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Basics: Expectation about partner's hand
Stop thinking about who bid first. Wrong thought process. The point is partner was in a *save* situation. And that *can* arise even when you bid first. RHO opens 50, you bid 53, pass, pass, 54 by RHO. Case d) has an analogous auction. Only f) is clearly because partner bid before you, because 51 == aces can only happen when he acts first.

But as noted, don't worry about who acted first. Consider the action, and the options...because every action you take, limits the hands you can have. (This is why meld-first bidding is, IMO, terribly wrong...because it does NOT do this.) Consider these two sequences, with LHO starting (and putting partner in the save seat):

a) pass - 50 - pass - 52 - 54
b) pass - 52 - pass - 54 - 55
c) pass - 52 - pass - 54 - 56

In both cases, you and partner are showing 20 meld...but in a) he chose to start with 50, which may have been passed out, THEN he gave 20, offering it back to you. So what does this suggest? Most likely, a 6 card run, and *maybe* a very weak 7 card run (ATKQQJJ or so). With a 5 card run, he should give the 20; with a better 7 card run, there's no reason to return the 20 to you; and with something like a 7 card non-run, why didn't he start with 20? Because it's a pretty good non-run (AATTKKQ, say). This sequence says he's got a pretty decently strong, probably balanced hand with just an adequate trump suit; his 50 said little, but it becomes a strong-ish bid because he had the more informative 20 meld bid available.

Let's jump to c). He gave 20, you gave it back, he 'gave 20' again. No, this doesn't show more meld. It shows "ok, pard, I *can* take it...but I don't much want it." Meld isn't a problem...but pulling 20 might be. He does NOT have TTKKQQJJ or AAKKQQJ, either of which would be fine trump suits. (If you think that aceless 8 card suit is not a good trump suit in this situation, you're wrong. You reasonably expect to win *4* tricks when that suit is trump.)

So b) becomes the case where he's got the trump least a decent default.

Note that in a) and c) you may choose to bid again...but there is NO logic for you to take a 2nd bid in case b). Your 20 meld bid limited YOUR hand somewhat...not entirely, as at that point showing the meld might be more important because RHO is still in the auction at that point...but you don't have something better than what his bidding shows, in case b).

That is, IF you actually think through the bidding/situational logic, and don't make the kinds of knee-jerk, 'formulaic' bids.

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RE: Basics: Expectation about partner's hand - ToreadorElder - 08-21-2012, 12:07 PM

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