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Do I gain more than I lose?

If you were worth 100 million pounds, would you bet double or quits. Of course not! You surely do not need another 100 million; but a losing bet would leave you broke. So only take a finesse if you gain more from winning it, than you lose from losing it.

North Deals
E-W Vul
K 10 8 5
A Q 8 5 3
K J 7
7 4 3 2
J 7
10 8 5 3
W   E
Q 9 6 5 4
K 10 9 6 2
Q 7
A 8 3 2
A Q J 9
9 6 4 2
West North East South
  1  Pass 1 
Pass 3 1 Pass 4 2
Pass 4 NT3 Pass 5 4
Pass 5 NT5 Pass 6 6
Pass 6  All pass  
  1. Splinter bid - spade shortage in a good
    hand agreeing hearts.
  2. Ace-showing cue bid, cooperating in
    the slam venture ( Axxx is a great holding
    facing shortage).
  3. Roman Key Card Blackwood.
  4. Two of “five aces” (incl.  K); plus  Q.
  5. How many (of the three side) kings?
  6. None

What happened
Some fancy footwork - using a Splinter bid and Roman Key Card Blackwood - and the excellent 6  was reached. West led  3, and declarer saw finesses in both minors. Defenders who lead low cards often have picture cards, so at Trick One he finessed  J. East won  Q and the slam could no longer be made. In fact declarer later finessed  Q, his only chance of succeeding at that point being that West held  K. It was not to be - and the slam eventually and ingloriously slid down three.

What should have happened
Count your winners. By trumping all of dummy’s diamonds, you can bring about a complete cross-ruff, scoring all your eight trumps separately. You need just four side-suit winners to bring your trick total to 12. And there are four staring at you -  A,  A, and  AK. There is no need for any risk-taking, as you have nothing to gain. Like the person with 100 million, you have all the tricks (money) you need. Win  K, and immediately take the three side-suit aces,  A,  A and  A. Then ruff a diamond, ruff a spade, ruff a diamond, ruff a spade, ruff a diamond, ruff a spade, and ruff a diamond. You have scored the first 11 tricks, and dummy has a winning trump. 12 tricks and slam made.

If you remember just one thing...
Do not take a finesse if you do not need it.

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