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Different Multi

#1 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2010-May-16, 13:35

Around these parts, playing 2 as Multi with a strong option and 2, 2 and 2NT is quite popular. However, I am not all that convinced of the merits of playing two-suiters with an unspecified second suit. Particularily, opening 2 and having partner know nothing of my 5 spades seems silly. So, I was just thinking, how about playing 2 as, say, 5-5 in majors or strong balanced (and maybe add an option for a strong minor single-suiter). I think this would also increase the accuracy of slam exploration when responder is strong (2-2NT-3 to show 5 spades is wasting a lot of room).

What do you think?
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#2 User is offline   kenrexford 

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Posted 2010-May-16, 14:24

Handling weakish major two-suiters via 2 (maybe 8+ to 13-?) helps with a problem in 1...2 sequences, which is nice. Adding in a buried strong meaning could work, but it would be somewhat tough unless specific, like a strong 4-by-one or something. The problem is when Responder wants to unwind the majors hands and you lose detail, I think.
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#3 User is offline   dake50 

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Posted 2010-May-16, 19:26

What is the shape-handling with strength slot(s) you are unhappy with the rest of your system?
Hard to believe 5-5 MM, nor a particular bal range,
maybe minor 1-suiter middling/weak.

Do you hope to preempt with distributional hands?
Or firm-up system bids on top or bottom by taking some into Multi scheme?
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#4 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2010-May-16, 19:39

mgoetze, on May 17 2010, 02:35 AM, said:

Around these parts, playing 2 as Multi with a strong option and 2, 2 and 2NT is quite popular. However, I am not all that convinced of the merits of playing two-suiters with an unspecified second suit. Particularily, opening 2 and having partner know nothing of my 5 spades seems silly. So, I was just thinking, how about playing 2 as, say, 5-5 in majors or strong balanced (and maybe add an option for a strong minor single-suiter). I think this would also increase the accuracy of slam exploration when responder is strong (2-2NT-3 to show 5 spades is wasting a lot of room).

What do you think?

I think that including a strong option in any multi is a tactical error, as this means your multi is forcing. Far better to only have weak options so it is passable. This puts a lot more pressure on the opponents.
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#5 User is offline   hanp 

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Posted 2010-May-17, 01:19

For most of this year I played that 2D showed either a weak hand with the majors, or various strong hands (2C was weak with diamonds or other strong hands). When we had the majors hearts were at least as long as spades, so 4-5 was allowed but 5-4 not.
and the result can be plotted on a graph.
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#6 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2010-May-17, 04:28

Shogi and I play the same as Han and we are quite happy with it.

I wonder if it would be significantly less effective if opps had a dedicated defense to it, i.e. assigning some cool meaning to a 2 overcall.

I am somewhat ambivalent w.r.t. strong options. Ron is obviously right but maybe a bigger problem is that p is reluctant to raise your multi preemptively when he has a weak hand and there is a significant chance that you have a strong hand.

But OTOH I like having more than one opening bid to show strong hands. We are able to describe our strong hands quite accurately, for example opening 5-5 major/minor hands 2 with clubs and 2 with diamonds (obviously both openings contain other strong hands as well).

Last time we played together he passed my multi once, holding 14 points and a 7-card diamonds, as it happened leading to a good result.
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#7 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2010-May-17, 04:42

hanp, on May 17 2010, 07:19 AM, said:

For most of this year I played that 2D showed either a weak hand with the majors, or various strong hands (2C was weak with diamonds or other strong hands). When we had the majors hearts were at least as long as spades, so 4-5 was allowed but 5-4 not.

So how did it work?
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#8 User is offline   glen 

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Posted 2010-May-17, 06:09

2way KRex:

2: weak two in s or strong with fewer than 4s
2: weak both majors or strong with 4+s
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#9 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2010-May-17, 06:42

hey that doesnt sound bad actually :)
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#10 User is offline   kenrexford 

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Posted 2010-May-17, 08:35

glen, on May 17 2010, 07:09 AM, said:

2way KRex:

2: weak two in s or strong with fewer than 4s
2: weak both majors or strong with 4+s

The unwind would be tricky, but I thought of that myself. LOL
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#11 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2010-May-17, 09:49

hanp, on May 17 2010, 08:19 AM, said:

For most of this year I played that 2D showed either a weak hand with the majors, or various strong hands

Some friends of mine play this but run into problems, mainly because their strong option is too frequent (relatively speaking). I think it is 20-22 balanced and the problems I see them have are:
  • They do not pre-empt sufficiently as they are worried partner has 20-22 balanced
  • When do they pre-empt, and partner has 20-22 balanced, they are trying to untangle the auction at too high a level
Just something to consider.
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#12 User is offline   wclass___ 

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Posted 2010-May-17, 11:15

Once i posted an opening bid structure where 2 was defined as (9)10/13 54+ or strong hands with 5 +, It is not meant to be IMP maker (although it is), but to relief 1 and 1 opening bids.
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#13 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2010-May-17, 15:31

Let me try...

