# BBO Discussion Forums: Suit Combination - BBO Discussion Forums

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## Suit Combination how to play for 1 loser

### #1manudude03

• - - A AKQJT9876543
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Posted 2009-January-15, 22:07

How do you play this combination for 1 loser assuming no communication problems (and no knowledge about opps holdings)?

AT854
vs
J632
Wayne Somerville
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### #2fred

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Posted 2009-January-15, 22:24

I know the answer and I won't ruin the problem by posting it (though I expect someone else, aided by the Suitplay program, with do exactly that before long).

I will say that this simple-looking combination was deemed "too difficult" by Jeff Rubens, the Editor of The Bridge World, for it to be appropriate for the monthly suit combination problem I write for his magazine.

If you can figure out the right answer for the right reasons without the help of Suitplay, you should be proud of yourself

Fred Gitelman
Bridge Base Inc.
www.bridgebase.com
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### #3JLOL

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Posted 2009-January-15, 22:35

Starting by leading the jack then finessing later loses to:

Stiff honor onside (2)
KQ doubleton offside (1)

Starting by leading small to the T loses to:

Stiff honor offside (2)
KQ9x onside(1)

Starting by leading small to the 8 loses to:

KQx onside(1)
KQ tight offside(1)

Starting by leading small to the ace loses to:

KQx onside(1)
KQ9x onside(1)

Since small to the ace loses to less likely combos than small to the 8 that is the best line...or is it?

Well the problem is to pick up KQ9 onside that assumes we are playing the ten if they play the 9 on the first round. However, that leaves the problem of what to do if they play the 9 followed by small. Hooking will win against H9x(2) but now we lose to 9x when they are falsecarding. So really we are still losing to KQ tight offside, or alternatively we are losing to KQ9 onside. Either way we are losing to 3 combos now.

Small to the 8 suffers from the same problem, but we are already losing to KQ tight offside so we have accounted for it. This means small to the 8 is the only line that loses to only 2 combos of holdings. This also means that in real life the right line will often be small to the ACE if they play small but small to the TEN if they play the 9 (on the basis that people will not find this falsecard).

Hopefully this is right or I will look like a moron
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### #4JLOL

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Posted 2009-January-15, 22:47

If the bidding makes it impossible for RHO to have a void (as it often does) then small to the ace becomes a small winner if you are playing technically (ace even if they play the 9), losing to 2 31 splits instead of a 31 and a 22, or a big winner if they are not going to falsecard the 9 ever, losing only to KQx onside (1 combo), or somewhere between.

If the bidding makes it impossible or unlikely for LHO to have a stiff then you should start with the jack in order to pick up stiff 9 on your right (and the loss of stiff 9 on your left being non existant now).

If you have to play the suit for 0 losers leading the jack is a good shot, especially if the length of the suit is unknown, for instance 1N p p p, H9x will cover reasonably often.
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### #5fred

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Posted 2009-January-15, 22:54

JLOL, on Jan 16 2009, 04:47 AM, said:

If you have to play the suit for 0 losers leading the jack is a good shot, especially if the length of the suit is unknown, for instance 1N p p p, H9x will cover reasonably often.

Rare Grosvenor possibility exposed with this line:

Jack-cover-Ace-honor.

small-small-8-9.

LOL

Fred Gitelman
Bridge Base Inc.
www.bridgebase.com
0

### #6JLOL

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• Joined: 2008-December-05

Posted 2009-January-15, 23:04

fred, on Jan 15 2009, 11:54 PM, said:

JLOL, on Jan 16 2009, 04:47 AM, said:

If you have to play the suit for 0 losers leading the jack is a good shot, especially if the length of the suit is unknown, for instance 1N p p p, H9x will cover reasonably often.

Rare Grosvenor possibility exposed with this line:

Jack-cover-Ace-honor.

small-small-8-9.

LOL

Fred Gitelman
Bridge Base Inc.
www.bridgebase.com

lol that would be awesome if you actually could gain from it too, like if declarer's only re entry to hand was the ace of your long side suit so then when they crossed and hooked you could run your suit
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### #7JLOL

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• Joined: 2008-December-05

Posted 2009-January-15, 23:13

Scoring: Total Points

North opens 1C, East overcalls 1S, and south bids 1N, everyone passing.

Lefty leads a spade which you win. LHO almost certainly doesnt have a stiff club given his stiff spade and failure to bid, so the CJ is the best way to start clubs. Also it gives you some chance to make if LHO covers with H9x (he might think you have Jx?). Lefty duly covers with the king and it goes Ace, queen! You cross to your spade to play a club to the 8 and claim but...RHo wins the 9! You go down 4 vul as the opps take the rest of the tricks.
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### #8foo

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Posted 2009-January-16, 00:38

JLOL,

You almost have it.

