Welcome to Basement Bridge

Weekly updates from Kit Jackson offering hints and tips for the modern Bridge player. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012


But Jeeves, Old Man, you really make the most frightful hoo-hah over nothing.  We bid to 5 Clubs and, thanks to some rum nifty card play by yours truly at the death, we even made a jolly old over trick, what?”

“Ah well you see Sir, it’s really not quite as simple as that.  Is it?”

“Isn’t it?  Does the Wooster brain miss something?”

“Quite possibly, Sir.  Let us peruse the score.  5 Clubs plus 1, Vulnerable, makes 620. Did Sir happen to see the traveller for the board at all?”

“Crikey, no. Really dull.”

“It makes, however, interesting reading. We obtained a complete bottom on the board.”

“Zero? Big fat zero? All my hard work and snazzy declarer play availeth nought?”

“Everyone else was in 3NT sir, you see. If they had all been held to 9 tricks they would indeed have done worse than us with only 600. But in fact everyone made at least one overtrick for plus 630, and some even made two for 660. So 620 – however admirably played, did indeed availeth nought, as you so accurately put it.”

“That’s really not fair. I make 12 tricks and get a lower score than those who only made 10! That’s outrageous. I am speechless.”

“If only sir. It is to do with the value of the first trick at NT, which is 40,  while subsequent tricks are 30. Even major suit tricks are only worth 30 each, while a minor suit trick is worth only a paltry 20. As you see sir this will heavily affect the score line It will also therefore heavily affect the contract one should strive to be in. Obviously, it is the better scoring contract we should always aim at. Not the safest.”

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