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Freakish distribution


Q:  The other day I picked up the following hand:

S  A K J 9 4
H  A 9 8 6 5 4
C  5 2

What should I open?  Is this hand good enough for a reverse?  I decided to open 1S and when partner bid 2S, I bid game. We ended up making a slam.  Can it be bid?  After all, we only have 20 points between the two hands . . . 

Partner’s hand was:

S – 10752
H – K7
D – J1075
C – A43 

A.  There are points and there are points . . .  On this hand, because you have such extreme distribution, it is probably better to count your losers than just your high card points.  How many losers do you have?  The answer is 5.  With 5 losers, the hand is worth a reverse bid.  Start naturally with your longest suit, hearts, then bid spades. Partner will be able to evaluate their hand properly.  The long fit is spades looks good.  The King in your first suit looks good.  The ace in one of your known short suits looks good.