Abbildungen der Seite

card more than his partner, it is that proportion in favour of his having it. With three cards, it will be three to two against making the finesse. 84. Moderate players have generally a decided aversion to dart with the best trump, though single; thinking, that as they cannot lose it, and it can make but one trick, it is immaterial when it does so: this is a dangerous fault. When your adversary plays out his strong suit, ruff it immediately, before you give his partner an opportunity to throw off his losing cards. Do not, however, go into the contrary extreme, or trump with the best trump, with small ones in your hand, for fear of being overtrumped. This is a mice part of the game, and can only be understood from practice and attentive reasoning. 85. It frequently happens that your partner has an opportunity to show his strong suit, by renouncing to a lead. If you have a single card in this, play it before you force him, let your strength in trumps be what it may; as it is the way to establish the saw, which is almost always advantageous: should the second player put on the ace to prevent it, still it is of great utility by establishing your partner's suit. 86. A has ace, knave, ten. and a small card of the suit led by the right hand adversary. Query—Which is he to play Answer—Intrumps, the ten; in other suits the small ones. For this reason—in trumps, a good player, with king, queen, &c, leads the lowest; in other suits the king; and in the latter case. of course an honour must be behind you; and be it in either hand, you can do no good by putting on the ten; by keeping the three together you render it impossible for your adversary to make one trick in the suit. 87. It often happens that with only three cards re. maining in his hand the leader has the worst trump, and ace, queen, or some tenace of another suit. In this case he should lead the trump, to put it into his adversary's hand to play. By these means he preserves the tenace. This, though self evident on proper consideration, is what none but good players ever think of 88. Though it is certainly more regular to win your adversary's as well as partner's lead with the lowest of a sequence, still I recommend occasional deviations from that maxim: as it is of the greatest advantage to give your partuer every information in his, or your own, so

it is often to deceive your adversaries in their suits. It
will now and then deceive your partner also; but if done
with judgment, it is, I think, oftener attended with good
than bad effect.
There are also other situations, where it is highly me-
cessary to deceive the adversary. A, last player, has a
a terce major, and a small trump; a terce major, with
two others of a second suit: king, and a small one of a
third ; with queen or knave, and a small one of the
fourth, of which his adversary leads the ace. It is so
very material for A to get the lead, before he is forced,
that he should without hesitation throw down the queen,
as the most likely method to induce his adversary to
change his lead. But this mode of play should be re-
served for material occasions. and not by its frequency
give cause for its being suspected.
89 Beginners find it difficult to distinguish between
original and forced leads When a player changes his
original suit, he commonly leads his strongest card of
another, to give his partner the advantage of a finesse.
In this case you are to play this, as if it was your own
or adversary's lead—keep the commanding card, ten-
ace, &c. and do not return it, as if it was an original lead.
90. There is nothing more necessary to explain to the
beginner, than what is usually denominated underplay,
as it is a constant engine in the hands of the expe-
rienced, to use successfully against the inexperienced
layer. In other words, it is to return the lowest of your
eft hand adversary's lead, thougn you have the highest
in your hand, with the view of your partner's making
the third best, if he has it, and still retaining the com-
manding card in your hand.
91. To explain this further, suppose A fourth player
has ace and king of his left hand adversary's lead : to
underplay, he wins the trick with the ace, and returns
the small one, which will generally succeed, if the leader
has not the second and third in his own hand. You will
see by this, if you lead from a king, &c. and your right
hand adversary, after winning with a ten or a knave, re-
turn it, you have no chance to make your king, but by
putting it on.
92. The following is another situation to underplay :
A remains with the first, third, and fourth cards of a
suit, of which he has reason to suppose his left hand
adversary has the second guarded; by playing the

[ocr errors][graphic]

