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Author: Subject: Tips and Strategies: Wizard Junior
wizard



Mood:  Bemused
posted on 10-1-2006 at 06:49 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Tips and Strategies: Wizard Junior

GENERAL TIPS
1. Note the cards led. They often provide clues as to the nature of the hand from which the lead comes. This is particularly true in "no trump" hands.
2. Note when Jesters are played. They often indicate a suit that the person playing the Jester wants to avoid.
3. Make your move to steal a trick when you are one of the last to play or with players not wanting more tricks playing after you.
4. A flexible hand is one that contains Wizards, Jesters and/or a long suit containing both high and low cards. Generally you should try to squeeze as many tricks as possible out of a flexible hand and at the same time make sure someone else fails to make his bid.
5. When the number of tricks called for are even and it appears that everyone will make his/her bid, look for ways of making your own bid while forcing others to go over or under their bid. Do not be satisfied simply with making your own bid unless you have a difficult hand to play.
6. Be prepared to go down additional tricks once you have failed to make your bid. Dont worry about losing another 10 or 20 points if you can stop other players from making their contract.
7. Be prepared to intentionally not make your bid if it is to your advantage on the scorepad. For example if your main rival has bid 4 tricks and you have bid 0 you will record 20 points and he will record 60 if you both succeed. Its better to break yourself if you can break him too. Then you both lose 10 points.
8. Pay special attention to the person leading on the scorepad. Watch for opportunities to disrupt his/her plans. For example if there is a trick that he/she clearly wants to take, that may be your best time to play your Wizard and steal the trick.
9. Some of the strategies mentioned above can be summed up by saying that you should play defensively as well as offensively. To do this effectively you must keep an eye on the scorepad. You must know the individual scores, exactly how many tricks each player wants, and by how much the contract has been over-under-bid or whether the bids are even.
(10) Watch for surprises. Frequently a player will win a trick with a card that he/she clearly did not count on to win a trick. For example winning with a jack of Clubs when Spades are trump. In certain situations this should be a "heads-up" for you. For example if the player only bid 1 trick then he/she is probably still holding a high trump or Wizard card which must be unloaded. You can often use this information to your advantage or you may simply need to adjust your play accordingly.

