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ACCtuary
02-08-2005, 02:35 PM
Let's say you are playing at notrump and you have the Ace in 3 suits. Many bridge books tell you that you have a guaranteed trick in each suit where you have a stopper, but why is this so? Isn't it possible you could be forced to discard the ace?

Assume the auction was noncompetitive, and whatever else you have to assume for this question to make sense.

Klaymen
02-08-2005, 02:52 PM
In no trump, each side tries to set up its longest suit(s) as a source of tricks as quickly as possible. The only time an ace is likely to be discarded is at the end of the hand if one side takes the last tricks and the other side doesn't get theirs.

Usually an ace is instrumental in setting up a suit and gets played on the first or second round; usually good tricks that don't get cashed are not aces but rather spot cards. But they are potential tricks nonetheless.

It's almost certain you could get in the lead and play your aces outright. But this often isn't the right strategy, as aces are very important controls that help to prevent the opponents from accomplishing their task in the first place.

Numbers Nerd
02-08-2005, 11:54 PM
Let's say you are playing at notrump and you have the Ace in 3 suits. Many bridge books tell you that you have a guaranteed trick in each suit where you have a stopper, but why is this so? Isn't it possible you could be forced to discard the ace?

Assume the auction was noncompetitive, and whatever else you have to assume for this question to make sense.
Well...you asked. Suppose you have AKQJ, AKQJ, AKQJ10, void. You have an apparent 13 tricks in notrump. But, if opening leader has the missing 13 clubs, you will take zero tricks.:)

ACCtuary
02-09-2005, 12:58 AM
It's almost certain you could get in the lead and play your aces outright. But this often isn't the right strategy, as aces are very important controls that help to prevent the opponents from accomplishing their task in the first place.
That definitely helps. Thanks. I'll get back to my books now. I'm reading several including The Mammoth Book of Bridge by Mark Horton and Lampert's book. At one point, I had Kantar's Bridge for Dummies,which was excellent,but it was water damaged.

ACCtuary
02-09-2005, 01:15 AM
Well...you asked. Suppose you have AKQJ, AKQJ, AKQJ10, void. You have an apparent 13 tricks in notrump. But, if opening leader has the missing 13 clubs, you will take zero tricks.:)
I did state the auction was noncompetitive. Even if one opponent had as a weak 8 clubs, he would chime in with a pre-empt, no? I guess it depends on how the auction goes. Your opponent would have a distributional hand (no clubs) and would not likely support your bid of NT.

If you open, you wouldn't bid slam right away because you would want to know where the stoppers in clubs are. I think the auction would tell you there is danger.

So perhaps you want to give your opponent an opportunity to bid too, because you want to know what he has. He would be an idiot using his 13 tricks just to set you. He would want to bid slam. Then you could bid 7 in a suit - and then trump his first club.

But, since one opponent having 13 clubs will never happen, I won't worry about it. But what I do worry about is just that scenario - the opponents could run a long suit and set me before I can even get going. I can see where if this is possible, the opponents should bid, but is there a situation where such a surprise can occur?

Klaymen
02-09-2005, 01:42 AM
Well, that's why the bidding begins by looking for a trump suit. A trump suit neutralizes the threat of the opponents' long suit and puts the focus on winning top tricks and scoring ruffs. If you can't find a decent eight-card fit, NT is often (but not always) the best compromise. The opponents will still try to set up their suit, so hopefully you have bid to the right level to withstand their artillery.

Pre-empting isn't usually done to warn the enemy or even notify partner of your nice suit as much as it is to prevent the opponents from determining 1) their best trump fit, and 2) their playing strength.

If I'm holding
:sp:x
:ht:xx
:dm:Kxx
:cl:AJTxxxx

I will open 3:cl: at equal or favorable vulnerability because I think the opponents can make at least 2 of a major, possibly game. The opponents now have to go out on a limb to name their suit. Unless one person has a good hand with 5 spades or a lesser hand with a longer suit, the only other way the opponents are likely to find a fit is if one thinks he can afford to make a negative double, holding 4-4 or better in the majors. Now his partner must choose between 3 or 4 of a major, unsure whether partner is going out on a limb with 11hcp or if it is a nice 15 instead.

02-09-2005, 05:07 AM
Well...you asked. Suppose you have AKQJ, AKQJ, AKQJ10, void. You have an apparent 13 tricks in notrump. But, if opening leader has the missing 13 clubs, you will...
accidentally drop a cup of coffee into opening leader's lap, inducing a lead out of turn, which I will then accept.

Phil
02-09-2005, 10:02 AM
Kantar's Bridge for Dummies, which was excellent
I never bothered to read that, because my dummy play is actually pretty good. It's my declarer play and defense that needs improvement.