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Complete Hand Example #18

Player A – 10♠, 10♥, 10♣, 6♦, 5♦, 4♦, J♠, 7♣, 6♣, 5♠, A♠
Player B – K♦, J♥, 10♦, 9♣, 8♠, 7♠, 7♦, 6♥, 5♥, A♥

Conditions: Player B is on a schneid and has a safe count of eight. The knock card is 8♦.

Player A – His first discard will be based on whatever card represents his best offensive value at this time. He will not throw the obvious J♠ for two reasons. First, he has an opportunity to change his meld of three 10’s into a spade run, which will offer two opportunities to complete to a four-card run, as against the one opportunity the three 10’s afford him. Second, with the score as it stands, he is not interested in reducing his opponent’s hand by any sizable meld. Therefore, his choice is between the 5♠ and the A♠. Although the 5♠ would be thrown from a pair and is also a salesman, he does not throw it on the first card since at this stage it would be marked as an obvious salesman and could also tie up the 5♣ he is looking for. The A♠ is his best opening throw. If used in a meld it would reduce his opponent’s hand the least. It is also advantageous to get it out of his hand before he is forced to throw it later when his opponent could use it to get under count. His discard is therefore the A♠.

Player B – Player B is primarily concerned with getting under count, so he would not at this point pick up a discard that does not give him a meld. So, he goes to the stock and picks the 3♠. His prime concern with his hand, although it has two offensive combinations, is primarily to play as safely as possible without actually breaking his combinations. He therefore throws back the relatively safe A♥.

Player A – Picks the 2♣, which he discards for the same reason as his original discard.

Player B – Going to the deck, he pulls the 2♠. Although it matches the 3♠, it is relatively useless since the A♠ has been thrown, so he discards it.

Player A – Picks the K♠. Because this card affords him an additional offensive opportunity and also represents a dangerous throw now, he discards the 5♠. Being thrown on top of the 2♠, it will not have the same implication as before, which as that of a salesman.

Player B – Discards the Q♦ from the deck. Although it gives him another offensive combination, he must at this point give some consideration to the great number of points he is carrying, in the event that his opponent decides to knock. Ordinarily, in this type of sore situation, the player having the score advantage is much more inclined to play for gin, unless he reaches a knock situation fairly early and feels that his opponent is holding predominantly high cards. Even considering this, Player B’s proper throw at this time is the 3♠. It represents the safest card now since it can only be used for 3’s, and he is aware that his opponent is not looking for low cards for the purpose of knocking.

Player A – Picks the 3♦ and is now in a gin position. He must break either the K♠, J♠, or the 6♣, 7♣. His choice is obvious. The 6♣, 7♣ offers much better offensive opportunities since there are two cards that can gin him as again one with the other combination. He has already established the 5’s so he knows his opponent is not holding them, whereas his opponent could have the Q♠ in a meld. Also, the combination of the 6’s offer two additional opportunities to buy nine melded and a knock. He therefore throws the K♠.

Player B – Scene his opponent’s throws in sequence have been the A♠, 2♣, 5♠, and now K♠. Player B comes to one of two conclusions. Either his opponent has been holding predominately high cards, has just filled one of his high runs, and is therefore throwing an unneeded card from this combination or since he first started throwing from the bottom and now from the top, his hand consists primarily of the middle card holdings which he is playing for full value. Only a little more time will show him which the case is. In the meantime, he draws the 4♠ from the deck and throws the K♦.

Player A – Obtains the 9♦ from the deck. His best choice between throwing the J♠ and the 9♦ is obviously the J♠ because it can be used by his opponent in fewer ways. This throw of the J♠ also indicates to his opponent that either he does not have the Q♠ in his hand or that he has melded three Queens. It further indicates that he does not hold Jacks.

Player B – Draws the 4♥ from the stock and has his first meld. Rather than throw the J♥ which could be an answer to a sales request, since he does not have the heart suit protected in any way, he throws the relatively safe 4♠.

