Which Fit is Better?  The Four-Four in Trumps or the Five-Three Fit?

When you have a choice between either a 5-3 fit in trump or a 4-4 fit, do you prefer the comfort of having five trumps in one hand or do you like to have the same number in your hand and in dummy?

Assuming a normal break in your suits, what are your chances of making a game in hearts with these two hands?

Looks like you will take 11 tricks, losing two clubs, right?

But wait... here's the same hand, but this time the trump suit is spades.  Now how many tricks will you take?

Hey, this hand is going to take 13 tricks!  You can play the A and then trump two diamonds.  After you draw trump the side suit of hearts provides a way to discard two club losers from the dummy, thus allowing you to trump one of the clubs in your hand.  You can't do that when the trump suit is a 5-3 fit in hearts.

    The 4-4 fit is almost always a better contract than the 5-3 fit because the 5-card side-suit lets you discard losers.

Everybody knows that.
Roy Wilson