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Why does 1H-1S-2D show 5 hearts and 4 diamonds?

#1 User is offline   OldGranton 

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Posted 2017-May-11, 12:57

.
Consider this Acol sequence, where opener does not plan to rebid NT:

. .S . . . . .N
. 1 . . . .1
. 2

Here are four sources that I use frequently:

  • No Fear Bridge site
  • Bid And Made site
  • EBU site
  • Acol from Scratch book

All four sources say that with 4-4, open the higher-ranking suit.

All four sources say that the above sequence shows 5 hearts and 4 diamonds.

Question: Why is that? Why does the sequence not show 4-4?

(I apologize for the title. The post itself is correct. It's "....5 hearts and 4 diamonds")
.
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#2 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2017-May-11, 13:36

View PostOldGranton, on 2017-May-11, 12:57, said:

.
Consider this Acol sequence, where opener does not plan to rebid NT:

. .S . . . . .N
. 1 . . . .1
. 2

Here are four sources that I use frequently:

  • No Fear Bridge site
  • Bid And Made site
  • EBU site
  • Acol from Scratch book

All four sources say that with 4-4, open the higher-ranking suit.

All four sources say that the above sequence shows 5 hearts and 4 diamonds.

Question: Why is that? Why does the sequence not show 4-4?
.


What shape is opener ? clearly he doesn't have 4 spades

44 in the reds 32 he either opens or rebids 1N (no stop required in the unbid clubs) or possibly raises to 2 with 3442
1444 he rebids 2
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#3 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2017-May-11, 14:49

Three cases when you only have 4 hearts:
  • you have spade support (4441). You'd raise, no?
  • you're balanced. You'd open, or rebid, 1NT, no?
  • you're 1444. You'd bid clubs, rather than diamonds, no?

It's not really that it *shows* 5=4, it's that with any other hand you would have a more descriptive call than 2. By negative inference, you have to have 5 hearts. Negative inferences are powerful. Some have become "positive inferences" because it's just easier that way, like this one.

If you're concerned about short open suits with your balanced hand, don't be. It's a bad thing, but everybody has learned that systems fall apart if you don't make your "I'm balanced" call with balanced hands.
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#4 User is offline   NickRW 

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Posted 2017-May-11, 15:42

Or, more simply put, if you weren't at least 5=4 in the reds you'd not have opened 1H or had a different rebid than 2D
"Pass is your friend" - my brother in law - who likes to bid a lot.
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#5 User is offline   GrahamJson 

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Posted 2017-May-12, 02:19

The current fashion in modern expert Acol is to open or rebid NT on all balanced hands (except when you have support for partner's suit). This means that if you bid two suits you are usually showing 5-4, even on sequences such as 1C-1H-1S. The exception to this are 4441 distributions.

Personally I have not completely bought into this style and generally prefer to bid "up the line", especially if my values are in two suits. However, going back to the original question, yes a rebid of two of a second suit guarantees an original five carder.

As an aside, a common error of beginners is to find fits by rebidding their long suits, I.e. They won't find a 5-3 fit until the long suit has been rebid, or a 6-2 fit until it has been rebid twice. More advanced players are more reluctant to rebid suits in this way, finding their fits by means of delayed support, second round support showing 3 cards and third round support two cards.
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#6 User is offline   OldGranton 

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Posted 2017-May-12, 05:25

.
Thanks for all the responses :)

I think everyone is saying that 5 hearts and 4 diamonds in the OP sequence is based on inference and elimination. That sounds fine by me.

Each of the four sources in my OP all make terse dogmatic statements, as if the subject had been fully discussed earlier and they were simply repeating the statement.

For example, No Fear Bridge makes the following statement: "This shows 5+ cards in the first suit and 4+ cards in the second suit."

I worked out all the possible combinations that would produce the OP sequence. I agree that, except for some 4441 hands, all sequences will show 5+ hearts and 4+ diamonds.

For 4441, it depends on which rule is used to open (the four sources have three rules). But some legal sequences will be the same as in the OP, which means that some hands will be 4-4 in hearts and diamonds.

