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Downgrade and pesky opps

#21 User is offline   pooltuna 

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Posted 2012-February-13, 10:04

no upgrade or downgrade partner needs to be able to evaluate our combined assets
Trust my partner to have a stopper so hamman eggs in one basket
"Tell me of your home world, Usul"
the Freman, Chani from the move "Dune"

"I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it."

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#22 User is offline   the_clown 

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Posted 2012-February-13, 10:32

1. No way I am downgrading this, if I ever downgrade a 1NT opening I need to have a VERY poor 4333 like KQJ KQx Axxx QJx.

2. I would bid 4, a great hand with short . I can see how 3NT or 3X could score better on some layouts, but I think that 4 describes my hand very well so why not just bid it?
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#23 User is offline   nigel_k 

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Posted 2012-February-13, 13:28

On the first one, my test is to ask whether the hand is closer to an average 17 than an average 18. If people on this thread really think it is closer to an average 18 then I am a little surprised by that. There are worse hands, but 4333 with no intermediates and below average honour combinations is still very poor.

I get the impression that a lot of people's 1NT opening is half a point lighter than 15-17, so any above average 14 would qualify and any above average 17 is out. If that's your style then obviously it is not a 1NT opener.

On the second one you need an agreement. My preference is that all of these kind of doubles are for takeout, and in this kind of auction that means partner should bid when he has average (or slightly above average) defence compared to what can be expected from the auction to date. With that understanding I am comfortable doubling on this hand.
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#24 User is offline   JLOGIC 

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Posted 2012-February-13, 13:48

You know what's quite accurate at assessing how good a balanced hand is? Milton Work Point count. Ok, I will downgrade hands that have bad spots, bad HH doubleton combos, and especially zero aces, or a lot of jacks that don't synergize with the other honors/spots well. This hand has only one jack, and honors that work well together, including 2 aces. Sure Qxx is not great, but there are a lot of quick tricks. Not only that, but even if this hand is maybe worth a downgrade for NT contracts (which I doubt), there is no way it is worth a downgrade for suit contracts. Unfortunately we will not be able to catch up later in the not-so-unlikely event that we end up in a suit contract, we will have simply started by grossly underbidding our hand.

I used to be all macho "I WILL NEVER DOWNGRADE" and I have recently downgraded a couple of times, but this is just not the hand. I feel like if you downgrade this, you should downgrade most 4333 18s, because this hand is definitely above average for a 4333 18 count even with no spot card.
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#25 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2012-February-13, 15:07

View PostJLOGIC, on 2012-February-13, 13:48, said:

You know what's quite accurate at assessing how good a balanced hand is? Milton Work Point count. Ok, I will downgrade hands that have bad spots, bad HH doubleton combos, and especially zero aces, or a lot of jacks that don't synergize with the other honors/spots well. This hand has only one jack ..

Just going to frame this. Perhaps my friends will stop laughing at me when I talk about the number of jacks in my hand ... of course there is plenty more to keep them amused.
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#26 User is offline   nigel_k 

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Posted 2012-February-13, 16:47

View PostJLOGIC, on 2012-February-13, 13:48, said:

... this hand is definitely above average for a 4333 18 count even with no spot card.

Definitely disagree. Every 4333 18 count will have either similar or better honour combinations or more aces. The HCP have to be somewhere.

Putting this another way, which hand is better:

Qxx
KQx
AJx
AQxx

QJx
Kx
AJ9x
AQ10x

If people think the first hand is better, then I disagree and we can test that with a simulation. If people would not open 1NT with the second hand then I would suggest they are not really playing a 15-17 NT.
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#27 User is offline   JLOGIC 

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Posted 2012-February-13, 17:24

edit, whatever
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#28 User is offline   bluecalm 

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Posted 2012-February-13, 17:38

Quote

and we can test that with a simulation


OK, I will start. How often 3NT makes opposite 6-7 balanced with maximum 4-4 in majors (the hand which passes 1NT opener but drives o game opposite 18-19).

