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How common is Gambling 3NT these days?

#1 User is offline   Bbradley62 

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Posted 2010-December-22, 19:16

Playing in an individual tournament, only 3 out of 29 dealers opened 3NT with this hand:

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#2 User is offline   Ant590 

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Posted 2010-December-22, 19:29

Well, it is still very common in the UK - sitting down with a random player (of any ability) this side of the pond I would expect an opening 3NT to be this.

It's in Bridge World Standard, and BBO Advanced 1.3, but not the GiB convention card.
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#3 User is offline   shevek 

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Posted 2010-December-22, 19:54

Maybe others felt 1-3-8-1 was too extreme.
Nearly always 7 cards. If 8, then 8221.
I believe most still play 4 as "show a singleton" but pass/correct 4 has merit.
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#4 User is offline   TylerE 

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Posted 2010-December-22, 21:04

Selection bias...
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#5 User is offline   whereagles 

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Posted 2010-December-23, 07:47

I use it all the time. Even with 9 carders.
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#6 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2010-December-23, 08:02

View PostBbradley62, on 2010-December-22, 19:16, said:

Playing in an individual tournament, only 3 out of 29 dealers opened 3NT with this hand:
Gambing 3N is flawed because even when 3N is the right contract, the convention wrong-sides it. It is still widespread in Scotland but alternative treatments are gaining ground. e.g.
  • Long gappy minor with bits and pieces outside. eg Kx Q Jx KJTxxxxx
  • Solid/semisolid major e.g. - AQJTxxxx Axx xx. Then 4 asks for transfer to the major, 4 asks for shortage if any.

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#7 User is offline   wank 

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Posted 2010-December-23, 08:22

it's an absurd convention, but the average BBOer is even more absurd. trying to extrapolate trends in bidding from randoms on BBO is like trying to extrapolate trends in the English language from the menu of the average Shanghai restaurant.
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#8 User is offline   Free 

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Posted 2010-December-23, 08:39

Why would you open 3NT anyways? When partner can stop 3 suits while opps can't take 5 tricks, and when he has at least 1 support, then you might as well open 1 and rightside the 3NT contract, play 5 anyways, or easily find a laydown slam.
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#9 User is offline   whereagles 

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Posted 2010-December-23, 09:07

View PostFree, on 2010-December-23, 08:39, said:

Why would you open 3NT anyways?


Because:

1. It's preemptive
2. It's very descriptive and distributionally safe (I speak out of experience)
3. You can abuse it relatively safely; it won't usually have any major consequences
4. It comes up rather frequently, especially if you allow for some side values in 3rd/4th seat
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#10 User is offline   Free 

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Posted 2010-December-23, 10:59

View Postwhereagles, on 2010-December-23, 09:07, said:

Because:

1. It's preemptive
2. It's very descriptive and distributionally safe (I speak out of experience)
3. You can abuse it relatively safely; it won't usually have any major consequences
4. It comes up rather frequently, especially if you allow for some side values in 3rd/4th seat

1. It preempts your own side more when it's your own hand, and it's less effective than a non-forcing 4m opening
2. Yeah, there's absolutely no difference between 7, 8 or 9 tricks :blink:
3. Again, but with abuse there no difference between 6, 7,... tricks :blink:
4. Sorry, but this is not frequent at all
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#11 User is online   helene_t 

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Posted 2010-December-23, 11:17

If people didnt use it in an indy then it is either because they don't know the convention or think that p might now know it or that he may think that they dont know it etc.

Having played some 350 sesions at my Lancaster club, it has come up twice in one of my partnerships. Maybe one or two additional hands where p could have used it but forgot. IMHO it's a fine convention and this right-siding issue is very much overstated:
- The 3NT opener may have a jack or Qx that gets protected
- P, if he passes, may have non-positional stoppers in all suits.
- If p has Kxx the ace may be onside
- Opps might not find the killing lead
- If the 3NT opening allows p to punt 6m then that contract is likely to be rightsided.

But it is not very freequent. I think some (semi-)specific 5-6 shape would be more frequent and probably also a useful use of the 3NT opening but I have no experience with that.
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#12 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2010-December-23, 11:30

I don't love it but I don't hate it either. Part of the reason I do not mind playing it is there are very few treatments that are much better. In a pickup partnership, you aren't going to be discussing your 3N opening much. Its pretty standardized, and you won't spew IMPs using it.

