Declarer Play

Posted 03 June 2008 by Ron

Planning the play as declarer in no-trumps

1.    Count how many instant winners you have without losing the lead
2.    Determine how many more tricks you need to make your contract
3.    Check to see which suit will give you the best chance of making those extra tricks
4.    Play that suit, and do not be frightened to give up the lead once or more often if it is necessary to establish winners

Many players, when they start playing, hate to give up the lead. They play their sure winners and then hope that things will work out. One of the greatest challenges in bridge is to plan your play and because the dummy hand is exposed you are often able to and with great accuracy. The general order of play in no-trumps is to first set up the extra tricks you need, and only later play your sure winning cards.
This usually means you play your partnership’s longest suit.

Planning the play as declarer in a trump contract

In a trump contract it is best to count your losers and if you have more losers than you can afford, plan to find a way to eliminate some of those losers. When you are counting losers, count them from your own hand but take into account high cards from dummy which will cover your losers.

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K. Hollander