Going Alone, But In What Suit?

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RedDuke
Posts: 256
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:22 am

Going Alone, But In What Suit?

Post by RedDuke » Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:09 pm

Let's say you're holding this:

(Card_J-C) (Card_J-S) (Card_9-S) (Card_K-C) (Card_10-C)

Looks like an obvious clubs loner doesn't it? But would it be better to actually call spades if you're the dealer? With last play, you can hopefully trump the first trick with the 9. The King-10 might have a better chance of completing the loner than having four trump and a 9 in next, wouldn't it?

Would being in first seat change your opinion? What would you call here at a score of 9-6 in favor of your opponents in order to have the best chance of scoring all four points?



Wes (aka the legend)
Posts: 260
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:03 pm

Post by Wes (aka the legend) » Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:22 pm

RedDuke wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:09 pm
Let's say you're holding this:

(Card_J-C) (Card_J-S) (Card_9-S) (Card_K-C) (Card_10-C)

Looks like an obvious clubs loner doesn't it? But would it be better to actually call spades if you're the dealer? With last play, you can hopefully trump the first trick with the 9. The King-10 might have a better chance of completing the loner than having four trump and a 9 in next, wouldn't it?

Would being in first seat change your opinion? What would you call here at a score of 9-6 in favor of your opponents in order to have the best chance of scoring all four points?
Spades is the best loner as the dealer for reasons you've already pointed to. The advantage of a club loner is that it is virtually uneuchreable unless lots of alcohol is involved. Getting set on a spade loner can sometimes happen, albeit rarely. Since you are last to act, getting set on a spade loner will happen so rarely that you really don't even worry about it. So your focus turns to which loner will pull off the sweep most often, and that's spades. A spade loner will often need just one card buried, the (Card_A-C), to march to glory. The club loner needs a little bit more help.

If I'm in first seat I'm still going with spades, but it is a little more dicey now. If someone has 3 trump you could be in big trouble. That usually isn't the case when you're last to act as the dealer. In that scenario, even if someone has 3 trump you can usually escape that problem if your (Card_9-S) gets to trump that key first lead.

3rd seat, first round is the real problem as far as calling a spades loner. In that seat, I would go alone in clubs instead. The probability of making the sweep in spades is now low enough that the clubs advantage of virtually never going set now means something given that we're in the hot seat with the dealer--who got to create a void--behind us. It's just gonna be too hard for a spade loner to survive that first lead from the 3rd seat especially if we're against strong players who know to discard next as the dealer and lead next from the 2 seat. One can then argue that a club loner is rarely surviving that first lead either vs strong players but at least when a club loner doesn't "survive" it still makes a point. Things can turn out much worst for the spade loner when the first lead goes awry.

That leaves us with the 2nd seat. The problem with the 2nd seat is we're still caught in the middle and thus can get overtrumped on the first lead. I can see playing it safe here and going alone in clubs, but I can also see gambling more here and going alone in spades. Down 9-6 I don't play it safe.

Cliffs: down 9-6 in the first round, I'm going alone in spades in every seat except for the 3rd seat.

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