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1m - (1H) - ? bidding a with 4 spades

#1 User is offline   petsei 

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Posted 2010-May-18, 12:24

Recently I laid hands on a bidding system presented by one of the most prominent clubs in town.
The recommended bid with 4 spades after 1m - (1H) - was not X, but 1S.
I would be very thankful if someone could tell me the advantage of this treatment.
Thanks for any input.
Regards Peter
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#2 User is offline   awm 

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Posted 2010-May-18, 12:38

There are a number of hands which are hard to bid after 1m-(1). Typically these involve constructive values with moderate length in a minor suit opener doesn't have to hold. For example, suppose partner opens 1 standard, and after the 1 overcall I hold:

Kxx
xx
KJTxx
Qxx

Not really good enough to bid 2 (which should show at least a good ten points). Not enough clubs to raise (since 1 can be three cards). Not really the right hand for 1NT (no heart stopper, etc). Not enough spades for a standard negative double.

These types of "problem hands" are a lot more frequent in a system where one or both minors "could be short" since now:

Kxx
xx
KJTx
Qxxx

If partner's 1 is always at least three and often four, I can raise. If partner would open 1 on many balanced hands with doubleton club, I'm stuck.

Anyway, the idea behind the treatment described is to let double be "constructive takeout without four spades" like the hand (or hands) above. This solves the problem hand. The downside is that your 1 bid is 4+ spades instead of 5+ spades (i.e. you don't get to distinguish spade length right away). Of course, support doubles and such things help with this.
Adam W. Meyerson
a.k.a. Appeal Without Merit
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#3 User is offline   jjbrr 

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Posted 2010-May-18, 12:50

awm's post is good.

I'll also offer that some people switch the dbl and 1 bid, so that dbl shows 4-5 and 1 shows less than 4.

This gets opener to declare spades when you have a fit in addition to the benefits above.
OK
bed
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#4 User is offline   petsei 

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Posted 2010-May-18, 16:35

Thank you both for the replies. They were informative and helpful.
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#5 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2010-May-18, 18:49

I agree with AWM's post with one minor exception. If there is no intereference, you don't know if 1S was bid on 4 or 5 anyway, so nothing is lost by this treatment. I have always played this form of the double.
"The King of Hearts a broadsword bears, the Queen of Hearts a rose." W. H. Auden.
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#6 User is offline   bluecalm 

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Posted 2010-May-18, 19:20

Quote

I agree with AWM's post with one minor exception. If there is no intereference, you don't know if 1S was bid on 4 or 5 anyway, so nothing is lost by this treatment. I have always played this form of the double.


Well, one more treatment is to play 1 as showing 5+ and dbl as exactly 4. I think it has merits. I played this way after 1 opening for some time (1 being usually 5 though). I don't know how it would translate after nebulous better minor 1.
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#7 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2010-May-18, 19:58

bluecalm, on May 19 2010, 08:20 AM, said:

Quote

I agree with AWM's post with one minor exception. If there is no intereference, you don't know if 1S was bid on 4 or 5 anyway, so nothing is lost by this treatment. I have always played this form of the double.


Well, one more treatment is to play 1 as showing 5+ and dbl as exactly 4. I think it has merits. I played this way after 1 opening for some time (1 being usually 5 though). I don't know how it would translate after nebulous better minor 1.

That was mentioned above and was what the op was asking about!
"The King of Hearts a broadsword bears, the Queen of Hearts a rose." W. H. Auden.
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#8 User is offline   bluecalm 

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Posted 2010-May-18, 20:33

Oh sorry I was halucinating. Scratch my post.
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#9 User is online   wank 

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Posted 2010-May-19, 00:01

the hog's right in that you can't differentiate between 4 and 5 without intervention, but that isn't a point against it is it?

after a 1h overcall, differentiating between 4 and 5 becomes very important because the bidding often returns to opener at a dangerously high level when hearts get raised.
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#10 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2010-May-19, 00:08

The debate on whether the double should, or should not, promise spades will be continuing. AWM has presented the logic behind X denies, without stating whether he uses that style.

