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Fewest HCP To Make Suit

This page shows the fewest HCP needed to make a suit contract against any defense (1) with favorable distribution and (2) against any distribution. Each contract can be declared by North or South. Most examples are not unique but show one of many possible layouts.

7 of Suit6 of Suit5 of Suit4 of Suit3 of Suit2 of Suit1 of Suit

Seven of Suit

1. 7 S with 5 HCP

S 6 5 4 3 2
H
D 5 4 3 2
C 5 4 3 2
S K
H J 10 9
D A K Q J
C A K Q J 10
TableS Q
H A K Q
D 10 9 8 7 6
C 9 8 7 6
S A J 10 9 8 7
H 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
D
C

Hearts are easily established with three ruffs.

2. 7 S against any distribution with 10 HCP

S
H 5 4 3 2
D 5 4 3 2
C 6 5 4 3 2
Table
S A K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
H
D
C

At least the play is easy!

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Six of Suit

3. 6 S with 3 HCP

S 6 5 4 3 2
H
D 5 4 3 2
C 5 4 3 2
S A
H J 10 9
D A K Q J
C A K Q J 10
TableS K
H A K Q
D 10 9 8 7 6
C 9 8 7 6
S Q J 10 9 8 7
H 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
D
C

Hearts are easily established with three ruffs.

4. 6 S against any distribution with 8 HCP

S
H 5 4 3 2
D 5 4 3 2
C 6 5 4 3 2
Table
S A K J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
H
D 6
C

Note that S A-Q-J… would not be enough, as West might score the S K by an overruff.

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Five of Suit

5. 5 S with 1 HCP

S 5 4 3 2
H
D 6 5 4 3 2
C 5 4 3 2
S A
H J 10 9
D A K Q J
C A K Q J 10
TableS K Q
H A K Q
D 10 9 8 7
C 9 8 7 6
S J 10 9 8 7 6
H 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
D
C

Hearts are established with three ruffs. Note the need for a blank S A to block the suit, else two trumps could be led.

6. 5 S against any distribution with 6 HCP

S
H 5 4 3 2
D 5 4 3 2
C 6 5 4 3 2
Table
S K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
H
D 6
C

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Four of Suit

7. 4 S with 0 HCP

S 5 4 3 2
H 2
D 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
C
S K J
H K J
D K J 10
C A K Q J 10 9
TableS A Q
H A Q
D A Q
C 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
S 10 9 8 7 6
H 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3
D
C

Overbidders rejoice! You no longer need any points to make game. Declarer has just enough time to crash the enemy trumps and establish hearts or diamonds. With a club lead, an amazing 11 tricks can be made by pitching North’s heart and establishing hearts. After diamond leads, declarer must lead trumps each time to prevent a trump promotion, making it impossible to establish hearts; but then the diamond suit sets up instead.

8. 4 S against any distribution with 5 HCP

S
H 5 4 3 2
D 5 4 3 2
C 6 5 4 3 2
Table
S A J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
H
D 6
C 7

Note that declarer must not ruff a suit led by East until he has to. Else West might overruff with S K-Q then put East back on lead for a trump promotion.

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Three of Suit

9. 3 S with 0 HCP (trivial as 4 S can be made)

10. 3 S against any distribution with 3 HCP

S
H 5 4 3 2
D 5 4 3 2
C 6 5 4 3 2
Table
S Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
H
D 6
C 7

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Two of Suit

11. 2 S with 0 HCP (trivial as 4 S can be made)

12. 2 S against any distribution with 3 HCP

S
H 5 4 3 2
D 5 4 3 2
C 6 5 4 3 2
Table
S Q J 10 9 7 6 5 4 3 2
H 6
D 6
C 7

Note that declarer must not ruff a suit led by East until he has to. Else West with S A-K-8 could pitch (if declarer ruffs high) then later put East on lead for a trump promotion.

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One of Suit

13. 1 S with 0 HCP (trivial as 4 S can be made)

14. 1 S against any distribution with 1 HCP

S
H 5 4 3 2
D 5 4 3 2
C 6 5 4 3 2
Table
S J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
H 6
D 6
C 7

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© 2008 Richard Pavlicek