1st hand:

3NT makes 46%

2nd hand:

3NT makes 35%

Which is not really surprising if you did a lot of those simulations before.
In short:

Quote

You know what's quite accurate at assessing how good a balanced hand is? Milton Work Point count


This is correct.
Shape is overrated (when it comes to 1NT openings), you should never downgrade just because you have 4-3-3-3 and probably you shouldn't upgrade because of 5-3-3-2. What counts are pc, spots and aces. (A's are underrated and two tens and two nines are worth almost 1pc while 3 tens are probably a bit more than 1pc).
Some people did a lot of research with dd simulations and real hand results to arrive at those conclusions, I won't repeat this discussion here.
I can just say, that I am paying attention to this stuff and imo this upgrading algorithm:
a)don't worry about shape
b)add 1PC for 2aces and 2tens or 3tens or 2tens/2nines/one ace
c)downgrade only awful hands without any spots

Is imo better than w/e people at w/e level come up with.
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#29 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2012-February-13, 17:42

View Postpooltuna, on 2012-February-13, 10:04, said:

no upgrade or downgrade partner needs to be able to evaluate our combined assets
Trust my partner to have a stopper so hamman eggs in one basket

Enough already with the attempted pun. It may have been amusing the first time, but by now all it means is that you are making yet another horrible 3N call, apparently just so you can make the pun, since there is no obvious bridge logic behind the call.
'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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#30 User is offline   han 

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Posted 2012-February-14, 03:52

Wonderful post by bluecalm.

For what it is worth, I gave the second hand to three of my friends over dinner yesterday. These are all better players than I am so perhaps Paul will find this interesting. Well, I didn't give the hand that Paul posted but partner's hand: A10x xxx KQx J10xx. First, two out of three insisted that they wanted to bid 2NT instead of 1NT because of the nice 10's and fitting diamond honours. Of course I didn't allow that.

After the double of 3S, one bid 4NT ("but I really should have 5 clubs for this") and 2 bid 4S. The 4NT bidder admitted that 4S was a much better bid than 4NT. Nobody was discussing the option of passing, and they reacted surprised when I told them that's why I asked the question.

When I gave them partner's hand, one said she would certainly double and didn't see any reasonable alternatives. The other two wanted to bid 4S instead and said they almost never double with a void.
Please note: I am interested in boring, bog standard, 2/1.

- hrothgar
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#31 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2012-February-14, 04:05

View Posthan, on 2012-February-14, 03:52, said:

Wonderful post by bluecalm.

For what it is worth, I gave the second hand to three of my friends over dinner yesterday. These are all better players than I am so perhaps Paul will find this interesting. Well, I didn't give the hand that Paul posted but partner's hand: A10x xxx KQx J10xx. First, two out of three insisted that they wanted to bid 2NT instead of 1NT because of the nice 10's and fitting diamond honours. Of course I didn't allow that.

After the double of 3S, one bid 4NT ("but I really should have 5 clubs for this") and 2 bid 4S. The 4NT bidder admitted that 4S was a much better bid than 4NT. Nobody was discussing the option of passing, and they reacted surprised when I told them that's why I asked the question.

When I gave them partner's hand, one said she would certainly double and didn't see any reasonable alternatives. The other two wanted to bid 4S instead and said they almost never double with a void.

Thanks.

I do not think the player who passed the double would try to defend his decision with the benefit of more time. The real challenge is to find six clubs, on the 4-4 fit, rather than six diamonds on the 5-3. If the opener continues with 5NT (choice of slam) do you want to introduce a jack-high four-card suit?
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#32 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2012-February-14, 04:37

View Posthan, on 2012-February-14, 03:52, said:

When I gave them partner's hand, one said she would certainly double and didn't see any reasonable alternatives. The other two wanted to bid 4S instead and said they almost never double with a void.


Out of interest han, after Phil's post and this opinion from your friends are you thinking 4 is ok here now or do you still think double is the only reasonable call as your third friend did?
(-: Zel :-)
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#33 User is offline   Codo 

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Posted 2012-February-14, 06:30

View Postphil_20686, on 2012-February-13, 09:36, said:

To me 4C strongly suggests 5-5 in an ok hand. I dont think its forcing but expect partner to raise most of the time with decent values. I


If 4 club is nonforcing, how do you bid hands where you want to force to game? Do you have to open them 2 ?
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#34 User is offline   MickyB 

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Posted 2012-February-14, 07:17

View Postpaulg, on 2012-February-13, 15:07, said:

Just going to frame this. Perhaps my friends will stop laughing at me when I talk about the number of jacks in my hand ... of course there is plenty more to keep them amused.


