Watson's Classic Book on the Play of the Hand at Bridge

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Edition: Revised
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-07-27
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publications
  • Purchase Benefits
  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $16.99 Save up to $2.55
  • Buy New


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


This book, by one of the first and foremost authorities on contract bridge, is regarded as the classic exposition of playing strategy. Practically all variations of play, both in attack and in defense, are explained and illustrated in it.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. ix
Fundamentals of Play
Introduction to Part Ip. 1
The Power of Honorsp. 3
The Meaning of Rankp. 4
The Developing Power of Honorsp. 8
Controlp. 12
Summaryp. 12
The Positional Value of Honorsp. 14
How to Play Tenaces--The Finessep. 17
Summaryp. 25
Double and Combination Finessesp. 27
Finessing Against Lower Honors Than the Kingp. 29
Some Miscellaneous Examplesp. 34
Summaryp. 36
When Not to Finessep. 37
Summaryp. 39
Entriesp. 40
The Vital Meaning of Tenacesp. 45
Summaryp. 46
General Principlesp. 47
The Contract Is the Thingp. 51
Summaryp. 52
Establishing a Suit at No-Trumpp. 53
Establishing a Suit Before Eliminating Entriesp. 57
Choosing Between Two Establishable Suitsp. 60
Summaryp. 62
Establishing a Suit at No-Trump (Continued)p. 63
The Time Element in Establishing a Suitp. 65
Establishing a Suit by Finessingp. 67
A Second Look at the Double Finessep. 68
Reserving an Entry for a Second Finessep. 69
Summaryp. 70
The Strategy of Control and the Hold-upp. 71
When the Situation Does Not Call for the Hold-upp. 74
Should Dummy Play High or Low Second Hand?p. 79
Keeping a Weather Eve Open for Suit Controlp. 82
A Hold-up in a Suit With Two Stoppersp. 83
Summaryp. 85
Unblockingp. 86
Unblocking by Leading a Singleton Honorp. 87
Unblocking by Overtaking an Honorp. 89
When Failure to Unblock Immediately Means Defeatp. 91
Unblocking by Discardingp. 92
Unblocking to Discover Hidden Entriesp. 94
Summaryp. 95
Duckingp. 97
Ducking Twice to Establish a Suitp. 101
How to Decide Whether to Duckp. 104
Ducking by Refusing a Finessep. 105
Ducking in Desperationp. 107
A Matter of Judgmentp. 109
Summaryp. 109
Trump Management at Suit Playp. 110
When to Lead Trumpsp. 111
When Not to Lead Trumps Immediatelyp. 115
Summaryp. 118
Ruffing Powerp. 119
Struggling to Realize on a Short Suitp. 121
Ruffing After First Leading Trumpsp. 122
Diverting to a New Type of Finessep. 124
Unblocking the Trump Suitp. 125
Ruffing Power Is Confined to the Dummyp. 126
Summaryp. 127
Plays Postponing the Trump Leadp. 128
Postponing the Trump Lead for a Specific Discardp. 130
Another Way of Taking Discards Before Leading Trumpsp. 133
Summaryp. 135
No-Trump Plays at Suit Contractsp. 136
Again Establishing a Side Suit Before Leading Trumpsp. 138
Setting Up a Side Suit by Preserving Ruffing Powerp. 139
Establishing a Side Suit After Drawing Trumpsp. 140
Retaining Trump Entries Until a Side Suit Is Established by Ruffingp. 143
Gaining Tricks by Refusing to Ruffp. 144
Is Declarer or Dummy the Dominating Hand?p. 145
Summaryp. 147
Miscellaneous Trump Playsp. 148
The Cross-Ruffp. 148
High-Card Tricks in the "Other" Suitp. 150
Sacrificing a Principle to Efficiencyp. 151
Another Exception to the Rulep. 153
Playing a Hopeless Trump Contractp. 155
Leading Trumps With a Weak Suitp. 156
