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stuck meld bidder
#1
Just finished playing a game (we got smushed). But there was a nice moment: my partner was the dealer, and I had placed a meld bid. I did not have a marriage in a good suit, and it may have been unwise. Here's how the hand went:

Code:
% Format "PPN 1.0"
% Site "worldofcardgames.com"
% Date "2016.05.05"
% ID "14624928897244"
% Players "N-ma E-Bu S-ja W-me"
% tableid "08dda274-0064-4894-9894-09383aa90ebd"

[GameScores "121:326"]
[Deal "S:CAKDTKQJJSAAATTQQJHAAAQJ CAATKQJDTKKQQJSTKQHTKKQJ CTKQQDAAATJSATKKQJHTTKKQ CATTKQJJJDATKQSKJJHATQJJ"]
[Auction "W:51 54 Pass Pass Pass"]
[Contract "N 54 D"]
[Melds "34:CDKQJJSQQH 32:CKQDKKQQJSKQHKQ 10:CKQDJSKQHKQ 6:CKQDKQSH"]
[Play "N"]
AC JC TC JC N2
AH JH TH JH N2
AS QS TS JS N2
AH QH TH JH N2
AH KH KH QH N3
AS KS JS JS N2
AS TS QS KS N3
QH KH QH AH W2
TH JH TH KH W3
AD JD KD JD W2
AC KC KC QC W3
KC KD QC KC N3
TS JD KS QD W2
TC TD TC QC N3
JS QD KS KD W2
TC JD AC TD S3
AD TD QD QD S2
AD JC TS KD S3
AD JC QS TD S2
AS QC QS AC S4
[MeldScores "44:38"]
[PlayScores "36:14"]
[Result "SAVED"]
[HandScores "80:0"]

So... would you have put in a meld bid in this scenario, or would you have passed? We got lucky, since my partner had most of the Aces in the one suit I could choose.
Play Pinochle at World of Card Games!
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#2
Yes, as North, I would have offered the +3 meld bid (54).

As East, I would have DEFINITELY offered a meld bid!  With a meld range of 28-32, the +3 bid to equalize the communicated melds is a no brainer.  No excuse, really.

As South, I would have offered the cover/save bid (55).  If South wins the contract at 55 and names Spades, then South has 13 more meld and 6-7 tricks takers.  Certainly not a great playing hand, but good enough to save a partner; AND LOOK AT ALL OF THE SPADES FOR East-West!

Because East and South passed, West opportunistically passed to stick North with the Contract (as the thread title mentions).
This outcome turned out to be fortuitous for North-South.

If South would have bid 55, then West would have likely stayed in the Auction to be a thorn and test the resolve of South.
To continue this hypothetical, if East would have given the 30 meld bid, then West should have had the support to secure the Contract.
With West winning the Contract, Clubs would be named trump, and East-West would possess 14 out of the 20 trump cards.
While this volume of trump sounds like a steep advantage, observe the similarity in non-trump suit length.
The red suits take too long to dry up so none of the Aces should get trumped; and the Spades are equally short so North-South would be wise to bleed East-West's trump by leading Spades.

In conclusion, I don't fault West or North for their decisions.  East and South let down their respective teams.  A hand that turned out sweet for North-South would have been even sweeter with South as Declarer.
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
"East and West let down their respective teams." - you mean East and South, right?

Thank you for the analysis! I just want to emphasize these were all human players, so not bot errors. I don't know what the experience levels were for anyone.
Play Pinochle at World of Card Games!
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#4
Whoops, yes.  Thanks Marya.  I've edited my post.
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
well with a partner that doesn't cover a meld bid it's no surprise you got smushed. Smile If they know they should have and incorporate it going forward then that's one thing, but if that's the level of their play then the question is how does it get better because certainly continuing to play at that level is not a good experience. I understand there's a fun factor but that's just not fun for the partner.
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#6
Here's how this hand could have played out, if everyone made the "right" bids...
Code:
% Format "PPN 1.0"
% Site "worldofcardgames.com"
% Date "2016.05.05"
% ID "14624928897244"
% Players "N-ma E-Bu S-ja W-me"
% tableid "08dda274-0064-4894-9894-09383aa90ebd"