Consider what happens if you play small from J632 and
a= LHO plays the 7 (the smallest outstanding card)
b= LHO plays the 9
c= LHO plays the K or Q.
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### #9JLOL

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• Joined: 2008-December-05

Posted 2009-January-16, 00:41

foo, on Jan 16 2009, 01:38 AM, said:

JLOL,

You almost have it.

Consider what happens if you play small from J632 and
a= LHO plays the 7 (the smallest oustanding card)
b= LHO plays the 9
c= LHO plays the K or Q.

LOL
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### #10rogerclee

• Posts: 3,214
• Joined: 2007-December-16

Posted 2009-January-16, 00:48

foo, on Jan 15 2009, 11:38 PM, said:

JLOL,

You almost have it.

Consider what happens if you play small from J632 and
a= LHO plays the 7 (the smallest outstanding card)
b= LHO plays the 9
c= LHO plays the K or Q.

LOL
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### #11foo

• Posts: 1,380
• Joined: 2003-September-24

Posted 2009-January-16, 00:49

JLOL, on Jan 16 2009, 01:41 AM, said:

foo, on Jan 16 2009, 01:38 AM, said:

JLOL,

You almost have it.

Consider what happens if you play small from J632 and
a= LHO plays the 7 (the smallest outstanding card)
b= LHO plays the 9
c= LHO plays the K or Q.

LOL

Fine. Since you seem to think I'm making some sort of joke:

a => Dummy plays the 8
b => Dummy plays the T
c => Dummy plays the A

That's the correct way to play AT854+J632
Now figure out why.
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### #12JLOL

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Posted 2009-January-16, 01:24

This post has been edited by inquiry: 2009-January-16, 07:36

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### #13kenberg

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• Location:Northern Maryland

Posted 2009-January-16, 06:33

JLOL, on Jan 15 2009, 11:35 PM, said:

Starting by leading the jack then finessing later loses to:

Stiff honor onside (2)
KQ doubleton offside (1)

Starting by leading small to the T loses to:

Stiff honor offside (2)
KQ9x onside(1)

Starting by leading small to the 8 loses to:

KQx onside(1)
KQ tight offside(1)

Starting by leading small to the ace loses to:

KQx onside(1)
KQ9x onside(1)

Since small to the ace loses to less likely combos than small to the 8 that is the best line...or is it?

Well the problem is to pick up KQ9 onside that assumes we are playing the ten if they play the 9 on the first round. However, that leaves the problem of what to do if they play the 9 followed by small. Hooking will win against H9x(2) but now we lose to 9x when they are falsecarding. So really we are still losing to KQ tight offside, or alternatively we are losing to KQ9 onside. Either way we are losing to 3 combos now.

Small to the 8 suffers from the same problem, but we are already losing to KQ tight offside so we have accounted for it. This means small to the 8 is the only line that loses to only 2 combos of holdings. This also means that in real life the right line will often be small to the ACE if they play small but small to the TEN if they play the 9 (on the basis that people will not find this falsecard).

Hopefully this is right or I will look like a moron

You consider that in practical play it may not occur to an opponent to play the 9 from H97, True enough. But here is an alternate possibility. Suppose we are playing against an opponent who definitely would play the 9 from H97. We lead small towards the board and the 7 appears. Given our assumption, we can rule out the possibility of H97 on our left. Is it still right to insert the 8? Worse, we might be playing against an opponent who would, from H97, play the 9 or the 7 according to some probability scheme.

I have the feeling I have seen this before, maybe in Michael Rosenberg's book. I haven't looked it up, and maybe I'm nuts, but I'm not quite ready to sign off on your solution either.
Ken
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### #14FrancesHinden

• Limit bidder
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Posted 2009-January-16, 06:34

This is a really good suit combination. Let me have a go:

The holdings we can pick up for one loser are, in LHO's hand:

KQ97
KQ9
KQ7
K97/Q97
KQ
K9/Q9
K7/Q7
97
K
Q

The various possible lines seem to be:
ii) Low to the 8 (cover the 9 with the 10), followed by the ace
iii) low to the 8, followed by low to the 10
iv) Low to the 10, following by the running the jack
v) low to the 10, followed by the ace
vi) Run the jack, then play the ace (if the jack is covered, next lead low towards the 10)
vii) run the jack, then low to the 10
viii) Low towards the jack, then low towards the 10
ix) Low towards the jack, then the ace

plus all the others I've missed

(i) loses to KQ97, KQ9, KQ7
(ii) loses to KQ7, K97, Q97 so is worse than (i)
(iii) loses to KQ7, 97
(iv) loses to KQ97, K97, Q97, 97 so is worse than (i)
(v) loses to KQ97, K97, Q97 so is no better than (i)
(vi) loses to K97, Q97, K, Q so is worse than (i)
(vii) loses to KQ, 97, K, Q so is worse than (i)
(viii) loses to K9, Q9, K7, Q7, 97, K, Q so is worse than (i)
(ix) loses to KQ9, KQ7 and loads more and is absurd

