# BBO Discussion Forums: Why was 16 HCP chosen as the magical number to show extras? - BBO Discussion Forums

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## Why was 16 HCP chosen as the magical number to show extras? Just curious

### #21Statto

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Statistics, but not massaged by the media.

Posted 2012-May-18, 19:20

32519, on 2012-May-10, 04:27, said:

So why was 16 HCP chosen as the magical number? Just curious!

16/17+ HCP means you'll have game on approx half the time.
A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem  Albert Einstein
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### #2232519

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Posted 2012-June-04, 04:11

32519, on 2012-May-10, 04:27, said:

Big systems open 1 to show 16+ HCP.
Big systems do the same.
Then you have Gazzilli which uses an artificial 2 over 1M-1NT to show extras.
Serious / Non-Serious 3NT in a 2/1 auction also tends to show 16+.
A normal reverse bid also shows 16+ HCP.
So why was 16 HCP chosen as the magical number? Just curious!

Ill have a shot at answering my own question.

As bridge bidding became increasingly aggressive, the number of combined HCP required for game in 3NT (or 4 of a major) has in some circles between reduced to 24 (I believe it once stood at 25 HCP). So with 40 HCP in the pack, on average each player will be dealt 10. The 16 HCP comes from being dealt your own average quota of 10 plus a further 2 from each of the other 3 players.

barmar, on 2012-May-10, 08:43, said:

A related question: Why is 8 the magic number for a positive response? It's a game force, but 16+8 is only 24, which isn't generally considered enough for game unless you have some additional distributional features (or you're Meckwell, who seem to bid game with most 23 counts).

Those who have dropped the combined HCP for game in 3NT or 4 of a major to 24 can convey the message in a single bid from each partner.
Opener: I have my quota of 10 HCP plus a further 2 from each of the other 3 players.
Responder: Nice to know! I still have the balance of my 10 HCP. Lets push for game now.
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### #23hrothgar

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Posted 2012-June-04, 05:57

32519, on 2012-June-04, 04:11, said:

Ill have a shot at answering my own question.

As bridge bidding became increasingly aggressive, the number of combined HCP required for game in 3NT (or 4 of a major) has in some circles between reduced to 24 (I believe it once stood at 25 HCP). So with 40 HCP in the pack, on average each player will be dealt 10. The 16 HCP comes from being dealt your own average quota of 10 plus a further 2 from each of the other 3 players.

Whatever makes you happy...
Alderaan delenda est
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### #24han

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Posted 2012-June-04, 07:04

hrothgar, on 2012-June-04, 05:57, said:

Whatever makes you happy...

Well said. Also, note that 21-5 = 16.
Please note: I am interested in boring, bog standard, 2/1.

- hrothgar
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### #25gwnn

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Posted 2012-June-11, 00:15

1 was clearly too little and 81 would have been impossible.
... and I can prove it with my usual, flawless logic.
George Carlin
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### #26han

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Posted 2012-June-11, 08:53

Nice gwnn!
Please note: I am interested in boring, bog standard, 2/1.

- hrothgar
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### #27helene_t

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Posted 2012-June-12, 06:18

han, on 2012-June-04, 07:04, said:

Well said. Also, note that 21-5 = 16.

Interesting. Maybe it is related to the following:
According to burkes' law, a 2-5-6 shape should be opened at the game level. Assuming that your own hand strength interacts with partner's multiplicatively, you need the square root of that to propose game. sqrt(256)=16.
Jesus! You have 7 count 5332 hand and pd passed 1 NT ffs! Are you planning to compete to 4 level or DBL a partscore with this shape and/or tricks? People who spend too much time in D.T topic started to talk like him --- MrAce
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### #28manudude03

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Posted 2012-June-12, 07:55

The reason I've always believed is that with a fit, you will need around 24 points combined for game. If opener has 16, the average of the other hands is 8, 16+8=24.
Wayne Somerville
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### #29Lovera

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Posted 2016-January-07, 18:46

I think that this choising of 16 should be and probably is underintended to be correlated with the valutation of hand (implicating any extra to consider too). Let's consider that max points in one hand is 37, 37-16=21 and restanting points are distribuite 7 for each other player but until now we are considering only HCP and not adjuntive other one as surplus values or shape or not interference etc that makes right to get game with 23. To reverse the problem for finding any semplicity for solve needs to start where there is a positive resulting to observe :why or how it is happening ?
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### #30manudude03

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Posted 2016-January-10, 14:16

Ignoring the fact that this is a bit of a random necro, what happened to the other 3 jacks not included in having a 37HCP hand? Phased out of existence?
Wayne Somerville
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### #31Lovera

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Posted 2016-January-10, 15:13

manudude03, on 2016-January-10, 14:16, said:

Ignoring the fact that this is a bit of a random necro, what happened to the other 3 jacks not included in having a 37HCP hand? Phased out of existence?

No, is the max pointing available in an hand 4-3-3-3 for 13 tricks.
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### #32barmar

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Posted 2016-January-10, 15:39

manudude03, on 2016-January-10, 14:16, said:

Ignoring the fact that this is a bit of a random necro, what happened to the other 3 jacks not included in having a 37HCP hand? Phased out of existence?

