23 March 2011

Discovery Play

A discovery play is just a fancy name that experts use to describe avoiding the problem. When you have a suit you can play two ways, maybe the classic:

KJx - ATx
it usually pays not to do anything about it until you have to. The idea being if you make the decision later you'll know more about the hand and be better prepared to make it. Maybe you'll discover you needn't do anything. There are other good things that can happen too: sometimes the defenders will help you out which is a "defensive error" or they'll have to help you out which is an "end play".

If all that happens is you learn a bit more then it's called a discovery play. Here's a hand I saw recently that provides an opportunity to discover something in 4:

A x x
K T x x
x x x
K Q x
K x x
A 9 x x x
K x
A x x

The black suit mirroring is a downer. You'll have to lose a spade and a diamond and you could lose another diamond and as many as two hearts. The question is are you going to play the heart suit cashing the Ace then King playing for no loser but you could lose two or will you take the safety play, finessing on the first round guaranteeing one loser?

Well find out! Win the club on the table and lead towards the K. If the King wins you can afford (and should take) the safety play. If the King loses the situation is more desperate and hearts will need to be kind.

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