Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Dean Pokorny
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When both opponents bid and leave 1NTx, their range combined will usually be 18-20. Since they have the advantage of the lead, you will be set in 1NTx, maybe even twice or more. If opponents can set 1NTx, that doesn't mean they can set a contract on the 2nd level where you have a fit.

The redouble doesn't have anything to do with the HCPs necessarily, since you will in practice have almost exclusively 11-12 here. But you can try to find a better contract with specific shapes, especially when having a singleton in partner's major, since if he rebids 2, then the real trouble begins.

If you stubbornly choose to play 1NTx with 18 HCP combined constantly, you will create a lot of minus, which is not in accordance with the “chief object is to obtain a higher score than other contestants” part of the law.
Aug. 28, 2014
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Ah, yes, I forgot you can edit the textual output.

Well, if it is MP, then going for +800/+1100 seems clear-cut. It seems I should really change my vote now.
Aug. 28, 2014
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Here I might wish it were penalties!

Is partner allowed ever to pass 2 with spade-shortness after 2?

If not, as I think he shouldn't be - he could double with a hand like 1264. With 1255 he could double sometimes, while with 0265 he will bid 3 (forcing, since his first bid was constructive).

I doubled too mostly because I wasn't careful, but since we need a lot to get to +980, pass is probably the best bid, since this hand looks like a lock for +800, probably even +1100.
Aug. 28, 2014
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How did you manage to implement the operation of putting in the 2 bid without Doctor's help?
Aug. 28, 2014
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What players do is try to find the best bid in every bidding spot. This isn't always easy to do because there is a lot of factors involved. All bids which are considered as possibly the best bids during the evaluation process are (at least temporarily) logical alternatives. Bids that for some reason are considered, although the player knows well such bids cannot be best, are illogical alternatives.

When you are polling players, you are essentially asking them what bid they think is best in some particular spot, given some particular ranges (especially partner's) and given some particular methods. They analyze the spot and say what is their bid. Sometimes they choose two bids because they think there are two equal choices (50%-50%). Sometimes, although rarely, they choose three bids because they think there are three equal choices (33.3%-33.3%-33.3%). That are of course rough estimations, because bridge-players are imperfect and because human brain isn't a well programmed computer. Such principle exists just because it is hard to implement a better method, and nobody cares much anyway.

When you poll players and get the votes 3 vs. 7, as you suggested with your example, this means one of two things:
- the 3/10 peers are right and the 7/10 are wrong, the “3/10 action” IS a LA,
- the 7/10 peers are right and the 3/10 peers are wrong, the “3/10 action” ISN'T a LA.

This is because the only thing that is logical to do, is to choose the best bid possible, according to your own estimation and evaluation of authorized ranges. Voluntarily choosing a bid considered as inferior in a clear spot is the breach of Laws.

If THIS is the proper method to determine what a LA is, a method that indirectly and subtly implies 7/10 peers might be wrong (this is the exact inference, although nobody wants to say that loud) and less than half of other peers right, what is the point of such process? With such ratio considered as relevant, we might as easily coin-flip to determine what a LA is.

We badly need reliable methods. But without understanding the theory behind, with many people trying to appear cool by penalizing a hesitating partner with their illogical alternatives, such methods will hardly ever appear on the horizon.
Aug. 28, 2014
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Yes, I like the 1 rebid too, especially when I have some 33(61) medium hand, and the bidding starts 1m-1.
Aug. 28, 2014
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Where can the D&W calculator be found?
Aug. 28, 2014
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What kind of comment is that?

I have 9, opener might have 11, partner bid 10. What, it is completely impossible for a vulnerable weak-jump bidder to have anything below 11 HCP?
Aug. 28, 2014
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OK. What is the right name for playing “3rd/low + xXxx”? Today I heard about the Lover's Leap, so maybe this is the right day for learning proper terminology.
Aug. 28, 2014
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OK, let's analyze. Do you ever bid a 5-carder suit as opener here. If not, do you ever rebid 1NT with 6m(322) and rebid a 6-carder suit here?
Aug. 28, 2014
Dean Pokorny edited this comment Aug. 28, 2014
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What is non-existent? Playing the superior contract on the 2nd level, when 1NTx is an inferior contract?
Aug. 28, 2014
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Of course he is permitted, Kit.

In the ideal world where the player would be aware of the success rates properly related to the risk/reward ratio, he is permitted to bid 3 down to 50.00000000001%. But when the the situation of indifference between bidding and passing is triggered (50%-50%, including anything below it), he must pass.

Success rates aren't always easy to calculate, but in a non-ideal world this isn't a problem because 65% is a lot higher than 50%, and the 35% alternative doesn't constitute a LA (not even close, as long the players know what they are doing and why).

Strange question. You asked me essentially if a player is allowed to pick a 65% successful action instead of a 35% successful action. Not only is he allowed, he is almost forced by the Law 72A to pick such action, as long as he is aware of the percentages. Only when the UI transfers an action from the “below 50%” zone to “above 50%” zone, such action is not permitted.

