PLAYING SUIT COMBINATIONS

Playing Suit Combinations focuses on declarer play. The ground rules are that, except when otherwise stated, declarer has sufficient entries and control to operate without constraint, and nothing is known about the distribution beyond the probabilities of the original deal.

### Combination 144

#### by Fred Gitelman

 NORTH (dummy) A K 8 SOUTH (declarer) Q 10 3 2

North-South need four tricks and (a) West is known to have exactly four cards in the suit; (b) West is known to have at least four cards in the suit.

### Solution

(a) If you cash the ace-king you will succeed when East was dealt jack-doubleton (5 cases). Cashing only one top honor and then leading the ten does worse, succeeding in only the four cases that East has nine-low.

A better plan is to double finesse against the jack-nine with West (low to the eight or run the ten). This will succeed whenever East was dealt any of six low doubletons.

(b) Adding five-one and six-zero splits into the mix makes double-finessing against West even more attractive. However, in this instance it is best to do your double-finessing by leading the ten, in case East has singleton nine.