Player A – Going to the deck, he buys the 6♠ and is now faced with his first crucial decision. He needs 34 points to go out on a schneid. What are his chances of picking up these 34 points on a knock as against his chances of ginning the hand before his opponent can get under nine points? In order to pick up 34 points on a knock and knock with his minimum of seven, his opponent would have to hold 41 points after any layoff. Each player has already made five picks from the deck and the law of probability is that his opponent should be holding at least one three-card meld at this point. The layoff possibilities in this hand are limited to just three cards, the 10♦, 2♦, and the 6♥. If he gives credit to his opponent for holding one of these three cards in addition to three melded cards, his opponent will have six additional cards that will have to total 41 or more. This represents an average of seven points per card, which in this particular case is very likely since his opponent has up to the point discarded nothing but low cards, with the exception of one King that was thrown only in answer to a King. He would be justified, from this reasoning, in deciding to knock. If he did, his opponent would meld the 4♥, 5♥, 6♥, layoff the 10♦ and would count 51 points in his hand, which would allow the knock at a score 44 and win a schneid. However, the player would also realize that he is holding a five-way gin hand. Ten cards have already been discarded which included none of his five ways. He is holding 11 cards himself at this point so he is aware that between his 11 and the 10 cards already discarded there are still 32 cards in play, which makes the actual odds 1 to 6 that he would pick gin on his next pick. These odds would increase in his favor with each subsequent pick. He is also aware of the fact that both 2’s and 5’s have been established, which adds slightly to his possibility of getting these cards. He would be equally justified in continuing to play this hand for gin. He decides to discard the 9♦ to provide a five-way gin hand.

Player B – This discard indicates to Player B that his opponent is not holding 9’s and also most likely is not holding the 8♦. However, it may very well be a salesman for another 9 or 10. He picks from the deck the 5♣. Since he has already decided that the 9♦ throw could possibly be a salesman for another 9♣, he would be most concerned with clubs and hearts, as these are the colors where he is missing all the cards that could be used with a 9. If the 9♣ were dangerous to a 7♦ and 8♦ run, it could also be dangerous to a 6♣, 7♣, and 8♣ sequence. He does realize that it was unlikely that the 5♣ could be used to a 3♣, 4♣ sequence because the deuce has already been played. But, he would be most hesitant in throwing the 5♣ and would look for a safer throw at this point. Considering that after the number of plays that have been made his offensive possibilities have not improved very much, he now for the first time gives consideration to actually taking this hand to the wall. The only sure safe card in his hand is the 5♥ and he discards it.

Player A – Picks the 9♥ from the deck, which he throws.

Player B – Draws the 7♥ from the deck. The 9♥ discard does make the J♥ in his hand somewhat safer, but still no the kind of card that he could discard at this point. Although the 7♥ that he drew gives him a meld he cannot take advantage of it. The 7♥ represents a safe card in his hand, and also makes the 7♠ a dead card. Because he is playing safe, he throws the 7♥.

Player A – Picks the A♦ and discards it.

Player B – Going to the deck, he buys the 8♣, which of course makes the 9♣ a lot safer. However, it is still not a dead card since he is missing the 10♣, J♣, and K♣. The pick of the 8♣ also alerts him to the fact that he is definitely missing the 6♣, and 7♣. He therefore throws the only safe card in his hand, the 7♠.

Player A – Pulls from the deck the K♣ and releases it. This indicates to Player B that he is not holding the 10♣, J♣, Q♣, but does not eliminate the fact that he could be holding the 10♣, and J♣.

Player B – Draws the 3♣ from the deck, which he discards as a dead card.

Player A – Picks and discards the Q♠. Remember, he is still playing his hand for its maximum offensive possibilities, and is completely disregarding the question of defense. He has become aware, however, that his opponent is apparently breaking runs and is playing dead safe, very likely to the point of refusing a run if it is thrown to him.

Player B – Goes to the deck and pulls the 9♠. He discards the safe Q♦.

Player A – Draws the Q♣ from the deck and discards it. This discard tells Player B that the 9♣ is safe. This is in addition to the fact that he also has a safe 9♠.

