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Maybe the big problem with MFA?
#1
I've never made a secret that I think meld first always, is terrible bidding, because it is MUCH less efficient overall.

But I might have just recognized another problem, which isn't implicitly related to MFA, but MFA probably plays a big role.  MFA bidders do not understand hand strengths;  they focus strictly on meld.  This is the next to last hand of a game I just finished:

           S AAJT
           H AAKQJ
           D AAAKQJT
           C AAKT

S KQT      +-------+  S AKJJT
H AKQJTT   |   N   |  H QJJTT
D QQJJT    | W   E |  D AKQJTT
C AKKQJT   |   S   |  C AQQQ
           +-------+

           S AKKQQQJT
           H AKKQ
           D KK
           C KJJJTT
}
[Auction "E"]
50 52 53 60
65 Pass 85 Pass
Pass

South opens;  that's ok.  I sat North, and I did not trust my partner, so I bid to play.  And like I cared if East jumped. :Smile  The bid that is horrendous, IMO, is South's rebid.  Based on *what*?  This is NOT a good hand, and it is NOT CLOSE to good enough to play at 65 if North doesn't have LOTS of help...it's about a 40 point hand *at best*.  

Is this just one player who bids wing and a prayer all the time?  Maybe.  With this:

 S AJTT
 H AQJJJ
 D JT
 C AKKQQQJJT

after 1st seat opened 50, he bid 65.  That's just random results bidding...and going set a LOT.

One last hand from this game...second hand of the game.   Bidding first, he had

S AQQ
H KQQT
D AKQJJJTT
C AQJTT

and opened 53.  ARGH.  #1, with an 8 card run, and a short ace?  How is he going to bid this hand later?  #2...if you ARE going to start, show ALL the meld.  He's got *40*, not 30.  I've seen that so much in the last few weeks.  (And call me suspicious, but one has to question whether he knowingly hid the meld so he could take over the bidding at almost any level to play the hand.)

So...it's not clear whether this is primarily a very poor bidder, an isolated case...or a problem created by the vagueness and indiscipline created by MFA?  Or a bit of both?

Love to hear what people have to say here.
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#2
My first question is:
Why did you give a 40-meld bid of 85?
If your partner knew the formula for 60+ meld bidding, s/he would have been well supported to win the auction.
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 think this shows only 40; it should be showing more. 65 to 75 isn't a 20 meld jump, not at this level. It shouldn't be a bare 30 support...should have some extras. 65 to 85 should be over 50...probably close to 60.

I don't mind that he passed at the end, and I'm not saying my 85 was right. 90? 100? Maybe 100. Would that be more clear? I dunno. These are not common sequences, and this is not a regular partner.

My main point is that his 65 is WILDLY unjustified based on his hand and the auction to that point IMO, and that leads to the point of...is it this player, or is it something inherent about MFA...not necessarily the system itself, but the way it leads players to think (or NOT think) and bid.
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#4
I think MFA bidding must come from someone being taught that if you have the meld you have to bid it, because it is easier to understand, bid, and play with a new partner. I'd rather have control of the hand if my partner is new to the game and has meld....even if he has a biddable hand that can take more tricks than mine. Less risk of the partner making mistakes and costing me the game. Either that or the person teaching the new person the game, didn't know of any other way to teach? I don't remember what I was taught or why I started out bidding MFA...all I know is when I started studying and labeling what I felt were biddable hands, it changed the way I approached bidding altogether. Now I'm more of a hybrid...if I have a powerful hand with meld I don't meld bid, but if I have an average to weak biddable hand and my partner has an opportunity to bid, I will meld bid. Regardless of how each of us classifies different types of hands and how to bid them, I'm still open to talk theory on the best way to teach a new player how to classify hands and bid in pinochle.
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#5
I think you're lightly suggesting my point.  You get taught to give meld, and that's easy;  there isn't the discussion about what a good, playable hand is.  Therefore, every bid after the meld bid is guesswork.  That also leads to bidding that South hand too much...it kinda sorta looks pretty.  Or maybe South is bidding out of fear, which is equally wrong.  Yeah, fine, if partner's suit is your short suit, there might be trouble.  But who says pard has support for YOUR suit?  Or perhaps he's got a double ace 9 card suit...or 8 card run with an AAxxxx side suit that can be used to force opponents' ruffs.

So, yeah, we seem to be pointing in the same direction:  MFA may often lead to a weakness in assessing offensive character.
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