[GameScores "121:326"]
[Deal "S:CAKDTKQJJSAAATTQQJHAAAQJ CAATKQJDTKKQQJSTKQHTKKQJ CTKQQDAAATJSATKKQJHTTKKQ CATTKQJJJDATKQSKJJHATQJJ"]
[Auction "W:51 54 57 Pass 60 Pass Pass"]
[Contract "W 60 C"]
[Melds "32:CDKQJJSQQH 41:CATKQJDKKQQJSKQHKQ 12:CKQDJSKQHKQ 17:CATKQJDKQSH"]
[Play "W"]
AD JD KD JD W2
QC AC JC KC N2
AH JH KH JH N2
AS QS KS JS N2
AH QH KH JH N2
AS KS KS JS N3
AH KH TH QH N3
AS TS TS KS N4
QH KH TH AH W3
TH JH TH QH W2
JC KC TC QC E2
QD TD QD KD S2
AS KC JS AC E3
AC QC JC JD E1
QD AD KD TD S3
JS TC QD KC W2
TC QS QC TC W2
JC QS TD QS W1
TD TS JD AD S3
AD AC TS KD W6
[MeldScores "44:58"]
[PlayScores "26:24"]
[Result "SAVED"]
[HandScores "70:82"]

The bottom line result:
  • West took the bid for 60;
  • East/West made 82 points and fulfilled the Contract;
  • North/South easily saved their meld and wound up with 70 points.
Total point swing from the actual result, from East/West's perspective: +92 (N/S net difference is -10, or +10 from E/W perspective; E/W net difference is +82; sum is 92.)
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#7
And here's how it might have turned out, if East passed (as in the originally played hand) and South covered North's meld bid...
Code:
% Format "PPN 1.0"
% Site "worldofcardgames.com"
% Date "2016.05.05"
% ID "14624928897244"
% Players "N-ma E-Bu S-ja W-me"
% tableid "08dda274-0064-4894-9894-09383aa90ebd"

[GameScores "121:326"]
[Deal "S:CAKDTKQJJSAAATTQQJHAAAQJ CAATKQJDTKKQQJSTKQHTKKQJ CTKQQDAAATJSATKKQJHTTKKQ CATTKQJJJDATKQSKJJHATQJJ"]
[Auction "W:51 54 Pass 55 Pass Pass"]
[Contract "S 55 S"]
[Melds "32:CDKQJJSQQH 30:CKQDKKQQJSKQHKQ 23:CKQDJSATKQJHKQ 4:CKQDKQSH"]
[Play "S"]
QH AH JH KH W2
AC KC KC QC W3
AD JD KD JD W2
QC AC JC KC N2
AS QS KS JS N2
AS KS KS JS N3
AS TS JS KS N3
QS JD TS JC S1
TD QD JD QD S1
KH TH AH JH N3
AH QH KH JH N2
AH KH TH JH N3
KD TD AD KD S4
TH QH QH TH S2
QC KC JS QC N1
QD KD AD TD S3
TC JC QS TC N2
TD QD AD JC S2
QS TC TS AC N3
TS AC AS TC S6
[MeldScores "55:34"]
[PlayScores "43:7"]
[Result "SAVED"]
[HandScores "98:0"]

Note that, given the score, I didn't think it would be appropriate for West to "try to be a thorn," as Mick suggests...

The bottom line:
  • South's save wins the Auction;
  • North/South made 98 points and fulfilled the Contract;
  • East/West failed to save their meld.
Total point swing from the actual result, from North/South's perspective: a modest +18, 11 of which is from the difference in meld scores (South's run nets +13 while the loss of a Royal marriage nets -2).
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#8
Sheesh, I should stay away.

OK, as I'm not entirely up on the notation, but reading the hand history, in the Deal line, I believe the hands are given N, E, S, then W. Given that, then how many bonehead mistakes can we count?

1. West opening 51. WHAT? Meld first always bidding? If so, then a) using a 51 as a meld bid is moronic, and b) this would be Exhibit A for why you DON'T. Give meld with an 8 bagger? Total auction ambiguity would follow.

North *of course* gives meld. Heck, the argument would be, show 30 or show *40*. Pass is NOT!! EVER!! an option.

2. East passes?????? WHAT??? East has 30 and 2 aces, both of which will be winners fairly often. They're not hanging, they're not in overly long suits. He's even *got* a playable choice in that club suit. Not overly fun if he has to play it, but viable should it somehow go Pass,Pass,Pass. And that's low risk.

