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President of CSBC
President of CSBC

Ann O'Reilly

Release 2.19o
Interesting Hands
The Duke of Cumberland's Hand
This is one of the most famous hands in card play history.
 
It was said that the Duke (of Cumberland),son of George III King of England was dealt the following hand
 
at whist :- ♠ AKQ AKQ3 AK ♣ KJ97

The last card dealt and exposed to denote the trump suit was a ♣ .
The Duke,sitting at the left of the dealer, opened with the ♣7.
 
He was following a sound plan,removing the trumps to avoid his high cards in the side suits being ruffed.
Once the lead was made,the Duke's opponents then asserted that he would not be able to make a single trick.
 
This naturally incensed the Duke who offered a hefty wager to the contrary.
The full deal,with the Duke sitting South was :-

South ♠AKQ AKQ3 AK ♣KJ97
West  ♠- - 1098765432 ♣AQ108
North ♠J109876  109876 QJ ♣-
East  ♠5432 5432 - ♣65432

The ♣7 lead was taken with the 8 and West led a   which was ruffed by East who returned a low trump.
The Duke's 9 was taken by the 10 and another   was led and ruffed. East again returned a trump and the Duke's
last two trumps were taken by West who then reeled off all his remaining diamonds for a 13 trick defeat.
 
This display of virtuousity (if it was that) by the Duke's opponents allegedly cost him £20,000 
 
One can wonder why the Duke,a seasoned whist player,did not speculate as to why his opponents could predict the outcome.(remember that no hand is exposed in whist)
 
A more plausible version of this legendary episode suggested that
the South hand was given to the Duke,who knew it was manufactured and ventured to bet in the face of that knowledge. 
 
The hand was re-enacted in the James Bond film Moonraker (1979) , with Bond making 7♣ XX , against Hugo Drax 
 
Thanks to PhilG007 - BBO