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9/23/2018 - 03:30  EST

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Spades tips and Strategies part 5 buckeye_4_ever_1970     10/28/2003 15:01

If you have a short suit with a low card and a high card, try to avoid leading this suit. Ideally what will occur is, one of your opponents will lead a moderately high card and your partner will likely be able to play under. You will then still be holding the high card to cover with.

Always pay attention to what your partner is throwing off. If your partner throws a 5 under an Ace, you can safely lead a low card in that suit to avoid bags.

When to Nil:

If the person on your right bid nil and you could make a nil, put some thought into it. Your partner has to cover both nils since he plays after the other nil's partner, which means your partner will likely take all the bags. Sometimes it is better to try and set the nil.

If the person on your left had bid nil, try and nil if you can. In this situation you can try a riskier nil, because the other nil's partner will have to cover there partners nil.

Don't blind nil unless you have too. This means if your partner bids eight don't blind nil. A nil-8 bid is worth almost 200pts and if you have to bid 1 a 9 bid is worth almost 100pts.

Don't let a four or five suited Ace prevent you from nilling.

Setting Nil's:

Do not cover your opponent's nil. Play under and force the nil's partner to cover. Try to force the nil's partner to trump with their spades, when they don't have too.

If one of your opponents is nil, trump with your high spades whenever it is possible to do so without covering the nil. Be careful not to get your team set.

Don't let you or your partner's bid get set because you are trying to set a nil, unless it is a must set the nil situation or you have a guaranteed set on the nil.

Don't lead a suit that your opponent's nil is void in, especially if the nil or the nil's partner knows the other one void in the suit.

I will typically underbid one or two tricks, if I bid after a nil and my partner. The reason for this is it allows my partner and me to throw off in suits, in which we would normally have counted or had counted, and still make our bid. This also allows for you and your partner to trump with your high spades and not get set.

If you only have an A or K in a suit or just a couple of high face cards in a suit, don't lead them. You know you will cover in that suit. Wait for your partner or the nil's partner to lead the suit. Don't give the nil's partner a chance to throw off his low cards in that suit, unless you have to.

Leading spades can be a good lead or a devastating lead. I recommend only leading spades if you feel you can run your opponent out of spades and then set.

Mix up which suit you lead. What you are trying to accomplish with this is confusing the nil's partner on what has been played. This can cause the nil's partner to trump a suit which doesn't need to be trumped or not trumping when actually needs to trump. (only works with weaker opponents)

If your opponent is nil and you have little or no chance of setting the nil; consider setting the nil's partner. This can be easier sometimes, because you can lead Tens and Jacks and Queens and your opponent might not play over them in order to cover their partner's nil. Make your decision clear to your partner by either leading high or bidding high.

If the opponent on your right has a nil bid, try to lead a low suit. The first time you lead, lead your second or third lowest card, preferably a card that is an 8 or under. Most likely the person covering the nil will still play their highest one in that suit. This will still leave you a low card in that suit to set with.

End of part 5

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