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bidding-marriage
#1
2 questions-

I was at playok.com......the bidding started, I bid, and then it went to other players, and my partner....then before I knew it...I was delt a new hand...I looked at the score, we lost points...my partner was mad, he said something about no marriage, and I was to save him??????I did not know of such a rule...can someone explain that to me...?

2. anyplace I can play non team?
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#2
In double deck, a trump suit requires a marriage.  Ergo, if you have no marriage, you can't name trump.  If you are the last to bid in such a situation, you're automatically set.  That's the fundamental notion. 

That doesn't mean you always have to pass;  it means you never make a bid that says "I want to play the hand, partner."  Because, well, you can't play it. Smile  You bid to describe your hand to your partner, for him to bid.  This means aces around (single or double), or meld bids.  These bids DO NOT promise a marriage;  they can't.  Imagine a hand like

AS AS QS QS JS AD AD KD JD JD AC TC TC QC QC JC TH TH QH QH 

You HAVE to bid it, any time partner has not yet called;  excellent meld, and very good trick-taking support.  If you pass this, you're a fool.  

BUT, obviously, if your bid's passed out, wellllll...oops.

So, there's a fairly significant percentage of players who believe that a meld bid MUST be saved...the partner of the meld bidder MUST bid, with ANY marriage, if the intervening opponent passes:

North 53
East pass
South 'must bid' with ANY marriage, according to these players. 

That's the 'rule' they're talking about.  In general, someone spouting that just shows they're clueless, with one exception:  if your partner shows double aces.  If you have any marriage at all, you save a double aces bid, if necessary.  Otherwise, IMO you save ONLY when you've got something close to a trump suit;  I use TG TG KG KG QG JG  as my minimum.  (A bare 5 card run also qualifies in some cases.)

BUT, you said you bid.  Did your bid ask for meld, or show meld...or was it just a save bid?  If it showed meld/aces, then you save partner's meld bid when you've got the mimimum trump suit to do so.  However, if you started with a meld-ask, you said you wanted to play it.  You *promise* to bid again,unless the auction gets too high, or if your partner's taken off the hook (your RHO bids after your partner gives meld).  Examples;  you sit South in all cases.

South 50
West 51
North 54
East pass

South can't pass without breaking trust.  South asked for meld;  North gave it.  South's first bid must show enough to have a shot at making 50, even if North passes.  When North shows meld, South has to have enough to go higher;  his FIRST bid promises he'll bid here.

South 52
West 53
North 55
East pass

South CAN pass.  56 requires a save-level trump suit.

East pass
South 50
West 51
North 53

South CAN pass.  South's first bid was a save, just showing the save-level trump suit, OR a bare run...it might be the only suit where N/S can make the board, in a case like:

South
AC TC KC QC JC AD AD KD QD AS AS TS TS JS JS TH TH KH JH JH 

North
AC AC TC QC TD KD QD QD JD JD TS QS JS AH AH QH QH QH JH JH 

N/S may or may not be able to make 50 with clubs trump, but they've got basically NO chance in any other suit.  They do barely have 20 meld in diamonds, but they're probably not pulling 30.

North 59 (showing double aces)
East pass

South should never pass with a marriage.  North did not promise one;  there's a ton of meld at stake;  North's aces mean that N/S will win tricks even with a bad trump suit;  and that meld gives N/S PLENTY of bidding space to sort things out.  The last 2 points are key.  To contrast, consider this:

North 52
East pass

If South saves with a total-garbage suit like AG KG QG JG  (and the 'pundits' who support this think bare KG QG  is enough!)...the problem is, South's trump holding is just too ill-defined.  Say South bids 53;  what would North's 54 bid mean?  The pundits are generally incapable of thinking to any kind of depth, tho.  Making the save bid ONLY when you have the minimum trump suit quality trades off the small risk that partner *won't* have a marriage, for the clarity about the trump suit...the floor is much higher.  So, North's bidding becomes clearer.

