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Exception To The No-trump Rule








There is one important exception to most of the No-trump bids above
described, and that is when the hand, which otherwise would be a
No-trumper, contains as its strong suit five or more Spades or Hearts.
It takes only one more Royal or Heart than it does No-trump to win the
game, and with a suit unguarded, it is far safer and wiser, with such a
holding, to bid the Heart or Royal than the No-trump. For example, with
Ace, King, Knave, and two small Clubs; King, Queen, Knave, and one
Diamond; Queen, Knave, and one Heart; and one Spade, the bid would
unquestionably be No-trump. If, however, the Club and Spade holding be
transposed, a Royal should be declared. When there is a score which
places the Club or Diamond within four tricks of game, these suits
become as valuable as the Heart or Royal, with the score at love, and
should be treated accordingly.

The Declarer should bear in mind that as the game is the desideratum,
the surest, not the most glorious or enjoyable, route of reaching it
should be chosen. When No-trump is declared with a hand containing a
defenceless suit, there is a grave chance that the adversaries may save
game by making five tricks in that suit before the Declarer can obtain
the lead. With five or more strong cards of a suit and two other suits
stopped, four tricks are more probable with the suit declaration than
three with No-trump, but three with the No-trump are more likely than
five with the suit. It, therefore, depends upon which suit be held
whether it or No-trump should be bid. The inclination which many
players have for a No-trump bid should be firmly curbed, when the
holding is of the character mentioned and the strength is in Spades or
Hearts.

A very different case arises, however, when all the suits are stopped;
the Dealer is then, the game being probable with either declaration,
justified in bidding either the No-trump or the suit, as he may prefer,
and the value of the honors he holds should be an important factor in
guiding his decision. When he has more than five Spades or Hearts, the
suit declaration is generally to be preferred, even with all suits
stopped, unless the hand contain four Aces. A few examples follow:--

Spades Ace, King, Queen, X, X While this hand contains three
Hearts Ace, Queen, X Aces, it is more apt to score
Diamonds Ace, Knave, X, X game with Royals than without a
Clubs X Trump. With the Spade and Club
or Spade and Diamond suits
transposed, it is a No-trumper.

Spades Ace, King, Queen, X Not having five Spades, this hand
Hearts Ace, Queen, X, X is a No-trump bid. The fact that
Diamonds Ace, Knave, X, X it contains a singleton is an
Clubs X argument in favor of a suit
declaration, but with only four
Spades it is safer to risk the
Clubs than long adverse Spades
with one more trick required for
game.

Spades Knave, Ten, X, X A No-trumper, as it has three
Hearts Ace, Queen, Knave suits stopped and contains an
Diamonds X Ace. A transposition of the Clubs
Clubs King, Queen, Knave, X, X to Spades or Hearts would make it
a Trump declaration.

Spades King, Queen, Knave, X, X Can be declared either Royals
Hearts Ace, Queen or No-trump, as four suits are
Diamonds Ace, X, X stopped and it has five strong
Clubs Ace, Knave, X Spades. The 30 Aces as compared
with 18 honors in Royals and the
absence of a singleton make the
No-trump more attractive. If,
however, the Ten of Spades be
substituted for a small Spade,
the 72 honors would make it a
Royal.

Spades King, Knave, X While the four Suits are stopped,
Hearts King, Queen, Ten, X, X, X the length in Hearts makes the
Diamonds Ace, X suit call the more advisable.
Clubs Ace, X

Spades King, Queen, Ten The Diamond is tempting, as a
Hearts King, Knave, Ten score of 56 honors is compared
Diamonds Ace, King, Queen, Knave with possibly 30 adverse aces.
Clubs King, Queen, Knave If, however, the three missing
Aces be held by the adversaries,
game cannot be scored in Diamonds,
and a game is always worth more
than 100. It is therefore a
No-trump.





Next: Suit Declarations

Previous: When To Bid Two No-trumps



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