Playing the Hand - How-To Help and Videos

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How to Draw Your Opponents’ Trumps in Bridge

To draw trumps from your opponents’ hands in a game of bridge, play your higher trumps early on in the hand. Drawing trumps allows you to take your winning tricks in peace, without fear of your opponents [more…]

How to Divide Trump Suits in Bridge

Depending on how the trump cards are divided in a hand of bridge, you approach the game in different ways. Keep in mind that if you have eight or more cards in a suit between your hand and the dummy, particularly [more…]

How to Recognize Bridge Losers

When you play a bridge hand at a trump contract, you count losers and extra winners. Losers are tricks you know you have to lose. For example, if neither you nor your partner hold the ace in a suit, you [more…]

How to Identify Extra Winners in Bridge

When you play a bridge hand at a trump contract, you count losers and extra winners. An extra winner is a winning trick in the dummy (North), upon which you can discard a loser from your own hand [more…]

How to Trump in the Short Hand in Bridge

When you trump your loser(s) in the dummy, you’re usually trumping in the hand that has fewer trumps. For that reason, the dummy is called the short hand [more…]

How to Draw Trumps before Taking Extra Winners in Bridge

If you have enough tricks to make your contract in a hand of bridge, draw trumps (force your opponents to play their trump cards) before taking extra winners. By drawing trumps, your opponents can’t swoop [more…]

Taking Extra Winners before Drawing Trumps in Bridge

When you have more immediate losers in your bridge hand than you can afford to make your contract, but you also have an extra winner, use that extra winner immediately before you give up the lead in the [more…]

How to Establish Extra Winners in the Dummy in Bridge

To establish extra winners in a hand of bridge, a suit must be unequally divided, with the greater length (more cards) in the dummy. If you can create extra winners in the dummy, you’re on your way to [more…]

How to Finesse for Extra Winners in Bridge

When playing at a trump contract in bridge, you can take a finesse to create extra winners. You need the following in your hand and the dummy to take a finesse and establish extra winners: [more…]

How to Make Your Bridge Contract with Extra Winners

In bridge, you need to look at a hand and determine whether you need to create any extra winners to make your contract. Count your losers (in your hand and the dummy’s), suit by suit, and determine whether [more…]

Turning Small Cards into Winning Tricks in Bridge

Whenever the dummy presents you with a five- or six-card side suit, you may have a chance to turn one or more of the small cards in that side suit into winning tricks. What you have to do is play the suit [more…]

Bridge: Setting Up a Long Suit with a Finesse

When you’re missing a critical high card in the dummy’s long suit in a hand of bridge, usually a king, you may have to rely on a finesse. A finesse involves leading from weakness to strength, trying to [more…]

How to Take Bridge Tricks in Long Suits

In bridge, trump cards can prove invaluable when you need to establish the dummy’s long side suit. Tiny trumps can fell your opponents’ aces, kings, and queens in the suit you’re establishing. You can [more…]

Bridge: Make a Grand Slam by Establishing a Long Suit

Establishing a suit in bridge may seem like a ton of work, but the rewards can be great. You may even accomplish a grand slam (taking all 13 tricks) by establishing a side suit. The risks when bidding [more…]

Bridge: Playing Third Hand against a Trump Contract

Regardless of your bridge partner's opening lead, you want to be prepared when it comes your turn to play third hand, which means that you're the third person to play to the trick. You need to know what [more…]

How to Play Second Hand with the Dummy on Your Left in Bridge

When the dummy is on your left in a hand of bridge, you can see what’s in the hand that plays after you do. So, if you’re playing second hand (the second person to play) and the dummy is visible, you usually [more…]

Bridge: Playing Second Hand with the Dummy on Your Right

In bridge, when the dummy is on your right and leads a suit, you’re second to play, so you play second hand. You can use some clever strategies to play a smart second hand defense. Obviously, following [more…]

How to Save Trumps in the Dummy in Bridge

In a hand of bridge, your opponents watch you try to trump your losers in the dummy when you lead the dummy’s short suit, and they don’t like it. You’re trumping their tricks! But for every strategy in [more…]

How to Play Second Hand in Bridge

What should your strategy be for defending when you play second to a trick, or second hand? Whenever you play second hand, either the declarer or the dummy has led the suit initially. Your plays are governed [more…]

Bridge: Making an Opening Lead against a Trump Contract

Because you have the advantage of the opening lead in a bridge hand with a trump contract, you can map out your defensive strategy depending on the bidding and your hand. You have several options for opening [more…]

Bridge: Playing Third Hand against a Notrump Contract

Your partner makes an opening lead. The dummy comes down, the declarer plays a card from the dummy, and suddenly it’s your turn to play, making you third hand. [more…]

Bridge: Making the Opening Lead against a Notrump Contract

Your opening lead in a hand of bridge tells your partner quite a lot about what you have in the suit you’re leading. The information you relay in the opening lead, in turn, helps your partner plan the [more…]

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