Hand Evaluation, Bidding Decisions

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Author: Krzysztof Martens

The ability to evaluate your hand accurately is essential for successful auctions. Contrary to appearances, it is not so important to assess one's hand in exactly the same way that your partner does, or even in a similar manner. You just need to know partner's way of doing it. **DB As I mentioned at the time, I don't agree with this idea and I cannot think the reader will like it. Surely the book teaches you how to evaluate particular hands and both partners should use the same method? I recommend omitting these two sentences.**

Can you learn how to do it? You not only can, you haves to. And the book is dedicated to this end.

Hand evaluation reflects what is happening inside and outside us. It mirrors our sensibility - this complex, ever-changing feature of our souls. Our sensibility results not only from our bridge past - both distant and near - but also from the present, the reality that surrounds us. ** DB Sorry, but I regard this as too imaginative and I do not think it will mean anything to the prospective reader. It might persuade them not to buy. It would certainly persuade me not to buy! Suggest omitting the paragraph. **

Factors in hand evaluation include: High Card Points (A=4, K=3, Q=2, J=1) shape - from 4333 to 7600 possession of 10s, 9s and 8s the quality of honors: in suit contracts aces and kings are more desirable, in notrumps lower honors become valuable. Evaluation of the distribution of honors will change as more information from the bidding becomes available. Suit quality: the trump suit in suit contracts, the main source of tricks in notrump.

  • The process of hand evaluation leads to making bidding decisions. Good decisions are partly a function of previous experience. But can the art of decision making simply be learned? Yes, it can. Moreover, it must be learned. First of all, you have to know your partner's style and temperament, as well as the style and the level of aggressiveness of your opponents. In order to make a decision you must use your imagination. If you manage to visualize three possible hands for partner (based on the bidding so far):
  • a favorable one,
  • an average one,
  • an unfavorable one,
  • you can the estimate the results of the decision you are intuitively inclined to make, and possibly correct it.
  • We now turn to a bidding test consisting of a hundred problems, mainly from the area of competitive bidding. As you decide what to bid on each of these, and then read my suggested action, your ability to make successful bidding decisions will improve.

Paperback: 146 pages: 2011