4.1 Ace Solo
The Ace Solo is the weakest solo in the chain above. This means that an Ace solo is commonly played when the chances of winning are relatively low. In fact, the Soloist doesn't even have to count on a win since reaching 90 without a Contra announcement can commonly be counted as a win.
We distinguish between two types of Ace solos:
4.1.1 Standard Ace Solo
220.127.116.11 Opposition (Ace-Signal Convention)
There's not much to say about this solo type. The opponents can usually only throw off the standard cards to leads by the Soloists. After following, however, one can select the cards to throw off. In this case, there is an opportunity to convey information to one's partner.
The most important information for the opponents is: Which side suits are held by the soloists?
In order to avoid giving the Soloists unnecessary points, the following conventions have been developed. According to this system, cards freely thrown off to trump leads by the soloists provide information to the partner. This information is also available to the Soloists of course, but it is of no particular use to them.
The importance of these conventions is shown in the example below:
|Ace Ace 10 K Q J
Ace Q 9
|K Q 9
10 J 9
10 K Q
Ace 10 J
Ace K Q
10 J J 9
10 Q 9
10 Q J 9
Ace K Q J 9
The Soloist is certain of at least 117 (winning another Ace will will) and plays down a long suit first in order to catch cards thrown off by the opponents. Let's consider the cards of the opponents. Player 4 has particular problem when throwing off. He eventually holds and 10 x 10 x Ace, 10 x and must decide which valuable card he wants to play. Without additional information about the distribution of the cards, he will make the wrong choice in two of three cases.
Following are the typical choices when throwing off using the Ace-Convention:
The following examples show the successful of these conventions:
See distributions above (Type 6 + 2, minimum point values117)
Trick 2: Ace 9 J 9 (+13)
Trick 2: 10 10 Q! Q (+26)
Player 3 holds 2 Aces. According to the conventions, he has three choices of cards to throw off:
a) Q J 9 9 Double High-Low signal shows 2 aces not directly signalable.
b) 9 J 9 J shows Ace and an additional Ace that cannot be directly signaled (= Ace!, since Ace und Ace can be signaled through the direct signal of : 9 9 J).
The second signal type contains the most information, but also a potential disadvantage that the10 may be lost to a double holding of theAs by the Soloist. The first discard of theQ leaves two options open. The player can
a) signal and then afterward
b), throw offQ J 9 K! if held.
Trick 3: Ace Q J K (+20)
Player 3 decides in favor of the riskier variation since Player 2 likely holds theAce having played D.
Trick 4: K 9 9 J (+6)
Player 4 can throw J , since Player 2 has already signaled with Ace
Trick 5: Q J 9 9 (+5)
Players 2 and 3 have ended their signals. They holdAce as well as. Ace and Ace; Player 4 shows directly the Ace.
Trick 6: J 9 J Q (+7)
Player 4 has signaled the Ace with the play of theQ, this is not meaningful beccause the Soloist no longer possesses clubs. After pulling the Ace (+20) and Ace (+21) the soloist has taken only 118 and loses.
18.104.22.168 Strategy of the Opponents
Finally, we want to say something about the following Solo type.Zum An opponent should only make an announcement when holding the following cards:
4.1.2 Development Solo
The play of a standard solo is limited when the Contra team has no control of the play of the game. It's somewhat different with Development Solos.