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Offering choice of games

#1 User is offline   bravejason 

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Posted 2018-January-16, 09:17

Playing SAYC or similar, and a major suit trump fit has been found, if either responder or opener knows there is enough strength to be in game, but not slam, and has a balanced hand, is it normal to offer a choice of games by bidding 3 no trump? Suppose the suit in question is a minor suit? In either scenario, the 3NT bid would be the first time no trump was bid.
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#2 User is offline   LBengtsson 

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Posted 2018-January-16, 09:39

3nt prefer more than 5 or 5. 4 or 4 prefer more than 3nt. with a minor suit fit and balanced hand give partner option of 3nt. only 9 tricks to make instead of 11. with major suit it is unusual to find fit and then offer 3nt, but sometime will happen. it all depend on if 5/3, 4/4 or bigger fit. bigger fit usually trump suit. 8 card fit more so offer 3nt
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#3 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

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Posted 2018-January-16, 10:55

View Postbravejason, on 2018-January-16, 09:17, said:

Playing SAYC or similar, and a major suit trump fit has been found, if either responder or opener knows there is enough strength to be in game, but not slam, and has a balanced hand, is it normal to offer a choice of games by bidding 3 no trump? Suppose the suit in question is a minor suit? In either scenario, the 3NT bid would be the first time no trump was bid.


It depends on form of scoring and hand type.

With a minor fit, at MP, you almost always try for 3nt if you have all the suits stopped. This is because 9 tricks are often easier than 11, and also if NT makes overtrick(s) it's crucial to be 430//460/630/660 instead of 400/420/600/620 in the minor. At IMPS, the overtrick score is much less of a concern, but you still choose 3nt a lot because of the 9 vs. 11 factor. You tend to think the minor is safer when at least one of the hands is more distributional, with a big fit and unbalanced opposite a balanced hand you might choose 5m because you think a suit only single-stopped. Two balanced hands will usually stay in NT unless a suit is clearly unstopped. With balanced hands, often if 3nt goes down, 5m is going down also.

With a major fit, you play in 4M a lot more often than 5m, because it's 10 tricks vs. 9 rather than 11 tricks vs. 9. The trumps give you time to develop winners in side suits after one suit's say single stopper has been knocked out. But there are still hands that should play in 3nt rather than 4M, both taking same tricks, most critically when that number is 9. You are more apt to choose 3nt over 4M at IMPS if the conditions are right, because 9 tricks in NT when 10 in the major is available is only a tiny loss at IMPS (but a full board at MP), while if 9 tricks are the limit in both you get a huge win in 3nt. NT is only disaster at IMP when 8- in NT (usu because opps can run a suit, immediately or eventually) when 10+ was available in the major. Usually 4333 and 5332 hands with an 8cd only (there are hands with 9 cd fit that do better in NT also, but in practice tend to be hard to diagnose during the auction) major fit should be offering NT at some point if given the opportunity, you prefer 3nt when the hands are mirror shape, or you have slow side suit tricks and all suits well-stopped (avoiding 4M off something like say 3 aces and a ruff or 2, when you easily get the rest in NT after the aces knocked out). Also 4432 hands if unbid suits are stopped especially when partner is allowed to raise on 3cds and maybe you only have 7 cd major fit. But when in doubt you tend to choose the major unless partner's bidding and your side suit holdings are strongly suggesting NT.

Another hand type that does well in 3nt is running 6+ major with side aces, because sometimes there are only 9 tricks and no 10th to be found. With the running suit you want the side tricks to be aces, fast, because if they are slow tricks one of your suits might be only single stopped, and the opps run 4 tricks in it when they get in with their side ace you have to knock out.
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#4 User is offline   steve2005 

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Posted 2018-January-16, 11:08

View PostLBengtsson, on 2018-January-16, 09:39, said:

3nt prefer more than 5 or 5. 4 or 4 prefer more than 3nt.

Yes, but there are valid reasons to pick another choice.
For an informed discussion on this for matchpoints see book Matchpoints by Kit Woolsey.
Sarcasm is a state of mind
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#5 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2018-January-16, 11:32

View Postbravejason, on 2018-January-16, 09:17, said:

Playing SAYC or similar, and a major suit trump fit has been found, if either responder or opener knows there is enough strength to be in game, but not slam, and has a balanced hand, is it normal to offer a choice of games by bidding 3 no trump? Suppose the suit in question is a minor suit? In either scenario, the 3NT bid would be the first time no trump was bid.


