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Have you ever purposefully done this?

Is there a reason to intentionally bid a hand that does not contain a marriage with the intent to take the bid?

How is the score affected?

Using most pinochle rules, if a player takes or is stuck with the bid and does not have a marriage, the hand is immediately over. The bidding team loses the amount of points that was bid. This is the interesting point. No matter how much power or meld the opposing team held, they do not add one point to their score. There are some game rules that require the opposing team to add their total meld to their score (if they have more than 20), but not at Yahoo Pinochle, where most of our pinochle community plays.

So if the rules dictate that a player who takes the bid without a marriage loses points, that would appear to be a major deterrent. Unless, the player's goal is to prevent his opponents from scoring any points. Even though this is a sound strategy for extending the game, it is rarely used, because it does not happen often that a player is dealt a hand without a marriage. So...

In what pinochle scenarios, if you are dealt a "loveless" hand, would/should you do take the bid?

In these scenarios, is there a way to plan or communicate this? How should these scenarios be handled?
(01-06-2013, 10:57 PM)rakbeater Wrote: [ -> ]Have you ever purposefully done this?

Is there a reason to intentionally bid a hand that does not contain a marriage with the intent to take the bid?

How is the score affected?

Using most pinochle rules, if a player takes or is stuck with the bid and does not have a marriage, the hand is immediately over. The bidding team loses the amount of points that was bid. This is the interesting point. No matter how much power or meld the opposing team held, they do not add one point to their score. There are some game rules that require the opposing team to add their total meld to their score (if they have more than 20), but not at Yahoo Pinochle, where most of our pinochle community plays.

So if the rules dictate that a player who takes the bid without a marriage loses points, that would appear to be a major deterrent. Unless, the player's goal is to prevent his opponents from scoring any points. Even though this is a sound strategy for extending the game, it is rarely used, because it does not happen often that a player is dealt a hand without a marriage. So...

In what pinochle scenarios, if you are dealt a "loveless" hand, would/should you do take the bid?

In these scenarios, is there a way to plan or communicate this? How should these scenarios be handled?

I've seen it done many times, but I personally will almost never do it. I consider it...if not cheating, at least very poor sportsmanship.

The fundamental goal, yes, is to extend the game. You are automatically minus your bid...but the rules say, the opponents DO NOT get their meld. I think that's a terrible scoring rule, but it is what it is.

I've seen 2 major situations:

1. Opponents are at, say, 450+, where a normal 50-65 hand puts them out.

2. Opponents have huge meld, whatever the score...even the first hand. -120 to 0 is better than 0 to 120; as you say, the former gives you more time to get better hands.

The one time it's a reasonable tactic is when both sides are over 450...preferably, you're more like 470-480. -60 or -65 still keeps you above 400; you're hoping for reasonable luck on the next 2 hands.

As a sidebar: HOW you do this is also important. I've had partners open 50 (or even 60) in first seat, with no marriage, intending to take the set. Some have had just truly junk hands, with little or no meld...say, 2 aces, queens around, flat hand...and their 'argument' has been "well I can't see stopping them from whatever they want to do." I detest this tactic, as it's completely unilateral. Hey, YOU can't...but maybe I CAN do something. DON'T LIE to me. I may have a good hand. They may not have meld, or a decent trump suit...they may be going set, instead of *us* going set.
(01-07-2013, 12:37 PM)ToreadorElder Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-06-2013, 10:57 PM)rakbeater Wrote: [ -> ]Have you ever purposefully done this?

Is there a reason to intentionally bid a hand that does not contain a marriage with the intent to take the bid?

How is the score affected?

Using most pinochle rules, if a player takes or is stuck with the bid and does not have a marriage, the hand is immediately over. The bidding team loses the amount of points that was bid. This is the interesting point. No matter how much power or meld the opposing team held, they do not add one point to their score. There are some game rules that require the opposing team to add their total meld to their score (if they have more than 20), but not at Yahoo Pinochle, where most of our pinochle community plays.

So if the rules dictate that a player who takes the bid without a marriage loses points, that would appear to be a major deterrent. Unless, the player's goal is to prevent his opponents from scoring any points. Even though this is a sound strategy for extending the game, it is rarely used, because it does not happen often that a player is dealt a hand without a marriage. So...

In what pinochle scenarios, if you are dealt a "loveless" hand, would/should you do take the bid?

In these scenarios, is there a way to plan or communicate this? How should these scenarios be handled?

I've seen it done many times, but I personally will almost never do it. I consider it...if not cheating, at least very poor sportsmanship.

The fundamental goal, yes, is to extend the game. You are automatically minus your bid...but the rules say, the opponents DO NOT get their meld. I think that's a terrible scoring rule, but it is what it is.

I've seen 2 major situations:

1. Opponents are at, say, 450+, where a normal 50-65 hand puts them out.

2. Opponents have huge meld, whatever the score...even the first hand. -120 to 0 is better than 0 to 120; as you say, the former gives you more time to get better hands.

The one time it's a reasonable tactic is when both sides are over 450...preferably, you're more like 470-480. -60 or -65 still keeps you above 400; you're hoping for reasonable luck on the next 2 hands.

As a sidebar: HOW you do this is also important. I've had partners open 50 (or even 60) in first seat, with no marriage, intending to take the set. Some have had just truly junk hands, with little or no meld...say, 2 aces, queens around, flat hand...and their 'argument' has been "well I can't see stopping them from whatever they want to do." I detest this tactic, as it's completely unilateral. Hey, YOU can't...but maybe I CAN do something. DON'T LIE to me. I may have a good hand. They may not have meld, or a decent trump suit...they may be going set, instead of *us* going set.


