Spades with 2 gone wrong

Discussion of hands from past BSkA tournaments (or other events) and how they were bid and played. Skat problems. General discussion of strategy and tactics.

Spades with 2 gone wrong

Postby Gustavo » Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:47 pm

I have just lost a Spades with 2 online and can't yet see where my mistake was. I am Hinterhand (gmsa84).

Should I have led the Spades Queen earlier instead of the Spades Jack (trick 4)? My idea was obviously to make two trumps fall and have the lead again, but that allowed for the smearing from MH in trick 5.

Any help welcome!

Image
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Re: Spades with 2 gone wrong

Postby John McLeod » Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:05 am

This hand is quite weak with spades as trumps, having no outside ace. It's unusual to play with only 5 trumps when you could have 6, but in this case, with the three jacks strengthening my trump suit, I would be strongly tempted to make clubs trumps instead. As it happens you would win this quite easily.

Playing with spades as trumps you need some luck, and fortunately they helped you by throwing away their ace of hearts on trick 2. After that you should win.

I would not have trumped with the DJ at trick 3. There are not enough points in the trick to to make it worthwhile. Why not just throw away your losing H8?

It is a mistake to lead the SQ at trick 5. In fact you should never lead the SQ: it gives the opponents an extra trick that they don't deserve. At this point it would be better to lead your S10, which in the end you lost anyway.
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Re: Spades with 2 gone wrong

Postby Gustavo » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:01 am

Hi John,

Thank you for replying. I can see your point about having Clubs as trump. Having A-10 in a side suit would have probably been better than having them as trump.

Regarding the HD on trick 3, I knew that FH was void in Clubs, so I thought he would smear an A or 10 if I didn't trump, and the lead would go back to to MH, putting me in the middle once more.

About the SQ lead on trick 5, I guess you are right, I should have led A or 10 trump to make the HJ fall sooner.

Still lots to learn! Thanks for the help though.
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Re: Spades with 2 gone wrong

Postby John McLeod » Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:19 am

I replayed the hand swapping the ace and nine of diamonds between FH and MH so that FH can smear the DA when you discard the H8. You still win. The thing is, the H8 is a loser anyway and depending how the hearts are split and how the play goes you risk having an ace smeared on the H8 trick later if you hold onto it.

But you can also win after trumping at trick 3. You just have to be more careful. It turns out that the best play, which I certainly would not have thought of at the table, is to lead the S10 at trick 4. The logic is that you are liable to lose either the ace or ten of trumps anyway, and if you lead S10 first and the HJ takes it, the other defender won't be able to smear even if the trumps are 4-1 (as they are).
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Re: Spades with 2 gone wrong

Postby Mike Tobias » Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:38 am

The 6-2-2-2-split without any side support is as bad as 7 trumps. Whatever you discard, you have four potential losers just in the side suits.
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Re: Spades with 2 gone wrong

Postby Gustavo » Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:45 pm

OK, I have replayed this hand as Clubs and it worked fine indeed. Assuming I didn't know trumps were split 4-2, would JD be the best lead to make JH fall, or should I start from the top with the two black jacks?

Mike Tobias wrote:The 6-2-2-2-split without any side support is as bad as 7 trumps. Whatever you discard, you have four potential losers just in the side suits.


Wouldn't you bid 18 on this hand Mike? If so, what would you have done?
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Re: Spades with 2 gone wrong

Postby Mike Tobias » Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:36 am

I'd definitely bid: up to 33 without thinking, and hope to pick up a Grand. You've just been unlucky with the Skat, that's part of the game

I would have discarded as you did, and almost certainly played Spades, despite the lack of side support. I'm always reluctant to play 5 trumps instead of six (six instead of seven, yes). I'd have discarded the H8 as John said, which wins as the cards lie, but I'm not sure about John's replay with DA D9 swapped. The Ace of Diamonds smeared on trick 3 gives 39pts, If the Ace of Clubs follows, I trump with the DJ, knowing that an overtrump (54pts) gives me the rest; but if it isn't overtrumped, I have to see that the S10 is the only safe lead with a 4-1 split, as S10,HJ,D10 gives them 61pts, and I wouldn't have spotted it either.
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Re: Spades with 2 gone wrong

Postby John McLeod » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:07 am

In the real world I don't think FH would be able to resist overtrumping if you trumped CA with DJ. The defenders haven't played very well up to now so you would be rather unlucky if FH had a sudden flash of inspiration at this point.
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Re: Spades with 2 gone wrong

Postby Mike Tobias » Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:49 pm

Very true :o)
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