PLAYING IN NO TRUMP
 
COUNT
BEFORE PLAYING TO 1st TRICK

DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH WINNERS 
OFF THE TOP TO MAKE THE CONTRACT?

IF YES, THEN TAKE THEM.
IF NO, THEN YOU HAVE TO CREATE WINNERS.


 
 CREATING WINNERS 
  If you do not have enough tricks off the top to make the contract then you have to create winners. In most cases this must be done immediately. If you have sure winners off the top they can be played last. They will not run away.  Keep them for later. They are like money in the bank; let them collect interest. By playing winners prematurely you may create winners for the opponents. (If you persist in this behavior, you can attend a Premature Winner clinic. You will note that most people arrive early.) You must concentrate on creating your winners. How is this done?
 
LONG SUIT PROMOTION FINESSE

This might involve giving up the lead. In most cases do so as soon as possible. 
Take loses quickly; take winners slowly.

  LONG SUIT
Most No Trump contracts are a race between the
Declarer and the Defenders as to who can make tricks with the long suit. For the Declarer it might involve:
  • dropping an honor by playing high cards
  • taking a  finesse
  • giving up the lead to a high card
Often Declarer has to give up the lead (sometimes more than once) to create winners. An investment in one losing trick might give a return of  five winners. Or an investment of three losers might give a return of just one winner. But that winner might be the one needed to make the contract.

 
  EXAMPLE 1. Play the Ace and the  King. If the Queen and the Jack drop then you have the rest of the tricks for a total of  four. If the suit splits 3/1, then you will lose a trick and make only four. If the suit splits 4/0, then you could lose two and make three. 1. DUMMY
       A 10 9 7 6 
 
 
 

        DECLARER
       K 8 4 3

  EXAMPLE 2. Take the finesse for the King by playing the 10. If the King does not appear on Declarer’s left, let the 10 ride (play the 5 from Dummy). If the finesse loses, that is, if the 10 is taken by the King on Declarer’s right, then you will still make the remaining tricks in the suit for a total of  four. 
       If the finesse wins (the 10 wins), repeat by leading a small card to the Jack. If the King is captured you can make five cards in that suit. If not you will always have four.
2. DUMMY
       A Q J 5
 
 
 
 

       DECLARER
      10 9 6 4 2

  EXAMPLE 3.  Just play the suit.  Once the Ace is played you will have four tricks in the suit. Lost one; made four. 3. DUMMY
       K Q 10 8
 
 
 
 

       DECLARER
      J 9 7 4 3

  EXAMPLE 4.  Same as Example 3.  Just play the suit and you will have two winners. Lost three; made two.
4. DUMMY
       J 9 8 7 6
 
 
 
 

       DECLARER
      10 5 4 


 

 
 


Only if you desparately need a fourth, should you invite this
gentleman to your game.
PROMOTION
Trick promotion is done by playing high cards in a  short suit and driving out opponent's top honor(s).  Then the Declarer’s high cards or honors are promoted to winners. You must lose tricks in order to promote high cards to winners.
 
 
1.  DUMMY
       K Q J
 
 
 

       DECLARER
             3 2

 2. DUMMY
           10 9 8
 
 
 

         DECLARER
            Q J 7

EXAMPLE 1. Play the suit. You will promote two tricks in the suit once the opponent's Ace is played. If the opponent does not play the Ace on the first round continue the suit. If  the opponent holds up with the Ace a second time do not continue; you made your two tricks. That is just what you are entitled to.

EXAMPLE 2. Play the suit. After the Ace and the King are driven out you will promote one card to a winner.
 

 Often in Declarer play you have to 
 lose tricks. 
 Do it sooner rather than later.
 LOSERS EARLY | WINNERS LATE

 QUIZ 12 PLAYING IN NT 

 
 
NORTH
S 6 5 3 2
H Q 8 5
D J 3 2
C A K 3

1. South bids first.
What is the final contract?
Who is the opening leader?
Count winners or losers?
What is Declarer's plan?
  WEST
S Q J 10 8
H J 6 4 3
D K 7
C Q 8 2

 EAST
S 9 7
H 10 9 7
D A 8 6 4
C J 7 6 4

 
 SOUTH
S A K 4
H A K 2
DQ 10 9 5
C 10 9 5






















 
NORTH
S A K 8 3
H K 3 
D 7 6 4 2
C A 5 4 

2. South bids first.
What is the final contract?
Who is the opening leader?
Count winners or losers?
What is Declarer's plan?
  WEST
S 7 4 2
H J 5 2
D A 9
C Q J 10 9 3

EAST
S Q J 10 9
H Q 10 9 8 4
D 10 8 
C 8 7 

 
SOUTH
S 6 5
H A 7 6
D K Q J 5 3
C K 6 2 


ANSWERS to Quiz 12

 

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