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Complete Hand Example #5

Player A – K♠, J♠, 10♣, 9♥, 8♥, 7♣, 6♠, 6♦, 4♦, 2♣, A♠
Player B – Q♦, Q♠, Q♥, 9♣, 7♠, 5♦, 5♣, 4♣, 3♥, 2♠

Conditions: Opening deal of a game and the knock card is 8♠.

Play of the Hand:

Player A – His hand does have some offensive value. It has a matched K♠, J♠, which is a one-way combination, an 8♥, 9♥ which is a two-way combination and a 6♠, 6♦, and 4♦, which is a three-way combination. If lucky, the hand could be knocked in as little as three picks. Since there are three cards in his hand adding up to seven points, these three cards by themselves represent an additional offensive value against the eight-point knock. With such a hand it would not be wise on the first discard to break any of these combinations. The choice of play should be strictly between the 7♣ and the 10♣. Both these cards also represent some value as salesman, since he is looking for the 7♥ and the 10♥. The 7♣ is the more dangerous card to throw because if picked the 10♣ could only tie up his needed 10♥, whereas the 7♣ could tie up the 7♥ or the 6♣, both of which are needed. Player A has no way of knowing at this stage of the game which of these combinations to break. Therefore, he discards the 10♣.

Player B – His hand is primarily an offensive type of hand, since he is holding one meld and one four-way combination. He will pay this hand for its full offensive value. He picks from the deck and 8♦ and discards his highest unrelated card, the 9♣ which has some relative safety value since the 10♣ was just played.

Player A – Picks the 7♦, which considerably adds to his offensive value. Because he is retaining the A♠, 2♣, and 4♦ for knocking values, he must break from one of his offensive holdings. The most useless card to him for this purpose is the K♠ since it represents only a one-way value. It is also the safest card in his hand. He discards the K♠.

Player B – Draws from the deck the 7♥ which gives him an additional offensive value. He discards his highest unrelated card, the 8♦. Although this is a wild card, it is too early in the game for him to sacrifice any of his offensive value in this kind of hand.

Player A – Takes the 8♦, and he is once again faced with a choice of cards to discard. The J♠ is a completely useless card to him at this point, but so are the 7♣ and the 6♠. The relative defensive value of either of these two cards far exceeds that of the J♠, so his proper choice is the 7♣.

Player B – The card is taken. This gives him his second meld as well as another valuable piece of information. When his opponent picked the 8♦, Player B did not know whether it was for the 8’s or a diamond run. He now knows that his opponent certainly did not have the 8♣ in his hand because having the 7♣ he definitely would have picked the 9♣ when it was thrown the pick before. Also, the 7♣ being thrown back after his opponent had just picked an 8 means in his mind that it was a safe card thrown from a pair. Otherwise, his opponent would have thrown another picture following his throw of a King. He now knows that the 8♦ was picked as a diamond run. Therefore, he does not want to release the 5♦ until he knows how far this run extends. Player B has six melded and must decide whether to play for 4 low cards, totaling ten, or three low cards plus an add-on, or whether he is better off retaining a four-way melding combination. If you could the opportunities available, you’ll see that if he retains his combination he has exactly four ways. If he breaks his combination to play for the knock, he has an opportunity of buying any one of four Aces. With is 2, 3, 4, this would give him ten points. He has the additional opportunity of buying a Queen. He has no opportunity to buy the fourth 7 since he realizes this is tied up his opponent’s diamond run. So, in this case, he has five ways to buy a knock as against four ways to buy his third meld. Another factor to consider is that if he plays for his four-way melding combination he must throw an extremely live 2 or 3 after his opponent has already picked one meld from him, whereas if he plays for the eight-point knock he will throw a reasonably dead 5♣. The additional factor is that he presumably has a layoff with the 5♣. So, even if his opponent knocked before he improved his and any further, Player A may actually be sitting with a chance to underknock. The proper play would them be the 5♣ because of the percentages involved.

