The following golden rules apply in at least 95% of situations so if you follow them you will be doing the right thing 9.5 times out of 10. The exceptions can take time to spot, but as you see them you will remember them for next time getting you close to perfect bridge.
1.1 For game in No Trumps you will usually require 25+ High Card Points (HCP) for a small slam in NT you will usually need 32-35 HCPs and 36+ for a grand slam in NTs. 10s are usually more important in NT than in suit contracts.
1.2 For game in suit contracts you may need the same points as above but high cards are not as important as distribution. Aces are more valuable in suit contracts than the 4 HCPs assigned in NTs. Try counting them as 5HCPs ONCE you have agreed a suit!
1.3 Bid slowly when you have strength to determine the correct strain (suit vs NT); bid quickly when you are weak with a fit.
1.4 MISFIT nearly always = NT and you will need more HCPs (than mentioned above) to achieve your goal.
1.5 The 5 level belongs to the opposition in competitive auctions. This means that if you bid to 4 expecting to make and the opponents bid 5, you should normally pass or double 5 rather than bidding 5.
1.6 Follow the law of total tricks [The total number of potential trumps held in you and your partner’s best fit OR the total number of potential trumps held in your opponents fit defines the level at which you should play in competitive sequences. Simply put if you have 9 spades between you and any number of points it is mostly safe to bid to the 3 level (9 tricks needed).] There are several good books on this topic that are essential bridge reading.
1.7 Don’t psyche unless you wish to change partners!
2.1 Plan the whole play before you play any card to trick one.
2.2 Count your tricks – winners AND losers. The total may not add up to 13!
2.2.1 Where do extra tricks come from?
18.104.22.168 Finesses. These are easiest to understand and do but you should look to avoid these if a better percentage is available. On the face of it a finesse is a 50% chance this may be better if an opponent has bid the suit and the finesse cards are sat on her left.
22.214.171.124 Establishing long suits. Click Here to continue reading