Skills required: memory, tactics, probability, communication

Bridge is all about setting a strategy before you play your first card.  Each person has his own strategy.  Over time you will develop your own. Here are some of the strategy points to help make the contract.

  • Get the trumps out early and keep count so you know how many are remaining with the opponents.  Once you know where all the trumps are, stop playing them and use them strategically to make needed tricks.
  • Set up a long suit to make those extra tricks once trumps are all in your control.
  • Void one suit so you can trump opponents lead and only use one trump card rather than two.
  • Make sure you can get back and forth between the two hands so you can lead from the correct hand.  Plan ahead.
  • Try to make sure you have control of the last two tricks in the hand.  They often determine if you will make the contract or not.
  • Try to keep count of how many cards have been played in each suit.   Remember, 3 rounds of a suit might bring out 12 of the 13 cards, making the 13th card a winner if you can lead it (especially as the last card).
  • When playing NT, get out the opponents high cards early so you have control of the game at the end.  The opponents on the other hand will try to get your high cards out early so they have control at the end.  It is important in NT that the contract team has control of the game.

It is important to plan out your strategy before you play the first card to:

  • Identify your Sure Tricks.  These are tricks that you will definitely win.
  • Identify where you can make those extra trick.
  • Identify how you can make sure you are leading from the right hand to make the necessary tricks.
  • Make sure you have control of the last 2 tricks.



James Frazee

Author, Beginning Bridge by the Numbers


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