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Card combination... Correct play for one loser...?

#1 User is offline   Dinarius 

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Posted 2018-October-11, 10:01

Contract 4 after a blind auction.

This is your trump holding.

A Q 7 6 5 4

opposite...

8 3

With plenty of entries in both hands, what is the best play for one loser in ?

Thanks.

D.
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#2 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2018-October-11, 11:01

Low to the ace, return to hand then low to the queen.

Edit: thinking about it, it won't help to drop a singleton king off-side. Just as good to duck in both hands, then finesse, I think.
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#3 User is offline   The_Badger 

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Posted 2018-October-11, 12:27

View PostTramticket, on 2018-October-11, 11:01, said:

Low to the ace, return to hand then low to the queen.

Edit: thinking about it, it won't help to drop a singleton king off-side. Just as good to duck in both hands, then finesse, I think.


Slight variation on this. If you had arrived in 4 via a transfer and the hand holding 83 is playing the contract, I would lead a low heart from dummy towards the closed hand. Gives the defence a chance to go wrong.
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#4 User is offline   ahydra 

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Posted 2018-October-11, 16:31

http://bridge.esmarkkappel.dk/ is a useful resource, though not as good as Suitplay. It suggests that either cashing the Ace first or ducking a round first both win in the same cases, namely when trumps are 3-2 with the King onside (about 34%).

ahydra
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#5 User is online   smerriman 

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Posted 2018-October-11, 17:11

View Postahydra, on 2018-October-11, 16:31, said:

It suggests that either cashing the Ace first or ducking a round first both win in the same cases

Actually it doesn't even say you should duck. Suitplay agrees that cashing the Ace and low to the Queen are both the identical 34% (with low to the queen, unless they play the 2 when you should duck, being the best MP line).
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#6 User is offline   msjennifer 

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Posted 2018-October-12, 00:07

Sir,Cashing the ACE and then leading low towards the Queen does not help much as if West plays the 10 or J one is left to a pure guess .Then if the guess is wrong there are always two losers.. Ducking all round after cashing the ace will win whenever a doubleton king appears from either opponent.And lastly if for some reason one is sure that the finesse is a losing proposition then one has to hope for a doubleton king offside . I am poor at mathematics so I do not know the percentages .
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#7 User is offline   GrahamJson 

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Posted 2018-October-12, 01:11

You are missing KJ1092 so to lose only one trick you need to find the king onside with trumps splitting 3-2 or 2-3. You will always lose two tricks if the king is offside or if trumps break 4-1. There is therefore no difference between taking a finesse or cashing the ace first.
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#8 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2018-October-12, 03:20

View PostGrahamJson, on 2018-October-12, 01:11, said:

You are missing KJ1092 so to lose only one trick you need to find the king onside with trumps splitting 3-2 or 2-3. You will always lose two tricks if the king is offside or if trumps break 4-1. There is therefore no difference between taking a finesse or cashing the ace first.


I'd rather not lose 3 tricks to stiff K though
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#9 User is online   PeterAlan 

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Posted 2018-October-12, 05:25

View Postmsjennifer, on 2018-October-12, 00:07, said:

Sir,Cashing the ACE and then leading low towards the Queen does not help much as if West plays the 10 or J one is left to a pure guess .Then if the guess is wrong there are always two losers.. Ducking all round after cashing the ace will win whenever a doubleton king appears from either opponent.And lastly if for some reason one is sure that the finesse is a losing proposition then one has to hope for a doubleton king offside . I am poor at mathematics so I do not know the percentages .

A then low to Q IS better. A then small unnecessarily loses two tricks to all cases (6) of Kxx onside (W) (and hence J/10/9x offside) and only gains in the (4) cases of Kx offside. As Cyberyeti says, cashing the A first avoids 3 losers when there's a singleton K.
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#10 User is offline   Dinarius 

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Posted 2018-October-12, 07:12

Thanks for the repies.

Very interesting.

For the record; if you cash the Ace, the hand on your left (East as I have the cards above) plays the Jack, West playing small.

If you now cross to the South hand and play towards the Queen, West again plays small.

D.
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#11 User is offline   PhilG007 

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Posted 2018-October-12, 07:25

View PostDinarius, on 2018-October-11, 10:01, said:

Contract 4 after a blind auction.

This is your trump holding.

A Q 7 6 5 4

opposite...

8 3

With plenty of entries in both hands, what is the best play for one loser in ?

Thanks.

D.


With that holding,I wouldn't try to draw trumps at all but rather try to make them separately by ruffiing.
If you draw trumps,you could quite easily lose control of the hand if they break badly.
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Bridge is a game where you have two opponents...and often three(!)


"Any palooka can take tricks with Aces and Kings; the true expert shows his prowess
by how he handles the two's and three's" - Mollo's Hideous Hog
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#12 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2018-October-12, 07:37

View PostDinarius, on 2018-October-12, 07:12, said:

Thanks for the repies.

Very interesting.

For the record; if you cash the Ace, the hand on your left (East as I have the cards above) plays the Jack, West playing small.

If you now cross to the South hand and play towards the Queen, West again plays small.

D.


I don't think that the jack dropping changes anything. The jack, ten and nine are all equals and only the two is truly "small".

I would play to the queen on the second round and shrug if it loses to the king.
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#13 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2018-October-12, 07:39

View PostPhilG007, on 2018-October-12, 07:25, said:

With that holding,I wouldn't try to draw trumps at all but rather try to make them separately by ruffiing.
If you draw trumps,you could quite easily lose control of the hand if they break badly.


