**The
high cards will be with the
length
**

**Max
Rebattu (**

*Born
in 1939, MAX REBATTU is a long-time * *bridge
journalist and teacher in
Amstelveen
, The *

**IT
is well known that missing high cards will most
probably be found in the hand containing most cards of that suit. If, for
example, five cards including the queen are
missing, and the suit is divided 3-2, the queen can be expected in the
three-card holding. The probability is three
out of five or 60%. This is, of course, true not only for the queen, but
for any other card.
**

**The converse
is, of course, also true. The player possessing the queen has most probably the length in the
suit. If five cards are missing including the queen, and the suit is divided
3-2,
the chance that the player possessing the queen also has the three-card holding,
is again 60%. The same goes for the other four cards in the suit.**

**By
forcing the opponents to discard certain low cards it is possible to obtain
information about the most probable
distribution of the suit between both
opponents. If, for example, KQ2 of a suit are missing and the ace is
played, collecting an honour and the deuce, it can be concluded that the one who
plays the deuce most probably has the missing honour. The chance of the two
being singleton is only one out of three of the 2-1 distributions.
**

**The
same principle can be applied to other distributions.
If declarer has AKQ3 opposite 54 in a
suit, the opponents can be forced to show the two by playing the ace,
king and queen. If both opponents follow suit three times, the position
of the two indicates the most probable position
of the missing card (four out of seven or 57%). What applies to the two
does not apply to the six or higher cards in this case. These cards need not be
shown, but may be played by choice by the owner of the four-card holding, or may be
kept until the last card.
**

**If
the two and three are the only missing low cards, it applies to both cards. If
they are divided there is no clue, but if
both are played from the same hand the probability that this hand
contains the length is very high. On the other
hand nothing can be said if the two drops by only playing the ace. The
opponents may false-card by playing the two from the three-card holding but keep
it from four cards.
**

**THE
use of this principle is fairly rare, but I have
never seen this theory in previous bridge literature. It could be applied
when trying to count the opponents' hands, thinking of a throw-in or looking for
the right squeeze.
**

**In
the next deal the principle can be applied twice.
So the chance of success is even higher:**

**
♠
65
**

**
♥
76
**

**
♦
A9876
**

**
♣ AKQJ**

*N-S
Game Dealer South*

**
**

**
♠ AKQ3
**

**
♥ AKQ5
**

**
♦
K2
**

**
♣ 762
**

**Suppose
South is playing in 7NT and West leads some middle card in clubs. There are
twelve sure tricks and the thirteenth has to come from some
squeeze. If the guards in the majors are divided – and that is the most
probable case – the contract can be made on a double squeeze, provided
declarer guesses the position of the majors right. My tip may be very useful.
**

**North
wins the club lead and South now plays his
winners in the majors. North discards two diamonds. South looks,
eagle-eyed, to see who plays the two of spades and the two, three and four of
hearts. Suppose East plays the two of spades and three of hearts and West plays
the two and four of hearts. The probability that East
has four spades is now 57% and West four hearts about 60%. Now clubs are
played. If clubs are 3-3, East is forced to throw a diamond on the fourth
club. Now it is vital that South throws the menace that East has kept. In the
example given, South has to throw the three of spades. The probability that
South has taken the wrong decision is only 43% x 40% = 17%. Now there is a high
probability that West is squeezed in hearts and diamonds. By using this tip
declarer is able to raise his chances of success remarkably. I expect that in
the near future many more hands will be found on which it is possible**

** to
use my BOLS bridge tip which is:**

**Expect
a missing high card to be held by the opponent possessing the most worthless low
cards in that suit.**