18 March 2011

Make more contracts

How about if I told you there's a suit combination which if you play correctly will increase the chances of an extra trick by nearly 23%. Your eyes would probably glaze over and you'd fall asleep. This happens all the time though and you will make extra tricks.
This post is meant to be instructive. This means it'll break readers into 3 rough categories the A's who think this is obvious, the B's who are interested but will skim rather than read and the C's who will learn something. Hopefully there's a couple of C's out there and they can apply this.
So what's the suit combination? Well here it is;

KQxx - Jxx

yep just that. It's of course the same if you shuffle some things around:

KJx - Qxxx

how many times does that suit combination come up in the 3NT contracts you play? Lots. You might even have two suits like that.
Normally your chances of making 3 tricks in this suit is exactly 35.5%. That's the chance that both of your opponents hold three cards in the suit. To improve this at the cost of an entry lead twice towards the hand with two honours. The chances of catching Ax onside is 8.1%. Just one more thing from the arsenal of good players.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the tip Daniel. The first example of KQxx opposite Jxx seems like you would need too many entries in many cases to make it work (two to the Jxx hand to lead up, then one to the closed hand to cash the 4th heart), but still useful to know. As usual, knowing these combinationsa are the most helpful if you are in a high level contract, in this case 6NT with all other suits stopped and plenty of entries and you need to get 3 winners from this suit to make it.