That is a big "wow" in my book. Good job.

edit: P.S., we alert the double (neg doubles not alerted in ACBL) and disclose if asked; it shows a hand with flawed responding values which has no descriptive response after the 1H overcall. Most likely a hand which would have responded 1D, 1N or 1H, but does not have a heart stopper --denies 4 spades.
"Bidding Spades to show spades can work well." (Kenberg)
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#11 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2010-May-19, 02:18

wank, on May 19 2010, 01:01 PM, said:

the hog's right in that you can't differentiate between 4 and 5 without intervention, but that isn't a point against it is it?

after a 1h overcall, differentiating between 4 and 5 becomes very important because the bidding often returns to opener at a dangerously high level when hearts get raised.

You can get over this using support doubles and surely you would not raise a one level bid to three in a contested auction without four card support, would you?
"The King of Hearts a broadsword bears, the Queen of Hearts a rose." W. H. Auden.
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#12 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2010-May-19, 02:37

The_Hog, on May 19 2010, 09:18 AM, said:

wank, on May 19 2010, 01:01 PM, said:

the hog's right in that you can't differentiate between 4 and 5 without intervention, but that isn't a point against it is it? 

after a 1h overcall, differentiating between 4 and 5 becomes very important because the bidding often returns to opener at a dangerously high level when hearts get raised.

You can get over this using support doubles and surely you would not raise a one level bid to three in a contested auction without four card support, would you?

With shortness in opps' suit I would.

And suppose it goes
1m-(1)-1-(2)
x*-(3)-x

If the last x can be based on either 4 or 5 spades it becomes more difficult for opener to decide whether to pull it. Maybe this dbl is 95% penalty but that means that responder can't usually double with 5 spades.

Not saying this is a big problem but it's not like I miss the double with 3- spades that often, either.
Jesus! You have 7 count 5332 hand and pd passed 1 NT ffs! Are you planning to compete to 4 level or DBL a partscore with this shape and/or tricks? People who spend too much time in D.T topic started to talk like him --- MrAce
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#13 User is offline   jdeegan 

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Posted 2014-December-10, 19:55

As the old saying goes: "There is a right way. There is a wrong way, and there is the Army way."

In this case bidding 1 on four small is the WRONG way playing SAYC or 2/1. Try it for a while, and you will soon see.

Using a negative double to show exactly four with no mind as to other suit lengths is the ARMY way. It works quite well if combined with the support double. It is easy to teach to beginners.

The RIGHT way is to bid 1 on a spade suit playable opposite honor third or, in a pinch, three small (Q108x or better). You can now afford to make a negative double with three good playable opposite partner's Qxxx. In this case you are fishing for an almost certain 4-3 fit.

The whole point is to make use of the rank of the suit to occasionally preempt the opponents who won't know if your side has nine or only seven, something your side will usually be much better informed about. If the hand belongs in game for your side, you have bidding room to sort out between (usually) 3NT and 4. Mainly, though, you get to play most 4-3 fits that are playable and avoid most of the hopeless ones.

Do keep in mind the first rule with 4-3's. The ruffing value belongs in the three card hand. Bidding is partly mental play.
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#14 User is offline   diana_eva 

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Posted 2014-December-11, 03:42

split mgoetze's discussion on hanp's proposed method to a new thread here:

http://www.bridgebas...s-not-4-spades/

#15 User is offline   jdeegan 

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Posted 2014-December-12, 01:01

Addendum to my initial posting.
If you do choose to play a system that allows a negative double w/o 4, it is incumbent to be selective. The following is an actual hand from this afternoon. Your partner is one of the best bridge players in the history of the game. You hold:

This is not a negative double because the ruff is in the wrong hand with an almost certain 4-3 fit. Also, you have enough strength to make the correct bid of 2.

