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When The Dealer Has Shown Strength And The Second Hand Passed

One of the cardinal principles of harmonious team play is that when the
partner has made a suit declaration which is apt to result in game, it
is inadvisable to "take him out" merely with the hope of obtaining a
slightly higher score. Suppose the partner has declared a Heart and the
Third Hand holds three Hearts, headed by the Ace, four Clubs headed by
the King, no Diamonds, and five Spades with three honors. Of course,
the partner may have an honor and some other Spades, and, therefore, a
bid of Royals may produce a higher count than Hearts, but that is only
"may." The Declarer certainly has Heart strength, and the Third Hand,
valuable assistance. It takes the same number of tricks to score game
in each suit. Why, therefore, risk the game for a paltry addition to
the trick and honor score?

One of the most remarkable features of Auction is the extraordinary
desire, exhibited by a large percentage of players, to play the
combined hands. This comment is not applicable to a strong player, who,
for the good of the partnership, is anxious to get the declaration
himself, in order that during the play two or three tricks may not be
presented to the adversaries, but is intended for the general run of
cases where the partners are of equal, or nearly equal, ability.

A player, before determining to overbid his partner's call, should
remember that one of the greatest pleasures of the game is facing the
Dummy, especially when the declaration is apt to be successful, and he
should assure himself beyond peradventure that, in bidding his own suit
in preference to advancing his partner's, he is not in any way
influenced by his own selfish desires. He should be sure that, with the
positions reversed, he would thoroughly approve of just such action by
his partner; and, if his partner be the better player, he should also
convince himself that his suit is at least two tricks stronger, as his
partner's superior play probably makes a difference of at least one in
favor of his declaration.

It should be put down as axiomatic that, when a partner takes out a
Heart or Royal with a bid of another suit, he denies strength in the
suit originally declared and announces great length with probably four
honors in the suit he names; also, that when a Heart or Royal is taken
out by a No-trump declaration (except with a four-Ace holding), not
only is weakness in the declared suit announced, but also the fact that
every other suit is safely stopped.

This must not be understood as a suggestion that a partner should
seldom be overbid. Quite the reverse. The informatory school of modern
bidding, which attempts, as nearly as possible, to declare the two
hands as one, has as an essential feature the overbidding of the
partner in an infinite number of cases. It is against the foolish and
selfish instances which occur with great frequency that this protest is

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