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All comments by Bud Hinckley
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Give count in clubs just as you would if you were giving count in spades. In this case, holding a doubleton club, partner of opening leader plays a high spade spot card to show an even number of clubs (or his lowest spade if playing upside down signals).

It is revealed declarer has one club and a club can be led at trick 2, forcing declare to decide between the two lines of play.
Oct. 7, 2012
Bud Hinckley edited this comment Oct. 7, 2012
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Assuming declarer is not going to bid 6 with two quick spade losers, I still contend on this hand that the partner of opening leader should signal count of his CLUBS on the opening lead, since opening leader will want to lead a club if declarer has a stiff club.
Oct. 5, 2012
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You have two lines of play.

1. Immediately draw trumps and hope the diamond jack will fall (3-3 split, or doubleton or singleton jack)

2. Try to cash a second club to pitch your small diamond. If clubs are 2-2, you succeed. If clubs are 3-1 with the singleton on your left, you go down when LHO ruffs. If a singleton club is on your right, he ruffs and you overruff and you draw trumps and again hope for 3-3 diamonds or the diamond jack to be singleton or doubleton.

4-0 4.8%
3-1 24.9% 27.5%
2-2 40.7% 45.0%
1-3 24.9% 27.5%
0-4 4.8%

Since the 4-0 splits are eliminated after the club lead, it's 27.5% for 1-3 or 3-1 and 45% for 2-2.

LINE 1

In the diamond suit, you would succeed if diamonds are 3-3 OR 4-2 with doubleton jack OR 5-1 with singleton jack.

35.53% + (0.3333 x 48.44%) + (0.2000 x 14.54%) = 35.53 + 16.15 + 2.91 = 54.6%

Therefore, Line 1 chance of success is 54.6%.

LINE 2

If we try to cash the second club, we immediately fail 27.5% of the time when LHO ruffs the second club as we pitch me our diamond. We immediately succeed 45% of the time when clubs are split 2-2. The remaining 3-1 splits with RHO short we can overruff, draw trumps, and hope the diamonds will work. BUT - we “know” that RHO has five spades and one club, so he's 5??1 shape and you know RHO is not 5521 because he would never ruff the second club to ensure his 10xxxx of hearts is a trick. So only 5431, 5341, and 5251 are shapes RHO could have where you could survive.

3-3 35.5
2-4 24.2 x 1/3 = 8
1-5 7.3 x 1/5 = 1.5

Total 35.5 + 8 + 1.5 = 45%

So 45% of the time the clubs are 1-3, we still survive. So that's 45% of 27.5% or 12.4%.

Therefore the chance of Line 2 succeeding is 45% + 12.4% = 57.4%.

So it's very close.

Line 1 (rely on the diamonds) = 54.6%
Line 2 (try to cash a second club hoping LHO didn’t shift to a stiff club) = 57.4%

Note I have made no mention of LHO's club switch. The poorer the player, the more likely he is switching to a singleton club, making Line 1 better if LHO is not a good player. An expert may risk leading a club hoping declarer started with exactly one club – and may look foolish if declarer is void in clubs and makes the slam only because a club was led. The better LHO is, the more reason to use Line 2.

My initial impression when seeing this hand was that trying to cash the second club was clear, since you lose immediately less than 30% of the time, and if RHO is short you still get to test the diamonds. It turns out to be closer than I thought it would.
Oct. 5, 2012
Bud Hinckley edited this comment Oct. 5, 2012
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I'm not sure - you can assume that the K asked for count.

HOWEVER - and I was going to ask this later but I will do so now - in a top expert partnership where “we signal what partner needs to know”, I can see the logic in opening leader's partner giving count in CLUBS on opening lead. If we make the assumption that declarer is never bidding 6 with two quick spade losers, I think it makes a lot of sense to give count in CLUBS in this situation at trick 1.
Oct. 5, 2012
Bud Hinckley edited this comment Oct. 5, 2012
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In case you were curious, advancer held Txxx Jxxx x QJxx.

