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Correct Line of Playing - AQ8xx vs 109x

#1 User is offline   tchavdarov 

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Posted 2019-June-15, 01:11

First I apologize if I posted this topic in a wrong thread.

I had to play AQ8xx vs 109x.

What is the correct line to play for 4 tricks in NT?

What is the correct line to play for 2 tricks?
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#2 User is offline   TylerE 

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Posted 2019-June-15, 01:34

Hard to say in isolation. Everything matters. The auction, the lead, the play so far...
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#3 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-June-15, 03:28

View Posttchavdarov, on 2019-June-15, 01:11, said:

What is the correct line to play for 2 tricks?


Play 8 to the 9. Assuming you lose to the jack, play Q to the 10. Then play a small spade from both hands. Win the last 2 tricks in the suit.

For 4 tricks, finesse for the jack. If you lose to the jack, finesse for the king. If the bidding makes it likely that
the king is behind the queen, play the ace, then finesse the jack.
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#4 User is offline   apollo1201 

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Posted 2019-June-15, 03:35

View Postjohnu, on 2019-June-15, 03:28, said:

Play 8 to the 9. Assuming you lose to the jack, play Q to the 10. Then play a small spade from both hands. Win the last 2 tricks in the suit.

Love your line🤣🤣. However, you are not guarding against someone having KJ76x. You have to keep Q on the second trick, before the strategic duck. Furthermore, it avoids blocking the suit.
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#5 User is offline   PhilG007 

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Posted 2019-June-16, 05:25

View Posttchavdarov, on 2019-June-15, 01:11, said:

First I apologize if I posted this topic in a wrong thread.

I had to play AQ8xx vs 109x.

What is the correct line to play for 4 tricks in NT?

What is the correct line to play for 2 tricks?


For 4 tricks finesse the 10 If it holds,return to hand and finesse the 9 For 2 tricks finesse the Queen then cash the Ace..
In his excellent book "100 Winning Bridge Tips" Ron Klinger says "When you are missing two honours in a suit,
finesse for the lower one first"
"It is not enough to be a good player, you must also play well"
- Dr Tarrasch(1862-1934)German Chess Grandmaster

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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#6 User is offline   ncohen 

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Posted 2019-June-16, 15:15

There was a typo in the problem. You're always guaranteed 3 tricks, only 2 opp cards cover the AQ1098. The double finesse is the best chance for 5, and gets 4 whenever you can get 4, except for KJ doubleton offsides. Playing A first loses when you misguess the finesse on the second round -- whether W had Kxx (play the Q) or Jxx or KJxx (run the 10). So, unless the bidding tells you anything about the placement of the cards, run the 10 and run the 9 next.
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#7 User is offline   bluechip10 

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Posted 2019-June-17, 10:32

This is assuming you have outside entries: Playing the Ten and letting it run is the percentage play. If LHO has KJx or KJxx or KJxxx, you will always lose two tricks. Most likely, you will also lose two tricks to KJ. You win when RHO has KJx or KJxx. If RHO has KJxxx, then you must lose one trick. You are hoping to lose just one trick. So, anytime you play for the split in heart honors, you are favored to win.
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#8 User is offline   gszes 

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Posted 2019-June-19, 07:47

I will assume you have plenty of entries and losing the lead is of little importance.

For FOUR tricks it is best to play the 75% line of the double finesse finessing against the J first by leading the T followed by the 9 and small to 8 if needed.

This LOP will guarantee 4 tricks against all holdings except when rho holds both missing honors.

When ONLY TWO tricks are needed it is more interesting if you do not care about overtricks

I would start with the ACE and then lead up to the Q (see next sentence). This LOP leaves you in the same position as those that lead to the Q immediately and has the additional benefit of picking up the KJ doubleton offside and seeing the first 3 cards the opps play before deciding which card to play to the 2nd round. IF you cannot afford to lose the lead then leading to the Q is best by far.

Please ignore all those "cute" responses on ways to hold yourself to only 2 tricks sigh.
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#9 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-June-19, 23:15

View Postgszes, on 2019-June-19, 07:47, said:

When ONLY TWO tricks are needed it is more interesting if you do not care about overtricks

I would start with the ACE and then lead up to the Q (see next sentence). This LOP leaves you in the same position as those that lead to the Q immediately and has the additional benefit of picking up the KJ doubleton offside and seeing the first 3 cards the opps play before deciding which card to play to the 2nd round. IF you cannot afford to lose the lead then leading to the Q is best by far.

Please ignore all those "cute" responses on ways to hold yourself to only 2 tricks sigh.

You can never take less than 3 tricks unless you unblock high cards. What does it mean to play for 2 tricks? Who knows, apparently you do. B-)

As stated, without knowing the location of the king, the best play for 4 or 5 tricks is finesse for the jack, and if that loses, finesse for the king.
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#10 User is offline   tchavdarov 

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Posted 2019-June-21, 23:10

I'm sorry. By 2 tricks I meant I only needed 2 tricks from the suit. I was playing 6NT and had 10 more top tricks, so I needed to play the suit to get 2 tricks out of it, without losing more than one.
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#11 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-June-23, 04:23

View Posttchavdarov, on 2019-June-21, 23:10, said:

I'm sorry. By 2 tricks I meant I only needed 2 tricks from the suit. I was playing 6NT and had 10 more top tricks, so I needed to play the suit to get 2 tricks out of it, without losing more than one.

So you are saying the opponents can't cash the setting trick if you lose your first trick in the suit.

If so, the best line of play is the same line as playing for 4 or 5 tricks (i.e. not losing more than 1 trick in the suit). Finesse for the jack, and if that loses, finesse for the king. If both king and jack are onside, you'll make 13 tricks. If at least one of the king and jack are onside, you'll make 12 tricks.
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#12 User is offline   KingCovert 

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Posted 2019-June-27, 15:10

View Postjohnu, on 2019-June-23, 04:23, said:

So you are saying the opponents can't cash the setting trick if you lose your first trick in the suit.

If so, the best line of play is the same line as playing for 4 or 5 tricks (i.e. not losing more than 1 trick in the suit). Finesse for the jack, and if that loses, finesse for the king. If both king and jack are onside, you'll make 13 tricks. If at least one of the king and jack are onside, you'll make 12 tricks.


It depends on your perspective, but I don't agree with this advice. If you goal is to make two tricks, why take a finesse for the jack that is twice as likely to fail? Either finesse works when both honours are onside, and both finesses fail when both honours are offside, so these are irrelevant cases, but if you're playing for two tricks, why take a finesse that loses to the onside King and offside Jack when you don't need to pick up the jack?

If the finesse of the King fails, you can always finesse the Jack on round 2. If it fails, then it's inconsequential, all lines of play fail... Except for an end-play in the suit, which seems like the best line to play for....
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#13 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-June-27, 20:37

View PostKingCovert, on 2019-June-27, 15:10, said:

It depends on your perspective, but I don't agree with this advice. If you goal is to make two tricks, why take a finesse for the jack that is twice as likely to fail? Either finesse works when both honours are onside, and both finesses fail when both honours are offside, so these are irrelevant cases, but if you're playing for two tricks, why take a finesse that loses to the onside King and offside Jack when you don't need to pick up the jack?

If the finesse of the King fails, you can always finesse the Jack on round 2. If it fails, then it's inconsequential, all lines of play fail... Except for an end-play in the suit, which seems like the best line to play for....


Based on the OP's statement, you can take 13 tricks if KJ are onside. If you finesse against the king first, you will lose a trick to the jack and only take 12 tricks (except if KJ is doubleton). Isn't it better to pick up a 13th trick about a quarter of the time at no cost?
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