Rule of 14


This concept was devised by Mr. Malcolm MacDonald. The article was published in The Bridge Bulletin, January and February 1998. It is employed to determine whether the action of a squeeze play ought to / should be considered when the possibility of winning an additional trick presents itself during play. Such an action should also be considered even when there is another, second possibility available such as a finesse. The rule or guideline offered for determining whether a squeeze is possible or even preferable is summarized by the author as below: 

1. Count the number of tricks that must be lost.

2. Count the number of winners that can be run.

3. And count the number of cards that must be held in the threat suits by one defender.

If the total is 14, a squeeze may be possible.

If the total is 13, then a squeeze is not possible. 

This Rule of Fourteen can be applied at trick one or whenever the declarer has made the determination that the contract can be made minus one trick, or within one trick of making the contract. This Rule of Fourteen may also be employed against each defender separately for double squeezes.

Tricks that can be won in the threat suits may be counted with winners or with cards that must be held by a defender in the threat suit, as long as they are not counted twice. It is the opinion of the author that Pseudo-Squeezes always add up to 13.

In the words of the author the Rule of 14 does not assist the declarer to determine whether the conditions necessary for the squeeze to succeed exist, nor does the Rule of 14 indicate the proper technique for the execution of the squeeze. The Rule of 14 simply indicates that a squeeze is possible. The Rule of 14 is effective because the central and basic concept underlying the squeeze play is that a defender does not have sufficient physical space in his/her hand to hold all of the cards needed to successfully defend, which, if the opposite were true, then the defender would hold more that 13 cards.

An example, as presented in the article, illustrates and clarifies this concept: Click here to continue Reading