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Themed Practice Hands - Standard American (play with expert commentary)

The hands below are random hands of the type you will encounter when playing live and at any bridge club. To assist beginner players these hands have been categorised into the broad categories and grouped under topics. They have various levels of complexity and difficulty.
Unlike the Lesson Practice Hands these games are not graduated and not all contracts which can be bid will make.

SAYC is a bidding system and it stands for Standard American (Yellow Card) which is the system most North American Players use. Also known as Five Card Majors by some players.  

Suit Games

Using the law of total tricks with 10 trump cards between you you should compete Using the law of total tricks with 10 trump cards between you you should compete Using the law of total tricks with 10 trump cards between you you should compete (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) Using the law of total tricks with 10 trump cards between you you should compete (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
Expert players have advanced bidding systems that enable them to bid the slam, making 13 tricks Expert players have advanced bidding systems that enable them to bid the slam, making 13 tricks Expert players have advanced bidding systems that enable them to bid the slam, making 13 tricks (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) Expert players have advanced bidding systems that enable them to bid the slam, making 13 tricks (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
Holding 2 five card majors, you were counting and knew this would happen weren't you Holding 2 five card majors, you were counting and knew this would happen weren't you Holding 2 five card majors, you were counting and knew this would happen weren't you (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) Holding 2 five card majors, you were counting and knew this would happen weren't you (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
How do you play a hand when the opposition hold more trump cards than you do How do you play a hand when the opposition hold more trump cards than you do How do you play a hand when the opposition hold more trump cards than you do (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) How do you play a hand when the opposition hold more trump cards than you do (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
Counting opponents discards in the diamond suit helps in making this contract Counting opponents discards in the diamond suit helps in making this contract Counting opponents discards in the diamond suit helps in making this contract (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) Counting opponents discards in the diamond suit helps in making this contract (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
With 6 cards in trumps in 1 hand you don't lose control of the trump suit With 6 cards in trumps in 1 hand you don't lose control of the trump suit With 6 cards in trumps in 1 hand you don't lose control of the trump suit (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) With 6 cards in trumps in 1 hand you don't lose control of the trump suit (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
You need to develop 2 more winning tricks to make your contract with only 1 entry You need to develop 2 more winning tricks to make your contract with only 1 entry You need to develop 2 more winning tricks to make your contract with only 1 entry (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) You need to develop 2 more winning tricks to make your contract with only 1 entry (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
The value of long side suits-If you don't draw trumps, you can make 13 tricks The value of long side suits-If you don't draw trumps, you can make 13 tricks The value of long side suits-If you don't draw trumps, you can make 13 tricks (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) The value of long side suits-If you don't draw trumps, you can make 13 tricks (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)



Part-Games in a Suit

In the post mortem, partner will probably say 'with a 6 card spade suit you can bid at the 1 level! In the post mortem, partner will probably say 'with a 6 card spade suit you can bid at the 1 level! In the post mortem, partner will probably say 'with a 6 card spade suit you can bid at the 1 level! (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) In the post mortem, partner will probably say 'with a 6 card spade suit you can bid at the 1 level! (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
Not enough TP for game but you make your contract if you finesse and ruff Not enough TP for game but you make your contract if you finesse and ruff Not enough TP for game but you make your contract if you finesse and ruff (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) Not enough TP for game but you make your contract if you finesse and ruff (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
Do you have the self discipline to stop bidding when there is no fit? Do you have the self discipline to stop bidding when there is no fit? Do you have the self discipline to stop bidding when there is no fit? (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) Do you have the self discipline to stop bidding when there is no fit? (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
Competing over oppositions takeout double and the opposition steal a ruff Competing over oppositions takeout double and the opposition steal a ruff Competing over oppositions takeout double and the opposition steal a ruff (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) Competing over oppositions takeout double and the opposition steal a ruff (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
Remember to stop playing trumps after they've all been drawn out you will have 2 trumps in dummy and 1 in your hand Remember to stop playing trumps after they've all been drawn out you will have 2 trumps in dummy and 1 in your hand Remember to stop playing trumps after they've all been drawn out you will have 2 trumps in dummy and 1 in your hand (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) Remember to stop playing trumps after they've all been drawn out you will have 2 trumps in dummy and 1 in your hand (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
Learn to say 'Pass' self discipline and stopping bidding even though you find a fit Learn to say 'Pass' self discipline and stopping bidding even though you find a fit Learn to say 'Pass' self discipline and stopping bidding even though you find a fit (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) Learn to say 'Pass' self discipline and stopping bidding even though you find a fit (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
Don't be lazy and leave your partner in the NoTrump contract, you will be punished Don't be lazy and leave your partner in the NoTrump contract, you will be punished Don't be lazy and leave your partner in the NoTrump contract, you will be punished (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) Don't be lazy and leave your partner in the NoTrump contract, you will be punished (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)


