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How to count "playing tricks"?

#1OldGranton

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Posted 2017-April-20, 06:13

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For Acol strong bids, I need to know how to count "playing tricks".

In the following Wikipedia article, they give a definition of "playing trick":

https://en.wikipedia...#Playing_Tricks

- playing tricks are defined as the number of tricks expected, with no help from partner

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The following site gives a different definition:

http://www.acolbridg....uk/bidding.php

- ...some strong hands are better count purely based on how many tricks you believe you can make, assuming an even distribution of the rest of the cards. This is known as the Playing Trick count.

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I saw another site, but I can't find the link. The statement was something like:

- assuming an even distribution of the remaining cards and HCP.

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Clearly, there's a difference between the following statements:

- with no help from partner

- assuming an even distribution of the rest of the cards

- assuming an even distribution of the remaining cards and HCP.

I would be grateful for any advice.

Thanks.
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#2NickRW

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Posted 2017-April-20, 06:24

I don't know if you'll be much the wiser, but this recent thread discussed the same sort of thing.
"Pass is your friend" - my brother in law - who likes to bid a lot.
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#3NickRW

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Posted 2017-April-20, 06:30

For what it is worth, the Wikipedia definition is basically on the right lines IMO
"Pass is your friend" - my brother in law - who likes to bid a lot.
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#4FelicityR

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Posted 2017-April-20, 07:20

If using any system it is always good to buy a book on it. This 15 point hand qualifies as 8 playing tricks, but as far as i'm concerned should never be opened with an Acol strong two. xx AKQxxx xxx AK

Just for your information, Acol strong two bids are an endangered species (and there's not many players willing to save them). They crop up rarely pro rata, and have been replaced with weak twos by many modern players, including hardened Acolites like me.

But whatever you use it is your choice, and good luck with learning the game.
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#5P_Marlowe

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Posted 2017-April-20, 07:29

A simple method would be using the LTC
https://en.wikipedia...ing-Trick_Count

The LTC does not give you the number of playing tricks,
but it is as good as any thing else.
If you require 8 playing tricks, go for 4 loosers, or 4 1/2.
If you also add a lower bound of required HCP, say 15/16
you will be reasonably well placed.

queens with aces.

With kind regards
Marlowe
With kind regards
Uwe Gebhardt (P_Marlowe)
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#6Vampyr

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Posted 2017-April-20, 08:45

FelicityR, on 2017-April-20, 07:20, said:

If using any system it is always good to buy a book on it. This 15 point hand qualifies as 8 playing tricks, but as far as i'm concerned should never be opened with an Acol strong two. xx AKQxxx xxx AK

No, according to the current EBU definition, this hand is worth five "clearcur tricks" which is the criterion, not "playing tricks" as most people assume.

Quote

Just for your information, Acol strong two bids are an endangered species (and there's not many players willing to save them). They crop up rarely pro rata, and have been replaced with weak twos by many modern players, i

But people do play Benji, and also include Acol Twos in various multi-type bids.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
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#7Tramticket

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Posted 2017-April-20, 09:13

Vampyr: "No, according to the current EBU definition, this hand is worth five "clearcur tricks" which is the criterion, not "playing tricks" as most people assume."

"Clearcut Tricks" is only a legalistic definition in the EBU blue book helping to define what it is legal in EBU land to open as an artificial two opening (such as Benji). It is not helpful as a judgement tool.

"Playing Tricks" is the traditional judgement tool used in Acol for strong actions (a strong two is often described as 8 or 8.5 playing tricks, a jump rebid in your suit as 7 playing tricks). It is more useful as an aid in hand valuation, but as the OP has found out, there are multiple definitions depending upon your source.
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#8OldGranton

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Posted 2017-April-20, 12:44

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As usual on this forum, I must thank all the responders. Each response fills a gap in my knowledge.

Tramticket, on 2017-April-20, 09:13, said:

Vampyr: "No, according to the current EBU definition, this hand is worth five "clearcur tricks" which is the criterion, not "playing tricks" as most people assume."

"Clearcut Tricks" is only a legalistic definition in the EBU blue book helping to define what it is legal in EBU land to open as an artificial two opening (such as Benji). It is not helpful as a judgement tool.

I found this PDF, entitled "HANDBOOK OF EBU PERMITTED UNDERSTANDINGS"

http://www.ebu.co.uk...k/blue-book.pdf

On page 19, you see:

-------------------------------
Clear-cut tricks are defined as tricks expected to make opposite a VOID in partner’s hand with the SECOND-BEST SUIT BREAK (my upper case)

A K Q J x x x x x x x x x does count as 8 clear-cut tricks

A K Q x x x x x x x x x x does not

Hands conforming to the ‘Extended Rule of 25’ are described as ‘ER25’.

Further examples: AKQxxxxx (7CCT), KQJxxxx (5), AQJ98xx (5), KQJTx (3), KQJTxxx (6), AKT9xxxxx (8), KJTxxx (2)
-----------------------------

My OP query regarding "what are playing tricks", was based on another EBU PDF, dated 2014. The PDF related to "Basic Acol" or "Foundation Acol".

AFAIK: "Basic" means no conventions except Stayman, BlackWood, Gerber. Strong Two's are described.

However, based on FelicityR's comment "Acol strong two bids are an endangered species", I searched again, and found an updated (2017) "Foundation" PDF here:

http://www.ebu.co.uk...ion_levelv2.pdf

In the 2017 version, Strong Two's have been replaced by Weak Twos. So, it looks as if I can dump Strong Twos.

As a footnote, I don't think I've ever made a Strong Two opening, and neither have any of my partners :-)
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#9NickRW

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Posted 2017-April-20, 16:06

OldGranton, on 2017-April-20, 12:44, said:

.
As usual on this forum, I must thank all the responders. Each response fills a gap in my knowledge.

