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Your Opinion Needed Questions
#21
I edited my earlier post.
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#22
(03-05-2013, 01:49 PM)ToreadorElder Wrote:  A dominating offensive hand is one where your offensive expectation is massively better than your support or defensive expectation. Take the 9-7 spade/diamond 2-suiter. I'm aiming for 9 tricks with this hand: 6 or 7 in spades, 2 or 3 in diamonds. The 8-7 spade/heart powerhouse, with those 4 aces, is worth 10 or 11 tricks in those suits alone.

I'm looking for a more easily quantified explanation. Explaining to someone that a "dominating offensive hand is one where your offensive expectation is massively better than your support or defensive expectation" is much more difficult than explaining it in terms of trick takers. That is why I prefer using a counted range of trick takers when defining a hand.

(03-05-2013, 01:49 PM)ToreadorElder Wrote:  I didn't say that; you're taking that statement somewhat out of context. When I have an 11+ trick hand with shape such that I can reasonably hope partner can give me 2 tricks...ergo, I can reasonably see 31...I'll be aggressive and hope partner has more than the usual 15, AND when I see little defense. I can do this because it'll be a wash often enough: if I bid and go down, the hand score will be (say) -70 for us, 0 for them. If I pass, it's 0 for us, 65, for them. That's largely a net wash. Any time I can make my bid, it's +70 for us, 0 for them. There are other results possible; they may be overbidding, partner might have a trump stack, partner might have nothing in my suits and everything in the others so maybe we would save, but not make. So, it can't be automatic; it has to be a calculated risk.

It's unsportsmanlike if I bid so ridiculously that I can never make, or will make only rarely.

Obviously my opinion is different on this. I agree that -70 to 0 compared to 0- 65 is a net wash, but actually it benefits your team more to down -70 because you are giving your team more time to comeback. Because of that, (if you knew you could get 13+ tricks) why wouldn't you try for it every time? It appears to me to be a logical strategy. At the very least, you should try for it even if it is only a slim chance. It's the half court shot at the end of every quarter in basketball!

Now if you had 4 meld and had a hand that could take 9 tricks would you open 60+? For example:

ACACJCADADADADTDTDTDKDQDTSQSJSJSTHTHQHJH

I think we concluded in another thread that we can reasonably assume partner to give us 2-3 tricks in support if we take a bid (correct me if I am wrong about that), so in this case:

is there a minimum meld needed to open 60+?

or

do we need a different minimum of trick takers with a low meld hand to open 60+?

Please try to answer every question for whoever responds. Thanks.
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#23
Explaining to someone that a "dominating offensive hand is one where your offensive expectation is massively better than your support or defensive expectation" is much more difficult than explaining it in terms of trick takers.

But it's also much more valuable.

Just because you have a 10 trick hand, doesn't mean you have an offensive hand. Even something like
ASASTSTSKSKSQSJSADADKDQDACKCQCJCAHKHQHJH

isn't a dominating offensive hand. Conversely, Just because you have only 1 ace...doesn't mean you shouldn't be bidding aggressively to play the hand. How about:

ASTSTSKSKSKSQSQSQSJSJSXDXDXDXCXCXCXHXHXH

This is a dominating offensive hand, in the sense I was using earlier. That might've suggested connotations I didn't mean, which is why I phrased things the way I did (massively better offensively).

It's not that hard, either. Counting the hand for defense or support, is pretty much "how many aces do I have, that will cash?" I'll usually say Axx is worth a full trick, but A or Ax has to be downvalued. Similarly aces in very long suits are worthless most of the time.

Obviously my opinion is different on this. I agree that -70 to 0 compared to 0- 65 is a net wash, but actually it benefits your team more to down -70 because you are giving your team more time to comeback. Because of that, (if you knew you could get 13+ tricks) why wouldn't you try for it every time?

But you also have further to go. They'll make some points while you do that...probably 5-10 (?) on average. I basically agree, from this perspective it's a wash.

