On a minority of deals, you should play differently at matchpoints than you would at rubber bridge or IMPs. What matters is how many scores you beat, rather than how much you beat them by, which can affect tactics.
1. When the contract is safe, do not just settle for your contract. Look for overtricks. Likewise, when you are defending, do not give up just because the contract is cold – saving an overtrick can be worth many matchpoints.
2. If you are in a normal contract (one you expect most other pairs to reach), you should risk your contract for an overtrick if the chance of making the overtrick is well over 50%.
3. If you are defending and the contract is normal, do not adopt desperation measures that risk giving away an overtrick in an attempt to defeat the contract.
4. If you are in an unusual contract and you have the chance to outscore those playing in a normal contract, it is worth taking a risk to do so.
5. If the opponents outbid you when you are confident of making a contract, look to double them so as to collect a penalty worth more than your contract (even if this means you risk doubling them into game).
6. Do not push for thin games. Positive scores are important.
7. At game level, aim for the highest scoring game (3NT rather than five of a minor).