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To Creep or Not To Creep
#1
(05-15-2013, 04:34 PM)ToreadorElder Wrote:  I'll tell ya what I don't like: that's creeping, by making the minimum bids available. I don't think that applies pressure on the opponents.

Hmm, I don't think I've ever heard ToreadorElder advising to creep, in any post, in any situation. Generally, creeping doesn't sound like a thing that a Power Pinochler should do. Is it true that only apprehensive and/or uninformed players make minimum bid after minimum bid? How about even in the name of "mixing it up?"

How about if you have a range of points that your team can finish with 56 - 65? Do you start creeping at your low end and stop/pass when you've exceeded your limit? Surely it's not a clever tactic to blast straight to your upper limit every time, right?

p.s. I'm not sure I consider the arrogant tactic of teasing the opposition with min bids while holding double aces (or any other ridiculous meld) to be a sound justification.

While I am interested in what T.E. will say, this post is open to all members to reply to.
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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#2
If I knew I was playing against good players who analyze everything, I would mix it up occasionally.

My reason would be:

It works to your benefit if your opponents underestimate you in any situation.

If they think you are a bad player they may not feel they have to pay attention as much or play their A game.
If they see some strange bidding patterns, it will be more difficult for them to put you on a range of hands.

I don't play against good enough players right now for it to matter to me, but I can see where it could be beneficial, although some super polite card players may find it to be unsportsmanlike.
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#3
rak: yes. What I tried to suggest, is that your mix-it-up be focused: if your absolute limit is 80, sometimes bid 80, sometimes 70. They won't know which. They'll have to guess what to do. Players who think ahead, may well bid 80 over your 70, and get too high. More options open up when you have a higher ceiling...either you have somewhat more meld, or partner gave 30. The examples I gave, are somewhat constrained because the auction can never die below 65...not when it's double bidder out. If your preferred level is 85, but 90 is OK, then you can mix it up by starting with the jump to 70 occasionally. If the opponent jumps to 80, you're comfortable bidding 85. If he bids 75, you bid 80, and he has to think whether you're stretching.

mick: a common mistake among players who don't think about the whole hand, is creeping. FAR too many players in Advanced do this. Creeping is *really* bad when your limit is also fairly low, like 60. Say the auction starts 50-pass-pass to you. Your hand:

ASASTSTSKSQSJSADADTDKDTCKCKCQCJCKHQHJHJHJH

25 meld and 7 tricks, so about 42. No extra chances, which is a negative. 60 would be aggressive, and hoping partner has a little something extra than the 15 you expect. You'll go down from time to time if you bid it. BUT, jumping to 60 will at times induce LHO to bid 65, and he may be WAY too high, or his partner may have a disappointing hand. If you creep by bidding 51 ("oh I want it cheap") he may just try to steal at 60...say he's got roughly the same hand, but with 2-4 more meld or 1 more trick. He expects to make most of the time...and he's forcing you to 65. The rule that you're forced up 5, rather than 1, is key here.

Creeping is clearly wrong when you have the information advantage...partner passes, RHO bids 50. Anything less than 58 leaves too much room, and I've grown to dislike 58. Bid 60.

To your point that you may not want to blast to your upper limit every time: true, you don't. But, that doesn't mean creep. Say you've got a nice 9 card, double ace run and a couple side aces, plus a double pinochle. That's 45; 9 tricks puts you at 67. 75 is VERY safe; partner will have to have a total dog of a hand. 80 is your comfortable level; 85 is your maximum. After 50-pass-pass to you...65 is fine. You may well buy it; if so, cool. You know you'll make, even if partner has absolutely nothing. If LHO bids 70...is 75 comfortable for you or not? He can't be sure. You could also start with 70 on the same argument, but that doesn't sound like a steal/bluff; it's too high.
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#4
So lets say in this situation (taking from the last paragraph of TE's post), if you have determined this before bidding that 80 is comfortable, but 85 is your max and the bidding is 50-pass-pass-?

I would always jump to 60 (especially if this is early in the game or the first time I've bid 60+), and then get to my max as needed. The reason why I think this makes sense on a consistent basis, is because I want it to be in my opponents heads that if I go 60, I just won't stop there, and hopefully it could allow me to steal a bid at 60 when it is my absolute max. If I'm jumping to 65 in this situation, I am afraid that a thinking opponent could recognize that a 65 bid means I'm willing to go higher, where a 60 bid in the same situation might mean I can't go any higher.

I also don't want to jump immediately to my max, because players will pick up on that. It makes there job easier, because now they know what your max is and they can make their decisions accordingly. Thoughts?
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#5
Jumping to your absolute max is poor because that's your uncomfortable level. You're hoping for extras. And, you can frequently buy it for less. This is particularly true if your max is high. If your max is lower...say you have 23 meld and 8 tricks for 43...I'd bid 60 immediately, to try to buy it right there. 60 and 65 are the sweet spots in this kind of auction; hands worth bidding to this level are fairly common. I *can't* go 65 with my example; that's too high. But that means I can't let my opponent bid 60 first.

So in the situation where you're OK bidding 80...yes, jumping to 60 or 65 works well. Which one? It's probably tactically best to mix things up. These are common approaches:

--bid 60, then 70 over opponents' 65.
--bid 65 then pass opponent's 70

Take these 2 bids together...what you MAY buy is, when *60* was your limit, that your opponent anticipates your 70 bid...and bids 70 himself. And ends with 67. Smile SWEET!
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#6
I enjoy this level of thinking. Of course you don't usually see this at the beginners or social lounge. Those players are mostly only employing 1st level thinking, which in poker means they only see and think about their cards, they don't think about what anyone else has or how they will bid.
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#7
Before I came here I creeped, or crept, because I had no way to determine a max. At least now I have a ballpark figure.

Now to stop my partners from creeping when we're the only bidders.
Rick Hall
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#8
You can't. You can just remember them, and avoid them. The problem is, they have no basis for choosing a bid...so they don't have a framework to understand anything you might be saying. And sometimes, I think, they don't care...anything close to playable, they have to play. I've been berated by meld-first types because I don't give meld with a strong hand..."you're not a team player!" THIS is not being a team player.
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