I participated in a threesome last night… Don’t hold your breath, it was just a regular clubnight at Dombo, I played with Martin and Peter-Paul. I was kibitzing Peter-Paul when this deal came up.
So, what to open with this hand (first hand all red)?
I’m still not sure what I would do, but Peter-Paul made up his mind fairly quick and opened 4. Yikes! I hadn’t thought of that. If and are switched I would agree, but I’m not brave enough with just a five card suit in . Everybody looks sort of happy and West leads the 3 (odd leads).
Game must be on for the opponents on their combined 26 count, so going off a couple doesn’t matter in a pairs game. But dummy has some very useful cards, maybe 4 even comes home. What do you require to make 4? Either find West with the Ace of doubleton or a successful finesse against the Jack. And you need a 3-3 split with the King onside.
The lead runs via the King to your Ace. A small towards the Queen stays alive and a ducked to West’s bare Ace also works. The defence shifts to now and you ruff the 3rd round. A ruff follows, the butterflies in your stomach are shouting for a 3-3 split.
Too bad, they split 2-4 and loss of control couldn’t be avoided. Peter-Paul was set three tricks.
3NT isn’t exactly laydown for EW, but will (and did) in practice almost never fail.