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Better Balanced Bidding: The Banzai Metthod David Jackson and Ron Klinger

Poll: Better Balanced Bidding: The Banzai Metthod (12 member(s) have cast votes)

Target audience

  1. Beginner (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  2. Beginnner-Intermediate (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  3. Intermediate (5 votes [41.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 41.67%

  4. Intermediate-Advanced (4 votes [33.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

  5. advanced (1 votes [8.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.33%

  6. Advanced-Expert (2 votes [16.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 16.67%

  7. Expert (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

Would you recommend this Book for the targeted audience

  1. No (6 votes [50.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 50.00%

  2. Qualified No (less positive than qualified no) (2 votes [16.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 16.67%

  3. Qualified Yes (1 votes [8.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.33%

  4. Yes (3 votes [25.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 25.00%

  5. Strong Yes (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

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#1 User is offline   inquiry 

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Posted 2010-December-26, 20:49

I bought this book in Orlando in December. I was interested because of a discussion I got in with a friend about "Banzai points".

Basically, Banzai points uses a 5-4-3-2-1 scale for "high card points" instead of the traditional 4-3-2-1. It assigns 5 points for an ace down to 1 point for a ten. Without giving the entire book away, you need 1.5 times the points you need using traditional 4321 scale to open 1NT or 2NT, or to bid 3NT, or 6NT etc. The "banzai points" are used for two balanced hands. The theme is that ACES are over-evaluated for balanced hands opposite balanced hands, while Queens, Jacks, and tens are under-evaluated. That is the theory at least.

The book has 144 pages, which could have been expressed in a lot fewer, and at 24 bucks, it seems overpriced to me. However, it did explain in a fairly direct way, why a few hands that I didn't carry on to game I should have, and it was right about those hands. On the other hand, I tend to evaluate Aces more than the authors want you too (as do most people), as I am a Zar point fan as most here know. But ZAR points work best for unbalanced hands, where ACES are worth 6 points, but kings only 4 and queens only 2. So comparing ZAR to banzai, you have in ZAR one ACE = three queens, and in Banzai, One Ace = a queen and one jack. In Banzai points, 3 queens and a ten would be worth TWO ACES. That is quite a difference in evaluation. However, I have frequently said Zar points are not good for balanced hands.

In evaluating the success of Banzai points, I will say it seems to work well, with the following caveat: both hands pretty much has to be balanced. In addition, if you open 1NT with some of the “bad hands” that qualify for a banzai 1NT (no aces, few kings) and catch your partner with a distributional normal slam invite hand, you can get crushed by getting too high.

I rate the book for intermediates to curious advanced. I give it a recommendation only for those who would find the novelty of a different evaluation system interesting to read. You know who you are (yes, I am among that group).


--Ben--

#2 User is offline   nigel_k 

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Posted 2010-December-26, 23:18

I did some double dummy analysis on the correlation between high cards and tricks taken a while ago. It turns out the 'correct' values are approximately:

Ace: 4.4
King: 2.8
Queen 1.6
Jack: 0.8
Ten: 0.4

That is on a ten point scale, or you can use 11-7-4-2-1 and multiply high card requirements by 2.5

This includes both NT and suit contracts, which I think is the right approach because you typically don't know the final denomination for much of the auction. It just seems wrong to use an evaluation method early in the auction that is for NT only or suit contracts only, especially if you are making partner the captain as often happens when you bid NT.
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#3 User is offline   CSGibson 

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Posted 2011-February-14, 11:51

It seems that this method undervalues aces with regard to other honor cards, as it is saying two jacks and a ten are worth one ace, which I know from experience is not true.
Chris Gibson
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#4 User is offline   TylerE 

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Posted 2011-February-15, 15:12

So, QJT QJT QJT QJxx is an opening 1N bid?
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#5 User is offline   nigel_k 

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Posted 2011-February-15, 16:06

View PostTylerE, on 2011-February-15, 15:12, said:

So, QJT QJT QJT QJxx is an opening 1N bid?

Yep, that's the equivalent of 15.33 on the 4321 scale. To me, this fails the laugh test.
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#6 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2011-February-15, 17:25

I haven't read the book but the whole concept of Banzai points is ridiculous. MW points actually undervalue aces slightly, even if one focuses on NT contracts only. And, as Nigel says, one should value aces even more until one knows that we are going to play notrumps. It is premature to discount suit contracts when deciding on the opening bid.

The book got a fairly bad review in IMP. The authors appear to have cherry-picked some hands that fit their argument. They could easily have made an objective analysis (for example by making regression analysis on a DD database as Nigel and I both have done) but maybe they did so and just decided not to quote the results because they contradict their thesis.
Friends don't let friends post while drunk. --- Vampyr
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