Five Ways to Make Five

by Matthew Kidd

David Oakley pointed out this amusing hand from the 2010 Palm Springs regional in the morning session on Friday December 17. Double dummy, East or West can make five of any denomination.

In no trump, declarer can establish hearts and take the spade hook losing only the A and a heart. The play in hearts is the same as in no trump. In spades, declarer establishes hearts after ruffing one round, hooks the ♠Q, pulling three rounds of trump, and goes about his business setting up diamonds and cashing winners, south scoring his last trump at will. Against a diamond contract, South has no effective lead. Suppose he finds a safe club lead. Declarer works on trump, losing two, hooks the ♠Q, and pitches a losing club on a high heart. In clubs, declarer pulls three rounds of trump, sets up diamonds, gets a heart ruff, and enjoys a fourth heart, leaving North to score the last trick with his trump.