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The worst comment in Bridge comes from your partner. If it is from a stranger – or, stranger alike, you can have laughter or ridicule it casually and easily. No biggie, we move on. However, if it comes from your playing partner, it can be dangerous, unproductive and may jeopardize the partnership.

Wanna-be Bridge Expert’s Comment

Nevertheless, playing with wanna-be-Bridge-expert could be hilarious and fun. You find it all the times at the club level, or recently, the increasing popular online-playing platform.

“Oh, partner… Why don’t you cash the A and K and we made the contract as the Q dropped?”

“Sure, partner – next time, I need to peek better!” (Good answer!!)

Sound typical and familiar? It should be. There are plenty of happening like that.

However, if your partner is the one talking to you, it would be no more hilarious nor fun. And above all, it may become infuriating, insulting and mood-killing.

An Example

Firstly, let’s look at the following example of a hand during an imp team match:

Worst comment, included
4 that comes with the worst comment in Bridge

Then, playing the Precision, the bidding is quite straight forward:

West North East South
  1(^) Pass 4
Pass Pass Pass  
(^)12-15 HCP with 5 card

On this hand, South was not mucking around upon seeing North opening. With 4-3-3-3 and 11 HCP, the hand is borderline between to close with a game or make an invitational bid. However, bidding straight to game is not a bad bet. East lead with the A followed by another

Before we go on, for all of you who played Standard system and horrified with 1-4 bid with South’s hand, don’t be. It is quite a typical sequence in Precision. Because opener hand is limited to 15 HCP, quick arrival is not rare.

Coming, the worst comment in Bridge

So, looking at all four hands, the contract will always fail to lose to 2 Clubs tricks, a Diamond trick and the losing Heart finesse.

Interestingly, since defender fails to make a Club switch and let a ♦Q winner begging to throw a Club loser, the expert declarer sees a way to make the contract. The caveat of course Heart finesse have to work and need to locate the Q correctly. Just need to draw the trump, go to dummy while finessing the Heart and throw a Club on the Diamond top.

Then, the Q did not drop on A and K, and the Q won for the failed finesse. As a result, the contract went down for minus 100. And, here comes the worst comment in Bridge:

Oh, partner… Since East lead the Ace without having the King, East wanted to give the partner a ruff. Therefore, you need to finesse the Q instead of trying to drop it.

Okay. put feeling aside, above all, that worst comment is wrong on a few aspects:

1. “Post-mortem”

Meaning, the comment only occurs because of the failure. Had the Spades split evenly, there would be no comment.

2. After-the-fact

Meaning, the comment only made after knowing the fact. Put it this way: had the declarer did a Spade finesse and fail, the criticism would change to “the statistic requires you NOT to finesse, why not just cash A and K?”

So, the comment is not based on a prior knowledge base or principle; it is just an after-the-fact comment.

3. Wrong, Logically and Statistically

With 4 outstanding cards, the specific distribution analysis is as follows:

Knowledge prevent you fall victim from the worst comment

Playing A and K will succeed in 57.8% probability while doing straight finesse only 50%. Finessing chance can be improved by cashing A (or K, just one of them) before finesse, but still, fail shortly below 57.8%. In other words, in this case, the declarer already chooses the best line of play Note: the “Outstanding Card Analysis™” is available via BridgeSuite™ from this website soon.”

  • Wanting partner to have a ruff has nothing to do with having a short trump on the hand of opening lead. The opening lead can still have 1 or 2 or 3 cards of trump regardless. So, the commenting dummy was imposing a wrong logic.

  • Silly and Petty. Even if the declarer played Spade perfectly, the contract still fail. So, a 50 point difference in playing imp match from being 4-1 vs 4-2 is trivial. The commentator just being silly and petty.

So, How to deal with it?

Firstly, if you know that the comment is wrong (statistically, logically or both) – you need to reject the bullying outright. No need to make a scene on the table. A small firm remark “Disagreed. We’ll discuss later” will do.

The least you can do if you are not sure “Hmm… Not sure about that. We’ll discuss later.

Now, the question is, how do you know that you are right?

Keep enriching your knowledge with good ‘white-hat’ Bridge education like this website can do you good in the long term. But, so does having a Bridge coach. Doesn’t have to be official or paid one, but just a good-enough Bridge player that agree to give your partnership advice here and there.

Because you respect your partner

The very reason that you feel infuriated, insulted or mood-killed from your partner’s comment is mainly because you actually (try to) respect your partner. Imagine if someone who doesn’t matter for you makes a similar wrong, after-the-fact, post-mortem comment. You probably feel less or no hurt at all.

The fact is, it is not the worst comment in Bridge that you want from the partner. On the contrary, you actually want the partner to give the best comment ever. With that, both of you can be better and win the game more. A better plan, right?.

However, if your partner keeps giving you those worst comment in Bridge time after time, it is time for you to change partner. You shall find that this partner is no longer matters – just a ‘wanna-be’ expert. Nothing more. And you deserve more than that.

The bad comment in Bridge

So, the worst comment usually come with few characteristics:

  • “Post-mortem” oriented
  • After-the-fact
  • Statistically or logically wrong

Now that you know it. Tell your partner you do NOT want it. And since you know you do not like receiving it. Do not say it to your partner either!

Keep a happy bridging. ‘Till next time.