All players like to win cheap tricks, but you usually get what you pay for.

Today's West led a spade against 3NT though he had no entry to his long suit even if he established it. South won a cheap trick with dummy's six and next led a diamond. East played low, won the next diamond and led the jack of clubs.

South won and wondered how to reach dummy's good diamonds. He tried leading the king of hearts, but East took the ace and led another club. South won and led a heart to the jack; but when East produced the queen and led a third club, South was finished. He took the A-K of spades and lost the rest. Down two.


South was too stingy: he must win the first spade with the ace. He then starts the diamonds, and East wins the second diamond and leads a club.

South next leads a low spade. West takes the queen, but South wins the club return, cashes his last club, and reaches dummy with the jack of spades, winning two spades, three clubs and four diamonds.


You hold: S A K 10 5 H K 8 6 5 D K 10 C A K Q. Dealer, at your right, opens one diamond. You double, and your partner bids one heart. The opponents pass. What do you say?

ANSWER: Your hand is worth 23 points -- maybe more since the king of diamonds is well placed and the ten of spades may be useful. Take a chance and bid four hearts. Partner promises no values; but if he has five low hearts and nothing else, he may lose only three tricks.

South dealer

N-S vulnerable


S J 8 6

H J 4 3

D Q J 9 8 3

C 6 5


S Q 9 7 4 3

H 9 7 2

D 6 5

C 7 4 3


S 2

H A Q 10

D A 7 4 2

C J 10 9 8 2


S A K 10 5

H K 8 6 5

D K 10


South West North East

2 NT Pass 3 NT All Pass

Opening lead -- S 4