Games in NoTrump

Is your holding in the oppositions suit strong enough for a 3NT contract? Is your holding in the oppositions suit strong enough for a 3NT contract? Is your holding in the oppositions suit strong enough for a 3NT contract? (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) Is your holding in the oppositions suit strong enough for a 3NT contract? (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
Sometimes in Bridge you can make contracts with far less points than the rules state Sometimes in Bridge you can make contracts with far less points than the rules state Sometimes in Bridge you can make contracts with far less points than the rules state (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) Sometimes in Bridge you can make contracts with far less points than the rules state (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
You do not have the minimum distribution requirement of a doubleton in every suit You do not have the minimum distribution requirement of a doubleton in every suit You do not have the minimum distribution requirement of a doubleton in every suit (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) You do not have the minimum distribution requirement of a doubleton in every suit (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
Partner overbids and you need to carefully manage your entries to make Partner overbids and you need to carefully manage your entries to make Partner overbids and you need to carefully manage your entries to make (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) Partner overbids and you need to carefully manage your entries to make (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
Lots of points and a 7 card Major suit, but who dares to bid NoTrumps Lots of points and a 7 card Major suit, but who dares to bid NoTrumps Lots of points and a 7 card Major suit, but who dares to bid NoTrumps (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) Lots of points and a 7 card Major suit, but who dares to bid NoTrumps (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
Squeezing Hearts you notice the opponent's discard JH promoting your 10H Squeezing Hearts you notice the opponent's discard JH promoting your 10H Squeezing Hearts you notice the opponent's discard JH promoting your 10H (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) Squeezing Hearts you notice the opponent's discard JH promoting your 10H (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)


 Part-Games in NoTrump

Making multiple finesses and playing the honor from the short hand first to make your tricks Making multiple finesses and playing the honor from the short hand first to make your tricks Making multiple finesses and playing the honor from the short hand first to make your tricks (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) Making multiple finesses and playing the honor from the short hand first to make your tricks (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
Partner invites you to 3NT do you accept - practice a holding up safety play? Partner invites you to 3NT do you accept - practice a holding up safety play? Partner invites you to 3NT do you accept - practice a holding up safety play? (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) Partner invites you to 3NT do you accept - practice a holding up safety play? (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)



Overcalling Practise 

Respond to partners overcall with medium strength hand and three card support Respond to partners overcall with medium strength hand and three card support Respond to partners overcall with medium strength hand and three card support (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) Respond to partners overcall with medium strength hand and three card support (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)



Games Using Takeout Doubles

Takeout double, sometimes you need to decide which is your least dishonest bid Takeout double, sometimes you need to decide which is your least dishonest bid Takeout double, sometimes you need to decide which is your least dishonest bid (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) Takeout double, sometimes you need to decide which is your least dishonest bid (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
f you overcall at your first bid partner does not know about your 16 HCP and you do not get to game f you overcall at your first bid partner does not know about your 16 HCP and you do not get to game f you overcall at your first bid partner does not know about your 16 HCP and you do not get to game (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) f you overcall at your first bid partner does not know about your 16 HCP and you do not get to game (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)



Slams

With only 19 points -several plays needed to make a slam contract with inadequate points With only 19 points -several plays needed to make a slam contract with inadequate points With only 19 points -several plays needed to make a slam contract with inadequate points (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) With only 19 points -several plays needed to make a slam contract with inadequate points (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
Which Ace asking convention should you use with this hand - Gerber or Blackwood? Which Ace asking convention should you use with this hand - Gerber or Blackwood? Which Ace asking convention should you use with this hand - Gerber or Blackwood? (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) Which Ace asking convention should you use with this hand - Gerber or Blackwood? (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
Use the Blackwood convention to bid a minimum points slam is it on or off? Use the Blackwood convention to bid a minimum points slam is it on or off? Use the Blackwood convention to bid a minimum points slam is it on or off? (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) Use the Blackwood convention to bid a minimum points slam is it on or off? (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
With 27 HCP this hand can makes slam - but should you dare to bid it? With 27 HCP this hand can makes slam - but should you dare to bid it? With 27 HCP this hand can makes slam - but should you dare to bid it? (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) With 27 HCP this hand can makes slam - but should you dare to bid it? (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
Use the Blackwood convention to explore slam. Small Slam or Grand Slam Use the Blackwood convention to explore slam. Small Slam or Grand Slam Use the Blackwood convention to explore slam. Small Slam or Grand Slam (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) Use the Blackwood convention to explore slam. Small Slam or Grand Slam (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)



