Card Play Technique: Or, the Art of Being Lucky
Mollo (Victor) & Gardener (Nico)
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Publisher’s Blurb (New Edition)

    All time classic book on card play. Probably the best textbook on the play of the cards ever published. Written with clarity and verve, the authors show how any player who masters the mechanics of card play also masters the art of being ‘lucky’. Suitable for players of nearly every standard. Rereading Card Play Technique is like visiting an old friend you haven’t seen for years. It’s a delight to rediscover just how good this 40-year old book really is.
Publisher’s Blurb (My 1971 Edition)
  1. Prophetically, Ewart Kempson, editor of Bridge Magazine, wrote in 1955, when Card Play Technique was born: a book which will be handed down to generations of players as the best possible approach to card play'.
  2. Twenty-one years later, Foyle's, the world's biggest bookshop, celebrated Card Play Technique's coming of age with a fortnight's window display, an unprecedented honour for a bridge book.
  3. Bidding systems come and go, but the mechanics of card play do not change and Card Play Technique remains today what it was when the great Harrison-Gray wrote in Country Life: 'This is a magnificent book'. None could live up better to its subtitle, The Art of Being Lucky. As Harry Ingram wrote in the Contract Bridge Journal, ' ... after reading this book, if you haven't improved considerably — give up bridge'.
  4. As in all his writing, Victor Mollo brings a light and lively touch to a serious subject. You will be entertained as well as instructed', wrote Pat Cotter in the Financial Times, welcoming a new edition in 1971.
  5. Card Play Technique is the standard textbook on play at the London School of Bridge, founded by Victor Mollo's coauthor, Nico Gardener.


Faber & Faber, London, 1981

"Mollo (Victor) & Gardener (Nico) - Card Play Technique: Or, the Art of Being Lucky"

Source: Mollo (Victor) - Card Play Technique: Or, the Art of Being Lucky

  1. Fortune only smiles on the brave. She positively beams on the skilful, versed in the technique of wooing her. For to be lucky is an art which can be mastered like any other.
  2. You, dear reader, can hold much better cards than you do at present—not by dealing yourself more Aces and Kings, but by getting a higher return from your existing ration. Persuade the cards to work harder for you than they do for your opponents. Therein lies the formula of success.
  3. The purpose of this book is to point the way, to enlist on your side, whether you be declarer or defender, fifty-two sturdy and loyal allies.
  4. Does a mischievous gremlin haunt you at the table, bewitching every finesse, spoiling the distribution of every suit? if so, you can exchange him for a friendly leprechaun. He will sit behind you, averting bad breaks, warning you against impending ruffs and inspiring the luckiest leads. Better still, if you propitiate him, he will pierce the linen curtain and reveal to you the holdings of your opponents.
  5. The art of card-reading, "seeing" the hands of the other players, is one of the secrets of being lucky. That is why we expound it in some detail, and engage to assist you, the ever-friendly leprechaun.
  6. Complex coups, which happen once a decade or so, receive little prominence in these pages. Our concern is essentially with the plays that win rubbers and bring in the match points, not with the spectacular hands which sometimes astound, but rarely instruct.
  7. We have endeavoured to describe all the moves in the thrust and parry of the eternal struggle between declarer and defence. But in every chapter, and in the exercises which follow, the spotlight is on everyday situations and on how to handle them. Leaving double-dummy problems in the shade, keeping the focus on the real, vibrant hands that recur again and again, we seek to make theory the hand-maiden of practice.
  8. Cards have their magic. We pass on the incantations and ask you to weave the spells.
  1. Dummy Play: On Not Playing High Cards - 9
    Exercises - 18
    Answers - 353
  2. Defence: Trick Promotion - 19
    Exercises - 28
    Answers - 354
  3. Dummy Play: To Ruff Or Not To Ruff? - 31
    Exercises - 40
    Answers - 355
  4. Defence: The Trump Lead-And After - 42
    Exercises - 54
    Answers - 356
  5. Dummy Play: Trump Control - 56
    Exercises - 67
    Answers - 357
  6. Defence: Attack On Suit Contracts - 69
    Exercises - 85
    Answers - 358
  7. Dummy Play: No-Trump Contracts - 88
    Exercises - 105
    Answers - 360
  8. Defence: Attack On No-Trump Contracts - 108.
    Exercises - 126
    Answers - 361
  9. Dummy Play: Suit Management - 129
    Exercises - 144
    Answers - 362
  10. Defence: The Attack Develops - 146
    Exercises - 162
    Answers - 363
  11. Dummy Play: Reading Defenders' Cards - 165
    Exercises - 181
    Answers - 365
  12. Defence: Reading Declarer's Cards - 185
    Exercises - 199
    Answers - 366
  13. Dummy Play: Playing Safe - 202
    Exercises - 215
    Answers - 367
  14. Defence: Leads, Signals And Discards - 218
    Exercises - 233
    Answers - 369
  15. Dummy Play: End Plays - 236
    Exercises - 247
    Answers - 370
  16. Defence: Countering End Plays - 249
    Exercises - 262
    Answers - 373
  17. Dummy Play: Deceiving Defenders - 266
    Exercises - 278
    Answers - 374
  18. Defence: Deceiving Declarer - 280
    Exercises - 293
    Answers - 375
  19. Dummy Play: Squeezes - 296
    Exercises - 315
    Answers - 376
  20. Defence: Defending With Bad Cards - 318
    Exercises - 334
    Answers - 378
  21. Dummy Play: Trump-Reducing Plays—
    Part I - 337
    Part II - 342
    Exercises - 350
    Answers - 380

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