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.
When to finesse and when to play for The Drop?
“Eight ever, nine never” is a designed to help the declarer who has eight or nine cards in a suit including the Ace and King and who is trying to decide whether or not to take a finesse and cannot afford to lose a trick in the suit. ‘Eight Ever’ means when you hold an 8 card fit in a suit you should always try for the finesse. ‘Nine, Never’ means that you should never chance a finesse with a 9 card fit you should instead play for the drop leading out your Ace and King hoping that the outstanding honor is in a singleton or doubleton and must be played.
Faced with the decision between making a finesse or playing for ‘the drop’ declarer should look at his holding in the suit. The finesse always has a 50-50 chance of success, whereas playing for the drop with a 9 card suit has a slightly higher percentage success at 53%. The drop becomes more likely to succeed the more cards the declarer holds in the suit.
♠ Q J 7
♥ A J 10 6 4 3
♦ K 3
♣ 8 3
Play the Ace of Hearts first – hoping the Queen will drop
♠ K 9 4 2
♥ K 9 5
♣ A K J 9 4
If you are in Slam and cannot afford to lose a heart trick
With a nine card fit – leading out your Ace and King gives a 3% better chance of success than playing for the finesse of the outstanding Queen honor card.
Login to see the full version of this lesson (see details below).
The lesson above is a ‘lite’ version of the comprehensive interactive lessons available to 60SecondBridge members.
Our 400+ lessons for members include ‘popup glossary’ for Bridge terms, commented sample Bridge hands to play online, quizzes to measure progress and question and answer forums.The 60SecondBridge Members Area also includes Unlimited Practice Hands and Daily Bridge Competitions. More Details.