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An issue about rules regarding 'disruptive' bids
#1
This crystallized as I was writing up the long-ish post about "when is a no-marriage bid disruptive"?  The basis is the notion that bidding just to block the opponents' meld, when you have NO chance to make (and no marriage is the most obvious, as the rules say that's it...the opponents score 0) is inequitable and should be discouraged...that the non-offending side will, at least, get their meld in THEIR choice of suit.  

It has crossed my mind a few times, that the terminology is important.  I've used "malicious" a few times.  That's pretty harsh.  "Disruptive" feels technically accurate, but it still would be negative to many.  Even if accurate. :Smile Part of the point of the "when is a bid disruptive" is to see if a line *can* be drawn between risky, tactical bidding, and just disruptive bidding.

But here's a point to consider for site operators.  If this ruling is made against a player, it's safe to expect that player will be PEEVED.  SERIOUSLY so.  Irate might fit.  Given that this is the Internet where everyone is anonymous if they choose to be, said player is likely to react on the net, throwing out foam-mouthed invective.  The site operator has to consider the possibility of damage to the site as a whole.

At the very least, this suggests to me that, should disruptive bidding be penalized beyond the norm, only the most clear-cut, well-defined cases would be enforced.  And even at that...you'll have to deal with "well you don't call THIS disruptive!" which may not be a whole lot better.

So while I like the notion...would it cause more problems than it solves?
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#2
I intend to speak more in this thread, but in the meantime I just want to drop a reference and a call for statistics.

This thread has forked from the following thread:
Consolidate, Clarify, Simplify All Pinochle Rules

Future discussions on the impact of "No Marriage" type Sets, should include the knowledge of the statistical probability of any player being dealt a hand with no marriages.
This deliberate self-harming captaincy may or may not have its appropriate uses, but just how often is it actually possible?

I have new insights to add to this topic, but no spare time at this second.
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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#3
I don't have any statistics, but I would say the most probable scenario of bidding without a marriage (not the situation of being the dealer and having it dropped on you but actually bidding) is to give a meld bid and the partner has such a weak trump suit that they don't dare cover the meld bid.

That is legitimate, it happens, and while ideally a partner would always cover a meld bid the reality is that sometimes a player just doesn't have much of a trump suit and they think that the meld bidding partner has to be able to call something better than you. And they pass.

Of course, if meld bidder has no marriage, their hand is even worse than partners. And while partner has a lousy trump suit they at least have a marriage and who knows maybe hit their meld bidding partner in a strong suit (without a marriage). But odds are they are in trouble. It happens. It's legitimate.

Now someone bidding 60 or more without a marriage in hopes to "bluff" opponents to bid higher is just so out there that I can't imagine it happening. But in any event I don't think this is "disruptive" bidding except... the extreme rarity of having a hand with no marriage and opponents indicate a lot of meld and player says to themself with no marriage I'll go set but they won't get their meld. That is disruptive, malicious, etc. Could it happen? Blue moon statistics territory.

In any event it falls under the "pulling a boatload" (more than a 100?) extreme denial biddng scenario as well and I would say non-bidders could call trump suit of their choice and get their meld where as a normal no marriage set non-bidders do not get meld.

I just don't see the extreme denial scoring so much as a variant but as a housekeeping rule to allow a game to progress in spite of an attempt to deny a win to opponents. In other words, it's there, but shouldn't be needed because it's there.
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#4
Quote:Now someone bidding 60 or more without a marriage in hopes to "bluff" opponents to bid higher is just so out there that I can't imagine it happening. 

You're probably a nicer person than me. :Smile I do know that players HAVE made this bid against me, but whether it was planned as a bluff or intending to be purely obstructionist, I can't say.  This happened back in the Yahoo days.  IIRC, it was also the case that these were hand hogs...opening 60 or 65 on nothing special.  Maybe 7-5-5-3 with 29 meld and 4 total aces.  The kind that screamed at you for not leading the suit they were going to ruff...ignoring that you had 4 cashing tricks in that suit.  You know the type. :Smile 

And I definitely saw pure bluffs from time to time...partner had passed, the player bids 3-4 times, reaching 65 or so, on 12 meld.  Preferably less;  they didn't have pull 31 hands most of the time, so they did NOT want to make the board.

