# The Real Deal

### Back to Florida

This deal comes from a frequent source of material for me: the Wednesday South Florida IMP team game. South was in fourth seat holding:

♠ A   K Q J 10 8 6  K 3   ♣ 10 9 8 6

After three passes, he opened 1. Left-hand opponent overcalled 1♠ and after a negative double, RHO raised to 2♠. South bid 3, which North raised to 4. The ♠J was led:

Dlr:
West
Vul:
Both
North
♠ 8 7 5 2
7 3
9 7 6
♣ A K J 4
South
♠ A
K Q J 10 8 6
K 3
♣ 10 9 8 6

Declarer won the ♠A and played the K. RHO took the ace and played a low diamond to the K and West’s ace. West cashed the Q and tried a third diamond to East’s 10, declarer ruffing.

Declarer drew trumps (West started with two) and crossed to the ♣A. He ruffed a spade (all following low) and led the ♣10, low …?

Both declarers went with the odds – eight-ever, nine-never – and finessed. This was the Real Deal:

Dlr:
West
Vul:
Both
North
♠ 8 7 5 2
7 3
9 7 6
♣ A K J 4
West
♠ K J 10 9 6
9 4
A Q 4
♣ 7 5 3
East
♠ Q 4 3
A 5 2
J 10 8 5 2
♣ Q 2
South
♠ A
K Q J 10 8 6
K 3
♣ 10 9 8 6

As you can see, playing for the drop was the winning action. Should declarer have done so? With the facts as stated, yes. Beware when a bridge column (or any deal, for that matter) starts with three passes. West has shown up with 10 points: He is known to have the ♠K J from the bidding and play, and has shown the A Q. That leaves no room for ♣Q x x. He would have opened the bidding holding: ♠ K J 10 x x   x x A Q x   ♣ Q x x.

Note that East should have followed with the ♠Q on the second round of the suit, simulating a holding of ♠K Q x and leaving open the possibility that West’s lead was from ♠J 10 x x x.

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