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Bidding Analysis Hand #4
How many tricks are you taking? Play out the bidding scenarios and we can talk a little game play even though we aren't in that forum.

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Trick count is easy: 11. You still have to assume 1 trump loser. Neither red suit has any real chance of an extra trick.

The bidding...

In first seat, the choices are 50 and 65, and generally I'd bid 65. Not 60; I don't want to go 70 over an opponent's 65. I prefer 60+ to say, partner, unless you have a double run, give meld or pass. 50 is plausible; the nature of your meld makes aces around and double pinochles much less likely. (Note the impact if that suit was clubs, not spades.) And, you just don't want to get into a bidding war with your own partner...your suit IS better 999 times out of 1000.

In second seat, over:
Pass -- 60 with a lead, or against a bad bidder to my left who'll bid a poor 65. 65 probably more often. Can't bid 50; it'd be worse here than in 1st seat.
50 -- 65.
51 -- 65.
52 -- flip a coin between 53 and 65
53+ -- 54. GOT to ask for meld. 65 doesn't stop LHO's 70 often enough. If LHO bids 65, I bid 70, but I can't go any higher.

3rd seat, after:
50-51: 65.
51-52: 53 IF partner's aces bid does not deny more meld, 70 otherwise.
52-any: 70

4th seat, after pass-pass-50: I think 60 is better, not 65. A touch of safety is called for.

On the play: there is no real strategy; you're guessing. Trump from the top? Partner might have ASXS, and you lose the entry. AD, then Low trump? Could give you a 2nd trump loser. And note too that getting partner in, may not're ruffing his attempt to cash a AC. So it might be just as well to play AD, AS,AS,AS and TS if the 4th AShas dropped, but NOT both TSTS. If the AS hasn't fallen on the 3rd round, there's no good reason to play the 4th round. Either way, exit with the QH, *even if* you can get partner in. There's no advantage to more trumps.
There's actually a very basic, core principle that is quite well distilled to its essence with this hand.

How can my partner cover my losers? How can he take tricks? How likely is it that he will?

It's harder to express this than it is to apply. Partner, as dummy, can take tricks in one of three ways:

1. Aces
2. Ruffs
3. Running a side suit after you strip trump

The first needs no explanation.

The second occurs fairly often, IF you as declarer let it. When you have length in a suit, it's more likely partner will have shortness. Whenever you have 6+ cards in a side suit, partner's ruffs become a potential trick source.

The third is often mishandled, because too many players either don't trust their partners, or refuse to relinquish control, or sometimes fail to see the opportunity. Let's make it blatant. With spades trump, you cash a XC and ADAD, then lead a XS to your partner's AS. He then plays a TH...that wins. Then he plays a XS. Let's say you started with XHXHXH. Well, he's taken 1 heart trick so far, and has 4 more to cash, at least...IF you get your trump out of the way. Your move, when you have enough of a trump suit to do this, should be to play XS, XS, and more XS...ALL of long as you can lead a XH to your partner. Your XC and XD losers vanish on his XH winners.

Going back to this can partner take tricks? Ruffs? No real chance. Your only long suit is the XS suit, and it's also SO long that partner can't have many. Your longest side suit is only 5 cards, and it's aceless. You'll have to lose the lead too many times. Running a side suit? Barely possible, but very unlikely. If you play AD at trick 1 and get AD from your partner...heck yeah. Play trump from the top; you don't care if you crash partner's AS. Still, this is unlikely.

So, pretty much...the only way partner's going to help, is aces...and specifically red-suit aces, because when you work this out, there's not much reason to do anything but play AD then ASASAS.
Very nicely explained.

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