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Bid or pass?
#1
You are dealer.  The cards have been somewhat nasty;  you are down, 481 to 277.

You are dealt:

QS QS JS JS JS JS AH QH JH JH AC TC KC QC QC AD TD KD QD JD

The auction is pass - 50 - pass to you.

1.  What are your plausible options, and why is that option plausible to you?
2.  What call do you make, and why?
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#2
I suppose I'd feel guilt-ed into covering North's save and bid 51.

Emotionally, it is least offending in a social/partnership-type game where trust does count for something.
Yes, it is a lousy player of a hand, but if North wins the contract at 50 and declares diamonds but doesn't have a run, then North would be shouting WTF!  and with limited time to explain the overall texture to North, who might be fuming a few thousand miles away, things are most likely to go sour and trust is lost (some might say "who cares").

I suppose the only logical motivater for me to bid the bare run is to salvage the 13 bonus meld points.  Calling diamonds myself does ensure that we make board.  As a non-declaring partner I have just 14 to offer, which is better than the average passing hand, but if North has a bare marriage we are board-set.

I think worse than Pass would be 52.  Even though it is possible to pick up +2 meld in clubs or +13 in diamonds depending on North's declared trump suit, the stretch is just too far considering the poor playability of this hand.

Obviously, this is a perfectly agonizing scenario.  I suspect this is why you are asking insteading telling.  Both/All choices are flawed to some degree.
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
That's why the reasoning is so important.

Do you want to make the board here?
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#4
(09-12-2016, 01:09 PM)ToreadorElder Wrote:  That's why the reasoning is so important.

Do you want to make the board here?

The simple answer is: No, assuming we can't pull 31.

For a scenario where only pulling tricks matters, it is a shame that South has such a horrid support/playing hand -- even suit distribution and short on aces.

The trouble is: With the question marks over North's cards/meld/strength in this scenario, how can we make the best decision without "masterminding"?

Your question regarding making board is certainly top priority in this case.
The correct principle being: Survive first, thrive second.
So for that reason, I suppose South would want to bid Pass which hedges the bets between either (unprobable) successful outcome for North-South -- Board Set or opponent blocking ( <- is there a term for this?).

Additionally, if North had the low-end of the Save Bid range of hands AND North-South was in survival mode, then wouldn't the better choice for North be Pass?  I suppose this depends on the skill/experience/competitiveness of North.  If North didn't have something with a shot at 31, (s)he should stick it to the dealer, right?

This is slippery terrain.  The masterminding term is typically used in a negative sense in these forums, but many times in Pinochle players must make the best choice given all CURRENT information; with better choices leaning to MOST PROBABLE.

Hmm...
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
Essentially, yes.  That's the argument against 51.  If partner would bid 52, then 51 is pointless;  if partner would pass 51, we're in a terrible spot.

I will say:  I did bid 51.  But I think that was a mistake.

BTW:  the point about your partner getting POd...if he does, in this situation, he's an idiot.  And I don't want him as a partner.  Sure, if the score was different, a WTF would be in order...but the priorities are different here.

IMO, passing here would not be masterminding, to any great degree.  Making the board and making the hand are totally irrelevant, given the score.  The central point is 31.  If 31's gonna happen, it's not from this mediocre collection.

Now, oddly enough, this point actually makes bidding 52 much more interesting.  Think about it.  Pard has no reason to go overboard.  The auction will end at 52 or 53, since both opponents have passed.  Now, *this* might lead to a WTF...I'll grant that.  Pard may play you for more aces.  However, this is an auction where your options are restricted.  Giving 20 comes a lot closer to describing your hand...and that would hold true at ANY score.  

52 seems to play to 1 particular hand type:  pard has a good hand with 2 (or more) trump suits, the better of which is not a run, and not a lot of meld.  Say:

AS AS TS TS KS KS   AH AH TH TH KH KH QH   AC TC KC QC JC   TD KD JD

31 is possible, if good things happen.  NOT likely but possible.  And this isn't a great fit with your hand.  And, if you pass...boy, looking at this hand after pass-50-pass-pass...can you try hearts, even knowing you need 31?  It wouldn't be easy!  IF you hear pard give 20, it should be automatic.

