BBO Discussion Forums: 6 D to A,Q, J; 6 H to K, singleton S x, and C void in 2nd seat - BBO Discussion Forums

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6 D to A,Q, J; 6 H to K, singleton S x, and C void in 2nd seat

#21 User is offline   Antrax 

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Posted 2012-March-18, 01:02

I was taught to open any hand with 12 HCP.
I started out like you, and later found out these mechanical rules are actually a deterrent to learning. You have to understand that this hand: KQJTxxx x xx xxx is not equal at all to this hand: xxx K QJ Txxxxxx, though both evaluate the same by mechanical rules. To me, what helped get past this stage (where I count HCP and length and do what a set of rules tells me to) is to sit down with a good player who walked me through the various notions I have to keep in my head: how honors are better when in long suits, how balanced hands are worse than unbalanced hands, etc. I'm sure there are also good books out there about this, and this forum (see this thread and Frances' post). But the main point I'm trying to convey is that at least for me, the idea of "developing" by sticking to a set of rules and hoping to "gradually" expand them didn't work out at all. I had to consciously unlearn rules before I could make progress.
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#22 User is offline   MrAce 

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Posted 2012-March-18, 02:49

View Postwobur123, on 2012-March-17, 10:01, said:

RHO dealt and passed. Different ways to count the points to justify an opening bid, but in any case 10 HCP. I thought the potential was too great for a weak 2. Any thoughts?

Thanks! Judy (wobur123)



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#23 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2012-March-18, 22:50

View PostAntrax, on 2012-March-18, 01:02, said:

I was taught to open any hand with 12 HCP.
I started out like you, and later found out these mechanical rules are actually a deterrent to learning. You have to understand that this hand: KQJTxxx x xx xxx is not equal at all to this hand: xxx K QJ Txxxxxx, though both evaluate the same by mechanical rules. To me, what helped get past this stage (where I count HCP and length and do what a set of rules tells me to) is to sit down with a good player who walked me through the various notions I have to keep in my head: how honors are better when in long suits, how balanced hands are worse than unbalanced hands, etc. I'm sure there are also good books out there about this, and this forum (see this thread and Frances' post). But the main point I'm trying to convey is that at least for me, the idea of "developing" by sticking to a set of rules and hoping to "gradually" expand them didn't work out at all. I had to consciously unlearn rules before I could make progress.


Antrax, I am sure you mean well, but this forum is not for people ready to "get past this stage". I believe that this is the sort of post that an earlier poster complained about being not appropriate for the target audience.
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#24 User is offline   Antrax 

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Posted 2012-March-19, 01:18

The point I'm trying to make is that as someone who only recently graduated from the beginner status, I believe that stage (mechanical bidding) is worthless, and staying in it any amount of time is a frustrating waste of time.
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#25 User is offline   JustaDummy 

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Posted 2012-March-19, 08:00

View PostAntrax, on 2012-March-19, 01:18, said:

The point I'm trying to make is that as someone who only recently graduated from the beginner status, I believe that stage (mechanical bidding) is worthless, and staying in it any amount of time is a frustrating waste of time.

Vampyr said:

Antrax, I am sure you mean well, but this forum is not for people ready to "get past this stage". I believe that this is the sort of post that an earlier poster complained about being not appropriate for the target audience.

I agree with Vampyr, and thank him for his support. I don't think that mechanical bidding is worthless at all. Without it, no novice would ever be able to even begin to play. And you have to accept that some novices will need to stay longer at the mechanical stage than others - but while there, they will be able to enjoy playing. I don't know of any club or online system which presents a novice with a hand, tells them the contract, and then says "OK, start playing."

Although that would be nice, if those who tell me to ignore bidding skills at this stage are to be believed.
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#26 User is offline   wyman 

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Posted 2012-March-19, 08:05

View PostJustaDummy, on 2012-March-19, 08:00, said:

I agree with Vampyr, and thank him for his support.


her :)
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#27 User is offline   JustaDummy 

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Posted 2012-March-19, 08:13

View Postwyman, on 2012-March-19, 08:05, said:

her :)

Oh, shoot! Sorry, ma'am. Brain dead as usual :blink: .
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#28 User is offline   Antrax 

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Posted 2012-March-19, 09:48

Quote

I don't think that mechanical bidding is worthless at all. Without it, no novice would ever be able to even begin to play. And you have to accept that some novices will need to stay longer at the mechanical stage than others - but while there, they will be able to enjoy playing.
Can't you justify any arbitrary set of rules with the same argument?
Moreover, can't you follow non-mechanical rules? If I tell you "honors in long suits are better than honors in short suits", can't this be followed without assigning a numerical value to it?
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#29 User is offline   JustaDummy 

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Posted 2012-March-19, 10:46

JustaDummy said:

I don't think that mechanical bidding is worthless at all.

