I had arranged to meet my friend Bill at a local club, after he had finished playing in his weekly duplicate bridge tournament. I arrived to find him a little agitated, his partner Fred had received word of a domestic crisis (the premature birth of his first child) and, somewhat reluctantly, had left.

“It’s the last hand of the session”, said Bill, “and you will have to take Fred’s place”.

“But I’ve never played the game” I protested. “Never mind”, Bill explained, “just tell me what cards you have in your hand, keeping the bids as low as possible. The pair bidding the highest gets to play the hand – then it’s just a question taking tricks, like Whist”.

Now Whist I understand, so, somewhat relieved, I sat down in the South seat. We each picked up our hands and I found myself looking at:

J3

432

8765432

A

I had to bid first, so of course I said “One Club”. West said “One Spade”, “Two Hearts” said Bill. East and West had nothing more to say as the bidding continued:

Me - “Two Spades” (Bill pulled out a card which said “Alert”, I thought I was!)

Bill – “Three clubs”

Me - “Three Hearts”

Bill - “Four No-Trumps”

This gave me an anxious moment. I didn’t appear to have any of them!

However I recovered and gaily finished describing my hand with “Seven Diamonds”.

They all looked at me strangely, before West, with a pitiful expression on his face, said “Double”.

West led the K and Bill laid down:

A9

AKQ65

AK

Q1054

The play was easy for an experienced Whist player like me. I won A in dummy, cashed AK, which drew the outstanding trumps, then AKQ6, throwing the J from hand. I then lay down my remaining cards saying “I appear to have the remaining trumps”.

West (who Bill told me later was the most experienced player in the club, a Premier Inter-Galactic 12 star Maestro or some such) had been increasingly squirming in his seat and growing red-faced during the play, then spluttered “I would like an explanation of the bidding”. To which I replied, of course, “I was only describing my hand as Bill asked”.


The full deal was:

Dealer:

South

Both vul

A9

 

 

West

North

East

South

AKQ65

 

 

-

-

-

1

AK

 

 

1

2

pass

2

Q1054

 

 

pass

3

pass

3

KQ10842

765

pass

4NT

Pass

7

J109

87

dbl

All pass

 

 

Q10

J9

 

 

 

 

KJ

987632

 

 

 

 

 

J3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

432

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8765432

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A