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Goulash  - To deal unshuffled cards in packets.  One variation involves dealing one packet of 5 consecutive cards off the pack to the first player, a second packet of five cards to the second player, and a third packet of 3 cards to the third player.   Dealing the 5-5-3 pattern proceeds with the fourth player (dealer).   While certainly not in accordance with the laws of Bridge, goulash dealing certainly generates highly distributional hands in Rubber Bridge that lead to unusual bidding and play.  Some players like to deal "goulash" from time to time as an exciting interlude to generate challenging hands to bid and play. 

So, you ask, how does goulash dealing generate such distributional hands?   Here’s the scoop.  When we played the prior hand of Rubber Bridge, when a player gathered a winning trick, each player typically followed to the suit led.   So most of the tricks have four cards from the same suit.  So on the next hand, you can imagine the outcome if the dealer does not shuffle and simply deals out trick “packets” to each player!  It’s not uncommon for players to have 7 or more cards in a suit, or perhaps a two-suited hand.   And yes, your opponent will often have surprising length in your suit, so beware!   Needless to say, goulash dealing in not in accordance with the Laws of Contract Bridge, but when players are looking for some real action as a diversion from “real Bridge”, goulash dealing can provide loads of fun – provided the players have a good sense of humor.

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