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Once East has shown that he has support for Spades, West, with support for poker hearts, visualizes a slam.  His bid of Four No-Trumps asks East how many Aces he holds, and East’s response of Five Hearts tells West that he holds two.  It is important for West to bid the slam in Spades, because if East plays in Hearts and West to bid the slam in Spades, because if East plays in Hearts and his two Aces are in Hearts and Clubs (as they are) the opening lead of a Diamond from South may break Six Hearts out of hand.  When West plays in Six Spades, the King of Diamonds is protected against the opening lead and twelve tricks are assured.
            As West knows that there is an Ace against the hand the grand slam is out of the question and West, therefore, has no need to bid Five No-Trumps to ask East how many Kings he holds.

            The convention is a very useful one, but it must be used with discretion, because if partner lacks the necessary Aces the partnership may find itself carried out of its depth.  As a rule, it may be said that if the final contract is to be in Clubs the bid of Four No-Trumps should No-Trumps be made unless the bidder holds at least two Aces, and if the contract is to be in Diamonds he should hold at least one Ace.

            A limit bid is a bid that informs partner of the precise strength of dummy poker hand, and so permits him to estimate the combined strength of the partnership, and drop the bidding if he can see no future for it.
            No-Trump bids are limit bids because they are made on an agreed number of points in the hand.  A single raise of partner’s suit is a limit bid that shows moderate strength and support for the suit; a double raise of partner’s suit shows that the hand is too good for a mere simple raise and invites him to bid game it his hand is above average; a triple raise is distributional, it promises good support for the suit and a few scattered points, but no more because with good support for the suit coupled with high-card strength it would be more in order to make a gradual advance to a possible slam.
            When an opponent has bid a suit at the level of One, a online poker player should enter the auction only if he can be reasonably sure that his bid, if passed out, will Not be defeated by more than two tricks if vulnerable and three if No-Trumps vulnerable.  This general rule, however, must be accepted with some reservation.  It would, for example, Not be wrong for a player who holds

to bid One Heart over an opponent’s one Diamond.  The bid might prove costly, but not very often, and it is cowardly not to contest the part score for fear of the worst happening.  A poker player has a right to assume that even if his partner has a blank hand and only two or three low Hearts, the poker hand will win three tricks in hearts and one in each of the black suits.

            A jump overall shows strength, and, though it is No-Trumps forcing, partner is expected to take action if he holds the values that would justify a response to a bid of One.
            An overcall should be based on a 5-card or longer suit, though it is reasonable to overcall with A K Q x or K Q J x at the level of One.  It is nearly always very unwise to overcall with a broken suit.
            In general, when an opponent has opened the bidding with a bid of One of a suit, it is better to counter it with a take-out double than with a weak overcall.  A double in this situation shows weakness in the suit doubled and a total of about 13 or 14 points with a balanced hand and 11 or 12 with an unbalanced one.  Postulating that the double’s partner has not bid (if he has the double is for a penalty) the doublers invites partner to bid his best suit.

            West                            East
            ♠ K J 9 6 2                   ♠ 5 3
            ♥ K J 9 2                     ♥ A Q 8 3
            6                               K 7 2
            ♣ A Q 7                       ♣ 10 8 6 2

            If South has bid One Diamond, West should double.  East bids hearts and the good fit has been found.  If West bids one Spade over South’s one Diamond the Heart fit will never be found and a good result will be exchanged for a bad one.
            If partner’s best suit is the one that has been doubled, either he bids No-Trumps or passes for a penalty if he holds length in the suit.
            A double of One No-Trump is made with a balanced hand and a count of about 2 points more than the No-Trump bidder’s average.  With a weak drawing poker hand partner will take out into his best suit, but if the combined count totals 23 or more he will pass for a penalty.

            A pre-emptive bid is defined as an opening bid at the level of Three or higher.  It is a bid of great value because either it prevents the opponents from entering the auction or compels one of them to bid at a level that is dangerously high when he has no notion of what cards his partner may be holding.  Postulating that the bid of Three is weak and that an opponent holds strength in the other three suits, the most practical way of countering the pre-empt is to bid Three is weak and that an opponent holds strength in the other three suits, the most practical way of countering the pre-empt is to bid Three Diamonds over Three clubs and Three No-Trumps over Three Spades, Hearts or Diamonds.  Either bid invites partner to bid his best suit.

            When the bidding period ends, and the playing period begins, the player on the left of the declarer leads to the first trick.  It is only after he has led that the partner of the declarer exposes his hand on the table as dummy.  It follows, therefore, that the opening lead has to be made in the dark, since the player can see only his own hand and is left to judge the best lead from it, coupled with the information that he has obtained from the bidding.  The opening lead must be chosen with care.  It is of great importance, because quite often the choice of a good or bad lead will decide whether or not the declarer’s contract will be made.
            Against a No-Trump contract, if partner has bid a suit, leading it usually offers the best chance of defeating the contract, unless the poker player on lead holds only a singleton in the suit or he has a good suit of his own.
            With two cards of partner’s suit the higher should be led; with three cards the highest should be led, unless the suit is headed by the Ace, King, Queen or Jack, when the lowest should be preferred.  With two honours in partner’s suit the higher should be led; with a sequence (a combination of three or more cards of adjacent rank)the highest should be led.  In all other cases the fourth highest should be led.

            When a player leads his own suit, he should lead the fourth highest of his longest suit, unless he holds a sequence (when he should lead the highest), a long suit headed by the Ace and King and an entry in another suit (when he should lead the King), or an intermediate honours sequence  e.g. A Q J x or K J 10 x (when the higher of the two touching honours should be led).
            The reason for leading the fourth highest card of a suit is that if partner subtracts the number of the card from eleven, the remainder will be the number of higher pairing door cards held by the other three players.  The Rule of Eleven.

W        E
Q 9 7
5 led                             K 10 8      


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