Summaryp. 158
Elementary Defense Against No-Trumpp. 159
Opening Leads Against No-Trumpp. 162
The Honor-Sequence Length Leadp. 163
The Plain Length Leadp. 164
Leads From Ace-King Suitsp. 165
Continuation Honor Leadsp. 167
Leading the Acep. 167
Choosing Between Two Length Leadsp. 167
Short-Suit Sequence Leadsp. 169
Short-Suit Leads (Desperation)p. 169
Leading Partner's Suitp. 171
Choosing Between Your Own Suit and Partner'sp. 172
Summaryp. 173
When Partner Has Not Bidp. 173
When Partner Has Bid a Suitp. 173
Third Hand Defense Against No-Trumpp. 174
The Rule of Elevenp. 175
When Third Hand's "Highest" Is in Sequence With the Card Below Itp. 177
When Not to Play "Third Hand High"p. 179
Summaryp. 183
Elementary Defense After the First Trickp. 184
Choosing the Card in Returning Partner's Suitp. 186
An Exceptionp. 189
Holding Up in Defensive Playp. 189
Unblocking in Defensive Playp. 191
Ducking in Defensive Playp. 192
Summaryp. 194
Defensive Discardsp. 195
The Echo and Its Usesp. 196
When to Encourage and When to Discourage Partnerp. 197
Echoing With an Honorp. 201
Echoing When Unable to Follow Suitp. 201
Temporizing Discardsp. 203
Miscellaneous Discardingp. 207
Third Hand's Play to Partner's Short-Suit Leadsp. 208
Summaryp. 209
Defensive Plays by Second Handp. 210
Playing Defensively Before the Dummyp. 210
Playing Defensively Before the Declarerp. 221
Summaryp. 222
Continuation Playsp. 224
Applying Leads Through Strength and Up to Weaknessp. 227
Shifting to a Suit Other Than Partner's Leadp. 228
Summaryp. 231
Opening Leads Against a Suit Contractp. 232
The Most Desirable Leads Against a Suit Contractp. 232
Other Good Leads Against a Suit Contractp. 233
Opening Leads Based on the Biddingp. 237
Summaryp. 238
Defensive Suit Play by Third Handp. 240
Discards (Signals) in Suit Defensep. 242
Another Echo to Show a Short Suitp. 245
Discouraging and Temporizing Discards in Suit Defensep. 246
Third Hand Play to Short-Suit Leadsp. 247
Summaryp. 249
The Policy of Suit Shiftingp. 250
Summaryp. 255
Forcing the Declarer to Ruffp. 256
Spotting a Danger Signalp. 261
Not Forcing When It May Establish a Trick in Dummyp. 262
Forcing the Dummyp. 265
Preventing a Declarer From Discardingp. 266
Summaryp. 267
Trump Leads by the Defending Sidep. 268
A Similar but Simpler Situationp. 270
Killing Ruffing Power With the Opening Leadp. 271
Summaryp. 274
Over-Ruffing by the Defending Sidep. 275
Leading a Low Card for Over-Ruffingp. 278
Summaryp. 280
Advanced Play and Expert Technique
Introduction to Part IIp. 281
The Less Common Finessing Situationsp. 283
The Obligatory Finessep. 285
Finessing to Eliminate a Guessp. 288
Again the Simple Finesse Is Not Enoughp. 290
The Backward Finessep. 292
Summaryp. 294
Safety Playsp. 295
Refusing a Trump Finessep. 296
Rendering an Adverse Ruff Uselessp. 297
Providing for the Worst Possible Distributionp. 298
Providing Against a Special Kind of Adverse Distributionp. 300
Refusing a Trump Finesse to Lose but One Trickp. 302
A Safety Finessep. 303
A Safety Play Against the Queenp. 304
Providing Against a 4-1 Break in Trumpsp. 306
Giving Up a Trick When It Is Seemingly Unnecessaryp. 307
Establishing a Tenace for the Sake of Safetyp. 309
Unblocking as a Safety Measurep. 310
A Safety Play in a Side Suitp. 312
The Acme of Foresight in a Safety Playp. 313
Destroying an Entry Card to Play Safep. 314
Summaryp. 317
End Playsp. 318
A Simple End Playp. 322
Throwing the Lead in the Suit Desired as the Returnp. 324
An Elimination End Playp. 326
