Today's Other Euchre Question: Two Bowers Diverged In A Wood - Go Left Or Right?

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You're in seat 1, leading 7-1. Dealer turns down ♠.

Your hand is A♦ 9♦ J♥ K♥ Q♣. Under Perry's points system, hearts is the right call (19 to 18 over diamonds), but that extra trump in diamonds looks tempting. What's your call, and what do you lead?

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10 Comments

Yes, that extra trump is tempting. I'd go with diamonds and throw the queen. What the hell, you're up by 6.

I'm with chess h on this one.

My first thought would be to call diamonds and lead with the 9. Hopefully, that would draw out the right bower leaving you with AL in trump and decent cards in two other suits.

The risk is, of course, if one of your opponents has the right and another diamond, they will probably not play the right on the first trick. You also tend to draw out your partner's trumps that way, too (and I have partnered in the past with players who would get upset about that).

I ran this question on the euchre simulator and got the following results.

In 247 hands played.

Ordering Hearts and leading the Right gives 116 points.

Ordering Diamonds and leading the Left gives 21 points.

Ordering Diamonds and leading the 9, loses 35 points.

Best strategy is to order in hearts and lead the right. I guess that just shows the power of having the highest trump.

Great challenge though. It's good to see the point system can be right in close circumstances.

Interestingly, I considered all three options before going Hearts/lead right, and we marched (not that one hand either validates or invalidates 247 runs in the simulator).

Now, for the follow-on situation: say your R lead pulls 10 from LHO, crap from P, and 9 from LHO. After peeing yourself a little, you lead back the ace of diamonds and everybody follows.

You breathe a little easier, but you still need a trick and you have no certain winners left. Do you lead back the 9 of diamonds or the queen of clubs?

Well, the 9 of diamond lead will certainly get trumped because it's likely one opponent is short in the suit and there is a 97% chance that opponents started with 3 or more trump (28% = 3, 49%= 4, 20% = 5) if your partner has none.

The Queen of clubs might not get trumped but the opponents have a greater probability of having the winner than your partner. There's a 38% chance your partner has the ace. This number is lowered slightly by the fact that at times one opponent will be short in the suit even when your partner has the ace.

Hmm. Looks like the Queen lead gives you the best chance to make your point. 38% versus 31%. It's pretty close though.

I'd say that my playing strategy is more 'intuitive'...but I do admire the ability to calculate the percentages as you go.

"Well, the 9 of diamond lead will certainly get trumped because it's likely one opponent is short in the suit . . .."

It's guaranteed that EVERYBODY is short in diamonds - in this scenario, everybody followed the Ace lead, and with hearts trump, the fifth and last diamond is the 9 I'm considering leading. Perry, I don't know if that changes your math or not, but worth noting is the fact that it gives your opponents two uncontested chances to trump (you know your partner's trumpless (he sloughed to your R lead)). I think that alone demands leading the queen of clubs back.

Now that I consider it further, I'm not sure the ace of diamonds (i.e., 'next' ace) was a smart lead for trick 2 - what are the chances everybody would have to follow?

Since spades went down, this scenario begs the question, "Who has Next - ‘Clubs’"? And who passed with spades? That question has to be considered before going Green. The score is only one factor, never give up points without good reason. You can’t say, “what the hell we are leading”. JKH with A9D (2.25 to 2.50 'probable'tricks) is a stronger hand to win trick tricks because you have 'two voids' with Hearts trump and only one void in Diamonds. The value of voids is often over looked in point systems of evaluating hands - a serious flaw. Calling Diamonds, you have JH, A9D, KH, QC – only value of 2 probable tricks. Since you are ‘crossing the suit’ you have to consider going against Next, and is an exception to the rule of ‘counting on your partner for a trick’. Don’t expect your partner to get a trick with trump as most ‘probable’ she will most likely have clubs not hearts or diamonds. Perhaps, she can win a trick with spades or clubs ace after you have removed some trump from your opponents.

Expect to be euchre 30 - 45% of the time for 'crossing' the suit. If the opponents are baggers then ‘crossing the suit’ and going green can be quite effective.

If you go Hearts, lead the Right – lead trump before leading off suit aces. If the opponents have two trump apiece, you will pull two of their four trump. You have to trust spade or club lead to your partner’s ‘possible’ ace as the majority of the time she will have to help you a bit as you are trekking cross country (swimming up stream). Then lead the Club you might get lucky as 28% of the time, everyone will have a club. If not you might get lucky with the Dealer's partner trumping it, putting you in 'end play' position to trump with your KH.
Diamonds is a weaker hand [expect to get euchred over 50% of the time - one void, no lay aces, no right bower] because you will only have ‘one void’, spades and since spades went down the dealer may have a void is spades. You might get two tricks but if you go Diamonds, you have to lead the Left as it will force the right or it may be buried – 17% chance. If you lead the 9D, the Dealer may have the Right and King and kick your ‘arse’.
There's more analysis but for space,'That's my story and I am sticking to it'!
-Irishwolfhound

Since spades went down, this scenario begs the question, "Who has Next - ‘Clubs’"? And who passed with spades? That question has to be considered before going Green. The score is only one factor, never give up points without good reason. You can’t say, “what the hell we are leading”. JKH with A9D (2.25 to 2.50 'probable'tricks) is a stronger hand to win trick tricks because you have 'two voids' with Hearts trump and only one void in Diamonds. The value of voids is often over looked in point systems of evaluating hands - a serious flaw. Calling Diamonds, you have JH, A9D, KH, QC – only value of 2 probable tricks. Since you are ‘crossing the suit’ you have to consider going against Next, and is an exception to the rule of ‘counting on your partner for a trick’. Don’t expect your partner to get a trick with trump as most ‘probable’ she will most likely have clubs not hearts or diamonds. Perhaps, she can win a trick with spades or clubs ace after you have removed some trump from your opponents.

Expect to be euchre 30 - 45% of the time for 'crossing' the suit. If the opponents are baggers then ‘crossing the suit’ and going green can be quite effective.

If you go Hearts, lead the Right – lead trump before leading off suit aces. If the opponents have two trump apiece, you will pull two of their four trump. You have to trust spade or club lead to your partner’s ‘possible’ ace as the majority of the time she will have to help you a bit as you are trekking cross country (swimming up stream). Then lead the Club you might get lucky as 28% of the time, everyone will have a club. If not you might get lucky with the Dealer's partner trumping it, putting you in 'end play' position to trump with your KH.
Diamonds is a weaker hand [expect to get euchred over 50% of the time - one void, no lay aces, no right bower] because you will only have ‘one void’, spades and since spades went down the dealer may have a void is spades. You might get two tricks but if you go Diamonds, you have to lead the Left as it will force the right or it may be buried – 17% chance. If you lead the 9D, the Dealer may have the Right and King and kick your ‘arse’.
There's more analysis but for space,'That's my story and I am sticking to it'!
-Irishwolfhound

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This page contains a single entry by Chris published on March 3, 2007 5:52 PM.

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