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Your call, high level decision

#1 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2020-November-17, 07:31



Do you bid 5 or pass?
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#2 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2020-November-17, 07:59

If I am allowed, I abstain. I would much prefer to have opened 4
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#3 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2020-November-17, 09:03

I think the 1 opening is perfectly normal. I would pass - partner rates to be broke (no double or cheap 2 bid, and opponents generally don't jump to 5 at unfavourable vulnerability unless they have points to back it up). By bidding I am virtually guaranteeing -500 or -800, or I might even push them into a making 6. And if the stars line up just right partner may have a singleton spade, or they divide 2-2 around the table, and we have a chance of setting 5 (although I've never seen this at the table, but it's bound to happen sometimes, right? Right?).

Ignoring that silly hope for a second, North rates to have a singleton or void in spades, and with a broke partner our combined assets are worthless. Let's pray they go 5+1, or that South holds something like Jxxx and was getting ready to cash in the 1100 in 5X.
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#4 User is offline   Douglas43 

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Posted 2020-November-17, 09:36

Thanks AL78. I agree with David'Kok (and shyams)


Assuming this is matchpoints, bidding on works if the outcome is -500 against -600 for 5C (and to be fair, it hits the jackpot if opps bid 6C and go off).

However, to hold 5Sx to -500, partner needs to produce a trick; which might also be the setting trick against 5C.

Bidding on can lose three ways: if the opps have only 10 tricks in clubs, or if they have 12 and take the push to 6C, or if they can collect 800 from 5Sx.
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#5 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2020-November-17, 10:20

I'm surprised, I thought everyone would say bid 5. It crossed my mind and I decided to pass, for the reasons Douglas43 posted. Here is the full layout:



5 made +1 for a 27% board for us. Eight out of 14 Easts were in 3, 4 or 5 making or going no more than two off, sometimes doubled (four players bid to 5). The only pair to do worse than us was the one who defended 5X+1, -950. Four pairs in spades managed to make 10 tricks.
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#6 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2020-November-17, 10:37

Is there a jackpot available to hit ? I suppose partner might have xx, xx, AQxxxx, xxx and with both spades and diamonds 3-1 5 and 5 both make, but I think it's much more likely you'll be catching x, Q10xx, Q9xxx, QJx and neither contract gets close. Opening 4 was the time to get aggressive.

YOu posted the hand while I was posting this, 5 is very fortunate that diamonds are 2-2 otherwise it can easily be held to 7 tricks

If my partner overcalled 2 or even a vulnerable 3 WJO I'd be very likely to bidding 6 with the N hand, and 5 would not cross my mind as the first bid.
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#7 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2020-November-17, 10:42

Well, at least it wasn't 6= for 0%. South's 2 was aggressive, West's pass conservative and I don't know what (/if) North was thinking. But there is every chance you will not buy the hand in 5. Their decision to jump a lot paid off this time. Most of the time a passed partner won't contribute 2 tricks, although at matchpoints you can try to shoot for that magic -500 instead of -600 (but I don't think I would).

Arguably it says more about the field than about the hand when 5+1 against is a 27% board, since of course 6 is cold.
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#8 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2020-November-17, 11:13

View PostDavidKok, on 2020-November-17, 10:42, said:

Well, at least it wasn't 6= for 0%. South's 2 was aggressive, West's pass conservative and I don't know what (/if) North was thinking. But there is every chance you will not buy the hand in 5. Their decision to jump a lot paid off this time. Most of the time a passed partner won't contribute 2 tricks, although at matchpoints you can try to shoot for that magic -500 instead of -600 (but I don't think I would).

Arguably it says more about the field than about the hand when 5+1 against is a 27% board, since of course 6 is cold.


What do you think West should bid if they are going to bid anything? If I were sitting West I would pass, the hand doesn't look good enough for 2, unless you play a system where direct bids after an overcall are weak and reasonable/strong hands go through a double first.
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#9 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2020-November-17, 11:51

View PostAL78, on 2020-November-17, 11:13, said:

What do you think West should bid if they are going to bid anything? If I were sitting West I would pass, the hand doesn't look good enough for 2, unless you play a system where direct bids after an overcall are weak and reasonable/strong hands go through a double first.

