New Killer Declarer Play Part 2

I will be continuing my classes in November at the Atlanta Duplicate Center with a new series focusing on declarer play in suit contracts.

Killer Declarer Play Part 2 – Suit Play

This class is for intermediate and advanced students only. We will cover advanced techniques of suit play including Holdups, Loser on Losers and Endplays.

Tuesdays 10:00 am to 12:15 pm

November 2, 9, 16

Individual classes are $20. Sign up for the three class series for $50. Special early registration: Mail your check for $45 by October 26th and save an extra $5

Classes will be held at the Atlanta Duplicate Center

Sam Marks

720 Latour Drive

Atlanta, GA 30350


Voicemail Woes

I just learned that ATT has been destroying every voicemail I received over the last week and 1/2. Since my phone was off quite a bit during the Atlanta Labor Day Tournament I apologize to anyone who hasn’t had their phone call returned. Please contact me again.


New Lebensohl Class at ADBC

Sept. 14      Lebensohl over NT Interference

Sept. 21      Lebensohl over Weak 2 Bids

Sept. 28      Lebensohl over Reverses

 Time: 10:00 am to 12:15 pm

Where: Atlanta Duplicate Bridge Center 6761 Peachtree Industrial Blvd.

Cost: Individual classes are $20; Sign up for all 3 classes for $50

Special Early Registration: Mail your check for $45 by September 6th and save an extra $5

Mail to:     Sam Marks

                720 Latour Drive

                Atlanta, GA 30350

For more information or to register call me at 770-354-6033

or email me at


New Orleans

The Summer Nationals were held in New Orleans this year. I went in early to attend the American Bridge Teacher’s Association annual convention. While attending lectures and seminars during the day and afternoon, I also attempted to play in the Grand National Team Event at night. The convention went very well. I was able to pick up lots of good materials and teaching tips for my students. Continue Reading »


Gambling 3NT

I have been so busy, that I have fallen behind on my blogging. I have been enjoying the new website Bridge Winners by Gavin Wolpert among others.

Here was an interesting hand from the recent July 4th Sectional in Atlanta. In some respects bridge can be like golf. In golf, sometimes you need just the right club for a shot. In bridge, you sometimes need a particular convention. Golf limits the number of clubs you can use. Bridge allows you to use as many conventions you like, but memory and system constraints place practical limits.

The Gambling 3NT is a convention I neither like nor dislike. I typically use it because I dislike the other 3NT conventions even more. It doesn’t come up very often, but when it does it can be very successful. Continue Reading »


Major Suit Raises

I  just finished the third class (out of four) of my 2/1 Game Forcing Series at the Atlanta Duplicate Bridge Center. 20 people are taking the series and the feedback has been very positive.

I have just added a new series to my schedule, Major Suit Raises. It will be four Tuesdays in August at the ADBC and will cover Drury, 2NT Forcing Raises, Bergen, and Splinters.

For more information see my MAJOR SUIT RAISE ad.


Students do well at Duplicate

There are many ways to enjoy bridge. Most of my students play at home for fun. However, this week, two of my students adventured out into the world of duplicate bridge for the very first time. Thanks to Ina Parry, who runs a non-life master game at Trinity Church, they had a wonderful time. To top it off they placed second in Flight B and won .57 masterpoints. Congratulations Nancy and Beverly.


When to Cover an Honor with an Honor

I teach a lot of beginner classes. One of the first tips I give for defensive card play is, “Second hand low (unless covering an honor with an honor) , third hand high (unless partner is going to win the trick)”

“Covering an honor with an honor,” sounds simple but it is quite a complex subject. Let’s look at some declarer issues before we look at defensive problems.


 Q lead


At a suit contract, you generally are going to assume that your opponents are not underleading the Ace. Try and duck twice and hope that RHO has singleton or doubleton Ace. Continue Reading »


New Summer Class on 2/1

I will be teaching a class on 2/1 at the Atlanta Duplicate Center in June.

The class will run for four weeks, June 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th from 10:00 am to 12:15 pm.

Cost is $60.

Registration is required, please email me at 

or call me at 770-354-6033


Morganton Hand

Emory requested some more hands, so here was an interesting hand from the finals on Sunday:

SpadeA HeartAQJT87632 DiamondKQ ClubJ

That’s nine hearts!! A 3-loser hand but I hate opening 2 Club with freak hands. Particularly when red versus white as we were on this board.

At any rate the auction went:

West                North               East                 South

                                                                      1 Heart

Pass                1 Spade                  3 Club                 4 Club

Pass                4 Diamond                  Pass                   ?

Over 3 Club I truly had no idea what to do, I cuebid 4 Club but when I bid it I knew partner would have no idea whether I had spade support or not. When he bid 4 Diamond it wasn’t clear if he was cuebidding or maybe leaving room for me to show him what suit I was slamming in. I think over 4 Diamond maybe I should have bid 5 Heart, but at the table I made the bid of  6 Heart.

The lead was the  Club 8 and this was the hand:

          Spade KQ654


          Diamond A8542

          Club KT3

          Spade A

          Heart AQJT87632

          Diamond KQ

          Club J

Disappointing, maybe the Heart K is singleton. I played the Club K in dummy, RHO won the Club A and switched to a low diamond.  When I cashed the Heart A, RHO showed out. Down one.

In the replay at the other table, my hand opened a strong club. In a competitive auction, my hand eventually jumped to 5 Heart and played it there. So, did we lose 13? On a low club lead declarer played low from dummy and RHO won the Club Q and continued with a low club. Now declarer had to weight the possibility of  8-1 clubs versus 4 -0 hearts. At any rate declarer ruffed with the Heart T and now had to lose 2 hearts tricks. Just another routine push board.

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