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Goodish hand, badish options

Poll: Goodish hand, badish options (19 member(s) have cast votes)

What's your poison

  1. Pass (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  2. Double (take-out) (4 votes [21.05%])

    Percentage of vote: 21.05%

  3. 3 spades (forcing) (15 votes [78.95%])

    Percentage of vote: 78.95%

  4. 3N (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  5. something else which I will explain (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

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#1 User is offline   CSGibson 

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Posted 2012-February-09, 14:58



You are playing with a pick-up partner, a very good player, with no prior discussion but with the assumption "expert standard 2/1"

What do you do? How about a plan for possible continuations by partner?
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#2 User is offline   ArtK78 

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Posted 2012-February-09, 15:07

3 seems obvious. Probably rebidding 4 unless partner bids 4.
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#3 User is offline   HighLow21 

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Posted 2012-February-09, 15:26

I agree. It's only a 9-point hand and it could be a misfit, but chances are you'll land on your feet. 3 for me, rebidding 4 unless partner responds in clubs or NT.

The thing that seals it for me is that the intermediates in both black suits are excellent.
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#4 User is offline   AyunuS 

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Posted 2012-February-09, 15:50

3 spades. Then pass if he bids NT, stay in clubs if he bids clubs, and hope 4 spades works if he bids diamonds. Even if he has virtually nothing in spades, you realistically have at most 2 losses in spades, so it's a relatively safe bid anyway.
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#5 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2012-February-09, 17:19

I would negative double, intending to bid 4 over 3N or 4 and to bid 4 over 4.

3 is a close second, and if you reversed my red suits, it is what I would bid for two reasons. One is that with me holding the heart Q, it is less likely that he will be able to pass the double than if I held the diamond Q. The other is that I would like my hand more, in terms of working hcp, and so would upgrade.

(Edit: in the remote event that he does pass, I won't be terribly hurt, since I do have an A, a stiff in partner's suit and a trump honour that will promote partner's holding even if I have to use it to ruff a diamond).

I should add: if I were to bid 3 here (and this is a game force call), wild horses couldn't make me pass 3N. Partner isn't expecting this hand, either in shape, misfit, or weakness, when he bids 3N. In fact, his usual holding will be one heart card and a weak notrump, possibly with length in diamonds, where we have zero help. Even if our heart Q provides a 2nd stop in 3N, and is of no help in 4, I think we belong in spades more often than notrump.
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#6 User is offline   jmcw 

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Posted 2012-February-09, 17:26

View Postmikeh, on 2012-February-09, 17:19, said:

I would negative double, intending to bid 4 over 3N or 4 and to bid 4 over 4.

3 is a close second, and if you reversed my red suits, it is what I would bid for two reasons. One is that with me holding the heart Q, it is less likely that he will be able to pass the double than if I held the diamond Q. The other is that I would like my hand more, in terms of working hcp, and so would upgrade.

(Edit: in the remote event that he does pass, I won't be terribly hurt, since I do have an A, a stiff in partner's suit and a trump honour that will promote partner's holding even if I have to use it to ruff a diamond).

I should add: if I were to bid 3 here (and this is a game force call), wild horses couldn't make me pass 3N. Partner isn't expecting this hand, either in shape, misfit, or weakness, when he bids 3N. In fact, his usual holding will be one heart card and a weak notrump, possibly with length in diamonds, where we have zero help. Even if our heart Q provides a 2nd stop in 3N, and is of no help in 4, I think we belong in spades more often than notrump.


This seems right to me, especially the bit about the horses, but honestly I would bid 3 for fear that pulling 3NT would be showing something a bit different.
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#7 User is offline   MrAce 

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Posted 2012-February-09, 17:26

It is 3 for me.
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#8 User is offline   AyunuS 

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Posted 2012-February-09, 17:38

I thought negative double wasn't an option seeing as t/o double is so I thought a double in this situation couldn't be negative, which left 3S as the best option.
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#9 User is offline   HighLow21 

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Posted 2012-February-09, 17:43

View PostAyunuS, on 2012-February-09, 17:38, said:

I thought negative double wasn't an option seeing as t/o double is so I thought a double in this situation couldn't be negative, which left 3S as the best option.


