Learn to play Bridge


Playing: Lesson 5

Establishing a long suit

When you have length in a suit it is possible to make the smaller cards a winner by removing all of opponents cards.

It is also important to start counting the cards as they are played and notice when anyone does not follow suit.

In one round there are 4 cards and it helps to remember how may cards are missing from your suit.

  • 8 cards - opponents have 5 cards
  • 9 cards - opponents have 4 cards

North hand : Eight of spades Seven of spades Five of Spades Four of Spades


South hand: Ace of spades King of spades Queen of spades Ten of spades Two of spades

You have a good holding in spades, nine of the thirteen available that only leaves four cards missing in the suit.

Jack of spades Nine of spades Six of spades Three of spades

If these are distributed between east and west they could be 2-2, 3-1 or 4-0. The only distribution that will mean you lose a trick is the last but this only happens in 9.5% of the time. > see distribution

Playing the Ace, King and Queen will leave you with the ten and two whilst the opponents have no cards left.

It is not every time you have all the top cards and you must lose a trick before you have established you extra cards.

With the following combination you must lose 1 trick since you only have the Ace and King. But after three round you will be left with the four and three which are now winners.

6 5 2
Q 9
J 10 8
A K 7 4 3

In this next combination you only have the Ace but the opponents only have 4 cards and most likely they will split 3-1 or 2-2 so you will lose one trick and maybe two. With luck you make four tricks from what looks like a weak holding.

7 5 3 2
Q 10
A 9 8 6 4

Just to show how important length can be in establishing a suit, look at this combination. You do not hold any of the honour's but after two rounds there are four available tricks.

10 8 3
9 7 6 5 4 2

Example Hands

These hand allow you to practice establishing a suit.

Don't forget all the other techniques as they may apply as well.

  • Remember to count your top tricks.
  • y

When you are ready click the 'start play' button.
Click the card you want to play when the arrow is showing.

> Return to play lesson index









© Mary Vale 2009
Learn to play bridge