Advanced bidding techniques

Every call (including "pass", also sometimes called "no bid") serves two purposes. It confirms or passes some information to a partner, and also denies by implication any other kind of hand which would have tended to support an alternative call. For example, a bid of 2NT immediately after partner's 1NT not only shows a balanced hand of a certain point range, but also would almost always deny possession of a five-card major suit (otherwise the player would have bid it) or even a four card major suit (in that case, the player would probably have used the Stayman convention). Likewise, in some partnerships the bid of 2 in the sequence 1NT - 2 - 2 - 2 between partners (opponents passing throughout) explicitly shows five hearts but also confirms four cards in spades: the bidder must hold at least five hearts to make it worth looking for a heart fit after 2 denied a four card major, and with at least five hearts, a Stayman bid must have been justified by having exactly four spades, the other major (since Stayman (as used by this partnership) is not useful with anything except a four card major suit).[29] Thus an astute partner can read much more than the surface meaning into the bidding. Alternatively, many partnerships play this same bidding sequence as "Crawling Stayman" by which the responder show a weak hand (less than eight high card points) with shortness in diamonds but at least four hearts and four spades; the opening bidder may correct to spades if that appears to be the better contract. The situations detailed here are extremely simple examples; many instances of advanced bidding involve specific agreements related to very specific situations and subtle inferences regarding entire sequences of calls. Play techniques Main article: List of play techniques (bridge) Terence Reese, a prolific author of bridge books, points out[citation needed] that there are only four ways of taking a trick by force, two of which are very easy: playing a high card that no one else can beat trumping an opponent's high card establishing long suits (the last cards in a suit will take tricks if the opponents don't have the suit and are unable to trump) playing for the opponents' high cards to be in a particular position (if their ace is to the right of your king, your king may be able to take a trick, especially if, when that suit is led, the player to your right has to play their card before you do) Nearly all trick-taking techniques in bridge can be reduced to one of these four methods. The optimum play of the cards can require much thought and experience and is the subject of whole books on bridge.