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Critiquing a Real Double-deck Pinochle Hand
#11
(03-22-2016, 09:56 PM)marya Wrote:  
(03-22-2016, 09:50 PM)mickmackusa Wrote:  p.s. I purposely used lots of synonyms in this post to benefit our visitors, not because Marya doesn't understand.

A quick comment: Isn't there somewhere that these jargon terms could be spelled out? I think the glossary helps, but it's not enough. Maybe more example phrases could be added there. Your post has a very good explanation of numerous jargon terms, but it will get buried and become hard to find.

Please nominate terms and jargon to be included in the Glossary by posting in the Official Glossary Editing thread.

Errr... Rakbeater, could you move that thread from Announcements back to Site Suggestions?
Non-admins cannot post in Announcements.
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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#12
(03-22-2016, 10:17 PM)marya Wrote:  It seems like you are saying "Play a 'good Ace' when it is very safe" whereas rdwrites is saying "Keep your 'good Aces' until the end of the game.

Why should Declarer's Partner lead their good Aces, but defense should not?  I'm confused.

My advice is to "conserve".  If play allows you to save your good Aces until late in the phase, that's fine and may result in higher trick yields; sometimes the rules force you to play them earlier.
To extend on my advice, it is better to play your good Aces on someone else's lead versus leading your good Aces yourself.

When you lead a good Ace, all players are free to play the lowest rank that best serves their team's score -- ergo, you'll rarely get more than two points per trick.
When someone else leads a KG , QG , or JG  (a head-able/beat-able loser) and you are holding the remaining good Ace(s), rules potentially force other players to play a KG or a TG even though they know it may benefit their opponents -- ergo, you are more likely to earn 3 or 4 points per trick.

When assessing a hand, we have already talked about counting Winners or Winning Cards and their estimated worth (2.5pts or whatever); now change perspective and consider the inverse -- the ones that are Losers or Losing Cards.  Two thirds the way through an ordinary Play phase, you will usually see cards previously considered Losers becoming Winners and vice versa.  Anyhow, more to the point, Losers will have to be led.  Having your good Aces waiting to snipe these losers makes them generally more valuable.  

It is important that I state the risk of not leading good Aces late in the Play phase.  If another crafty player has "set up a side suit" and proceeds to unload the side suit, your good Aces may get sucked into tricks without any chance of winning -- turning your good winners into worthless losers.
If this part isn't clear enough for anyone, I can try to mock up an example or reference an existing notation or something.


Oh, and I nearly forgot to address your second question.
Declarers typically have less Losers that anyone else.  A primary goal/responsibility of the Dummy is to clean up the Declarer's Losers.  After doing so, the Declarer is expected to have quite a good shot at controlling/limiting the opponent's success. 

Barring players with lopsided suit lengths, the first two players to lead can expect their Aces to cash.  The third and fourth players to lead, generally need to tread cautiously.

The separation of Leaders 1 & 2 versus Leaders 3 & 4 is a broad generalization.  It would be more accurate to speak of number of Aces and Tricks played, but I am trying to keep it simple for this discussion.
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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#13
This is all super advice. Thanks rdwrites and Mick!

When I first started playing, it seemed like an automatic thing to just lead Aces until you are out of them. It made the game seem mechanical... This thread really helps to clarify a better strategy.
Play Pinochle at World of Card Games!
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#14
(03-23-2016, 07:13 AM)mickmackusa Wrote:  It is important that I state the risk of not leading good Aces late in the Play phase.  If another crafty player has "set up a side suit" and proceeds to unload the side suit, your good Aces may get sucked into tricks without any chance of winning -- turning your good winners into worthless losers.
If this part isn't clear enough for anyone, I can try to mock up an example or reference an existing notation or something.

Could you just add a little more clarification? What is meant by "setting up a side suit" (I know that side suit means non-trump suit, but what is "setting it up?").
Play Pinochle at World of Card Games!
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#15
I think it is better for bots to "play it safe" rather than be agressive and take risks, because that will upset a human player who has a bot who keeps overbidding.

Regarding keeping "good" aces: Unless you have an ace of trump or all 4 aces of a non-trump suit, there is no guarantee that your ace will be "good". The only time I ever save aces, is if I took the bid and I keep an ace so that I can run that side suit, after I draw out all the trump.
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#16
well good, my bot will do well against you. Smile

We'll leave it to battle of bots and my rating game as to how well bots perform. My game I wrote in 1983 is very tough to beat. It plays with same logic I use. Neither my game or I would be tough to beat if we overbid.