Now, the issue would be, what is likely to work more...pass, or 52?  My feeling is pard won't have a hand like this very often at all...give him a bit more meld, for example, and he can name his best trump suit more safely.  And 52 might mislead him, as I noted, about your hand strength.  I would lean to passing...but couldn't argue with 52.
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#6
Basically, the option of South bidding 52 suffers from redundancy in this survival scenario.

If the logic behind South giving a 20-meld bid is to steer North's trump declaration to a suit with greater strength then the meld bid is wasted communication because North should already be hellbent on halting East-West.
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
Sure, but it can also serve to eliminate doubt if he's shorter on meld. Say, knock the kings around out in my sample hand. He *has* to name the run and hope for the best, wouldn't you think? So IMO it's not redundant; the problem is the meld message will be very important pretty infrequently.

And you noted partnership confidence. A thinking partner will appreciate the 20 meld bid, IMO.

If partner had opened 52, I would totally agree that bidding 54 would be redundant, and I'd pass and hope. And to complete the scenarios...if partner bid 51 (!) I'd probably bid 53. He has to be honest; he can hold, say, really big spades but with no run. HE has to worry about a competitive auction, so he made the informative bid. When he starts with 50...bleah. Smile
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#8
The difficulty in South bidding properly in this scenario is evidenced by the way we have both talked in circles in this thread.  Good thread by the way.

The most important factor in this scenario is definitely the game scores.  The message to drive home for anyone reading, is to identify when your team is operating in survival mode.  Survival has nothing to do with meld and everything to do with halting your opponents.  This means that only a certain type of contract satisfaction is actually successful, and that a certain type of contractual failure is also successful.  Survival mode permits all types of desperate, falsey, quasi-masterminding tactics.  Bidding, in my opinion, requires the most skill of all phases because of the importance of a deep cumulative understanding of all available and potential information.  The deeper the understanding, the better equipped you are to perform in uncomfortable scenarios.

On a slightly different note,  what game score ranges should trigger a team into Survival Mode?

In early August when I got to visit rakbeater, I expressed that the MeldClassifier page was, in short, inadequate.  Because so many auction decisions go deeper than "what am I holding?", I think it would be better to offer a more gradient array of choices.  In this thread we have justified a 20-meld bid despite the MeldClassifier not approving it.  Now, rakbeater and I have both defended this weakness by expressing that the tool is only for beginners -- but how does an individual know when they cease to be a beginner?  It would be better to never deny a particular bid type and clarify how greatly the "truth" is being stretched.  This way the program is never wrong and the onus is on the bidder.

Again, good 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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#9
You're starting to see why I objected to some of the notions and bidding treatments, oh heck, a few years ago. Smile Because you were suggesting habits for beginners that they'd have to break later.

But "truth" is not being stretched. Good bidding ALWAYS goes beyond your cards...as does good play. Bidding is MUCH simpler than play; when you state otherwise, my read is that your bidding vision has started to expand from 90 degrees (your hand, and the bid right now) to 360 degrees.(everything about the hand to this point.) Your play is probably all about your hand, and your hand only...you play 20 cards. I try to play 80 cards...everything about the hand, not just my hand.
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#10
Initially, I felt insulted by the accusation of only thinking about my 20 cards during play because I know I consider more than that.
However, I can confidently say that I am not playing 80 cards.
I'd probably tell myself that I am playing closer to 40 cards (my partner and me); there will be some cases where my understanding reaches higher than 40 (when I have a read on my opponents) or dips below 40 (when I don't have a read on my partner's plan).
This indicates that I certainly have more room for development in the play phase.
I still think bidding is more complex than playing, but I am open to changing my mind.
I'll marinate on your last post for a while.

I'll ask this again so it doesn't get lost: When does Survival Mode generally begin?  This answer should be mostly built on statistical data that relates to the average points (or probable range of points) a team can score in one hand.
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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