However, I think I read somewhere that responder should always assume that opener is 5-4 - even with some ambiguous 4441 hands. They claimed that the assumption would gain more than they lost, because (a) 4441 hands only account for 3% of opening bids, and (b) some of that 3% might clearly NOT be 5-4 because of the sequence and the rule. But even that source didn't mention that the 5-4 is based on negative inferences.

Thanks.
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#7 User is offline   NickRW 

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Posted 2017-May-12, 05:58

View PostOldGranton, on 2017-May-12, 05:25, said:

However, I think I read somewhere that responder should always assume that opener is 5-4 - even with some ambiguous 4441 hands. They claimed that the assumption would gain more than they lost, because (a) 4441 hands only account for 3% of opening bids, and (b) some of that 3% might clearly NOT be 5-4 because of the sequence and the rule. But even that source didn't mention that the 5-4 is based on negative inferences.


Yes, that is true enough and is worth remembering with unfamiliar partners (and those who are more familiar, but who don't discuss much about exact requirements for bidding sequences). With better, more communicative partners you should discuss what to open 4441 shapes, especially the ones where the singleton is black, as there are different opinions out there.
"Pass is your friend" - my brother in law - who likes to bid a lot.
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#8 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2017-May-12, 06:34

Here are some rules for 4441 openings and what they mean in terms of opening 1M and rebidding 2 of a lower-ranking suit. All of these assume that we will always choose to open or rebid NT with a balanced hand.

1444
====
If we open this 1 (suit below the singleton) then the sequence 1 - 1; 2 does not promise 5 hearts.
If we open this 1 (middle suit for a black singleton) then all new suit sequences starting 1M promise a 5 card major.
If we open 1 (up-the-line) then similarly all new suit sequences starting 1M promise a 5 card major.
==

4144
====
Most systems open these hands 1 where there are no cases where a suit rebid can come with 4 cards in Opener's major.
The main alternative is 1 (up-the-line) and this also has no problems.
==

4414
====
Almost all versions of Acol recommend opening these hands 1, which again leads to no 4 card major issues.
==

4441
====
The most common recommendation is to open these hands 1 (middle suit for a black singleton). Then the sequence 1 - 2; 2 [edited, thanks Csaba] can potentially have only 4 hearts.
A few Stone Age Acolites might prefer to open 1 (the suit below the singleton), in which case the sequence 1 - 2; 2red can be a 4 card spade suit.
Finally, a modern alternative is to open these hands 1. One of the advantages of this method is that all of the new suit rebid sequences show a 5 card major.
==

You can see from the above that your opening rules for 4441 hands are the deciding factor in whether the sequence 1M - any; 2L (where L is lower-ranking than M) promises 5 cards in M. it may well be that No Fear Bridge uses such a rule and that the statement is generally correct. My favourite form of Acol is one that opens all 4441 hands with a minor and so that is indeed the case for me, unambiguously. As pointed out above, for the most popular bidding rules, this is the case for every sequence except 1 - 1; 2. So you can get there by inference or by system design, it really makes no difference.
(-: Zel :-)
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#9 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2017-May-12, 07:04

View PostZelandakh, on 2017-May-12, 06:34, said:

4441
====
The most common recommendation is to open these hands 1 (middle suit for a black singleton). Then the sequence 1 - 1; 2 can potentially have only 4 hearts.
A few Stone Age Acolites might prefer to open 1 (the suit below the singleton), in which case the sequence 1 - 2; 2red can be a 4 card spade suit.
Finally, a modern alternative is to open these hands 1. One of the advantages of this method is that all of the new suit rebid sequences show a 5 card major.
==

Wouldn't you bid 1H-1S; 2S on 4441? Or do you mean 1H-1N; 2D?

edit: ah I guess you meant 1H-2C; 2D.

This post has been edited by gwnn: 2017-May-12, 07:08

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#10 User is offline   Caitlynne 

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Posted 2017-May-12, 08:04

I don't know ACOL, but I am familiar with Goren 4 card majors and can answer from that perspective.