I much prefer 3N as a strong 4M preempt when I have a choice.
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#13 User is offline   Gerben42 

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Posted 2010-December-23, 11:42

It's high on the list of conventions you can do without. Reasons have been mentioned already, it's obvious anyway.
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#14 User is offline   TylerE 

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Posted 2010-December-23, 12:00

View PostGerben42, on 2010-December-23, 11:42, said:

It's high on the list of conventions you can do without. Reasons have been mentioned already, it's obvious anyway.


Also (at least in the ACBL) high on the list of "bids I don't have a better (legal) use for."
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#15 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2010-December-23, 13:30

View PostFree, on 2010-December-23, 08:39, said:

Why would you open 3NT anyways? When partner can stop 3 suits while opps can't take 5 tricks, and when he has at least 1 support, then you might as well open 1 and rightside the 3NT contract, play 5 anyways, or easily find a laydown slam.

I don't have a strong opinion, but I will say that when I have played it (and against it) frequently responder has just two of the side suits stopped and 9 tricks roll in after an unfortunate guess on lead, and there is no play for 5m
Psych (pron. saik): A gross and deliberate misstatement of honour strength and/or suit length. Expressly permitted under Law 73E but forbidden contrary to that law by Acol club tourneys.

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#16 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2010-December-23, 16:10

A couple of years ago I was watching some high-powered players on BBO. I think it was Nick Nickell and Richard Freeman...not sure, but it was a pair of their caliber. One of them, holding a solid 7-card minor and no outside ace or king opened it 3. I thought "how cool!" Responder, with stoppers, can now bid 3NT and the opening lead comes up to his hand instead of through it. I suggested to my regular partner that we play it that way. Two years later we're still waiting for a hand where we can use it.

#17 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2010-December-23, 16:28

View PostChas_P, on 2010-December-23, 16:10, said:

A couple of years ago I was watching some high-powered players on BBO. I think it was Nick Nickell and Richard Freeman...not sure, but it was a pair of their caliber. One of them, holding a solid 7-card minor and no outside ace or king opened it 3. I thought "how cool!" Responder, with stoppers, can now bid 3NT and the opening lead comes up to his hand instead of through it. I suggested to my regular partner that we play it that way. Two years later we're still waiting for a hand where we can use it.


You'll drop it when your LHO doubles 3. You won't like it much when LHO doesn't double 3 and RHO leads something else instead of the spade he might have. Also, what did N/F do with a 'normal' 3 opener. Please don't say transfer preempts.

An old partner of mine from Montana tried for years to get the "gambling 3" which is similar to "gambling 3" except partner can sometimes work out your hand and pass.
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#18 User is offline   rduran1216 

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Posted 2010-December-23, 17:37

The 4/5 times I played with Lowell Andrews a bit back the only convention he insisted on was NAMYATS. So 3NT showed a 4C or 4D preempt.

I'd rather play 3S as a gamblin 3NT hand than 3NT as gambling, because the wrong siding can kill it
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#19 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2010-December-23, 19:39

View PostPhil, on 2010-December-23, 16:28, said:

You'll drop it when your LHO doubles 3. You won't like it much when LHO doesn't double 3 and RHO leads something else instead of the spade he might have. Also, what did N/F do with a 'normal' 3 opener. Please don't say transfer preempts.

An old partner of mine from Montana tried for years to get the "gambling 3" which is similar to "gambling 3" except partner can sometimes work out your hand and pass.


Actually my point was that we may as well already have dropped it because it occurs so seldom it's hardly worth fooling with. But I did find it interesting that Nickell and Freeman thought it worthwhile enough to have it in their partnership agreements. I have no idea what they did if they wanted to preempt 3.

#20 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2010-December-24, 14:25

View PostFree, on 2010-December-23, 08:39, said:

Why would you open 3NT anyways? When partner can stop 3 suits while opps can't take 5 tricks, and when he has at least 1 support, then you might as well open 1 and rightside the 3NT contract, play 5 anyways, or easily find a laydown slam.

I'm no fan of Gambling 3NT, but no one expects partner to stop all 3 side suits. The hope is that he has 2 tricks, and the opponents don't find the lead in the unstopped suit. Or that the opponents have a game and the bid preempts them out of finding it (3 of a minor gives them the 3 and 4 level to find their best contract).

Someone says it comes up pretty often, but not in my experience. I get one of these hands once or twice a year. 25-27 balanced isn't exactly common, either, but I think they come up a little more often.

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