I think you can consider double, pulling 2 to 2. That should be almost exactly this hand - some points, but not strong enough for 2, with exactly 2 spades and at most 3 hearts (and therefore at least 5 diamonds).
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#10 User is offline   TylerE 

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Posted 2020-November-17, 13:02

Open 4
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#11 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2020-November-17, 13:06

View PostDavidKok, on 2020-November-17, 11:51, said:

I think you can consider double, pulling 2 to 2. That should be almost exactly this hand - some points, but not strong enough for 2, with exactly 2 spades and at most 3 hearts (and therefore at least 5 diamonds).


That sounds like a two places to play bid.
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#12 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2020-November-17, 13:10

View PostTylerE, on 2020-November-17, 13:02, said:

Open 4


The hand looks too good to me to open 4 in 1st seat. There are hands partner could have that are barely opening strength where slam is a good shot.
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#13 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2020-November-17, 13:28

The bidding looks nuts to me.

2C red v white with 8 hcp and that horrible Jxx in spades is silly, imo, unless desperate to create action.

5C is beyond belief. Give partner say xxx xx KQx AKJxx, a reasonable but hardly maximum 2C overcall, and how do we reach 6C, which is laydown?

Or, heaven forbid, Axx xx Kx AKxxxx where we have 13 winners in clubs.

As for responder, when one holds nothing (including no good fit) the best course is to stay quiet. We have negative defence....what we have is very soft....and no fit. Doubling, planning to 'correct' hearts to diamonds may sound good on paper, but pray tell what one does if partner bids 4H on his 5=4=3=1 hand? Correct to 5D? Oh...me bad...he has 5=5=1=2.

Or what does one do when he doubles, mistakenly thinking that your negative double was based on hand that looks like a negative double?

As for the OP action, I don't mind 1S. This hand has a little too much potential to open 4S, as far as I am concerned. I'd open 4S in 3rd. Having witnessed the actual auction, I'm not entirely sure what I'd do, in part because I came to the thread after the 4 hands were posted. However, I think the best course is to pass. Bidding 5S pretty much forces them to double, although their bidding suggests they don't know much about the game, so maybe they will do something silly (which of course may see RHO bidding 6C!).

Had RHO made a more normal call, whether that be 2H or 3H (fit-showing) or 2S or 3S (splinter), I'd happily bid 4S.

As it is, I suspect that in a good field one would see few 2C overcalls, so responder would bid 1N. North would probably bid 2H and opener 4S. That basically shuts N-S out of the auction, leaving the club suit dying on the vine.

I'd not worry about getting a bad board here. Sometimes you bite the bear, sometimes the bear bites you.

Worrying about how to cope with bad but lucky bidding will lead one to make a lot of bad decisions on those hands where the opps are actually bidding normally.
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#14 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2020-November-17, 15:28

View Postmikeh, on 2020-November-17, 13:28, said:

The bidding looks nuts to me.

2C red v white with 8 hcp and that horrible Jxx in spades is silly, imo, unless desperate to create action.

5C is beyond belief. Give partner say xxx xx KQx AKJxx, a reasonable but hardly maximum 2C overcall, and how do we reach 6C, which is laydown?

Or, heaven forbid, Axx xx Kx AKxxxx where we have 13 winners in clubs.

As for responder, when one holds nothing (including no good fit) the best course is to stay quiet. We have negative defence....what we have is very soft....and no fit. Doubling, planning to 'correct' hearts to diamonds may sound good on paper, but pray tell what one does if partner bids 4H on his 5=4=3=1 hand? Correct to 5D? Oh...me bad...he has 5=5=1=2.

Or what does one do when he doubles, mistakenly thinking that your negative double was based on hand that looks like a negative double?

As for the OP action, I don't mind 1S. This hand has a little too much potential to open 4S, as far as I am concerned. I'd open 4S in 3rd. Having witnessed the actual auction, I'm not entirely sure what I'd do, in part because I came to the thread after the 4 hands were posted. However, I think the best course is to pass. Bidding 5S pretty much forces them to double, although their bidding suggests they don't know much about the game, so maybe they will do something silly (which of course may see RHO bidding 6C!).

