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Play For An Even Break








The Declarer, in the absence of any positive indication to the
contrary, should base his play upon the probability of an even division
of the cards. That is, with seven of a suit in his own hand and Dummy,
he should play for each of the adversaries to have three; with nine, he
should play on the basis that the four missing cards are equally
divided. In the long run, playing for the even break will net many
tricks, but in a small percentage of instances it will result
unfortunately. The case in which the question most frequently arises is
when either in Trumps or in the Declarer's strong suit in a No-trump,
the two hands hold nine cards headed by Ace, King, Knave. The division
between the two hands may be

Ace, King, Knave, X, X and X, X, X, X

Ace, King, X, X, X and Knave, Ten, X, X

Ace, Knave, X, X, X and King, X, X, X

King, Knave, X, X, X and Ace, X, X, X

or any other.

In all these cases the Knave finesse is tempting, but it should be
refused, and the Ace and King played with the expectation of an even
break which will drop the Queen on the second round. The exceptions to
this general rule occur when

(a) The presence of the Queen in either adverse hand has
been indicated by some declaration or double.

(b) When one adversary has shown unusual length in some
other suit.

In the latter case, it is sometimes wise to play on the assumption that
the adversary, very long in another suit, has but one of the suit in
question, and consequently to finesse the second round on that
basis.





Next: General Play Of The Declarer

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