Teacher's Manual

Creating and taking tricks

Session 2.3 : Establishing length tricks


Session Program


  • Length tricks
  • Lead of a small card
  • Useless levels

In this session, pupils will discover how to create length tricks – again handling the cards themselves.

Length Trick

Spread the cards on the table and have your pupils play the following suit

1
 
  A K Q 2
After having cashed the Ace, King and Queen of Club, if you lead the 2, it will win the trick.
  J 10 7
  9 8 6
 
  5 4 3

After playing the hereunder example, transfer East’s 6 to West:

1 bis
 
  A K Q 2
This time, the 2 doesn’t win a trick. Why did the 2 win a trick in the previous example and not here?
  J 10 7 6
  9 8
 
  5 4 3

Have the pupils say that:

  • In the first example, it is because Diamonds were distributed 3-3 that the 2 won the trick..
  • In the second example, the 2 did not win the trick because the distribution of the Diamonds was 4-2..
A length trick is a trick won with an established small card.

Have them work on the following examples:
Is it possible to take length tricks in these examples? If so, how many and under what condition?
Use a pack of cards to show the examples on the table. Have them handle the defending side cards to show them the different possible opponents’ distributions.
Ask the pupils how many tricks they can establish in each case:

2
3
4
  A 4 3
 A K Q 5 2
  A K 7 3
 K 7 6 5 2
  7 6 4 3
  6 2



 

 

Session first hand (2.3.1)

Hand 2.3.1     Dealer North

 
  A 8 6
  6 5 4
  A 4 3
  7 6 4 2
 
  10 4
  J 10 9 3 2
  Q 10 9
  K 10 3
 
N
  J 9 7 3 2
  K 8 7
  J 8
  Q J 9
W
 
E
 
S
 

  K Q 5
  A Q
  K 7 6 5 2
  A 8 5
 

South
West
North
East
I pass
I pass
I open
I have 8 pts
I play 3NT

 

Lead: J
The Heart lead guarantees taking two tricks in the Heart suit as the declarer will play the last card of the trick.
Don’t mention here the word " finesse". The declarer owns eight cards in Diamond. In case of a 3-2 distribution of the defenders’ Diamonds, South will take two length tricks. South immediately leads the Ace, King and small Diamond.
Score: 3NT +1: 430 NS.

Lead of a small card

Before leading, you need to choose which suit. The youths have just discovered how to establish a length. We suggest you to have them make a funny – and not so silly – exercise.
Prepare a 5332 hand, but place the cards face down on the table. Once they have chosen an lead, turn the cards up and they will discover:

5
  A K 3
  9 8
  Q 8 7 5 2
  10 7 2
In this way, they won’t lead the Ace of Spades as they would instinctively have done.
If the leader doesn’t have a top of sequence lead in his long suit, he should lead his smallest card.
Priority to the longest suit!


Attitude of the leader’s partner


Have the pupils handle the cards:

6
 
  7 3 2
West leads the 5. East must follow with the Queen to help his partner establish the suit by dropping the Ace.  If he plays the 4 or the 8, South will win an un-hoped for trick with the 10…
  K J 9 6 5
  Q 8 4
 
  A 10

East must help his partner establishing his suit. He must therefore follow suit with his honor, if he has one in this suit.

7
 
 J 6
West leads the 3. East must play the Ace and switch the 2 to establish his partner’s suit.
 Q 9 8 7 5 3
  A 2
 
  K 10 4

West must count the cards and know that there is only one Heart left beside the dummy’s Jack. It will drop when he plays the Queen. And so, his two small cards will be winner.
Have the pupils now discover the card they must play in East depending on the card played by the dummy…

8
 
 Q 5 2
Here, if you put the King on the 2 or 5 will allow North win the Queen, be it South or West that owns the Ace; therefore you should play the Jack. However, if the dummy plays the Queen, you must go up with the King
  3
  K J 6
 

9
 
  J 6 4
If the dummy plays the 6, what card should East play?
And what if the dummy plays the Jack? Why?
  3
  Q 10 5
 

In third position, you must help the partner by playing your highest "useful" card.