Say the auction, starting with North, proceeds 52-pass-53-pass, and it's North's turn to bid:

When North expects South to bid with any marriage, North may feel he has to bid with something like AG KG KG QG JG JG   and maybe even without that last JG .  Yes, well, this just puts the ball back in South's court.  The situation is very similar to bidding that goes like

North 50
East pass
South 51
West pass
N 52, S 53, N 54, S 55, N 56...........

It is almost always the case that at least 1 of the 2 players, has no clue about the purpose of bidding...BUT, at least North and South have what they think are pretty decent playing hands.  Here:

North 52
East pass
South 53
West pass
N 54, S 55, ......

if South can bid with just the bare KQ, then it takes 2-3 bids to start saying "ok, I really do have a trump suit, at least".  Yeah, well, you might've made 53...but can't make 57.

There are also implications in other sequences.

Now, a major feature here has been the lack of safe bidding space.  The higher the meld bid, the less this applies.  So if North's bid shows, say, 50 meld, South knows that North does have bidding room;  N/S can bid 70 just on North's meld.  So South can make the save on a weaker trump suit, when there are other compensating features.

North 55
East pass

South has
AS AS QS TD TD KD QD JD AC AC XC XC XC XC AH XH XH XH XH XH 

South has tricks with the aces if he starts the play.  If not...a spade ace can easily get crashed, and the 2nd club ace MAY not cash if 1 or 2 other club aces get played first.  South's trump holding is terrible for controlling the suit, but hey, maybe ruff a round or two of spades along the way.  All in all...having South play in diamonds is probably going to be OK. 

And, if South bids 56, North still has lots of space.  Consider this:

North 55
East pass
South 56
West 65 

North can bid 70 with a trump suit like AG AG KG KG QG QG JG ;  it's still safe to do so even if South is pretty bad, and South can still bid 75 with a 'good' save hand, maybe

AS AS TS TS KS QS QS AD AD KD AC TC TC QC QC JC TH KH QH JH 

75 should make.

These aren't rules, tho.  This is just rational bidding based on a proper exchange of information.
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#3
hey..thanks for taking time to eplain.,,,it was like the first hand, i took the bid without a marriage......i will study it later today so i am more prepared next time...also, i have not been bidding correctly, tryint to relay message to partner on meld......

i grew up in high school playing non team, singles......do you know a place that plays non team..i would rather play that than team....
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#4
(04-02-2015, 01:31 PM)ronss Wrote:  hey..thanks for taking time to eplain.,,,it was like the first hand, i took the bid without a marriage......i will study it later today so i am more prepared next time...also, i have not been bidding correctly, trying to relay message to partner on meld......

i grew up in high school playing non team, singles......do you know a place that plays non team..i would rather play that than team....
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#5
Review the bidding threads here. There really isn't a book or online resource that really discusses the Why of bidding, in a coherent manner; the threads here have the discussion, but in a more piecemeal fashion.

Sounds like you're always giving meld first? This is a common introductory bidding approach, but you're seeing why it breaks down.
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#6
ToreadorElder - all in all, a fantastic response.  However, I don't entirely agree with one part...

(04-02-2015, 01:06 PM)ToreadorElder Wrote:  East pass
South 50
West 51
North 53

South CAN pass.  South's first bid was a save, just showing the save-level trump suit, OR a bare run...it might be the only suit where N/S can make the board, in a case like:

My opinion on this is that if South has enough to save once, and North shows meld - South ought to save again.  That's not to say I don't understand your logic...I just have a different opinion.  (I'd love to better understand your view of this situation though.  I have learned a lot from your insight, and my game has improved because of it.)

My rule of thumb on this is that unless I have enough meld and/or power to safely bid higher, I'll bid once more to save and if my partner bids again, I'll defer to him.

