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Goodbye Jesus

Five On Top


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This is what a Bridge hand looks like at the start of bidding:




West is Dealer and has opened 1 Diamond, my partner North has passed, as has East. Because I have 18 points and a balanced hand, I overcall 1 No Trump. West passes, and North calls 2 Spades, which is what's called a weak take-out. Meaning he has 5 (hopefully more Spades in his hand and not many points. He is afraid if we stay in No Trumps we shall get a hammering, as well he might be. Even though I hold 18 points, partner only holds 4. 22 points total does not bode well for Three No Trumps, but one can't have everything.


You count a hand in this way, for each Ace add four points, for each King three, for each Queen two and for each Jack, one. Ten spots are figured at half a point each, but we ain't that close to the blanket.


I bid 3 No Trumps because I hold a maximum No Trump hand stopped in all suits. Partner is probably horrified, because that means I will have to make nine tricks out of thirteen. Better I should make more, and there's a chance we'll be cut to ribbons but we'll see. If we fail, we fail, so what else is new?




My partner's hand comes into view because after the bidding is over, West has to lead. See the Three of Diamonds on the left? That's the opening lead. Now before I do anything else I shall have to count my winners in both hands. I have got three in Hearts (the Ace, King and Queen that you can see and two in Diamonds because West was good enough to lead that suit. "Good enough to bid, good enough to lead" goes the saying, but here, no matter what East plays to the trick, I will get two winners.


I have to make nine tricks and have only five on top (meaning I can cash them anytime). That doesn't look good, but the Spades aren't too bad. As partner and I have eight together there are five out. 68% of the time there will be three on one side and two on the other. That's not guaranteed, but Spades is my longest suit and that is where I'll have to make the extra tricks I need. Thus, after East plays the Ten of Diamonds which I take with my Queen, I at once play the King of Spades:




West takes his Ace and thankfully, East follows to the trick, but I am not out of the woods yet. West plays a Heart in order to cut my communications with Dummy (North) as much as anything else. There is nothing else for it but to take the Queen and play the Queen of Spades under which I slide the Jack (no choice):




When both sides again follow, the contract is certain. Now the Spades will run and I can discard a Heart, a Diamond and two Clubs from hand. Why will the Spades run? Because the only Spade left is the Nine spot and my Ten is then the master Spade. After running the Spades I can reveal this position and declare the hand:




"A Diamond to the Ace, and I'll cash the Hearts, making ten tricks. Then you and the devil can share the rest". This hand would have been murder if the Spades hadn't broken 3-2, but if you don't take a risk sometimes, where's the fun in life eh?


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