Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A9xx opposite Q8x



South deals and the auctions proceeds: 1D-P-1NT-P; P-X-P-2S; 3D-P-P-P

West plays the AKJ of spades in that order, trumps split 2-2, and you ruff out the club suit (lho won the 1st club and led back another one, playing the 7, 2, and 10. rho played the 5, 9, and Q). How do you play the hearts?

a) A and then low to Q
b) A and then duck
c) low to Q
d) low to 8
e) low to 9
f) duck from both hands
g) what if 2nd hand plays the J or T when you lead low?

Certainly a) is the percentage line without any other information but given the bidding and early plays, is that still the percentage line here?


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Okay, I am convinced that LHO has four hearts, so I play Ace and another, covering whatever LHO plays (unless it is the King).

  3. Sorry, I was rushed when I wrote my last answer, and as a result, answered badly. I still think that LHO probably has four hearts. RHO should have longer spades than hearts, but there is a possibility that he is 5-3-2-3 or 4-3-2-4. Let' s consider these in order.

    1. In the first case LHO would have AKJ,???,xx,KJxxx. If he has the K of hearts as well, I think it is highly probable that he would have doubled 1D originally. If he doesn't have the HK, then this hand just doesn't look like a reopening double of 1NT to me. Of course people don't always bid as I do, and if this is his holding, the play of the heart suit is tricky. You have to lead low from hand first, and if LHO plays small you have no problem ... just duck the trick to RHO. If he plays the J or 10 then you have to decide if he would be good enough to do this with Jxx or 10xx. If he plays high with one of those holdings, then you cover with the Q and play low after RHO leads a heart back. If LHO does play J or 10 when I lead low from hand, I would actually duck, then duck again when he continued hearts.

    2. In the second case LHO would have AKJ, ???, xx, ?xxx. I am thinking the unknown card in clubs is probably the J, so LHO should definitely have the HK.

    This is why my first answer was so bad. While I still suspect that LHO has four hearts, I would play Ace first, then low to the QUEEN unless LHO plays the K. This caters to all 4-2 breaks and also to 3-3 breaks where LHO has HK.

  4. I was actually the dummy for this hand and I knew how I would play it way before my dad finally got around to leading a low heart to the Q first. Why didn't LHO double over 1D? It's not likely because she didn't have the right shape - it's possible she's 3-3-2-5 but even with that she's more likely to bid reopen with 2C instead of double. therefore I decided that LHO does not have the heart king because that would give her at least 12hcp and a clear double on the first round of bidding (Surely she has a club honor left).

    I was not at all convnced that she had 4 hearts. She could be 4-3-2-4 or 3-4-2-4 or 3-3-2-5. I'm ruling out 4-4-2-3 as a possibility because rho surely would have bid a 5 card club suit over a 4 card spade suit. I lead low from my hand intending to put in the 8 or let LHO hold the J or T. rho will then have to lead away from the K or lho will have to lead away from the J. This would lose when lho plays the T from Txx but she can have the board if she's good enough to do that. and of course, it would also lose when lho has the K and not the J and T also.

  5. I finally got around to reading your blog!

    This hand, I am not sure you can rule out LHO having HK, as with 3424 and a bad 12 pts, some people wisely pass on making a takeout X ( Don't hold me to that standard! ). And when LHO didn't shift to H when in with the club, I am thinking, you rule out H-J10 in that hand.

    So play to Q, if J or 10 appears, cover! and finesse the next H if K is wrong. If not, I have a decision between the 8 and Q. I guess the % play is the 8, but the CQ from RHO almost surely shows cKQ, or LHO would have overcalled.
    Does that RHO can have cKQ + sQ + hK? Possible actually,though hJ sounds more likely.
    So I would think long and play the 8 :), though my instincts say that the re-opening x has the hK.