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Gambling 3NT

#1 User is offline   jh51 

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Posted 2011-March-23, 13:55



A while back I came across a discussion of the gambling 3NT. My recollection is that the folks in the discussion did not like it because it does not come up enough. I will conceed that latter point, as it does not come up a lot. Last week in Louisville I played about 750 deals, and we were able to use it just once. I had the North hand in a KO match. The defense started by taking their 2 club tricks, so with dianonds behaving, we made 5. I think this was good for about 11 IMPs as 3 was the contract at the other table. I don't know how you get to 3NT if you aren't playing gambling 3NT. South has an obvious preempt, but if he can have a diamond loser for his bid, what do you do?
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#2 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

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Posted 2011-March-23, 15:01

If having a solid 7 bagger and not playing gambling 3nt, you can either not preempt then possibly get there later if partner opens (1c-1d-1nt-3nt, 1c-1d-1s-3d-3nt), or maybe overbid slightly by open 1d, rebid 2d (might lead to occasional bad penalty doubles by partner if opps compete to 3M/4M)

Obviously this will sometimes not reach the same result as opening 3nt, since opps will get in the bidding more frequently, but can sometimes be superior in getting 3nt declared from the better side.

Or you can go ahead and preempt, miss some of the min 3nts such as this, and hope to get the losses back on other hands where the preempt causes the opps to misjudge.
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#3 User is offline   ggwhiz 

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Posted 2011-March-23, 16:26

I can't think of any use for a 3nt opener that is any improvement in frequency or accuracy.

A 4 or 4 pre-empt? Just do it.

Both minors weak? My pard has both majors.

I don't know if anyone else has a better suggestion.
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#4 User is offline   gnasher 

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Posted 2011-March-23, 16:54

View Postjh51, on 2011-March-23, 13:55, said:

I don't know how you get to 3NT if you aren't playing gambling 3NT. South has an obvious preempt, but if he can have a diamond loser for his bid, what do you do?


1-1
2-3NT

The main argument against a gambling 3NT is that it preempts our side more than the opponents. A corollary is that if you don't open 3NT you should open at the one-level.

If you don't want to open this 1, you should continue to play the Gambling 3NT, rather than widening the range of 3.

Edit: I'm usually reluctant to open 3NT, but I'd do it on this hand, because I have exactly what partner will play me for. The hands where I'd avoid opening 3NT are the ones with a side card - even a queen - because that turns it into a full-value opening, and partner will never be able to find out about the side card.

This post has been edited by gnasher: 2011-March-23, 17:00

A poster: How would you continue?
JAllerton: I continue by inspecting the vulnerability and form of scoring. Then I remind myself of what methods I am playing.
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#5 User is offline   gnasher 

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Posted 2011-March-23, 16:59

View Postggwhiz, on 2011-March-23, 16:26, said:

I can't think of any use for a 3nt opener that is any improvement in frequency or accuracy.


That's not a sufficient reason to play the Gambling 3NT. You also have to expect to gain by playing it.
A poster: How would you continue?
JAllerton: I continue by inspecting the vulnerability and form of scoring. Then I remind myself of what methods I am playing.
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#6 User is online   gwnn 

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Posted 2011-March-23, 17:23

yes this is a rather unfortunate example, since if you dont play gambling it's a nice 1 bid whence it will be very easy to get to 3NT.

common wins for 3NT for simpletons like me:
sometimes you get to a very simple slam because responder can count 12+ tricks with 1 loser.
sometimes you preempt your opponents out of a making game.
sometimes you make defence very easy.

good alternative uses for 3NT:
6 hearts, 5 in a minor
strong preempt in a major
both majors (I think Fred said something like this??)
both minors, weak
etc
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#7 User is offline   ggwhiz 

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Posted 2011-March-23, 21:16

View Postgnasher, on 2011-March-23, 16:59, said:

That's not a sufficient reason to play the Gambling 3NT. You also have to expect to gain by playing it.


Can you suggest something better? I can't and it's a HUGE improvement on 25-27 balanced.
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#8 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2011-March-23, 21:44

View Postggwhiz, on 2011-March-23, 21:16, said:

Can you suggest something better? I can't and it's a HUGE improvement on 25-27 balanced.
Comments on Theokoles' suggestion that you use 3N for specific Aces
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#9 User is offline   matmat 

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Posted 2011-March-23, 22:18

View Postggwhiz, on 2011-March-23, 21:16, said:

Can you suggest something better? I can't and it's a HUGE improvement on 25-27 balanced.

See gwnn's post one below the one you just quoted.
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#10 User is online   gwnn 

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Posted 2011-March-24, 02:19

the whiz ignores me :(
... and I can prove it with my usual, flawless logic.
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#11 User is offline   bluecalm 

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Posted 2011-March-24, 02:19

I remember doing some simuls/analysis on gambling 3NT and my conclusion was that it's worth it especially at imps.
It may not be frequent but I can't see any improvements and gambling actually gains points when it comes up.
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#12 User is offline   gnasher 

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Posted 2011-March-24, 03:23

View Postggwhiz, on 2011-March-23, 21:16, said:

Can you suggest something better? I can't and it's a HUGE improvement on 25-27 balanced.


No, I can't, but so what?