Playing 4 card majors with a hand outside your 1NT opening range, you generally open in your higher ranking 4 card suit unless there are rebid problems (in which case you retreat to opening in a minor.) With 4-4 in hearts and diamonds you would generally open 1H on the basis of your 4 card heart suit because you have no rebid problems.

That's because if you are 3442 and partner responds 1S, you can raise to 2S (with good 3 card support) or with club values and weak spades you can rebid 1NT. If, however, you are 2443 or 1444 and partner responds 1S, you should always rebid 1NT.

Thus, there is no need to rebid 2D (or, for that matter 2C when you hold 4 clubs) unless you have at least 5 hearts.
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#11 User is offline   NickRW 

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Posted 2017-May-12, 09:18

View PostZelandakh, on 2017-May-12, 06:34, said:

...
4441
====
The most common recommendation is to open these hands 1 (middle suit for a black singleton). Then the sequence 1 - 1; 2 can potentially have only 4 hearts.
A few Stone Age Acolites might prefer to open 1 (the suit below the singleton), in which case the sequence 1 - 2; 2red can be a 4 card spade suit.
Finally, a modern alternative is to open these hands 1. One of the advantages of this method is that all of the new suit rebid sequences show a 5 card major.
==
...


I prefer the "modern" alternative, but a beginner had better not use it without discussion especially in an Acol context. Most Acol players are going to expect the sequence 1D-2C;2D to be promising at least 5 cards. Furthermore, a lot of older Acol players don't guarantee a rebid when they call 2C in this sequence, so will think nothing of passing the 2D rebid.

A solution to this is for responder to guarantee a rebid when making a 2/1 response and for the 2D opener's rebid to be a waiting bid merely denying the values to reverse. The former aspect of this should be standard (but isn't) and the latter aspect definitely isn't standard - or at least not regular club standard anyway.
"Pass is your friend" - my brother in law - who likes to bid a lot.
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#12 User is offline   StevenG 

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Posted 2017-May-12, 09:31

View PostNickRW, on 2017-May-12, 09:18, said:

Furthermore, a lot of older Acol players don't guarantee a rebid when they call 2C in this sequence, so will think nothing of passing the 2D rebid.

Is that a problem? The worst you should miss is a Moysian in the majors.
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#13 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2017-May-12, 11:28

View PostNickRW, on 2017-May-12, 09:18, said:

I prefer the "modern" alternative, but a beginner had better not use it without discussion especially in an Acol context. Most Acol players are going to expect the sequence 1D-2C;2D to be promising at least 5 cards. Furthermore, a lot of older Acol players don't guarantee a rebid when they call 2C in this sequence, so will think nothing of passing the 2D rebid.

A solution to this is for responder to guarantee a rebid when making a 2/1 response and for the 2D opener's rebid to be a waiting bid merely denying the values to reverse. The former aspect of this should be standard (but isn't) and the latter aspect definitely isn't standard - or at least not regular club standard anyway.

This is also my preference, with the specific sequence 1 - 2; 2 being F1R. Indeed I do not even have your requirement for lacking reversing values and would happily bid this way with a 4441 19 count if not playing a strong 3-suited method. Whatever our personal preferences are, this is the B/I forum and I think it is probably best for readers to stick with the mainstream method of opening these hands 1 unless having a good reason not to. it is enough at this stage to be aware of alternative methods.

PS: Thank you Csaba for noticing that. I have correct the earlier post.
(-: Zel :-)
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#14 User is offline   Liversidge 

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Posted 2017-May-12, 12:45

View PostZelandakh, on 2017-May-12, 06:34, said:

Here are some rules for 4441 openings and what they mean in terms of opening 1M and rebidding 2 of a lower-ranking suit. All of these assume that we will always choose to open or rebid NT with a balanced hand.


A good way for me to to remember is to memorise the phrase “Horrible Cards Don’t Deliver”

So with a singleton club I open 1, singleton diamond I open 1 etc..

