Yes, the tables are initially joined in order from lowest estimated cardinality to highest, but there are probably at least a few exceptions to this rule, such as queries with LEADING and ORDERED hints. Regards, Brandon ________________________________ From: oracle-l-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:oracle-l-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Job Miller There is intelligence to the order of evaluation I assume, so the options not considered I suspect are less likely to be better. not sure about that though Privileged/Confidential Information may be contained in this message or attachments hereto. Please advise immediately if you or your employer do not consent to Internet email for messages of this kind. Opinions, conclusions and other information in this message that do not relate to the official business of this company shall be understood as neither given nor endorsed by it.