LESSON 31.1: GENERAL RULES OF DEFENSE

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a) It is recommended to always pause for a few seconds before playing a card

b) It is not advisable to withdraw a card from your hand before your turn to play

c) It is not advisable to make any comment about the auction before the completion of the deal

d) During the play, each player must try to estimate declarer and partner's hands:

  - by counting points already shown and estimating points remaining

  - by evaluating the original and the present distribution, especially in the trump suit

  - by adding declarer's known winners to the tricks he has already won

e) When it is obvious that a contract cannot be set unless partner holds a specific card combination, assume he holds it and play accordingly

f) The defenders should try to prevent declarer from ruffing in the hand short in trumps (usually the dummy); ruffs by the long hand usually favor the defenders

g) When declarer discards losers before playing trumps, assume he is missing one or two top tricks in the trump suit

h) It is highly unethical to deliberately hesitate or play in a way that would inform partner of your holding or mislead declarer about your distribution, especially when holding a singleton in a suit being played

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