Join Bridge Winners
A Vacant Spaces Calculation
(Page of 3)

Consider this hand:

West
2
AK10863
A1097
AQ
East
AK6
Q4
KQ82
8743
W
N
E
S
 
1
P
1
P
1N
P
2
P
2N
P
3
P
3
P
4
P
5
P
7
P
7N
P
P
P

The lead is the 5, small, ten, ace. You lead the K and LHO shows out!

Now that the finesse for the J is marked, if the hearts come in for six tricks that will make the hand cold with two spades, six hearts, four diamonds, and the A. The question to answer here is: Does the shortness in diamonds indicate that we should finesse the heart, or play for the drop like we normally do?

Let's see.

You can cash one more spade, the ace of clubs, and the Q. Everyone follows and North plays the 9 on the heart.

Here's what you know at decision time:

West
2
AK10863
A1097
AQ
North
103
9
J6543
9
East
AK6
Q4
KQ82
8743
South
85
2
2
D

At this point North has 9 known cards and 4 unknown cards. South has 4 known cards and 9 unknown cards. 

The question I'm asking with this article is: What is the correct probability of winning the heart finesse versus playing for the drop?

I would think that the odds of the finesse working are 9 to 4, based on the vacant spaces. But I am no mathematician. Since the only known distribution is the diamonds, would the correct odds be 13 to 8? 

Also, the 5-0 heart splits have been excluded and some of the 4-1 splits have been excluded.

So what's the correct play? Finesse the T or play for the drop?

The full hand was:

West
2
AK10863
A1097
AQ
North
J109743
9
J6543
9
East
AK6
Q4
KQ82
8743
South
Q85
J752
KJ10652
D

On this hand, finessing works.

 

57 Comments
Getting Comments... loading...
.

Bottom Home Top