Today’s hand arose in a recent club session. The auction shown was typical. The lead was the 2H and declarer’s only problem is to find the QS. There are two ways to deal with this which, in football vernacular, might be called playing the man and playing the ball. Firstly, let us deal with playing the ball. South has six hearts and seven unknown cards which are called ‘ vacant spaces’. North has three hearts and 10 vacant spaces. Any non- heart card is more likely ( 10 to 7) to be with the hand with more vacant spaces. Thus, it is clear to play North to have the spade queen. This form of reasoning, based on length, is much stronger than inference based on how many high card points a player might have. You should definitely not infer that South is more likely to have the queen since they bid and should have more points. These players start trumps by leading the JS and watch the reactions of North and South. If North hesitates, suggesting they hold the queen, they run the jack. If North doesn’t hesitate, they put up the king and finesse the other way. Even South can get caught by this ploy. If, when the jack is placed on the table, South prematurely pulls a card to play to the trick, it can be inferred that South does not have the queen. If there is no hesitation or premature pull on the JS, these devious players will just hesitate for a very long time waiting for the person without the queen to ask why they are taking so long. Unfortunately, it is illegal to produce fake hesitations, however short, and early detaching of cards to defeat this player. You must simply produce cards at an even tempo so they have nothing to go on.