Improve Your Bridge Game with Marty Bergen is a Marty Bergen’s Facebook page, where he publishes almost every day a very short and very useful bridge tip. Today we are publishing a few of them, you can find them all if you [button link=»» size=»small» window=»yes»]Click Here[/button]

October 2013

1) If the Rule of 11 contradicts the cards in view, you can be sure partner has led top of nothing rather than 4th best.

2) Many players are so eager to win tricks that they forget that it’s usually correct to “lose your losers early.”

3) The best time to try for ruffs in when you have trump control.

4) Ann Cox asked, «Dear Marty, watching the world bridge championships, a bidding system is used a lot. Partner opens one of a suit; responder always transfers his suit, What is this bidding system called ?» Ann, it’s not a system. It’s only used after a 1C opening. So, it’s referred to as «Transfers over 1C.»

5) Since aces are under-rated, 3 aces should be thought of as 13 points.

6) If you have a good hand it’s okay to overcall at the one level with a lousy five-card suit.

7) The best defense against a crossruff is to lead trumps early and often.

8) If partner passes your takeout double of 1 club or 1 diamond, he must have a massive holding in opener’s suit. Partner would like to draw their trumps ASAP, so unless you are void, lead a trump.

9) When dummy is known to have a short suit, it is usually best to lead a trump.

10) If you’re afraid that a defender might be void in a particular suit, don’t give him the chance to ruff a winner.

11) After seeing the dummy, try not to think about what other contract would you prefer to be in.

12) The best time to preempt is when the opponents have the balance of power. When your RHO passes, the opponents are less likely to have the majority of the strength. In second seat, you should NOT preempt with a questionable hand.

14) If you’re missing an even number of cards, do not expect them to divide perfectly.

July 2013

1) When dummy tables his cards, he should hold onto the suit that was led and put it down last. This forces declarer to look over the other 3 suits before playing to the first trick. It is uncanny how many many makeable contracts are lost when declare plays too quickly to trick one.

2) When playing IMPS, look for safety plays to guarantee your contract.

3) Declarer never wants to get “stuck” in the short hand.

4) When opponents have limited strength, their only hope for tricks is distribution so lead trumps early and often.

5) Discarding is often difficult, tedious, and annoying. If you force the defenders to make a lot of discards, they will sometimes throw away the wrong cards.

6) If a vulnerable opponent jumps to 4 hearts or 4 spades on his own, he is eager to play in that contract. Try hard not to let him.

7) Even if partner’s lead promises the AK, don’t always play high-low with a doubleton. Encourage only if you want him to continue.

8) Declarer must distinguish between inevitable losers and losers that might be avoided.

9) At matchpoints, regardless of vulnerability, you don’t need to be super-aggressive in bidding game.

10) If partner invites a notrump slam with a jump to 4 NT, you’re welcome to bid a suit.

11) The easiest signal to give is count.

12) Lose your losers early

14) After a 3-level preempt, the focus of a double must be on 3NT.

15) Davelyn Robbins asked for elaboration on an earlier posting, «Lose your losers early.» An expert declarer develops suits. Too many non-experts grab their winners, and develop tricks for the defenders. Hope this helps.

16) If you don’t give your opponents a chance to make mistakes, you cannot win.

18) Fourth hand should open if your high card points plus number of spades totals 15 or more.