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Nancy Evins: More unwanted advice from my ex – bridge partner, that is

Nancy Evins • Updated Jun 17, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Here are his latest portentous comments:

“If you and your partner are playing a three no-trump contract and you are dummy, never put down a five-card suit on your right side. Protect your partner. He might fixate on that five-card suit and think they are trumps. Help your partner.”

Gee, I was always taught that you don’t put any card from dummy down until opponent leads. If playing a suit bid, the trumps are the first to go down on the right side. If playing a no-trump, you place the suit opponent has led on the right side.

However, I have been known to be playing or defending a no trump while everyone else is in a suit contract…and vice versa.

“Always write your contract down on your private scorecard after you have led if you are the one on lead. It always saves time.”

True. True. I have known that for three quarters of a century. I have often asked the director to make a point of telling everyone before the game starts. It seems to make the novices angry, however. They forget that we must play each hand in a certain amount of time and if they use most of it writing everything down when they could do it while the others have done so as they wait for him to lead.

He continued, “Always, if you are confused on the bidding, do it before you play at your time to the first trick.”

I’m sure he meant by “do it” is to ask for a review of the bidding.

“For clarity sit through all of the bidding asked for the first time. It usually causes confusion if you don’t.”

He means wait until all the bidding is over before asking for a review. He just left a few words out. 

“Compliment your partner a lot. It makes for pleasant bridge.”

Who would have thunk it?

“At an infraction and the director is called, answer only what is asked of you. It keeps down confusion.”

He says he hopes this information helps me out. 

In his next epistle, he writes, “We seem to be the only two in our spheres who are interested in bridge, you the dyed-in-the-wool-and-I’m-not-going-to-change and me, the want-to-know-everything-that-will-make-bridge-more-useful-and-proven.”

In my reply, I told him I had learned conventions along the way, and they are Stayman, Jacoby Transfer, Blackwood, Gerber, Negative Double, Michaels, Modified Hamilton, Jacoby Two No-Trump, Texas Transfer, Jordan, Mini-Midi-Maxi, Unusual No-Trump. New Minor Force, Fourth Suit Forcing and after partner’s two-club opening, two hearts with no ace or king and two diamonds with one or more, four no trump over partner’s opening no trump bid is quantitative (not Blackwood), four clubs (Gerber) is asking for aces.

I also pointed out bidding was only one third of what was necessary to learn with playing the hand and defending the other two parts.

It reminds me of a story he told about himself. He was so put out with himself for messing up several times and moaned that he wasn’t good enough to be playing the game. A lady in his club “comforted” him, saying, “Oh, (Alias), you are good for something. We can always use you as a bad example.”

Nancy Evins, of Lebanon is a certified bridge instructor. Email her at [email protected]

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