Page 4 - SPBC-Oct-2019
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               A                B              C                D                  E                                 F
          ♠A32       ♠A109        ♠432       ♠76543      ♠ -                     ♠AK1098
          ♥K32            ♥K109         ♥AKQJ            ♥87654            ♥ -              ♥K10987
          ♦Q32       ♦Q109        ♦432       ♦AK         ♦ -                     ♦109
          ♣J432      ♣J1098       ♣432       ♣K          ♣AKQJ1098765432         ♣10

               The six hands above all contain 10 HCP. This article is not about whether
        to open the bidding or not. It is only about which hand you prefer to have as a
        declarer. We need to start looking more carefully at our hands to see whether we
        like the hand we are dealt or don’t like it, instead of falling in love with every hand
        we pick up.

        Hand A: We have scattered values. We will take one trick for sure and maybe we
        can get a trick with the ♥ King but who knows?

        Hand B: Here we have “texture”. 10’s and 9’s add a great deal to the quality of a
        hand and give you much greater trick taking potential.

        Hand C: If trumps are all gone, then we can take 4 tricks for sure in the Heart suit
        or in NT if you get in.

        Hand D: Your high cards are in your short suits. That is never good. You want
        your honors cards to be located in your long suits. With this hand, you may only
        take 2 tricks. Contrast this hand with Hand F. Now you have your honors in your
        long suit and also you have 10’s and 9’s added to the mix. A MUCH happier
        hand.

        Hand E: is of course the happiest hand of all but please don’t be fussing about
        how to bid this as you will never hold these cards!!

               Many students have great difficulty with the concept of hand evaluation. I
        believe that it is right to count distribution even as an opening bidder. Some count
        short suits (3 for a void, 2 for a singleton and 1 for a doubleton), some count long
        suits (1 point for 5th card in long suit and 1 extra point for 6th etc:) Both methods
        are correct. Just choose one or the other, not both.
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