I remember thinking that I'd done well to maintain a straight face!

Tom Andrews concluded, based on DD analysis, that

4.0 - 2.8 - 1.8 - 1.0 - 0.4

was a good point-counting metric for balanced hands in NT, and that whether you were 4333, 4432 or 5332 made very little difference, in fact 4333 came out slightly ahead.

This will be partly due to 4333 not being able to be dealt a "negative feature" doubleton [Qx, KQ, etc.] It also seems plausible that being able to make a DD lead may be more significant when declarer is comparatively shapely.
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#35 User is offline   phil_20686 

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Posted 2012-February-14, 07:28

View PostCodo, on 2012-February-14, 06:30, said:

If 4 club is nonforcing, how do you bid hands where you want to force to game? Do you have to open them 2 ?


Why cant I bid 5C? Partner already denied hearts.
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#36 User is offline   han 

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Posted 2012-February-14, 07:47

View PostZelandakh, on 2012-February-14, 04:37, said:

Out of interest han, after Phil's post and this opinion from your friends are you thinking 4 is ok here now or do you still think double is the only reasonable call as your third friend did?


I think that partnership style has something to do with it. For example, I know that when her partner passes out a takeout double the opponents are in serious trouble, while my partner passes much more often. So I should be more careful doubling with voids than she is. Of the other two friends one admitted that his partner also only rarely passes, so he thought that perhaps he should double as well. The third just said he just hates doubling, which is well known among us.

Paul, perhaps after double followed by 4S opener can jump to 6C. That seems better than 5NT.
Please note: I am interested in boring, bog standard, 2/1.

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#37 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2012-February-14, 08:55

View Posthan, on 2012-February-14, 07:47, said:

Paul, perhaps after double followed by 4S opener can jump to 6C. That seems better than 5NT.

Yes. I wondered if 6C might imply 5-5 but it is much more likely to be 5-4 given the double. 5NT is probably better reserved for 6-4 hands.
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#38 User is offline   pooltuna 

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Posted 2012-February-14, 09:56

View Postmikeh, on 2012-February-13, 17:42, said:

Enough already with the attempted pun. It may have been amusing the first time, but by now all it means is that you are making yet another horrible 3N call, apparently just so you can make the pun, since there is no obvious bridge logic behind the call.

so all I get from you is I hate the 3NT call and it doesn't make sense but no recommendation on an alternate call. As far as bridge logic goes partner failed to make a negative X and chose instead 1NT. So a 2 reverse is pretty pointless only a 4 call seems available to show our values but of course bypasses 3NT. Since it seems like a pretty unilateral choice IMO you are pretty much stuck with "hamman eggs in one basket" sure you might miss a minor suit slam but the wastage kind of argues against that.
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#39 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2012-February-14, 10:12

View Postpooltuna, on 2012-February-14, 09:56, said:

so all I get from you is I hate the 3NT call and it doesn't make sense but no recommendation on an alternate call. As far as bridge logic goes partner failed to make a negative X and chose instead 1NT. So a 2 reverse is pretty pointless only a 4 call seems available to show our values but of course bypasses 3NT. Since it seems like a pretty unilateral choice IMO you are pretty much stuck with "hamman eggs in one basket" sure you might miss a minor suit slam but the wastage kind of argues against that.

I thought there was a lot of good discussion about the various calls. My thoughts were:

If 4 were forcing, it would get my vote, but I would be concerned that partner will think I have a hand with, say, 6-5 minors and no real extras, and can't sell to 3.

If double were purely takeout, that's clearly best. I like the treatment, but most of my partners are even more old-fashioned than I am so I would be concerned that they'd pass too often. Note that even pure takeout doubles can be left in. If partner's spade holding were QJ9x for example, he might well choose to leave it in, depending on the rest of his hand.

4 is an overbid, but not by much.....it seems unlikely that 5m can't have a play.

In my partnerships, I would bid 4 and later see whether I can persuade partner that double is best.

3N would not have occurred to me as a sensible alternative.
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#40 User is offline   neilkaz 

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Posted 2012-February-14, 12:19

Hand 1) I don't downgrade this 16 count with acceptable honor structure.

Hand 2) My hand looks tremendous so I'll bid 4 which really should show a void most of the time.
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