Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
obvious case for a meld bid?
#1
I'm doing a little work on the bots at World of Card Games.

One bug report came in that a bot had good meld, but did not make a meld bid, instead passed. The bot was in "first seat" (am I correct in using this term? I mean to say that they are left of the dealer, so they have the opening bid).

Here's a screenshot of the hand in question... as you can see, the hand has 28 meld and a severe lack of Aces. If it were me, I'd bid 20 as a meld bid (not 30 because my hand is weak). Is this an open and shut case? My plan is to amend the code so that a bot would do this, but I want to make sure that this is correct. (BTW I did look through numerous bidding posts on this forum to see if I could find an example like this, but I haven't come up with anything that helps. Not to say it's not there, just that I couldn't find it.)

Thanks in advance for your advices, as they say!

[Image: 2016-03-10-pinochle-meld-bid-issue-644.png]

AC TC KC KC QC TD TD KD QD JD TS TS TS TS KS KS QS QS KH QH
Play Pinochle at World of Card Games!
Reply
#2
Neither am I able to recall the exact locations of the pertinent bits of advice, but I can consolidate and convey a couple of points from memory.

Perspective/Advice:

  1. FREEDOM OF CHOICE - CABS is a Bidding System, a set of widely established "encouraged/expected" bids.  However, it is important to the spirit of the game that players are not too constrained ALL the time.  When we aren't free to choose, skill is devalued.
  2. PERILS OF MASTERMINDING - ToreadorElder once coined the term "masterminding" to describe when one player is commandeering the quality or control of the communication within the team.  In other words, a player is deciding, without consideration for their teammate, the best interests of the team.  *Taking control of the hand is not necessarily a bad thing after sufficient information is acquired -- I mean, someone has to become Declarer!
So, while it is important to be free, masterminding can easily backfire and cause future animosity between partners due to a missed opportunity.

In your case, imagine West(2nd to bid) has double pinochle and bids +3, your partner has short meld and a long, strong heart suit to declare.
To give your team the best chance, your bot should simply act like a robot and offer the accurate meld bid.

Not giving the full meld bid and missing the chance to become Declarer, North will see the tabled meld and say "Ugh, God, bots are the worst!"
It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing all your life. -- Mickey Mantle
Reply
#3
yes, marya, mick has already given the good answer, but I just want to emphasize that strength of your hand (Aces and/or potential trump suit) has absolutely zilch to do with meld bid. Meld bid is for your partner. Partner will decide how strong her/his/its hand is and whether they can use that meld bid to win the bid and call trump.

So in this example, by giving 20 only 20 is added by partner as high they can bid, which is 10 less higher than if they had your full meld. That's like only able to go to 55 instead of 65, etc.

Since you are writing bot logic and may be interested to have the logic reflect this, the meld bid is given even if you don't have a marriage and would go board set if everyone passed. Partner is supposed to cover you if they possibly can. They have to make a decision as to which could possibly be worse, them bidding one more to cover you when they have next to nothing for a trump suit, or pass and hope you have better or that opponent on left will jump in which gives you a chance to pass.

This also comes into play when you do have a strong hand. Meld bid should be given unless you have a very strong hand and essentially jump to 60 or 65 and cut off all opponents meld bids and your partners and are prepared to battle for the bid and the save on your own. This is what should be done if the hand is strong enough. Going back to my quality count convention from another thread, I believe 28 quality count (14 aces and trump, aces of trump count twice) is my threshold for "strong enough" hand.

But as usual, an excellent question. Writing bots tends to do that. Smile
Reply
#4
(03-10-2016, 06:08 PM)mickmackusa Wrote:  In your case, imagine West(2nd to bid) has double pinochle and bids +3, your partner has short meld and a long, strong heart suit to declare.
To give your team the best chance, your bot should simply act like a robot and offer the accurate meld bid.

Not giving the full meld bid and missing the chance to become Declarer, North will see the tabled meld and say "Ugh, God, bots are the worst!"

I'm confused!

I thought when you have 28 meld, you are supposed to give +2 as your meld bid (this is what I meant by 20 as the meld bid - I meant bid 52). So I thought in this case a meld bid of 52 would be the "full meld bid." Am I in error? I believe I got my info from posts on this board. Here's one:

Quote:Counting meld:
--Count your meld using the tables. Add +1 for every ace in your hand. If this is 20 or more, give 20; 30 or more, give 30, and so on.
In this case, I have 28 meld, and +1 for one Ace, so it's 29... this is not the only place where I've seen it said that you should not round up when giving meld bid.