The best hand possible is AKQJ AKQ AKQ AKQ. Where do you want to put the other 3 jacks?

### #33mgoetze

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Posted 2016-January-10, 15:46

manudude03, on 2016-January-10, 14:16, said:

Ignoring the fact that this is a bit of a random necro,

No, really? A random necro by Lovera? Tell me something new. I think he is trying to communicate across time barriers so he can hash things out with 32519, whom he probably idolizes.
"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"
-- Bertrand Russell
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### #34Lovera

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Posted 2016-January-10, 15:50

barmar, on 2016-January-10, 15:39, said:

The best hand possible is AKQJ AKQ AKQ AKQ. Where do you want to put the other 3 jacks?

Is not it what you must worry (let you to forget Js) but instead consider that this hand has 13 tricks wirh 37 points only possible to collocate.
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### #35manudude03

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Posted 2016-January-10, 22:29

I'm still not sure what you're trying to say, AKQxxxxxxx A A A is also 13 guaranteed tricks in hand and that's 21 HCP. Also something like AKQJx AKQJ AK AK opposite void xx QJxxx QJxxxx is a bad 7NT despite having all 40 HCP between the 2 hands.
Wayne Somerville
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### #36rhm

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Posted 2016-January-11, 04:58

Vampyr, on 2012-May-10, 06:21, said:

This seems illogical. Isn't the 1 opening the weak point of strong club systems?

That depends on your viewpoint.
The advantage of limited openings compared to standard system is obvious.
But it does not follow that a strong club opening compared to standard is a weakness.
Given the problems you often have describing strong and super strong hands in standard and how difficult it can be to get cooperation from a weak hand I do not buy that opening 1 is a weak point of precision.
There is a concept that the lower the bid the more room you have to describe different hands. This led to the observation that 1 may be underutilized if it requires too much strength.
The problem with this concept is, if next hand preempts your room is gone. For example if next hand will bid 3 it will not matter for your room whether you opened 1 or 2 for example.
What matters is how specific your opening was. If next hand preempts you would be in a more comfortable position you opened a "blue club" instead of a "precision club" since the lower limit for a "blue club" is higher. .

Rainer Herrmann
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### #37Lovera

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Posted 2016-January-11, 09:04

Let's start from this "best hand possible" with 37 points to adfront this "valutation of hand": as barmar feels saying about Js and i try to point when talking that with 37 yet we has 13 tricks, this points not are rappresentative for it. We,than, needs more how a correttive or a surplus (possibly already available) and, infact, in this hand we have a suit with four honors: adds +2 at points and now we are at 39...that is 3x13! As manudude03 probably had understood i have developed many years ago a my valutation of the hand (but subsequently i have discovered that my point of view was also applyied by the author of "Baba System" (Il sistema Baba - see also for referring the topic Personal bidding system) remaining than this mine confermed. Obviously this argoument must reverse itself along the 39 shapes with adapt correctors to make systemic it also (it is not this topic right to continue on details). I think that all i have told for instance could open a treatment about "method of counting" because, as already Stayman said in spring of 1949 in an article titled "Comparation of vary systems of point counting" the Milton Work only is not sufficient to better describe hand and force needeing any correction, bye.
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### #38johnu

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Posted 2016-January-11, 20:03

Following up on what Lovera has written, there are 4 players and 4 suits. 4 x 4 = 16, QED
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### #39Lovera

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Posted 2016-January-12, 08:28

johnu, on 2016-January-11, 20:03, said:

Following up on what Lovera has written, there are 4 players and 4 suits. 4 x 4 = 16, QED

Usually sceptics tending to say : are you sure that don't mix apples with oranges ?..but you can be certain that him/her will eat fruit pie because is very good. Apart it this argoument is vaste and many systems about have been on (Bissel, Zar points and other) ruled in vary ways i.e. i've read in "Il Quadri Italia",that had dedicated almost 50 pages on it history, that Dallas Aces counting is probably best among (instead of 4-3-2-1 is used 3-2-1-.5 for a tot. of 26=2x13). To try to change MW and its popularity and semplicity it is very hard thing but, instead add any correttive and make few counting more for a better resulting can be usefull, bye.
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### #40Zelandakh

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Posted 2016-January-12, 10:43

Lovera, on 2016-January-12, 08:28, said:

instead 4-3-2-1 use 3-2-1-.5

This is identical to the 1-2-4-6 scheme used in Zar Points and the 0.75-1.5-3-4.5 scheme from modified Milton and approximates (ignoring jacks) to the 1-2-3 of QPs. There is good evidence to suggest this makes sense when evaluating suit contracts but also that it is less accurate than regular Milton for NT contracts. The idea that a blanket use of the 1-2-4-6 count (the best in history) would give a superior evaluation to that of modern experts is certainly laughable.

Finally, I note that 4+3+2+1 plus 3+2+1+0.5 totals 16.5. Coincidence? ...surely not!
(-: Zel :-)
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