spades – and got ’em. See, there is a Santa!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 2
    P 3 P 6
    P P P

  7. Profile photo of dlash dlash says:

    There is 12 there by not trying to finesse for the QS.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  8. Bid 6S & made it
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3
    P 4 P 4N
    P 5 P 6
    P P P

  9. Profile photo of normie616 normie616 says:

    pretty wrapped for a novice first contract; 4 Spades and made 12 tricks ! cheers normie sa
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  10. Profile photo of russellj russellj says:

    Bid 4spades & surprised myself with 12 tricks!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  11. Profile photo of wince wince says:

    Hello again….. 11 tricks but would love to have 12!!!
    Q. Graeme….With the spades set up like they are….is it better not to finesse the SQ and gamble more?
    If you answer this….where and how can I find your answer please?
    Thanks,
    Wince
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  12. Profile photo of dominicref dominicref says:

    Trying the spade finesse fails in this case but it still seems to me to be the correct play. The finesse has a 50% chance whereas the drop has <50% (requires opponents to have a 3/2 or 4/1 split with the Q in the smaller hand).
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3N
    P P P

  13. I feel well chuffed I bid 4s and got 12 tricks. Will try NT but I’m not good at playing as keep forgetting what’s been played .@graeme I’ve been missing the videos you put up of the play, when are we having them again?
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  14. Profile photo of player4 player4 says:

    Oh @LynnG why is it that you bid 6 and go down one; I bid 4 and make six? Only time it doesn’t happen is when I bid six and make four and you bid four and make six. Must be our different bidding systems, perhaps. We should play together – we’d always be either top or bottom!
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  15. Interesting. Firstly I bid 1 spades. Just started to play it when the phone rang. Coming back to the IPad, it had switched off. I played again this time bidding 1 NT first, ending in 3. Down 1. Bidding again I went back to 1 spade. Contract 3 nt, but lead from the other side this time. Made 11.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3N
    P P P

  16. Profile photo of buttstogo buttstogo says:

    Bid 4S & made 6S. But I couldn’t see the logic of bidding 6?
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  17. Profile photo of paulflash paulflash says:

    It is easy to make more tricks the second time around after you discover that the SQ is doubleton offside.
    That doesn’t make it correct to bid slam. Your side has only 28 high card points and both hands are of the balanced nature. 6NT requires more like 33 HCP, so you obviously are far short of that. In addition to bringing in the spades, you need to find clubs 3,3 which is only about 36%, so slam is very much against the odds.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3
    P 4 P 5
    P P P

  18. Profile photo of louie2 louie2 says:

    Made 6S now to try in N
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3
    P 4 P 6
    P P P

  19. Profile photo of louie2 louie2 says:

    6N makes also doubt I’d be looking to bid slam in real game with 28 points
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3
    P 4 P 4N
    P 5 P 6N
    P P P

  20. Profile photo of ardbrugh ardbrugh says:

    4NT .. I was asking for aces however I was left in it!
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 4N
    P P P

  21. Profile photo of debdaniels debdaniels says:

    Would uh, should bid it! Making 12 tricks on 4S bid!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  22. Profile photo of nelle nelle says:

    Under bid 2NT made 11 tricks.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3N
    P P P

  23. Profile photo of mrsh mrsh says:

    @wince … If you want to ask Graeme (or anybody else) just use the @ in front of their user name. They’ll get the message and respond.
    i.e. @graeme @wince has a question
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  24. Profile photo of rita928 rita928 says:

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

  25. Profile photo of nancyjane nancyjane says:

    Bid 4S, made 12.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  26. Profile photo of nevillet nevillet says:

    I first tried 2NT and made six (6) then after reading what the others had bid, I then bid 6S and made it… I just could not bid 7NT….
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3
    P 4 P 6
    P P P

  27. Profile photo of suzie suzie says:

    Bid 4S, made 11 the first time, and 12 the second. Now will try NT.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  28. Profile photo of kinderconnie kinderconnie says:

    Bid 4S and made 11, I tried to finesse SQ which lost but I am happy with how I played.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  29. Profile photo of dcatjones dcatjones says:

    It took me three tries to get to 12 tricks in this 3NT hand. Once I followed how nzrudolph explained the moves – then sure enough I could get them. @tina – Is there something that I need to look at in order to visualize that this is the best way to play this?


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

  30. Profile photo of sandra sandra says:

    Bid 4 spades made 11 tricks
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  31. Profile photo of linda2009 linda2009 says:

    bid 4s, made 11 – yipee
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  32. Profile photo of loulla loulla says:

    I bid 4 spade and made an easy 10. Not nervy enough to bid or play aggressively.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  33. Profile photo of valeriejoan valeriejoan says:

    I bid 4S and got 12 tricks first time through. I was trying to do what @Graeme was talking about visualizing their hands. I plan to practice that. Thank you.

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

  34. Profile photo of says:

    Played it again. 4S and got 12 this time
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  35. Profile photo of baglady baglady says:

    Bid 4 S and made 12.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  36. Profile photo of squarepeg61 squarepeg61 says:

    Eleven tricks in 4S. I’ll take it!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  37. 3nt makeing 12
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3N
    P P P

  38. Profile photo of ianp ianp says:

    Bid 4NT – unfortunately computer – who had 3As – didnt understand blackwood and passed! Made 12 tricks
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 4N
    P P P

  39. Profile photo of pfredrix pfredrix says:

    @ardbrugh – You were in a NT auction (The 2 NT jump showed 18-19 or 19-21 HCP in a NT-oriented hand, depending on your NT ranges.) In such an auction, 4 NT is not Blackwood, it is a quantitative invitation to slam if partner has a maximum. You need the Gerber Convention (4C) to ask for Aces in a NT auction.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  40. Profile photo of kc24 kc24 says:

    4S, got 12, gota be happy with that.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  41. Profile photo of mcfluff mcfluff says:

    north’s 2NT 2nd bid says 17/18 points and I have 10 so just in case I checked for Aces and bid 6S. 12 made by throwing a D loser on the losing 10H! 1st game must concentrate tonight!
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3
    P 4 P 4N
    P 5 P 6
    P P P

  42. Profile photo of astrolx astrolx says:

    OOPS it seems I needed to show the Club suit as well….note to self… ‘be competitive Linda’.


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

  43. Profile photo of judyjunkin judyjunkin says:

    Bid was 4 Spades and made 11. I think I could have made the 6 if I had gone after trumps the other way. will try again.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  44. Profile photo of bridgergal bridgergal says:

    4S made 12. Happy
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1
    P 2N P 3
    P 4 P P
    P

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