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Saturday Freak Show

My students often ask me about the proper bidding of freak hands. I tell them to forget about it and just enjoy the silly results because anything might work on any particular crazy deal. Of course one maxim which works with freaks more often than not is play the hand-don't defend. This advice would have served N/S well on the following hand from the NYC STAC this past Saturday-

West
Q10432
AQ1098732
North
8765
5
A7653
QJ6
East
AJ
K6
QJ10942
1052
South
K9
J4
K8
AK98743
D
16

-where par is N/S 7x -2.

Some statistics from the hand, which was played 36 times: the most common result was 5 making 6 but this happened only 13 times; not a single pair went minus! Every declarer went plus on the board, including +550 thrice for N/S in 5x. Aside from allowing N/S to play the hand, the worst results for E/W occurred when they only made 11 tricks (How?), including a single pair who played 3. 6 was found only twice, beating the results for 4x (once) and 5x (twice). However the best score for E/W went to 5xx, +1600.

Another oddity: one pair played 4 making 6 although 8 tricks would have been the limit on a tapping defense. (Maybe the contract was misentered.)

Summer fun!

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