~Rules of Br*dge

There is no ‘I” in br*dge; it’s a partnership game.

When partner has made a lead that you believe shows both the ace and king of that suit and you hold the doubleton queen of the suit, always play the low card–never play the queen.

When leading against a no-trump contract, tend not to lead from a 4-card suit unless holding two or more honors in the suit. An exception would be when holding the A9xx or K9xx. Another exception might be when the bidding indicates a weakness in the suit in the declaring side. Otherwise, this lead will almost always give away a trick.

Rule of 7–If you suspect that an opponent has led from a five-card suit against your no-trump contract, you can determine the correct number of times to duck by subtracting the number of cards in the suit held by you and dummy from seven. By ducking the indicated number of times, you ensure that your RHO has no card in that suit to lead to his partner if he gains the lead (or that the enemy split is 4-4).

Rule of 7, 9, & 11: Use this rule when considering a two-suited takeout. The two-suit takeout bidder promises the following minimum “working” points:

~NV vs Vul: 7
~Equal vulnerability: 9
~Vul vs NV: 11

Working points are the high cards in your long suits plus side suit aces and guarded kings. Side Qs and Js are ignored (if not supported).

Rule of 8–A system for deciding whether to bid over an opponent’s 1NT bid in the direct seat. The key to this system is distribution. Long suits in your hand create short suits that help to reduce the effectiveness of the enemy high cards. You determine whether to bid by subtracting the number of losers in your hand (using loser count) from the total number of cards in your two longest suits. If the result is two or more, bid if you have 6+ HCP.

Rule of 9–A system for deciding whether to bid or pass after partner has made a reopening double. Partner may reopen with a double when holding one or two cards in the opponent’s suit, even if the hand is not perfect for a takeout double. Partner should pass with three or more cards in the opponent’s suit unless holding substantial extra values. After the  reopening double, you bid or pass based on the Rule of Nine: add (1) the level of the contract, (2) the number of cards in the opponent’s suit, and (3) the number of honors in the opponent’s suit (ten is an honor). If the total is nine or more, pass; otherwise, bid.

Rule of 9 (Alternate)–used by either partner after a Jacoby 2NT responses to show a strong 4-card side suit. The number of cards in the suit and the number of HCP must equal or exceed 9. Show this suit if either party does not bid 4 of the major at their first opportunity. This is an alternate approach to showing a good 5-card side suit.

Rule of 11–If the leader leads fourth-high, you can determine the number of cards outstanding by subtracting the number of the card led from 11.

Rule of 15–Used to determine whether to open weak hands in fourth seat; open the hand if the number of HCP and the number of spades (minimum 4) equals or exceeds 15. These are called Pierson Points or Casino Count.

Rule of 17—When partner has opened a 2H or 2S as a Weak Two Bid, you can determine whether to make a game try or slam try by adding your HCP to your number of trumps (minimum of two). If your total is 17 or more, bid a forcing 2NT; the bid asks partner to show a feature (A or K) in a side suit if within the upper half of the HCP associated with the Weak Two Bid (usually 8-10). If partner denies a feature and/or 8+ HCP by bidding his suit at the three-level, you may pass; but if he shows a feature, you should bid game with an adjusted point count of 17-19 and make a slam try (bid 4NT) with 20+.

Rule of 20–Used to determine whether or not to open marginal hands; you can open hands where the number of cards in the two longest suits and the number of HCP equal or exceed 20.

Rule of 22–a stronger requirement for opening under the Rule of Twenty; the hand must also contain two quick tricks: 2 aces, an ace and king in the same suit, an ace and two unguarded kings. Add the two quick tricks to the Rule of Twenty and open only if the Rule-of-Twenty hand also contains two quick tricks.


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