This possibility was raised by "Forget," in answer to this question, and comments about it.

Could it be a phenomenon I've noted under a different description: My partner and I earn a (theoretical) par score but we get a bottom or near-bottom because we had tough opponents that held us to the par score while other pairs with our cards got better scores than us because their opponents weren't as hard on them?

Are the two things the same? If not, how does paragraph 1 differ from paragraph 2? And in event, what causes this (or both of these) situations?

Sometimes these situations happen in your favor. Is part of the "luck" of matchpoints how many times they favor you, as opposed to your "table opponents" (people playing at the same table, e.g E/W versus your N?S, not other N/S pairs)?

1 Answer 1


Yes, this is part of the "luck" of bridge. Some hands are not difficult at all to defend, e.g. one opponent has the AKQ of trumps, and there is no other chance of a trick anywhere. The opponents will take three tricks regardless how good they are. If you play such a hand against players better than you then you got lucky, because they couldn't capitalise on their skill.

Conversely, if a hand is difficult to defend but the defenders do so successfully then your score will generally be below average. This is sometimes referred to as "declarer's advantage".

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