If you mean that I should round up and give +3, then at what point do you round up? If that's not what you meant, please expand a bit.
Play Pinochle at World of Card Games!
Reply
#5
(03-10-2016, 08:21 PM)rdwrites Wrote:  Since you are writing bot logic and may be interested to have the logic reflect this, the meld bid is given even if you don't have a marriage and would go board set if everyone passed. Partner is supposed to cover you if they possibly can. They have to make a decision as to which could possibly be worse, them bidding one more to cover you when they have next to nothing for a trump suit, or pass and hope you have better or that opponent on left will jump in which gives you a chance to pass.

I have heard this, but Is this generally accepted by all (or most) players?

I thought giving a meld bid was offering "captaincy" to your partner, as described elsewhere in the forums (FWIW that post is very confusing to me). When you do this, you are saying to your partner, I have good meld, and I'm giving you the option to choose trump (but not forcing it on you). I didn't think it was saying "if you do not bid, we may get set because I have no marriages."

How is your partner supposed to respond if they do not have a good suit? If they have no marriages, they will surely pass. Suppose they have some low trump (e.g. 2 or something), Then they should bid +1 anyway in response to your bid of 53? How are you supposed to interpret a +1 in this situation? It could mean "I have a ton of Aces and a decent trump suit so let me declare" or it could mean "I'm bidding one to try to save you if you have no marriages".

I'm so confused.
Play Pinochle at World of Card Games!
Reply
#6
First of all, this hand is actually worth minimum 30 meld. It's only showing 28 because there's no trump suit, but given that there is one marriage in every suit (two in spades), that will automatically bump it to 30.

Second, with regard to meld bids - it is an approximation, not an exact science. Let's assume you had roughly the same quality hand with only 28 meld. This should still be bid as 30, because 28 is nearer to 30 than it is to 20. If you only had 26 meld, then I could see going either way...but with 28, I would always bump the bid up.

Consider this - if you are absolutely stuck with this hand, what's the difference between having to make 52 and having to make 53? Not much. If your partner is on the fence about bidding, knowing you have an extra 10 meld will help a lot. So there is low risk on your getting "stuck" with a 53 meld bid, and a higher up-side in terms of giving better information to your partner. (Not to mention, you may very easily make a 53 bid in spades if it came down to it. You'd have 32 meld, and minimum 5 tricks - 4 in spades plus the ace of clubs. If you're lucky, you might pull a trick with the ten of clubs too.) I know some of this is beyond the scope of the question related to bot programming, but thought I'd just mention it. Generally, there are options when you're stuck with the bid.
Reply
#7
(03-10-2016, 09:44 PM)TigreLXIX Wrote:  First of all, this hand is actually worth minimum 30 meld.  It's only showing 28 because there's no trump suit, but given that there is one marriage in every suit (two in spades), that will automatically bump it to 30.

Doh! That clears that part up!

(03-10-2016, 09:44 PM)TigreLXIX Wrote:  Second, with regard to meld bids - it is an approximation, not an exact science.  Let's assume you had roughly the same quality hand with only 28 meld.  This should still be bid as 30, because 28 is nearer to 30 than it is to 20.  If you only had 26 meld, then I could see going either way...but with 28, I would always bump the bid up.

This is just not what I'd read elsewhere, and I've been playing these meld bids very cautiously as a general rule.

(03-10-2016, 09:44 PM)TigreLXIX Wrote:  Consider this - if you are absolutely stuck with this hand, what's the difference between having to make 52 and having to make 53?  Not much.  If your partner is on the fence about bidding, knowing you have an extra 10 meld will help a lot.

Good point!
Play Pinochle at World of Card Games!
Reply
#8
(03-10-2016, 09:29 PM)marya Wrote:  
(03-10-2016, 08:21 PM)rdwrites Wrote:  Since you are writing bot logic and may be interested to have the logic reflect this, the meld bid is given even if you don't have a marriage and would go board set if everyone passed. Partner is supposed to cover you if they possibly can. They have to make a decision as to which could possibly be worse, them bidding one more to cover you when they have next to nothing for a trump suit, or pass and hope you have better or that opponent on left will jump in which gives you a chance to pass.

I have heard this, but Is this generally excepted by all (or most) players?

I thought giving a meld bid was offering "captaincy" to your partner, as described elsewhere in the forums (FWIW that post is very confusing to me). When you do this, you are saying to your partner, I have good meld, and I'm giving you the option to choose trump (but not forcing it on you). I didn't think it was saying "if you do not bid, we may get set because I have no marriages."

