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Player Overbidding
Hello everyone. My name is Chuck and this is my first post. My group meets once a week to play and have been doing so for about 3 years. Lately one of the players has overbid his hand on several cases in which he was required to pull more than 50 tricks for the hand. (i.e. bidded 85 with only 30 meld). What is the penalty for doing this? He claims he should be able to play the hand to see if he can run a boston. I say he should be set and be deducted the 85 points from his score. In addition the opposing team should be awarded their meld. Which version if any is correct?

Thanks and I look forward to learning from this forum and making the game more competitive and fun.
He is correct, and you are wrong.

If I believe I have a hand that will pull 31, then the opponents will get 0 for the hand. Going set isn't necessarily terrible. Further, say I've got 31 meld. Yeah, I need 54...but that's including YOUR meld, and any points from tricks YOU take. The somewhat cautious rule of thumb I use is that my partner will contribute 15 points in total...meld, plus points from tricks he takes. That's on the assumption he never gave meld. If my partner gave meld, then I figure he'll give that, plus 5 more from tricks.

So in the example, if I've got 31, plus 15 from you, I'm at 46. I need to pull 40 *on my own*. That's a tall, tall order...and actually, when I have that much playing strength, what you can provide goes DOWN. There just aren't that many outside tricks left. If I really think I'm close to that tho...I may push, and hope you have a little extra meld, because I know I'm tossing the shutout.

This is plausible bidding when my hand is *extreme*. How about

Spa: KQ

19 point run, kings, pino, outside marriage for 33. I expect 9 tricks from trumps, 5 tricks from that major side suit, and the short ace...15. By the same token, an opponent has a better than normal chance of having my hand in reverse...perhaps not quite as strong, but equally 2-suited. So there's a fair change that whoever takes the bid, is pulling 31.

OTOH, if you simply have a strong hand

you should have 9-10 tricks in your trump suit, but should reasonably take plenty of tricks on you look to be in decent shape to save.

Another situation is...take the hand above. 9-10 tricks. Given 3 tricks...maybe just 2...from partner, and I pull 31. They don't save. If they're close to going out, or if they take the bid and make it and that gives them the win, then you will need to bid and hope a bit.

That said, if your player is doing it a lot...and if he's doing it when he's nowhere close to having the right hand for it...then it's not fun for anyone. The monster hands like the first one I showed are rare. You can go 10 games...easily...without a monster hand that'll pull 35 on its own. So your player's likely being unsportsmanlike.

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