With no other information, I reckon that
KQ97 = 4.8%
KQ9 = 6.2%
97 = 6.8%

So it looks like low to the 8, then low to the 10 is best.
If they can't be 4-0 then low to the ace is very very very slightly better

Now I've read the other posts I see I agree with JLOL. Let's be morons together.
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### #15helene_t

• The Abbess
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Posted 2009-January-16, 06:38

If it was the hand from yesterday's team match against Southport, I think the Jack and the Ten were swapped.
As much as I like you guys, you really need to know that this is all complete nonsense --- Pilowsky
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### #16manudude03

• - - A AKQJT9876543
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Posted 2009-January-16, 06:51

helene_t, on Jan 16 2009, 01:38 PM, said:

If it was the hand from yesterday's team match against Southport, I think the Jack and the Ten were swapped.

Similar. That was AJ754 vs T632. Turns out to be fairly close between running the Ten and cashing the Ace (Ace won by about 7% if I've done it right). When thinking about it, I just asked myself what would happen if my 7 was the 8, hence the topic .
Wayne Somerville
1

### #17qwery_hi

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Posted 2009-January-16, 08:38

manudude03, on Jan 15 2009, 11:07 PM, said:

How do you play this combination for 1 loser assuming no communication problems (and no knowledge about opps holdings)?

AT854
vs
J632

Here's my try -

2-2 breaks always win 4 tricks, and 3-1 breaks with KQ offside aways lose 2 tricks.

So the relevent holdings are KQ9, KQ7, K97 and Q97 and KQ97 onside.

So

1. Low to the 8 (if the 7 is played) or the 10 (if the 9 is played)
2. If the 8 loses to the 9, we'll next play the ace hoping for a 2-2 break.
3. If it wins, we repeat the finesse as necessary.

This loses when we have KQ tight offside.
Alle Menschen werden bruder.

Where were you while we were getting high?
1

### #18foo

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Posted 2009-January-16, 08:43

FrancesHinden, on Jan 16 2009, 07:34 AM, said:

So it looks like low to the 8, then low to the 10 is best.
If they can't be 4-0 then low to the ace is very very very slightly better.

It's actually a wee more complicated than that. Your correct 2nd round continuation depends on how the 1st round goes:
I'll ignore cases where 3rd hand shows out (KQ97+v) since they are easy.

x,7,8,9 => play the A next (playing for 2-2 split)

x,9,T,7 => play the A next

x,H,A,x => Play the T next. You are cold for 4 tricks
(layout must be H+H97, Hx+Hx, KQ+97, or KQx+x)

This plan loses 2 tricks in two cases where your play affects the outcome:
97+KQ and KQ7+9
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### #19foo

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Posted 2009-January-16, 08:53

manudude03, on Jan 16 2009, 07:51 AM, said:

AJ754 vs T632.

Another very cute combination.
Oh what a difference the presence or absence even the 8, let alone the 9, has here!

For this holding, there are 2 reasonable lines of equal chance.
One picks up Hxx+H. The other picks up KQx+x

Therefore, the correct plan depends on whether RHO should be considered "strong" or not.

If RHO is considered to have more HCP, then start with the A (hoping to drop a stiff honor)
Else, play small from hand intending to play the J if RHO follows small.
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### #20FrancesHinden

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Posted 2009-January-16, 09:27

foo, on Jan 16 2009, 02:43 PM, said:

FrancesHinden, on Jan 16 2009, 07:34 AM, said:

So it looks like low to the 8, then low to the 10 is best.
If they can't be 4-0 then low to the ace is very very very slightly better.

It's actually a wee more complicated than that. Your correct 2nd round continuation depends on how the 1st round goes:
I'll ignore cases where 3rd hand shows out (KQ97+v) since they are easy.

x,7,8,9 => play the A next (playing for 2-2 split)

x,9,T,7 => play the A next

x,H,A,x => Play the T next. You are cold for 4 tricks
(layout must be H+H97, Hx+Hx, KQ+97, or KQx+x)

This plan loses 2 tricks in two cases where your play affects the outcome:
97+KQ and KQ7+9

All the other respondants to this thread have managed to work out that stating a line in terms such as "low to the 8" does not mean "lead low towards dummy and play the 8 whatever card LHO plays to this trick".

To make things even tougher, some of us even use the same shorthand for the second round of the suit as well. For example - here's a thought - saying that the correct line is "low to the 8 then low to the 10" doesn't mean that, on the second round of the suit, you should not play the ace if LHO plays an honour. This concept is obviously proving a bit difficult for you.
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