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.





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