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Bidding problems for beginners part 1 Showing a fit

#1 User is offline   Kaitlyn S 

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Posted 2016-October-17, 11:44

I'm starting a new set of threads for beginners and any others who may have learned the rules by "just playing". I originally intended my "problems for novices" for people that had some trouble remembering and implementing the basic rules, but the people that replied showed a pretty firm foundation so those problems frequently deal with some less routine situations. These "beginner" problem sets will be aimed at players that need a firmer foundation with routine situations.

In real life, a beginner is someone who forgets that he shouldn't open 1NT with a void, but I am going to assume that those players have been chased away from BBO by some of the rude players. While I expect that anybody with a firm grasp of basic bidding rules will easily get all these problems right, there are many Advanced players and a few "Experts" on BBO who would not.
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#2 User is offline   Kaitlyn S 

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Posted 2016-October-17, 12:16

Hi - these problems should be very easy for experienced players but a beginner needs to think about the right things in an auction. If you are a beginner and get them wrong, don't feel too bad as long as you understand the rationale for the answers. I'll provide the answers later but I'll put a hint as a spoiler. Try to solve the problem without the spoiler. Also, let me know if you would be interested in seeing more of these from time to time.

Assume you are playing Standard American (a natural system with 15-17 1NT openings), IMPS, and nobody is vulnerable. When you open a major suit, you show at least five cards.

Some background: The purpose of the bidding is to find out how high to bid and to determine a trump suit (or notrump.) Usually at some point in the auction, one player will make a bid that pinpoints his strength down to a narrow range, and make it clear what trump should be. Generally, when you bid an old suit (one previously bid by you or your partner) you show a specific narrow point range, and put partner in charge of deciding the final contract.

1.

Spoiler


2.

Spoiler

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#3 User is offline   Kaitlyn S 

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Posted 2016-October-18, 09:24

Answers:

1.

Hint: You are the OPENER. Do you have a minimum, medium, or maximum hand?

Answer: You have very strong spade support and you know spades should be trump, but your hand is a minimum opening hand (when you opened, you said you had 13-21 points.) You have little chance to make a game unless partner has close to an opening hand himself.

Show your strength and your support and let partner decide what to do. An old suit at the two level shows your minimum hand, so bid 2S.

2.

Hint: What should be trump? Should you decide the final contract or let your partner decide?

Answer: Despite your bad spades, your partnership has at least eight of them, and they should be trump. It is extremely likely that any spades you have to lose will be lost no matter what is trump; and it's easier to take 10 tricks in spades (if partner has enough to make a game) than 11 tricks in clubs.

This time, you have a medium opening hand (I value the hand at 17 points, counting 1 point for each doubleton since I will be the dummy in a trump contract.)

Since I don't know the partnership's combined strength (partner could have 6 points or 20 points), I should make a descriptive bid. When I bid spades, an old suit, I will narrow down my strength and partner should be able to determine how high to play. An old suit at the three level shows this medium hand for opener. (Ranges are approximately 13-15 for minimum, 16-18 for medium, 19-21 for maximum. Some experts put 16 in the minimum category; if you open 12 point hands, they are also minimum.)

You should rebid 3S, which shows your partner that you have 16-18 points and four spades, and partner should be in a good position to decide the final contract.
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#4 User is offline   JoshuaR 

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Posted 2017-December-03, 03:25

Thanks! Actually got it right. :)

Since you mention hand value counting short suit points in this example, I figure I might ask a question about when to switch my value system from long to short.
My understanding is to value short suit points once you've established a suit (but only count long or short, not both). In the Learn to Play Bridge programs, though, I was most recently reviewing the Jacoby Transfers section of LtPB2. If I have partner transfer into my, say, six-suited major after 1NT, I already know we have an 8-card fit since partner will have at least two cards in my suit. Shouldn't I start counting my other cards' voids/singletons/doubletons even before I transfer him into my suit when evaluating my hand? The program examples only count long card points, and at this point in my bridge career I'm taking LtPB as gospel.

e.g.
6S, 3H, 3D, 1C
Partner bids 1NT to open

Rather than count two extra long points for my long spades, shouldn't I count three extra points for my short clubs? Or even if my distr was 6-4-3-0?
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#5 User is offline   bravejason 

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Posted 2017-December-19, 18:01

View PostJoshuaR, on 2017-December-03, 03:25, said:

Thanks! Actually got it right. :)

Since you mention hand value counting short suit points in this example, I figure I might ask a question about when to switch my value system from long to short.
My understanding is to value short suit points once you've established a suit (but only count long or short, not both). In the Learn to Play Bridge programs, though, I was most recently reviewing the Jacoby Transfers section of LtPB2. If I have partner transfer into my, say, six-suited major after 1NT, I already know we have an 8-card fit since partner will have at least two cards in my suit. Shouldn't I start counting my other cards' voids/singletons/doubletons even before I transfer him into my suit when evaluating my hand? The program examples only count long card points, and at this point in my bridge career I'm taking LtPB as gospel.

e.g.
6S, 3H, 3D, 1C
Partner bids 1NT to open

Rather than count two extra long points for my long spades, shouldn't I count three extra points for my short clubs? Or even if my distr was 6-4-3-0?


Evaluate your hand based on the presumed contract. If you are going to transfer, presume that suit will be the trump suit and gauge the strength of your hand accordingly.

Also, you can simultaneously take credit for both short suit and long suit points. It does not have to be an either or proposition. So, you would count the long suit points in addition to the short suit points. The idea is that the long cards can be set up to take tricks regardless of the trump suit. For now, it may be worthwhile to stay with the LtPB method for consistency with the program.
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