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RANDOM JOTTINGS - 20th April 2001

Hand 1



The score is 362 to you and 417 to your opponents. Your partner bids Nil, East bids 4 and you bid a comfortable 4. After some thought, West bids Nil. Your partner leads 7C to the 8, A and J. If your opponents make both their bids and take less than 3 bags then you have lost! Therefore you have to try and stop them. Ignoring the possibility of setting their 4 bid, you have to either give them 3 bags or set the nil. So, what do you lead? See lower down the page for what happened at the table.    (2-4-01)

Hand 2



The score is 322 to you and 388 to your opponents. West bids 4, your partner 5 and East bids Nil. To prevent your opponents from winning, you have three options. You can set the nil, you can set the 4 bid or you can give the opponents 2 bags. Setting the 4 is unlikely with four bags around. Setting the nil is unlikely because you and East probably have most of the low cards. Your best chance is to try and bag your opponents. This will be far easier if your partner is not trying to cover your nil. So what do you bid? You have an excellent chance to make nil, but making nil will not win the game.Therefore don't bid nil, but bid 1. You also have more chance of setting the nil with two of you to do it.   (2-4-01)

Hand 3



The score is 440 to you and 383 to your opponents. Your partner bids 4 and East bids Nil. What do you bid? This hand doesn't look like a very good nil, so suppose we bid 3, which is the most tricks we could expect to take. This will give us a total of 510. However, all West has to do is to bid 3 to get a total of 513 and win the game. Can we make life more difficult for him? Yes we can - bid nil ! OK it's a bad nil, but if we get set then we haven't lost anything and West no longer has the easy bid. He now has the very difficult job of covering his partner's nil and trying to set your nil at the same time!    (2-4-01)

Hand 4



I would bid 4 on this hand - expecting to make 4 spade tricks. However, if there is any bagging being done, then odds on the bags will come to you! This is a nightmare of a hand. Depending on the lie of the cards and the bidding, you could make anything from 3 to 7 tricks! You can't bid more than 4 tricks or your opponents may set you. It's one of those hands where you just have to grin and bear it. Your opponents will congratulate themselves on their good bagging!    (2-4-01)

Hand No 5



West bids 3, Partner bids 5 and East bids 3. What do you bid? Looks easy doesn't it? It's a comfortable 3. But wait - 11 tricks have been bid. If you bid 3, then that will make 14! Oh good you say the opponents will be set! Someone will be set - yes, but it may be you and your partner. In this situation, unless I had to set them, then I would bid 2. A deliberate underbid you may say. Yes you are right! I would rather take a bag and set the opponents rather than score -80 if partner can only make 4 tricks.   (2-4-01)

Hand No 6



The score was 322 to us and 254 to our opponents. First to bid, my partner bid nil on the hand shown. Do you agree with the bid? I would not bid nil on that hand particularly when winning. Your chances of making nil are very low. Look at those diamonds! They are NOT low enough. It is extremely unlikely that your partner can cover you. Even if you are losing I would not bid nil on the hand unless the situation was similar to Hand 3 (above). Bid 1 and hope to make it.    (6-4-01)

HAND 1 - What happened?

  N   K9754
W   E
See Hand 1 above for the bidding. Remember you have to set them or bag them to save the game. This was the full deal. At trick 2, I led the 3H ! This resulted in my partner being set on the first trick! He was not happy - in fact he got very upset! Looking at all four hands it can be seen that almost any other lead will set their nil! Was I wrong or just unlucky? What would you lead? Of course, in a "normal" situation I would have led the AD, but this was not a normal situation. Incidentally, we set their nil and bagged them and won the game in the end.

Making a similar lead in the past which worked, I was accused of cheating by one of the opponents. Would he have said that on the hand above! There are bad losers at every level of the game and you can't always avoid them.

It is worthwhile mentioning the Nil bid made by West. In normal circumstances this would be plain stupid, but because of the score, it was the only chance they had. A bad bid therefore becomes the right bid. It is a situation similar to Hand 3 (above).   (2-4-01)

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(This page was last updated on 6th April 2001