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bid for meld or for length?
#1
I just won a fun game of pinochle. Our team started out poorly, but quickly turned around and just kept going to win.

I'm interested in comments on the last hand, posted below.

I started the bidding. I had aces around, but did not want to make trump, so I passed. I guess I should have bid 51? I hate to bid 51. I'm afraid my partner will interpret that as a take bid. My LHO made a take bid (or possibly a save bid, since her partner was the dealer). Then it was my partner's turn. His hand looked like this -

KC AD AD AD KD KD QD JD JD TS KS KS QS AH TH KH KH QH QH JH

He bid 52 (I'm not sure why - he had 20 meld, but there was no reason to indicate that since I had passed. I'm guessing it was a faux pas). Anyway, he won the bid. He chose hearts as trump. This gave him extra meld, so all we had to do was pull our 20 points in tricks and we'd win. That is exactly what happened. Even better, we shut out the opponents.

When I looked at the hand history afterward, I think my own inclination might have been to pick diamonds as trump, because I'd like having all the aces, and would feel like I'd get more points in tricks that way.

Given the above hand and no info about meld from your partner, what would you have chosen for trump, and why? Feel free to berate me for not starting the bidding with 51.

Code:
% Format "PPN 1.0"
% Site "worldofcardgames.com"
% Date "2017.06.06"
% ID "149677487785410"
% Players "N-ga E-ML S-ma W-AG"
% tableid "e2a42497-637d-475b-9471-357587070573"

[GameScores "441:292"]
[Deal "E:CKDAAAKKQJJSTKKQHATKKQQJ CAAKQQQJDTKQJSAKKQJJHKQQ CAATTTJJDATKQSAQJHAAAJJJ CTKKQJDTTQJSAATTTQJHTTTK"]
[Auction "S:Pass 50 52 Pass - Pass"]
[Contract "N 52 H"]
[Melds "35:CKDKQJSKQHATKKQQJ 28:CKQDKQJSKQHKQ 12:CADAKQSAHA 6:CKQDJSQH"]
[Play "N"]
AD JD KD JD N2
AD QD TD QD N2
AD KD AD TD N4
QH KH AH KH S3
AS JS KS JS S2
AC JC KC JC S2
AC QC KH QC N2
QD TD QD TD E2
AS JS TS QS E2
KS QS AS KS W3
AS TS KS JH S3
TC KC KH QC N3
KD QH AH TH S3
TC KC TH QC N3
KD QH AH TH S3
TC TC JH KC N3
JD AC JH TH W2
QS QH JS JH N0
AH QS JC TS N2
JD AC JC TS N4
[MeldScores "47:34"]
[PlayScores "41:9"]
[Result "SAVED"]
[HandScores "88:0"]
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#2
#1:  if your partner doesn't understand an aces bid, that's not your problem.  It's a common bid.  It's not like an unusual sequence.  Expect it to be read correctly, and if it's not, THEN adjust.  The aces bid is one of the most absolutely critical bids in the game.  It tells partner you have some strength and some meld.  AND, sometimes, it says...hey you can be reached!  This is a minor benefit because it doesn't happen that often...but this is one of those hands.  

#2:  West has no business saving, IMO.  Not on that awful club suit.

#3:  North has no business bidding 52, you are quite correct.  

#4:  why is East passing???  I don't like West's save, but East has 30, fer cryin out loud.  

Back to the question at hand.  North wins it dirt cheap at 52.  In diamonds, he's got 22 meld.  In hearts he's got 35.  Let's look at tricks.  Will the hand win 4 more tricks with diamonds trumps?  That'd make it about even.  Answer:  no.  This diamond suit should probably take 5 tricks...2 just from length.  No 10s is an adjustment aspect.  But with diamonds as trump, the hearts are probably good for no more than 2 tricks...and maybe not even then.  Playing in hearts, expect 3 diamond aces.  Hearts should be worth 3 or 4.  BUT...playing in hearts, there's a way to improve this.  Plan to play  AD ,  AD ,  AD ,  QD to the first 4 tricks.  Why?  Use diamonds to draw trump!  Your goal will be to strip everyone. :Smile If opps choose to strip trumps, hey, then your diamonds are established later.

The difference between this 2 suiter and the other you posted, is in both lengths and textures.  Here, the hearts are weak, and the diamonds are top-heavy, but with no 10s, you can't likely run the suit.  Ergo:  you have 5 diamond *losers* in hearts.  USE them to force out those trumps...and your trump weakness will often abate.  

The longer non-run has to make up the difference in tricks.  Maybe something like this:

KC  TD TD TD TD KD KD QD JD JD AS KS QS AH TH KH KH QH QH JH

Now the diamond suit is useless except as trump.  It'll take too long to establish.  But, it should be worth 5 tricks *as* trumps.

BTW, North's play was idiotic.  He's got 3 diamond aces;  you melded aces.  Uhh...how about a trick 1  KD to your ace???  Once you meld aces, North's plan shifts.  The first few tricks should be

KD   TD   AD   JD
AS   JS   KS   JS
AC   JC   KC   JC
AC   QC   KH   QC

Oops.  North didn't really want his shortage exposed.  His trump suit can be attacked.  He *cannot* afford to draw trump.  His suit's not good enough.  So, IMO...back to diamonds.   AD then  AD then  AD ... and when all follow, he knows everyone else is out.  Gonna be a triple ruff.  So,  KD hoping South will read it to ruff HIGH.  It turns out, that'll work here, but South might not understand it.  So, trick 8 should be 

KD   KH   AH   TH    

South can lead either black suit.  Clubs for the crossruff, spades to ditch a loser *and* set up a possible spade ruff for himself.
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#3
(06-08-2017, 08:50 PM)ToreadorElder Wrote:  #1:  if your partner doesn't understand an aces bid, that's not your problem.  It's a common bid.  It's not like an unusual sequence.  Expect it to be read correctly, and if it's not, THEN adjust.  The aces bid is one of the most absolutely critical bids in the game.  It tells partner you have some strength and some meld.  AND, sometimes, it says...hey you can be reached!  This is a minor benefit because it doesn't happen that often...but this is one of those hands.  

Thank you, that encourages me to use it from now on!

(06-08-2017, 08:50 PM)ToreadorElder Wrote:  #2:  West has no business saving, IMO.  Not on that awful club suit.

#3:  North has no business bidding 52, you are quite correct.  

#4:  why is East passing???  I don't like West's save, but East has 30, fer cryin out loud.  

Yeah regarding "why is East passing???". I have no idea. Well I have one idea, I believe this player does not like to bid without a run. I'm not sure because I also thought they have no problems giving a meld bid. If it were me, I'd have definitely made the meld bid, on the off chance that my partner was making a save bid, which may be something you disagree with. Seems to me clubs was not such a bad suit if they stuck me with it, and might be better than whatever my partner was going to save with.

OTOH if East had made the meld bid, then I wonder how West would have responded.

Thanks for the excellent card play analysis!
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