But this might also be poker training.  To win at poker, you have to play well, AND you have to force your opponent to sometimes NOT play well...to make wrong decisions.  And one way is to represent something you *totally* don't have...like bidding 60 without a marriage. :Smile Or a play I tried yesterday.  Spades were trumps;  declarer was my RHO.  I had something like

AH AH AH TH TH XH XH   AS KS QS JS   TD TD XD XD XD XD   TC KC JC

I think that was pretty close.  Declarer cashed a club, and 1 or 2 diamonds.  No signal cards from anyone.  He exits with a spade;  I decide to take the ace.  But now what?  Really, I want partner in pretty badly;  ducking the spade was possible, but also quite risky.  If he's got a decent trump holding, then forcing out an ace early on could be bad.  I can cash hearts, but I can't learn anything until the 3rd round.  And if they all cash...then what?  If he can't get in before dummy, for club and diamond tricks, our save chances look quite slim.

So I played  TH .

No, it didn't work, but overall, I think it is the best chance to maximize our *combined* tricks in hearts, clubs, and diamonds.
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#5
A few principle-based notions to factor in...

The American legal system (and others) hold high the concept that all men (and women) are innocent until proven guilty.
Proving guilt is an art form perform by highly educated and experienced professionals.
Proving guilt is necessary when a scenario lands in grey territory, but it is simply unrealistic to propose qualified, timely adjudication.
Hence, we need to set everything in stone and cover all possible scenarios.
And for a game with so many rules and caveats -- simpler rules are better.

The truth of the matter in question, is that every single one of the scenarios where someone could be labeled as bidding disruptively *COULD* actually be doing so by innocent, misread/miscalculated/miscommunicated happenstance.

With possible innocence in mind, severe punishment is incorrect as a rule.

Survival tactics are an important aspect in any skillful competition.
It simply keeps the game interesting for all parties for as long as possible.
By disallowing or over punishing survival instincts, we are basically encouraging honor over life (Japanese hari kari).
This is an illogical pursuit because game records NEVER record honor.

The longer the game, the greater the impact of skill.
This is why higher level competitions and international sport play for a longer duration than all lower divisions in the same sport.
Despite the impatient desire for players to keep pinochle under 1 hour or less than ~10 hands; it actually make better sense to promote longer games when you wish to reward skillful play.

I think allowing disruptive "purely defensive bidding" should be encouraged!
If my opponents both meld bid 30 meld to each other, communicating that they have ~60 meld between them, then I want to see some continued competition for Declarership -- I don't want my partner and me to simply throw our hands up and say, well this entire hand belongs to them, let them have the contract at whatever cushy number they wish.  That's a weak game!
Defensive Bidding is good.
Bluffing is good.
They are both exciting and challenge the skills of all involved.
And sometimes they are both wolves in sheeps clothes!
And what about the impact?
What if I have Double Aces or a Double Run and I don't make any mention of it in the Auction because my partner passed before me?  I can last a long time in the Auction.  What if, in the same hand, my opposition communicate ridiculous meld (80 or 90 or so)?  The Auction starts getting high, and they think I am just Defensively bidding, but in reality I am totally supported!  Maybe if they knew what I knew, they would bid differently, maybe defensively!

My point is, when we promote defensive bidding, then the offense learns to be more clever about when and why they communicate. (breeding more skills & thoughtfulness)
Maybe a player won't blurt out 150 when they have a double run; maybe they bid normally (smaller) and avoid the defensive bidding that comes with the broadcast of a monster hand.

Positive outcomes are revealed when survival/disruptive/defensive bidding is punished fairly.

...more thoughts when I have more time.
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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#6
Let's consider another game's competitive auction which features and promotes both offensive and defensive bidding:

YouTube: Name That Tune - Best ever

These are not dirty tactics, but you may notice the scowls on the players' faces "for show".

The songs and background information are the cards dealt.
The gameshow bidding is descending with a finite end point, but it is an auction with relevant similarities.
And as far as I can see, this is a "zero-sum" game, so one gets the points and the other doesn't depending on the musical skill/memory of the auction winner.
The players' ability to name the tune is the skill portion -> Play Phase.

Is this helpful to reference?
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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#7
NO.
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#8
well, like I say, bidding 190 just to keep the other team from declaring double run and exiting the game won't be tolerated by anyone who can avoid you.
Does it happen? I don't know. TE raised as a scenario and it is an extreme case of denial bidding.
They do go back 190, non-bidders don't advance much, and basically the denial is rewarded by prolonging the game where allegedly everyone still plays cooperatively and the deniars theoretically can play themselves back into the game but I don't think anyone would willingly play with them at the table going forward.
That's really how it's dealt with.
So no problem.
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#9
Quote:well, like I say, bidding 190 just to keep the other team from declaring double run and exiting the game won't be tolerated by anyone who can avoid you.

