Player A – J♥, 10♦, 9♦, 5♦, 5♠, 4♥, 3♥, 3♦, 2♣, 2♠, A♠
Player B – 10♠, 8♣, 8♦, 7♠, 6♥, 4♦, 3♠, 3♣, A♥, A♦
Conditions: The knock card is the J♦. The hand is of no particular significance at this time since everybody is on score and nobody is high enough to make a hand dangerous as far as going out and ending a given game is concerned. However, because they are playing automatic doubles with both players on score, the score itself will represent a healthy advancement for whoever wins.
General Comment: On the deal, neither hand appears to be a gin hand, but each looks like one which can be knocked rather quickly. Both hands will require only six melded cards since they already contain four cards low enough to be knocked within the 10 point limit.
Play of the Hand:
Player A – Throws the J♥, his highest and most useless card.
Player B – Picks the Q♦ from the deck, which he discards.
Player A – Draws the 5♥ and has a major decision. He has one meld. He has to play for a second in order to knock the hand. Should he break the 10♦, 9♦ combination or one of the smaller ones? There are two ways of thinking here. If he breaks the 10♦, 9♦, he is left with a maximum number of combinations in order to buy a second meld and is reducing his hand considerably point wise. Against this is the chance that his opponent would be more likely to discard a Jack or an 8, which would give him his second meld, before he would throw cards in the area of 3’s, 4’s, and 5’s. Since if he discards the 10♦ and it is picked it could only be for 10’s, he throws that card.
Player B – Going to the deck, he pulls the K♠, which he discards.
Player A – Picks the 6♣ and throws the 9♦.
Player B – Draws the K♣ and releases it.
Player A – Picks the K♦ and discards it.
Player B – Pulls the 4♠, which he holds, and discards the relatively safe 10♠.
Player A – Picks the 6♠ from the deck and has the choice of discarding a safer card or the card which will give him the most chances. The 6♠ adds considerably to the knocking value of his hand since it increases his chances two ways more than the 6♣. Since he has played all out up to this point and his opponent has not taken a single card, he continues in the same manner and throws the 6♣.
Player B – Going to the deck, he buys the A♣, which gives him his first run. The only relatively safe card at this point is the 6♥, because the 6♣ was just thrown. He is also does not have any hearts, so he discards the 6♥.
Player A – While he considers for a moment the taking of the 6♥, he determines that the card does not improve his hand as far as playing for a knock is concerned. In fact, it would be detrimental, since in picking this card, he would have to discard something that would reduce his opportunities of getting a second run, as well as losing a pick from the deck. If he had intentions of playing his hand for gin, rather than knocking, he obviously would take the 6♥. Since he is still looking to knock the hand, he therefore passes it and goes to the deck. The pick is a Q♠ which he promptly discards.
Player B – Draws the 9♠ from the deck, which he discards.
Player A – Picks the 8♠ from the stock. Now that they have progressed to almost halfway through the deck, Player A has to give consideration to the relative safety of the cards he is going to throw, and what is still available as far as melds or combinations in his opponent’s hand. He has seen Kings, Queens, Jacks, Tens, Nines, and Sixes played. In regard to color, he has not seen any hearts below the J♥. A high run could be held against him. In regards to numbers, he has not seen any 7’s or 8’s. These are the cards he must be concerned with in deciding whether or not to hold the 8♠, 6♠ combination. He does not know if his opponent is saving 7’s or not, thus the 7♠ could be out of reach. To hold this combination he would have to discard a much more important combination. He could, of course, hold up the 8♠, if he were an extremely safe player, and throw the 6♠. This is a safe way of playing the hand, but it removes the two possible meld opportunities. Considering that his opponent most probably is saving 7’s at this point, including the 7♠, he would only be eliminating one card. If he also considered that no 4’s have been played, and his opponent could be holding a combination of 4’s, or a meld of 4’s, he may not really be eliminating anything. He therefore decides to throw the 6♠.
