Counting On Defense- Audio Lesson

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Approximate running time: 110 minutes.
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"Counting to a bridge player is similar to an actor learning his lines. It doesn't guarantee success, but he can't succeed without it." George Kaufman, esteemed playwright and prominent bridge player
As important as it is for declarer to count, for the defenders counting is even more crucial. Counting involves effort.
Unfortunately, many players are unwilling to put in the work needed. As a result, although at least 1/2 of your opponents' contracts can be defeated, more than 3/4 of them are fulfilled. If you can learn to defend even fairly well, you are virtually guaranteed to be a successful player.
What must defenders count?



  • High Card Points (HCP)
  • Number of Tricks
      Use the following clues to count distribution:


  • Bids and doubles that other players made
  • Bids and doubles that other players did NOT make
  • What you know each time a player shows out of a suit
  • Partner's count signals

As soon as dummy is tabled, always try to count HCP. The best situations to do this are when declarer has made a bid which narrowly defines his HCP range. As you know, most notrump bids are well-defined.

      Whenever possible, count the potential number of tricks:


  • For the defense
  • For declarer
      In this lesson, Marty will discuss how counting can:


  • Enable your side to be the only pair to defeat seemingly "ice-cold" contracts
  • Help you find the killing opening lead
  • Locate a singleton in partner's hand and give him a ruff
  • Help you to prevent declarer from setting up a suit
  • Tell you exactly what is your only chance to defeat the contract
  • Help partner find the best defense
  • Tell you when to say "NO" to second-hand low
  • Let you KNOW the location of missing honors
  • Help you resolve the active vs. passive dilemma
  • Enable you to mislead declarer because you know something that he doesn't

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