I assumed advancer would bid 1 with this hand - you might believe he should bid 1. If a 2 cuebid is used, I could imagine an auction proceeding after the double being 1-2-2-2NT-3-5 or something similar.
Sept. 23, 2012
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If you were curious, the board was played 12 times, and 8 times East-West were allowed to score their spade game and one pair was in 3 making 5 for 200. The other three scores were 100, 100, and 300. There were no 500s for 5 doubled down 3, which is what I expect the result at my table would have been if either me or the overcaller had taken further action, and even the 500 would have been worth only 4 out of 11 matchpoints.
Sept. 12, 2012
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As I am sure you know, when you are one of the better players and you make a bid like 4, then at least one of the two opponents will expect the large majority of the time you will make your contract - and therefore a 5 sacrifice would be indicated.
Sept. 12, 2012
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I admit I am mildly surprised at the poll since I didn't think I had a 4 with my hand as advancer and I couldn't imagine not re-opening with a takeout double with the overcaller's hand.

But one thing I didn't consider was the vulnerability - as has been stated or implied by a few others, probably at least half the time I bid 4, even with a hand that should never bid it, they will go on to 5 at this vulnerability. And that's the vigorish you gain by bidding 4 with a hand that really should probably pass.

At different vulnerability, I suspect the poll results would have been different.
Sept. 12, 2012
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The opponents were playing Standard American and not that strong a pair. However, it would not have surprised me if responder held a semi-balanced 13 HCP hand with three hearts knowing the individual involved. (That didn't hurt my borderline decision to pass which I had a little more than five seconds to consider so as not to cause a BIT.)
Sept. 12, 2012
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Zero matchpoints or 11 imps for 100 vs 650? Both very bad!
Sept. 11, 2012
Bud Hinckley edited this comment Sept. 11, 2012
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As for 1-level overcalls showing opening bids, that seems a bit excessive to me, but I do agree the trend of “if I don't overcall, I likely don't have a 5-card suit” these days has some major downsides at times. My minimum overcalls these days tend to be slightly better than my opponents on average. Something like AQJxx and a side king or QJx in a 5332 type shape would be a minimum overcall for me - not an opening bid, but definitely an overcall. However, we know these days that a 1 overcall of 1 might be made these days by others with AJxxx and a side queen.
Sept. 11, 2012
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No, I was East, the advancer, who was close to bidding 4 over 4 but passed holding Q32 J K9732 QJ43. South opened the bidding 1.
Sept. 11, 2012
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I held the East hand - and in my opinion, my pass WAS in tempo. And partner didn't comment about possibly acting except for a hesitation. So you can assume the entire auction was in normal tempo.
Sept. 11, 2012
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xx Kxxxx Axxx xx seems like it will make 3. That doesn't seem to be expecting too much. I guess the question is whether this is worth a responsive double. If so, then perhaps pass is better than double.
Sept. 10, 2012
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I play 4 as showing a very strong hand with both minors, with clear slam interest.
Sept. 10, 2012
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It appears the big question, other than whether West should double 4 for takeout in the balance, is whether East, who has a clear spade raise after the auction (1)-1-(2)-? and (1)-1-(3 weak)-? also has a spade raise after the auction (1)-1-(4)-? with Q32 J K9732 QJ43.
Sept. 10, 2012
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Since if my queen and king were a jack and queen, respectively, I would probably still bid 2, I'll bid game, especially red at imps and because I'll have an easy time placing most of the honors cards on this auction.
Sept. 8, 2012
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On the last hand of Match 3, hopefully your partner will learn that 4NT is available to get his diamonds into the picture. Then YOU could have played 5 doubled. (Looking at the hands, diamonds doesn't look like it plays much better, if at all, compared to clubs!)
Sept. 5, 2012
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On the bidding shown, I would have given serious consideration to passing out 2. Anyone have an opinion on that? Clearly this time, it was quite a coup to have this big club fit, but that is certainly against the odds. More often, responder's minors would be reversed.

(Although on the hand diagram given, the bidding doesn't make much sense since West supposedly overcalled on a 4-card heart suit at the 2-level.)
Sept. 1, 2012
Bud Hinckley edited this comment Sept. 1, 2012
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A better question is whether you will bid 4NT over a later 4 to get the secondary diamonds in play.
Aug. 17, 2012
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