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Any recommendations for a basic book about competitive bidding? Judgement, not conventions

#1 User is offline   Antrax 

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Posted 2011-September-02, 10:32

I think this is the area I'm worst at, at the moment. I have no clue how to evaluate my hand in a competitive auction, when to bid one more, when to sacrifice and when to double (or even pass). I've read the Lawrence books about overcalls and T/O doubles the Larry Cohen "to bid or not to bid" and tried reading "partnership bidding" by Robson/Segal, but it was too complex at the moment.
Is there a good basic book/CD on the topic?
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#2 User is offline   semeai 

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Posted 2011-September-02, 10:47

Good question. Maybe one of the "over the shoulder" type of books would be good for this, if you think lots of examples instead of mostly theory could help.

Maybe a modern one, since the older ones (Bridge with the Blue Team, Reese) are better for play of the hand than for bidding. I'm not thinking of one in particular in book form to recommend, but there's software by Larry Cohen (1999 Life Master Pairs) and by Kit Woolsey (2000 Cavendish). Admittedly I've only tried the sample deals, but they look good. Does anyone who owns these know if these have lots of competitive bidding decisions and discussion thereof?
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#3 User is online   inquiry 

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Posted 2011-September-02, 11:02

I am a fan of robson/segal, but if you want to wait on that, I can suggest...

The competitive bidding section under Richard Pavlicek's advanced bridge lessons

A student I have helped in the past, likes Audrey Grant's "Bridge Basics 2: Competitive bidding". I haven't read it, but she seems to have gained a reasonable understanding of competitive bidding from somewhere.

Kaplan also has a book on competitive bidding that I haven't read.





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#4 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2011-September-02, 11:19

To bid or not to bid is great.

I also like Points, Schmoints
and Lawrence's quizbook.
The collective wisdom of this forum is formidable. --- vodkagirl
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#5 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2011-September-02, 11:47

Have you worked through Gavin's videos on bridgewinners.com? Cheaper than any book and easy to understand.
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#6 User is offline   nigel_k 

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Posted 2011-September-02, 15:15

Use computer generated hands and bid them yourself. Books are good for improving your methods but learning judgment really requires you to bid a ton of hands and generating your own is the easiest way.

I have a web application that does this which I could tidy up and release publicly but this probably won't happen any time soon.
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#7 User is offline   semeai 

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Posted 2011-September-02, 15:28

View Postnigel_k, on 2011-September-02, 15:15, said:

Use computer generated hands and bid them yourself. Books are good for improving your methods but learning judgment really requires you to bid a ton of hands and generating your own is the easiest way.

I have a web application that does this which I could tidy up and release publicly but this probably won't happen any time soon.


A teaching table on BBO is also a good way to do this. You can set constraints as well.
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#8 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2011-September-17, 07:08

Robson has a series of small books/pamphlets out on various subjects. One of them is Hand Evaluation. The format is a number of hands, each showing a different point or aspect of the subject. IIRC, the Hand Evaluation one has some 42 hands. One page is "here's the hand, here's where you are in the auction, what do you do now?" Overleaf you get an analysis of what, in Robson's opinion, you should have done, and why. I picked mine up at a Regional recently. Baron-Barclay stocks them. Ten bucks or so each.
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#9 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2011-September-17, 07:40

View Postnigel_k, on 2011-September-02, 15:15, said:

Use computer generated hands and bid them yourself. Books are good for improving your methods but learning judgment really requires you to bid a ton of hands and generating your own is the easiest way.

You can also just deal four hands from a pack of cards (very oldfashioned!) and try to answer these questions:
- what is the par at each of the four vulnerabilites? Try to estimate a par based on SD play rather than DD play.
- would LOTT, LTC, shortness/length adjusted HCPs or w/e be successful in estimating how high the two parties should bid? If not, why not?
- is it plausible that par would be reached in the bidding (depending on who opens)? If not, is it because the number of tricks taken is different from what one would expect from the info that would surface during the auction? If yes, could one of the parties by preempting make it more difficult for the other to reach par
The collective wisdom of this forum is formidable. --- vodkagirl
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