BIDDING
(a) If unsure it is better to underbid than to overbid. Its easier to get rid of a winner than to manufacture an extra trick. The most common error of beginning players is overbidding.
(b) At least 7 factors must be considered when deciding on a bid:
- Strength of hand
- Distribution of hand
- Number of cards dealt
- Number of players
- Order of bid
- Score and stage of the game
- Pattern of bidding
(c) Hands containing high cards obviously call for higher bids than hands lacking such strength. The possession of Wizards adds not only strength but flexibility as well. The Wizards value is greatly enhanced by the fact that it can be played at any time. This means that it can be used to avoid winning or losing a trick. Jesters, like Wizards can be played to avoid taking an unwanted trick or to protect a card that is needed to win a later trick.
(d) The length of each suit held determines the shape of the hand. A long suit adds flexibility because high cards are usually protected by lower ones. Conversely cards in short suits are often forced out at the most inopportune moment. Mid-range cards such as 3-4-5 can be a real problem in a short suit.
(e) Other things being equal, the more cards in the hand the higher the bid. In a 4-handed game a player will likely bid higher if dealt 6 cards than if only dealt 3 cards.
(f) Other things being equal the more players, the lower the bid. If each player receives 6 cards, bids will be lower with six players than with three players.
(g) Previous bids must be considered. High bids indicate the possession of Wizards and trump and consequently your bidding must be tempered by this information. Similarly, low bids may require an upward evaluation of your hand.
(h) Your ranking on the score pad and how many hands remain to be played are factors which impact on the bid. If trailing and time is running out, it may be necessary to bid more aggressively.
(i) One should always consider the pattern of bidding established by the other players. For example if a particular player tends to overbid consistently this information must be taken into account before bidding.
(j) With an awkward hand and bidding last it is wise to call it even. An awkward hand is one which lacks flexibility.
With a leading score and bidding last, it is advantageous to make a bid that will enable all players to be successful so that the score will not change dramatically. Conversely when losing more aggressive bidding is often necessary and even calls should be avoided. The gamble is that the leader will break and the standings will change. This is particularly true in the late stages of a game when the potential for scoring many points is high.
(k) Usually an "even bid" is made to avoid being set when holding an awkward hand.
Occasionally, a situation arises when an even bid can be made in order to make a significant gain on the scoreboard. The beauty of the "even bid" is that when one person is 'set' so is a second. Holding a hand with Wizards and/or Jesters and few "uncertain cards" you may wish to make an "even bid" with the intention of 'setting' others.
(l) I've heard several good players say that they never bid even when last to bid. Frankly I don't understand the rationale. Here are 2 examples of situations in which I do bid to make it 'even'.
(i) An infexible hand. Holding a hand without Jesters or Wizards and a lot of mid-range cards which may or may not win a trick I am likely to be set.
Consequently I bid even and am happy if I can escape the hand without losing any points.
(ii) If making an even bid gives me a major point gain I bid even. (Depending on the score and the stage of the game.)
For example in a 3-handed game with the first 2 players bidding 1 when 10 tricks are available I am happy to bid 8 so that we all make our bids. My point gain is significant. (Of course good opponents will set themselves in order to stop such a ploy.)
* Another reason to make an even bid is to maintain the status quo when enjoying a significant lead.
* If you are a really good player and have the right cards it is good strategy to bid to make it even but with the intention of making your own bid and setting others.

LEADING
(a) As a general rule it is best to lead low in order to avoid taking unexpected tricks. However there are lots of exceptions to this rule.
(b) It is usually not advantageous to have the lead. The ideal position is to play last. A lead of trump is good if it is done with a purpose in mind. A small trump may be led to force out other trumps. A high trump may be led to win a trick or to force out Wizards or higher trumps.
(c) The particular lead depends on whether the player is attempting to set up a trick or trying to unload a card. This in turn is often determined by whether the number of tricks called for by the table is over or under the number of tricks available.
(d) Its best to keep your options open and your opponents guessing so Wizards and Jesters should generally not be led. It is usually better to save W&J for crisis situations which often arise during the end game. Of course there are situations where the lead of a J or W is the best play.
(e) Often a hand will contain cards of dubious value that may or may not win a trick. It is usually wise to find out early in a round whether such cards will win or lose so that adjustments can be made if necessary. For example holding a singleton Jack of Spades, it may be prudent to lead the jack early in the game rather than be surprised later when it wins a trick. If the Jack lead does win it is usually possible to fluff-off one of your expected winners.

PLAYING WIZARDS & JESTERS
(a) Generally its not a good idea to lead a Wizard as it allows other players to set up their hands by discarding unwanted cards.
(b) If more tricks have been called for than there are tricks available the Wizard should be used to win rounds in which the trump suit is led. This removes winning tricks from the opponents hands and increases your chances of winning additional tricks.
When fighting for tricks don't play a Wizard simply to win a trick. It should also remove cards from opponents' hands with which they had hoped to win tricks.
(c) If fewer tricks have been called for than there are tricks available it is not always a good play to unload a Wizard on a Wizard that has been led. It may be better to unload a high trump instead. By keeping the Wizard you maintain flexibility.
e.g. Holding Wiz, Ace spades, King hearts, 3 clubs, 4 diamonds. Spades are trump and a Wizard is led. You need only 1 trick. Its better to dump the Ace of spades than the Wizard. You are in better shape for the next lead.
(d) Both W & J can be used to good advantage in situations in which you have already broken. Good players are prepared to take an additional loss of 10 or 20 points if in so doing they can prevent opponents from making their contract and scoring high points.
(e) Most experienced players agree that Jesters are more useful than Wizards. Jesters are rarely a problem whereas sometimes you may find it difficult or impossible to unload an unwanted Wizard. Jesters hold both offensive and defensive potential because they allow you to protect a card that you dont want to play. For example you may not wish to play a singleton King on an Ace lead or you may not want to discard a Trump card that you need. The Jester allows you greater flexibility in playing your hand. Having said this does not diminish the great value of the powerful Wizard card.
(f) Playing a waizard in an underbid hand. Although it is not always possible, it is best to win a trick with your Wizard when you are the last person to play. Otherwise you may allow other players to dump high cards, trump or even other Wizards on your Wizard. I have often seen a cornucopia of winning tricks fluffed off when a Wizard is played early in the round. This mistake may well result in your winning an extra trick with a minor card.
Clarification: I am talking here about a situation where you want to win a trick with your Wizard. The point is you should try to win the trick without helping others to improve their situation,

