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TIGER_GALT'S MAY 2005 SPADES TIPS

Sky Test: Set Background
Copyright 2005 by John Strichman (all rights reserved)

John Strichman is the author of
"HOW NOT TO LOSE AT SPADES"
by JohnGalt Strichman

Karosa Publishing - Boulder, Colorado


What’s the Point

What would you bid sitting in South’s chair in the following situation?

Score : Your team: 472(2) - Opps: 475(5)

On this last hand of the game, the bids and your cards are as follows:

Your pard bids 4 and East bids 3.

You have been dealt the following cards…

    YOU

3 5 8 J K
4 7 A
10
3 7 Q A
 
Before you decide on your bid, think things through very carefully. Pretend that you are sitting in West’s seat, and try to imagine how he might react to the bids that he sees sitting in front of him on the table when it comes his turn to bid.

Clearly, unless West can make a Nil on this hand, there is no way that the opps will be able to outscore your team. This Nilling possibility represents your only risk for loosing the game.

The higher that you bid, the more likely it is that West will bid Nil. You need to entice him into going for what appears to be an easy win with a low bid.

Your team is in no danger of bagging out on this hand, and appears to have more than enough power to win 9 tricks on the hand. If you can win 9 tricks, the most tricks that the opps can win would be 4, taking them to 515 points if they bid that number.

Look what happens of you bid 1 in this situation.

This will take your team to a 5 bid, and result in your team having 522 points, plus what will obviously be some number of additional bag points on the hand.

The opps would then be able to win if they, as well, could achieve a 5 bid on the hand. This would require West to bid only 2, taking his team to 5 and the table bid to only 10.

Unless West has a drop dead Nil, this would appear to be a fairly safe strategy, and less risky than going for any kind of chancy Nil, especially considering the less than encouraging 3 bid by his partner. Further, bidding Nil would leave 5 bags available on the hand, which would leave the possibility of East/West bagging out and losing the game, even with a successful Nil.

South did bid 1 in this situation.

West basically had a 1 bid hand, with a couple of maybes on the side.

Even though West had a shot at a Nil (and the Nil would have been successful) he stretched his bid to 2, taking what he thought would be the safer route to a victory.

North/South went on to win 9 tricks on the hand, setting the opps’ 5 bid and winning the game 526 to 425.

Boy was North (me) surprised!

My pard did an awesome job of playing by the score of the game rather than by the cards in his hand, which, as you may have heard me mention before, is the key to NOT losing at Spades.

And finally, the answer to the question… What’s the point of bidding more than 1 in this situation?
There is none!


GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY SPADING!


Tiger_Galt
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