Question 49b.

You chose to bid 3 Clubs. This is the correct bid. You have more than 9 points so you are giving a positive bid, and your best suit is Clubs. You are not supporting your partner, because his Club bid was artificial.

Now it is up to the opening bidder, West, to decide where to go from here.  Here is his hand again.

Spades            A,K,10,8
Hearts             A,K,6
Diamonds        A.K.8
Clubs              Q,10,7

He knows he has 23 points, and his partner has at least 9, and something good in Clubs, which is his weakest suit. He thinks it is possible that a slam is on, and he would like to play it in No Trump, but he doesn't need to bid in No Trump yet. He would really like to know more about his partner's hand to find out whether his partner has the Ace of Clubs. If he does, that will be 4 of the 9 points, and the other 5 points will be probably at least 1 Queen and 1 Jack.

There are 2 conventions for finding out if your partner has Aces or not. I will just teach you the one that will be used on this occasion at the moment. It is called BLACKWOOD.
The other slam asking convention is called GERBER, and I will teach it to you later because it is more useful, but it cannot be used when Clubs have been bid NATURALLY, and the partner of the opening bidder has now bid Clubs, and actually meant that he had Clubs.

With Blackwood, you signal to your partner that you want to know how many Aces he has by the ASKING BID, which is 4 No Trump. Everyone recognizes this as an asking bid, because it surpasses the much more normal game call bid of 3 No Trump. So when you hear your partner say 4 No Trump, you know that he is asking how many Aces you have.  There is a code of artificial bidding to let him know the answer. If you have none at all, or have all 4 of them, you answer 5 Clubs. If you have 1, you answer 5 Diamonds, if you have 2 you answer 5 Hearts, and if you have 3, you answer 5 Spades. In this instance, you have 1 Ace, so you answer 5 Diamonds.
Have another look at West's hand.

Spades            A,K,10,8
Hearts             A,K,6
Diamonds        A.K.8
Clubs              Q,10,7

You now know that between you, you have all the Aces, and at least 3 of the Kings. Your partner must have some Queens and Jacks to make up the extra values indicated by his positive bid, so you are going to gamble on that idea, and bid 6 No Trump. If you had needed more information about Kings, you could have bid a similar asking sequence, by bidding 5 No Trump, but since missing 1 King does not rule out a small slam, I don't think you would bother in this instance.

So this is how the bidding sequence went:
2 Clubs, No Bid, 3 Clubs, No Bid, 4 No Trump, No Bid, 5 Diamonds, No Bid, 6 No Trump, No Bid, No Bid, No Bid.

East bid the No Trump first, and will be playing the contract.

The opening lead comes from North.

Spades            9,7,3
Hearts            10,9,8
Diamonds       J,7,5,4
Clubs              8,2

The contract is in No Trump, and there is nothing better to lead than your fourth highest Diamond, the 4.

The dummy then goes down and West then considers the two hands and plans his campaign.

Spades             Q.J
Hearts              Q,5,4,2
Diamonds         Q,6,3
Clubs                A,J,9,6

Spades            A,K,10,8
Hearts             A,K,6
Diamonds        A.K.8
Clubs              Q,10,7

You should be able to see that you have 12 winning tricks between those two hands. When you get in, you should play Clubs and either capture or lose to the King, depending which side it is on. Make sure you think ahead so you can win all 4 Spades. It depends on which ones are won first. The rest of the tricks should be a lay down. Sort out the hands, and see how well you can do.

Scoring a Slam involves another set of bonus points. If you bid and make a GRAND SLAM
which is taking all the tricks, and you are Vulnerable, you score an extra bonus of 1500 points. If you are not vulnerable, it is 1000 points.

If you make a SMALL SLAM, which is what you did, you score an extra 750 points if you are vulnerable, which you weren't, and 500 if non vulnerable.

Look at the score sheet to see how this is scored.

This is the end of this first set of lessons on Beginner's Bridge. If you feel ready for more advanced work, there is another set of lessons for you to do. Details in the Summary section.

If you have any comments or questions you can contact me on

If you wish to review any of the concepts you learned, go now to the Summary.