View PostAntrax, on 2012-March-19, 09:48, said:

Can't you justify any arbitrary set of rules with the same argument?
I don't think that SAYC is particularly arbitrary, but if I were to make up rules which I felt like following, I'm sure that an independent arbitrator would find SAYC easier to justify.

Quote

Moreover, can't you follow non-mechanical rules? If I tell you "honors in long suits are better than honors in short suits", can't this be followed without assigning a numerical value to it?

Yes, it can, to some extent. But my problem, at my stage, is that I can't tell how much better. Or what that difference might mean in terms of a search for an attainable contract. So if you say that, I'll believe it, but it won't help me to be able to judge my hand in terms of selecting appropriate bids.
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#30 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2012-March-19, 12:19

Highlow is correct, imo, in arguing that at his or similar stage of experience/knowledge, a mechanical rule to allow opening/no-opening decisions, and perhaps opening 1-level/preempting decisions, is better than no rule at all.

I love this game, in considerable part because I continue to learn new things about the game even after playing it for 40 years. I liken it to hiking through an ascending series of foothills....as one walks up any given hill, one thinks that one is learning the game...then one reaches to top, only to see another, higher, hill ahead......we have a better view from the top of each hill, but we never reach the ultimate goal (well, I haven't and not many have, as best as I can tell).

So while I think the rule of 20 is awful, for a number of reasons, it has the compelling advantage of being very, very simple. Of course, in bridge, the fact that something is very, very simple almost certainly means it is deeply flawed, but it will handle 80-90% of bid/no bid decisions adequately, and that is certainly more than enough for a beginner.

What I think is most important is that newbies understand that the rules they learn really are over-simplifications, and that, if and when they improve, they will unlearn many of these rules and acquire more subtle and accurate methods.

It can be very difficult for an expert to answer a newbie question....highlow's reference to a firehose is apt. I have a friend who is a beginner and who has recently stopped asking me questions....I could never tell him what he wanted to know because, from my point of view, every question justified a very long, detailed answer, and that wasn't doing him any good at all :P

So I will try to really keep my contributions here simple. If someone wants more detail, they can ask, and I'll turn on the hose B-)
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#31 User is offline   JustaDummy 

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Posted 2012-March-19, 20:10

I'd like to meet Highlow - seems to be talking my language!
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#32 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2012-March-20, 02:14

View PostJustaDummy, on 2012-March-19, 20:10, said:

I'd like to meet Highlow - seems to be talking my language!


LOL
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#33 User is offline   zerlic 

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Posted 2012-March-20, 15:32

View PostAntrax, on 2012-March-19, 09:48, said:

Can't you justify any arbitrary set of rules with the same argument?
Moreover, can't you follow non-mechanical rules? If I tell you "honors in long suits are better than honors in short suits", can't this be followed without assigning a numerical value to it?

It used to work that way for beginners but that was back when millions were learning by non-mechanical methods. Looking over Sheinwolds "5 weeks to winning bridge", 1959 and Goren's "Contract bridge complete" 1954, and Culbertson's "contract bridge complete" 1954 all contain instructions for beginners that are judgment-based.
Rebiddable suits, Length in Majors, ease of rebid, defensive values ( quick tricks), discount short suit quacks, etc.

Essentially used the rule of 20 with judgment added.
HCP + 1,2,3 for shortness =13 = same hand as rule of 20 = Optional openings.

AQJ84 K10974 43 6 is an opening
43 6 AQJ84 K10974 is not.

I teach the rule of 20 for the first game only, so they experience the flow and feel of the bidding, then I add judgment factors. That way you don't have to spend several sessions un-teaching rules that don't actually apply to bridge.
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