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Hand from last Saturday

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:01 am
by Patrick Phair
On Saturday I was Hinterhand and held:

Jacks: C, S, H
Hearts: K, Q, 9, 7
Diamonds: A, 10, 7

Mittelhand passes, you bid 18 and Vorhand passes. What do you play? Do you exchange?

Patrick

Re: Hand from last Saturday

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:12 am
by John McLeod
I held this hand or one very like it: I played Grand Hand and got away with it.

The safe and honest option is Hearts Hand, in which you have a fair chance of Schwarz (70). You might announce Schneider, which fails only if there are voids in trumps AND diamonds, but there is a problem. If you announce Schneider and they lead a black ace, how do you play it? The safest play for Schneider abandons the chance for Schwarz, in which case you still only get 70 points.

In Grand Hand, if they keep leading black cards you don't have enough entries to set up the hearts, but if they ever lead a red card you make it (120). Whether the extra 50 points are worth the risk depends on your position in the tournament and your assessment of your opponents' playing habits.

If you don't want to risk the Grand Hand then it's just about worth looking at the skat: there are 5 cards that turn this into a safe Grand (usually worth 96), but if you don't get any of them you have sacrificed the 10 points for Hand.

Re: Hand from last Saturday

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:29 am
by Mike Tobias
Firstly, I would exchange; the potential for Grand outweighs the 10pts lost. I definitely wouldn't announce schneider in Hearts, the potential swing is +10 against -290.

Michael Wachowiak also played and made Grand Hand. You (Patrick) told me about this hand at lunchtime, and I thought that having picked up the DK in the Skat it should be a Grand, as there are seven guaranteed tricks.

A very similar hand turned up in session 3, board 3, played by John, Beate and me.

Including the Skat:
J CSH
C KQ97
S K
H A107
D 7

All made Grand.

Re: Hand from last Saturday

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:04 pm
by John McLeod
I definitely wouldn't announce schneider in Hearts, the potential swing is +10 against -290.

I thought that at first too, but then it occurred to me that the chances of a 4-0 trump break AND a 4-0 diamond break are probably less than 1 in 30.
I thought that having picked up the DK in the Skat it should be a Grand, as there are seven guaranteed tricks.

Yes, you're right. I had nor realised that a diamond also makes it a safe Grand, so there are 9 cards that are good for you, and the odds are definitely in favour of looking at the skat unless you're going to punt a Grand Hand.

Re: Hand from last Saturday

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:49 pm
by Patrick Phair
As you can see from the hand records the skat contained SK and DK. I took my eye off the ball when I didn't go Grand after exchanging -- I was concentrating on the heart suit where the situation hadn't improved, and I forgot that I had seven sure tricks with DK.

Even with seven tricks how sure can I be of making it? The opponents have 63 points in ten-cards, so I can't afford just to ruff trick one and run my tricks.

Does anyone know how the defence went against Grand Hand at the other tables?

Patrick

Re: Hand from last Saturday

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:20 pm
by John McLeod
It is nearly safe, because you are going to ruff one of their ten-cards in the first trick, after which they have only five. If they don't put at least 14 points in the first trick you will throw a small heart, after which you can't lose more than 46 more points: A, A, A, 10 plus your heart queen. If they let you ruff an ace on the first trick then the best they can do on the last three tricks is A, A, 10, 10, 10, K plus your queen for 59. So in order to get it down they have to put exactly a 10 and a king on the first trick, and then arrange to load the maximum on the last three tricks.

I can't remember the play at my table exactly. I know they started with a black ace which I ruffed. I think I led a heart next, and they won it and returned another heart.

Re: Hand from last Saturday

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:57 pm
by Patrick Phair
I agree the hand is nearly safe, but there are two other ways it can go off.

(1) Defenders put seven, ten or thirteen points into trick one (so you don't ruff) but in the process they move the lead to Mittelhand, who returns DQ which is covered by your king and ruffed. Then 46 points (or slightly fewer) on two heart tricks as before.

(2) Vorhand leads DQ ruffed by Mittelhand (5 points). Mittelhand leads a pip club. If you ruff it you can't establish hearts because you put the king away. If you don't ruff it they take CA (11), then cash HA10 throwing SA10 (45 including your queen).

Patrick