Defensive Play

On defense take 3NT light by returning partners lead suit at the first opportunity On defense take 3NT light by returning partners lead suit at the first opportunity On defense take 3NT light by returning partners lead suit at the first opportunity (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) On defense take 3NT light by returning partners lead suit at the first opportunity (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
Sometimes you get higher scores by taking the opponents light - convert your negative double into a penalty double Sometimes you get higher scores by taking the opponents light - convert your negative double into a penalty double Sometimes you get higher scores by taking the opponents light - convert your negative double into a penalty double (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) Sometimes you get higher scores by taking the opponents light - convert your negative double into a penalty double (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
If you make a penalty double the opponents can bid there way out of trouble If you make a penalty double the opponents can bid there way out of trouble If you make a penalty double the opponents can bid there way out of trouble (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) If you make a penalty double the opponents can bid there way out of trouble (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
On defense you are always trying to create opportunities for the opposition to make a mistake On defense you are always trying to create opportunities for the opposition to make a mistake On defense you are always trying to create opportunities for the opposition to make a mistake (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) On defense you are always trying to create opportunities for the opposition to make a mistake (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
After a bid-fest lead a spade and take them light with good defensive plays After a bid-fest lead a spade and take them light with good defensive plays After a bid-fest lead a spade and take them light with good defensive plays (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) After a bid-fest lead a spade and take them light with good defensive plays (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)



Strong Openings

To make your contract be careful to guard the entry to your long diamonds To make your contract be careful to guard the entry to your long diamonds To make your contract be careful to guard the entry to your long diamonds (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) To make your contract be careful to guard the entry to your long diamonds (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
Bid your longest suit and see if partner is interested in game with minimal support Bid your longest suit and see if partner is interested in game with minimal support Bid your longest suit and see if partner is interested in game with minimal support (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) Bid your longest suit and see if partner is interested in game with minimal support (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
Respond positively to a 2NT opening bid and practice making 3 finesses Respond positively to a 2NT opening bid and practice making 3 finesses Respond positively to a 2NT opening bid and practice making 3 finesses (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) Respond positively to a 2NT opening bid and practice making 3 finesses (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)



Preemptive Games

Responder has an opening hand and support but you need to squeeze to make this contract Responder has an opening hand and support but you need to squeeze to make this contract Responder has an opening hand and support but you need to squeeze to make this contract (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) Responder has an opening hand and support but you need to squeeze to make this contract (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
The opposition can make 4H if you don't pre-empt. But will they bid it? The opposition can make 4H if you don't pre-empt. But will they bid it? The opposition can make 4H if you don't pre-empt. But will they bid it? (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) The opposition can make 4H if you don't pre-empt. But will they bid it? (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)



Bridge Conventions




Different Bidding Systems give different Contracts

If your system is set as Standard American you will sometimes find yourself in a different contract to players who use Acol. These hands are in this section because they are examples of this. Checkout what an Acol Player ends up in by visiting the hands of the day list for Acol players here

Overcalling - you can make 11 tricks (game) in Acol and Standard American but do you bid it? Overcalling - you can make 11 tricks (game) in Acol and Standard American but do you bid it? Overcalling - you can make 11 tricks (game) in Acol and Standard American but do you bid it? (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) Overcalling - you can make 11 tricks (game) in Acol and Standard American but do you bid it? (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
Opponents in 1NT, or you in 2D - what is the best contract for scoring points Opponents in 1NT, or you in 2D - what is the best contract for scoring points Opponents in 1NT, or you in 2D - what is the best contract for scoring points (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) Opponents in 1NT, or you in 2D - what is the best contract for scoring points (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)
You are on defense but lose less when they make it, than being in a contract and going light You are on defense but lose less when they make it, than being in a contract and going light You are on defense but lose less when they make it, than being in a contract and going light (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSSON) You are on defense but lose less when they make it, than being in a contract and going light (LOGIN OR REGISTER TO PLAY THIS LESSON)



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