Depends on whether you play neg dbls through 2 or through 3. Seems to me like most negative double agreements cease to hold once the 3 level has been reached, but it's open to partnership agreement.
There is a big difference between a good decision and a good result. Let's keep our posts about good decisions rather than "gotcha" results!
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#10 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2012-February-09, 18:10

View PostHighLow21, on 2012-February-09, 17:43, said:

Depends on whether you play neg dbls through 2 or through 3. Seems to me like most negative double agreements cease to hold once the 3 level has been reached, but it's open to partnership agreement.

HiLow.....I sense that you are going to benefit greatly from being in these forums.....the great majority of experts play negative doubles through the 3-level, and my personal experience suggests that through 4 is common. If your experience is otherwise, and I don't doubt your statement that suggests it is, you are going to have a lot of fun learning treatments that will further enhance your successes in the games in which you play, and prepare you when you move up, which I suspect won't be too long in coming.

of course, standard treatment at the 4 level is that the double is less definitive about shape and more about hand ownership, hence these 'negative doubles' tend to get left in more and more as the level increases...but (maybe due to the poor convention cards in use in ACBL which offer few descriptive choices for double) they are still commonly called negative.

Indeed, in two of my partnerships, our CC discloses negative doubles through 7. But we don't play that opener should pull to 7N :D He is, however, allowed to do so, provided that his first round spade control is the Ace. :P

So far no-one's ever made a 7 level overcall against us.
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#11 User is offline   jmcw 

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Posted 2012-February-09, 18:28

@Mikeh.

So you X, partner bids , can you ever untangle a playable contract or is it lost.

2254 come to mind, maybe even a less likely 3154 or 2164!
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#12 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2012-February-09, 18:31

View Postmikeh, on 2012-February-09, 18:10, said:

the great majority of experts bridge players play negative doubles through the 3-level 4 at least


That's my experience here in the South, anyway.
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#13 User is offline   CSGibson 

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Posted 2012-February-09, 18:37

View PostAyunuS, on 2012-February-09, 17:38, said:

I thought negative double wasn't an option seeing as t/o double is so I thought a double in this situation couldn't be negative, which left 3S as the best option.


By take-out, I meant to imply that negative doubles were still on at the 3 level (undiscussed, but standard in this area). Sorry for the confusion.
Chris Gibson
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#14 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2012-February-09, 19:21

View Postjmcw, on 2012-February-09, 18:28, said:

@Mikeh.

So you X, partner bids , can you ever untangle a playable contract or is it lost.

2254 come to mind, maybe even a less likely 3154 or 2164!


I can't ever see partner being able to bid 4 with a stiff heart....I mean...LHO would have to be not merely sworn to silence, but also temporarily paralyzed not to bid 4 with 4 card support at favourable, no matter what the form of scoring. So I simply wouldn't cater to that in my bidding plan over 3.

2254 (or for some misguided souls, 2245 ;) ) is more plausible, tho I would expect LHO to be bidding 4 on most of these deals at this heat.

If memory serves, we weren't told the scoring. I tend to answer questions as if they were imps, because that's where my interest lies. If this were mps, maybe I would consider bidding 4 over 4 even tho I rate to buy a stiff spade...the 6-1 might score better than (or fail by the same amount as) the 5=4 club fit.

But they pay a bonus for slam bidding at mps as well as at imps, and this hand has great slam potential in clubs and virtually none, in the hypothetical auction under discussion, in spades, so I would cue 4 as I wrote earlier, and give up on spades.

At imps, I think that decision is clear. While 4 and 5 are both plausible contracts, the chance of finding a good slam (without finding a bad one) is enough in my view to make a try worthwhile.

As to whether 4 is a slam try or an effort to keep spades in the picture, I confess that I have never played COG cues as frequently as I think good bridge suggests, and I wouldn't expect any of my partners to see 4 that way if I bid it. So...can 4 by opener be passed?

Well, any call can be passed,even if partner didn't think it would be, but I'd take it as encouraging for clubs.....consistent with say x Axx QJxxx AKJx.

I can think of good arguments for this being no better than the 2nd best view....that it should be perhaps Hx in spades....but given the conditions of contest, I just don't see that as a probable layout and so don't think we should design our approach around it.
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#15 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2012-February-09, 19:26

View PostVampyr, on 2012-February-09, 18:31, said:

That's my experience here in the South, anyway.

