DAILY BRIDGE CLUB
Duplicate bridge is a great way to improve your game and be part of a community of people with a common interest. Many strategies at duplicate differ from party bridge.
At 3NT, South wins the first heart with the jack and counts three hearts, four clubs and a diamond. At party bridge, South might clinch the contract by leading a spade next. He would have time to set up a spade for a ninth trick.
In a typical duplicate game, every North-South would bid 3NT. We say the contract is “normal.” So South must try for an overtrick. If he wins nine tricks when everyone else wins 10, he will get a “bottom” score.
At duplicate, South must lead a diamond to dummy’s 10 at Trick Two. East wins and returns a heart, and then South leads a club to his hand and finesses in diamonds again. Making four.
If the diamonds lay badly — East had K-Q-9-6 — South might go down at a cold game. But at duplicate, what matters is not making 3NT but winning more tricks than your competitors.
You hold: ♠ Q103 ♥ AJ2 ♦ 7432 ♣ A Q 5. You open one diamond, your partner responds one heart, you bid 1NT and he tries two spades. What do you say?
Answer: Partner’s two spades — a new suit — is forcing. But with, say, 4-4-2-3 shape, he would have no reason to bid spades after you didn’t bid one spade at your second turn. Since he surely has at least five hearts, bid three hearts. Show your three-card support for his first suit.