Poll: Should the Declarer have the ability to surrender the hand?
Yes. Declarers should be allowed to terminate the hand and go set voluntarily.
No. All hands with a qualifying trump suit must be played out.
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The Declarer's Right to Surrender
#1
I have read in a few rules documents and have seen in some games, that the declarer has the right to surrender any hand before melding.
In what situations would this be a good idea?  Is this unfair to the defense?
What are the accepted consequences of this self-sacrificing tactic, and what *should* they be?
Is this a good rule?  If it isn't good for the game, then why keep it?

...I say it's POLL time!  Cast your vote; and if you would like to support your vote with some logic, please post in this thread.
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
Too bad that someone doesn't like their hand. Opponents get to save their meld and as many points as they can get from their hand.
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#3
Declarer *voluntarily* surrendering?  This is so incredibly open to abuse;  ANY hand becomes a no-marriage hand.  My take:  Fine, declarer wants to surrender.  Declaring side goes set their bid.  Defenders count meld at no-trump...so no royal marriage, no run.  Defenders score that meld *even if it's not 20* AND 30 points from play.  Yeah, I hate the idea of the surrender, so I gut the declarer.

Unless I can see the entire rules set, I can't hazard a guess as to why they have a surrender rule, or WHEN it applies within the hand.  For example, West opens 52 with

AC KC KC QC JC AD KD KD KD QD TS KS QS JS JS KH KH QH JH JH

as we all would.  It gets passed out.

East has no meld.
North and South BOTH meld aces;  South melds a run in whatever suit West picked.

West's cause is close to hopeless.  Fine;  give N/S meld+30, get on with the next hand.  That's not gamesmanship at this point.

Ohhh...do the rules sets where you find the 'surrender' rule include passing cards?
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#4
(06-04-2016, 11:32 AM)rdwrites Wrote:  Too bad that someone doesn't like their hand. Opponents get to save their meld and as many points as they can get from their hand.

My sentiments exactly.

(06-04-2016, 12:50 PM)ToreadorElder Wrote:  Declarer *voluntarily* surrendering?  This is so incredibly open to abuse;  ANY hand becomes a no-marriage hand.  My take:  Fine, declarer wants to surrender.  Declaring side goes set their bid.  Defenders count meld at no-trump...so no royal marriage, no run.  Defenders score that meld *even if it's not 20* AND 30 points from play.  Yeah, I hate the idea of the surrender, so I gut the declarer.

Unless I can see the entire rules set, I can't hazard a guess as to why they have a surrender rule, or WHEN it applies within the hand.  For example, West opens 52 with

AC KC KC QC JC AD KD KD KD QD TS KS QS JS JS KH KH QH JH JH

as we all would.  It gets passed out.

East has no meld.
North and South BOTH meld aces;  South melds a run in whatever suit West picked.

West's cause is close to hopeless.  Fine;  give N/S meld+30, get on with the next hand.  That's not gamesmanship at this point.

Ohhh...do the rules sets where you find the 'surrender' rule include passing cards?

Yes, my greatest concern is abuse.  
My preference is to remove the tactical tourniquet, because otherwise a smart player will wait up the two potential outcomes and choose the more favorable one, leaving the Defense without any say in a scenario where they obviously have some sort of advantage.
In our forums (somewhere), there is mention that Games.com offers a surrender button.
In my families homegames, surrendering was permitted before a trump suit was announced.  If the trump suit was announced, the play phase was mandatory.
I don't have any experience with passing variants.

Any arbitrary Play phase awards under 50 may in some situations reduce the Defense's potential earnings.
Let's not look at this as a waste of time, but an opportunity for the Defense.
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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#5
And the defense may NOT pull 30. 30's a very good result for the defense, and come on, how much are they going to lose *most of the time*? A boston *on defense*? 30's balanced...a little low sometimes, a little high sometimes.

Un...real. Maybe it's because it was a private table.
But yes, games.com has a surrender button. The unreal part? My partner took the bid. It let ME Surrender. Private table, 3 bots...might be a special case. But *really*? Well, OK...it's games.com. It's *very* casual play. 49 people online; ALL of them GUEST sign-ins. Quite a few tables going, but only 1 table of 4 players. LOTS of solo players with bots.

