Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Craig Zastera
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I could almost have voted for option 4 (sets opener's suit, good support, good side suit), but I thought that option 5 was perhaps more specific to my preferred treatment in that in addition to the above requirements, it *denies a control in the unbid suit*. Thus, I would call it a “picture bid”.
For the specific given auction, something like:
KQxx-xx-Qx-AQJxx
would be fine.
I think (good) three card support for opener's suit is acceptable too as long as the other requirements are met.
It's also OK to have a control in opener's 2nd suit,
e.g. Kxxx-xx-Kx-AQJxx.
Jan. 24
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Kind of unusual these days to play 3 as pre-emptive with (just) diamonds. Nowadays, I think most would play this as a fit jump (i.e. 3+ spades with 5+ good diamond suit and game invitational values).

How does the partnership treat new suit advance of a (2 level) overcall without the 3rd hand interference?
How about if 3rd hand raises (e.g.(1)-2-(2)-3))?
If these are played NF, then it would seem strange to suddenly switch to play 3 forcing in the given auction.

OTOH, I think many play new suit advances in the simpler auctions as forcing, in which case I would imagine that the 3 here should still be forcing.
Jan. 21
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You can never have enough to bid over 4 as you have made a limited, descriptive bid (to say nothing about your non-super accept of the transfer which further limits your hand), and partner's bidding does not suggest any slam interest whatsoever.
But what you can do is bid 4, 4, or 4 which logically has to agree spades as trump and show a slammish maximum for your previous bidding. Just for the rare case where partner has a maximum for his bidding, and the new info might be enough to encourage him to re-evaluate and pursue a slam.
Jan. 19
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I probably would never bid this way.
But if I did (or if partner did), the sequence simply must promise four spades, else it makes no sense at all.
I agree that 2 was not forcing (but it is very strong).
I would suppose some strong 4=6 majors would be the only excuse for bidding this way.
Jan. 18
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An interesting general topic is when a “new suit” slam try should be cheapest cue-bid vs. when it should show a trick source (i.e. long suit).

In many auctions, “up the line” cue-bidding of controls (in my view, 1st or 2nd round, high card or shortness) makes sense. Then, if an uncontrolled suit is exposed, the partnership can stop in game. Or, if all suits are controlled, partnership can continue with e.g. RKCB.

But in other auctions, it makes more sense to make a “long suit” slam try even if this means skipping over controlled (or uncontrolled suits). An example of this would be:
2 2
2 3
???
Here, 4, 4 or 4 by opener should be a help (long) suit slam try. If this call skips over lower suit(s), this does not deny control in such suit(s).
If, instead, opener is interested in hearing cue-bids, he should continue with 3NT–forcing and requiring responder to cue-bid controls (up the line).

The Jacoby transfer auction of the OP seems like another example where it is clear that if opener wants to show an exceptionally slam suitable hand, cue-bidding a trick source makes more sense the simply cue-bidding his cheapest control.
The reasons here are fairly clear–opener's hand is relatively well defined (balanced 15-17) and responder has forced to game but not expressed any slam interest. So for opener to do other than pass 3NT or simply convert to 4 requires an exceptional hand. An unshown long, strong suit (together with a maximum, a fit, and good controls) would seem to be what would be required to justify a slam try on this auction.

Each partnership needs to discuss and establish rules for when cue-bidding is expected to be “up the line” (so that skipping a suit denies a control) vs. when a new suit slam try should be a long suit and neither promise or deny contol of anys suit “skipped over.”
Jan. 18
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Likely to be an 18-19 HCP balanced or near balanced hand without a spade stopper.
Jan. 16
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I play continuous range, and consider this hand very close between passing 3 and raising (invitational). Partner is supposed to bid 3 with any hand with game interest opposite an intermediate hand and he didn't do that. Is this hand more than intermediate? If it were only 5=5 reds with same honor structure, it would definitely be intermediate and would then be an easy pass of 3. But the 6th diamond and honor dispersion (likely no heart losers, partner's hoped for diamonds will/may fill in that suit) push it towards a 4 raise. Opponents' silence is ominous. At IMPs, definitely 4. At matchpoints, a guess and depends somewhat on how good partner is in visualizing when he should show “some game interest” opposite 2-suited bids.
Would he consider D:QJx and a black ace enough? Again, borderline.
Jan. 13
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Here's the real deal.
Partner held this hand and raised only to 3.
My hand was:
AK965-JT43-2-QJT
Seemed clear to pass 3, but 4 was an easy make.
A 5000 deal simulation had 4 making (double dummy) on 3341 of them (66.82%).