Player B – Obtains the 8♦ from the deck, which gives him a meld that he does not need to break at present since he does have two dead cards to throw. His choice between the 9♠ and the 9♣ is the 9♣, since if he wants an extra pick, the player could possibly back in to the 10♣ or the J♣, whereas there is no way he can back in to the spade suit, since the J♠ has already been played.

Player A – Draws the 2♥, which he throws. This now makes the 4♥ another safe card in Player B’s hand.

Player B – Picks the Q♥. Although this card is safe as well as making the J♥ dead, his choice is to throw the 9♠ because the Q♥, J♥ by itself gives him an offensive combination. At the same time, he is now at the point where he must give consideration to his opponent’s holdings. He analyzes the possible holdings of his opponent by eliminating the melds which his own holdings and the discards prove cannot be held. He allows for the possibilities that can be held by his opponent who is not fully aware of what he himself is holding. From this analysis, he will obtain a picture of what he is playing against. He realizes that his opponent could be holding a four-card low diamond run and three 10’s. He could also be holding the 6♣ and 7♣. Since his opponent has been throwing wild cards he is definitely playing his maximum possibilities and will hold some card in combination with the 6♣ and 7♣. There would not be another 7 since two 7’s have already been played. It could therefore only be the 6♠. It is also conceivable that he could be holding the same hand with the 4♣ instead of the 7♣. Player B also knows that if this were the case he has his opponent’s hand completely dead except for the 2♦. The only alternative that he sees in his opponent’s hand is that his opponent has the 2♦, 3♦, 4♦, 5♦ with the 7♣, 6♣, and 6♠ or the 6♣, 4♣, in which case the 6♦ would gin him. So, he is full aware that if he should buy either the 2♦ or 6♦ from the deck, he will have his opponent dead. Player B, of course, cannot gin hi sand and plays only with the thought of taking the hand to the wall. He therefore discards the 9♠.

Player A – Buys the 4♣ from the deck and discards it. It is true that if he discarded the dead 7♣ instead, he would be reducing his chances by one but would at the same time be inviting to some extent the throw of the 5♣ which would gin him. Knowing definitely that his opponent is playing to the wall, and that he will not throw anything other than 100% safe cards, he discards this type of play and plays for his maximum opportunity from the deck.

Player B – The throw of the 4♣ discloses to him that his opponent definitely has the 7♣ in combination with the 6♣. He goes to the deck and picks the 2♦. If his judgment has been correct, he now should have his opponent’s hand dead and he discards the Q♥.

Player A – Obtains the J♦ from the deck, which he discards as a safe card.

Player B – Draws the K♥ from the stock and discards it.

Player A – Picks the A♣. He notices that there are only three cards remaining in the stock so he has no further picks and will not gin his hand, but he does have the opportunity to knock. He knows that he cannot win enough points on a knock to go out in the game, but whatever he does win will bring him that much closer to the game score, plus the value of the box in totaling the score. In no way could this advantage be matched against the disadvantage of an underknock, however. So he will not knock unless he has a guaranteed win. At this point, there are only 13 cards that his is not 100% aware of, 10 of which are in his opponent’s hand. So his first consideration is whether there are any combinations of these 13 cards available to his opponent that could possibly allow him to underknock. Player A knows for a fact that he is missing the 8♣ and the 5♣ for gin which could not be layed off on his hand. He also knows that he is missing the 7♦, which could not be layed off either. Even assuming that these three cards all remained in the deck, what else could his opponent be holding? Without actually reconstructing every single card played, he can reconstruct the available melds and knows that the only missing melds at this point are the 4’s and the 8’s. In addition to the three available layoffs, which are the 10♦, 6♥, 2♦, he still must have three additional unmelded cards in his hand. He therefore has a guaranteed knock with one point and accordingly knocks. His opponent puts down his three 8’s, lays off the 10♦ and 2♦ and is left with the J♥, 7♦, 5♣, and 4♥. He therefore loses 26 points on the knock.

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