Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Mike Gill
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It seems wrong to bid 2 on some random 6322 11 count and this hand with arguably several additional tricks of playing strength. With a few exceptions, 7-4 hands don't play very well in 4-4 fits, so I don't even feel bad about burying the hearts.
April 9
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Well, 4 “accomplishes” obstructing them better than 3. The problem is that 4 just offers them all winning options. Bidding on will probably work since things are breaking. Doubling get at least 500 and often 800.
April 2
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Most of the time, we'd like to double 1 if partner has 4 but not if has 3?
March 27
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I think you have to do that if you're playing pass as NF. But it's a trade-off right? You are still giving up accuracy in doubling them. Either partner passes with 3 or not, but you're either doubling their 8-fit or not doubling their 7-fit. I would have thought getting that decision right would be more important than occasionally bidding over 1 when it's wrong.
March 27
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I'm willing to be shouted down on this, but I was just very surprised by the votes thus far. Sure we *might* have passed with a weaker hand but it just seems like letting them off the hook when we have the goods is giving up a lot (especially if they're unfav).

On a side note, this also seems like one of those situations where this understanding is MUCH better if the opponents don't know about it. I'd run much more frequently if I knew about this.
March 27
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I've just seen this go wrong so many times where one world class player thinks their partner just has to have X or Y for their bidding and they don't. There are times where you have to rely on these sorts of judgments ‘cause you didn’t have room, but here all you had to do was have either player bid keycard at any point to bid an easy grand or avoid a bad one.

Also I'm not saying you should bid 4 then continue over 4. If you're going to bid on over 4 you should just be bidding keycard yourself over 4 since you haven't gained any information. Yes it's better if partner bids keycard but not having either player bid keycard is much worse!
March 27
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Just so we're all straight on what this means. I pick up a 2263 15 count and pass 1X for penalties. They run to 1 and now I can't pass to see if partner wants to double them without risking playing 1 undoubled?
March 27
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I do not understand the votes for the second option and suspect not everyone read the third option…
March 27
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Yes, I want to invite more so whichever of pass/3 does that.
March 27
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But wouldn't you bid the same way with KJxxxx xx Ax Axx? That's arguably a better hand.
March 25
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Getting past keycard if partner is going to make the last decision is not free. *We* know that we have enough keycards if partner has anything remotely resembling a slam try opposite a minimum. But we're staring at 4 of the 6 and partner, who made a slam try with at most 2 opposite a minimum might be a bit nervous about that. Remember partner could still have a mountain and be looking for a grand if you have all the keycards. It's really hard to bid grands without keycard. You can safely bid keycard here if you're bidding on - how can partner possibly have a slam try here off a club control and a heart control?
March 25
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I've always wondered why this wasn't standard.
March 23
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Also why didn't partner cue clubs? Or are we assuming that would show clubs?
March 23
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I think rating this as 8+ and not bidding on are inconsistent. Not sure where the line should be, arguably 6-7 should be thinking about bidding on. Partner made a slam try knowing you had a min and you have the ace in the suit he's missing a control in and you think your hand is an 8/10 in context. Geez what do you need?
March 23
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I believe the answer to this question has to be no. Partner might have a rock-crusher with no club control, so you should cooperate. 4 says “I have a club control but my hand is not good enough to take over”. If you had substantial extras for 3NT and a club control, you should take over and bid keycard.
March 23
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I was going to go with a worse hand actually :) But then the OP said “almost all 11s” and I thought maybe I should add a twelfth point just in case.
March 22
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Richard,
* I presume 2NT would have been natural but showing stoppers. Actually this should lower my answer if anything since a lot of the hands with scattered junk would rebid that. Still I could have this hand without the Q in the specified style and that's much worse for sure.
* For me your example hand is definitely not a 4 bid. Decent trumps, honors together, 3 controls. Make it Qxxxx KQ Jxx KJx and we'll talk. “Yeah I opened ‘cause I have 5 spades and too many points to pass but geez this is terrible”. But definitely 5332 and no side aces, probably bad trumps and 8+ losers.
* KQxxxx x Axxx Ax is definitely there for me (if you would bid 2 not 2), 6133 as well. Your example hand is on the border. I just think that if you have a serious try and partner has extras, he needs to take over unless you’re missing a control/two keycards. Since if we're going to be bidding 4 with this hand and AQJxxx xxx AKx A where all we care about is that partner cue his heart control if he has one so we don't get to the 5-level unnecessarily, then we need to be able to sign off/bid last train after partner cues to say “ok I need a little extra from you”. I don't think this hand is quite good enough to have partner bid on with normal 15-16 counts.
March 22
Mike Gill edited this comment March 22
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I like the question format, although it conflates bidding style with hand evaluation. I'm not sure your goal exactly, but this actually matters a lot. Also let me add the caveat that I've been playing almost exclusively Precision the last 10 years so maybe my Standard is rusty?