fourth, it is often passed, and A makes every trick in the suit. N. B. This sort of play is always right in trumps; but if weak in them, it is generally the best play to make your certain tricks as fast as you can : or if you have not your share of them, somebody must have more than his own, and of consequence be weak in some other suit, which probably is your strong one. 93. Keep the trump card as long as you can, if your artner leads trumps: the contrary, if your adversary eads then. In the former instance, supposing the eight turned up, and you have the nine, throw away the latter: in the last, (though you have the seven or six,) play the card you turned up. 94. When your partner is to lead, and you call before he plays, it is to direct him, if he has no honour, to play off the best trump he has. 95. Though, according to the strict laws of whist, all words and gestures are prohibited, yet, like all other laws not enforced by penalties, they are continually violated. There are, indeed, few players who do not discover, in some degree, the strength of their game, or their approbation or disapprobation of their partner's play, &c. As this is on one side often a material advantage to the party transgressing, so it is quite allowable for the adversaries to make use of it. Attentive and silent observation will frequently give an early insight into the game, and enable you to play your hand to more advantage, than by adhering to more regular maxims. 96. Though tenace, or the advantage of position, cannot be reduced to a certainty, as at piquet; and that it is often necessary to relinquish it for more certain advantages: still no man can be a whist player who does not understand it. The principle is simple, but the combinations are various. It is easily conceived, that if A has ace, queen, and a small card in a suit, of which B has king, knave, and another; if A leads the smal; card, he remains tenace, and wins two tricks; whereas, if he plays the ace, he gives it up, and makes but one. But if B is to lead, he has no tenace, and lead which card he will, he must make one trick, and can make no more. This easy instance, well considered, will enable the player, with some practice, to adapt it to more apparently intricate situations. 97. The following cases, which happen frequently, will further explain this: A is left with four cards and the lead, viz. the second and fourth trump, and the ace and a small card of a suit not played. Nine trumps being out, B, his left-hand adversary, has the first and third trump, king, and a small one of the suit of which A leads the ace. Query—What card should B play ? Answer—The king; by which he brings to an equal chance whether he wins three tricks or two; but if he keeps the king, he cannot possibly win three. By placing the cards, you will perceive that if B's partner has a better card than A's, it prevents A from making either of his trumps, which, had Bretained the king, he must have done. 93. A has three cards of a suit not played, (the last remaining) viz. king, queen, and ten : B ace, knave, and another: A leads the king; if B wins it, he gives up tenace, and gets hut one trick; whereas, if he does not, he makes his ace and knave by preserving it. 99. A has ace, knave, and ten, of a suit which his partner leads. Query—Which should he put on 2 Answer—The ten, particularly if it is a forced lead; by this he probably wins two tricks. If he puts on the ace, and his partner has no honour in his suit, he gives up the tenace, and can only win one. 100. Tenace is easily kept against your right hand, but impossible, without great skill, against your left hand adversary. 101. To explain what is meant by playing to points, lace the following points before you: A has the two owest trumps, and two forcing cards, with the lead. The two best demonstrably in the adversaries' hand; though uncertain if in the same, or divided. Nine cards being played, and no other trump remaining–Query-What is A to play? Answer—This can only be decided by the situation of the score, and whether or no it justifies the hazarding two tricks for one. The least consideration will convince the player, that before the score is much advanced, it would be highly improper for A to play a trump, because he manifestly ventures two tricks for one; of course he should secure two tricks by playing a forcing card. But suppose A to be at the score of seven, and that he has won six tricks, he should then as clearly venture to play the trump, because, if the trumps are divided, he wins the game, or otherwise remains at seven, which is preferable to the certainty of


scoring nine. But if the adversary is at nine, this should not be done, as by hazarding the odd trick, you hazard the game. N. B. This mode of reasoning will in general direct you where and why finesses are proper or improper. For there is scarcely one, though ever so right in general, but what the different situations of the score and hand o render dangerous and indefensible. 102. The following critical stroke decided one of the most material rubbers that was ever played, and is recommended to the attentive perusal even of proficients: - The parties were at nine. A had won six tricks, and . remained with knave and a small trump. and two diamonds, with the lead. B, his left hand adversary, with the queen and ten of trumps, and two clubs. C, his artner, with two small trumps, and two diamonds. D, ast player, with ace and a small trump, a club, and a heart. A led a diamond, which being passed by B, was to be won by D. Query–How is D to play, to make it possible to win the odd trick Answer—D saw it was not possible, unless his partner had either the two best trumps, or the first and third, with a successful finesse. He therefore trumped with the ace, led the small one, and won the game. N. B. In another score of the game, this would not be justifiable, as the chance of losing a trick is greater than that of gaining one by it. 103. The attentive perusal (in the mode prescribed) of these maxims, will, I think, with a little practice, enable a beginner to play with very good cards to considerable advantage. The difficulty of the game does not consist in this: for aces and kings will make tricks, and no skill can nake a ten win a knave. But there are : hands which frequently occur, when skilful players win, where bunglers lose their points; and (unless when the cards run very high) it is on the playing of such success depends, viz. ace or king, and three other trumps, a tercemajor, with others of a second suit, and a probable trick in a third—The player's plan should be, to remain either with the last trump, or the last but one, with the lead ; and to j this last, he must not win the second lead with the commanding trump, but reserve it for the third. Nothing them but five trumps in one hand, can probably prevent his establishing his long suit, for he forces out * * trump, and the thirteenth brings

« ZurückWeiter »