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Improve Your Bridge Game with Marty Bergen

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 if you Click Here

  1. Play the honor from the short side first applies to the declarer AND the defenders.
  2. When declarer has K J 6 5 4 3 and Dummy has A 2, cash the ace, the finesse the jack.  Ian asked: if you have the 7 as well (in the long hand)? Do not finesse, Ian. Cash the ace and king.
  3. When opponent opens a minor, avoiding a 1NT overcall because you lack a stopper is even more impratical than not opening 1NT with a worthless doubleton.
  4. If partner opens 1 club, responder can easily show any new suit at the one level, so a 1NT response guarantees a balanced hand.
  5. When you have a 9-card fit, you should have no qualms about competing to the three level. (from More Declarer Play the Bergen Way)
  6. Notrump bids are more descriptive than suit bids. Therefore, when you have a choice of bids, don’t be vague when you can be precise.
  7. Cover and honor with an honor ONLY when you have a realistic chance of promoting a card in your hand or partner’s.
  8. “Never reproach your partner if there is the slightest thing for which you can reproach yourself.” —Ely Culbertson
  9. Lead an honor in partner’s suit when you have a sequence or a short suit or a very good reason.
  10. For the most part, only very good players can duck smoothly when an honor is led through them.
  11. Never “result,” or criticize your partner for a normal action just because it did not work this time.
  12. If you think your contract depends on a finesses, try to find a better alternative.
  13. When to lead a trump: RHO opens a major, his partner never supports him, opener bids a second suit, which becomes trump. Dummy is probably short in declarer’s first suit so you should be eager to lead a trump.
  14. You don’t need much strength to balance, but if your partner was unable to open, you should avoid “very light balancing.” (from More Declarer Play the Bergen Way)
  15. Cheap bids lead to good auctions, better contracts and best of all, very happy partners.
  16. Because breaking a suit will often prove to be helpful to the other side, there are many instances where passive defense is defender’s best option.
  17. Negative doubles are only used after a natural overcall in a suit.
  18. When you partner opens 1NT and you have a very weak major suit: If your side has 27-30 HCP, respond 3NT rather than biding Stayman.
  19. Hands with long suits are much more effective when they are accompanied by short suits.
  20. Upgrade honor cards in RHO’s suit. Downgrade honor cards in LHO’s suit.
  21. The opponents sacrificed against your game or slam. You or your partner doubled. Their only hope is to win tricks is with their trumps. Therefore, it’s time to “Get the kiddies of the streets.” Your side has strength in all 3 side suits. Once you remove some of their trumps, what will they do for an encore?
  22. Lead an honor for a finesse only if you are eager to see it covered.
  23. If RHO bids or doubles after partner’s Jacoby transfer, you don’t have to bid.
  24. When giving partner a ruff (or trying to), the card you lead is a suit preference card.
  25. Once a declarer goes to work on a suit, the defenders should almost always avoid leading that suit.

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