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 Card Play Lessons when you are the Declarer

These lessons are intended to help you once you have won the auction and are playing both your own and Dummy's hand. Playing the hand in the correct place and making your contract with as many overtricks as possible is how to win at Duplicate Bridge.
Generally unless there is a very good reason not to you should draw your trumps straight away. There are two reasons why you should delay drawing trumps...... [MORE]



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Beginner Declarer Card Play 

LESSON 301.Count your winning tricks  : In No Trumps
You have won the bidding and you are in No Trumps (in a suit contract count your losers)....the opposition give the opening lead and Dummy lays down their hand on the table.Now count your winners in both hands without giving up the lead. The focus of our Play of the Hand Lessons is to teach you these skills. ... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 302.Counting your losers : When do I count my losing tricks?
When you end up in a suit contract you then count your losing tricks! - the purpose of this is to evaluate the number of tricks your hand is likely to win. Count your losers only after a trump fit has been established and you are in a suit contract. You will find this much more helpful for planning your play than counting points and it is often more accurate.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 303.Planning your play : How can I decide what order to play my suits in?
After counting your winners and the opposition have led to the first trick, take the time to ask "which is the best order to play the suits?" ... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 305.Leading low towards your honors : What is the advantage of leading out low?
When declarer is on lead, the opposition are either over or under dummy and are described by their positions relative to the dummy. There are advantages to declarer if the outstanding honours that the opposition hold in a suit, being positioned 'under' the honours in dummy.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 306. Counting cards in a suit as you play : With Distribution probabilities
Counting is how you track your own cards and cards in oppositions hands. It is the primary technique you will use to manage your card play.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 309.Drawing trumps : When should I draw Trumps?
Generally unless there is a very good reason not to you should draw your trumps straight away. There are two reasons why you should delay drawing trumps...... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register

Intermediate Declarer Card Play

LESSON 304.Ruffing : What is Ruffing and why should I do it?
The advantage of having a trump suit is the ability to use your trump cards to take out the opposition's high cards in the side suits - this gives you an unbelievable amount of power if you have enough of them ... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 307.Setting up Long Suits : How can I make my little cards into winners?
When have a long suit you are always trying to make the small cards into winners, this is called establishing your small cards.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 308.Play the Honor From the Short Hand First : Which honor cards should I win with first?
When you don't have the small cards you need for leading to the honors in the opposite hand you have a "blocked" suit. This can easily happen if you do not play the honors from the short hand first.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 310.Entries : What are entries and why do I need them?
An entry in bridge, is how declarer can get the lead in a particular hand. To get the lead you must win a trick in that hand. Gaining the lead in your hand when some other player (including one's partner) led to the previous trick is referred to as entering one's hand and a card that wins a trick to which the opposition made the lead with the exception of the last trick is known as an entry card.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 311.Ducking : When should I not play my honor cards?
When you know you have to lose at least one trick in a suit that includes the ace and king, you need to lose that trick early by playing low cards from both your hand and the dummy. This is called ducking a trick.
... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 312. Finessing : What is a finesse?
Some suit combinations allow you to create extra tricks by capturing the opponent's honors. You finesse in a suit where you have one or more, but not all, of the top five honor cards (eg. A K Q J T). Finessing involves playing the suit in the hope that a certain opponent has one or more of the honor cards outstanding.
... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 313.Eight ever, nine never : When to finesse and when to play for The Drop?
This is a common bridge rhyme designed to help memorise the rule where declarer has eight or nine cards in a suit including the Ace and King, and is trying to choose a strategy for drawing the opponent's' queen without losing a trick.
... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 314.Opposition Hidden Cards : Hidden Card Distribution Odds
In bridge statistical probabilities play an important part. Different declarer play strategies will lead to success depending on the distribution of opponent's cards. To decide which strategy has highest odds for success, the declarer should acquire a basic understanding of the probabilities of card distributions.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 315.Odds of my Side Suit Being Ruffed : How do I Calculate the odds of one of my side suit winners being trumped
Before you lead a card from a side suit and have not drawn all the trump cards - it is extremely helpful if you are aware of the probabilities (the odds) of your card being ruffed by the opposition... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 316.Squeeze Plays : 
A squeeze is when an opponent is forced to discard either a winning card, a potential winning card or a guard card to a winner in any suit. There are entire websites dedicated to different types of squeezes, this lesson just deals with a basic squeeze.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register

NOTE: The beginner lessons have the unique Bridge terms linked to an online glossary so you can just click on the word and immediately see the definition and a link back to the full lesson if you require it.

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