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Copyright 2002 by John Strichman (all rights reserved)

John Strichman is the author of
by JohnGalt Strichman

Valley Publishing - Richmond, Virginia


You are having a great day visiting your grandfather for your usual Sunday game of horseshoes. You have never beaten him, but you really have a feeling that today will be the day.

Pawpaw, as you call your grampa, was a hero in Jungle War II. Today he is telling you harrowing tales of the war, especially his experiences on the front lines during the Battle of The Mane.

The game is all tied up as you are getting ready for your last throw. Pawpaw has one shoe pretty close to the stake, but you think you really can take him this time because you are in The Zone, as they say. As you are getting ready to throw, PawPaw starts to tell you about the time when a member of the Lion Brigade hurled a hand grenade at his platoon's position. He tells you how he dived into the tigerhole just as the grenade exploded with a huge BOOOOM!

Well, the huge boom came just as you released your horseshoe, and it threw your concentration just enough so that your shoe landed a few inches outside of Pawpaw's.

You will have to wait until next week to try again, but it was still great spending the day with gramps and hearing those great stories.

After you get home, you decide to try to get at least one victory on the day and head to the Zone to play some Spades.

Toward the end of your first game, you are facing the following bidding situation....

Your Team: 482
Pones: 346

West         East (4)  

4 7 10 J
8 Q
2 4 5 8 10 Q
You almost certainly can take 2 tricks, and probably 3, with you hand. You start to bid 2, and then think of PawPaw's war story and your game of horseshoes.

Sometimes, close counts!

In this situation, your team needs only 20 points to win the game (even if West bids nil, the opps still will not reach 500 points). By bidding 1 (getting your team as close to winning as possible), you allow your partner to make the safest bid possible (1 trick) to win the game.

Even if it turns out that your partner has a very weak hand, he is not going to want to bid nil because your team has a commanding lead in the game. Your 1 bid allows him to bid 1 with the expectation that, even if he can't win a trick, your "bidding close" strategy will very likely allow you to cover his bid if necessary.

Whenever your team is in an unchallenged position to win the game, bags are not a concern, and you are bidding ahead of your pard, if you have more tricks in your hand than is necessary to win the game, you should bid 1 trick less than the umber of tricks needed to win. This allows your partner to bid 1 and provide your team with the safest contract possible to close out the game.

Always remember, just as with HORSESHOES AND HAND GRENADES, close counts in FIRST PARD LAST HAND BIDDING AS WELL!



How Not To Lose At Spades!
Tiger_Galt's June Tips
Tiger_Galt's July Tips
Tiger_Galt's August Tips
Tiger_Galt's September Tips
Tiger_Galt's October Tips
Tiger_Galt's November Tips
Tiger_Galt's December Tips
Tiger_Galt's January 2002 Tips
Tiger_Galt's February 2002 Tips
Tiger_Galt's March 2002 Tips
Tiger_Galt's APRIL 2002 Tips