Should you ask for aces? No!!! Pass or invite to slam
January 8, 2017
Stoppers for notrumps | ♠4 ♥T8762 ♦AK54 ♣Q42
January 9, 2017

Don’t forget this important step before you start playing!

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?

54 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 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

  41. Profile photo of starcey starcey says:

    Made 11 with 3 NT

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

  42. Profile photo of cacho cacho says:

    i have made 11 tricks.after making the ACl, all the diamonds and from the dummy played the Jsp and the Asp from my hand. the Ksp fall and make three spadesand 1 heart. 6 diamonds, 3 spades 1 club and 1 heart
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 2N
    P 3N P P
    P

  43. Profile photo of eastmains eastmains says:

    Just watched the video: need to watch it again!
    Probably need to have a fire extinguisher handy when I try to put it into practice!! Looks worthwhile though.
    S M O K I N G!

  44. Profile photo of lizzys lizzys says:

    Opened 1C, partner showed her diamonds, I bid 2nt and partner went to 3 and we made 11 tricks! East kindly played her two aces first which made making the contract very easy.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    P 1 P 2N
    P 3N P P
    P

  45. Profile photo of meng meng says:

    easy%uFF0Cmade11
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 2N
    P 3N P P
    P

  46. Profile photo of kalynpress kalynpress says:

    On my 3rd try made 11 Not that hard if I was paying attention. Duck the Club. Establish the J of Spades looking for the king. It did not drop so I ran my diamonds remember to unblock myself. Then gave up the lead expecting to lose some but was already home. Then I find the singleton King of spades which sets up my Q of Spades for my 11th trick.. Only wish I did this the 1st time!!
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 2N
    P 3N P P
    P

  47. Called 3NT made 10 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

  48. First time made 10 tricks second time 11 – contract 3NT
    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

  49. Profile photo of evereece evereece says:

    I squeaked out 3 NT and no more! The king of spades falling on my ace was the winner…I did hesitate, but my finesses seem to fail! I know I don’t hesitate long enough before diving into a contract. I must slow it down…great lesson!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 2N
    P 3N P P
    P

  50. Profile photo of evereece evereece says:

    I bid three diamonds and made four…I am so “green” and need much, much more practice. I guess time will tell…some folks seem to be naturals at this 🙂
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    P 2 P 3
    P P P

  51. Profile photo of evereece evereece says:

    second time around lol..should quit while I am ahead
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    P 2 P 3
    P P P

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