How to read your opponents' cards: The bridge expert's way to locate missing high cards
Lawrence (Mike)
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Cover Blurb

  1. How To Read Your Opponents' Cards takes you into the mind of a world champion bridge player and shows you how great players think and win.
  2. In bridge, your choice of play depends on what you know about your opponents' hands. Your information ranges from nothing at all to a complete knowledge that allows you to play as if your opponents' cards were face-up on the table. You learn to read their cards from bids and play that are not made.
  3. The answer to such questions as "What made you play east instead of west for the king of spades ?" or "How did you know that the king of hearts was a singleton ?" comes from the rules of card placing.
  4. Now Mike Lawrence gives you a thorough command of such rules, dealing not in abstracts but in real-life situations, and presenting and solving problems straight from the bridge table.

    Foreward by Richard L. Frey – vii
    Introduction by Ira Corn – ix
  1. Sizing Up the Case – 1
  2. Finding the Witnesses – 9
  3. Analyzing the Clues – 43
  4. Conducting the Investigation – 65
  5. Checking the Evidence – 97
  6. Nailing Down the Case – 123
  7. Making Your Sixth Sense Work – 155
    Index – 173

Introduction to Chapter 1
  1. This book is not going to be another oration on bridge technique. Terms such as safety plays, squeezes, endplays, and coups will have little or no place here, and any references to them will be in name only. What will be discussed are the thought processes of the good player as he is proceeding through a hand that requires one correct guess for success, or perhaps a series of correct guesses.
  2. If you have ever watched the play of someone who has a firm understanding of the ideas presented in this book, at the end of a hand you may have asked such questions as:
    … "What made you play East instead of West for the queen of spades?"
    … "How did you know the king of hearts was singleton?"
    … "Why did you finesse the diamonds instead of the clubs?"
  3. The answers to these questions come from applying the rules of card placing or card locating, and this book intends to give you guidelines for determining who has which cards. When you know where the cards are, it will be much easier to apply the aforementioned bridge techniques.
  4. This chapter will take a brief look at some hands, and will discuss them from two points of view:
    … (1) No information is available, i.e., no bidding and a non-informative lead.
    … (2) There has been a helpful auction, or the opening lead gives some information.
  5. Frequently throughout this book questions will be asked. Attempt to answer them before going on. Learning is always a process of observing and doing. The questions will be real-life situations, and you should take the time to answer them, for they will approximate actual conditions at the bridge table.
  6. Always note the information given. Try to make this a habit, so that it is not necessary to refer back. Look at the auction when given, note the opening lead, who has shown up with what card or cards, etc.
  7. Opening leads in this book are standard. The defenders will lead the king from sequences headed by the ace-king or the king-queen. The ace is led from the ace-king doubleton, or when leading partner's suit. The queen is led from sequences headed by the queen jack, or it may be a doubleton or a singleton. In real life, as in this book, most of your opponents will use standard leads, for it is more important for the defenders to try to give each other information early in the play than to try to deceive the declarer.

Amazon Customer Review
  1. This book doesn't tell you how to play, it tells you how to think like a professional. And it does it really well.
  2. The power of the book is demonstrated in the first chapter. Here you will learn, as declarer, how to place many of the missing honours before you've played to the first trick. Very occasionally you can place EVERY missing honour before you've played to the first trick.
  3. The remainder of the book follows the play of the hand and observes the honour cards and discards played by the opponents. Through observation and deduction you are led in the quest to discover each opponent's distribution and the placement of all the honour cards. When you've got the full picture you can devise your best plan to make your contract. You have the keys to deciding which way to take finesses, whether to play for the drop, how and when to relinquish the lead etc.
  4. The book's aim is people who want to move from "Intermediate" to "Advanced" status. And it will help you do just that.
  5. Interesting for the casual player, but essential if you're prepared to put in the effort to get the most out of yourself.
  6. If you don't determine the opponents' distribution and the location of all the honour cards, and you want to work to find them, buy the book. It works ...

Book Comment

Hale (1974)

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2023
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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