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Bridge with Bland: 11.6.19

Playing the odds at blackjack or craps is the best strategy for possibly winning at the casino. Playing the odds at bridge garners even better results. What are the best bets with this month’s hand?

vul: All
dealer: East

the bidding
E: Pass
S: 1 ♣
W: 2 ♦ (weak)
N: DBL (negative)
E: Pass
S: 2 ♠
W: Pass
N: 4 ♠
E: Pass
S: Pass
W: Pass

opening lead: ♦ A (Ace from Ace/King)

♠ K Q 7 6
♥ A J 10 7
♦ 7 4 3
♣ K Q

♠ 9 5 4
♥ Q 9 6 4 3
♦ Q
♣ 7 6 5 3 2

♠ A J 10 8
♥ K 5 2
♦ 8 6 5
♣ A J 4

♠ 3 2
♥ 8
♦ A K J 10 9 2
♣ 10 9 8

the play

Bidding Commentary: West’s two-♦ bid was a weak jump overcall. This bid can be compared to a weak-two opening. When North doubles (Negative), South can expect four/four in the majors and at least eight high-card points. South’s two-♠ re-bid shows a minimum.  With an opening bid, North jumps to four ♠s.

1. West cashes three rounds of ♦s, East discarding ♣s.
2. West switches to the ♣ 10, taken in Dummy by the King.
3. Declarer wins the ♣ and clears trump—two with West and three with East.
4. Declarer needs to count the other suits,  playing the opponent with the greater ♥ length for the Queen.
5. West is known to have started with six ♦s and two ♠s.
6. After West follows to three rounds of ♣s, the count is complete.
7. West started with two ♥s and East with four. East is twice as likely to hold the Queen.
8. Go with the odds and play East for the Queen. 

Note: Avoid playing two-way suits (suits where a finesse can be taken in either direction) for as long as possible. Try to get a count on the other suits first.

tip of the day
It seems like good players always find the Queens. Is there a secret to finding Her Majesty?
Actually there is: counting. Exact or inferential counts make it much simpler to find cards needed to make one’s contract.

big games & scores

Aug. 26
Juli Timney/Sally Sprowls
Chat Game St. Louis Bridge Center

Sept. 10
Dennis Nahnsen/John Belfi
St. Louis Bridge Center

Sept. 27
Rod Beery/Arbha Vongsivit
St. Louis Bridge Center

Oct. 1
Suzanne Mason/Jan Mackey
Other Afternoon

Oct. 18
Charles Johnson/Rick Londeree
St. Charles Sectional

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