Is it bad to have seven trumps?

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.
nswedd
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:33 pm

Is it bad to have seven trumps?

Post by nswedd » Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:49 am

Last Saturday, hand 2 in session 1 was

Code: Select all

    Forehand   Middlehand Hinderhand    Skat
J   H          CS         -             D
C   T8         Q          AK97 
S   KQ8        T97        A                      
H   8          TQ7        A9            K
D   KQ9        T          A87
Both forehands won the bidding for 18, picked up the Skat, and discarded the two singletons, leaving

Code: Select all

J    CSD
C    -
S    T97 
H    TKQ7
D    - 
What would you choose as trumps?

I knew from experience that a 7-card trump suit often plays worse than a 6-card trump suit, so I chose spades, making schneider for 44 points. Patrick chose hearts, making 30 points.

A possible reason for preferring six trumps to seven is that the defenders' trumps will probably split 3-2 rather than probably splitting 3-1, giving them fewer chances to discard a sidesuit ten on partner's trump trick. Is this valid? Was I just lucky in here, with the bare ace of spades dropping?

Nick

John McLeod
Posts: 136
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:26 pm

Re: Is it bad to have seven trumps?

Post by John McLeod » Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:13 pm

Several comments.
1. You mean Middlehand won the bidding for 18, not Forehand.
2. I would choose spades, but my main reason is that the heart suit has only one loser. If you change the hand to

Code: Select all

J    CSD
C    -
S    TKQ
H    T987
D    - 
then I unhesitatingly choose hearts.
3. The ace of spades dropping favours Patrick more than it favours you. It makes it unexpectedly easy for him to establish his 10 and lose only two spade tricks rather than three.
4. If I had been Hinderhand I would very likely have bid against you to play Grand, and I would have made it.

Mike Tobias
Posts: 320
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:49 am
Location: Kent, UK

Re: Is it bad to have seven trumps?

Post by Mike Tobias » Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:36 pm

Strange, my earlier reply has disappeared.

I would definitely play Spades, the Clubs TKQ7 is an excellent side suit, winning three tricks including the ten

I had a hand last night where I chose six trumps over seven for similar reasons.

Patrick Phair
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:26 pm

Re: Is it bad to have seven trumps?

Post by Patrick Phair » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:48 pm

I don't remember my thinking on Nick's hand, though I do remember that almost all my six-trump holdings on Saturday met 4-1 breaks.

An interesting further point about this hand: if you are playing in spades and a diamond is led, presumably you ruff. But with what?

Patrick

John McLeod
Posts: 136
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:26 pm

Re: Is it bad to have seven trumps?

Post by John McLeod » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:58 pm

I think I would ruff with the 10 of trumps, draw 2 rounds of trumps, and then if the HJ had not fallen I would start leading hearts.

Patrick Phair
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:26 pm

Re: Is it bad to have seven trumps?

Post by Patrick Phair » Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:54 pm

OK -- that's probably right.

How about if the heart suit were solid?

Patrick

John McLeod
Posts: 136
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:26 pm

Re: Is it bad to have seven trumps?

Post by John McLeod » Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:56 am

You mean something like J:CSD, C:--, S:T97, H:ATK7, D:-- with DT and SQ in the skat? In that case I would play Grand and ruff a diamond lead with SJ.

Patrick Phair
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:26 pm

Re: Is it bad to have seven trumps?

Post by Patrick Phair » Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:12 am

OK, that looks reasonable. Suppose the discards are D9 and C9, making the Grand less attractive.

Patrick

John McLeod
Posts: 136
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:26 pm

Re: Is it bad to have seven trumps?

Post by John McLeod » Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:11 am

I think I would still play Grand. Barring the possibility of a heart lead ruffed by HH on trick 1, my only losers are the three spades. I lose 28 points in spades so the other opponent will need to throw at least 32 points on these three tricks to defeat me.
Grand is safer than hearts, where I might well additionally lose a trick to the HJ. The spade contract is pretty safe. In this case I will trump an opening diamond lead with S7, lead my top trumps, and then if the HJ has not appeared I will run my hearts from the top. I could lose if the trumps are 5-0, but not if they are 4-1. My feeling is that Grand is still the most profitable contract, but I have not tried to calculate the probabilities.

Mike Tobias
Posts: 320
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:49 am
Location: Kent, UK

Re: Is it bad to have seven trumps?

Post by Mike Tobias » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:49 pm

Patrick Phair wrote:OK, that looks reasonable. Suppose the discards are D9 and C9, making the Grand less attractive.

Patrick
If the other two cards were D9 C9, I'd discard the S10 instead and keep three Luschen. The only way it can lose is if the HK is trumped on trick one for a fourth trick, but with 9pts max on that, it'd still probably win

Post Reply