3. South passes????? Over East's pass? 6 card run...not great, but PLENTY good enough in a pinch...and at this point, that's the situation. 3 side aces which all should cash. So, 4 VERY likely tricks, maybe a fifth. No, this isn't a hand to push hard, but it's at least 1 side ace, possibly 2 side aces, better than a minimum save.

The interesting point is, would South bid *if East gives meld*?

Now...

If the auction starts 51-54-pass-55 back to West, Tigre's right; West would be an idiot to bid 56. "Sticking your nose in" is terrible. Bidding 56 would show, absolutely, a player that has NO CLUE about how to play. If West bids 60, it's a LITTLE better; it does deny N/S the ability to clarify safely. But, it's a massive overbid with only 17 meld and 7 tricks at best. That's only 35...somewhat optimistically...so that requires a passing partner to kick in 25. FAT chance.

CORRECT bidding would start 50-53-56 by East. Now what??? That's considerably less clear. South has a tricky hand...realistically, it's a defense/support hand. The fact that bidding is right on *this* hand is NOT an issue. It's close; passing is definitely OK. But for the sake of argument, let's say that South elects to bid. Bid...what? South has 23; North showed 30. Gotta pull 20 regardless, so that's 73. If I felt better about the tricks, I'd be willing to play at 75. BUT, given that the tricks may well be an issue, and last trick is by no means certain...70 is my upper limit. So if I'm South, that's my bid.

West, over a 70 bid, is *stuck*. He's only got 17; with 30 from his partner, that's 47. 75 would need 28 in play...that's 11 or 12 tricks. He's got 6 or 7. 5 tricks from partner? Ugh. Yes, South might need 5 tricks from North...and I said it was borderline...but West's hand has more shape, and that suggests more aces will get ruffed. Plus, 4 of West's trumps are non-points...so the standard estimate of 2.5 points per trick may well NOT pan out. I do NOT think West's hand is worth 75.

So 3 absolutely AWFUL actions. East/West got what they deserved; South's bidding showed he deserved to lose. And what kills me...South will be sanctimonious about his pass being right, so much of the time. Uhh...East's pass and South's pass at the table were equally WRONG!!!

Quickie comment about Tigre's comment...I'll buy his 18 point difference should South offer the save; I'll not call it modest, is all. That's a sizable mistake, particularly so because it's a violation of basic principles. And it's only this small because North's hand is SO good that it covered South. How often would this be, say, a 60 point swing, because E/W save, as a result?

One last point. After 51-54-pass-pass (or 50-53-pass-pass), mick's suggestion that West should pass to try to stick it to North is wrong because of the nature of West's hand. It's an offensive hand, with that 8 card suit. West has 2 fairly solid defensive tricks; can't count the club ace in 4th seat on defense. West's decision is based on whether he thinks he can make, specifically, 55....because if he bids 55 and North bids 56, he's PASSING. If North can rebid, he can bid to 60, and West can't bid 60 on his own. Bidding 55 is, granted, shooting at a very small target, but it's also reasonably safe, I think. Well, OK, *for me* it's reasonably safe. But I'd prefer, say, a 6th heart. West has

CATTKQJJJ DATKQ SKJJ HATQJJ

Make it
CATTKQJJJ DATKQ SKJ HATQJJJ and I'd be inclined to bid

Make it
CATTKQJJJ DAKQ SKJJ HATTQJJ and I think I *would* bid. This hand has less defense, and the heart suit offers reasonable chances for another trick; that 2nd T makes a big difference.
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#9
(05-07-2016, 06:01 PM)ToreadorElder Wrote:  Sheesh, I should stay away.

Well, you could, but why would you want to?

Welcome back from your long hiatus, ToreadorElder.
I always knew you would return.
The pot shall again be stirred.

For recently registered members, ToreadorElder is a unique member of Power Pinochle and is the most prolific non-admin poster.
Here are some things you should know:
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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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#10
(05-07-2016, 06:01 PM)ToreadorElder Wrote:  1.  West opening 51.  WHAT?  Meld first always bidding?  If so, then a)  using a 51 as a meld bid is moronic, and b) this would be Exhibit A for why you DON'T.  Give meld with an 8 bagger?  Total auction ambiguity would follow.
I overlooked this opening bid when I posted my first feedback.
By CABS, opening 51 means Aces-Around, which West doesn't have.
This should have been a Meld-Asking Bid -- 50.
West's hand is nearly worthless if not a Declarer.
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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