• 4H, 11 tricks
    Opening lead: East C5


    Initially, I went for the HK drop, and then played a low heart taken by East.
    On trick #4 when East played S4, I tried the spade finesse, which failed.
    On trick #5 West played the D4, North the DJ, which succeeded!
    I thought, “Oh! Everybody made 12. Nobody did the foolish spade finesse.” But…

  • EW 3NT, down 1, then down 2
    Opening lead: South S5

    Good reminder, @unixman.

    A few months ago I learned about leading the long suit in NT, sitting there in the weeds patiently waiting, holding onto it, […]

  • 5D, 10 tricks
    Opening lead West: H5


    This is important for learners, I think. (Unless I am the only one who missed it.) Thanks to @ardbrugh for mentioning it in his post.

    I […]

  • 3NT, 10 tricks
    Opening lead West: D8

    Wow, look at the variety of scores. It definitely was tricky, but some things just worked out.

    With the diamond lead, the first decision was whether to play the A or Q. I wasn’t sure what the D8 lead meant. (It did turn out to be the fourth highest.) Finally I said, “What the heck” and played the…

  • @gayer

    4H, 10 tricks

    Oh, of course! Thank you! It seemed so, so likely that East had the CK (12-13 points out of 17) but I just couldn’t see that we could have, as you say, taken the CA and finessed around with the CQ or J.

    cc @zoomer2591

  • I followed the hint and bid X on my first bid. When partner didn’t respond, I felt there was no choice but to bid game (5D) due to the risk of getting passed out. I realized in hindsight that X was particularly good for this hand because it took away the passing out risk for the first round.

    There are some interesting bidding ideas from…

  • 3S, 8 then 9
    Opening lead East: DQ, DJ, C3
    I played in 3S after initially playing against EW’s 3D.

    Playing the spade contract seems pretty complex to me. I see that most people made only 8, like I did on the first try. (I think some bidding sequences were a little easier due to more helpful EW play early-on.)

    Anyway, the first time I lost 1S,…

  • Just want to reiterate the rule — that I keep forgetting for some reason — to lead the high card from the short hand first. Fortunately it didn’t matter this time, as we could get over to North with a club, but enough is enough! I don’t know if this tripped up any other learners.

    Maybe this quotation from The Bridge World — which specifically…

  • @stevewehrle

    So sorry about your loss of Fran. One of the pleasures of going for walks is saying hello to the dogs that happen by on their walks.

    I have had mostly cats, wonderful cats. I think I am still not over the loss of Philomena 4 years ago. She adopted me when she was about 5, and essentially we had been together 24 hours a day for 10…

    • Thank you for your thoughts. I have buried my mother, father, and step-mother,and I honestly believe the loss of a treasured pet is worse than a relative. It is like that the pet never really grows up, so in that sense, its more like losing a child.

  • EW 5DX, 11 by EW
    Opening lead North: HA

    I am going to have to stop taking mistakes so hard. I am eating dinner, and it’s disturbing my digestion. @poppingpopcorn seems to have kept her equilibrium a little better.

    I doubled them, I had the third trick in my hand, and I played the SJ instead of the SA!

    — Trick #1. Partner took the opening…

  • @banksia9
    I did happen to play a low diamond from North, but never saw what you have explained. Thanks. What a good example of the value of Tens and Nines!

    cc @zoomer2591

  • 3NT, 8 tricks
    Opening lead: West D7

    Unlike many, I didn’t foresee the entry problem with the SK. I focused on the D9, to make D8 good for the 9th trick.

    Plan One. Worked like a charm until I looked up and realized I couldn’t get over to my 9th trick, the SK.

    T 2. D6 over to the DK to start the diamond ball rolling.
    T 3-4. Plan was to give up…

    • This highlights the value of playing on line. When you play at club level you either make or not and it is effectively the end of it. Here you can explore different options and keep playing the hand until you work out the optimum sequence of play.

  • @cgray

    EW 4S, 10
    Opening lead South: CA

    I hated taking those three cards off the top, but did it anyway. And it turned out to be the thing to do. Maybe when your hand has nothing but a few quick tricks, it makes sense to grab them??

    cc @zoomer2591

    • I think you are right, especially as there is no other entry and it is a suit contract. I get too caught up in general guidelines, such as Aces are for taking Kings, rather than thinking!

  • @lynneb

    You can remove the bidding sheet by clicking on the bid at the top of the page. This toggles it on and off.
    cc @diannvoyce

  • 3NT, down 2
    Opening lead: East S2

    What a great approach mentioned by @jeffs and @waxing2

    NS continuing to lead East’s suit to distract EW from clubs worked like a charm. Granted, spades were set up perfectly this time, but what a wonderful idea to keep in mind for the future when we have nothing to do but pray to keep opponents away from the…


    4H, made only 9 tricks due to late silliness.
    A beautiful 11 was in the cards. Replay is below.
    Opening lead: West D3

    I don’t know how many did this, but it was so pretty, I wrote it up.

    Trick 1. West led D3, East played D2.
    11 %u2013 3 equals 8.
    We can see 7, so one more diamond in East equals a 4-2 split. (This…

  • 3D, 11 tricks
    Opening lead West: club

    So I got directed into a diamond overcall by the hint rather than NT. But I could have gone into 3NT after North’s 3D. That never occurred to me even with stoppers in opponents’ suits. That second bid by North made it clear he had 10-11 points, so I could have gone to 5D or 3NT. Just blown bidding, I…

  • 2S, made
    Opening lead: C2

    Even though I did a poor job playing, I ended up with a decent score. No way was I bidding 2NT with this hand: the hint said it meant, “Balanced, invitational.” I don’t really see how we could go to 3C. Just stop and pray.

    cc @zoomer2591

  • 3D, 10 tricks
    Opening lead: West H2
    EW S-H-D-C: 9-8-4-5

    What a wonderful hand for learners to practice seeing the unseen cards.

    S. After taking two hearts, East led the C7. North took it with the CT. Now we know the A-Q is with East. (I put this info on hold, vaguely realizing there were at least 3 clubs in East. But there might be 4 for a…

  • 3NT, 11 tricks
    Opening lead East: S4

    I hated bidding those awful hearts, but since it was forcing I went ahead. Was unhappy with 3NT (what kind of heart protection was I providing??) but what to do? […]

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