A Peek is as Good as a Finesse
by Mark Blumenthal on June 10th, 2009
Most bridge players know they have to conceal their hands so an opponent will not be able to see what cards they have, but many are often lax. Reuben Alexander was the first local good player in Philadelphia who didn’t go to the University of Pennsylvania to ask me to play with him. After that , I often played with him in Philadelphia.
Reuben was very aware of which players had the proclivity of peeking at the opponents’ cards. He would tell me, “breast your cards” when we were about to play a person. He felt very strongly about some local players such as as Alex Danilenko, who was known to often look look at the opponents’ cards. Reuben and Alex knew each other well. Once when we were playing against Alex, and Alex was the declarer, Reuben had his cards so well concealed under his capacious chest that he could barely see them himself. As Reuben was thinking about what to lead, Alex asked him. ” are you going to lead from the king fourth of spades?”, and he continued calling all of Reuben’s hand.
We sometimes would play a local pair, Jack and Matilda, who did very well in local games. When we were about to play against them Reuben would tell me to stare at one while he watched the other.