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# 20-Year Statistics

by Richard Pavlicek

The ACBL Instant Matchpoint Game was inaugurated in 1987 to commemorate the ACBL’s 50th anniversary. For 20 years (through 2006) Richard Pavlicek prepared the deals and analyses. The table below shows the average HCP and freakness of each player’s hands for all 720 deals in the 20-year span.

HandHCPFreakness
North10.002.99
South9.873.09
East10.212.88
West9.933.07
Deal40.0012.03

In the high-card department East-West were the winners, with East being the card rack. (This is encouraging to see, because a common complaint is that North-South get all the cards.) Distributionally, North-South had the edge, with South hands being the wildest — but only slightly above the theoretical average freakness of 2.98.

The deals as a whole were slightly more distributional than the norm of 11.93, but well within expected deviations to cause no alarm. Those who complain about “wild computer deals” could not support it by these stats.

Freakness is a measurement to rank the 39 hand patterns on a linear scale. The formula counts 1 point for each card over four or under three in each suit, plus 1 extra point if the hand has a singleton (or 2 extra points if a void). Thus, 4-3-3-3 = 0; 4-4-3-2 = 1; 5-3-3-2 = 2; 4-4-4-1 = 3; 5-4-2-2 = 3; … ending with 13-0-0-0 = 20. The freakness of a deal (0-80) is the sum of the freaknesses of all four hands.

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