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The Danger Of A Three Suited Hand
#1
What do I mean by a 3-suited hand?

1. The shortest suit has 0-2 cards.
2. The 3 other suits have at least 6 cards, so there is potential for extra tricks, AND there are usually numerous potential losers.

So, the 3-suited hand patterns are:
6-6-6-2
7-6-6-1
7-7-6-0
8-6-6-0

There are 2 key factors to recognize:

1. You've got lots of losers in those suits.
2. You're going to be forced to ruff a LOT. Not so much with 6-6-6-2, but there you've got a short trump suit.

The big issue with 3-suited hands is, they usually take a LOT of time to set up. That makes them hard to play. Perhaps it's selective memory...we remember extreme hands much more readily than ordinary ones...but 3-suited hands produce either really good results, or really bad ones. Smile

A 3-suited hand that is top-heavy is MUCH better than one that is middle-heavy.

Top-heavy:
ASASTSTSKSQSJSADADTDQDQDJDACACKCQCQCJCQH

The top-heavy hand can initiate and sustain an attack in the side suits...the 4 aces, then a low club or diamond based on the spot cards that get played, or on partner's signal. (With a 3-suited hand, you MUST watch the spot cards in the non-trump suits.) The timing's more in declarer's favor.

Middle-heavy:
ASASTSKSKSQSJSADTDTDQDQDJDTCTCKCQCJCQH

Obviously, this hand is lighter by 3 tricks, but it'll be more than that. You don't usually get much information from the first round of a suit, but that's all you'll have to decide on your exit. XD is a bit better than XC, simply because it's slightly more likely to reach partner, and it's the 2nd round of a suit. But it's still pretty blind.

You're also exiting at trick 2...not trick 5. And, what are you going to do with allllll those club losers, assuming you exit with a diamond? You're going to be hammered in hearts, over and over again, quite probably to the point where you *have* to cash your trump aces, and you'll lose all control over the hand. The top-heavy hand may run into the same thing...but at least, it does it 3 tricks later, and with 3 more tricks in the bank.

So be very, very leery of these middle-heavy 3 suiters. They're trap hands.
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#2
Great little post.
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