I found this PDF, entitled "HANDBOOK OF EBU PERMITTED UNDERSTANDINGS"

http://www.ebu.co.uk...k/blue-book.pdf

On page 19, you see:

-------------------------------
Clear-cut tricks are defined as tricks expected to make opposite a void in partner’s hand with the SECOND-BEST SUIT BREAK (my upper case)

A K Q J x x x x x x x x x does count as 8 clear-cut tricks

A K Q x x x x x x x x x x does not

Hands conforming to the ‘Extended Rule of 25’ are described as ‘ER25’.

Further examples: AKQxxxxx (7CCT), KQJxxxx (5), AQJ98xx (5), KQJTx (3), KQJTxxx (6), AKT9xxxxx (8), KJTxxx (2)
-----------------------------

My OP query regarding "what are playing tricks", was based on another EBU PDF, dated 2014. The PDF related to "Basic Acol" or "Foundation Acol".

AFAIK: "Basic" means no conventions except Stayman, BlackWood, Gerber. Strong Two's are described.

However, based on FelicityR's comment "Acol strong two bids are an endangered species", I searched again, and found an updated (2017) "Foundation" PDF here:

http://www.ebu.co.uk...ion_levelv2.pdf

In the 2017 version, Strong Two's have been replaced by Weak Twos. So, it looks as if I can dump Strong Twos.

As a footnote, I don't think I've ever made a Strong Two opening, and neither have any of my partners :-)
.

Don't be so quick to dump strong twos - not if you're from Acol land anyway. At club level a great many play them in some form or another, so you'll need to understand them whether you play them or not.

Don't worry too much about the EBU definition of clear cut tricks. It exists to stop people opening "strong" twos with AKQJxxxx and nothing else (or similar) and, at the same time, calling it a "strong" bid. If you stick to the absolute minimum* of 16hcp and a 6 card suit for a strong two you'll not fall foul of the regulation because the hand will qualify under the rule of 25 (16 + 6 + 3 for the minimum possible length of your 2nd suit)

Nick

* That is the bare minimum. In practice most strong one suiters are opened with 1x and rebid 3x (or possibly 4x or in some variations 3NT). Best in the long run with strong twos is to ask yourself is the hand worth a game force? If so open 2C (or 2D playing Benji). If not, are there reasonably likely hands that partner could hold that partner will pass a 1x opening with, yet still produce good play for game? If no, then open 1x, otherwise you've got a strong two in your hands. It takes a bit of experience and judgement to determine that, but you'll will get there.
"Pass is your friend" - my brother in law - who likes to bid a lot.
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#10OldGranton

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Posted 2017-April-21, 02:38

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NickRW, on 2017-April-20, 16:06, said:

At club level a great many play them in some form or another, so you'll need to understand them whether you play them or not.

Good point followed by

NickRW said:

If you stick to the absolute minimum* of 16hcp and a 6 card suit for a strong two you'll not fall foul of the regulation because the hand will qualify under the rule of 25 (16 + 6 + 3 for the minimum possible length of your 2nd suit)

Following on from your previous point, IMHO the advantage of such a simple rule (for a beginner) is that it narrows the criteria to only HCP and length. So it would allow me to make a quick bidding decision on partner's bid or opponent's bid - for a few months anyway.
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#11P_Marlowe

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Posted 2017-April-21, 03:04

OldGranton, on 2017-April-21, 02:38, said:

.

Good point

Following on from your previous point, IMHO the advantage of such a simple rule (for a beginner) is that it narrows the criteria to only HCP and length. So it would allow me to make a quick decision on partner's bid or opponent's bid - for a few months anyway.
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Strong twos work also well for 2-suited 5/5, 6-4 hands with 15/16+.
In standard, you open your first suit, and rebid your second suit on the 2 level,
and now partner has to decide, if he gives mere preference, passes or whatever.
If I read the 25 rule correct, those hands,would also allowed as strong twos.
Adding those hand types will also increase the frequency.

In general a combination of multi 2D and strong twos works reasonably well, but
it is no longer fashionable, and of course you loose the option of opening weak
2 suiters.
With kind regards
Uwe Gebhardt (P_Marlowe)
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#12Vampyr

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Posted 2017-April-21, 08:41

P_Marlowe, on 2017-April-21, 03:04, said:

Strong twos work also well for 2-suited 5/5, 6-4 hands with 15/16+.
In standard, you open your first suit, and rebid your second suit on the 2 level,
and now partner has to decide, if he gives mere preference, passes or whatever.
If I read the 25 rule correct, those hands,would also allowed as strong twos.
Adding those hand types will also increase the frequency.

Yes, showing good two -suited hands is a chief advantage of Acol Twos. Not worth it on grounds of frequency, unfortunately.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
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#13NickRW

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Posted 2017-April-21, 09:01

Yes, but most strong 2 suiters can be dealt with adequately using a reverse or jump rebid. And that is to a large degree true whether you play strong twos or not.
"Pass is your friend" - my brother in law - who likes to bid a lot.
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#14Zelandakh

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Posted 2017-April-28, 06:24

As I mentioned in the linked thread, PTs fell out from the days of Honour Tricks and use some of that methodology. In particular, the top cards in a suit generally use the HT equivalents but with the third card carrying full weight for suits of less than 8 cards. So a suit headed by AQ is 1.5 PTs and one headed by KQ or an ace is 1 PT. In addition to this, you should add value for length. The rule for this is that every card beyond the third cards in the trump suit is automatically counted as a winner, and the third card also in suits of 8 cards or longer. For side suits, the 4th and 5th cards are each half a PT with the 6th being a full PT. Some authorities do use slightly different rules, usually increasing the PT count slightly but this is the traditional way and is still valid today.
(-: Zel :-)
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