The question is, have we covered the entire space of outcomes? It's a very rare hand that has 13 tricks, AND has little defense. Note that example hand, with that incredible diamond suit. Ignoring the meld aspect and just focusing on its play aspects...it definitely has very little defense (my criterion), but it's only 11 tricks (you suggested 13). It's actually got very good chances to find 2 tricks in partner's hand, so 13 is worth betting on, and I would.

So what are the criteria...we'll relate these to the outcome space.

1. High confidence that 31 is in sight. I want

10 solid tricks
ASASTSTSKSKSQSJSADADXDXDXDXDACACXCXHXHXH

8 tricks with a clear approach for at least 2 extras
ASASTSTSKSKSQSJSADADTDTDJDJDJDXCXCXCXHXH

Here, I have 6 trump tricks and 2 diamond aces, but I can expect extra tricks from diamond ruffs, or establishing the TDs with the 7th diamond also becoming tricks. Also, note that the 7th diamond is a big factor. With AATTxx, 2 extra tricks is my maximum; with the 7th diamond, even if it's a low one, 3 extra tricks is my maximum, and 2 becomes fairly likely. And, my plan (AD,AD,XD and attack spades or diamonds later depending on what happens) is more likely to be successful. A downside: partner's heart aces may be useless, so his overall contribution from aces is likely down a touch. Hard to say how much.

Trump quality is a big issue. When it's shaky, I'll be more leery. I'd say this is NOT 10 solid tricks:
ASTSKSKSQSQSJSJSADADADXDXDXDACACXCXHXHXH

c) A subtle point: the more extreme your hand is, the more you need specific cards with partner, and quite often, that you reach partner before the opponents get in.

I count the trump suit for 5...and on average it is. But it's weak at the top, and I may only take 4 tricks. I'd call this a solid 9, but shaky 10. Note that this is in the context of making an aggressive bid that we know will be wrong some percentage of the time...so it's a bad idea to fail in the 31.

2. Unreasonable to think 20 is in sight on defense. Say you have...
ASASASTSKSQSJSADADXDXDXDTCTCKCQCJCAHAHXH

You have pretty good defense against any suit. Clubs might be the worst choice for you, but 2 hearts, 2 diamonds, 2 spades, and a heart ruff isn't a major stretch. That's 7 tricks, so you're on the cusp of 20.

So let's go back to the outcome space. There are other cases.

++ They're going down. Bad trump break. Bad bidding. Reasonable bidding but disappointing support from partner. Bid to jerk the opponent (you) around and incite you to overbid. They all happen some of the time.

++ If you play it, you don't pull 31, so they save meld.
++ If they play it, they don't pull 31, so you save.

These last two are the basis I use for setting the hand requirements. I'm still saying 10 tricks, not 12 or 13, because I have to expect something.

Obviously, the latter cases are not washes, but the exact impact depends on meld. But clearly, -70 for us, 40 for them is VERY bad, and the first case, -70 for us if we bid, -65 for them if we pass, is even worse. It's not just the scoring; there's a big psychological impact, especially if the bidding opponent was trying to catch you with your hand in the cookie jar, and instead got burned himself. His partner is not gonna be a happy camper. Smile

So this is why it's not the last second shot...nothing bad can happen if you miss the half-court shot, the clock just expires. But here, unless you're *very* confident that you'll be in the wash-out case, there is a worse case. Not to be nit-picky...a better analogy might be trying a Hail Mary at the end of the first half in football. The 'take a knee, run out the clock' is neutral. Throw the ball, shoot for a big score, or big penalty to maybe set up a field goal, is being aggressive. The bad outcomes are the pass gets intercepted and returned for a touchdown, or the quarterback gets crushed, the ball is stripped, and that gets returned for a touchdown. To be sure, neither is very likely...but that also means they can be overlooked, like the possibility that you're going to save your meld.

