Learn to play Bridge


Playing: Lesson 6

Maintaining communication

There are times when you have a suit which will yield extra tricks but could be blocked with no outside entries.

North hand : Eight of spades Four of Spades Two of Spades


South hand: Ace of spades King of spades six of spades Five of Spades Three of spades

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

Queen of spades Jack of spades Ten of spades Nine of spadesSeven of spades

If these are distributed between east and west they could be 2-3, 4-1 or 5-0.

You have to lose a trick even with a 3-2 distribution. This would allow you to make 4 of the tricks if you can keep communication between the hands.

Playing the Ace, King and Queen will leave you with the eight as your highest card. but you will lose to the opposition.

If you choose to lose the first round rather than the third you are in control when all the opposition cards have gone.

Note there will be times when the distribution is 4-1 and you need to duck the first two tricks in order to make three tricks.

If the distribution is 5-0 then mostly it is a lost cause, but this only happens in less then 5% of the time.

> see distribution

With the following combination you must lose two tricks since you only have the Ace. But after three rounds you will be left with two small cards which are winners.

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

Example Hands

These hand allow you to practice 'ducking'.

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

  • Remember to count your top tricks.
  • Identify any potential blockage.
  • Identify any entries needed to maintain communication.
  • Look for a long suit that will yield extra tricks.
  • Be prepared to lose a trick to gain more
  • Try to establish your tricks early, whilst you are still in control.
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