It was half-way through the club’s Saturday night duplicate and Hard Luck Louie was happy with his slam contract. He would make the slam if either red suit finesse worked, which Louie knew was a 75% proposition. Both finesses lost, however, and Louie was once again bemoaning his terrible luck.

Lucky Larry played the same contract after the same opening club lead. He won with dummy’s ace and drew trumps in two rounds, ending in dummy. He cashed the king of clubs, crossed to his hand with a trump, and ruffed his remaining club. Larry led a low heart from dummy and simply covered East’s three with the eight. That won and it was Larry’s twelfth trick.

How could he take a chance like that? Larry was not taking a chance — he was making a sure trick play. Had West won with the 10 of hearts, he would have to play a red suit or yield a ruff-sluff. Any of those plays would give Larry his twelfth trick. Had East played the 10 instead of the three, Larry would have won and easily developed a third heart trick. Nothing could go wrong.

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By Dipak

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