Source: Bridge Tip #1

Rule – With a combined holding of 10 cards in a suit missing the King, the finesse offers a much better chance than playing for the drop.

In 100 cases: Finesse is right 37 times Drop is right 13 times Irrelevant 50 times Thus the finesse is a 2.85/1 favorite. Rule: 10 ever, 11 never. Bridge Tip #2 In his Complete Book on Takeout Doubles Mike Lawrence describes the takeout double as “the most useful, the most used, and the most misunderstood of all conventions”. A double with 12 to 16+ HCP over an opening bid of one of a suit should ideally have at least 3- card support for the other three suits. Slight deviations in shape are allowed, but if you follow these rules, you will avoid making bad doubles.

Rule – Don’t double with only two cards in an unbid major.

With: Jx Kxxx Kxx AQxx Don’t double over any opening except 1.

Rule – Don’t double with a singleton in an unbid suit.

With: Axxx KJxx KQxx x Don’t double over any opening except 1.

Rule – Don’t double when holding a 5-card major.

With: AJxxx KQxx x Kxx Bid 1 over an opening of 1. The problem with doubling is that you will never be able to show your 5-card spade suit. Doubling and then bidding spades shows a much better hand and suit.

Lawrence’s book is a must read!