This strategy will prolong the game, purposely losing, in hopes of getting nice hands to win later. But is in really poor taste.
(01-07-2013, 10:23 PM)Steve Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-07-2013, 12:37 PM)ToreadorElder Wrote: [ -> ]I've seen it done many times, but I personally will almost never do it. I consider it...if not cheating, at least very poor sportsmanship.

The fundamental goal, yes, is to extend the game. You are automatically minus your bid...but the rules say, the opponents DO NOT get their meld. I think that's a terrible scoring rule, but it is what it is.


This strategy will prolong the game, purposely losing, in hopes of getting nice hands to win later. But is in really poor taste.

I agree that it is a terrible rule. If someone doesn't have a marriage and takes the bid, the opponents should get their meld (20+). I wouldn't mind if there was an exception if a player gets stuck with it (pass, pass, pass), but I'd rather the rule just be consistent. Not that any of us are able to change these rules, but it is fun to talk about.

I would definitely not call it cheating, and I wouldn't have called it unsportsmanlike or in poor taste, but I can see how it could be viewed in such a way. Years ago, in Poker, if you check raised an opponent, some players would get angry and view the check/raise as unsportsmanlike and in poor taste. Now it is an accepted and important tool to use to play winning Poker. My view in competition has always been to play to win within the rules. ToreadorElder brings up a good conversation point which I want to address in my next post about not lying to your partner when bidding.
I consider it poor sportsmanship when it's done when there's little chance of coming back. I've seen it, for example, when the score's 450-200. OK, I've seen comebacks from big deficits; we've all seen 300-0 flurries. But sportsmanship means respect for the game, not "do whatever is legal to win."

Now...ok, if we're talking serious money on the line, and ONLY the win matters...sportsmanship probably has to take a back seat. We're talking casual play, tho, with nothing on the line.
(01-08-2013, 01:32 PM)ToreadorElder Wrote: [ -> ]I consider it poor sportsmanship when it's done when there's little chance of coming back. I've seen it, for example, when the score's 450-200. OK, I've seen comebacks from big deficits; we've all seen 300-0 flurries. But sportsmanship means respect for the game, not "do whatever is legal to win."

Now...ok, if we're talking serious money on the line, and ONLY the win matters...sportsmanship probably has to take a back seat. We're talking casual play, tho, with nothing on the line.


I see the separation there, and I agree that makes sense. It is annoying to lengthen the game when there is such a small chance of coming back. However I was raised in competition/sports where even if you have virtually no chance of coming back, you still do whatever you can, under the rules, to try to win. Dive for lose balls, go for steals, etc. Otherwise you are essentially giving up and conceding before the game is over.


Question: Do you consider it unsportsmanlike if a player thinks they have a good chance to take 31 and they bid up higher than they think they can make to create the same situation where they stop their opponents from adding to their score to lengthen the game?
Quote:I see the separation there, and I agree that makes sense. It is annoying to lengthen the game when there is such a small chance of coming back. However I was raised in competition/sports where even if you have virtually no chance of coming back, you still do whatever you can, under the rules, to try to win. Dive for lose balls, go for steals, etc. Otherwise you are essentially giving up and conceding before the game is over.

We are SLOWLY learning the limits of that...Greg Schiano's asinine instructions to have his defense crash into the offense, when they're taking a knee, largely got slammed for terrible sportsmanship. There are limits to that. Taking a bid without a marriage and taking an intentional big set, isn't even the same IMO as intentionally fouling in basketball, in order to lengthen the game. And note...if we're talking (in basketball) a 10 point margin with 1 minute to play...that's not entirely over. A 10 point margin with 20 seconds...or a 20 point margin with a minute and a half...THAT is over. And generally you DON'T see teams fouling intentionally at that point.

Note, too, that the "just win baby" mindset justifies cheating, if you think the opponents are doing it. Think steroids and PEDs, in football, baseball, and cycling. It is a VERY small step from "do anything within the rules" to "make sure you obey the 11th commandment." Finally, one can see parallels to serious issues...the whole uber-competitive mindset can, arguably, be seen in current politics where compromise is a 4 letter word, or in business situations like Enron or the financial collapse. It is of course gross oversimplification to say that's all it is, but it is a factor IMO.

Quote:Question: Do you consider it unsportsmanlike if a player thinks they have a good chance to take 31 and they bid up higher than they think they can make to create the same situation where they stop their opponents from adding to their score to lengthen the game?

Think they can make, or know they can make? If I have a likely 31 hand, it's reasonable to be aggressive and hope partner gives something more than normal...perhaps a LOT more if he was shut out of the auction. Compare these auctions, with you as dealer (ergo LHO bidding first):

60 - pass - pass - ?
52 - pass - 60 - ?

In the second auction, partner's limited because he had a 20 meld bid available and didn't give it. In the first auction, he could have 20.

The other issue is, of course, do you think you've got a good shot at pulling 20 on defense? Yahoo's been dealing me an insane run of 10, 11, and 12 card trump suits the last couple of days, when it's been dealing anything worth bidding. Obviously, this is a massively offensive hand. Conversely, if your hand is more balanced...8-4-4-4 with a nice AATTxxxx trump suit and 4 side aces...there's still a reasonable route to 20 points.

If your ONLY motivation is to do it to deny the opponents, and you have NO chance to make, then I think it's bad sportsmanship. I've seen opponents knowingly overbid so high that they can't make by pulling 50. This is another area where IMO the rules need an adjustment: once the defense takes *1* trick, they save their meld. If the motivation is to take a calculated risk, where the mathematical expectation is actually on your side, then it's fine.