I suspect the real life make percentage would be even higher as the best defense (usually leading as many rounds of trump as possible) often won't be found.
Jan. 13
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A common alternative use for 2NT here (other than G/B) is to play that 2NT is a good raise of partner's (overcaller's) suit. This is a useful treatment whenever the auction is such that advancer no longer has a cue-bid (raise) available that does not go beyond 3 of overcaller's suit. So, typical scenario is (1X)-2Y-(2X) where “Y” is a lower ranking suit than X. Advancer would like to be able to show a good raise of “Y” without committing to the 4 level. Hence, 2NT to show the good raise and 3Y to show a more limited raise.
Jan. 11
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Richard,
Without commenting specifically on whether I think 2NT should be “good/bad” on this particular sequence, I will say that your objection, i.e. that the suit being shown by the “bad” 2NT may (will) be lost if next opponent raises his side's suit is true in pretty much all scenarios where G/B 2NT is employed. So that is not really a valid objection to the use of G/B 2NT on this particular auction.

Consider, as a standard example, the sequence:
1 (1) DBL (2)
2NT (3?)
Here, playing usual G/B 2NT, opener's 2NT shows (just) competitive values with any of three hand types:
(1) long diamonds
(2) diamond/club 2 suiter (5=5 or better)
(3) four card heart support without extras

When (if) overcaller boosts to 3, responder may have a
hand which would compete further opposite *some* (perhaps only one) of opener's possible hand types, but not other.
So he is stuck because of the ambiguity.

In fact, on my example auction, in one partnership we have
decided to *reverse* G/B (hence "Bad / Good) for the case
where opener has support for responder's suit (as this is
the case where responder would be most likely to bid further if only he knew). Thus, after 1-(1)-DBL-(2), we
play that 2NT is competitve with both minor or just long diamonds *or* invitational with four hearts. Conversely,
immediate 3 by opener is just competitive, but immediate 3 or 3 would be game invitational (or more).
Jan. 11
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Dave,
Yes, you are right–with my example hand 1-2-2-3 splinter is the perfect sequence. Still, you could modify the hand slightly to produce one where 2 followed by 3 would be correct with responder's holding four hearts:
Ax-Kxxx-AQJxx-xx
making 6 good opposite:
xxx-AQxxx-Kx-Kxx
Jan. 5
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I believe South can have more than three hearts.
It is often important in potential slam auctions to show a trick source that will run with one fitting card before raising. Thus, with something like x-KQxx-AQJxx-xxx, bidding 2 before raising hearts might allow a good slam to be reached opposite, e.g. xx-Axxxx-Kx-Axxx
that would be much harder to bid if responder instead merely offered an immediate splinter raise of hearts. On this hand, the key is the diamond suit trick source much more than the single extra trick available from a spade ruff.
(of course, the spade shortness will prove essential in 6 because of its *control* value).
Jan. 4
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I answered “double” without knowing this was a “UI” problem.
Given that partner is a PH, I think the original choice of 4 is fine. When they bid 5, I think now you must double to indicate that you have a “lot” (including outside stuff) for your 4 jump. Since you did jump to 4 originally rather than, say, double first then 4, your double of 5 now cannot be a unilateral penalty double. It just says “I've got a good hand and am not willing to defend 5 undoubled–you decide whether to sit or pull based mainly upon your spade length.”

The number of “passers” in this poll is unfortunate in that it suggests that Pass must be a logical alternative. But I do not think that it is for a strong partnership, so you were kind of screwed IMO. I mean, logically with this hand at given vul conditions, it cannot be right to defend 5 undoubled. If they can't make, might as well at least double. If they can make, we must try 5. Partner should be well positioned to make a reasonable choice between these alternatives.
Dec. 31, 2017
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60% (approx–I got 60.2% in my extensive simulation) for the probability of an 8+ card major suit fit existing when responder has 4=4 majors is correct under the assumption that all 15-17 balanced hands with a 5 card major are opened 1NT.

