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Opening Hand Example – Hand #2

Dealt: K♦, Q♦, 10♥, 10♦, 9♦, 8♣, 7♦, 6♠, 4♦, 3♦, A♠
Knock: 8♦

This hand is shown to better explain the opening hand discards and to see how a beginner, good, and expert player would make their discard selection. It is the opening hand of the set and therefore it should be played to be won.

This hand represents the most common type of hand that many places face when they are dealt a hand. There is an abnormally high point count in the hand, and it is a hand that you certainly don’t want to lose very early on in the play. There are good opportunities for development of the hand if you are fortunate enough to pick specific cards from the deck before the opponent completes his hand. This is a hand that has to be played on the answers to many questions. Such as, if we should play for the quickest win, if the hand should be played to prevent our opponent from winning before we have a chance to develop our hand, or if we should find a happy medium. Actually you should think about all of these possibilities.

Beginner Player – Generally the beginner will throw out the highest unrelated card in the hand without giving any consideration to other factors. In this case, it would most likely be an 8♣.

Good Player – Generally a good player would throw the K♦ because even though it is matched with the Q♦, he would still need the J♦, and since he has the 10♦ already, a Q♦ would lead to a run anyhow. It is a good defensive play because the player knows the K♦ can only be used for the meld of Kings and not for a run.

Expert Player – After a more careful analysis of the probabilities of winning or losing this hand, the player will come to a conclusion in whether he should play to win, or play to protect his hand against losing too many points. The odds are basically 50/50 so you would play to try to develop your hand while being open to the fact that you need to not leave yourself open to losing too many points. Looking at the odds, you can immediately eliminate the 10♥, 8♣, 6♠ because according to the law of probability your opponent is most likely to have higher cards. The A♠, 3♦, and 4♦ should be kept because they represent the 8 point knock, as well as give a chance to get a meld. That leaves the K♦ because it has no basic offensive value, and would give control defensively at the same time.

Although the beginner player, good player, and expert player are all throwing the same card, it is the continued play that would change drastically. The expert is the only one that would be playing both offensively and defensively, where the beginner player is only playing offensively and the good player is playing defensively.

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