Bridge: Learn The Tricks of The Game

Bridge: Learn The Tricks of The Game

In the previous article, we described a few basic rules about the card play

Arvind VaidyaUpdated: Sunday, April 14, 2024, 12:22 AM IST
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In the previous article, we described a few basic rules about the card play. It is time to take the next step and see how tricks are made at bridge. Only an overview can be presented here

a) Solid Suits: AK, AKQ, AKQJ, AKQJ10, etc

As all the top cards you are dealt here and without any gap, each of these cards assures a trick. The total number of cards you hold will determine how many tricks you will score.

b) Semi Solid Suit: KQ, KQJ, KQJT

Here, the Ace is missing from your holding. Assuming your opponent holds it and not your partner, unless you concede a trick to their Ace, you cannot make your tricks. However, once the ace is driven out, your remaining big cards get promoted to the winning rank. This is how the semi solid suits help in making tricks.

C) AQJT, KJT9, etc

Imagine that you hold AQJT and your partner holds the King in this suit. This fills up the vital gap nicely and again entire suit will bring in tricks for you. However, if the King is with opposing side, you may have to concede a trick before you promote your two cards. In KJT9 too, if partner is having either Q or the A or both, that will make the holding stronger and offer more tricks.

D) Suit division: You hold Ak and partner has xxx (x denotes any small card)

Though AKQ is surely giving three tricks, the 4th small card is not certain to offer a trick. Please note you &   are holding 7 cards out of 13, so opponents hold six cards. If their 6 cards are divided 3-3, all those will fall on your AKQ. At the end of this, 12 cards would be gone and thereby your 4th x card will become a winner by default.
                Xxx (North)
xxx                                 xxx
                Ak(South)

This example also shows that making extra trick/s depends on how the cards of the same suit are distributed between the two opponents. In the example above if it was not 3-3 but 4-2 division, then the small (x) card will not become a winner!

E) Extra trick by a finesse: This Finesse thing is a unique bridge term & technique. Check the following layout:

             AQx (North)                                         AQx
Kxx                               xxxx                   xxx                     XX
             xxx (South)                                          xxx

Case 1: South starts with x card towards North's AQ. West has to play ahead of North. If he plays x, Q can be played from North hand, which, in this layout, will score a trick (East cant beat the Q).

Case 2: However, shift the K to East hand. South will still try the Q but this time it won’t win a trick.

In short, this was a 50-50 chance of Q winning an extra trick. It depended on which opponent held the King. This card play technique is called a 'Finesse'. It’s a process by which you hope to make an extra trick and it’s a 50-50 bet.

This example was of 'finesse against the King'. Likewise, finesse against an Ace and finesse against Queen are also possible.

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