Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Eugene Hung
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Like I said, I can easily make an IMP-based analysis for each board. On another 1000 hands, we:

won 10 IMPs (28%)
pushed (21%)
lost 3 IMPs (8%)
lost 5 IMPs (15%)
lost 6 IMPs (19%)
lost 7 IMPs (9%)

Net gain was 0.026 IMPs/board from bidding, vulnerable at IMPs. But that's by far the best time to bid. And this sample of 1000 was more favorable, finding a game 28% of the time – the previous 1000 only hit game 23% of the time.
April 1, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I believe the conditions of contest in the problem is pairs, which makes passing even better. My simulator is capable of generating IMP expectation for actions, but I assumed MPs, so I just gave the percentages.

I don't understand why one would use Stayman at IMPs to drop partner in 2 if a heart fit is found. The sim shows that we are only going down 11% of the time in 1NT (not surprising, since we have 8 HCP), so any gain from playing in hearts instead of notrump rate to be small. Stayman and pass is much better at matchpoints, when you may win the board just by finding your 4-4 heart fit.
March 31, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I have written a simulation for this situation because it's come up for me in the past and I wasn't satisfied with the results of isolated hand evaluation functions like K&R. The simulation situation is that South either invites with a natural 2NT (so there are no lead-directing implications) or passes the opening, which is what I assume here because the hearts are so poor. North's 1NT is 15-17, any 5332 or 5422 with a 5-card minor with some high-card strength in doubletons. After 2NT, I assume that with 15 HCP, North rejects, otherwise North accepts.

If North has 15 HCP, inviting can only be worse than pass, and is marked as worse if the double-dummy total is 0-7 tricks.
If North has 16-17 HCP, inviting is worse than pass if the double-dummy total is 0-8 tricks, else inviting is better.

Over 1000 deals:
Invitation is worse = 541
Invitation is better = 234

Distribution of tricks taken in notrump:
0-6 = 11.6%
7 = 21.9%
8 = 35.9%
9+ = 30.6%

While real-life play does tend to vary somewhat from dummy play, it doesn't vary enough to buck a nearly 30% edge from passing unless you are a top player playing in a poor field. Even in 1NT, the most difficult contract to defend, declarer's real-life advantage at top levels is usually around 5% over double-dummy, as seen in an analysis of world championship hands. Declarer's advantage decreases as the contract goes higher, especially after an invitational auction which reveals more about the declarer's hand.
March 31, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Transfer advances make the problem much easier but since they weren't stated as part of the problem I don't think it's fair to assume that we're playing them.
March 30, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I stand corrected then, 6pm does seem like a better time than 7:30. Once you are off the ground, though, you might want to hold one weekly session at 6:30 or 7 just to give people an option, and induce attendance amongst regular 6pmers by reducing card fees $1. It may lose you some short-term revenue but give you access to more customers long-term. As a working stiff, I already have enough trouble making a 7pm club game; 6pm would be impossible. Catering to just the retired will only perpetuate the decline of bridge amongst middle-aged and younger players.
March 28, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Is 6pm the best evening time for people in your area? In the Bay Area, most evening club games start at 7 or 7:30pm, because many people work until 6.

I would also recommend using Bridge Composer software to generate hand records and recaps if you are using BridgeMates/BridgePads. We here at Bridge Winners use it for the Cavendish Pairs and my local clubs also use it for their club games. Here's a sample recap generated by Bridge Composer:

http://www.paloaltobridge.com/gameresults/oleary/C120326M.htm
March 28, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I bid 2 because spades are the primary feature of my hand. Starting with 2 will practically bury your chances of playing in spades, because partner will never believe you have 5 good spades if you start with 2. I plan to show the rest of my hand at my second turn so that partner will choose the correct strain. While passing may gain 200 on some layouts when the opponents get too high, it's a big position to take when your side may have an 8-card spade or 9-card diamond fit, and you may have a cheap NV save against 3, as long as you find the right suit to play in.

In general, the player who first describes his hand type and its primary feature(s) puts his partner in a strong position. When you have a balanced hand, its point count is its primary feature. When you have an unbalanced hand, showing your two longest suits and your relative preference for those two will help partner make the right strain decision.
March 27, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I think it's important to discuss general rules, or “metarules” when you first start playing with a new partner. One of my favorite metarules is that 2NT is never to play when they bid and raise a suit. While that may backfire in certain situations, such situations are rare, and I never lose IMPs wondering what my partner's 2NT bid is, or worrying that my partner will mistake 2NT for something else.
March 27, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Since you were not interested in hearing the arguments for PASS vs. 1, but more about DOUBLE vs. 1, I think Barry gave a good summary on why we should overcall 1 instead of DOUBLE. Doubling with 3-5 in the majors and minimal high-card values doesn't rate to work well. If you double first, it's hard to show the 5th heart later, and you will miss most of your 5-3 heart fits. But if you overcall 1, you're more likely to find spades when it's right. For example, if LHO passes and partner has 5 spades with some values, she can still bid spades. Or, if LHO raises clubs/bids spades, silencing partner, you can double back in on the next round to show a hand with tolerance for all unbid suits and 5 hearts.
March 27, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
1 seems clear to me at either MP or IMP although I judge it more dangerous at MP. Overcalling is not without downside – perhaps you persuade partner to lead hearts when holding the ace, for example – but there are far more dangers from passing. Even if passing and overcalling were dead even on a double-dummy basis, I would still overcall, as that leads to tougher auctions for your opponents than passing.

Lynn, you may want to do similar questions like this in the future as a poll. Hit “new poll” instead of “new article” to do so.
March 27, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
David – I've also seen the Khan Academy and I believe it would be great for bridge. Keep coming to Bridge Winners and you may see some developments along that line in the future.
March 25, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I'm a bidder, I've learned the hard way that you can't pass these hands when there's a vulnerable game bonus lurking and you've got the shortness. Opposite hands with 7-8 working points and either 3 spades or 5 hearts, game rates to make. Passing may be right by avoiding a big penalty, but I've found PASS losing 10-12 IMPs more frequently.
March 25, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Also, this is not new. I remember in Reno 2 years ago, the team full of Singaporean juniors faced team NICKELL in an early round, and the Singaporeans had not complied with ACBL regulations in providing written defenses. Meckstroth called the director on them, I believe after the first half when the match was reasonably close, and it caused a little controversy then. At least he's being consistent.
March 22, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Hi Mark – Jeff Roman currently doesn't have a Bridge Winners account. If he creates one, we'd be happy to give him that picture, or a picture of his choice.
March 21, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Photos only appear if that player has a Bridge Winners account with a picture. Speaking of which, Debbie, where's yours?
March 20, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Jeff – that is correct. That's how you do 4-way matches with 3 survivors. With 77 teams, the goal is to eliminate 13 teams today. The top 25 teams have byes and the remaining 52 play 4-way matches with 3 survivors to get to the round of 64.
March 19, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Hi Debbie –

Go to the front page, click on 2012 Vanderbilt Results, then click on Opening Round.
March 19, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Debbie – See our front page, and click on 2012 Vanderbilt Results, then Opening Round.
March 19, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Card games are dying out? I disagree. Just look at poker and how popular it is, even amongst people who are not legally allowed to gamble. It's not because there are “poker clubs” at school, it's because the rules are easy to understand, and there's a strong reward mechanism. Or Magic, a (collectible) card game that became very popular during the video game era. Or all the designer board games (Settlers of Catan, Dominion, etc.) that have been popping up in the last two decades despite all the other entertainment options. As long as your product is fun, easy to learn, and provides enough instant gratification, you will get people of all ages interested.
March 15, 2012
.

Bottom Home Top