So I think you have to say there's some notable chance...I'm not sure you can formulate a firm percentage, but at least some chance...that you'll fall into the bad cases, so you need to have reasonable confidence things will work. If partner had an easy 20 meld to give, and passed, counting on him for 25 total is suicide. It MIGHT happen, but its greatly against the odds. Conversely tho, if partner could've given 20 yet asked for meld, or if he couldn't give 20 because the bidding was too high...getting 25 total from him is quite plausible. 30...not so much.
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#24
Dominating offensive hand, offensive hand, massively better offensively....so a 9-10 trick taking hand

ASASTSTSKSKSQSJSADADKDQDACKCQCJCAHKHQHJH

isn't a dominating offensive hand, but an 8-9 trick taking hand

ASTSTSKSKSKSQSQSQSJSJSXDXDXDXCXCXCXHXHXH

is a dominating offensive hand?

Well that isn't going to make sense trying to teach that to someone as compared to explaining how to count tricks and viewing the hands strictly through numbers rather than words.

Saying "I have a 9-11 trick hand" conveys more information than "I have a dominating offensive hand." I don't mind using words to describe a hand, but it's going to be a more accurate description of a hand if you use the trick count range, and it is easier for people to understand. Obviously, there is a trick count if you are declarer and usually a different trick count if you are partner of the declarer giving support.

To break down a hand simply, these are the things I would say are the important things to focus on:

1. Trick count range (as declarer)

2. Trick count range (as support)

3. Meld

I have yet to see or hear of a simpler and quicker description of a hand than for someone to tell me, I had a 35 meld, 7-9 trick count hand with 3-4 tricks as a supporting hand.


Going through the hands you posted:

First two hands, 100% agreement with the trick count analysis. They are pretty straight forward.

This hand:

ASTSKSKSQSQSJSJSADADADXDXDXDACACXCXHXHXH

I see 4-5 in trump, 2 clubs, 2-3 Diamonds = 8-10 trick takers

Here is a question: At what percentage do you count a trick as a sure thing? In this example with the diamonds...in a 6 card suit, the third ace played will be trumped 23% of the time, so 77% of the time the ace will win the trick. Mick and I were having problems really deciding on a "cutoff", if you will, to say ok if there is a 75% or XX% chance of a card winning a trick, then we will count it as 1 trick in a Trick Taking Calculator Program. Any thoughts and ideas on this subject will be welcome. Ask if something didn't make sense.

I'm completely going off topic and I realize that but I'm on this train of thought:

ASASASTSKSQSJSADADXDXDXDTCTCKCQCJCAHAHXH

Using this hand example in counting tricks for support or defense,TE said this was a 7 trick defensive hand. It may well be, if you are holding this hand as West and take the lead after the declarer. But what is the trick range you would give to this hand as a support hand? (partner is declarer)

and less importantly to me, what is the trick range you would give this hand as defense as both East or West? (since a pre bid evaluation of the hand wouldn't allow you know who the declarer is going to be)

I will have more questions to responses on this I'm sure.
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#25
The difference between the 2 hands is, the big, powerful, semi-balanced hand has strong support. The massive one-suited hand has ONLY trumps.

Tweaking the suits and even damping down the big suit...what would be the best trump suit for this pair of hands...

ASASTSTSKSKSQSJSADADKDQDACKCQCJCAHKHQHJH

TSQSJSADTDTDKDKDQDQDJDJDKCQCJCJCTHQHJHJH

13 diamonds, but only 11 spades. In diamonds, you're safe from anything but the most extreme adverse distribution, and those are quite unlikely simply from the combined length. You should lose 1 diamond, 3 clubs, 3 hearts, and probably only 1 spade...12 tricks. In spades, you have the same losers, plus at least a second spade and possibly losing a diamond trick to a ruff, for 10 or 11 tricks. You're on the cusp of 31 in diamonds, and probably won't manage 31 in spades.

There's also an outside chance of pulling 40 or so in diamonds. Declarer in diamonds has nothing better to do than QD at trick 1...maybe AD then QD, but that AD should be kept as the only sure entry, and to guard the TDs. So let's say the play, with South declarer with all the diamonds, starts like this...

