9.1 Planning

Make your plans just after you see the opponent's opening lead.
Count your losers or winners.

 

 

 



Count one trick:
   
Count two tricks:
   

 

 

 

 

 Contract =4 
Op. lead = 8
AKQ
6 5 4
A 8 5 3 2  
8 6 3 


 
9 4 3
A Q J 10 6
K 4 
A Q 7 

 

 

 Contract =4 
Op. lead = 8
A K 6 2
6 5 4
A Q 5  
8 6 3 


 
9 4 3
A Q J 10 6
K 4 
A Q 7 

 

 Contract =4 
Op. lead = 8
A K 6 2
6 5 4
A 5 4 3 2


 
9 4 3
A Q J 10 6
K 6
A Q 7 

 

 Contract =4 
Op. lead = 8
A K 6
6 5 4
A 5 4 3 
8 6 5


 
9 4 3
A Q J 10 6
K 6
A Q 7 

 

 

Contract =4 
Op. lead =
A K 6
8  7 5
Q J 10 9  
K 5 3 


 
9 3 4
A K Q  10 6
8 4 
A 9 7 

Your opponents' opening lead will give you some clues about their attacking plans. Afterwards, when you see the dummy's hand you will find the opportunity to make your own plans. Start to count the winners and the losers depending on the contract: For no-trump contracts count winners, for suit contracts count losers. If you have card sequence like AQ, just count one trick for the ace. Because queen is not guaranteed. So, don't count unguaranteed winners. You can make two tricks with AK.
In no-trump contracts start to count the winner tricks of A, AK, AKQ etc. which you can make without giving the lead..
Subtract winner tricks from the tricks you need to make the contract. The result is the number of tricks you need to win. After counting the winners in no trump look for the ways taking extra tricks in notrunp contracts. In suit contracts you must look for the ways to avoid the losers. There are three techniques to avoid losers:

Establishing tricks for discarding
Ruffing
Finessing

So, counting the losers and avoiding the losers is our main subjects in planning a play. Now let us make a plan. As we said before planning in notrump contracts is easy: You will just count winners. So, let us see how to plan in a suit contracts: 

HOW TO PLAN:

In order to count the losers we must choose a main hand first. The main hand will be the hand with more trumps (If both hands are equal in trumps, the hand with more honors will be main hand). Count the loser of that main hand. If we look at the left hand diagram, South's hand must be main hand (South has more trumps). If losers are more than to win a contract, you must compare the hands if the losers of main hand is covered by the other hand. If it is covered, the number of losers will be decreased. Let us count South's loser:
Spade: No loser (3 losers are covered by dummy's AKQ)
Heart= 1 loser 
Diamond=No loser (1 loser is covered by dummy's Ace) 
Club: 2 losers..
So declarer has 3 losers..
South can bear 3 losers for 4 contract. He can make the contract.

Discarding:If the losers are not covered, declarer must find a way by discarding, ruffing and finessing to win the losers back. Now let us look at the hand diagram at the left: South can not cover one of his spade losers now.. So he has 4 losers (1 spade, 1 heart and two clubs). South can not bear 4 losers for 4 contract.If losers are more than what contract allows, you must look for discarding (establishing suits for discarding),ruffing or finessing. In left example South can discard his spade loser on dummys diamond..

 

 

Ruffing: In the left example South can count,
1 Spade loser (two of his Spades covered by Dummy's AK) 
1 Heart loser (King oF heart) 
0 Diamond loser (one diamond covered  by Dummy's ace) 
2 club losers. 
So South has 4 losers (1 spade, 1 heart and two clubs).
South can not bear 4 losers for 4 contract. He can use one of Dummy's trump to ruff one of his losing club.

 

 

Finessing: In the left example South can count,
1 Spade loser (two of his Spades covered by Dummy's AK) 
1 Heart loser (King og heart) 
0 Diamond loser (one diamond covered  by Dummy's ace) 
2 club losers. 
So South has 4 losers (1 spade, 1 heart and two clubs).
South can not bear 4 losers for 4 contract. He must decrease two clubs losers to one by finessing the queen of clubs..

 

 


Please find below an example of planning:
 
Contract is 4 in the hand diagram at the left. If we count losers:
1 spade (North AK covers two spade losers)
0 heart(for 3-2 split);
2 diamonds
1 club (North's King covers one club loser), 
 
South can allow 3 losers for 4 contract. So, South must get rid of one of his losers. How? Establishing diamonds for a spade (or club) loser. After losing two diamonds to AK, diamonds Q is a master for diacarding a spade (or club)..

(You must count losers by looking at the hand with more trumps)

Which Suit First

Let us say that you counted your winners (or losers); and you stopped your opponents'first attack: Now, it is your turn.  You can ask yourself "In which order shall I play the suits?"

You can begin with a weak suit in order to draw the opponents' attention there, and then playing strong suits to destroy them? Or, you can destroy them with strong suits as soon as possible so as to prevent them to find opportunity to make plans. The answer is in your hand.

Begin no trump contracts with a suit which will help you to win as much tricks as possible. You can also begin no-trump contracts by establishing a suit by forcing out the opponents' high cards (promotion).

In suit contracts you must begin by drawing the trumps. This is not a rule. If the number of your quick tricks is enough for the contract, there is no reason not to draw the trumps. This is the best way for averting a ruff. If you have some losers, and if you need additional winners (by ruffing, developing long suits, finessing etc.) you may refrain drawing trumps earlier.

You will also get some clues about your future actions while you are playing a suit.

Yalcin Pekiner's FROG LAW

FROG LAW is an acronym for you which will help to remember the essential steps of planning..

Find Out: Find out your winners (in NT contracts) and losers (in suit contracts)

Resources: Examine resources to develope winers or eliminate losers .

Organize: Organize the techniques you will use for developing the tricks you need.. These techniques are: Promotion, establishing long suits, finesse, repeating finesse, ruffing, discarding losers.

Go and Get them...

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