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## CHANCES THAT A WANTED CARD WILL BE FOUNDIN THE WIDOW
In a word, a player has a better than even chance of finding in the widow a valuable card that will help him only when he has four or more openings in the hand. I concede cheerfully that in every player’s experience there has occurred the widow that gave him two or three cards he needed and a cinch hand; but the Pinochle player who consistently relies on this fantastic improbability is not a good player. The sound bidder rarely expects to find an additional meld in the widow. He anticipates improving his playing hand with the three widow cards, but that’s all. A player who says the widow ruined his hand is not telling the truth. The widow can’t under the rules of the game, hurt your hand. you can always bury the three widow cards and still have the same (unruined) hand with which you started. The best Pinochle players I know calculate the average value of the widow cards. I agree with them. If in your bidding you give a tentative value of 30 to the widow you’ll have a soundly conservative bidding technique - Opponent A holds the ace of diamonds, opponent B holds the ten of diamonds.
- Opponent A holds the ten of diamonds, opponent B holds the ace of diamonds.
- Opponent A holds the ace and ten, opponent B holds neither.
- Opponent A holds neither, opponent B holds both ace and ten.
Hence, our average player decides, the ace and the ten can be divided two ways so as to fall on a single lead; also, they can be divided two ways so as to and ten can be divided two ways so that they won’t fall on a single lead . there are two ways either can happen. Thus the chances that either will happen are exactly even. But it doesn’t work out that way. As you’ll note below, the correct casino percentages are 48 percent in favour of the 2-0 distributions and 52 percent in favour of the 1-1 distribution. The mistake our average player made was to consider only the two crucial cards, whereas he should have taken also into consideration the 28 other cards that made up the hands. Here’s a table of the suit distribution that will help any player: POSSIBLE DISTRIBUTION IN SUITS
Be sure you’re Right, then Don’t Go Ahead. Conceding the hand, unless it is a cinch, is in the long run a costly habit. How you manage yourself at this critical state of the game is decisive as to whether you can win or must lose. Before deciding whether to play it out or throw it in, the bidder of any hand should refer mentally to the above table of suit distribution. If the probability is 33.3 percent or more that suits will fall in the bidder’s favor, he should play out the hand. another way of saying it: He should not concede unless the probability is 66.7 percent that the cards will fall adversely. I select the 33.3 percent figure since at that level the bidder has the same mathematical case whether he concedes or plays; in the act of deciding to play it out he neither gains nor loses; he is no worse off playing than he is conceding. Let’s break down three theoretical hands: - If the bidder concedes all three hands he must pay each opponent three units, one for each hand.
- If he plays out the three poker card hands and the probabilities turn out as predicted by the mathematics, he must lose two hands and pay each opponent four units, two for each hand. Meanwhile, the bidder wins one hand and collects one unit from each opponent. So far our man’s even: He loses three units by conceding; he loses three by playing.
Thus, if the probabilities are any better than 33.3 percent in the bidder’s favor, he There is always a “but.” If you know your opponent’s game, if you are sure he’s bound to make a mistake and you know what kind of mistake it’s apt to be, and if you can maneuver the play so as to enhance the odds he’ll make it, then you’re entitled to take account of that consistent margin of error in: your bidding and play. Don’t forget, though, that for every weakness in your opponent’s card games there’s very likely to be one in yours. Maybe you have little consistent flaws of which other people are aware. Maybe you regularly overbid or underbid; maybe you, play the hand like a butcher; maybe you lose track of trumps and make a practice of trying to break unbreakable suits. When you undertake to play mistakes for profit, you’re assuming risks. New England Pinochle This game, also known as Hartford Pinochle, is played in the same manner as Auction Pinochle with Widow each hand a complete game, except as follows: - When and if the bidding reaches 300, one card of the widow is exposed to all players as the bidding continues. The choice of this card is left to the dealer.
- When and if the bidding reaches 350, another card of the widow is exposed by the dealer. The third card of the widow is
*not*exposed until the bidding has stopped. The three cards of widow, of course, belong to the highest bidder as in all Auction Pinochle games .
Auction Pinochle with Widow: Game-1,000 points This game is essentially the same as the one just described (Auction Pinochle with Widow: Each Hand a Complete Game), except that the object is to score, before any other player does so, 1,000 points by totaling the value of melded cards and of cards taken in tricks during successive hands. - The bidder counts is tricks. If he has scored enough points in his melds and tricks to equal or exceed his bid, he enters the total on his score. The other player’s points in tricks and melds are scored for each, in his own respective column. (In this game, after the bidder has announced trump, the other two players put down their melds.) A player must win at least one trick to score his melds.
- If the bidder fails to make his bid he loses the melds previously credited to him on his hand, gets no credit for the number of points won in tricks, and he is holed for the amount of the bid. This amount is subtracted from his total score. If that (his total score) is less than the amount he is holed for, his deficit is entered on the score sheet with a minus sign. The other players get credit for their tricks scored.
This scoring goes on until one or more player scores 1,000 points or more. If one player alone scores 1,000 points, he is the winner. If two players have 1,000 points or more and Optional Rule for Holed Payoff. Often players collect an amount (in addition to the penalty detailed above) from a bidder who is holed. Generally, the additional penalty is one- fourth of the stakes for the game. If, for example, it is stipulated that each loser shall pay the winner $1 per game, a player going into the hole would have to pay each opponent one-fourth of $1, or 25 cents. But this rule must be expressly agreed upon before the start of the game. |
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