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Ace on Ace Showing Suit Control
#1
When Partner leads an Ace in a suit, if you hold the remainder of the Aces, and I assume a buttressing 10 so we don't lose a trick, the standard signal seems to play Ace on Ace to show suit control.

Partner can now get to you as your Aces control the suit, barring a trump by the opponents.

But this signal breaks down when Partner leads the 3rd Ace. If I signal with a Ace, the 4th, if the Opponent that plays after Partner has a 10 as well, he will win the trick.

Do I have this right? Am I missing something?

Is "Ace on Ace" slated for the glossary, or is this a topic for the Beginners Area?
Rick Hall
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#2
(02-17-2013, 02:45 AM)richardpaulhall Wrote:  When Partner leads an Ace in a suit, if you hold the remainder of the Aces, and I assume a buttressing 10 so we don't lose a trick, the standard signal seems to play Ace on Ace to show suit control.

Partner can now get to you as your Aces control the suit, barring a trump by the opponents.

But this signal breaks down when Partner leads the 3rd Ace. If I signal with a Ace, the 4th, if the Opponent that plays after Partner has a 10 as well, he will win the trick.

Do I have this right? Am I missing something?

Is "Ace on Ace" slated for the glossary, or is this a topic for the Beginners Area?

To reference the PP Glossary, the Ace on Ace term would be covered by "Lead Back." By its definition, you play an AG on an AG to communicate to your partner that you want him to play that suit when he is finished being in control. Yes, I believe this is a beginner type question, but that doesn't make it a bad one.

Ramifications:
If you play the 4th AG on your Partner's 3rd AG of the suit...
1. Then your partner can maintain control and try to run his TG (if he has it), but by definition this is not a lead back.
2. You have potentially wasted a Winner.

ToreadorElder, has fantastic and lengthy posts on the subject of signalling while retaining Winners.
Enjoy this thread @ Play: The 2 basic signals.
It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing all your life. -- Mickey Mantle
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#3
I brought up "lead back" specifically to address the loss of a winner.

When I play a "lead back" AG on partner's 1st or 2nd AG should/must I have a TG to go along with it to balance out the loss of a trick on my AG?
Rick Hall
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#4
(02-17-2013, 03:52 PM)richardpaulhall Wrote:  I brought up "lead back" specifically to address the loss of a winner.

When I play a "lead back" AG on partner's 1st or 2nd AG should/must I have a TG to go along with it to balance out the loss of a trick on my AG?

Right, I don't recall the loss of a winner being covered in those posts.

I think making this play without the supporting TG comes down to a few variables...
1. Would your partner notice/understand if you threw a non-point lead back card?
+ If so, save the Winner.

2. What has been the texture of the tricks already thrown in that suit. More specifically, is the suit likely to be trumped on trick 4 or 5?
+ If the suit is likely to be trumped soon, saving the point may make better sense.

3. If you still want to play the AG... Is the loss of the Winner worth communicating the suit for your partner to exit in?
+ If you can make more Winners from the sacrifice of that one Winner, then it sounds like a reasonable justification.

I would like to hear from rak and TE on this. There may be additional considerations or improvements on my thoughts.
It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing all your life. -- Mickey Mantle
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#5
(02-17-2013, 03:52 PM)richardpaulhall Wrote:  I brought up "lead back" specifically to address the loss of a winner.

When I play a "lead back" AG on partner's 1st or 2nd AG should/must I have a TG to go along with it to balance out the loss of a trick on my AG?

There is almost no scenario where laying the 4th AG of a suit on the 3rd AG of a suit constitutes a lead back. The only scenario would be a highly unlikely situation where all the trump has been played and you have the remaining tens of the suit. Then, that would be a lead back...if your partner recognized the situation.

A bigger question regarding the 4th ace of a suit would be, if the third AG of a suit is played by your partner and the 4th AG of that suit in your hand is the only point in your hand, when do you throw it to save the point?

Stats to consider:

If you have a 4 card suit, the 4th AG will be a winner 62.6% of the time.
In a 5 card suit, the 4th AG will be a winner 50.1% of the time.
In a 6 card suit, the 4th AG will be a winner 35.9% of the time.
In a 7 card suit, the 4th AG will be a winner 21.1% of the time.
In an 8 card suit, the 4th AG will be a winner 8.1% of the time.
With a 9 card or longer suit, the 4th AG will be trumped 100% of the time.

These stats are based on the assumption that everyone still has trump in their hand.
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#6
I'll disagree with rak slightly. If partner plays 4th AG on 3rd AG, there are 4 scenarios that make sense:

a) partner started with exactly 3 cards.
b) partner started with 8...MAYBE 7...and has no more points to play.
c) it's the point that saves the meld/bid
d) I'm declarer, and I sandbagged the suit originally

d) first. This is somewhat unlikely, as it feels like it requires dummy hasn't been in; otherwise, he'd cash his lone AG (we hope). But as declarer, I'm suggesting extra tricks in that side suit...and it should be several. Why am I starting my side suit from the top with the aces, rather than leading low, if I have, say, AGAGAGTGQG? Dummy has to consider what the defense has done...have both apparently cashed? What's declarer's length in the 2 side suits, and critically, has he played several rounds of trump, trying for at least a partial trump strip? But here, if dummy plays his 4th ace, it's an unblock, counting on declarer to have some TG's.

c) is also relatively uncommon, and much more likely on defense.

a) implies that partner will be ruffing, which gets him in. So it's a signal in an unusual sense. Partner SHOULD NOT play 4th AG with a 4, 5, or 6 card initial holding, as this will cost a trick too often. Remember: a trick is 2.5 points...and the 3rd and 4th ace tricks catch opponents' point cards more often.

b) is the tricky case...7 or 8 cards. Generally, the only time (even with an 8 card suit) that I'll play 4th on 3rd, is when:

1. I think we need the point. Case: I'm dummy and I only had 4-6 meld. Partner needs to pull well over a split deck to make.
2. I have no great desire to be put on lead. That means my side-suit aces are in 4 or 5 card suits...and I don't have many.

Even then...I'm not sure I would. Reverse the situation and consider the position from partner's perspective. When I play 4th AG on 3rd AG, he's *probably* going to assume situation a)...and therefore, continuing the suit would get me in. IF he's reading the opponents' cards, he may work it out...figure, you have an 8 card suit with AKK and 5 non-points. The opponents have to be playing mostly points. So *if I trust partner*, my 4th AG *can be read* as suggesting the long suit.

This *could* happen with 7 cards, but obviously the length difference, even tho it's only 1 card, is very significant. As noted, opponents' cards may help. Say the first 2 leads draw:

AG,KG,KG,JG
AG,TG,KG,TG

then the 3rd ace:

AG,TG, ???

The opponents won't play points voluntarily. At this point, 6 of the 8 non-ace points have been played, and 4th seat is either going to play #7, or ruff. If he's ruffing, I actually don't want to play my AG...but it can be forced out of me even if I don't. If he's not ruffing, then with 7 points out...it's a virtual certainty that one of the opponents will ruff the next round, so it's NOT a trick. Save the point.
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