QD to West's AD
West cashes AS,AH,AS
West exits with JD

WOW! West hasn't done anything wrong...but look at how North is set up! North slams down AD, AD, KD as fast as he can, hoping South recognizes what North wants...RUN ALL YOUR TRUMPS! North discards non-ace clubs and hearts, keeping

ASASTSTSKSKSAHAC

Yes, North plays non-point hearts and clubs on South's run of trumps. All the spades are VERY likely tricks.

Whatever card South exits with, North wins and takes the rest of the tricks.

OK, it's not likely, but it is possible in diamonds, and I think it's fair to say it's not going to happen in spades. As a quick sidebar: when North declines to cash multiple side aces like this, and starts the trump strip instead...that should be the message he's sending. He's got a side suit ready to run for extra tricks.

To break down a hand simply, these are the things I would say are the important things to focus on:

1. Trick count range (as declarer)

2. Trick count range (as support)

3. Meld

I have yet to see or hear of a simpler and quicker description of a hand than for someone to tell me, I had a 35 meld, 7-9 trick count hand with 3-4 tricks as a supporting hand.


That works very well. So we can use this to define a massively offensive hand as one where the declarer trick count is much greater than the support trick count. It's not a straight numeric difference, tho. Take my pair of hands above. The big spades hand has 10 declarer tricks, and 6 support tricks...with the additional potential for more. The diamond hand has 6 declarer tricks, but only 1 support trick and some chances for a second via a ruff. And that support trick (AD) is not certain.

So maybe we can express it as a ratio. The diamonds hand has a 6:1 play/support ratio; the spades hand has a 10:6, or a touch under 2:1, play/support ratio. When your play/support ratio exceeds...hmm...let's start with 4:1...you're massively offensively oriented. At the least, this forms a guideline, and it's something a beginner can tweak with experience.

BTW: thought of this before, didn't get it down. Language might be an issue. I think you're interpreting "dominating" as a hand that will take most of the tricks on its own. "Overwhelmingly offensive" might be better.

ASTSKSKSQSQSJSJSADADADXDXDXDACACXCXHXHXH
I see 4-5 in trump, 2 clubs, 2-3 Diamonds = 8-10 trick takers

I counted this as 5 trump, 2 clubs, and 3 diamonds. When you have only 6 diamonds...it's 23% that someone has a doubleton? That seems high; I'll check for myself later. (And I'd be interested to know the methodology used...PM would be better, if you can share it.) Be that as it may...we'll take the 23% as correct. That's pretty low; I think for now, that your 75% rule might be reasonable. It'd also be nice to have a notion of 1/2 tricks...toss in a 7th low diamond, and clearly the chance the 3rd AD gets ruffed increases notably, to the point where I might count it as 1/2 trick. BUT, by the same token, having diamonds get ruffed is not a bad thing; you can often reduce your trump losers by continued diamond plays, or make the opponents cash their high trumps separately, allowing the last couple low diamonds to become tricks.

Simple trick counting largely assumes reasonably friendly splits, tho, yes. Sometimes it's better than normal, sometimes worse; we won't know. Often it'll depend on just exactly how the hands play out. Take the posted hand...it's possible that the 4th or 5th diamond might induce West to ruff with TS...and force East to play AS. Sweet! Largely no matter how the trumps are split, I must have gained at least 1 more trump trick. This has to offset some of the risk that the 3rd round would get trumped.

The weak trump suit is more of an issue because there's quite a good chance that you'll lose more than 3 tricks. I'll take this into account when I have a borderline decision...is this hand good enough to open, is this hand good enough to shoot for the aggressive 65 (as we've been discussing here). This is a reason why I also only count on partner for 2 tricks, not 3 or 4. If I count on him for 4, then MY count had better be pessimistic. I think it's less effort to count my hand based on a reasonably normal lie of the cards, and expect less help from partner.