If one makes the *opposite* assumption, i.e. that *no* hands
with a 5 card major are opened 1NT, then the probability that a 4=4 major suit fit exists when responder has both four card majors drops to about 54.7% or so.
Dec. 31, 2017
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I “refined” the simulation somewhat to include the insights of some comments in this thread, namely:
(a) partner's 6 hearts can't be very strong or he would
have opened 2
So I required partner's (6) hearts to be headed by
K, QT, Q, JT, J, T, or “x”. I realize that some
people might open 2 even with suits as bad as
(some of?) these, but I think this captures main-
stream requirements (2/4 top honors?).

(b) partner won't have 4+ spades else he would have
started with Stayman (previously simulations I have
done confirm that with 4-6 majors it is worthwhile
to look for a 4-4 fit)

I also included conditions to reflect that both opponents are passed hands and that South didn't make any sort of
2-suited overcall over 1NT. Of course, this too requires
some guess-work as some players will make some pretty weak
2-suited overcalls (and opening bids), so I may not have eliminated every one of these.

With these additional conditions, and partner still constrained to have exactly 7 HCPs, my results changed to:
(a) 4 makes 56.4% of the time
(b) 3NT makes 19.1% of the time

This makes the raise to 4 seem more appealing.
Dec. 29, 2017
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It's the 1NT opener here who is alleged to be the Walrus, so there is no inference about responder's being a rigid point count adherent.
Dec. 29, 2017
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Depends on how strong you think partner is for his sequence.

I did a simulation giving partner 6 hearts and 7 HCPs.
4H made 45% of the time. (BTW, 3N made 11%, so that call is not a contender).

Is 7 HCPs about right for partner? If you think he ought
to have at least this and might have 8, then it might be right to raise to 4

But if you think 8 HCPs and 6 hearts would probably bid
Texas, so that actual sequence likely shows 7 HCPs or maybe only 6, then you should definitely pass 3 (at matchpoints)
Dec. 29, 2017
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Ken,
Lebensohl would have been available if advancing a TO double.
I agree that is important, but not for the reason you mention.
If partner advances the double with 3 (showing values), we can now bid 3 (not 3) because now (after value showing 3), 3 just promises we have enough for game, which we do (and suggests 5 hearts).

But if partner advances with a Lebensohl 2NT (usually, some weak hand), then we cannot bid 3 as that would promise a much stronger hand than we have (I'd say 19-20 at least).
Since we also play “equal-level conversion”, over a Lebensohl 2NT, doubler *could* rebid 3 without promising extra values, but such a 3 would suggest 4=5 or 4=6 red suits, not our actual 5=4.

So I fear that after a 2NT Lebensohl advance, doubler has to just bid the expected 3 and hope for the best–i.e. either advancer corrects to a red suit, or, if he passes 3, he will have 5+ clubs.
Dec. 28, 2017
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5 seems pretty obvious here. Denies a control in either red suit (or, in some instances, not here, shows first round in both red suits and club control) but shows slam interest (in spades).
Dec. 27, 2017
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Time to post actual result. Thanks for all the responses.

My partner held this hand and chose 3. Next hand bid 4.
I held:
9-Q98-KT72-KJT98
Seemed pretty clear to bid 5.
Partner managed to make this after the HJ lead
(leader held: AT76-JT5-98-Q542) for +450.
5 can be beaten (if defense starts with two rounds of spades, tapping dummy fatally), but 5 is always makeable.

Although I don't care for partner's 3 overcall, it seemed to work pretty well on this deal.
Had he doubled instead (my choice), my RHO still would have boosted to 4. Now, I have a choice between double (just values in our methods as we play responsive only through 4) or 4NT (pick a minor). I'd probably have chosen the latter which likely would have gotten us to 5. If I double instead, partner might leave this in and we'd get only +300.
Dec. 26, 2017
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