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Rock, Paper, Scissors

The following hand was posted on Facebook as an ATB type post.    At Matchpoints, none vul....

West
10
A1092
A1098543
10
North
Q732
J84
K7
QJ85
East
KJ6
KQ7
QJ2
A763
South
A9854
653
6
K942
W
N
E
S
1
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
3NT East
NS: 0 EW: 0

3N goes down on a the normal 4th best spade lead.

Many were very critical, saying they wanted to get to 5.

My thoughts were that 3N would make often enough that if the field were in 5, that I would rather be in 3N at MPs.    If the Diamond King is onside, 3N is better.   3N also has chances if the King is off  (spade lead, with blockage, or spade lead with HH onside, or passive heart lead....).   All in all, I felt I'd rather take my chances in 3N vs being in 5.    So, should we get to 3N?

 If the main chance, the Diamond King is onside, then it seems 6 is a better spot.    In fact, if the diamond king is offside, 3N might well be down 2, with 6 down just one.    So it seems 6 must therefore dominate a field that is in 3N.   OK, let's everyone bid 6D.

But then it occurred to me.     If the field is in 6, wouldn't playing 5 be better?    6 is under 50%, failing quickly when the Diamond King is offside, and occasionally going down even when it is on.

But how can this be?     5 > 6 > 3N > 5.     (all of course depending onwhat the field bids).

 

Where would you want to play this hand not looking at the opponents cards? 

 

There are probably more pure examples of this possibility, this is just one I saw today. 

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