2 a. 5-5 majors weak; b. strong balanced; c. strong minor single-suiter
2-2/ better major, pass/correct
2-2NT forcing inquiry
2-2NT-3 majors, club singleton
2-2NT-3 majors, diamond singleton
2-2NT-3 majors, club void
2-2NT-3 majors, diamond void
2-2NT-3NT strong balanced
2-2NT-4/4 strong with minor
2-3/3 good raise to 4/ (opener can choose transfer or direct)
2-3/ pass/correct
2-3NT to play opposite weak majors
2-4/ own strong minor, cuebid with xx support or raise to 5 without.
2-4/ wants to play this even opposite strong balanced (4 good trumps or 5+ any)

I think it should work OK...
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#14 User is offline   hanp 

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Posted 2010-May-18, 00:15

I think it worked ok, though when we did it on 4-4 hands (more often than you might think) we sometimes ran into big trouble.

Our 2NT was 20-21, the 22-23 and 26+ notrump hands were contained in the 2C opening, we opened 2D with 24-25 balanced hands and strong hands with diamonds.
and the result can be plotted on a graph.
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#15 User is offline   Jlall 

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Posted 2010-May-18, 11:31

I love the idea in general of playing weak 2s and 2D majors, I hate having strong options in there though, but I think this is an improvement over the standard multi scheme. Weak 2s are much more effective, and having a bid to show both majors weak is by far the most important 2 suiter.
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#16 User is offline   awm 

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Posted 2010-May-18, 12:23

Jlall, on May 18 2010, 12:31 PM, said:

... and having a bid to show both majors weak is by far the most important 2 suiter.

I don't really agree with this.

Both majors is the easiest hand type to show later in the auction if you pass initially. This is because the opponents are less likely to jump the auction in a minor suit (especially if they play fairly standard openings), because majors are higher than minors, and because a lot of takeout doubles and cuebids are normally played as major-suit oriented. If partner opens a minor you are likely to be able to show both majors one way or another, whereas if partner opens a major then showing both minors can be hard.

Both majors is also a hand type where you can open 1 aggressively with little downside. Opening 1 with a 5+5 nine or ten-count is fairly safe, because most of the time your game contract will be in a major and your hand's playing strength will justify the opening call. Comparatively, opening 1 with a 5+5 nine or ten-count is a lot more risky, since partner will often try to get to 3NT or double the opponents in a major suit contract and in either case your hand is a disappointment. Major/minor two-suiters are in-between the extremes.

Finally, preempting often works best when the opponents can make a game (or are close to making a game). Getting in first allows us to force them to guess. If I have both majors, the opponents can rule out playing in 4M, and since usually you don't want to play 5m unless you have a really big fit, most of the time they're down to considering 3NT or double. This is a much easier problem than an opening which shows both minors, where the opponents conceivably want to play in any of three possible strains or defend.

I'd think that both minors might actually be the most effective two-suited preempt if both suits have to be specified (and Tysen's long ago simulations about preempts tend to support this).
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#17 User is offline   bluecalm 

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Posted 2010-May-18, 12:49

I played 2NT = minors most of my life (as it's standard in Poland). I am not impressed at all by this. Gains are rare, loses happen (when they declare).

That being said I hate "standard multi" scheme which unfortunately is so standard in Poland that it's difficult to get people to play anything else.
2 multi sucks because you can't preempt effectively and if you do jump you say too much about your distribution (because you need two fits)
2/2 as 2 suiters with a minor sucks even more because you help them in play and partner can't preempt effectively anyway because he doesn't know your second suit (same problem as with standard michaels cuebid).

I like 2 majors as 5+-4+ (either way). This is very frequent and difficult to handle for opponents (because they often have their game in our 2nd major. I feel taht gains from that convention are quite frequent.
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#18 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2010-May-18, 13:53

Adam makes some very interesting points, I hope Justin will elaborate more on his position. :P Maybe I should just play 2 as Riton 2, 2 as standard Riton and 2 as weak 2 in Spades. ;)

With 5-4 you certainly can't afford to have any strong options in your 2.
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#19 User is offline   awm 

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Posted 2010-May-18, 14:00

Hmm, I've had extremely good results from 2NT showing both minors. We require it to be 5/5 with fairly limited strength, so obviously it doesn't come up much, but when it does we get very good results. There are a number of instances where it's helped us to bid a thin 5m game that's tough to reach otherwise, or where opponents stepped into the auction in a major and went for a big number, or when we jumped the auction to the five-level quickly and opponents guessed wrong. I can only remember one bad result from it ever, where we were on a guess whether to play 3NT or 5m and got it wrong... but then, opponents at the other table were playing the same method and had the same guess (and happened to get it right) and it's not clear that the decision would've been easy without the opening.

Of course, if you open 2NT with 5/4 minors hands frequently (or have a much wider range) your results could easily be different.
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#20 User is offline   bluecalm 

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Posted 2010-May-18, 14:11

Well, I just thought I might not notice many gains as all field play 2NT minors so results which my brain treat is "nothing happened" could be very good results in different (non-polish) field :P
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