Choosing Between an End Play and a Finessep. 328
Making an End Play for an Extra Trickp. 330
The End Play at a Suit Contractp. 332
Another End Play When There Is a Trump Suitp. 334
A Throw-in With Another Suitp. 336
An End Play by Giving Up a Trick That Might Be Savedp. 337
An Optimistic Try for an End Playp. 338
Another End Play as the Only Chancep. 340
A Brilliant End-Play "Coup"p. 341
Another End-Play "Coup"p. 343
An End Play in Trumpsp. 345
Summaryp. 346
Defense Against End Playsp. 347
Escaping an End Play by Unblockingp. 348
Proper and Improper Defense Contrastedp. 350
Protecting Partner From an End Playp. 352
Superior Attack Met by Superior Defensep. 354
Making the Declarer Guessp. 357
Summaryp. 359
Countingp. 360
Counting Makes Possible a Double End Playp. 362
Giving Up Losers to Get a Countp. 364
A Simple and Common Method of Countingp. 366
Using a Percentage Play When the Count Is Doubtfulp. 368
Placing Cards From the Biddingp. 370
Counting by the Defending Sidep. 372
Mathematical Tablesp. 373
Summaryp. 373
Coupsp. 375
The Bath Coupp. 375
The Deschapelles Coupp. 376
The Trump Coupp. 380
A Double Simple Coupp. 383
The Double Grand Coupp. 386
Defense Against the Trump Coupp. 386
An Unnecessary Finesse in Preparing for a Coupp. 388
Trump Coups in Generalp. 390
Summaryp. 391
Squeeze Playsp. 392
The Simple Squeeze End-Play Situationp. 392
Working Toward the Squeezep. 394
The Backward Squeezep. 396
The Pseudo-Squeezep. 398
The Progressive Squeezep. 400
A Squeeze to Obtain a Countp. 403
The Double Squeezep. 404
The Essentials of a Squeeze Situationp. 408
The Vienna Coupp. 409
The Vienna Coup Par Excellencep. 411
Choosing Between a Squeeze and a Finessep. 413
Making an Adversary Squeeze His Partnerp. 414
Summaryp. 415
Two Unusual Echoesp. 417
The Trump Echop. 417
The No-Trump Echop. 419
Summaryp. 420
Miscellaneous Advanced Playsp. 422
Holding Up With King-Queen and With Queen-Jackp. 422
An Ace-King Hold-Up to Avoid a Guessp. 425
Establishing a Trick in a Short Suit Firstp. 426
Leading into a Tenace--The Time Elementp. 427
Leading into a Tenace to Establish a Suitp. 428
The Time Element and the Opening Leadp. 429
Unnecessarily Giving Up a Trump Trickp. 430
Choosing Between Two Re-Entriesp. 431
Keeping the Dangerous Hand out of the Leadp. 432
Trumping Your Partner's Acep. 433
"Double Dummy" Playing Problemsp. 434
Duplicate Strategyp. 436
Summaryp. 436
Psychological Strategyp. 438
False-Cardingp. 439
Refusing to Play Third Hand Highp. 444
An Unusual Playp. 445
Misleading the Opponents by Playing Normallyp. 446
Desperation Tactics by the Declarerp. 447
A Desperation Surprise Leadp. 448
A Deceptive and Unusual Leadp. 449
Leading Against Slamsp. 450
Leading Against Doubled Slamsp. 451
Leading Away From an Acep. 452
Another Unconventional Opening Leadp. 454
A Pair of Unusual Deceptive Playsp. 455
Two Deceptive Ace Leadsp. 456
Summaryp. 459
Planning the Playp. 460
Plan of the Declarerp. 460
At a No-Trump Contractp. 460
At a Suit Contractp. 461
Plan of the Defending Sidep. 462
The Opening Leader Against a No-Trump Contractp. 462
The Opening Leader Against a Suit Contractp. 462
Third Handp. 463
Summaryp. 463
Some Modern Innovationsp. 464
Suit-Preference Signals When Ruffingp. 464
Extensions of Suit-Preference Signalsp. 467
What Do You Lead from Three Card Suits?p. 470
Some Loose Endsp. 472
Delaying for a Squeezep. 472
An Extension of the No-Trump Echop. 474
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

Rewards Program

Write a Review