Player A – 8♠, 8♥, 8♣, K♣, K♦, Q♦, Q♥, 7♠, 6♣, 5♣, A♥
Player B – J♥, J♦, 10♦, 9♣, 9♥, 6♠, 5♠, 3♠, 4♦, 2♠
Conditions: This is a hand being played in the middle stages of a game. Both of the players are on all three games and although the hand is being played as a double hand with a 5♦ as the knock card, neither of the players is actually vulnerable. They would both like to win a maximum on the hand and at the same time keep from losing an abnormally high number of points.
Play of the Hand:
Player A – Having an unusually fine offensive hand, he discards the A♥.
Player B – Going to the deck he pulls the 2♣ and discards his most useless card, the 4♦.
Player A – Picks the 7♦ from the deck. Now that every card in his hand is matched offensively, he must decide which way to break the hand. His best offensive combinations centers on his 5, 6, and 7. Therefore, it is most advisable that he break the Kings. His choice would be the K♦ rather than the K♣, not because it is safer but because if picked it will bring him more knowledge as to how to play his hand. If the K♦ were picked he would only be forced to hold the K♣. If, however, the K♣ were picked he would not know how it would be used. If it is used with K♣, Q♣, and J♣, and the Q♠ is not thrown right back, he would be advised to break his Queens. On the other hand, if he does not know, he will be forced to hold the K♦ with the Queen to keep it tied up and, if his opponent is holding Jacks as well, he will be involved in a losing situation. He therefore discards the K♦.
Player B – Draws the 3♥ from the stock, and discards the 2♣.
Player A – Buys the Q♠ from the deck, and discards the K♣.
Player B – Picks the 6♥ from the deck and discards the 2♠.
Player A – Draws the 8♦ from the deck and now has the option of breaking the 7’s or the 5♣, 6♣. It is true that the 4♣ has been well established for him and there is no way that his opponent can tie it up. It is equally true that either of the 7’s would call for the 7♣ and would be the safer throw. However, his opponent has not yet picked a card nor has he thrown any card higher than a four. Player B can therefore, take advantage of the excellent offensive possibilities offered in the combination of a pair of 7’s, together with the four 8’s. He therefore throws the 6♣ which has an equal defensive value to the 5.
Player B – Takes the discard and throws the 3♥. Player A – Goes to the deck and buys the 9♠. He is now in a position to knock his hand with five points and has a reasonable assurance of winning a substantial number of points, in view of the fact that his opponent has still not discarded higher than a four. At face value, he also has a five-way gin hand. Since he knows his opponent has 6’s, Player A assumes that one of the five ways is dead. From the play of the hand his opponent is most probably also holding cards between 7’s and Jacks, so it is most likely that another one or two of his needed cards are also in his opponent’s hand. Added to this is the fact that the 5♣, which he would have to throw if he played the hand, could also give his opponent an additional run. Therefore, the positive factor of an apparently good win with a knock definitely outweighs the potential gin value of the hand. Player A therefore knocks and accomplishes as much or more than he would have expected from a gin.
Note: The fact that Player A played his full offensive possibilities with his pair of 7’s, as well as the fact that he threw the 6 instead of the 5 in order to retain a knock card, allowed him to reach this position. It should be realized that if he played his 5, 6 combination he had only two cards with which to win his hand whereas by retaining his two 7’s he not only had two cards with which to gin his hand but four additional cards with which to knock. This is a factor which is given very little consideration by the average player.