What do you play here?

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Galt
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What do you play here?

Post by Galt » Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:41 pm

Just finished this game sitting South.

Score Opps 436 Us 288 (pard bid Nil on hand 1 with 3 clubs to the King.. didn't work so well)

You are bidding first with the following hand:

Clubs 2 3 5 6 7 9
Diamonds 2 7 10
Hearts 9
Spades 5 9 K

Let's hope that you bid Nil here (if Pard does not have a great hand, we are going to lose anyway).

The bids go Nil 2 5 and 5

You lead the Heart 9 and Pard covers it with the Ace.

On trick 4, West is in the lead and nothing of particular note has transpired so far. Your pard has taken 1 trick and the opps have taken 2.

West leads the Heart 10, Pard plays the 2, and East plays the Jack.

What do you play?
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qetzal
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Re: What do you play here?

Post by qetzal » Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:53 am

Opps win if they make bid, so they have to be set. Can pard take 7 by himself? Probably not, or hopefully he would have bid it. Also, I'm guessing the Jack may be East's last heart, since he played high over West.

Probably the only hope here is to trump the heart trick and help pard set opps. If that works, the score will still be awful: 366 - 160, but with some luck, there will be time to bag opps & cut their lead to ~100. Then you'd still need a set or two to win. It's a very long shot, but probably more likely than hoping pard can cover your nil and set opps by himself.

So, if we cut wih 5S, what do we lead back? Pard must not have much strength in any of the off suits. He won trick 1 with the AH, but opps won the next two, so pard didn't have any other immediate winners to lead. Maybe lead a low club & hope for a cross-ruff?

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Galt
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Re: What do you play here?

Post by Galt » Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:33 am

You get the prize and the win Q.

The only reason to not cut here is if we think that pard can win 7 tricks. As you said, the 5 bid screams "NOOO". Also, unless pard is givng wrong signals, she does not have the Heart Queen or King or she would have covered with one of them on trick 1 (probably should have let my Heart 9 walk on trick 1 in hopes that the opps would let it win). Chances are the opps will win another Heart trick.

So I did trump with the 5.

As happens much more often than not when I do this, pard asked me "why".

I will say that she was very nice about it, though. No name calling or accusations of throwing the game as I so often get.

Also, East laughed when I took the trick.

Later when I took a trick with the Spade King, East laughed even louder.

We actually went on to set them on a Nil, and with a little good luck we did go on to win the game. I always find these "SOS" (Set Own Self) wins to be the most rewarding for some reason.

Oh, by the way, East stopped laughing as the game got closer to the end.

Here is the thing, though. Even though we did go on to win, this move would have been the correct one even if we had not, and more often than not it will probably not result in a win. However, at least it gives you a chance to win.

The object of Spades is not making bids or setting opps or handing out bags or making Nils or covering Nils or setting Nils. The object is to win the game.

Sometimes you have to take one or more steps backwards in order to have your best chance to reach the ultimate goal.

This game was either a 1750 or 1800 game, so it just goes to show that, even after all this time, this concept of managing the score of the game ahead of any other concern is still foreign to many.

Keep your eyes on the prize rather than your cards, and you will often find a way How NOT to Lose at Spades.

Nice analysis Q. Thanks for responding.
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qetzal
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Re: What do you play here?

Post by qetzal » Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:36 pm

Thanks, Galt.

One difficulty is that you'd already indicated pard bid a questionable nil on trick 1. Not knowing how she played the rest of the game, it's hard to judge what to expect from her.

One thought occurred to me. What if pard really did have a 7 bid. Could it make sense to underbid on purpose, hoping to lure opps into bidding for game? Suppose pard bids 7. East might wisely have cut his bid to 3 or even 2. That way, even if you make your 7+nil, the score is still 476 - 458 in their favor. Plus, opps will probably be able to force pard to take bags, putting you at 459 or 360. Either way, they're still heavy odds to win.

So, maybe there's some logic to pard bidding 5, even with a hand worth 7? With luck, opps overbid thinking they can easily get an extra trick or two while p's trying to cover you. Pard sets them, covers you, and now you're ahead.

Even if that makes any sense, I still think cutting was the right choice in the scenario you described. Pard clearly has no heart strength and no other side suit aces, so at that point it's seems extremely unlikely to me that pard can set opps by herself.

Can you tell me what you chose to lead after you cut, and why?

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Re: What do you play here?

Post by MrAnderson » Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:54 pm

No underbidding wouldnt help here. They bid 7 and they only need 7. It doesnt matter at this point if you overbid or underbid cause the opps will not play to set the nil but to get the 7 tricks.
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Re: What do you play here?

Post by Galt » Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:42 pm

The suggestion for underbidding is that East might stretch his bid and take his team to a 7 bid that they cannot make.

Yup, it is a consideration, but I didn't feel like gambling on it.

As it turned out, East had the high hearts as I had guessed, and he would have gotten not only the Jack, but the King and the Queen (pard started with 4 hearts).

I returned a Diamond. I didn't want to risk pard getting over trumped if East was out of Clubs. One round had been played. One could easily argue for a Club lead however. In short, I thought that we had a real good chance to set, and I figured the chance of hurting pard with a Diamond lead was less than hurting her with a Club lead.

The bigger consideration for me regarding if pard could win 7 tricks was my Spades. If Pard's strength was in Spades, her hand was really stronger than she figured because of my holding.
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