I do understand the rationale, but in the heat of battle this comes in handy.
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#15 User is online   Tramticket 

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Posted 2017-May-12, 14:08

View PostOldGranton, on 2017-May-11, 12:57, said:

.
Consider this Acol sequence, where opener does not plan to rebid NT:

. .S . . . . .N
. 1 . . . .1
. 2

Here are four sources that I use frequently:

  • No Fear Bridge site
  • Bid And Made site
  • EBU site
  • Acol from Scratch book

All four sources say that with 4-4, open the higher-ranking suit.

All four sources say that the above sequence shows 5 hearts and 4 diamonds.

Question: Why is that? Why does the sequence not show 4-4?

(I apologize for the title. The post itself is correct. It's "....5 hearts and 4 diamonds")
.


A slightly different way of answering this question is turn it around and say "this sequence promises five cards because that is helpful and makes our subsequent bidding easier". So we arrange our system to either open or rebid no-trumps with two four-card suits. If you think of it, bridge hands can be split into three types:
(1) Balanced hands - you always either bid or rebid no trumps. We could instead open a four card suit and rebid a second four-card suit - this was common in the early days of Acol. But we find it helpful to promise five cards in the first suit.
(2) unbalanced hands - you will always open your longest suit, which will be at least five cards in length.
(3) 4441 hands - these are sort of unbalanced, but have many of the characteristics of balanced hands. Because we find it helpful to promise that our first suit is a five card suit when we bid a second suit we bend over backwards to try and avoid making this misleading bid. There are many tactics to help us: we might open a suit and rebid no trumps when partner bids our singleton (pretending to have a balanced and that we don't quite hold). We try to always open minor with 4441 hands (I'm with Zel - opening 1 with a singleton club). Some will even open 1NT on occasion with a singleton.

Why do we find it helpful to promise a five-card suit? It simplifies our bidding on hands like this:



What do we bid? Simple! 4
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#16 User is offline   NickRW 

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Posted 2017-May-12, 18:09

View PostStevenG, on 2017-May-12, 09:31, said:

Is that a problem? The worst you should miss is a Moysian in the majors.


Not really if you're happy with that way of doing things and you and partner see eye to eye over it. The alternative, IMO, offers more constructive options in your bidding style.
"Pass is your friend" - my brother in law - who likes to bid a lot.
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#17 User is offline   msjennifer 

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Posted 2017-May-13, 11:02

View PostCaitlynne, on 2017-May-12, 08:04, said:

I don't know ACOL, but I am familiar with Goren 4 card majors and can answer from that perspective.

Playing 4 card majors with a hand outside your 1NT opening range, you generally open in your higher ranking 4 card suit unless there are rebid problems (in which case you retreat to opening in a minor.) With 4-4 in hearts and diamonds you would generally open 1H on the basis of your 4 card heart suit because you have no rebid problems.

That's because if you are 3442 and partner responds 1S, you can raise to 2S (with good 3 card support) or with club values and weak spades you can rebid 1NT. If, however, you are 2443 or 1444 and partner responds 1S, you should always rebid 1NT.

Thus, there is no need to rebid 2D (or, for that matter 2C when you hold 4 clubs) unless you have at least 5 hearts.

And how does one bid holding xxx,AKJx,AJxx,xx.please?
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#18 User is online   Tramticket 

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Posted 2017-May-13, 12:59

You will get some Acol players choosing to rebid 1NT and others crossing to raise to 2S.

My choice would be 1NT, but with HXX in spades I would raise.
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#19 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2017-May-14, 00:18

Acol players would have opened 1NT already, or are you talking about Acol players from before the War, worried about weak doubletons/trebletons?
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#20 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2017-May-15, 09:46

View Postmsjennifer, on 2017-May-13, 11:02, said:

And how does one bid holding xxx,AKJx,AJxx,xx.please?


View Postmycroft, on 2017-May-11, 14:49, said:

If you're concerned about short open suits with your balanced hand, don't be. It's a bad thing, but everybody has learned that systems fall apart if you don't make your "I'm balanced" call with balanced hands.


[I also agree with raising on honour-third with a useless doubleton. But I don't get to do that, because I've already opened 1NT, and partner's transferred to spades with 5.]
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