How is your partner supposed to respond if they do not have a good suit? If they have no marriages, they will surely pass. Suppose they have some low trump (e.g. 2 or something), Then they should bid +1 anyway in response to your bid of 53? How are you supposed to interpret a +1 in this situation? It could mean "I have a ton of Aces and a decent trump suit so let me declare" or it could mean "I'm bidding one to try to save you if you have no marriages".

I'm so confused.

I'm going to go ahead and respond to this although other replies I haven't read yet may have answered your questions.

I would say most experienced players know this, but getting to the experienced part is where the confusion lies. Smile

Briefly some background. Meld bids are given as I explained above. Then next round starts bidding to call trump. Those who don't have meld or want to jump bid to 60 or more and cut off meld bids start sooner. Smile It  does happen that all four players give a meld bid on the first round but I would say doesn't happen that often.

Essentially the more often and higher you bid after a meld bid the stronger you are indicating your hand is. Let's suppose you have 30 meld (by the way, rounding is done like any rounding, over 5 is up to next 10. I use logic that says 4 or more aces I will round up to next 10 from 4. That is where you are able to indicate a strong hand in aces, your potential trump suit has nothing to do with the meld bid, and you don't lower meld or not round up if you have a weak hand, say no aces. Basically this is an aggressive game and you try your utmost for your team to win the bid as close to the edge as possible.)

But let's suppose you have 30 and your partner indicates 40 and you could bid very high. The number of times you bid should reflect strength of suit or quality count in my jargon. There's a rule of thumb I use and coded in bot, basically there's a point you assume partner is bidding to call trump and you assume a minimal hand, say 5 trump, and each bid is one more trump in your hand. So you overbid if you have 6 trump, partner overbids if they have 7, you overbid if you have 8, and so on. Number of aces plays into this as well. Basically the higher your quality count, the more you overbid your partner. Usually you don't have the meld to play it that neatly though.

Let me expound on the cover bid. You expect you partner to give you a meld bid (20 or more), and they expect you to up the bid if you possibly can because their bid has nothing to do with whether they can or want to call trump. After you cover, they will bid again if they have any trump suit because they know you were just covering their meld. Only overbidding at this point indicates you are in it to call trump. Bidding procedes until strongest, highest bid prevails. Opponents will often jump to disrupt this and try to take it and leave you and your partner guessing who has best chance to win the bid and save. It's challenging. It is not cut and dry. That's what makes it fun and exciting. Smile

Just to be clear, once an opponent bids your meld bid is covered (ie, everyone hasn't passed and dumped it on you), and any bid after that is because you want to call trump. Your partner likewise. So if you gave a meld bid and oppponent left bids, a bid from your partner is not covering your meld, it is a trump bid. You likewise will only bid again if you have a stronger trump suit (at least 6), and so on.
Reply
#9
(03-10-2016, 09:57 PM)marya Wrote:  
(03-10-2016, 09:44 PM)TigreLXIX Wrote:  First of all, this hand is actually worth minimum 30 meld.  It's only showing 28 because there's no trump suit, but given that there is one marriage in every suit (two in spades), that will automatically bump it to 30.

Doh! That clears that part up!
Building this "meld bump" into your bot code shouldn't be too hard, because the card combinations match a strict pattern and the occurrences are few.
AC TC KC QC JC AD TD KD QD JD AS TS KS QS JS AH TH KH QH JH   has an assumed run (bonus 13).
@ Meld Calculator:  http://www.powerpinochle.com/forum/meld....p=&chart=2

AC TC KC QC JC AD TD KD QD JD AS TS KS QS JS AH TH TH KH QH   has an assumed royal marriage (bonus 2).
@ Meld Calculator: http://www.powerpinochle.com/forum/meld....p=&chart=2

There are no other considerations like these two.
The bonus 2 for a marriage in each suit was probably a major factor in the creation of the "Roundhouse".
If anyone is dealt a run in each suit, please screen capture it -- I've never seen it!

If we are developing bots to partner with the general public, AND you want your "customers" to be happy, then the best advice I can give you is to round at 5's of meld.  Rounding down from "_6" and humans seeing the tabled meld, will cause whinging.  If you aren't saved and are No Trump Set, then the partner only has themselves to blame.

Yes, advanced bidders will give higher quality justifications for their meld bidding precision, but for functionality with the general public, I say do the simple rounding.

I'm getting very excited about all this bot development chatter.

One day, I want to test bots from different developers to see who has the best bot coding!
I think some enthusiasts who have never written code before might even like a shot at a competition like that!
Just putting it out there.
It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing all your life. -- Mickey Mantle
Reply
#10
Yes, we'll end up with stronger players with discussions like these, both human and bots.
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)