NO TRUMP HANDS
The last hand is always "No Trump". Inasmuch as all 60 cards are dealt out it is essential that the play of the W.& J be monitored. If these cards can be controlled there is an opportunity to develop a suit and possibly win enough tricks to steal a game victory.
If your hand is unbalanced with length in one suit, it is likely that other hands are also imbalanced. Consequently it is vital that you retain an entry card that will give you the lead. This means that generally speaking you should take your losers first and try to establish control in the late stages of the hand.

TIPS FOR THE CONFUSED
Here are 3 guidelines for new players who aren't too sure of how to bid and/or play their cards. These suggestions aren't carved in stone but if you follow them you are likely to improve your game if it currently 'stinks'.
1. Bid zero unless you have a Wizard or are void in 1 suit and have good trump cards.
2. When last to bid never make an underbid unless you have a Jester.
3. When a hand is underbid try to lose every trick regardless of how many tricks you may have bid.

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annawillson



Mood:  
posted on 10-30-2009 at 04:04 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Tips and Strategies: Wizard Junior

GENERAL TIPS
1. Note the cards led. They often provide clues as to the nature of the hand from which the lead comes. This is particularly true in "no trump" hands.
2. Note when Jesters are played. They often indicate a suit that the person playing the Jester wants to avoid.
3. Make your move to steal a trick when you are one of the last to play or with players not wanting more tricks playing after you.
4. A flexible hand is one that contains Wizards, Jesters and/or a long suit containing both high and low cards. Generally you should try to squeeze as many tricks as possible out of a flexible hand and at the same time make sure someone else fails to make his bid.
5. When the number of tricks called for are even and it appears that everyone will make his/her bid, look for ways of making your own bid while forcing others to go over or under their bid. Do not be satisfied simply with making your own bid unless you have a difficult hand to play.
6. Be prepared to go down additional tricks once you have failed to make your bid. Dont worry about losing another 10 or 20 points if you can stop other players from making their contract.
7. Be prepared to intentionally not make your bid if it is to your advantage on the scorepad. For example if your main rival has bid 4 tricks and you have bid 0 you will record 20 points and he will record 60 if you both succeed. Its better to break yourself if you can break him too. Then you both lose 10 points.
8. Pay special attention to the person leading on the scorepad. Watch for opportunities to disrupt his/her plans. For example if there is a trick that he/she clearly wants to take, that may be your best time to play your Wizard and steal the trick.
9. Some of the strategies mentioned above can be summed up by saying that you should play defensively as well as offensively. To do this effectively you must keep an eye on the scorepad. You must know the individual scores, exactly how many tricks each player wants, and by how much the contract has been over-under-bid or whether the bids are even.
(10) Watch for surprises. Frequently a player will win a trick with a card that he/she clearly did not count on to win a trick. For example winning with a jack of Clubs when Spades are trump. In certain situations this should be a "heads-up" for you. For example if the player only bid 1 trick then he/she is probably still holding a high trump or Wizard card which must be unloaded. You can often use this information to your advantage or you may simply need to adjust your play accordingly.