Not sure what everyone else is assuming, but here's the style I like:
4M = Basically never bid this opposite an unlimited partner without the worst hand for slam you can imagine having opened
Non-serious = Almost anything less than a serious slam try
Serious = I'm interested opposite a min, please cooperate unless you want to vomit

IMO serious pretty much has to mean partner cues with a min since I might have the goods and just need a control. You can still make this bid looking for some extras as well and just sign off/bid last train if partner cues. Same for responder - if opener shows a min and responder cues, opener should cooperate with a min, but accept a signoff. The naming is somewhat unfortunate here since it often gets called a “non-serious slam try” and that implies it's a slam try. It's just leaving room for partner to make a try.

This hand is definitely way more than some rando 5332 11 count but it's still a 5332 minimum opener with no source of tricks. To me, KQxxxx Ax Axx xx is still not a serious slam try here and this hand is a trick worse than that. We can all picture partner's Axx Axx xx KQxxx and think we might make a slam opposite a dead min here, but partner hasn't promised clubs at all and chasing slams like that is a bad idea anyway. How is he supposed to know that hand is better than most 16 point hands without 5 clubs?

This ends up being a pretty awful auction for normal 2/1 agreements - opener has to evaluate within a massive range of shapes and strengths knowing almost nothing about responder's hand. Fwiw having 2 be 6+ really does help in slam auctions like this.
March 22
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Giorgio, yes, doing a full analysis would require a simulation done by someone who knows what they are doing and is taking extreme care to avoid bias. The value in polls like this is allowing you to calibrate your judgment based on an amalgamation of the experience of many good players. If everyone thinks X and you think Y you're very likely to be wrong. Experts aren't shy about disagreeing with one another and if there are experts on both sides then both calls are probably reasonable.

What you are saying about IMPs is certainly true but this wasn't IMPs and anyway people have this issue at IMPS too, arguably worse since at MPs it's “just one board”. It causes them to be too conservative about doubling part-scores and overcalling at a high level, even when the IMP odds for these actions are probably their favor.

Saying the bidder can have anywhere from 0 to all the remaining strength here is not true. Overcalled needs to have *something* to bid - playing partner for more than a defensive trick (and the value of his 4+ trumps here) seems like too much. He can't have that much after responder freely bids game without inviting!
March 19
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* You can't add a hand diagram in a comment as the functionality currently stands.
* Anecdotes are not very helpful in general for figuring out the right long-term action. This is especially true in situations like this where going for/collecting a number is much more memorable than getting a good score for going -50 in 2 instead of the opponents getting +90 in 1NT, say.
* This particular anecdote is especially unhelpful because 1) that 5-5 majors hand is MUCH worse than the one given here, which has an ace and a void and some tens - I would believe it's still right to bid at favorable but I don't think it's at all clear, and 2) the 5 bid is completely off the map when partner has promised no club support and the opponents are trying to play in their suit that's breaking at best 4-0 and more likely 5-0.
March 19
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