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Here are the four hands:

1. S - AKQJT32 H - 54 D - 98 C - 76

2. S - 98 H - 76 D - AKQJT32 C - 54

3. S - 76 H - AKQJT32 D - 54 C - 98

4. S - 54 H - 98 D - 76 C - AKQJT32

Regardless of how the hands are distributed to N, S, E & W, the winning strategy is easy. Bid only to the three level. Double opponents if they bid to the four level. Works especially well with both Vul.

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As a less experienced player, I find this practice very intimidating. At the start of a match there's always a bit of nerves. My first major decision is not about bridge but whether to challenge the opponents' pre-deal? Please, guys, don't do this.

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I voted “Both equally” because the partnership system (apparently) does not include a 3S bid to right-side the contract, as pointed out by John T. I recognize that almost no one plays 3S that way anymore, but, still, it's a system flaw that responder cannot declare spades even when the hands call for it.

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OK, good stuff above, but here's another take on the math.

After 9 tricks have been played (3 spades, 4 hearts, 2 clubs), there are 8 EW cards outstanding, of which West is known to hold a spade. So the unknown cards are 2 clubs and 5 diamonds. If we deal West three of the seven cards randomly, the odds are:

(where c(7,3) means number of combinations of three cards selected from 7)

If West has both clubs, then he started with 4-3-2-4 distribution and East 2-3-6-2, so West has only a 1/4 chance of holding the A D to go with his clubs.

If West has neither club, then the diamonds were 4-4 originally, so East has a 1/2 chance of holding the A D along with the long club.

To summarize:

Clubs (W/E)…Ace D….Odds…Matchpoints …………………………Play it safe….Go For it …3/3……….Any….4/7…….6…………..13 …2/4……….West…1/7…….7 1/2……….7 1/2 …2/4……….East…1/7…….9…………..1 …4/2……….West…1/28……9…………..1 …4/2……….East…3/28……7 1/2……….7 1/2

Expected matchpoints ——->….6.91………..9.48

So we have a statistical advantage of 2 1/2 matchpoints, pretty much confirming the consensus of this discussion.

Neal Smith

1.

S - AKQJT32

H - 54

D - 98

C - 76

2.

S - 98

H - 76

D - AKQJT32

C - 54

3.

S - 76

H - AKQJT32

D - 54

C - 98

4.

S - 54

H - 98

D - 76

C - AKQJT32

Regardless of how the hands are distributed to N, S, E & W, the winning strategy is easy. Bid only to the three level. Double opponents if they bid to the four level. Works especially well with both Vul.

Neal Smith

Neal Smith

Neal Smith

Neal Smith

If opponents have a 10 card spade fit, partner rates to have 4-5 hearts and 6-7 minor cards on average.

We don't need a lot for game. As little as xx xxxxx Qx Kxxx gives us a shot.

Slam is possible. Pard could have Ax xxxx xx KQxxx.

Opponents could have game. Give East a singleton D plus K of H and West a singleton C.

It's unlikely but possible that game is on for both sides. No way am I going to be the one to lose 15 IMPs on one hand at this point in the day.

I bid 5C. In tempo.

Neal Smith

Neal Smith

Neal Smith

Neal Smith

Neal Smith

After 9 tricks have been played (3 spades, 4 hearts, 2 clubs), there are 8 EW cards outstanding, of which West is known to hold a spade. So the unknown cards are 2 clubs and 5 diamonds. If we deal West three of the seven cards randomly, the odds are:

1 D + 2 C: c(5,1) * c(2,2) / c(7,3) = 5*1/35 =..1/7

2 D + 1 C: c(5,2) * c(2,1) / c(7,3) = 10*2/35 = 4/7

3 D :….. c(5,3) / c(7,3) …….. = 10/35 =. 2/7

(where c(7,3) means number of combinations of three cards selected from 7)

If West has both clubs, then he started with 4-3-2-4 distribution and East 2-3-6-2, so West has only a 1/4 chance of holding the A D to go with his clubs.

If West has neither club, then the diamonds were 4-4 originally, so East has a 1/2 chance of holding the A D along with the long club.

To summarize:

Clubs (W/E)…Ace D….Odds…Matchpoints

…………………………Play it safe….Go For it

…3/3……….Any….4/7…….6…………..13

…2/4……….West…1/7…….7 1/2……….7 1/2

…2/4……….East…1/7…….9…………..1

…4/2……….West…1/28……9…………..1

…4/2……….East…3/28……7 1/2……….7 1/2

Expected matchpoints ——->….6.91………..9.48

So we have a statistical advantage of 2 1/2 matchpoints, pretty much confirming the consensus of this discussion.

Neal Smith

Neal Smith

Neal Smith