As I explained above, a good ace is an ace that has no others out in other hands. It says nothing about whether the ace would walk if led, nor if your ace wasn't good. Just the general rule of thumb that the earlier aces are more likely to walk.

I also said that longer that good ace is held, the more chance that someone who was cutting it is out of trump. In other words, the longer it is not led the more likely it walks.

That alone is sufficient logic but much more importantly is the role of using to control the game by leading suits beneficial to your team when suit is led and you get in lead. I gave a few examples above.

You also have more chance to gain counters when suit is led by someone else as mentioned by mick.

But in the end, it will be scores that tell the story.
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#17
(03-23-2016, 08:16 AM)marya Wrote:  
(03-23-2016, 07:13 AM)mickmackusa Wrote:  It is important that I state the risk of not leading good Aces late in the Play phase.  If another crafty player has "set up a side suit" and proceeds to unload the side suit, your good Aces may get sucked into tricks without any chance of winning -- turning your good winners into worthless losers.
If this part isn't clear enough for anyone, I can try to mock up an example or reference an existing notation or something.

Could you just add a little more clarification? What is meant by "setting up a side suit" (I know that side suit means non-trump suit, but what is "setting it up?").

Once a player has exhausted the tables trump, then it becomes a no-trump game and all high rank cards are invisible.
In a no-trump scenario, if you have a non-trump suit with "good" Aces/Ten/Kings (well, any rank can become "good" if all other players are void in your suit), you can confidently run them out if not instantly TRAM.
The "setting it up" merely means exhausting the table's trump making "good" cards invincible.

ToreadorElder offered a couple of hypotheticals at the When to run Trump thread in post #2
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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#18
I say let's keep drilling down on this hand.

Let's consider each seat's assessment and estimations versus the actual results.

First let's talk about Pre-Auction Assessments:

North
Support as Dummy: 8 Meld, 4 Tricks => 10 Counters
Power as Declarer: (Hearts) 4 Tricks => 10 Counters, possible +2 Tricks from sidesuit Diamonds
Auction Objectives/Priorities: No biddable support or power - Pass

East
Support as Dummy: 8 Meld, 5 Tricks => 12.5 Counters
Power as Declarer: n/a
Auction Objectives/Priorities: No marriage - Pass

South
Support as Dummy: 14 Meld, 2 Tricks => 5 Counters
Power as Declarer: 6 Tricks => 15 Counters, possible +2 Tricks from sidesuit Hearts
Auction Objectives/Priorities: Lockout Bid for Declarership
Conservative Bid Limit: 29 Meld +10 from partner + 20 to save = 59 => 60

West
Support as Dummy: 28 Meld, 5 Tricks = 12.5 Counters
Power as Declarer: (Diamonds) 8 Tricks => 20 Counters, possible +1 Trick from sidesuit Spades
Auction Objectives/Priorities: Lockout Bid for Declarership
Conservative Bid Limit: 43 Meld +10 from partner + 20 to save = 73 => 75

These represent the internal monologues of each player before the first bid is uttered.
These assessments change as new information is revealed.

Second, let's talk about Pre-Play Assessments:

North
Expected turn as Trick Leader: Assumed Third => "In Late", ergo disregard vulnerable Aces
Estimated Tricks/Counters: 3 Tricks => 7.5 Counters (disregarded 3rd AD)

East
Expected turn as Trick Leader: Assumed Fourth => "In Late", ergo disregard vulnerable Aces
Estimated Tricks/Counters: 2 Tricks => 5 Counters (disregarded AC, 2nd AS, 2nd AH)

South
Expected turn as Trick Leader: Guaranteed First (Declarer) => "In Early"
Estimated Tricks/Counters (mickmackusa): 6 Tricks  => 15 Counters + 2 Tricks from sidesuit Spades => 5 Counters 
Estimated Tricks/Counters (rdwrites): 10 Tricks => 20 Counters 

West
Expected turn as Trick Leader: Assumed Second (Aces Around) => "In Early"
Estimated Tricks/Counters: 5 Tricks => 12.5 Counters


Now, at this point you may have questions.
  1. What is this "In Early" & "In Late" business?  Using all available information prior to the start of the Play phase, seats can have a predictable order of getting in the lead, barring any anomalies.  Early led cards are generally safe from the threat of trump, so I count them all as tricks. 
  2. Why are you disregarding certain cards for "In Late" seats?  Depending on length of suit, some Aces can be assumed vulnerable.  One way is being short in a suit, like East's Clubs, if the 3 Club Aces are played before East gets into the lead, East's Club Ace is doomed.  Another way is being long in a suit, like North's Diamonds.  If North has 6 Diamonds and depending on the split among the other players, then another player will have 4 or less Diamonds and will be threatening to trump the fourth Diamond lead.  I am taking some liberty with this assertion, others are welcome to challenge it.
  3. Why does only the Declarer get to add sidesuit tricks?  The Declarer is assumed to have the advantage of control of the hand based on trump length.  While this isn't always true, it holds up for the majority.  Declarers should have enough control over the flow of the hand to set up a sidesuit and earn some bonus tricks.