Player B – Going to the deck, he pulls the 2♥. This card is far from being safe. Although almost useless to him, he must evaluate his opportunity of winning the hand against throwing cards to his opportunity of winning the hand against throwing cards to his opponent which would cause an immediate loss. He has to pick at least twice before he could possibly win the hand. Even if he picks an eight on his next pick, he would not be in a position to knock until he picks another card that would be low enough to knock or give him an additional run. It is most unlikely on this basis that he could win the hand by throwing an extremely wild card at this point. If he breaks his pair of eights, he has practically nothing left to win the hand with. Throwing the wild 7♠ looks much too dangerous since they have been missing from his opponent’s play. Also, if he breaks the 3’s or 4’s, which are a little safer, he is again destroying the value of his hand. His only hope at this time is that his opponent is in somewhat the same position, and not with six melded and waiting for a small card to knock with. Player B’s only opportunity to get out of the hand as he sees it is to break his three Aces. He chooses the A♣ because it is safer than the A♦ and because the latter can be used as the A♦, 2♦, 3♦ run. The A♥ is held, at least for one more pick, because of its possible uses with the 2♥.
Player A – Picks and releases the Q♣.
Player B – Draws the 9♣, which gives him two melding possibilities. He throws the A♥.
Player A – Going to the deck, he pulls the 7♣. His troubles begin to multiply with this card. He cannot throw the 7♣ or the 8♠ because these are the two denominations that have been missing from play. He now has to revise his method of playing since he has not been able to pick his second run in time to win his hand the way he had anticipated, on a knock. His throw at this time is the dead safe A♠.
Player B – Picks from the deck the K♥ and discards it.
Player A – Draws the 6♦ from the deck, and since it is a safe discard, he does indeed discard it.
Player B – Pulls the J♦ and releases it.
Player A – Picks and throws the J♠.
Player B – Draws the 9♥ and recalls that this color has been missing from the play of the hand. The 7♥, 8♥, and 10♥ are missing, although the 6♥ was played earlier. While the 9♥ cannot be thrown, the 9♣ is a dead safe card. However, by discarding it, Player B would be giving up his hand in its eternity. He could also throw the A♦, which could help his opponent to the extent of the A♦, 2♦, and 3♦ run. But, missing the 7♥, 8♥, 10♥, as well as the 7’s and with only 10 cards left in the deck, he definitely sees this as a wall hand. So, he throws the 9♣.
Player A – Picks the 7♥ from the deck. After looking over the situation, he also realizes that he has no choice but to play a wall hand. The only two dead cards he holds are the 5♥ and the 5♦. Since the 5♦ can be thrown without breaking a run, it is discarded.
Player B – Going to the deck, he pulls the 8♥. If he had picked this card three or four picks earlier, he might have been able to play his hand to win. Now he has the dead 9♥ to throw.
Player A – Picks the Q♥, which he throws.
Player B – Pulls the 7♦ from the stock. Now it becomes obvious to him that his opponent is probably matched up with him, with the other pair of 7’s, a pair of 4’s a pair of 3’s, and possibly three 2’s. He also knows that he is missing the 3♥, 4♥, and 5♥. If his opponent has these six melded, could he possible have four low cards that would enable him to knock? The answer is no. If he has the missing 8 and a pair of 7’s, he can obviously never get to a knock. So Player B has nothing to worry about, his opponent cannot win. But is there any way that he can? The answer, in his opinion is no. So, he decides to let the hand go to the wall and discards the 8♥.
Player A – Discards the 2♦, which gives him three 2’s. He discards the now safe 8♠.
Player B – Discards the 10♣ and discards it.
Player A – Picks the 4♣, which is one of the cards he has been looking out for in his opponent’s hand, and discards the dead 5♥.
Player B – Draws the 5♣, which, of course, he must hold. He throws the 8♣ and the hand goes to the wall.