ACBL44 - General: Card Sense                      Ward Trumbull

                                                                                                                 Apr 15, 2013

      Page 1 of 2


           The bridge column in the Orange County Register on Monday April 8, 2013 covered a bridge subject that seldom is featured in bridge

columns in newspapers or magazines.  That is “card sense”.  Unfortunately the text began with the hackneyed question:


    “Are some bridge players born with card sense? “


 Then it never defined just what card sense really is.  I see it as a skill developed by card players who pay close attention to the cards

being played by their opponents, whether the game is bridge, poker,

cribbage, euchre, hearts or war (?). Then a brilliant card sense play is based on an earlier observation, duly noted by that player.                  


      If you could be born with this nebulous “card sense” gene, perhaps the blood testing laboratories could develop a test to identify this type birth defect.  If so, the gene may be passed from a                  

           good card sense parent to their child.  If you are fortunate to be a   

card sense player, maybe (before your birth) your mother bestowed

her own type master point awards to the good male card players in her neighborhood.  


      Following is the difficult three no-trump hand which can be made

by a declarer who has card sense.  The opening lead is the 4 of spades by east, dummy’s spade 3, west’s jack and declarer’s ace

taking the trick.


      Note: I detest fourth longest leads from 10 fourth.


Fourth longest is a variation of the BOSTON rule for opening leads.

BOS is bottom-of-something, where the “something” is an ace or

one-or-more face cards, not a ten!







                         ACBL44 - General: Card Sense                      Ward Trumbull

                                                                                                                 Apr 15, 2013

      Page 2 of 2


                                   S - Q 8 3

      S - 10 6 5 4          H - A 10                              S - K J 2

      H - K Q 2              D - K 7 4                             H - J 9 8 3

      D - 6 5 3 2            C - A K 10 4 2                     D - 9 8  

      C - J 3                                                             C - Q 9 8 7

                                   S -  A 9 7

                                   H - 7 6 5 4   

                                   D - A Q J 10

                                   C - 6 5


       Note Again: The bridge columns give you these type brilliant

                           declarer plays based on the assumption that the

                           defenders use basic defensive signals; such as:


  1.  Lead the higher of touching honors.
  2.  Third hand plays lower of touching honors

                                    when following suit.

  1.  Never renege if you can follow suit.
  2.  Pay attention to partner’s attitude signals.


         On this hand, declarer notes that west played the jack of spades.  Lower of touching honors?  If so, east must have the ten.  

So at trick 2, declarer leads the spade 9 to finesse east’s ten.  Thus  

the nine tricks will be 2 spades, one heart (the ace), four diamonds and two clubs.


      Note Final : The newspaper also pointed that most players (lacking card sense) would go set on this hand by

                          trying to get an extra trick in clubs.