The South player did make a negative double. LHO bid 3. Partner bid 3 (a slight stretch). RHO passed. South had extras, so he bid 4. Down one despite a generally favorable lie of the cards, and a good guess of the trump queen by the best dummy player alive.
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#16 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

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Posted 2014-December-12, 01:21

View Postjdeegan, on 2014-December-12, 01:01, said:

Addendum to my initial posting.
If you do choose to play a system that allows a negative double w/o 4, it is incumbent to be selective.


There's a considerable difference between playing double as "normally 4 spades, but might be 3 if hand is suitable", what you are describing, vs. playing as "values, but *denying* 4 spades", which is the treatment under discussion. If you are playing double denies 4 spades, you don't have to be selective as partner isn't likely to bid spades without 5 of them. Partner over these doubles is going to try to rebid in NT, or one of the minors.
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#17 User is offline   jdeegan 

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Posted 2014-December-12, 02:36

View PostStephen Tu, on 2014-December-12, 01:21, said:

There's a considerable difference between playing double as "normally 4 spades, but might be 3 if hand is suitable", what you are describing, vs. playing as "values, but *denying* 4 spades", which is the treatment under discussion. If you are playing double denies 4 spades, you don't have to be selective as partner isn't likely to bid spades without 5 of them. Partner over these doubles is going to try to rebid in NT, or one of the minors.

You are describing what I rather cavalierly dismissed as the WRONG way. No offense, but I don't know anybody who has had success with that approach playing 5 card majors (SAYC or 2/1). It is an interesting idea - "bid spades if you have 'em even a little, double if you don't to show cards". I can see trying it out, but teaching it to intermediate or advancing players, maybe not a good idea.

Arguing in print about various merits and demerits is, imo, not very useful. Players everywhere seem to hate the idea of bidding w/o five or more, hence the Army way has become the accepted norm.
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#18 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2014-December-12, 04:22

many I mean many of these problems hands are bid with a simple 1nt.

I will go out on a limb and suggest many may prefer pass.


the next bid may be tough.
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#19 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2014-December-12, 04:49

View Postjdeegan, on 2014-December-12, 02:36, said:

but I don't know anybody who has had success with that approach playing 5 card majors (SAYC or 2/1).

Probably because all the really good players play the reverse approach of DBL = 4+ spades, 1 = 0-3 spades.
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#20 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

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Posted 2014-December-12, 10:38

View Postjdeegan, on 2014-December-12, 02:36, said:

You are describing what I rather cavalierly dismissed as the WRONG way. No offense, but I don't know anybody who has had success with that approach playing 5 card majors (SAYC or 2/1). It is an interesting idea - "bid spades if you have 'em even a little, double if you don't to show cards". I can see trying it out, but teaching it to intermediate or advancing players, maybe not a good idea.

Arguing in print about various merits and demerits is, imo, not very useful. Players everywhere seem to hate the idea of bidding w/o five or more, hence the Army way has become the accepted norm.


Yes, you cavalierly dismissed it as WRONG without any explanation really of why you consider this to be the case. To me simply declaring methods as WRONG is a lot less useful than arguing about merits and demerits. The "players everywhere" who "hate bidding spades w/o 5", is it because they actually tried the "double denies spades" or "bidding 1s denies spades" methods, and found them deficient compared to the more common x = 4 spades, 1s=5? Or did they simply never try it at all? Really the vast majority of partners I have played with have *never tried the method*, and only a small percentage of them are *even aware of the method*. What percent of people out there even know about "double denies", 5%?

Of course one is going to get poor results if someone is bidding 1s on any 4 thinking "double denies" is in effect while the other partner expects 5, or if playing with a novice who hasn't learned standard negative doubles and just bids 1s on 4 with partner out of the loop. But that is a quite different situation from playing with a partner who is only expecting 4 small when one bids 1 spade.
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