Suppose I said that 1NT-2;4 should show 4-4 in the majors, because I couldn't think of a better use for it, and that was a huge improvement on playing it as a maximum without a major. You would, I expect, disagree. However, that's the same argument as the one you have just made for playing 3NT as gambling.
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#13 User is offline   Free 

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Posted 2011-March-24, 03:31

Open this 3 is criminal. When not playing gambling 3NT, you open these gambling hands with 1m. I don't see much wrong with 1-1-2-3NT, or if partner is a pessimist 1-1-2-2NT-3NT.

There are a lot of treatments that are good alternatives. Personally I prefer this to be a good 4-level preempt in a Major. This is particulary handy when we're NV, because normal 4M openings can have a wide range while we have limited the strength by not opening 3NT.

Quote

I remember doing some simuls/analysis on gambling 3NT and my conclusion was that it's worth it especially at imps.
It may not be frequent but I can't see any improvements and gambling actually gains points when it comes up.

Interesting result. I wouldn't suspect this. If you open 1m you'll end up in 3NT most of the time anyway, and the contract will be rightsided. So I wonder, why does it win points? Probably the preemptive effect, keeping opps out of the best contract?
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#14 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2011-March-24, 06:10

View PostFree, on 2011-March-24, 03:31, said:

Personally I prefer this to be a good 4-level preempt in a Major.


This is what I play, but I have found that it rarely helps us reach a slam. I don't think there's much in it.
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#15 User is offline   Free 

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Posted 2011-March-24, 07:26

View PostVampyr, on 2011-March-24, 06:10, said:

This is what I play, but I have found that it rarely helps us reach a slam. I don't think there's much in it.

It doesn't get us to wonderful slams, but it prevents us from playing 5M when we should stay at 4-level when we open 4M... :rolleyes:
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#16 User is offline   bluecalm 

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Posted 2011-March-24, 08:09

Quote

It doesn't get us to wonderful slams, but it prevents us from playing 5M when we should stay at 4-level when we open 4M...


It also allows them to bid freely 4/4/4 and have 2 meaning for the double (direct and delayed).
Imo this convention sucks.
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#17 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2011-March-24, 08:20

View Postgwnn, on 2011-March-24, 02:19, said:

the whiz ignores me :(

Not that it's any consolation but I, for one, appreciated the extra effort in your post.
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#18 User is online   ArtK78 

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Posted 2011-March-24, 08:20

The reason for using 3NT to show a 4-level preempt in a minor suit is that the 4 of a minor opening is being used for something else - in the case of my regular partnership, Namyats.

I find it kind of funny that the original poster said that gambling 3NT came up only once in about 750 deals. I have been playing for about 40 years, and I can say that the opportunity to open a gambling 3NT has come up about 5 times over that entire period. So once in 750 deals during the course of an NABC is a lot. On the other hand, opening a 4-level minor suit preempt does come up once or twice a month (especially since our 3-level minor suit preempt is disciplined - suit headed by AQ or AK or better).
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#19 User is offline   Free 

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Posted 2011-March-24, 09:13

View Postbluecalm, on 2011-March-24, 08:09, said:

It also allows them to bid freely 4/4/4 and have 2 meaning for the double (direct and delayed).
Imo this convention sucks.

Perhaps it's useful to know a little more about the background of this convention. You can compare it a little with reverse Flannery responses over 1m openings: when it comes up it's not the best in the world, but you gain mostly by freeing up other sequences.

Many of us prefer to have 2 ways of showing 4-level Major suit openers. Imo this is a much better treatment than ArtK78's solution for example.
Compare:
3NT = good M pre
4 = pre
4 = pre
with:
3NT = m pre / Gambling
4 = good pre
4 = good pre

Now, with my approach, we have 2 awesome openings: our 4m openings. They put pressure, they are NF, and opps don't have much space to look for the best Major fit most of the time. The 3NT opening gives a few possibilities to opps, especially for sacrificing purposes. Chances that they have a penalty Dbl are rather small, so we don't really mind the 2 meanings of Dbl. Obviously they can freely bid a minor, but they are not playing alone so they need agreements on what 4m means. They can either play it constructively, or sacrifice suggesting. Either way they'll lose on some hands and win on others. Bidding 4 is not free imo, as opposed to your claim, but even if we somehow agreed that it is free, it still suffers the same problem as the 4m overcalls.
With the second approach, you give options away after all 3 openings. After 3NT you give opps 2 meanings for the Dbl, which is more relevant here than after my 3NT opening (normal pre vs good pre => more chances for penalty doubles). They also get at least 1 extra call to search for the best Major suit contract (4 and/or 4). After 4m openings they also have 2 meanings of Dbl. They also get a free call, which has the same problem as the free calls after my 3NT opening.

So if you look at the entire combination of openings, I prefer to have my 'poor' 3NT opening with great 4m openings rather than 3 'poor' openings. ;)
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#20 User is offline   bluecalm 

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Posted 2011-March-24, 09:45

Quote

So if you look at the entire combination of openings, I prefer to have my 'poor' 3NT opening with great 4m openings rather than 3 'poor' openings.


I entirely agree with you.
While I think 3NT as strong M opening sucks playing 4/4 is possibly the worst agreement in bidding history which can only be saved by small frequency of those bids arising.
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