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All comments by David Caprera
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I don't know what standard is but we play double is “negative” (i.e., values and 4 spades) and pass then double is blood. In terms of “U v. U”, I say with some confidence based on experience that there is no standard because people play it many different ways and just agreeing in a casual partnership to play U v. U without spelling it out is a clear train wreck coming.

Taking the simplest case, 1H-(2N=minors)-?, I believe it is clear to play that 3C shows spades and 3D shows hearts. The common problem hand is opener with some 2=5=3=3 and this gives him a 3D “punt.” Otherwise, opener is just stuck for a call. After going back and forth on this, we have settled on 3S is GF and 3C is less than GF, both with spades.
Oct. 25
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Jack's suggestion that double should be takeout makes more sense in theory than it does in practice in weaker fields. A world class player says that BBO and regional events ruin your game. But our simple rule is that double of 2D is penalty.
Oct. 25
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I am looking for comments from the overwhelming 3C bidders as to whether they agree 3C followed by 3S is forcing.
Oct. 24
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If you only want to belong to perfect organizations, don't expect to have many memberships. Yes, the ACBL has problems but we need it or an organization like it. Pay your dues.
Oct. 24
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There was a deal from the summer nationals that appeared in the ACBL Bulletin where one partner set trump to ask about partner's holding in that suit and then placed the contract in a higher rank. Our agreement is that a higher suit is always natural and a lower suit is a suggestion to play if the trump queen is asked for and denied.
Oct. 24
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One of my big problems (there are several) with Love's “Squeezes” is that it teaches you to just pay attention to the pitch of certain cards ( as suggested by a comment above.) I preach to my juniors to “COUNT. ALWAYS COUNT.”

It can be laziness,lack of concentration or inability, but the measure of a true expert (world class is more than that but I wouldn't know) is their ability to count.
Oct. 23
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I bet it doesn't go “1N, all pass.”
Oct. 23
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What if responder just wants to play in 3H with a bad hand? I am ok with some sort of super accept with 4 trump, but going past 3H with a doubleton looks wrong to me.
Oct. 23
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My son who is a decent Friday night game with the guys poker player used to play 7-2 unsuited (the worst hand you can have in Texas Hold Em) whenever he was dealt it. Yes, that sounds crazy but it increased his bluffs by a very small amount and made him more difficult to play against.
Oct. 23
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This is ALL about partnership. With the crap we open, I bid 2H and hope to go plus and that 140 beats the 130's or 120's. But playing with a downtown money rubber bridge player who would never open what we do, you would owe him at least 3D.
Oct. 21
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Running 6 clubs is never theoritically superior. Not the point. I am not good enough, but against the average regional opponents, some of my pro friends get it right by doing so. And your immediate reaction may be “they cheat” but I can tell you that they do not. They just have developed a very good table pressence.

If you pay attention, the average player shows you their hand. No, I am not talking about clocking her hand or reading her open convention card, this is all above board. For example, you take advantage of an opponents hesitation at your own risk. But if you have a very high batting average in terms of reading what a hesitation means, you can often score very well.
Oct. 21
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Bridge was much easier in the old days. All you needed to know was, “Fast or slow?” Now you need so much more information. “Left hand or right?” “Was his wrist cocked?” “Did anyone cough?” “Was his hand clocked?” “Where is the score pencil? The convention card? The coffee cup?”
Oct. 21
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You discrimination against precision auctions notwithstanding,
1D (2 plus D, 11-15 hcp)-2D (inverted)
2H (11-13 balanced)-2S (puppet to 2N)
3D (forcing)-3S (spade card, no heart card)
4H (kcb diamonds)-4S (0-3)
?
At this point North knows South has a balanced hand, three aces, and at most an outside J. An optimistic North could bid 6N but it would not be unreasonable to play opener for
Axxx, xxx, Axx, Axx and stop short.

Rather than 4H, North could bid 4N quant and South would bid 6C accepting and showing a 5th piece but North could not be sure of 3 aces.

So, I don't see how precision does better than standard. But symmetric relay, that's a different story.
Oct. 21
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Thank you Samuel. I buy the beer.
Oct. 21
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Not keycard without suit agreement. Our default when it is not defined as natural, quant, keycard, last train, takeout, minors, replacement cue, or exclusion (all of these have definition) is straight aces blackwood.
Oct. 21
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I think that this can be understood in terms of “equity.” When you have a weak hand, you have “negative equity”, your expected outcome is minus. When the opponents preempt, they are admitting to negative equity. Their expected value is minus. So, your RHO says, “I have a weak distributional hand”. What is the value in saying, “So do I.” Preempts take away the opponents bidding steps. When it is their hand, you want to do that. When it is your hand, you want to preserve steps. So, if RHO preempts and you also have a weak distributional hand, the answer is not obvious. My own view is that jumps can show good suits and offensive potential but do not promise the world's fair.
Oct. 20
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I have always been fascinated by game theory applications to bridge. I studied game theory at Princeton under A.W. Tucker, Nash's thesis advisor. I have posted several mixed strategy problems on Bridge Winners but they have had little traction. When I approached Jeff Rubens about a Bridge World article on mixed strategy game theory problems, his answer was, “too little interest.”

Kit, your “intuition” that this is a mixed strategy problem comports with mine. But I don't think declarer's hand needs to be known, it just needs to be prescribed with probabilistic boundaries.
Oct. 20
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Yeah, but give partner Kxx, Kx, xxx, AQxxx, not the worst double I have seen in the “modern style”, (and this is not the worst hand by any means), and if they double you can give them your car keys.
Oct. 20
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I may vote for other. Depending on the venue and quality of my opponents, I would be very tempted to win the spade in hand and ram 6 rounds of clubs at them. This is clearly not the best percentage play in the abstract, but against less than top opponents I am willing to bet my table read against a double heart hook.
Oct. 20
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I don't claim to have answers here, hence my desire to “clear up” lebensohl sequences. I would guess that our lebensohl agreements are “pretty standard” but can obviously be improved upon. I am reticent to get too esoteric for sequences which have very low frequency. For example, while John's suggestion with respect to 4H works fine when they preempt in hearts and we have spades, it doesn't work as well when they preempt spades and we have hearts (unless you have 5 level safety.) Similarly, Frances' suggestion of a 4m “raptor” is appealing if you are certain you want to give up on 3N (which I am not sure I am.) And Dar's suggestion to play transfers (I assume “transfer around their suit, cue is stayman”) gives up a constructive club bid in favor of an invite+ transfer into the other major.

On the hand posted, I don't see that the methods are what is presenting the problem. 60% of the respondents are opting to overbid, hoping to get lucky in pursuit of a white game. But none of the alternative agreements suggested are clearly superior for resolving the “go high or go low problem”. You pay your money and you take your chance. Feel lucky, punk?
Oct. 20
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