"Trouble is, Sir," said Private Pike, "when I'm Declarer and dummy goes down I panic."
"What you need," said Captain Mainwaring, "is a Plan. I recommend CATSUP."
"My mother told me not to drink, Sir!"
"Stupid boy, it's mnemonic."
"That's easy for you to say, Sir."
"Not with these teeth it isn't. Now listen up: here's how it goes:
1) CONTRACT. Write it down. I've lost count of the times chaps say "what's the contract?" Keep a scorecard. It starts a mental routine and "locks" the contract into your neural pathways.
2) AUCTION. What was it, and what can we learn from it?
3) THANK-you partner. Always say this. Always look happy to see dummy. Always compliment partner on their bidding. Always fool the opposition.
(If opponents huff and puff you take too long - ignore them. They are rude, selfish and deliberately trying to hurry you into error. Thoroughly unethical. No-one in the higher echelons of the game would dream of doing this.)
4) STUDY the hands together. How each suit links from dummy to hand. How many losers? How many winners? By what ploys can the contract be made? Decide. Act. Now you have a plan. You have focus. We can still get it wrong. But at least we tried.
5) UNDERSTAND how you might play the hand based on knowledge you have gleaned or percentage possibilities.
6) PLAY decisively. Wrong or right - go for it.
Remember CATSUP: Contract, Auction, Thanks, Study, Understand, Play."
"Captain Mainwaring, Sir, my mother says a gin is better."
"Thought you didn't drink, Pike?"
"No, Sir. Always Get Into No Trumps..."
"Possibly, Pike, possibly..."