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Bridge Odds

Knowing a few bridge probabilities can help you choose between two lines of play.

If you're missing an even number of cards the suit probably won't break evenly. For example, missing 6 cards the suit will probably not break 3-3. If you're missing an odd number of cards the suit will probably break nicely. For example, missing 5 cards, there will probably be 3 in one hand and 2 in the other.

With a 9 card fit you're missing 4 cards. Those 4 cards could be distributed 2 in one opponent's hand and 2 in the other. Bridge players would call that a 2-2 break. There might be 3 cards in one hand and 1 in the other which we'd call a 3-1 break or there might be 4 in one hand and none in the other which would be a 4-0 break.

31 50%
22 40%
40 10%

With an 8 card fit you're missing 5 cards. Those cards could be 3-2, 4-1 or 5-0

Our odds rule of thumb says that missing an odd number of cards the suit will probably break nicely. So, go ahead and take a guess! What are the chances of a 32 break?

32 68%
41 28%
50 4%

With a 7 card fit you're missing 6 cards. Those cards could be 3-3, 4-2, 5-1 or 6-0

Our odds rule of thumb says that missing an even number of cards the suit will probably not break nicely. What's more likely - a 3-3 break or a 4-2 break?

33 36%
42 48%
51 15%
60 1%

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