BIDDING
(a) If unsure it is better to underbid than to overbid. Its easier to get rid of a winner than to manufacture an extra trick. The most common error of beginning players is overbidding.
(b) At least 7 factors must be considered when deciding on a bid:
- Strength of hand
- Distribution of hand
- Number of cards dealt
- Number of players
- Order of bid
- Score and stage of the game
- Pattern of bidding
(c) Hands containing high cards obviously call for higher bids than hands lacking such strength. The possession of Wizards adds not only strength but flexibility as well. The Wizards value is greatly enhanced by the fact that it can be played at any time. This means that it can be used to avoid winning or losing a trick. Jesters, like Wizards can be played to avoid taking an unwanted trick or to protect a card that is needed to win a later trick.
(d) The length of each suit held determines the shape of the hand. A long suit adds flexibility because high cards are usually protected by lower ones. Conversely cards in short suits are often forced out at the most inopportune moment. Mid-range cards such as 3-4-5 can be a real problem in a short suit.
(e) Other things being equal, the more cards in the hand the higher the bid. In a 4-handed game a player will likely bid higher if dealt 6 cards than if only dealt 3 cards.
(f) Other things being equal the more players, the lower the bid. If each player receives 6 cards, bids will be lower with six players than with three players.
(g) Previous bids must be considered. High bids indicate the possession of Wizards and trump and consequently your bidding must be tempered by this information. Similarly, low bids may require an upward evaluation of your hand.
(h) Your ranking on the score pad and how many hands remain to be played are factors which impact on the bid. If trailing and time is running out, it may be necessary to bid more aggressively.
(i) One should always consider the pattern of bidding established by the other players. For example if a particular player tends to overbid consistently this information must be taken into account before bidding.
(j) With an awkward hand and bidding last it is wise to call it even. An awkward hand is one which lacks flexibility.
With a leading score and bidding last, it is advantageous to make a bid that will enable all players to be successful so that the score will not change dramatically. Conversely when losing more aggressive bidding is often necessary and even calls should be avoided. The gamble is that the leader will break and the standings will change. This is particularly true in the late stages of a game when the potential for scoring many points is high.
(k) Usually an "even bid" is made to avoid being set when holding an awkward hand.
Occasionally, a situation arises when an even bid can be made in order to make a significant gain on the scoreboard. The beauty of the "even bid" is that when one person is 'set' so is a second. Holding a hand with Wizards and/or Jesters and few "uncertain cards" you may wish to make an "even bid" with the intention of 'setting' others.
(l) I've heard several good players say that they never bid even when last to bid. Frankly I don't understand the rationale. Here are 2 examples of situations in which I do bid to make it 'even'.
(i) An infexible hand. Holding a hand without Jesters or Wizards and a lot of mid-range cards which may or may not win a trick I am likely to be set.
Consequently I bid even and am happy if I can escape the hand without losing any points.
(ii) If making an even bid gives me a major point gain I bid even. (Depending on the score and the stage of the game.)
For example in a 3-handed game with the first 2 players bidding 1 when 10 tricks are available I am happy to bid 8 so that we all make our bids. My point gain is significant. (Of course good opponents will set themselves in order to stop such a ploy.)
* Another reason to make an even bid is to maintain the status quo when enjoying a significant lead.
* If you are a really good player and have the right cards it is good strategy to bid to make it even but with the intention of making your own bid and setting others.

