Continuing in our series highlighting hands played from expert players, this week we are again showcasing a hand played by me.
I think this is an interesting game because while I do have a good hand, it ends up being very close and it’s also a good example of when not to use bomb consisting of high cards if they could be better used individually in order to win more tricks.
At this stage is it important to consider that the score is currently 10 to 12 in favour of my opponents. This is a prime scenario for considering placing a Grand Wodka since succeeding will get us to 15 points and while losing will guarantee a loss, losing this hand without placing a grand Wokda will likely also lead to a loss as well.
With that in mind, and considering with the red nine after placing a Grand Wodka I will have four kings, I place the bet.
The rest of the deal is also kind to me and I’m left with a great looking hand:
It’s certainly not unbeatable depending on what I get passed since most of my high cards are tried up in the bomb.
I decide the pass a two to each opponent and the three to my partner. In other circumstances you might look at this hand and think about passing the three and five to opponents, and the queen to my partner, which would leave me with a pair of twos, Jacks and aces plus the bomb, but given the Grand Wodka and the scoreline, my primary objective is to ensure I’m not giving an opponent a bomb so I split up my low pair. Additionally the three is the card I can pass to my partner to maximize the chance of them having a bomb to support me.
I receive the zero, a four and a king leaving me with the starting hand:
This is a very promising hand but I am concerned about bombs. Based on what I can see and was passed, I need to be concered about four of a kind bombs of:
I’m also looking out for potential pairs higher than my Jacks, which can only been queens and aces given that I hold all the kings.
The other concern is that my hand is blocking very few straight flush bombs so I do need to be watching out for those.
Thankfully my five kings can beat most bombs so even if we do see one I may have some counterplay.
The player to my left starts and leads with a singleton two.
My partner passes and the player to my right raises it to a seven.
This is good as it rules out a bomb of four sevens and as a middle value card it blocks out many black straight flush bombs.
I play my queen since knowing I’ve got all the kings I’ll either win with it or an opponent will need to use up an ace.
The player to my left beats this with the red ace on which everyone passes. I don’t want to use my bomb yet as I’m holding onto it to use as a counterbomb. Additionally I don’t want to play the red king until I’ve seen the last ace as giving an opponent the tsar could be a disaster.
They then lead the red four on which the player to my right plays an eight.
It seems unlikely I’m going to be gifted an opportunity to dump the four or five so I beat this with my first ace.
Nobody bombs this so I’m able to lead and I choose the play the pair Jack. We’ve now seen one ace so I know there can’t be a pair of aces but this is still a gamble as a pair queen is possible.
Unfortunately this is beaten by the player to my right with a pair queen.
They follow up with a pair two.
My partner beats this with a pair four however the player to my right beats this with a pair five.
At this stage they only have five cards left but bombing will leave me in a poor position as I’ll still have three low singletons:
I pass and my partner beats it with a pair nine.
Alarmingly the player to my right beats this with a bomb of sixes leaving them on only one card.
Unfortunately this is one of the bombs I cannot beat so I am forced to pass. We’ve not yet seen any threes and I did pass one to my partner so all I can do is hope they might have it. Luckily they do and they pass a card to the player to my right so they have now have two cards.
My partner leads with a ten.
The player to my right beats this with a Jack bringing him down to just one card again.
I assume this isn’t the card my partner passed him so hopefully they’ve now just got a low card. The red six was in his bomb and the red four has also been played which is positive. I do still have some low singletons so there will be singleton rounds but hopefully my partner is able to always raise it to something higher since they should know what the opponent is holding.
I now choose to beat this with a the red nine.
The player to my left beats this with the back ace.
At this point I’ve now seen all the aces so I know my kings can no longer be beaten as there are no more possible bombs. Therefore all I just need to regain control and hope the player to my right isn’t able to go out. I need to save two winners to cancel out my singleton four and five so I can play up to three kings regaining control which means I can’t use my bomb. This means I’m now only worried about large tricks like consecutive pairs or straights.
They lead consecutive triples including the red eight. This is scary since they can wish away the last card of the player to my right but thankfully they guess incorrectly and no cards exchange hands.
This is followed up with a single five which both my partner and the opponent to my right pass on.
This means I now know I’m almost certain to win so I can beat this with my last ace.
I lead my five on which the play to my left plays a nine.
This passes round to me and I beat this with a king, which officially breaks up my bomb.
I then lead my four.
Surprisingly everyone passes so I can lead my remaining triple kings followed by the zero to secure the win.