The Depravation Play

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Joe Andrews
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The Depravation Play

Post by Joe Andrews » Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:06 am

There are plays in the game of Hearts which are downright mean and nasty. This is a "Cutthroat" game, to be sure. However, players must collude on occasion in order to dump points (or the Spade Queen) on the Lowman. The score is always a factor, and the threat of a Moon can be very compelling. Look at this hand.

Spades - 9 7 Hearts - J 8 4 2 Diamonds - A K 7 6 3 Clubs - 7 2

Spades - 8 5 Hearts - 7 3 Diamonds - Q 10 9 8 Clubs - K J 9 6 5

Spades - Q J 10 6 4 3 2 Hearts - NONE Diamonds - J 4 2 Clubs - 8 4 3

WEST (Lowman)
Spades - A K Hearts - A K Q 10 9 6 5 Diamonds - 5 Clubs - A Q 10

Scores - North 84 / East 77 / South 71 / West 58

The pass was ACROSS, and East had unloaded the top two spades, and the ten of hearts to West. The other passes were immaterial. Note the guarded Jack of hearts in the North, which were part of the deal.

North led the deuce of clubs, and East rose with the King, which resulted in muffled joy and gratitude from the West player, as he ducked with the tenspot. A spade shift was logical, and West won the Ace. The five of diamonds was snagged by North's Ace, as South and East followed high. Another low spade was won by the King, as West crowed:

"I am good, and sometimes I impress myself"

West cashed two high clubs, as he decreed:

"It's now just a matter of technique"

The Ace of hearts was tabled, with the comment:

"The heart lead is forced, please make sure you follow suit"

South, with a truly great and safe hand, decided to hold on to the Queen of spades for some unknown reason. Did he really expect to get the lead somehow? It was obvious that West was all hearts. If North or East held a heart stopper, it made no sense to hold the Queen for either of them.

Now came the heart King, and still no Queen of spades. The heart Queen rode through safely, as North ducked, and the heart ten was overtaken by the Jack, and NOW South released the evil Queen, and gurgled:

"Congratulations, it's a girl".

South also commented about his second place finish. North, who was blasted out of the game, uttered something along these lines:


(Translation not available, this is a family site!)


I suppose anything goes in the game of Hearts. HOWEVER -

It is not nice to punish the player who is stopping the Moon.

The "Deparavation Play" might be worth a few giggles, but it will gain the enmity of your table mates, especially the player you shafted. South's antics may have been amusing. Closer analysis reveals that he should have tossed the Queen on the first lif of hearts. After all, West was LOW!
AND - If the Moon was "on ice", the spade Queen was irrelevant. Holding her Royal Majesty for the player who might have had the stopper was "dirty", and guaranteed to create animosity.


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Post by Luna » Fri Jul 13, 2007 3:56 pm

I saw that you answered my question on the other thread. I do agree that in the scenario described here that South holding the queen was dumb, and also rather mean to the stopper. I would agree that in a situation like this where low is the one trying to moon that to dump on the stopper who is not low is dirty, and perhaps depending on the situation unethical.

In the situation I described in the other thread the one trying to shoot was in 3rd, I was 2nd, and high had 99, and a successful moon would have been a safety, but dropped me to 3rd. A failed moon with him getting queen from me would have put him in the high 90s and still left me 18 points out of 1st. So I would have had 2 players to worry about going bust and low still more then a queen away.

Low had passed to the player trying to moon. High was in no danger of taking the queen since he showed out of hearts on 2nd round, and the shooter had nothing but hearts. I felt justified in holding back queen since low had passed, and it gave me a shot to put myself in a position to win.

As it was, on the last hand I messed up high's attempt at a safety moon when I took the lead, and lead the wrong suit back. So I still ended out 2nd, 3 points behind. But as they say almost only counts in horseshoes. :oops:

I think what makes hearts such an interesting game is that different situations call for different plays. So what may seem totally uncalled for in one situation may be the right play in another situation. I think the more skilled players have a better handle on knowing the difference. I just find it a tad bit annoying when a player is so stuck on certain tactics being right or being wrong that if an oppenent uses one of the "wrong tactics" successfully to get low or win the game that he cries over the play being unfair.

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