Warning: Don’t use the word “sacrifice”. It’s not what it is. Rather speak of “high card promotion”.



Session second hand (2.3.2)

Hand 2.3.2     Dealer East

 
  A 8 5 2
  10 2
  8 5 3 2
  A K 4
 
  7 6
  Q 8 7 5 3
  A K 4
  7 3 2
 
N
  Q J 10 4
  J 9 4
  7 6
  J 9 8 6
W
 
E
 
S
 
  K 9 3
  A K 6
  Q J 10 9
  Q 10 5
 

 

South
West
North
East
I pass
I open
I have 11 pts
I play 3NT

 

West leads the 3 of Hearts and East must play his card depending on the one played by the dummy.
South establishes the Diamonds, but the defending side has won the speed race:  they have established three Hearts, plus the Ace and King of Diamonds …
Score:  3NT -1:50 EW

Session third hand (2.3.3)

Hand 2.3.3     Dealer South

 
  K 7 5
  8 6 3
  A 8 7 4 2
  K 6
 
  Q 10 6 2
  K 10 4
  Q J 6
  10 9 2
 
N
  J 9 8 4
  Q 9 7
  K 10
  Q J 8 4
W
 
E
 
S
 
  A 3
  A J 5 2
  9 5 3
  A 7 5 3
 

South
West
North
East
I open
I have 10 pts
I play 2NT

 

Lead: 2
The declarer must establish the dummy’s long suit giving two tricks to the opponents. 
He immediately leads a Diamond.
Score: 2NT =: 120 NS

Games, slams and useless levels

You can now start speaking of the different "interesting" contracts that will allow them to get a high score. You will then introduce the useless levels. Complete the score table already known by the pupils, adding the notions of game and slam.

Game
When you bid and win a contract of 3NT (9 tricks), you score at least 400 points. You are said to have bid a game.
It is important to do it as soon as you have the means to do it (when your side holds 25 HC points).

Slams

Bidding and winning the contract of 6NT (12 tricks, i.e. all the tricks but one), earns you a minimum score of 990 points. It is called the small slam. As soon as you have 33 points, you should risk it.
Bidding and winning the contract of 7NT (13 tricks, i.e. all the tricks), earns you 1520 points. It is called a grand slam. As soon as you have 37 points, you should bid it.

Useless levels
Have the pupils notice that bidding 1NT and making one overtrick earns them the same score as bidding 2NT, just made (i.e. 120 points). It is therefore useless to play the contract of 2NT. Better stay at the 1-level, reducing their chances for going down.
You could also have the pupils discover which are the useless levels (2NT, 4NT and 5NT).

  • As soon as your side owns 25  HC points, you should bid the game (3NT)
  • If your side owns between 33 and 36 HC points, you must bid the small slam (6NT)
  • With at least 37 H points, you have to bid the grand slam (7NT)
  • When the points for your side add up between 20 and 24 H points, it is better to stay at the 1NT level
  • Between 26 and 32 HC points, don’t bid the contracts of 4NT or 5NT, as 3NT is enough.

 


Session fourth hand

Hand 2.3.4     Dealer West

 
  K 8 6
  5 4 2
  A K 3 2
  7 6 5
 
  9 7
  A 6
  J 8 6 4
  K J 9 4 3
 
N
  A J 5 4
 9 8 7 3
  10 7
  Q 8 2
W
 
E
 
S
 
  Q 10 3 2
  K Q J 10
  Q 9 5
  A 10
 

South
West
North
East
I pass
I pass
I pass
I open
I have 10 pts
I play 1NT

 

West leads the 3. East must cooperate by playing his Queen to help drop a high honor.
So, when West will have the lead, he will be able to cash his Clubs.
Those playing 2NT will go down!
Score: 1NT =: 90 NS