I agree completely that declarer is always going to take the path of least damage...or at least, least *perceived* damage. Declarer can be wrong; pard might have the rock crusher. This is another reason why you just give the defense 30...*some* small percentage of the time, they were't going to pull 20! Absolutely yes, this will be rare, but if it's 1 time in 20, it still drops the defensive scoring expectation by maybe 3 points. I *completely* disagree with always playing the hand if trump are declared. Is this true even if declaring side doesn't have 20? If so...what happens if declarer can actually pull enough to make his bid?

As a sidebar: home games can adopt any rule they want. It is presumably a friendly game...maybe a *very* competitive friendly, but still friendly overall. And readily controlled. A good house rule is NOT inherently a good general one...quite the opposite, in fact.
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#6
I will never leverage my family's homegames are a reason for the adoption of a rule, that would simply be too biased.
I have realized long ago that too much of our family rules were ill-considered.

By my principles, that I've mentioned elsewhere, I believe it should be totally legitimate for a Stuck Dealer with under 20 team meld, to pull 50 counters and save.
Is this a totally ridiculous scenario?  Absolutely, but I am talking about ensuring everything that is possible remains possible, and that the rules never dictate what number of pulled counters is "likely".

Talking out these discrepancies in game rules between online and offline, and competitive and social games are important in highlighting strengths and weaknesses in pinochle rules.

I won't open a new thread for this next point because it is slightly affiliated with this thread's title, and I don't expect to dwell on it very long.
My family's homegame also permitted re-deals to be called during a player's first turn in the auction under special conditions.
If you were dealt 0 Aces or 13 Queens and Jacks, you could splay your hand out and demand a new deal.
I think this is a totally rubbish rule!
You don't like what you are dealt?  Tough cookies, play on.  Chances are someone else has a heart-starter of a hand that they are dying to play.  This rule punishes the innocent.

Similarly, if you don't like your chances after the auction as offense?  Tough cookies, play on.  What is the hurry?  Why must we seek to fast-track all Set situations?  This is a part of the game.
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
Quote:By my principles, that I've mentioned elsewhere, I believe it should be totally legitimate for a Stuck Dealer with under 20 team meld, to pull 50 counters and save.

Is this a totally ridiculous scenario?  Absolutely, but I am talking about ensuring everything that is possible remains possible, and that the rules never dictate what number of pulled counters is "likely".

You create grossly unequal rules.

Is it the case that ANY time declarer doesn't have 20 meld, that you give him a chance to save?  If not, then you create a completely unjustified special case.  If so, then you give the bidder an edge.  The defense never scores meld when they have less than 20, but you're allowing declarer a shot.

Or are you saying, well, OK, you'll let them try to pull 50, and ONLY 50?  NO.  I've seen it happen maybe 4 times?  In several thousand games, so...gosh, I dunno, probably around 50,000 hands.  If you're still saying...OK, you didn't have 20 meld, so you get 0 for that.  You're allowed to try to pull 50...a 10,000 to 1 shot.  STUPID rule.  Plus...what if they bid 52, or a bit higher.  (East opens 52, North bids 54 with 18 to take the bid, and South has 0.)  Or again...is this JUST in the pass-pass-pass situation? NO.  It's terrible rules construction to have these inconsistencies.  Go back to the fairly recent discussion that we had...the inconsistency about the rules as written, between the cases where declarer has no marriage, and declarer has a marriage but declaring side lacks 20.  The defense gets meld in one case, but not the other.  


Quote:I won't open a new thread for this next point because it is slightly affiliated with this thread's title, and I don't expect to dwell on it very long.
My family's homegame also permitted re-deals to be called during a player's first turn in the auction under special conditions.
If you were dealt 0 Aces or 13 Queens and Jacks, you could splay your hand out and demand a new deal.
I think this is a totally rubbish rule!

Absolutely agree.  This is a crybaby rule.


Quote:Similarly, if you don't like your chances after the auction as offense?  Tough cookies, play on.  What is the hurry?  Why must we seek to fast-track all Set situations?  This is a part of the game.

Generally, yes...but that's why I'm suggesting that declarer's surrender means the defense scores its meld + 30, if it would be allowed at all.  But this is NOT an argument for your other position:  that once trump is called, the hand has to be played.  That's not about fast-tracking anything.
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#8
(06-05-2016, 12:25 AM)ToreadorElder Wrote:  
Quote:By my principles, that I've mentioned elsewhere, I believe it should be totally legitimate for a Stuck Dealer with under 20 team meld, to pull 50 counters and save.

Is this a totally ridiculous scenario?  Absolutely, but I am talking about ensuring everything that is possible remains possible, and that the rules never dictate what number of pulled counters is "likely".

