Suit Combinations Tutorial for Everyone by Hondo Bridge

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In this tutorial, I will discuss techniques for maximizing the number of tricks you take in a particular suit.

Suit Combinations
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Source: HondoBridge

In this tutorial, I will discuss techniques for maximizing the number of tricks you take in a particular suit.

 There are basically 3 techniques for taking tricks (to simplify the discussion, assume for the moment that you are playing a no trump contract):

 1) High Cards

 An ace will always take a trick. Similarly, if your suit is AKQJ, you will obviously take 4 tricks. Finally, you can establish your high cards by knocking out the opponent’s high cards. For example, if your suit is KQJ10, you will take 3 tricks by knocking out the opponent’s ace.

 2) Finesses

 Some of your lower high cards may take tricks if the opponent’s high cards are favorably positioned. For example, if your suit is AQ, by leading towards the AQ (“finessing” against the K), you will take two tricks any time your opponents’ K is to the left of the Q. In general, there is a 50% chance that a particular opponent has a specific card, so half the time you will take one trick,and half the time you will take 2 tricks.

Another way to finesse is to lead a high card from one hand towards a higher card in the other hand. Thus, if your holding is QJ opposite Ax, you can finesse against the K by leading the Q from your hand. Again, half the time you will take one trick, and half the time you will take 2 tricks. However, it is usually preferable to lead towards a high card, rather than leading a high card from your hand. This is because if your opponent covers, you are using 2 of your high cards to knock out one of your opponent’s.

For example, if your suit holding is xxx opposite AQJ, you will take 3 tricks half the time. However, if your suit holding is QJx opposite Axx, you will almost always take only 2 tricks regardless of which opponent has the K (even though your combined resources are the same as in the previous example). Imagine what will occur. You lead the Q, your opponent plays the K, and you play the A. Your J will take a trick, but your opponent’s 10 will take the last trick.

 By the way, this is why it is generally correct to cover an opponent’s honor with your honor — it may establish a lower card in your partner’s hand. 

Another example of this principle is if your holding is Qxx opposite AJx. You should lead low towards the J, rather than leading the Q. This will sometimes result in 3 tricks if the K happens to be doubleton and to the left of the AJx. However, if you lead the Q, you will never be able to take 3 tricks (against proper defense!).

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Esta entrada también está disponible en: Spanish

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