Source: Is Your King Pulling Its Weight?
If you were running a business and paying an employee good wages to work, how would you feel if you found him slacking off and not fulfilling his duties?
So if you hold a King (let’s say the King of Spades), you would want him to carry his weight i.e. take a trick! After all, we assign him 3 points!
Now, if the person to your left has overcalled Spades and you have the K3 of Spades, know this…that person, your LHO (left hand opponent), unless they are new to the game, will never lead his Ace in that suit because he most likely has AQxxx. He is going to wait till his partner is on lead and then when his partner (your RHO) leads the suit, he will now win two tricks instead of one.
After all, aces were put on this earth to capture Kings and Queens. So, if you have Kx in this situation, it’s not a happy king. We can say that this Is not a “working king”.
BUT if RHO has overcalled Spades (or bid Spades) and you have Kx, it is much more likely to win a trick. It is a happy king! You must assume In bridge. Assume that when they bid the suit, that they have some HCP in it.
Remember this when you are bidding and deciding whether to push on…in deciding how high to go. Because your hand either goes up in value or down in value based on opponents bidding.
Have a look at the following three hands to see which one you like the best, based on the bidding: You are south on all hands.
Some of the things you should look for in a “good hand” versus a “bad hand” are:
Are your honour cards located in long suits or are they in your short suits? e.g. K singleton is not as good as Kxx
Axxxx is better than Ax.
Are your honour cards in suits with other honour cards in that same suit? Touching honours are happier than scattered honours. KQxx in one suit is better than Kxx and Qxx in two different suits.
QJ as a doubleton are ugly and unhappy. Definitely not worth 3 points.
With all that in mind, let’s now look at the above hands.
Hand # 2 is the best. Your King of Clubs is favourably placed and odds are higher that it will win a trick. Your suit is strong and long and you have no wasted cards in Diamonds. Bid 4 on your rebid.
Hand # 1: Your K Diamonds does not rate to win a trick. It is not a “working King”. Bid 3 on your rebid.
Hand # 3 is the worst hand. Six of your Your High Card Points are located in opponents’ suits. You will be very lucky to win any tricks in or in . Your hand went downhill in view of opponents’ bidding and . You should Pass on your rebid.