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Sky Test: Set Background
Copyright 2005 by John Strichman (all rights reserved)

John Strichman is the author of
by JohnGalt Strichman

Karosa Publishing - Boulder, Colorado


If you are a fan of John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, you certainly remember the movie The Blues Brothers. One of the classic scenes in the film is the “Diner” sequence (where Jake orders “four fried chickens and a coke”).

The highlight of the scene is Aretha Franklin’s spirited performance of the song “Think.”

For some reason, I envision her bouncing around and singing that song whenever I see a player make the fairly common mistake discussed below.

You are playing the first hand of the game. It is a 12 bid hand and you are going for the set.

You have been dealt the following cards, and have the lead on the first trick.


3 9 K
4 7 10
7 8 K
4 J Q K
You start the show by tossing the King of Clubs on the table.

The three other players follow suit with low spot cards. You decide to try another round of Clubs. Which of your Clubs should you lead?

If you make the very common play of leading the Queen, you are making a mistake.

The chances are extremely high that your partner has the Ace of Clubs. Assuming that he does, at some point in the hand that Ace will be his only remaining Club. If you lead a potential winning Club from your hand, he may have no choice but to overtake your otherwise winning card with the Ace.

I cannot tell you how many times I have had a pard make the mistake of coming right back with the Queen after winning the King, and have had to waste his potential winner under my remaining singleton Ace in the suit.

Once you have determined that your partner has the Ace in a suit, you should not lead any more of your string of honors in that suit unless those are the only cards in the suit that you have remaining (e.g., you were dealt only the Jack, Queen, and King of Clubs on this hand).

Otherwise, Think about what your pard might have left in the suit, and avoid wasting a possible setting trick by forcing him to steal your would-be winner with the Ace.


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