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Know how to play certain card combinations for declarer play

A combination of my travel and the lack of anything special happening at the club makes me go straight into the hand today.

An important part of successful declarer play is knowing how to play certain card combinations to give yourself the best chance of success.

So, for instance if you have A987 opposite KQ1062 you know that the right play is to play the King or Queen first — now if either defender shows out you can finesse the Jack in the other defenders hand for no losers — well done. So, on to today’s hand

Dealer South, N/S Vulnerable

You are in 4 Hearts and the defence starts with three rounds of Clubs and then switches to a Spade — over to you.

You still have some thinking to do — if Hearts are 3-1 or 2-2 there is no problem, but what if they are 4-0? Start thinking.

The thing to realise here is that if West (LHO) has J1032 there is nothing you can do about it, but if East (RHO) has that holding you can handle it.

So you must win the Spade and first play the Ace of Hearts — the full hand is below.

West shows out and your careful play has paid off! You now lead a low Heart from dummy and East has to play the 10 which you win with the Queen — now cross to a Diamond and play another Heart finessing the Jack and you have ten tricks — again, well done!

Not that difficult, but it just needs a bit of thought before you start the play.