Page:1902 Encyclopædia Britannica - Volume 26 - AUS-CHI.pdf/413

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BRIDGE two tricks above the normal can double. When dummy has declared spades, either adversary may double if his hand is worth three tricks above the normal. With a club declaration the strength that would justify doubling is intermediate between that in the case of spades and of a high declaration. Sometimes the player who has the lead may be justified in doubling in a no-trump declaration on account of a suit established, having weakness in other suits. With such a hand he should not rely on any assistance from his partner. There is, however, one case in which the player on the right of the dealer should double a no-trump declaration. When he has an established suit of six or seven cards, it is of great importance that he should inform his partner of his strength in the suit. This he does by doubling; his partner then knows that there is great strength in one suit, and abandons his own game to lead the suit in which he is most likely to find his partner strong. This has become a recognized signal, but with a double interpretation. In England the player will lead the suit in which he himself is weakest. In America he will lead hearts, the suit in which the' dealer is least likely to be strong. Kegarded purely as a signal, reserving the device for the heart suit makes it of greater value, since the command given is of a definite character; often, even with moderate strength, it will save enough tricks to compensate for the doubled value. It must be admitted, however, that it approaches an arbitrary convention. Redoubling.—When a declaration has been doubled, the declarer knows the minimum that he will find against him; he must be prepared to find occasionally strength against him considerably exceeding this minimum. Except in the case of a spade declaration, cases in which redoubling is justifiable are very rare. The play of the hand.—In a no-trump declaration the main object is to bring in a long suit. In selecting the suit to establish, the dealer should be guided by the following considerations: — One hand should hold at least five cards of the suit. The two hands, unless with a sequence of high cards, should hold between them eight cards of the suit, so as to render it probable that the suit will be established in three rounds. The hand which contains the strong suit should be sufficiently strong in cards of re-entry. The suit should not be so full of possible tenaces as to make it disadvantageous to open it. The tricks lost should, if possible, be inevitable ones; for instance, of two suits of equal length, one headed by a king, queen, knave, the other by ace, king (there being no chance of catching the queen), the former should be chosen, since the ace of that suit will win a trick anyhow, but the queen of the latter suit will not unless the suit is opened early. As regards the play of the cards in a suit, it is not the object to make tricks early, but to make all possible tricks. Deep finesses should be made when there is no other way of stealing a trick. Tricks may be given away, if by so doing a favourable opening can be made for a finesse. When, however, it is doubtful with which hand the finesse should be made, it is better to leave it as late as possible, since the card to be finessed against may fall, or an adversary may fail, thus disclosing the suit. It is in general unsound to finesse against a card that must be unguarded. From a hand short in cards of re-entry, winning cards should not be led out so as to exhaust the suit from the partner’s hand. Even a trick should sometimes be given away. For instance, if one hand holds seven cards headed by ace, king, and the other hand holds only two of the suit, although there is a fair chance of making seven tricks in the suit, it would often be right


to give the first trick to the adversaries. When one of the adversaries has shown a long suit, it is frequently possible to prevent its being brought in by a device, such as holding up a winning card, until the suit is exhausted from his partner’s hand, or playing in other suits so as to give the player the lead whilst his partner has a card of his suit to return, and to give the latter the lead when he has no card to return. The dealer should give as little information as possible as to what he holds in his own hand, playing frequent false cards. Usually he should play the higher or highest of a sequence; still there are positions in which playing the higher gives more information than the lower; a strict adherence to a rule in itself assists the adversaries. In a suit declaration the positions are so numerous that no general remarks can be offered on the dealer’s conduct of the hand. In a no-trump declaration the opponents of the dealer should endeavour to find the longest suit in the two hands, or the one most easily established. With this object the leader should open his best suit. If his partner next obtains the lead he ought to return the suit, unless he himself has a suit which he considers better, having due regard to the fact that the first suit is already partially established. The opponents should employ the same tactics as the dealer to prevent the latter from bringing in a long suit; they can use them with special effect when the long suit is in the exposed hand. To lead up to dummy’s weak suits is a valuable rule. The converse, to lead through strength, must be used with caution, and does not apply to no-trump declarations. It is not advisable to adopt any of the recent whist methods of giving information. It is clear that, if the dealer’s is the only hand kept secret, he, in addition to his natural advantage, has the further advantage of better information than either of the adversaries. In no-trump declarations, however, it is of great importance that a player should be able to show his strong suit. The original leader does this by his lead; his partner can often only show his by his discard. This he does by discarding from his weak suit. It is open to objection that he must sometimes unguard the dealer’s or dummy’s suit. When he considers it advisable to discard from his long suit, it is a recognized signal that he should discard a higher card before a low one. A similar method is used to show strength in the suit opened by his partner. In a suit declaration this signal sometimes has a different signification, and is taken to mean that the player has no more of the suit. The highest of a sequence led through dummy will frequently tell the third player that he has a good finesse. The lowest of a sequence led through the dealer will sometimes explain the position to the third player, at the same time keeping the dealer in the dark. When on dummy’s left it is futile to finesse against a card not in dummy’s hand. But with ace and knave, if dummy has either king or queen, the knave should usually be played, partly because the other high card may be in the leader’s hand, partly because, if the finesse fails, the player may still hold a tenace over dummy. In a suit declaration it is frequently the best play for the original leader not to lead from his longest suit, as at whist, (1) because with so many cards exposed his partner is not likely to be deceived by the lead, and will probably lead the suit to him to greater advantage; (2) because there is not much chance of his bringing in a suit. He may often, with success, lead a singleton in hearts or diamonds, knowing from the declarations that he is not leading up to great strength, and that the suit is probably his partner’s. ^ Playing to the score.—At the beginning of the hand