Finally, let's talk about the Real Results:
Things NEVER go exactly as planned, and this hand had some "wrong" plays in the Play phase, none-the-less allow me to itemize the outcome.

North raked 4
East raked 10
South raked 22
West raked 14

But HOW were they actually earned?  Attached is a highlighted image of which cards actually won tricks and how much they earned.  Notice which cards ended up being Losers and Winners.

The color palette I intended to use is:
6 Counters = Pink (Red washed out the card identity)
5 Counters = Orange [none in hand]
4 Counters = Yellow
3 Counters = Green
2 Counters = Blue
1 Counter = Purple [none in hand]
0 Counters = Grey

   
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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#19
(03-24-2016, 11:01 AM)mickmackusa Wrote:  First let's talk about Pre-Auction Assessments:

...

West
Support as Dummy: 28 Meld, 5 Tricks = 12.5 Counters
Power as Declarer: (Diamonds) 8 Tricks => 20 Counters, possible +1 Trick from sidesuit Spades
Auction Objectives/Priorities: Lockout Bid for Declarership
Conservative Bid Limit: 43 Meld +10 from partner + 20 to save = 73 => 75

I don't mean to quibble, but your Beginner's Hand Classifier indicates that this is not a Declarer's Hand.  For the record, I would bid with this hand at least 9 times out of 10, depending on the game situation.

I only mention this because I think it's important that the tools on this site are consistent with the guidance you are providing in these Forums, to the extent possible.  If the criteria you use to evaluate a hand are different than those on the Beginner's Hand Classifier page (namely, 8 cards including one ace and a marriage), then perhaps the criteria on the Beginner's Hand Classifier page should be revised.

(03-24-2016, 11:01 AM)mickmackusa Wrote:  Second, let's talk about Pre-Play Assessments:

North
Estimated Tricks/Counters: 3 Tricks => 7.5 Counters (disregarded 3rd AD)

East
Estimated Tricks/Counters: 2 Tricks => 5 Counters (disregarded AC, 2nd AS, 2nd AH)

South
Estimated Tricks/Counters (mickmackusa): [8 Total Tricks => 20 Total Counters]

West
Estimated Tricks/Counters: 5 Tricks => 12.5 Counters

(03-24-2016, 11:01 AM)mickmackusa Wrote:  Finally, let's talk about the Real Results:

North raked 4 [2 tricks]
East raked 10 [4 tricks]
South raked 22 [8 tricks]
West raked 14 [6 tricks]

Interesting things to note -
  • South's trick expectancy (based on the trump and aces holding) is only 6 tricks.  However, because of the length of the trump suit, he is able to pull an extra 2 tricks - just as Mick indicated in his "adjusted" expectancy.  It's important to note that the more trump you have, the better your chances of making these "fringe" tricks...although in this case, it is far from a given since he didn't have an ace of hearts to back up the tens.
  • Given the expected 8-trick haul for South, he should have made 19-20 points (depending on whether tricks are calculated as 2.4 or 2.5 points).  In actuality, he made 2 more than expected.  These "extra" 2 points could be considered to be from making the last trick.  Again, based on the length of trump and allowing for good control of the hand, this assumption can be taken into account when determining how many points will be taken.
  • In the Pre-Play Assessments, there were only 18 tricks accounted for.  This means that there were 2 tricks that were "up for grabs."  Both of these tricks were taken by E-W, and East also won an additional trick that North theoretically should have made.  This was probably due in part to the fact that East got the lead before North.  (Never mind that East squandered a trick in Spades by not playing the 10 when he had the chance, because West won the 4th Spade trick...)
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#20
Quibbling must always be welcome at PP, it is a path to improvement.  I take no offense to challenges to my ideas; I hope all others feel the same.

The truth is we are talking apples and oranges.  My previous post made observations and claims without the limiting factor of the reader's knowledge/ability.  Some advice would only hold true for more advanced players.

The confusion with the Beginner's Hand Classifier, despite its explanation page clearly explaining, is that it is ONLY for absolute beginners.  The fact that there is no Expert's Hand Classifier probably gives the false impression of what is best practice for ALL players.
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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