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All comments by Wayne Burrows
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Not sure I have any definitive answers.

I came from a history of playing weak no trump and four-card majors (Acol). My current partner played 2/1 so I agreed to play her system despite protesting that it was my least favourite system.

In Acol our style was to bid the lower of two four card suits, which makes the system almost five-card majors - 1 was only opened with four with 4=3=3=3 and 15+ hcp and 1 was only opened with four with 3=4=3=3 or 4=4 in the majors and 15+ hcp. There seemed to be benefits from opening 1 with 4=4 in the minors as we would always conveniently find a fit at a low level when it was important.

My new partner's style was always 1 with 4=4 in the minors. We have played for around two to three years with her opening 1 and me opening 1 on these hands.

My experience over this time has been that it almost never makes a difference. There are almost zero hands where one opening would score significantly better than the other and when it does it is often down to a luck factor rather than any sound principle.
Dec. 16, 2019
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We switch to two places to play.
  • Usually both minors but could be clubs and hearts.
  • With diamonds and hearts given we are a passed hand we can double then correct clubs to diamonds.
  • Over 2 it is both minors.
  • Also over 2, a 2 overcall is four spades and a minor.

Whoops this is for responder to the 1NT opening, not 2M overcallers partner.
Dec. 16, 2019
Wayne Burrows edited this comment Dec. 16, 2019
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If you enter an auction but no cards then you get just the auction displayed.
Dec. 15, 2019
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What do you prefer over 3?
Dec. 15, 2019
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Paul, partner almost never has no aces.

They would have to have Q, KQJ, J or most of those and a stiff heart honour and be willing to bid 4. That is close enough to zero chance for me.
Dec. 14, 2019
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I have no idea what is standard but I think west should attempt to give count when he plays the second spade. The way I do that is high for an original odd number and low for an original even number. When playing high, obviously play the highest you can afford.

Thereafter east needs to work out what is going on. It is a little difficult here because south did not rebid the seven card heart suit. So a high spade is consistent with both 109x and 1097xx.

There is only the Smith echo to transmit information. I suspect west should give a positive Smith for spades, if only because there is no switch that looks attractive.
Dec. 14, 2019
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I think 2 is non-forcing and it could be 5=4 or better in the majors.

I would not double with length in clubs say 5=4=1=3 as then I am stuck over the common 2 from partner. If not stuck then we have the same problem over again - is double then bid 2 forcing or not forcing. In this situation I would play double and bid as stronger.
Dec. 14, 2019
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Richard, I like your idea but I am unsure of the precise mechanics that allow partner to know when you need the A and some other stuff and when you need the specifically A too (as well as the A) as well as when you need diamonds controlled..
Dec. 14, 2019
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If that is the only strategy then that seems reasonable. I am most interested in the approximately 30% of the time that partner has A and A and not A and we miss a grand.
Dec. 14, 2019
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It seems we need a different set of priorities for cue bids that start at the five-level. At lower levels it is common to bid controls up-the-line. At this level, as you say all tries are flawed including the 5 up-the-line cue.
Dec. 14, 2019
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Probabilities do not work like that Paul. The probability is not proportional to the absolute number of cards partner has in a suit.

Rather it is loosely dependent on the relative number of cards your partner has compared with the number that the opponents have.

Obviously, there is also a dependency on the overall strength of partner's hand.

As declarer, we do this all of the time. If we find out that a key suit breaks 4=2 we reason that the key card is 4:2 on with the four card suit and we think we are unlucky when we finesse to a doubleton jack for example. Exactly the same principle applies to partner's cards and can be applied here in the bidding or in the play.

Here is some simulation data assuming partner is 4063.

With no strength information included partner has:

A 5792/10000 (4/7 = 0.571429)
A 4613/10000 (6/13 = 0.461538)
A 3379/10000 (3/9 = 0.333333)

All numbers will go up if we impose a minimum strength requirement say 10 hcp on opener.

A 7709/10000
A 6488/10000
A 5035/10000

They remain roughly in the proportion 4/7:6/13:3/9. The relative probability of the A drops and the A rises.
Dec. 14, 2019
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I think this strategy is against the odds. It might depend on how many aces partner shows and how many spades 1 showed.

If 4 showed four spades then a priori (ignoring strength considerations for now) partner is 4:3 on for the A.

Similarly, on the other hand, if partner has six diamonds then a priori is 6:7 against for the A.

When partner has one ace it is most likely to be the sA. If partner has two aces then around 30% of the time it will not include the A.
Dec. 14, 2019
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Seriously, partner makes a penalty double, I have values and an ordinary distribution, 5-4-3-1 is a very common shape, what reason can I have to pull this double?
Dec. 14, 2019
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It is unclear to me that the slow pass suggests leaving the double in. A slow double might suggest that the player had an alternative action to pass, which in turn might suggest pulling now is better.
Dec. 13, 2019
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Don't ask “A from AK”. Reword the question to something more generic but which “A from AK” or not would be an expected answer. “Leads and carding?” should do but a slightly more pointed question about honour leads would definitely do without giving anything away.
Dec. 12, 2019
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I agree Steve. It appears the law needs a specific exception to be made.

“Unless the Regulating Authority provides otherwise a player may consult his opponent’s system card:
(i) prior to the commencement of the auction,
(ii) during the Clarification Period,
(iii) during the auction and during the play but only at his turn to call or play, and
(iv) following an opponent’s request for an explanation, pursuant to Law 20F, for the purpose of correctly explaining the significance of his partner’s call or play.” Law 40B2c
Dec. 12, 2019
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I doubt you could reasonably call this an “attempt to pass”.
Dec. 12, 2019
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Thanks I forgot to mention that.
Dec. 11, 2019
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Of course but that does not help when the opposition bump the bidding up a level.
Dec. 10, 2019
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Sure but not the conditions of this problem.
Dec. 10, 2019
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