Does it happen? I don't know. TE raised as a scenario and it is an extreme case of denial bidding.

Yes it does.  Obviously it's rare;  double runs aren't common.  And you're also right:  I know I tried to avoid anyone who did that, and I suspect most players did as well.  At the end of Yahoo's support for the Java games, I had a list of, IIRC, about 350 player names, almost all in the AVOID category.  (There were a few in the "seek these out!"...but it's generally easier to recognize the really BAD players.)  I included several categories for why, and one of these was that the player was a total donk, for whatever reason(s).  In that case, "avoid" might only apply to that player *as a partner*. :Smile  Stupid opponents are gifts of the gods, after all.  Hand hog was another category that largely was the same...don't want as partner at all.  

This would also happen against double aces.  I can't recall double aces ever NOT saving on offense, altho I *do* recall stopping them one time.  I had some massive trump suit...11 or so.  And there may have been some cutesy, tricky play by the person with the dbl aces that ultimately backfired.  

But it happened enough that there was a thread about how to bid monsters...double run, double aces or other major meld with enough hand to justify playing it...without tipping things, and therefore risking triggering the Doomsday Response.  You had to be there to understand, I think.  Yahoo could readily get very, VERY ugly.  Lounges were never monitored;  on a scale of 1 to 10 for obscenity and filth, 10s were not at all uncommon.  "So-and-so is a known child molester!" gives you an idea.  This kind of thing extended to the play.  Now, disruptive, denial bidding like this was fairly rare, but the opportunity to pull it off didn't happen often.  That's the ONLY reason why it didn't happen any more, because there was a small segment of the players that were never there to play the game.  They were there to be like vicious little kids, on a sunny day, with a magnifying glass...and anyone else at the table was the bug caught in their dish, to be singed.

Believe me on this.  It was this bad with some of the players.  Abuse might start 3 hands in.  I can't replicate the language;  mick would object.  Just total abuse if the game turned wrong.  Threaten to stall...then actual stall.  I had a list of about 15 screen names who *blatantly* cheated and/or stalled.  We're talking win/loss records of like 55-2.  Some of these jerks started to stall *trick 1 of hand 1.*  Some set up the perpetual stall.  It needs 2 participants.  They literally never stopped bidding.  Yahoo had no maximum bid, and a time limit only on 1 action.  So you could bid to 10,000...by 5's.  At 2 minutes between bids.  And there was *nothing* an opponent could do.  Their entire goal, it seemed, was to get someone to quit the table, then *BOOM*...they were table host.  Lock the table.  Stop the stall.  Play until the empty seat's turn to play arose.  NOW they could enforce the 3 minute stall rule, and use the Force Forfeit on *that* person.  THEY took the loss...and a big, ugly hit on their rating, as FFs counted *double* against you.  This BS is why PlayOK includes chess clocks for each player.  

So...actually, this was another case that did happen.  I'd forgotten these.  Say the score was 400-100.  Some jerks, behind like that, would play completely destructive...and slow.  Open 65...who cares about the set?  It's likely to take 3 to maybe 5 hands for the leader to score enough to close out the game.  The final score might be 520 to -150.  And those last hands might take an hour.  Again, a player like this tended to be the table host, so they had the power to lock down the table.  If anyone had to leave...boom.  Set up the FF against that seat.

So things like...does this happen very often?  No.  rdw nailed it.  The point about the disruptive bidding rule is to deny any advantage or ability to prolong the game by players of THIS type.  It should become unnecessary simply by being present;  what you have to consider is the consequences when it is NOT present.
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#10
This is a critical point countering mick's position.

Stalling was the #1 problem on Yahoo...worse than cheating.  Yahoo allowed 3 minutes *per play*...but note that even 30 seconds per play or bid could lead to stalls.  PlayOK implemented a chess clock system for every player;  if that clock runs out on that player, he *loses*.  Even if he's 2 tricks away from winning...his side bid and saved, and will go over 500, and it's trick 19.  Clock ran out...LOSE!!!!

The Yahoo experience made it *abundantly* clear that some form of time regulation was important.  With no time regulation, stalling is a serious risk.  With time regulation, disruptive bidding...bidding strictly to prolong the game...CLEARLY supports 3 negative strategies.  Which one would work, would depend on the specifics of the time tracking.

1.  Effectively stalling.  The disruptor takes as long as possible for every action.
2.  With a relatively short per-action timeout, greatly increase the chance that some other player runs afoul of this.
3.  With total cumulative time to act...extend the game as long as needed, to force an opponent's clock to run out.  Yes, I *have* seen this on PlayOK.
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