Player A – K♦, Q♦, 10♦, 10♠, 9♣, 8♣, 7♦, 7♠, 4♦, 3♦, A♦
Player B – Q♣, J♣, 10♣, 9♦, 8♠, 8♥, 7♣, 6♣, 3♣, A♥
Conditions: Opening deal of a game and the knock card is 8♦.
General Comments: Both hands are definitely of the offensive type. Although Player A has no melds, every card in the hand is matched to at least one other. Player B has one meld and two other combinations of matching cards.
Play of the Hand:
Player A – He must discard, but realizes that any other card thrown will result in the loss of at least one offensive opportunity. Since one must be sacrificed, he should give up the one that affords the least chance and, at the same time, has some defensive value. The pair of 10’s and pair of 7’s are double offensive values to the 8♣, and 9♣. The same 7♣ or 10♣ that would give us a club sequence would also give us a meld of 7’s and 10’s. Since the cards could not be used in both melds, and he is certainly not looking to buy a four-card meld with a middle card pick on the first play, the proper card to discard is the 10♦. First, it reduces the offensive value of the hand the least. Secondly, it is an extremely safe card at this point, being thrown from a pair of 10’s as well as the Q♦, and the 7♦. Thirdly, it is definitely a salesman for the 10♣.
Player B – The discard is not picked since at this stage of the game his hand is well enough developed so that he does not have to pick any stiffs to create an offensive hand. His pick from the deck is a 5♥. Since he is playing his hand primarily for its offensive value at this point, he will not break either of his two matched combinations, even though one to some extent duplicates the other. His safest card now is his highest unrelated cared, the 9♦, which he discards.
Player A – Picks from the deck the 4♥, which gives him another offensive combination. He discards the 10♠ which although it may not be safe as far as the color is concerned, it is relatively safe in view of the fact that the 10♦ has already been played.
Player B – Draws from the deck the 2♣, which gives him an additional melding possibility. It also gives him the three small cards which he will need to knock with anything less than nine melded. He has a choice of discards at this time; the 5♥, which is a useless card, the 6♣ or 7♣, or one of his two 8’s. The 8♠ would be his proper throw since he is breaking from a pair as well as throwing it after the 10♠ which has just been played. Further, it is a salesman for the 8♣. The additional offensive value he would have in retaining both the pair of 8’s, and the 6♣ and 7♣ by throwing the wild 5♥ is not warranted at this point.
Player A – Although the 8♠ offers an additional offensive opportunity, Player A does not want to lose the opportunity of picking a meld from the deck nor does he have an actual safe card to discard. He therefore picks from the deck the A♠. Although this card has no offensive value at this time, it represents an opportunity for a meld later. He now has several choices as to his proper discard. If he is successful in buying his club run, he will probably not want to retain his pair of 7’s as well, or vice versa. However, both of these opportunities afford one more chance than the K♦, and Q♦. Both of these cards are 50% safe. His opponent could use them only one way. However, Player A is aware of the fact that even though only four cards have been discarded up to this point, no card higher than a 10 has been played. He is then justified in feeling that he would be better off throwing a card below the 10. If he threw the 8♣, which at this point is the safest card in the hand, and his opponent took it, he would then be unable to release the 9♣. Also, he would be forced to break his pair of 7’s because he would know that the 7♣ was already tied up in his opponent’s hand. So, his proper discard at this point would be the 7♠.
Player B – Obtains the A♣ from the deck. That now gives him a second meld and he discards the reasonably safe 8♥.
Player A – Draws the K♠ from the deck. This card now gives him a three card combination on top whereas he had only one before. He discards the 7♦.
Player B – Picks the K♣ and now has to make his first major decision. He has seven melded cards and is playing against an eight-point knock. He has an opportunity to play for a third run by retaining the 6♣ and 7♣ and discarding either the 5♥ or the A♥. Playing with the club combination would afford him only two cards in the entire deck that would allow him to go down or gin his hand. If he broke the combination and discarded the 7♣ he could retain the 5♥, A♣, and 6♣. He would then have an opportunity of picking either the 9♣ or 4♣ as add-ons which would enable him to knock. In addition, he also has the opportunity of picking either of the two missing aces, or three missing 2’s, which would enable him to knock immediately. This choice of seven knock possibilities against two makes his decision obvious and he discards the 7♣.
Player A – The 7♣ is of course picked up. Since it was picked up Player B knows that it represents the 7♣, 8♣, and 9♣ sequence. He knows that the 6♣ will be layed off in the event of a knock, so he is now playing against the knock with only six points actually in his hand. Player A has a choice of discards. Should he break his picture combination, the 4, 4, 3 combination or the Aces? His opponent has picked no cards against him so he has no definite picture of his hand. The 4, 4, 3 combination offers four ways to meld, while the King, King, Queen combination offers only three. There are no actual safe cards that can be thrown from the King, King, and Queen combination and since his decision is to break this combination, his choice is between the Q♦ and K♠. Although the Queen would leave him two offensive choices instead of one, the likelihood is much greater that his opponent could use the card. He therefore elects to discard the K♠.
Player B – Picks the 10♥, which he discards.
Player A – Picks the 7♥ which represents a reasonably safe card and he prefers to discard it rather than give up his King, Queen opportunity.
Player B – Going to the deck, he buys the 2♦, knocks his hand with 8 points, and wins 25. The key to this game was the throw of the 7♣ by Player B.