Andrew Robson


Making tricks is a combination of cashing the ones you started with (the “top tricks”); and promoting others. Mostly, you do not have enough top tricks for your contract, so must seek to promote extra tricks (and this you generally do early on – as we shall see over the coming weeks). But sometimes you do have enough top tricks, in which case your only potential problem is blocking yourself.

To determine the best order to take the those high cards, use the Unblocking Rule: With sequential high cards between the two hands…
If leading from the hand with the shorter length, lead the highest card.
If leading from the hand with the longer length, lead the lowest card.

(i) K3 facing AQJ2. Play the king and the two to the first round; then the three to the ace-queen-jack.
ii) KJ32 facing AQ4. Play the ace and the two to the first round; then (repeating the maxim) the queen and the three; finally the four over to the king-jack.

On our featured deal, declarer could count nine top tricks – four in each major plus A. Sadly, he blocked himself…

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