But maybe I'm wrong. If so, tell me, what is the threshold when some action does become a LA? (I am assuming your “successful x% of time” definition incorporates all the disproportion of positive and negative equity in the proper manner, not just the makeability of the contract reached, since it is obvious you could win a lot more than lose, when you bid a game.)
Aug. 28, 2014
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With what partner's range is 3x going down?

If with the average expectancy (partner having something, but not much) - what will happen when partner has nothing? They might score +470/+760 on a board where you have no equity (the possibility of responder's redouble I won't even mention, when he adjusts with a heavy sign-off strategy to your methods).

If with partner's zero - what equity are you trying to protect? Even if they would go down, you don't have a game anyway (maybe even in the 25+0 situation, which will never happen anyway), so you're not losing anything valuable.

The strategy you suggest is almost an equivalent of playing:
Double = penalty
3 = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fishbein_convention
after the 3 opening, or
1NT pass pass 2
Dbl
as penalty.
Aug. 28, 2014
Dean Pokorny edited this comment Aug. 28, 2014
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Why would you like to play 1NTx with 12-14 and partner's six-counter and occasionally get destroyed with a fit available, but run to some of the three suits available with 15-16 + 6?

I hope you are aware you are breaking the Law 72A this way.
Aug. 28, 2014
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I play 3rd/low too, but I'm always leading xXxx. With agreement or not, partner will always know what is going on when a suit is raised, since I'm always leading xxX.

The additional benefit is - partner might have an easier time to differentiate between Hxxx and xxxx if you lead HxXx and xXxx (this time, when the suit wasn't bid).
Aug. 28, 2014
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Yeah, Ron. I agree. Finding out what the percentage lead is, isn't always an easy task at the table. That's why is good to analyse these positions, trying to determine somehow standard (although rare) situations, and how to cope with them.

However, till now 76% of people led the A here, but I have a hard time to understand why are they playing against the layout Chuck suggested:
Axxxx
x
AQxxxxx
-
since this is the only situation where a heart trick might disappear, which is very rare and completely inconsistent with the bidding (it should go: …5 = ERKCB, 5NT = 2+Q, and sometimes eventually, 6 = Any kings?, 6 = K, 7).

Thanks again for the poll, great and very instructive problem.
Aug. 28, 2014
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Bid ethically!?! :)

You sound like someone who's got idee fixe about ethics, not even understanding what ethics really are. Getting to a game you would get always without the UI IS NOT unethical. Not getting to such game because fearing somebody might wrongly think you are an unethical player IS absurd, and cannot be measured properly on the moral-scale, no matter of how hard you try.

“Kit's 13-count doesn't look like a sure move” - you say. I agree absolutely. This hand doesn't look like a sure move to 3 - it looks like a sure move to 4, a game that needs something more than 40% of equity.

I don't know what ranges and what strategies were these players using, but I'm a fairly simple guy. After:
(1) pass (1) 1
(Dbl)
in vacuum I play
2 = 3, 6-9 (I need a courtesy raise because the range of 1 is pretty wide)
2 then pass on 2 = 3, 10-11
2 then raise 2 = 3, 12-13

The:
9xx
J
KQJx
AQxxx
hand isn't a standard 13 HCP hand. With a singleton, compact diamonds behind the A and the club finesse working this is - a monster!

Assume the 4th seat with an absolute minimum containing normal expectancy of lengths, and no 6th spade:
AKJxx
xxxx
xx
xx
and the game is still good, if not excellent. Various hands in the 9-12 range (which are OK with playing 2 across a 10-11 hand) I won't even mention.

This is why the correct rebid over 2 is 4, with 3 being a heavy underbid.

An expert might pass 2 here, with these ranges, only:
1) if he is on some heavy drugs that prevent his evaluation of the hand, and/or
2) if he is making some psychosocial experiment involving partner, opponents, kibitzers and the ingrained holy perception of your home-made “ethics”.

Now you are allowed to be serious.
Aug. 28, 2014
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I never played PS after 1NT, but, as far as I can see, you don't need to lose the Garbage Stayman necessarily.

You can play:
1NT 2 2 2 as “both majors, weak”
1NT 2 2 3 as “puppet to 3” (3 = 4 GF; 3 = 4 GF; 3NT = clubs NF, if you need to have a hand with clubs in 2)
1NT 2 2 2 as “4 or 4, invitational”, then
2NT = rejecting invite
3m = accepting, asking for the major suit (3=, 3=)
3NT = accepting, no interest in knowing responder's major suit

OK, it might be bad when you play 2NT instead of 3M in 4-4 fit with a minimal opening, but however, when is the last time you played 3M after the standard 1NT-2-2M-3M-pass sequence, anyway?
Aug. 28, 2014
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To be honest, I asked Frances, didn't see your post since we posted simultaneously.

But since you are here, Oren, I would like to see an example hand of a “cards” double in this spot. Would you really ever double 3 as “cards/cooperative” without having at least 3-3 in the major suits?
Aug. 28, 2014
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What is:
1NT pass 2NT pass
3 pass pass Double
then (against strong 1NT)?
Aug. 28, 2014
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