Aim for game most likely to make
Warren Buffett, who is a keen bridge player, said, “If past history was all there was to the game, the richest people would be librarians.”
At the bridge table, any time you smell a game, bid that game. (Yes, if you are playing in a matchpointed pairs event, you tend to be more circumspect.)
In today’s deal, look only at the North hand. He opens one spade, his partner responds one forcing no-trump (showing 6-12 points and fewer than four spades), he continues with two diamonds, and South rebids two no-trump (game-invitational). What should North do now?
The drawback of including this deal, which was played at Bridge Base Online, is that you know South must be the declarer, which suggests that bidding spades or diamonds cannot be right. On BBO, though, almost every North continued with three diamonds, which ended the auction. After a club lead, declarer was able to win 11 tricks by discarding his heart on the third round of clubs. As you can see, it takes a heart lead to defeat five diamonds.
However, one North felt that game in either of his suits was unlikely, and the running spade suit suggested that three notrump could be the winner.
Right he was. West led the heart ace, under which East strangely encouraged with his nine. This persuaded West to continue with a low heart. South won with her 10 and ran the spades. East pitched a club, and West erred by discarding all of his clubs. So, when declarer cashed dummy’s club king, all became clear and she took 11 tricks: five spades, one heart, one diamond and four clubs.