You create grossly unequal rules.

Is it the case that ANY time declarer doesn't have 20 meld, that you give him a chance to save?  If not, then you create a completely unjustified special case.  If so, then you give the bidder an edge.  The defense never scores meld when they have less than 20, but you're allowing declarer a shot.

Or are you saying, well, OK, you'll let them try to pull 50, and ONLY 50?  NO.  I've seen it happen maybe 4 times?  In several thousand games, so...gosh, I dunno, probably around 50,000 hands.  If you're still saying...OK, you didn't have 20 meld, so you get 0 for that.  You're allowed to try to pull 50...a 10,000 to 1 shot.  STUPID rule.  Plus...what if they bid 52, or a bit higher.  (East opens 52, North bids 54 with 18 to take the bid, and South has 0.)  Or again...is this JUST in the pass-pass-pass situation? NO.  It's terrible rules construction to have these inconsistencies.  Go back to the fairly recent discussion that we had...the inconsistency about the rules as written, between the cases where declarer has no marriage, and declarer has a marriage but declaring side lacks 20.  The defense gets meld in one case, but not the other.  

I like to think of my stance as demanding logical specificity where previously void.  
This is born from an observation I made between my homegames' auctions beginning at 51 (where the Board Set rule works in mathematical harmony with all voluntarily won contracts *non-stuck-dealer) and online games beginning at 50.

I'll admit, what was inferred by existing rules is that the contract amount was to be met or exceeded with a minimum of 20 points in each scoring phase.  This was true of both my homegames and online games, but I am choosing to scrutinize the logic.

I only mean to argue that the offense should be afforded the right to satisfy the contract in any way possible.  Specifically any contract of 50 (Stuck Dealer or Lone Bidder) *can* mathematically be satisfied wholly in the Play phase.

My stance is easily wiped away if a rules document declares that a Board Set occurs every time the offense has less than 20 meld.  This clause then supersedes the general conditions for contract satisfaction.  I agree that the probability of pulling 50 is mega rare -- that's why I called it an absolutely ridiculous scenario.

For this reason, new rules documents should clearly state that the offense MUST make Board irrespective of the contract conditions.  Then I don't have an argument.

...now back to the surrender topic...

(06-05-2016, 12:25 AM)ToreadorElder Wrote:  
Quote:I won't open a new thread for this next point because it is slightly affiliated with this thread's title, and I don't expect to dwell on it very long.
My family's homegame also permitted re-deals to be called during a player's first turn in the auction under special conditions.
If you were dealt 0 Aces or 13 Queens and Jacks, you could splay your hand out and demand a new deal.
I think this is a totally rubbish rule!

Absolutely agree.  This is a crybaby rule.

Quote:Similarly, if you don't like your chances after the auction as offense?  Tough cookies, play on.  What is the hurry?  Why must we seek to fast-track all Set situations?  This is a part of the game.

Generally, yes...but that's why I'm suggesting that declarer's surrender means the defense scores its meld + 30, if it would be allowed at all.  But this is NOT an argument for your other position:  that once trump is called, the hand has to be played.  That's not about fast-tracking anything.

I will agree that surrender scenarios do call for a greater punishment because more information is available to the declarer and the defense stands to lose more than other Set scenarios.
When the declarer realizes that there is an avalanche of pain coming, and chooses to bail, then the punishment needs to be severe enough to not be tempting in most cases.

So my current status on this debate is:
First, No, surrendering should not be permitted.  The fact that such a rule requires very harsh consequences offers compelling reason to remove it as an tactical option.
Second, if surrendering must be permitted for the greater good of the game, then the punishment needs to be steep to disincentivize it.
Third, I just want to push TE's suggested 30 to 31.  31 is the minimum number of counters that denies the opposition their meld.  Milestone points in terms of counters are:
  • 20 = Save Meld
  • 25 = Split-deck
  • 31 = Deny Meld
  • 50 = Maximum
The split-deck doesn't seem harsh enough, and placing a maximum penalty will effectively rule out the surrender tactic.  This is the logic behind my suggestion of 31.  This is quibbling, but it's logical.

...just before I click Post Reply, I am considering what effect "Surrender = Offense gets Set & Defense gets Meld + 31" puts on my decision making in a potential surrender scenario -- I'm probably going to play it out far more times than not.  My partner surely isn't worthless, but if the defense earns more than 31, it's probably not much more than 31.  For me, this seems adequately disincentivized; but I still don't want it at all!
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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