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I don't understand. I see three potential outcomes consistent with the minimum holdings. If four hearts makes, five clubs is a good sacrifice. If four hearts is down two, five clubs may/should make. What if four hearts is down one? Then four hearts was a bad bid, but five clubs down should still beat any heart partial.

Five clubs may well be a good bid in this deal for the reasons that you cite, but the Law of Total Tricks (LOTT) does not justify it.

The Law of Total Tricks: In a competitive auction, it is safe to bid a number of total tricks equal to the total number of trumps in both hands.

West's bid of 2C in the actual auction promised five cards in that suit, and west has only four. Thus, the LOTT says that East can bid nine (5+4) total tricks, or 3C -- which would be insufficient over my partner's 4H bid.

I think that may be why your trick worked. West has now seen dummy, and has to figure out why East did not bit 5 Clubs.

West, apparently feeling the need to "'splain" his decision to play low to his partner, said at the table that he assumed that I would have led the ace of trumps rather than the seven if I had held it, and thus concluded that East must have it. If East had held a singleton ace and West had played the king, of course, the ace would have overtaken partner's king, costing a trick. Ouch!

Of course, the reasoning behind my choice of lead to the second trick was much simpler. I simply reasoned that one normally covers an honor, but that one normally plays "second hand low" if the lead is a spot card. In this deal, however, I knew that the seven and the queen were equals -- but that fact also was not exactly obvious to West until the finesse of the seven held the trick.

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