# 5 PlaNNINg ThE Play Bridge Hand POINTS TO REMEMBER –

Planning the Play
of a Bridge Hand
5
POINTS TO REMEMBER –
How to establish a suit
• In a suit contract, you can sometimes establish a suit by taking one or more
ruffs. For example, with Axxxx in dummy opposite a singleton, you can
take three ruffs in your hand and establish the thirteenth card (provided
the suit breaks 4-3.)
• With a suit such as Axxxx in dummy opposite xx, you will have to lose a
round at some stage. It is normally right to duck the first round so that you
can use the ace as an entry on the second round.
• Even with AKxxx opposite xx, it may be beneficial to duck the first round. You can then cross to the ace and establish the suit with a single ruff when
it breaks 4-2.
• Since you may need to use the trump suit for entries when establishing a
suit, consider carefully whether you can afford to draw trumps first.
MASTER POINT PRESS
Duplication permitted for teaching purposes only.
Planning the Play of a Bridge Hand
QUESTIONS
Chapter 5: How to establish a suit
A.
10 led




J54
75
A9743
KJ2




A7
A K Q J 10 2
K6
AQ4
How will you play 7 when West leads the 10?
B.
A led




Q9
AK42
K9
A9763




83
863
A Q J 10 8 7 3
2
West leads the A and K against 5 and switches to the J at Trick 3.
What is your plan to make the remaining tricks?
C.
K led




65
Q 10 2
932
A 10 8 7 4




A3
AKJ963
A76
54
What is your plan to make 4 when West leads the K?
MASTER POINT PRESS
Duplication permitted for teaching purposes only.
QUESTIONS
D.
J led
Planning the Play of a Bridge Hand




J64
AK3
Q7
AK832




A K Q 10 3 2
7
A86
954
Excelling yourself in the bidding, you reach 7. What is your plan when West
leads the J? (You will find that West has three trumps.)
E.
Q led




K9742
J2
K86
A83




8
A K Q 10 9 7
A72
K95
Both of you overbid on the same deal and you end in a dubious 6 contract. What
is your plan when the Q is led?
F. K led




A86
AK943
A 10 2
Q2




94
75
85
A K J 10 8 5 4
West leads the K against 6. How will you plan the play?
MASTER POINT PRESS
Duplication permitted for teaching purposes only.
Planning the Play of a Bridge Hand
Chapter 5: How to establish a suit
A. You must aim to set up dummy’s diamonds to give you a spade discard. You win
the first trick with the A (so dummy’s K and J will give you two entries later)
and draw trumps. When you continue with the K and A, both defenders follow
suit. You ruff a diamond in your hand and will still make the contract even if the suit
breaks 4-2 and one of the defenders shows out on this trick. You lead the 4 to
dummy’s J and ruff another diamond. You can then overtake the Q with the K
PLAN: I will win the club lead with the ace, draw trumps and try to
set up the diamonds. Since I can use the J and K as entries, I will
make the contract even if diamonds break 4-2.
B. To avoid a heart loser, you will have to establish dummy’s club suit. This can be
done when the defenders’ clubs split 4-3. Since dummy’s two trumps will be needed
as entries, you must play the A at Trick 4 (after winning the heart switch) and then
ruff a club. You cross to the 9 and ruff another club, return to dummy with the
K and ruff yet another club. You then draw any outstanding trump and return to
dummy’s remaining heart honor to discard a heart on the thirteenth club.
PLAN: I will win the switch with the K, play the A and ruff a club.
I will use the 9 and K as entries for two more club ruffs. Then I will
cross to the A to discard a heart on an established club.
C. You must aim to set up dummy’s clubs for a spade discard. You win the diamond
lead and, without touching the trump suit, duck a round of clubs. The defenders
score two diamond tricks and West switches to a trump. What now?
You win the trump switch in your hand, cross to the A and ruff a club with a
high trump, to avoid the risk of an overruff. West shows out on the third round of
clubs and you return to dummy with a trump to the ten. Another club ruff with a high
trump establishes the thirteenth club in dummy. You cross to the queen of trumps and
PLAN: I will win the diamond lead and duck a club. I will then cross
to the A and set up the club suit (ruffing high twice, if necessary). I
MASTER POINT PRESS
Duplication permitted for teaching purposes only.
Planning the Play of a Bridge Hand
D. When clubs break 3-2, you can establish the club suit and discard your two
diamond losers. You win the heart lead and play the A and K, East showing out
on the second round. Abandoning trumps for the moment, you play the two top
clubs (both defenders following) and discard your last club on the K. You then ruff
losers on the established 8 and 3.
PLAN: I will win with the K and play the AK. I then cash the two
top clubs, throw a club on the A and ruff a club high. Finally, I cross
to the J to discard the diamond losers on the two established clubs.
discard your minor-suit losers. For this to be possible, West will have to hold the
A and the suit will need to break 4-3. You win the diamond lead in your hand
and lead a spade. Let’s say that West goes in with the A and plays the J, won
with the K. You cash the K, throwing a diamond, and ruff a spade with the 9.
When everyone follows, you are home. You play the ace and jack of trumps, ruff
instead West does not rise with the A, win with the K and again set up a long
PLAN: I will win with the A and play a spade toward dummy. When
West holds the A and spades break 4-3, I can set up two discards.
F. You have a potential loser in both spades and diamonds. If you can establish the
heart suit, you will be able to discard at least one of these losers. Win the diamond
lead and draw one round of trumps with the ace. To establish the hearts against a
4-2 break, you will need to use dummy’s Q as an entry. So, play the ace and king
of hearts next and ruff a heart with a high trump. Let’s assume that hearts break 4-2
and one of the defenders shows out on this trick. You return to dummy with the Q
and ruff the fourth round of hearts high. You can then draw any outstanding trump
PLAN: I will win with the A and cross to the A. Aiming to set
up dummy’s hearts, I will play the ace and king of the suit and ruff
a heart high. If hearts break 4-2, I can return to the Q and ruff
another heart high. Eventually I will cross to the A to discard a
spade on the established winner in hearts.
MASTER POINT PRESS
Duplication permitted for teaching purposes only.