The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits


Update — Fixed hand. Dummy has C5.

You pick up S:7 H:K965432 D:Q4 C:A73 in fourth seat with nobody vulnerable.

LHO opens 1NT and it goes pass-pass to you. You could bid 2H, but for the sake of discussion let’s say you pass.

Partner (playing standard leads) opens with the club six.


Club 6 led
                  S: T82
                  H: 8
                  D: KJ753
                  C: Q854

(Your hand)

And at this point (if you are wide awake) you know a bit about the hand. For example, the exact layout of clubs. It’s textbook.

Partner lead fourth best (leading from three or two is unlikely. If partner had a long major he may have led it (the auction slightly calls for a major) so clubs are probably longer or maybe equal and better. So, assume it’s fourth best.

Can it be five or six? No — Declarer promised at least two clubs. (Actually, declarer could have a stiff honor, but we’ll ignore that for now).

By the rule of 11, declarer has one card higher than the 5. Can it be the K? Nope. Partner would have led the Jack from JT95. And from KJT5 or KT95, he may have led the interior sequence (bolded). So declarer likely has the T. (And because of that, probably not a singleton). The most likely layout is clubs 4=4=3=2 around the table with partner having KJ95 and declarer having T2.

After this hand (I was not south), I thought that the club situation would not  have been out of place in a beginner’s “How to count out a hand” text. The deductions weren’t difficult, but just took some effort and were exactly correct.


Written by taogaming

July 12, 2017 at 9:16 pm

Posted in Bridge

5 Responses

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  1. Club 6 or Club 5?


    July 13, 2017 at 1:10 am

  2. Dummy also has a club 6.


    July 13, 2017 at 9:00 am

  3. You can tell a lot more about the hand. It looks as if declarer is 5-3-3-2 exactly, as there are nine spades outstanding, and partner would have led one from five. Also, with some 5-4-2-2, declarer would have opened 1S with a small doubleton and decent spades. It’s a little odd that partner with 4-2-3-4 led a club from KJ96 instead of a spade. Perhaps he has a truly repugnant spade lead, AQ or AJ. That makes declarer roughly KQxxx AQJ Axx 10x, plus or minus some lower honors.

    I have to admit, it wouldn’t have occurred to me to pass 1NT. It’s not clear whether that decision worked out. It’ll depend on the SJ9, probably. We got very lucky that partner led clubs instead of spades. Not as lucky as if he had found the CJ lead, but 1NT on a spade lead looks like a terrible result.

    Jeff Goldsmith

    July 13, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    • Yes, I agree with most of that but it also depends on opening lead style and is a few chapters later. (Inferential count vs basic count). I was opening leader and decided to lead from my clubs because my spade spots were terrible, but given the auction they probably weren’t terrible enough, although on the actual hand a spade lead would work out poorly, since declarer has 5, as you noted.

      As for the pass, it was just a mental lapse … partner and I hadn’t played in a while and he forgot that 2H was only hearts, but remembered that X and 2C were 2 suited hands….


      July 15, 2017 at 11:39 pm

  4. Looks like partner has 4 to 6 hcp outside of C, and when declarer plays DA, and runs the HT, you know they are in the majors. If pd didn’t like his S holding to lead from as much as his CKJ9x, seems reasonable to hope he has help for you in H…

    Tibor Roberts

    July 14, 2017 at 1:28 pm

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