Teacher's Manual

We play with a trump

Session 3.2 : Bidding a suit contract


Session program


  • Distribution points
  • Scoring  (No Trump and Trump)
  • Deciding on a contract; the notion of fit
  • Controlling the opponents’ trumps

From now on, you will use another scoring table.


SCORING TABLE
MADE CONTRACT
 or  
  or  
No Trump
1
=
+1
+2
+3
+4
+5
+6
70
90
110
130
150
170
190
80
110
140
170
200
230
260
90
120
150
180
210
240
270
2
=
+1
+2
+3
+4
+5
90
110
130
150
170
190
110
140
170
200
230
260
120
150
180
210
240
270
3
=
+1
+2
+3
+4
110
130
150
170
190
140
170
200
230
260
400
430
460
490
520
4
=
+1
+2
+3
130
150
170
190
420
450
480
510
430
460
490
520
5
=
+1
+2
400
420
440
450
480
510
460
490
520
6
=
+1
920
940
980
1010
990
1020
7
=
1440
150
1520
Set contract
-1
-2
-3
-4
-5
-6
-7
...
Opp's Score
50
100
150
200
250
300
350
...

  Game
  Small slam
  Grand slam

Start the session having them play the following hand.

Session first hand (3.2.1)

Bidding a suit contract will very often allow you to win more tricks than in No Trump.

Hand 3.2.1     Dealer North

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



Let them count the high-card points and determine the level of the contract (level of 3). Then impose the Spade trump.

The opening lead is the Ace of Hearts, then another Heart, ruffed by North and the declarer takes all the next tricks if he first leads trump to prevent the opponents to themselves ruff.
Have them notice that they won twelve tricks instead of the 9 promised by the 26 HC points.

If we bid 3   and won twelve tricks, how much are we going to score?
(have them find it on the score table).

If we bid 6  and made them, how much are we going to score?


Distribution points

Introduce D points with the participation of the pupils.

  • What are the advantages for the declarer to play with a trump?
    They should answer "he can ruff": make a point of recalling them that it is meant to prevent opponents from taking a trick.
  • What suit do we choose as a trump?
    A suit where we have many cards, and above all more than our opponents.
  • Knowing that each suit has thirteen cards, how many should we have?
    Seven will not be enough, eight is much better and the more we have the best it is.
  • • When are we allowed to ruff?
    When we have no more cards in the requested suit.

You will then explain the notions of void, singleton and doubleton, and the distribution points.
Don’t forget to tell them that they are counted in the suits other than trump!

  • If you have no cards in a suit from start, it’s a huge advantage! You are said to have a void in this suit and you are going to add 3 points.
  • But it doesn’t happen very often….
    What else is not bad? Having only one card in a suit.
    It is called a singleton and you add 2 points, because you are going to be able to ruff the second time the suit will be lead.
  • And what if you have only two cards in a suit, when will you be able to ruff?
    The third time, which is less interesting. You have a doubleton and you add 1 point.
  • Don’t forget that to choose a trump, the declarer’s side must own at least eight cards in the suit; if they have more trumps, it is even better. • Don’t forget that to choose a trump, the declarer’s side must own at least eight cards in the suit; if they have more trumps, it is even better.


The distribution points are:

Distribution points (D points)
Doubleton (2 cards)
1 D point
Singleton (1 card)
2 D points
Void (0 card)
3 D points
The side’s 9th trump
2 D points
Each additional trump from the 10th up
1 D point

Looking for a trump

To be able to choose a trump, the opener will now ask his partner his number of HCPs and his number of cards in each suit.
When the side has at least eight cards in a suit, it is said to have a fit in this suit. The one with the greatest number of trumps is the declarer, and if both partners have the same number of trumps, it is the opener who is the declarer...


Deciding on the contract

  • Now when a player opens, his partner will answer, first his number of cards in Spades, then in Hearts, then in Diamonds and finally in Clubs.
  • The opener interrupts his partner, saying "stop" as soon as a trump has been found and announces which suit is going to be the trump.
  • The partner evaluates his hand, adding his HCPs and his D points and announces his total number of points to the opener, who in turn makes the same calculations.
  • Warning: only the opener counts the distribution points coming from the number of trumps.
  • Adding the points in both hands allows the opener to determine the possible contract.

For the time being, you won’t make any difference between majors and minors, and if one of the pupils asks about it, the mere observation of the scoring table will show that minors score fewer points than majors, which in turn score less than No Trump.
It is important that they have the reflex of bidding a game as soon as one of the sides has 25 HCPs:

  • in No Trump if there is no fit,
  • in major if they have a fit in Spades or Hearts, distribution points allowing them to then reach the necessary 27 points.
  • On the other hand, a game in minor is more difficult to win (requires eleven tricks). And as soon as they start playing with bidding, the proposed hands are not prepared to be played in minor, you don’t need to lose time on the subject. Anyway, there is no obligation at all to have nine trumps to play a minor contract.

Controlling the opponents’ trumps

When you play with a trump, you will generally start by drawing the opponents’ trumps to prevent them from ruffing. But be careful, such is not always the case…

From this hand, the points are the total of HC points and D points.

Session second hand (3.2.2)

Hand 3.2.2     Dealer East

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

South
West
North
East
I pass
I open
I have 2 cards in  
4 cards in  
4 cards in
Diamond trump !
I have 9 pts
I play 5  
     

 

Lead: K.
South needs to draw the trumps, and as his side holds nine of them, it means that the opponents have four of them. Two rounds will draw the trumps and he still has two Diamonds in the dummy to ruff the two Spades.
Score : 5   = : 400 NS

The bidding:
East passes, South opens and his partner answers: “I have two Spades”. South then asks him to go on and North answers "I have four Hearts, four Diamonds". South interrupts him and announces: trump is Diamonds.
North evaluates his hand: 8 HCP + 1 (doubleton) and announces 9 points.
South evaluates his hand: 17 HCP + 2D (singleton) + 2D (9th trump) makes a total between the two hands of 30 points. South announces "I play 5 ".
You must get them used to count the number of trumps their side holds and deduce the number owned by the defence, and to afterwards only count those (“the residue”).


Session third hand (3.2.3)

Counting the trumps, two rounds are enough to draw all the opponents’ trumps.

Hand 3.2.3     Dealer South

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

South
West
North
East
I open
I have 1 card in  
5 cards in  
Heart trump!
I have 10 pts
I play 4  

 

Lead : K
South opens and North answers "I have one Spade, five Hearts". South says "Heart trump".
North evaluates his hand: 8 HCP + 2D (singleton), South also: 16 HCP + 3D (9th and 10th trump) + 1D (doubleton). For a total for both hands of 30 points, not enough to play a slam, so he announces "I play 4 ".

South takes the opening lead and draws the opponents’ trumps; his side owns ten of them, the opponents therefore have only three, two rounds should be enough to draw them all.
He then leads a Diamond to establish his honors, ruffs the Spades in the dummy and wins eleven tricks.
Score : 4  +1 : 450 NS


Session fourth hand (3.2.4)

Counting the trump residue

Hand 3.2.4     Dealer West

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

South
West
North
East
I pass
I pass
I pass
I open
I have 4 cards in  
Spade trump !
I have 12 pts
I play 4
     

 

West leads the Ace of Clubs and if he persists South can ruff in the dummy.
He then plays three rounds of trump and must think of playing the short-hand honors first in Heart.
Score :
4   = or 4   +1 : 420 or 450 NS

Congratulate the pupils who succeed in winning eleven tricks