A lot of times, this strategy also causes West to jump to, say, 60 or 65 because he thinks I have more than just a save hand - although better players probably recognize that if my 50 were a meld-ask and I got what I was looking for, I would have gone straight to 60 or 65 myself.  It's amazing how many times I've seen this happen though.
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#7
I've searched through all of ronss' game txt files for the keyword "NOMARRIAGE" which is how PlayOK's hand history syntax records it.
None were found.
I did notice there were some truncated hand histories, so the PlayOK hand histories must be a bit glitchy.

Sorry I could not recover the background information.
I feel that the best advice is giving when maximum information is provided.
It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing all your life. -- Mickey Mantle
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#8
Quote:My opinion on this is that if South has enough to save once, and North shows meld - South ought to save again.  That's not to say I don't understand your logic...I just have a different opinion.  (I'd love to better understand your view of this situation though.  I have learned a lot from your insight, and my game has improved because of it.)

MOST of the time, South should bid.  But if South's hand is quite poor...say

TC TC KC QC QC JC AD TD TD QD JD TS KS JS JS AH TH KH QH QH

I think passing is OK here.  If you'd pass the first time around, that's probably fine too.  But look at the inferences.  If South passes on his first turn, instead of saving, ok, no meld to send, and no marriage...that's what North will read.  If South gives a save then passes, then shouldn't North read South for a really poor playing hand?  If North wants to bid, then instead of the usual 15 total points expected...play South for no more than 10.

But there is a good point to be made here.

East pass
South 50
West 51
North 53
South 54

South hasn't shown any enthusiasm.  If you'd be OK with South passing on his second turn with the junk hand, then South probably promises the average 15 pointer when he bids 54.  But that's all.


Quote:A lot of times, this strategy also causes West to jump to, say, 60 or 65 because he thinks I have more than just a save hand - although better players probably recognize that if my 50 were a meld-ask and I got what I was looking for, I would have gone straight to 60 or 65 myself.  It's amazing how many times I've seen this happen though.

That's true, and if South does pass, announcing serious weakness, then West might be more inclined to pass.  Hard to say;  a West that would pass if South passes, BUT bid 60 if South bids 54...AFTER bidding 51?  Said this before, I'll say it forever...there is NO WORSE BID than 51, after pass-50.  A West that does this, is inherently erratic, and I'd say, hard to predict.  Plus, just because South passes...North still gave 20.  West has to worry about that.

But the point you bring up is valid. 
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#9
(04-03-2015, 10:52 AM)ToreadorElder Wrote:  MOST of the time, South should bid.  But if South's hand is quite poor...say

TC TC KC QC QC JC AD TD TD QD JD TS KS JS JS AH TH KH QH QH

I think passing is OK here.  If you'd pass the first time around, that's probably fine too.

I think we're pretty much in agreement. Only difference is, I wouldn't save in the first place with that hand...unless the game situation dictates otherwise.
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#10
Yah, it's close.  We're opening up a question:  what's the minimum hand with which you'll save a 20 meld bid?  a 30 meld bid?  a 40 meld bid?  This matters.  When you're saving in 2nd seat, pard could still have 30 meld;  that happens decently frequently.  If pard opened 53 in first seat, would you save with this junk hand?  If yes, then should you offer the save in 2nd seat when pard *could* still have 30?

Note that the issues aren't symmetric;  the conditions are different. 

North bids X
East passes
What are your minimum requirements to save as South?

because now you know that North DOES have X...and no more than X.  (Unless North gives aces...he might have meld as well.  But that's a separate discussion.)

East pass
What are your minimum requirements to save as South?

Here, I go with probabilities.  How frequently will North have notably more than 30 meld, AND no marriage, or very short potential trump suits?

In our sequence:
East pass
South 50  (on the Just In Case North has 30 notion)
West 51
North X

X = 53:  we may be too high now;  we're probably well past a split deck as it is, and South's very weak.  Give North a moderate hand and he'll have to rebid.  I don't want to go out ANY further onto this limb.

X = 54:  NOW the issue should just be, can we pull 20?  South's rebid is much safer. 
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