Had RHO made a more normal call, whether that be 2H or 3H (fit-showing) or 2S or 3S (splinter), I'd happily bid 4S.

As it is, I suspect that in a good field one would see few 2C overcalls, so responder would bid 1N. North would probably bid 2H and opener 4S. That basically shuts N-S out of the auction, leaving the club suit dying on the vine.

I'd not worry about getting a bad board here. Sometimes you bite the bear, sometimes the bear bites you.

Worrying about how to cope with bad but lucky bidding will lead one to make a lot of bad decisions on those hands where the opps are actually bidding normally.


You may think the bidding nuts, but at my club that sort of bidding happens frequently, and unfortunately I lack sufficient skill and/or judgement to regularly punish them for it, or bid on to whatever our best contract is (or the cards lie very favourably). What slightly concerns me is people who bid like this will learn that it works frequently against me, so will keep taking liberties. I like to put the hand up on here to check whether I could have judged better.
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#15 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2020-November-17, 16:08

View PostAL78, on 2020-November-17, 13:06, said:

That sounds like a two places to play bid.

In some sense it is - spades and diamonds. But mikeh's point is well made, double is risky (not to say 'bad'). I think passing can also be risky with that West hand, but perhaps it is a lesser risk in this situation (I mostly judged the hand to be very aggressive, with slow values in the long diamond suit, so I wanted to push a bit in the hope that our side could declare).

View PostAL78, on 2020-November-17, 15:28, said:

You may think the bidding nuts, but at my club that sort of bidding happens frequently, and unfortunately I lack sufficient skill and/or judgement to regularly punish them for it, or bid on to whatever our best contract is (or the cards lie very favourably). What slightly concerns me is people who bid like this will learn that it works frequently against me, so will keep taking liberties. I like to put the hand up on here to check whether I could have judged better.

In my experience this is most often a fallacy. Bad bidders do not tend to "learn that it works", you just happen to remember the times it worked against you. In the long run this type of bidding loses. You don't even have to punish them, just lean back and wait for a bad result to come in.
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#16 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2020-November-17, 16:47

View PostAL78, on 2020-November-17, 15:28, said:

You may think the bidding nuts, but at my club that sort of bidding happens frequently, and unfortunately I lack sufficient skill and/or judgement to regularly punish them for it, or bid on to whatever our best contract is (or the cards lie very favourably). What slightly concerns me is people who bid like this will learn that it works frequently against me, so will keep taking liberties. I like to put the hand up on here to check whether I could have judged better.

I抳e played a lot of club bridge, although virtually none for the past ten years. So I can identify with your reality. Most club players are bad. Most have no idea of how bad they are.

One of the problems that relatively inexperienced players will have in that environment is that there may be few, if any, better players.

If there are some better players...say 慳dvanced? then I抎 suggest you see whether any of them will play with you a few times. If so, and once face to face bridge returns, go for a beer, or coffee or what have you, after the game and discuss hands. If all goes well, maybe you抣l form a partnership.

Or try to find a like-minded player at your level, and discuss ideas, including ideas you learn here. Ideally, you抎 find a common source for bidding ideas.

I抦 currently playing with a very good player with whom I had a partnership 20+ years ago. We抮e playing very different methods than we used to use. We live in different cities. We go through every hand, by telephone, after every session. We also use a hand generator to create deals, or use old Bridge Worlds or the ACBL Bulletin to bid hands once a week.

Nobody gets better without practice, and learning how to bid is worthless if your partner doesn抰 share your ideas.

You are still going to get bad boards when bad players do bad things and it works out. I used to play weekly with a multiple NABC and Canadian champion, in our local club. We won pretty much all the time, but we rarely had a session in which we were not 慺ixed?once. Learn that being fixed is nothing to worry about. To the contrary, if you try to avoid being fixed, you will play as badly as your opponents. My philosophy, using a golf analogy, is usually to hit the ball down the middle, in the bidding, taking high risk shots only when under more pressure than most bad players can exert. Or when our bidding methods allowed us to find contracts most other pairs would miss, due to their methods.
'one of the great markers of the advance of human kindness is the howls you will hear from the Men of God' Johann Hari
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