Player A – Obtains the 9♠ from the stock. He has the choice now of throwing back the 9♠ which is a reasonably safe card or he could throw the useless Jack, hoping to buy the last nine on the turn. His other alternative is to throw the 6♠, which is a useless card to him, and leave himself with one additional opportunity to buy the 10♠. Since his opponent has just thrown a 5♣, he obviously does not need a card of the value of a 6♠ to knock with. Furthermore, he is already marked with 7’s and is presumably not holding a 4♠ or 5♠, as he would not likely throw a 5♣ from this combination. So the slight offensive value of the 9♠ and J♠ warrants the discard of the 6♠.

Player B – Going to the deck, he pulls the 10♦ and has a decision to make. His opponent has picked an 8♦ for a diamond run. He does not know whether his opponent is holding 6, 7, 8 or 7, 8, 9 or 6, 7, 8, 9 sequences. If he tries to hold both the 5♦ and the 10♦ against these possibilities, he will be destroying his chance to knock his hand. Since he is playing to win, he will not consider this. He must throw one of the two cards. Since his opponent has just thrown the open 6♠, he infers that it must have been held with some matching card, most likely the 6♦. Player B therefore discards the 10♦.

Player A – Picks the 10♥ and now has a choice of discarding the J♠, 9♠, or 8♥. If he throws either the J♠ or 9♠ he is left with a two-way combination in one case and three possibilities in the other. The safest card though in his hand at this point is the 8♥. He knows that his opponent is not holding 8’s since he threw the 8♦. He knows that he cannot use it for a heart run since he is holding the other three 7’s. The discard of the 8♥ will still leave him a two-way combination, 9♦ and 10♠, while discarding a 100% dead card. Therefore, he throws the 8♥.

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

Player A – goes to the deck and picks the 9♦. He has six melded cards and eleven points if he should discard his useless Jack. He now has another decision to make. Should he throw the Jack at this point, which is a very wild card or should he throw one of his 4’s and play for an Ace? At this stage of the game, when 8’s, 9’s, 10’s, and Kings have been played but no Jacks or Queens, there is a 50/50 chance that an opponent is holding these Jacks and Queens. In a case such as this, where the opponent has picked a run and followed it with a 5, it is likely that he is combined around a 5. Thus, the throwing of a 4 could be more harmful than the Jack at this time. He therefore discards the J♠.

Player B – Discards the 3♣ and is still unable to knock. Should he throw the 5♦ in to his opponent, knowing that he needs the card, and retain the 3, 3, 4 combination even though the 5 is out of play? Perhaps he should throw the 4♣, which he knows his opponent can only use for 4’s, and remain with 8 points against the knock. He also has a choice of throwing the 3♣. The odds favor the 3 for the following reasons. If he throws the 5♦ and his opponent knocks, he most likely will have no layoff. If he throws the 4♣ to his opponent and his opponent uses it for 4’s when knocking, there would also be no layoff. The only way he could win is if his opponent knocked with 8 points. However, if he threw the 3, and his opponent took it for a meld and knocked, there would be an additional layoff of either the 4♣ or 3♥. The hand would be reduced to either five or six points. Therefore he discards the 3♣.

Player A – Picks the 5♥ and has a choice of throwing it as a dead card or throwing the 4♠. He certainly will not be throwing the 2♣ because if his opponent’s other three cards total eight he will be able to knock with the two. He would be foolish to throw the 4♦, since he knows his opponent is holding the 5♦. He could also be holding the 3♦, or he might pick up the 4♦ to use as an additional layoff against the knock, as well as an additional meld possibility. Player A must throw back the 5♥.

Player B – Draws the 3♠ from the stock. He throws the 3♥, since the 3♠ gives him an additional melding possibility.

Player A – Picks the A♦ from the deck, and knocks his hand with two points. Knocking so late in the game can be very dangerous. If his opponent had picked the 4♠, he would have been able to have a gin-off, since he could have layed off the 5♦.

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