Do not advertise your whole hand
Will Rogers said, “If advertisers spent the same amount of money on improving their products as they do on advertising, then they wouldn’t have to advertise them.” At the bridge table, every bid and most passes, especially on the first round of the auction, advertise something about a hand. Each player hopes that partner will benefit more than the opponents, but as we have seen this week, that isn’t always the case. Here is another example where tracking high-card points turns an apparent guess into a certainty.
In fourth position, South opens one heart; North makes a gameinvitational limit raise; and South goes to game. (If your partnership uses the Drury convention, do not stop.) West starts the defense with his three top clubs. After ruffing the last, how should South continue? Declarer draws trumps, runs his diamonds, discarding two spades from the board, and leads a spade. When West plays low smoothly, should South call for dummy’s jack or king?
West has shown up with nine points in clubs, but did not open the bidding. So, he cannot have the spade ace; South should play dummy’s jack.
How could West know that the third club will not cash? At trick one, East discourages with the three. Then he gives remaining count with the four. But even if West shifts to a heart at trick three, declarer should draw trumps ending in the dummy and play the club 10. It would take a lot of courage for East to play low while holding the queen; also, he probably would have encouraged at trick one if he had the club queen.