playing cards

A Bold Auction

Posted: January 7th, 2010 | Author: johnhartmann | Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

A Bold Auction, Indeed…

AQJ73___♥7___♦AJ96___ ♣J93

The auction (both vul, you dealt)



Why on earth did you pass? And why on earth was it right?

Ah. The Modest Club.

A Useful Convention? Or not?

Posted: December 17th, 2009 | Author: johnhartmann | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off

The bidding has gone – as it often does -

1N by partner, 3N by you. Pass. Pass. Double.

The opening leader has suggested she’ll set you.


Chances are, she has a suit that may run. Any defense against this?

Maybe the Modest Redouble. Opener redoubles when he’s wide open in a major. If you are, too, you might remove to 4 clubs.

Any use?

Going for a Number

Posted: November 5th, 2009 | Author: johnhartmann | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off

QJ ♥Q432 ♦J2 ♣98753

Partner opens one diamond in first seat. Pass on your right. What happens when you bid one heart?

You’ve forced partner to bid again. He cannot know whether you have the hand shown or this one:

AJ A875 ♦ AJ9 ♣A9865

In most systems the bid is exactly the same.

Now partner re-bids one spade. With the first hand, what do you bid now? Whatever it is, it’s eleven hundred for the opponents. They start doubling and you’ve nowhere to run.

With the second hand there are no problems.

In The Modest Club the first hand bids one heart, too. But huge difference. In our system that one heart bid denies 10 points. It also denies 3 diamonds.

It strongly suggests that partner think seriously

About passing.

It means you’re not going for a number.

You Still Alive?

Posted: October 16th, 2009 | Author: johnhartmann | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off

You are if you took that deal. Clearest thinking, por favor.

Given abilities approximately equal (you’re as good as they are, they’re as good as you are) one

Partner knowing 26 of his side’s cards will not lose

To two partners, each knowing 23, 24, even 25 of their side’s cards.

The more you know the more you win.

And that is the essence of The Modest Club.

It seems so simple, so straightforward, it’s

Impossible not to get it. But many do not. Even, incredibly, at the “Expert” level.

You can try this. Round up a threesome and

Have one hand spread for all to see.

Find out what happens.

When you take this idea to a club game, a sectional, a regional, a national, a Bermuda Bowl, it will happen there, too. Unless others are playing

The system.

You’re playing for your life.

Posted: October 9th, 2009 | Author: johnhartmann | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off

Your opponents –who are just as good as you are- propose this option:

“We’d all like to see your partner’s cards. Can you just put them face up on the table and we’ll

start from there?”

Do you take that deal? Or not?

Remember, this is for you life.

I like the wine.

Posted: September 30th, 2009 | Author: johnhartmann | Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Playing SA today:

Dlr N:
Vul Both:

West has: AQ85____♥ KJ1072____♦ 7____♣A75

East has: 964____♥64____♦ AK862____♣ KQ9

The bidding (totally ridiculous)

P P P 1H
P 2D P 2S
P 3S P 4S

No surprise, down one. Make 3 N, 3S or 3N.

It can be a frustrating game. Not often wise for husbands to play with their own wives.
Even tho it’s a balanced eleven with 4 controls, I wouldn’t open that East hand. Put three tens in the hand and I might.
West opens 1 heart. You tell him you have ten points (or more)
by bidding a forcing 1N. (Since you’ve passed it must be exactly 10 or eleven.)
West names his second suit.
Neither of his bids helped your hand. But you can’t pass. West could have 20 points.
2N by you asks for the singleton. But if you bid that you imply more than ten.
Because you passed, that will tell yr ptnr you have…voila…exactly eleven points.
(Not that you wanted to tell him anything. He’s doing the telling. But it’s funny how it works out…
\one partner knowing the other has exactly 11 hcp),
But I wouldn’t do that. I’d bid 3N, not two.
Why not?
You have two seven card fits (the majors)
and two other fits of 5 and 7 cards, or 2 other 6 card fits. (Partner didn’t jump, so no void)
That’s means you have no fit. Since partner is going to be the dummy,
you can spill all his cards on the table by bidding 2N (Stiff)…but why give the opps anything more?
3N might not make. But looking at both hands that’s where you want to play.
Leading twice towards the hearts will usually develop the 3 tricks you need in that suit.
You might rethink abandoning West as a partner.
Your differences on this hand could have easily been avoided
by talking about situations before they end in irritating lectures.
You’ve got to care about the game to be so damn picky.

I like the wine.

Two Clubs. Two Diamonds. Too bad.

Posted: September 22nd, 2009 | Author: johnhartmann | Filed under: Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Have you ever wondered why anyone would play a “Waiting” Two Diamonds over a game forcing Two Clubs?

Ever wonder why you play it?


Your hand:


What do you want to know with this monster? You want to know if your partner has an ace. Or, two.

But when you open with your strong bid -2
Clubs- and your partner responds 2 Diamonds you know nothing more than you did when you picked up the hand. It’s a waste of space. And time, in the sense that there is time in bridge.

In essence, your partner is sitting over there saying: “Tell me more.” Hands such as these don’t want to tell anybody anything. They want to be told.

They want to be told: “I have an ace.” Or, “I don’t.”

The waiting bid can screw up a two car funeral.

So why?

The same reason tails wag dogs.

In the Modest Club, the big bid is 2 Diamonds. It doesn’t tell. It asks. “How many controls do

You have, partner?” With hands like this, nothing else matter much.

The Worst Bid in Bridge

Posted: September 15th, 2009 | Author: johnhartmann | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off

The most important single play in the game is the opening lead. Almost unfair, the weight it brings to bear on the outcome of hands, matches, tournaments,

You agree with that?


Your hand is a pedestrian one:

Q98 J52 ♦A7532 ♣J4

The auction has gone 1N on your right, 3N on

Your left. What do you lead?

You could give this hand to the Bridge World panel and get seven different answers. From the

Best players in the game. This tells you that there is no answer. Nobody knows what to lead.

And when no one knows what to lead, who does that help?

The side playing the hand. This time

The opponents didn’t give you anything but a guess.

Suppose the Auction had gone 1N on your right, 2N on your left, 3N on your right. Now what do you lead?

Less a guess, is it not?

The hand you knew nothing about is not quite face up, but close. It’s within a jack of 8 points. It is

Almost certainly balanced, yet probably does not have a five card major. Or, a six card minor. Now, thanks to the worst bid in bridge, you also know declarer is closer to 18HCP than 15HCP. And, partner is not broke.

But wait, It’s gets worse. Not only does that bid

Give you all this data you didn’t have before, it puts

The opponents in the horrible position of actually playing the hand in 2 No Trump. Which can never be right.

Think about it. If you play in 2N making exactly

2N, it scores the same as 1N making 2. So why not play there? If you make an overtrick it means you missed a game that made. There is just no upside to the bid. Yet, every day, all over the world, players bid it.

What’s the answer?

One that makes sense is found in the Modest Club.

Welcome to The Modest Club.

Posted: September 13th, 2009 | Author: grahamcopeland | Filed under: Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

This is a bridge method book!