General rules to be observed by beginners
General rules to be observed by beginners
1. When you lead, begin with the best suit in your hand; if you have a sequence of king, queen and knave, or queen, knave and ten, they are sure leads, and never fail gaining the tenace to yourself or partner in other suits; and begin with the highest of the sequence, unless you have five in number; in that case play the lowest, except in trumps, when you must always play the highest in order to get the ace or king out of your partner's or adversary's hand, by which means you make room for your own suit.
2. If you have five of the smallest trumps, and not one good card in the other suits, trump out: which will have this good consequence at least, to make your partner the last player, and by that means give him the tenace.
3. If you have two small trumps only, with ace and king of other suits, and a deficiency of the fourth suit, make as many tricks as you can immediately: and if your partner refuses either of your suits, do not force him, because that may weaken his game too much.
4. You need seldom return your partner's lead, if you have good suits of your own to play, unless it be to endeavour to save or win a game: what is meant by good suits, is, in case you shall have sequences of king, queen and knave, or queen, knave and ten.
5. If you have each five tricks, and you are assured of getting two tricks in your own hand, do not fail winning them, in expectation of scoring two that deal, because if you lose the odd trick it makes two differences, and you play two to one against yourself.
An exception to the foregoing rule is, when you see a probability of saving your lurch, or winning the game, in either of which cases you are to risk the odd trick.
6. When you have a probability of winning the game, always risk a trick or two, because the share of the stake which your adversary has by a new deal, will amount to more than the point or two which you risk by that deal.
7. If your adversary is six or seven love, and you are to lead, your business in that case is to risk a trick or two, in hopes of putting your game upon an equality: therefore admitting you have queen or knave, and one other trump, and no good cards in other suits, play out your queen or knave of trumps; by wich means you strengthen your partner's game, if he is strong in trumps; if he is weak, you do not him injury.
8. If you are four of the game, you must play for an odd trick, because it saves one half of the stake which you play for; and in order to win the odd trick, though you are pretty strong in trumps, be cautious how you trump out. What is meant by strength in trumps, is, in case you should have one honour and three trumps.
9. If you are nine of the game and though very strong in trumps, if you observe your partner to have a chance of trumping any of your adversary's suits, in that case do not trump out, but give him an opportunity of trumping those suits. If your game is scored one, two, three, you must play the reverse; and also at five, six or seven because in these two last recited cases you play for more than one point.
10. If you are last player, and find that the third hand cannot put on a good card to his partner's lead, admitting you have no good game of your own to ph return the lead upon the adversary which gives your partner the tenace in that suit and often obliges the adversary to change suits, and consequently gains the tenace in that new suit also.
11. If you have ace, king and four small trumps, begin with a small one, because it is an equal wager that your partner has a better trump than the last player: if so, you have three rounds of trumps; if not, you cannot fetch out all the trumps.
12. If you have king, queen and four small trumps, begin with a small one, because the odds is on your side that your partner has an honour.
13. If you have king, queen, ten and three small trumps, begin with the king because you have a fair chance that the knave falls in the second round, or you may wait to finesse your ten at the return of trumps from your partner.
14. If you have six trumps of a lower denomination, you are to begin with the lowest, unless you should have ten, nine and eight, and an honour turns up against you; in that case, if you are to play through the honour, begin with the ten, which obliges the adversary to play his honour to his disadvantage, or leave it in your partner's option, whether he will pass it or not.
15. Suppose you have ace, king and two small trumps, with a quint-major of another suit: in the third suit you have three small cards, and in the fourth suit one. Your adversary on your right hand begins with playing the ace of your weak suit and then proceeds to play the king; in that case do not trump it, but throw away a losing card, and if he proceeds to play the queen, throw away another losing card; and do the like the fourth time, in hopes your partner may trump it, who will in that case play a trump, or will play to your strong suit. If trumps are played, go on with them two rounds, and then proceed to play your strong suit, by which means, if there happens to be four trumps in one of your adversaries' hands, and two in the other which is nearly the case, your partner being entitled to have three trumps out of the nine, consequently there remain only six trumps between the adversaries; your strong suit forces their best trump, and you have a probability of making the odd trick in your own hand only; whereas if you had trumped one of your adversaries’ best cards, you had so weakened your hand as probably not to make more than five tricks without your partner's help.
16. Suppose you have ace, queen and three small trumps; ace, queen, ten and nine of another suit, with two small cards of each of the other suits: your partner leads to your ace, queen, ten and nine; and as this game requires rather to deceive your adversaries, than to inform your partner, put up the nine, which naturally leads the adversary to play trumps, if he wins that card. As soon as trumps are played to you, return them upon your adversary, keeping the command in your own hand. If your adversary who leds trumps to you, put up a trump which your partner cannot win, if he has no good suit of his own to play he will return your partner's lead, imagining that suit lies between his partner and yours: if this finesse of yours should succeed, you will be a great gainer by it, but scarcely possible to be a loser.