I have learned, the hard way, that anytime I generalize, someone, somewhere, takes my language literally and since the chances that we would ever get unanimity on anything is remote, in the bridge world, I tried to be tactful.

Now I am learning that that approach gets nitpicked as well.*

of course, now I risk someone taking exception to this generalization. Consider me corrected already, please.




* I know....pot yet again calling a kettle black. Well, what did you expect, lol?
'one of the great markers of the advance of human kindness is the howls you will hear from the Men of God' Johann Hari
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#16 User is offline   HighLow21 

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Posted 2012-February-09, 19:27

View Postmikeh, on 2012-February-09, 18:10, said:

HiLow.....I sense that you are going to benefit greatly from being in these forums.....the great majority of experts play negative doubles through the 3-level, and my personal experience suggests that through 4 is common. If your experience is otherwise, and I don't doubt your statement that suggests it is, you are going to have a lot of fun learning treatments that will further enhance your successes in the games in which you play, and prepare you when you move up, which I suspect won't be too long in coming.

of course, standard treatment at the 4 level is that the double is less definitive about shape and more about hand ownership, hence these 'negative doubles' tend to get left in more and more as the level increases...but (maybe due to the poor convention cards in use in ACBL which offer few descriptive choices for double) they are still commonly called negative.

Indeed, in two of my partnerships, our CC discloses negative doubles through 7. But we don't play that opener should pull to 7N :D He is, however, allowed to do so, provided that his first round spade control is the Ace. :P

So far no-one's ever made a 7 level overcall against us.


Sorry you are right --> I don't know what I was thinking with that comment. I've been playing with a new partner and we've agreed to neg dbl only through 2, to the point where I've forgotten that that's non-standard.
There is a big difference between a good decision and a good result. Let's keep our posts about good decisions rather than "gotcha" results!
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#17 User is offline   HighLow21 

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Posted 2012-February-09, 19:30

View Postmikeh, on 2012-February-09, 19:26, said:

I have learned, the hard way, that anytime I generalize, someone, somewhere, takes my language literally and since the chances that we would ever get unanimity on anything is remote, in the bridge world, I tried to be tactful.

Now I am learning that that approach gets nitpicked as well.*

of course, now I risk someone taking exception to this generalization. Consider me corrected already, please.




* I know....pot yet again calling a kettle black. Well, what did you expect, lol?


I take exception to your refusal to make recalcitrant, overgeneralized comments and adamantly insist that they are correct. ;-)
There is a big difference between a good decision and a good result. Let's keep our posts about good decisions rather than "gotcha" results!
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#18 User is offline   jmcw 

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Posted 2012-February-09, 20:33

View Postmikeh, on 2012-February-09, 19:26, said:

I have learned, the hard way, that anytime I generalize, someone, somewhere, takes my language literally and since the chances that we would ever get unanimity on anything is remote, in the bridge world, I tried to be tactful.

Now I am learning that that approach gets nitpicked as well.*

of course, now I risk someone taking exception to this generalization. Consider me corrected already, please.




* I know....pot yet again calling a kettle black. Well, what did you expect, lol?


Hope you didn't think my follow up was nitpicking.
FWIW, I find your comments insightful and very well written. It's also abundantly clear you know your stuff, so Ty for taking the time to reply, I very much appreciate.
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#19 User is offline   HighLow21 

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Posted 2012-February-09, 22:28

View Postjmcw, on 2012-February-09, 20:33, said:

Hope you didn't think my follow up was nitpicking.
FWIW, I find your comments insightful and very well written. It's also abundantly clear you know your stuff, so Ty for taking the time to reply, I very much appreciate.

NOOO, not at all, man! I'm learning a lot from you guys.
There is a big difference between a good decision and a good result. Let's keep our posts about good decisions rather than "gotcha" results!
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#20 User is offline   MrAce 

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Posted 2012-February-09, 22:33

View PostHighLow21, on 2012-February-09, 22:28, said:

NOOO, not at all, man! I'm learning a lot from you guys.


He was quoting to MikeH :)
"Genius has its own limitations, however stupidity is boundless"

"Gosh given your bbf manner would love to see your teaching LOL if i was a novice i'd be running a million miles from you" - Eagles123

Disclaimer: this post is not intended to offend anyone who spews constant drivel. --PhilKing (Stolen from Arend's sig)






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