You clearly have an insight into the whole hand that the rest of us lack. How did you deduce that the hand with the short trumps also has a shortage in another suit to get a ruff?
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#14 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2018-October-12, 10:39

Many years ago I was playing the equivalent suit (I think it was AQxxx opposite xxx). I cashed the Ace (in my hand, not dummy, crossed to dummy and led a spot. I was playing opps for whom I did not have a great deal of respect (in terms of bridge skill, not as 'people') and when RHO played the 10 smoothly on the second round, I decided to play him for J10x, and ducked, so that the now-stiff King beat the air.

That play is definitely anti-percentage against anyone with any reasonable level of ability, but weak players will tend to flinch on the second round, if only because they may not understand the cash of the Ace first, and so are confused.

The percentage play is to lead towards the queen on the second round: thus one cashes the Ace first or one ducks all around.

There is one tiny edge to ducking all around.....if you lead from your hand first. LHO, with KJ1092, may play the 2, and all will laugh when the 4 holds the first trick...anyone who has played long enough will have seen the equivalent of this play.
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#15 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2018-October-12, 10:43

View PostTramticket, on 2018-October-12, 07:39, said:

You clearly have an insight into the whole hand that the rest of us lack. How did you deduce that the hand with the short trumps also has a shortage in another suit to get a ruff?


While I think the idea of not attacking trumps is silly, on this suit layout and absent some very strong indication to the contrary, I don't know that Phil is suggesting trying for ruffs in the short hand.

There is a recognized technique called elopement, where one tries to score small trumps by ruffing. As an example, say we suspected RHO to hold KJ109 over dummy (perhaps we are doubled) and dummy has shortness in a suit where we know/hope/infer that RHO has length. We would strive to score ruffs. Not only would we score low tricks, but by shortening dummy's trump we increase the odds of being able to endplay RHO to lead, eventually, into the AQ.

Elopement is not a tactic one employs in the usual case when one has a 6-2 fit, but it all depends on the hands and the auction.
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#16 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2018-October-12, 11:48

Thanks Mike and yes , I am aware of this technique.

View Postmikeh, on 2018-October-12, 10:43, said:

on this suit layout and absent some very strong indication to the contrary


I was merely trying to suggest, humourously that Phil clearly has strong indications to the contrary, not available to the rest of us. :)
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#17 User is online   smerriman 

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Posted 2018-October-12, 13:28

View PostCyberyeti, on 2018-October-12, 03:20, said:

I'd rather not lose 3 tricks to stiff K though

You won't. As above the best MP line is immediately low to the queen (unless West plays the 2, in which case you just duck). If East wins the King, you play low to the Ace (unless West plays the 2). You only lose 2 tricks.
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#18 User is online   smerriman 

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Posted 2018-October-12, 14:11

View Postmikeh, on 2018-October-12, 10:39, said:

The percentage play is to lead towards the queen on the second round: thus one cashes the Ace first or one ducks all around.

These are both just the tiniest bit inferior to leading towards the queen instantly. As above, this doesn't cost when there is a singleton king offside, while each of your lines costs a trick with a 5-0 split.
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#19 User is offline   PhilG007 

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Posted 2018-October-12, 14:32

View PostTramticket, on 2018-October-12, 07:39, said:

You clearly have an insight into the whole hand that the rest of us lack. How did you deduce that the hand with the short trumps also has a shortage in another suit to get a ruff?


I was basing my reply on "Murphy's Law" If anything can go wrong,it will. I was visulalising the possibility of the trumps splitting badly
such as a 4-1 split over declarer. if you try to draw trumps it means you are having to use up two of your trumps to pull one of the opponent
that holds the length. That's why its more feasible to try to make your trumps individually..
"It is not enough to be a good player, you must also play well"
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Bridge is a game where you have two opponents...and often three(!)


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by how he handles the two's and three's" - Mollo's Hideous Hog
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#20 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2018-October-12, 15:11

View Postsmerriman, on 2018-October-12, 14:11, said:

These are both just the tiniest bit inferior to leading towards the queen instantly. As above, this doesn't cost when there is a singleton king offside, while each of your lines costs a trick with a 5-0 split.


You are mistaken and I will take the time to spell it out for you:


If LHO has J1092, plays the 2 on the 1st trick, and the Queen loses to the stiff King, you will lose 3 tricks in the suit: one to the King and two more to the J109 sitting in front of the A7xx

Whereas if you pop the A on the first round, you drop the stiff King and now lose the same two tricks to the J109 sitting in front of the Q7xx. The difference is that the King lost the trick on this line, whereas it won a trick on your line. Obviously, the King wins a trick if you duck all around, but that comes back because now the J109 holding takes only one more trick...we have both the A and the Q left.

If the suit is 3-2 or 2-3, you lose one trick when the K is onside and two when it is offside, regardless of whether one starts with low to the Queen, or ducking all around, or Ace then low to the Q.

If the suit is 4-1, onside, then you lose 2 tricks whenever the King is onside, again regardless of which of the 3 plausible lines you take

If the suit is 4-1 offside, then you lose 3 tricks unless the King is stiff onside and, again, this is unrelated to how you play the 1st round....if you lead low from dummy, for example, the stiff King scores a trick it won't otherwise score, but now you have the AQ to draw 2 of the 3 outstanding trumps.

The key difference between the two plays of Ace first or duck completely first, on the one hand, and low to the Queen on the other, is when the suit is 4-1, stiff King offside. Now the 1st two lines gain a trick.

It doesn't much matter what you do when the trumps are 5-0, although as I noted above one can sometimes score a pleasing coup by leading the 3 towards dummy and having a lazy LHO play the 2: now the first trick is won by the 4, provided that you are ducking all the way around.
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