Polling You #54: Contract Bridge End Plays #3, March 18, 2011

End Plays in Contract and Duplicate Bridge

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If you have been following our series on End Plays, you appreciate that in some situations finesses and repeated finesses do not always generate the most tricks.

In Part 3 of our continuing saga on End Plays, we will generalize our understanding of similar hand patterns and principles.
 

Introduction: Methods to win extra tricks

- Temporarily ducking a winning play.

- Choose when to throw opponents in the lead
Finesses, ruff and sluff…

- Allow now-dangerous opponent into the lead

REVIEW:
 
#1. Technique: side suit promotion.
Tricks needed: 1.
Odds: finesse = 49 percent, End Play = 100 percent.
Direction: bi-directional.
 
     J 5 4
         +
    Q 3 2
 
 
#2. Technique: two-way finesse.
Tricks needed: 1.
Odds: finesse = 50 percent, End Play = 100 percent.
Direction: bi-directional.
 
     A 3 2
         +
      J 10 7
 
 
#3. Technique: finesse.
Tricks needed: 1.
Odds: finesse = 50 percent, End Play = 100 percent.
Direction: positional.
 
             4 3 …
A Q ?   +
K 2…
 
#4.  Technique: repeated finesse.
Tricks needed: 2.
Odds: 76 percent.
Direction: bi-directional.
 
      A J 10
          +
      4 3 2
 
#5.  Technique: finesse with End Play.
Tricks needed: 2.
Odds: finesse = 10 percent, End Play = 76 percent.
Direction: bi-directional.
 
        A 3 2
            +
         J 10 7
 
CLASSIC REPEATED FINESSE:
 
         76%          76%         25%
      A Q 10     A J 10       K J 9
           +                +                 +
                           4 3 2
 
#6. Technique: finesse with End Play.
Tricks needed: 2.
Odds: finesse = 38 percent, End Play = 76 percent.
Direction: bi-directional.
 
           A J 9
               +
            4 3 2
 
#7. Technique: finesse with End Play.
Tricks needed: 2.
Odds: throw-in play = 100 percent.
Direction: positional (assumes ability for South to re-enter hand).
 
          A J 9
              +           (Same as above hand)
          4 3 2 
 
#8. Technique: finesse with End Play.
Tricks Needed = 1.
Odds: finesse: 76 percent, End Play = 100 percent.
Direction: bi-directional
 
          Q J 5
               +
           4 3 2
 
 
 
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Happy Bridge Trails and Tales,

BridgeHands

Comments

  1. BridgeHands says:
    Hello Bridge Pollsters,
    .
    Okay, the results are in on our End Play poll where we ask which is true:
    .
    0 percent: End Play odds with AJ9..and..xxx are the same as AJ10..and..xxx w/o End Play
    18 percent: End Play odds to make 1 trick go up over 20% when holding QJx..and..xxx
    13 percent: Both of the above
    18 percent: Odds for End Play finesse scenarios go up with most all split honor combinations
    50 percent: All of the above
    .
    Everyone seemed to be in agreement that the odds are indeed the same when the secondary honors are split and you can execute an end play – good for you!
    .
    The next three responses seem to be a bit tricky for many, splitting 50 percent for one of the three choices and the remaining 50 percent accepting all responses as being correct. Regardless of the numerical values associated with a given end play tactic, suffice it to say it’s most important just to be aware that when making a finesse is questionable, it’s often best to instead consider making an end play to gain an advantage. In fact, sometimes when the opponents’ hands are imbalanced, it turns out you may get an unexpected ruff and sluff or opponents do not properly defend against your tenace cards.
    .
    Happy Bridge Trails,
    Michael
  2. be_ivars says:

    Yes the last hand was not an end-play at all as the play did not force opponents to make a loosing lead.
    It was just a case of repeated finesse that would succeed in ~55% of the time.

    • BridgeHands says:
      Thank you for highlighting the point that with a good/lucky lead, endplays can often be avoided. Along that line, perceptive defenders, ESPECIALLY YOUR WATCHFUL PARTNER, may help prevent you (the stronger hand) from getting endplayed – see our follow-up lesson…
      .
      Warm Regards, Michael

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