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All comments by Craig Zastera
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These are often called “cue-bid doubles”.
I think they may have been invented long ago by Jeff Rubens (of Bridge World fame).
At least he wrote an article advocating them (as an alternative to “responsive doubles after partner overcalls”) way back (perhaps early 70s).

They generally apply when partner has made a 2 level overcall and RHO has raised opener's suit such that we no longer have a “cue-bid to the 3 level” available to show a good (i.e. game invitational) raise of partner's suit without going beyond the three level in his suit.

One could play them, I suppose, when RHO raises LHO's suit even after partner has made just a 1 level overcall, but they seem less useful then as in such cases we still have a cue-bid below 3 of partner's suit available (as well as 2NT if the partnership uses that to show a good 4 card raise).

I actually like these. One reason is that I find many partners abuse “responsive doubles” after I overcall.
In my view, these are very dangerous calls because opportunities for their use often herald a misfit.
For that reason, I think RD after overcalls should promise 5=5 (certainly when advancer's suit has to be bid at the 3 level) and sound HCP values. I find that partners rarely have both of these.
And I understand the tempatation for abuse since hands that are really ideal for a responsive double advance of an overcall occur rarely (and even then, a misfit may make this choice a loser).

At least if we agree “cue-bid doubles” instead, we have a treatment which has very clear benefits when it occurs (ability to differentiate a good raise from a competitive one without going beyond the 3 level) and is not likely to be abused or lead to a bad result when it occurs (always much safer to bid with a fit than without one!).

The downside is that on the rare occasions when advancer has a really ideal hand for a “responsive double”, he will gnash his teeth and wonder why he let himself be talked into playing “cue-bid doubles” instead.

BTW, if the partnership plays “transfer advances of overcalls” and RHO raises LHO's opening bid over partner's overcall (1 or 2 level), one can use “double” as kind of “stolen bid double” to show whatever (cue)bidding LHO's suit would have shown had RHO passed.
That is:
(1)-1-(2)-DOUBLE
shows s (just as if RHO had passed), while 2 is the strong raise.

But over:
(1)-1-(2)-DOUBLE
this double would be a true “cue-bid double” (strong raise) because it substitutes for meaning of 2 had RHO passed.
June 8, 2018
Craig Zastera edited this comment June 8, 2018
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Had to abstain again, although not for precisely the same reasons as in your similar question.

A light 3rd seat 1 makes no promises about support for any other suit (unlike light 1), but nevertheless with all my points concentrated in a good 5 card suit, for all your examples, I would either open 2 or pass (2 with all the stronger suits–down to KQJTx probably).
June 8, 2018
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I had to abstain here even though I'm a strong advocate of light 1M 3rd seat openings.

The reason is that I believe that a “light” 3rd seat 1 opening must promise playability in s (usually at least 3 small) so that opener can pass a 1 response.

All your examples include only : xx, so do not qualify.

However, I would open some of your example hands with 2 in 3rd seat–certainly the first three, and (depending on vulnerability), perhaps 4, 5 (definitely if the s are AQJTx or KQJTx), and even 6 (:AJTxx).

BTW, I regard :AQJTx as quite different (better for 2) than AKTxx, and similarly :KQJTx (better) from AQTxx, so I think it was an error for you to lump these together.
June 8, 2018
Craig Zastera edited this comment June 8, 2018
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On this lay-out, only a lead will beat 3NT.
On a lead, declarer can make 10 tricks.

Still not much of a hand for opener if they play normal methods.
June 8, 2018
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I do not understand your “5-6 loser range”.
For a 1 level non-vul overcall? Minimum opening bids are typically 7 losers (sometimes more) and a 1 level overcall doesn't promise as much as an opening bid in most methods.

I think typical minimum requirements for a 1 level overcall (particularly NV) is something like
:AKJxx and out.

Of course, overcaller could have more (up to perhaps 16-17 HCPs with only a 5 card suit), but such hands would be relatively rare (particularly with both opponents ostensibly showing good hands).
June 8, 2018
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It does solve the problem because I am saying that the range is not all that wide as I presumably promise more with the 3 (“pre-emptive”) jump raise, so my lower limit for a 3 “mixed raise” is higher than it seems to be for you.

For me, making a “mixed raise” on as few as 6 HCPs would be very unusual–7-9 HCPs being the “normal” range with 4 card support and some shape expected. This does not strike me as an excessively wide range.
June 7, 2018
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I disagree. We are a passed hand, so 3 cannot be natural unless it implies a fit. In fact, Robson's book on partnership bidding explicitly cites this auction type as a “fit non-jump” advance.
June 7, 2018
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My favorite time to play is week between Xmas and New Years.

Never used to miss the regional in Reno (a short flight from Seattle).
Too bad that tournament has become extinct as the few remaining regionals during that week are too far away.
June 7, 2018
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That would sound like 3 s and 5-6 s (change one of the to a small , for example).
June 7, 2018
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Detractors of double dummy analysis will be pleased to hear that double dummy these two hands will make 6NTS on almost 97% of random (E/W) deals.

What do you think the probability of making 6NT single dummy is given the best line of play?
June 7, 2018
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You should include :JT doubleton in your calculations.
That gets the odds of 5 tricks up to at least 38.76%.

If you assume s are 4-4 (from the lead), the chances of 5 tricks goes up to 41.27%.
June 7, 2018
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I would not open this hand in 1st chair (too few quicks for such a marginal hand).
But if I had somehow opened 1, I would rebid 2, after which 2 level major suit bids would promise 4 cards.
June 7, 2018
Craig Zastera edited this comment June 7, 2018
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I did a simulation for this problem:

(a) opener can have most any opening bid with
fewer than 5 cards in ♠/♥/♦ and not 15-17 balanced.
I even allowed 10-11 HCPs with a stiff or void if
it counted to 13 (3/2/1: void/stiff/doubleton) with
stiff not K/Q/J.

