When To Play Alone, page 2
Do you try all possible lone calls?
On the prior page we talked about the different situations where one may want to try a lone call. As a lone call significantly increases the probability of winning, let's explore that further with some sample hands showing successful calls. As you look through these, think about what you would have called.
The dealer is in the Left position, and turned up the 10 of clubs. Bidding gets passed back to them, and they pick up the 10. Would you have done the same? Would you have called 'alone'?
This is a prime example of a hand in which your partner cannot help. Even if your partner held the right, they could only take a trick that you would have taken anyway. If your opponents had the right, it's a one point hand no matter how it's played.
The dealer sits in the North seat and turns up the jack of clubs. East passes. You are sitting in South: what do you do?
Similar to the previous hand, if the bidder's partner (dealer/North) holds the left or another trump, it cannot help the bidder's hand. Of course if the opponents hold the left, there is a chance that the dealer could capture it if the hand is played as a partnership. But given the fact that, on any lone call, there are 9 cards are out of play increases the likelihood that the opponents don't hold the left. One has to consider the large point advantage of winning 4 points. This, in itself, makes it worth taking a chance.
As you can see here, the lone call was successful
Here's an interesting hand. The dealer is sitting in South. West passes, and North orders the nine into his partner's hand, calling alone. What would you have done?
This lone call has a high probability of being successful as there is a 66% chance of taking the first trick. Even if bidder had to use a trump on the first trick, the odds of them getting euchred are slim.
You have to be willing to try. In the hand below, the dealer is in the South position. They have a almost perfect lone hand in diamonds. But, as has happened to most of us at one time or another, they turn up a spade. However, their partner in North has two spades. West seat passes. If you sat in the North seat what would you do?
Well, in this case North knew that lones can sometimes be made very on weak hands. They ordered up the ace of spades and went alone.
The hand played out as follows. They trumped the first lead with the king, and led back the right to (hopefully) take out the remaining trump. This worked, leaving their hearts as the boss suit: 4 points to the good.
You say they were just lucky? Sure, luck played a part in their successful lone, but the fact that they saw this hand as a possible lone, and were willing to take the risk, wasn't luck but rather astute play. Often there is little to lose and valuable points to be gained by judiciously 'risking' a lone call.
Suggested Further Reading: