By Val Rhead
Your opponent leads. Your dummy’s hand comes down. Before you play your first card from dummy, make a plan. A number of players in our clubs have taken lessons over the past year. Frequently, I am noticing a pause at this point. Another player will point out, “It’s your turn Marybelle.”
“I know, I know,” she’ll reply. “I’m making my plan.”
Now, remember when you were first learning to play Bridge, you were told. “Always get your trump out.” This was good advice, but it was incomplete. You should have been told. Always get your trump out, unless you have a reason not to.”
You often have a reason not to. One of these reasons is to make extra trump tricks by ruffing in the dummy. Say Hearts are trump. You have five Hearts in your hand and three on the board in dummy. This leaves five trumps in the hands of your opponents.
You are lucky enough to have the Ace, King, Queen, Jack and Ten. Well, that is very nice. You will be able to draw out all the trump without losing any. You will make five trump tricks, but that is all the trump tricks you will make if you pull trump. Wouldn’t it be even better to make more than five trump tricks by ruffing some of your losers with those trump that you have in dummy? The problem is, though, that if you have used up all your trump in dummy, you can no longer use those trump for ruffing losers.
The solution is that when you make your plan, before you play dummy’s card to the first trick, notice if the dummy has any short suits, such as voids, singletons, and even doubletons. You might be able to use dummy’s trumps to ruff one or more losers from your hand before dummy’s trump disappear.
You’ll get a higher score, maybe so much of a higher score that you will wish that you had bid slam, rather than a mere Four-Heart game. Of course, even if you have just bid a game and make an extra trick or two, you will end up with a higher score. Particularly, if you’re playing a game of Duplicate Bridge which has a very different scoring system, extra overtricks can make a tremendous improvement to your score.
Perhaps you are worried that if you try to get an extra ruffing trick in the dummy when you have a singleton or doubleton in the dummy’s suit, your opponent also will be short in that suit and will ruff the trick. Well, those are the breaks in this game. But often you are losing a trick that you would have lost anyway if you didn’t try for the ruff. Making extra trump tricks can be profitable.
Sorry I had to use the word “trump” so often in this column, but it is the word established by the bidding to describe the boss suit!
If you wish to promote an activity in your bridge group or ask a bridge question, send the information to [email protected] and I will try to include it in this column.
HUNTSVILLE DUPLICATE BRIDGE CLUB
Games for the Huntsville Club are Tuesday evening 7:00, Trinity United Church 33 Main Street. Please arrive at least 15 minutes early. Contact Jan Roberts 705-635-2522 or [email protected] for information and partnerships.
The Huntsville Sep 4 computer error has been corrected. The following winners are for Tuesday, Sep 4 with 15 pairs playing a Mitchell movement. North-South 1. Vern Foell and Rod Dixon; 2. Betty Fagin and Brian Brocklehurst; 3. Val Rhead and Dorothy Russell; 4. Liz Graham and Sandy Graham; East-West 1. Art Insley and Don Evans; 2. Linda Planeta and Margaret Sanderson; 3. Liz Barnes and Bev Howard; 4. Susan Marshall and Jan Roberts
The following winners are for Tuesday, Sep 11 with 16 pairs playing a Mitchell movement. North-South 1. Vern Foell and Rod Dixon; 2. Betty Fagin and Brian Brocklehurst; 3. Val Rhead and Gail Lederer; 4. Mary Simonett and Kel Andresen;
East-West 1. Liz Barnes and Bev Howard; 2. Julianne Guselle and Helen Pearson; 3. Jane Insley and Fay MacDonald; 4. Susan Marshall and Jan Roberts
MUSKOKA DUPLICATE BRIDGE CLUB (Bracebridge)
Games for the Bracebridge Club are Mondays 7pm, Knox Presbyterian Church, 120 Taylor Road. Please arrive 15 minutes before game time. For information or partnerships, call Brian at 705-645-5340 [email protected]
The following winners are from Monday, Sep 10 with 21 pairs playing a Mitchell movement. North-South 1. Betty Fagin and Brian Brocklehurst; 2. Gaye Kastning and Bill Kastning; 3. Mary Mitchell and Susan Maddocks; 4. Lyn Walisser and Bev Howard; 5. Mary Luke and Donna McIntosh; 6. Betty Rintoul and Hazel Bowes; East-West 1. Kathy Kent and David Kent; 2. Liz Barnes and David Bryce; 3. Dorothy Russell and Gail Lederer; 4. Frank Vagnoni and Gerry Lawrence; 5. Val Rhead and Joanne Garvey; 6. Lynda Mochrie and Wayne Mochrie
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