(b) responder: 12-15 balanced, no 4+ card major.

© constraints on West hand to eliminate those that
would be obvious TO DBLs or 1M or 2M overcalls

With these constraints (no 1♥ or 2♥ overcall for partner being most important I think), a small ♦ did in fact become the best lead, followed very closely by a high ♠.

The ♥T lead, which had been the winner without constraints on partner's hand, dropped to a distant 3rd.

I was more than fair (as far as trying not to hurt the ♥ lead too much) in eliminating partner's 1♥ and 1♠ overcalls, as I probably left some in (say ♥:KJ9xx and C:ATx) that most would still overcall 1♥ (with only 8 HCPs, I required at least a slightly better ♥ suit to overcall).

Obviously, the OP's actual deal would not qualify in my simulation as:
* South has a 1NT opener
* North has a 4 card major
* North is not in the required HCP strength range
June 7, 2018
Craig Zastera edited this comment June 7, 2018
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Richard,
Your “defintion” just transfers the issue to the range shown by a “pre-emptive” raise (e.g. to 3).

I do not believe “pre-emptive” raises (especially of mere 1 level overcalls, but applies even to opening 1M bids) should be made on “nothing”, although exact requirements are vulnerability dependent. So, for me, 4 card support, an ace and stiff would generally be fine for a 3M “pre-emptive” jump (certainly when VUL, probably near max NV).

Requirments are a little lower when partner has opened 1M vs. merely overcalled 1M.

But my view of a “mixed raise” (of a 1M overcall) is enough strength that partner should certainly bid game (with good expectations of making it) if he has anything close to a maximum for a 1 level overcall.

So with, say 16-17 HCPs (and a 5 card suit), he would surely raise to game. 15 HCPs would be enough with a bit of shape.
With a little less, he should make some sort of “last train” try for game (if there is room below 3M).

Note that my last point implies that when there is “no room” (e.g. our suit is s and opener's is s), advancer needs to be a little bit more aggressive as overcaller must either sign-off in 3 or bid game himself.
June 7, 2018
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I redid my simulation for this problem more carefully:
(a) opener can have most any opening bid with
fewer than 5 cards in // and not 15-17 balanced.
I even allowed 10-11 HCPs with a stiff or void if
it counted to 13 (3/2/1: void/stiff/doubleton) with
stiff not K/Q/J.
(b) responder: 12-15 balanced, no 4+ card major.
© constraints on West hand to eliminate those that
would be obvious TO DBLs or 1M or 2M overcalls

With these constraints (no 1 or 2 overcall for partner being most important I think), a small did in fact become the best lead, followed closely by a high .
The T lead, which had been the winner without constraints on partner's hand, dropped to a distant 3rd.

I was more than fair (as far as trying not to hurt the lead too much) in eliminating partner's 1 and 1 overcalls, as I probably left some in (say :KJ9xx and C:ATx) that most would still overcall 1 (with only 8 HCPs, I required at least a slightly better suit to overcall).
June 7, 2018
Craig Zastera edited this comment June 7, 2018
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I would have opened 2 with this hand because the problems that might arise after a 1 opener are easy to anticipate.

This hand have 4 quick tricks and very close to 10 playing tricks, so I do not feel guilty opening 2.
Rebid options include
(a) a jump to 3NT (showing a long strong suit and some stoppers–similar to 1m-1X-3NT but stronger)
(b) 3 (natural and very strong)
June 7, 2018
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Obviously, rebidding 2NT doesn't make it impossible to reach e.g. a slam in all cases, particularly if the partnership has good methods over such 2NT rebids.

But 2NT rebid makes it more difficult (vs. a 3 jump shift rebid) because there are many hands partner might hold where 6 (even 7) would be good, but such that he wouldn't think to look for these contracts over a 2NT rebid, whereas a 3 rebid would alert him to the possibility of a slam.

I believe I gave some examples like:
(a) QJxx-x-Kxx-Q9xxx (6 is excellent)
(b) Axxx-x-Kxx-Q9xxx (7 is good, 6 nearly lay-down)

I believe that if the auction started 1-1-2NT, few would visualize that we might be “on” for a slam holding responding hands like these, whereas after 1-1-3 most would make some move towards a slam.
June 7, 2018
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Sounds like you are describing “Eisenberg Jump Shifts” or something akin.

We play EJSs after 1M-1N(forcing), but abandoned them over 1-1 after trying them for awhile and finding them not to work as well. So we've returned to “natural” JS (including 3) after 1-1.
June 7, 2018
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I'd be curious as to how many would overcall 1 (over (1) opening) with the West hand (AQJx-xxxxx-xx-KJ)?

I know I would not.
While I don't object to the occasional (1 level) overcall on a 4 card suit, I would not do it with a longer holding in the other (unbid) major.

I make the choices on the West hand as between PASS, 1, DOUBLE, and just maybe a somewhat off-shape 2 Michaels (if they play that over “could be short” (1) openers).

I'd probably go for the DOUBLE, but PASS seems OK if one doesn't like to double without the unbid minor or bid Michaels without 5=5.

1 is I suppose the “book” bid with 4=5 majors, but here the suit quality disparity is so great that I actually like a Michaels bid better.
June 7, 2018
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Sorry, Matt,
I meant “declarer”.

I did a simulation and found lead best, followed by .

But that simulation was flawed as I overlooked the part about opener can have as few as 1 (so I guess all opener's than aren't in NT range without a 5 card suit open 1?).

I also failed to put in constraints on partner's hand such that he won't hold an overcall or take-out double. So not a good simulation–maybe I'll try another. Still expect the lead to fair poorly (as it did in my flawed effort).
June 7, 2018
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