ASASASTSKSQSJSADADXDXDXDTCTCKCQCJCAHAHXH

Using this hand example in counting tricks for support or defense,TE said this was a 7 trick defensive hand. It may well be, if you are holding this hand as West and take the lead after the declarer. But what is the trick range you would give to this hand as a support hand? (partner is declarer)

and less importantly to me, what is the trick range you would give this hand as defense as both East or West? (since a pre bid evaluation of the hand wouldn't allow you know who the declarer is going to be)


Largely, support and defensive counts are the same. Is this completely accurate? Probably not, but it's simpler. There's a rule of thumb in bridge bidding: a simple system that you use well, is better than a complex system that tires you out mentally, or that leads to mistakes.

Again, tho, I'll offer a proviso. If you're going to be the 4th seat defender -- you may not know early, but you often know later on -- then you make adjustments. With this hand, figure that 1 AH may get crashed, and at least 1 AS may get ruffed. And obviously, this is only a decision to bid, maybe taking a push a bit higher than you might prefer, or pass.

Otherwise, there's just too many uncertainties, and we're definitely *estimating*.
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#26
OK, I thought about rak's probability assertion that, given you have a 6 card suit, the probability is 23% that someone has a doubleton.

Yep...surprises me, but it is indeed that high.

WARNING: MATH AHEAD!

This is for those who are interested in such things. We have 14 cards distributed at random among A, B, and C. Each card can be in one of three hands, so there are 3^14 possible ways.

A has exactly a doubleton when he has any 2 cards, and the other 12 are with B and C. A can have 2 cards in 14*13 / 2 ways. There are 2^12 ways the other cards are dealt to B and C; we don't care how. Therefore, the total number of ways this can happen is 7*13*2^12. The probability is simply this number, divided by the total possible ways the cards can be distributed.

The same line holds for B or C having a doubleton. So the probability anyone has one, is 3 * 7 * 13 * 2^12 / 3^14....spreadsheet time...23.3%.

END MATH SEGMENT

This also points out why considering the order in which you cash your aces is important. Sure, you're getting 3 to 1 that the 3rd ace would cash with that 6 card suit, but that's not great odds in your favor. If I'm playing poker and my opponent's got 3 to 1 to outdraw me, I'm sweating. Smile Give me a nice 2-outer, which is 20 to 1. Smile
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#27
(08-04-2012, 12:31 AM)rakbeater Wrote:  Please take the time to respond to these pinochle bidding questions:

Player A opens the bidding with 50 and the next player bids 60 or 65.

What does the 60/65 mean to you?

What type of hand and/or meld must a player have to do this?

What is this the name of this type of bid? (shutout bid, jump bid?)

All opinions are valued. Thanks!

(04-16-2013, 03:44 AM)deadeye61 Wrote:  
(08-04-2012, 12:31 AM)rakbeater Wrote:  Please take the time to respond to these pinochle bidding questions:

Player A opens the bidding with 50 and the next player bids 60 or 65.

What does the 60/65 mean to you?

What type of hand and/or meld must a player have to do this?

What is this the name of this type of bid? (shutout bid, jump bid?)

All opinions are valued. Thanks!
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#28
Please take the time to respond to these pinochle bidding questions:

Player A opens the bidding with 50 and the next player bids 60 or 65.

What does the 60/65 mean to you?

What type of hand and/or meld must a player have to do this?

What is this the name of this type of bid? (shutout bid, jump bid?)

All opinions are valued. Thanks!

Smile A 60 or 65 bid means the person once to bring in his trump, cut off meld bid from the other team. Have 8 card run in trump & meld should = 35 with run down suit of 5 or 6 cards. Cool This is a shutout bid.
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#29
Thanks for your input deadeye. There are many different opinions on this, and I'm always interested in the different views. The more I can learn about different players, the easier it is to classify and play with random unknown partners online.
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#30
rak, it doesn't work. You can enumerate the types, but realistically, they're ALL over the place in terms of what the bidder has. While I think deadeye's requirements are too loose, it sounds like he does *have* requirements, and that puts him several steps ahead. With a random partner...it's, oh I want to play this...on junk as poor as

ASASTSKSQSQSJSADKDJDJDTCXCXCXCXCXCXHXHXH
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