The Hand Records Show the Correct Contract

Author: Larry Cohen
Date of publish: 03/29/2020
Level: General Interest

Conception: The Hand Records Show the Correct Contract
The Truth: False


I always know what board players will ask me about: the one that double dummy will say makes 6♠/6♠/6NT. It doesn't matter that the pair has 22 combined points, and making six requires three finesses and a squeeze.

People will still come up and ask "how do we get there?"

When looking at hand records, and you see those contracts in the bottom, keep in mind that those contracts aren't what you should bid or what someone else did bid, but what can be made if everyone knows where all the cards are. If you want a more reliable perspective of what could/should be made, most events will now list results online. If your club is part of the Common Game (or you were at a tournament), you can see many more results than just the ones from your section. See how many people actually bid a slam or game that you missed. Sometimes, everything works and you wind up taking a lot of tricks, but that doesn't mean it should be bid.

The hand record isn't useless, however. When you play, it's a good idea to circle boards where you weren't sure about the bidding or play. You can go over these with partner (or ask a good player you know) using the hand record as a tool.

Even the double dummy analysis can be useful. If you didn't make a contract and double dummy says you could have made it, then you know to check to see if anyone made it in real life. Sometimes you can even have fun seeing how it could be made looking at all of the hands. Still, don't get too serious about what that little box in the corner shows. It's only a starting point for looking into a deal.