LEADING
(a) As a general rule it is best to lead low in order to avoid taking unexpected tricks. However there are lots of exceptions to this rule.
(b) It is usually not advantageous to have the lead. The ideal position is to play last. A lead of trump is good if it is done with a purpose in mind. A small trump may be led to force out other trumps. A high trump may be led to win a trick or to force out Wizards or higher trumps.
(c) The particular lead depends on whether the player is attempting to set up a trick or trying to unload a card. This in turn is often determined by whether the number of tricks called for by the table is over or under the number of tricks available.
(d) Its best to keep your options open and your opponents guessing so Wizards and Jesters should generally not be led. It is usually better to save W&J for crisis situations which often arise during the end game. Of course there are situations where the lead of a J or W is the best play.
(e) Often a hand will contain cards of dubious value that may or may not win a trick. It is usually wise to find out early in a round whether such cards will win or lose so that adjustments can be made if necessary. For example holding a singleton Jack of Spades, it may be prudent to lead the jack early in the game rather than be surprised later when it wins a trick. If the Jack lead does win it is usually possible to fluff-off one of your expected winners.

PLAYING WIZARDS & JESTERS
(a) Generally its not a good idea to lead a Wizard as it allows other players to set up their hands by discarding unwanted cards.
(b) If more tricks have been called for than there are tricks available the Wizard should be used to win rounds in which the trump suit is led. This removes winning tricks from the opponents hands and increases your chances of winning additional tricks.
When fighting for tricks don't play a Wizard simply to win a trick. It should also remove cards from opponents' hands with which they had hoped to win tricks.
(c) If fewer tricks have been called for than there are tricks available it is not always a good play to unload a Wizard on a Wizard that has been led. It may be better to unload a high trump instead. By keeping the Wizard you maintain flexibility.
e.g. Holding Wiz, Ace spades, King hearts, 3 clubs, 4 diamonds. Spades are trump and a Wizard is led. You need only 1 trick. Its better to dump the Ace of spades than the Wizard. You are in better shape for the next lead.
(d) Both W & J can be used to good advantage in situations in which you have already broken. Good players are prepared to take an additional loss of 10 or 20 points if in so doing they can prevent opponents from making their contract and scoring high points.
(e) Most experienced players agree that Jesters are more useful than Wizards. Jesters are rarely a problem whereas sometimes you may find it difficult or impossible to unload an unwanted Wizard. Jesters hold both offensive and defensive potential because they allow you to protect a card that you dont want to play. For example you may not wish to play a singleton King on an Ace lead or you may not want to discard a Trump card that you need. The Jester allows you greater flexibility in playing your hand. Having said this does not diminish the great value of the powerful Wizard card.
(f) Playing a waizard in an underbid hand. Although it is not always possible, it is best to win a trick with your Wizard when you are the last person to play. Otherwise you may allow other players to dump high cards, trump or even other Wizards on your Wizard. I have often seen a cornucopia of winning tricks fluffed off when a Wizard is played early in the round. This mistake may well result in your winning an extra trick with a minor card.
Clarification: I am talking here about a situation where you want to win a trick with your Wizard. The point is you should try to win the trick without helping others to improve their situation,

NO TRUMP HANDS
The last hand is always "No Trump". Inasmuch as all 60 cards are dealt out it is essential that the play of the W.& J be monitored. If these cards can be controlled there is an opportunity to develop a suit and possibly win enough tricks to steal a game victory.
If your hand is unbalanced with length in one suit, it is likely that other hands are also imbalanced. Consequently it is vital that you retain an entry card that will give you the lead. This means that generally speaking you should take your losers first and try to establish control in the late stages of the hand.

TIPS FOR THE CONFUSED
Here are 3 guidelines for new players who aren't too sure of how to bid and/or play their cards. These suggestions aren't carved in stone but if you follow them you are likely to improve your game if it currently 'stinks'.
1. Bid zero unless you have a Wizard or are void in 1 suit and have good trump cards.
2. When last to bid never make an underbid unless you have a Jester.
3. When a hand is underbid try to lose every trick regardless of how many tricks you may have bid.

This is very helpful to me and to others..Thanks..Now I have ideas on this..

regards,
anna
Simulation prÍt

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