Short Suit Distribution Points (SSDP)


There are two different techniques used for counting your distribution points. The second method is when you have know that between you and your partner’s hand you have at least 8 cards in the same suit. This is known as ‘finding a fit’ – if you have less than three cards in a suit can you give yourself extra points.

What are my distribution points after finding a fit?

Finding a Fit

In Lesson 4 we counted your HCP.  This lesson is about when you and partner have both been bidding and you find that between you you hold at least 8 card in a suit, this is called a ‘fit’. If you have a ‘fit’ in a suit this is a very strong situation as your side have the majority of the points. So now that you have one very long suit, it is to your advantage if you have a small number of cards in other suits.

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Dis-regard Long Suit Distributional Points

Firstly, you must now ignore the long suit distributional points that you previously calculated (pre-fit finding) and start again (remember you can only use one method of distributional points evaluation at a time).

After establishing that you and partner have at least 8 (or more) cards in the same suit , suit shortages in other suits can add extra power to your hand. These shortages enable you to ruff the side suits gaining extra tricks:

  • voids  (0 cards in a suit)  are worth 5 extra points
  • singletons (1 card in a suit) are worth 3 extra points
  • doubletons (2 cards in a suit) are worth 1 extra points

How to count your Short Suit distribution points.

The following system is commonly used for Short Suit Points:
Short suit distribution points: 5 points for a void in a suit; 3 points for a singleton in a suit and 1 point for a doubleton with no honor cards, these are added to your HCP after your partnership has reached a fit. This is the way you re-evaluate the strength of your hand after you partner has supported (bid) your trump suit.

Definition of Terms· a ‘void’ is where your hand contains no cards in a suit;
· a ‘singleton’ is where your hand holds only 1 card in a suit;
· a ‘doubleton’ is when your hand holds two cards in a suit;
· a ‘fit’ in a suit is when you and your partner have 8 or more cards in one suit;

NB: Long and short suit points cannot be combined together at the same time, use only one or the other when evaluating your hand.

Your Hand

  • ♠ A K 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3
  • ♥10 8
  • ♦ 4

Exercise: Calculate the distributional points on this hand:
Answer = 9 DPs. 5 points for a club void +3 points for diamond singleton +1 point for heart doubleton. If your partner had not mentioned spades you haven’t found a fit, you would only have 6 DP’s distribution points.

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