You need to be careful, one partner knowing there is not enough for slam is not enough, specifically the 3N bidder needs to know that his partner knows that, so won't take 3N as serious/frivolous.
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#6 User is offline   msjennifer 

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Posted 2018-January-17, 02:09

When a fit is discovered in two suits and it is a M/m situation it is usually advisable to play in the major suit provided a 3NT contract is ruled out.As suggested by you a 3NT bid can be used to offer a choice when a doubt exists if it has been agreed upon earlier.One has to remember that a minor suit game scores less than a major suit or NT game As also there is the added disadvantage of scoring one more trick.When one bids 5 C/D ,one must rule out the possibility of a little slam as there is a difference of just one trick between a game and a slam contract in a minor suit.
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#7 User is offline   maartenxq 

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Posted 2018-January-17, 04:16

View PostStephen Tu, on 2018-January-16, 10:55, said:

It depends on form of scoring and hand type.

I think Stephen gives a good summary. In BBO matchpoints you meet also a bunch of self declared experts who every now and again prefer 3 NT instead of 4M because of the extra 10 points. I am always happy to see them make only 9 or go down when 4 M is cold. A cure against this plague is not yet invented.

Maarten Baltussen
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#8 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2018-January-17, 04:45

No strong views, but, other things being equal, 4M > 3N > 5m. especially at pairs.
If you have lots of points/expect wild distribution, 3N is often safest, especially at teams.
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#9 User is offline   fromageGB 

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Posted 2018-January-17, 08:09

View PostCyberyeti, on 2018-January-16, 11:32, said:

You need to be careful, one partner knowing there is not enough for slam is not enough, specifically the 3N bidder needs to know that his partner knows that, so won't take 3N as serious/frivolous.

True for serious if you play that, but if you play frivolous/non-serious, the potential 3NT bidder will not know there is not enough for slam unless partner has made a limited bid or limited his hand in some way. In that case, non-serious does not apply, as there is no point.

Therefore if you play non-serious, 3NT in this situation will always be to play.
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#10 User is offline   Joe_Old 

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Posted 2018-January-17, 09:20

Stephen Tu makes very good points, but did not discuss the form of scoring issue.

IMPs are very different from matchpoints because going plus (at IMPs) is the only concern. I find that expert players play 3 NT contracts far more often than ordinary players because they concentrate on reaching the safest contract. Simply put, and distributional issues aside, 9 tricks in NT are almost always available whenever there are 10 or 11 tricks in trump and often when a trump game fails. Obviously, opponents bidding, unstopped suits, short suits and similar issues factor in.

Therefore, take a look at a typical hand record (36 deals) and evaluate it in terms of a team match. Consider safety plays. Over a large number of deals playing 3 NT instead of game in a suit (given balanced or semi-balanced hands) should show a profit.
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#11 User is offline   0deary 

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Posted 2018-January-17, 10:37

In my view first call is find the best game. The more balanced the suit controls across the whole hand the easier to make a 9 trick 3N. And even a featureless 3-3 fit often makes 3N as opponents have a 4-4 fit only

Only once you are in the best secure game can you check which game you prefer. If you have the luxury of a solid game then consider 3N at MPs

…………………………………………………………

Forgive me if you already know this:

Quite why King David (KS) needed only 10 tricks to win the battle whilst Caesar (KD) needed 11 moreover for a smaller castle- well our ancestor card players have bequeathed it so...
 
And quite why the lady on Vanderbilt’s ship suggested vulnerable...but here we are! At least being vul or N vul won’t make a difference in your questions.   
 
One final piece of magic- the imp table. It turns scores into a new number- imps. I’m told you can generate a new range from the previous range by multiplying the end point by root 2, (except when I check it doesn't actually work like that- maybe its a standard deviation model), but the main thing it gives quite an advantage at low end scores but at the top end your money hardly increases. 
 
So that said:
 
If you are playing in a team of 8 or more- say in inter town matches we compare scores, imp the difference and at the end you VP the result
 
If you are playing just as a pair you compare your score with other pairs and there are two different ways of assessing things now.
 
One score system is to use the imp table: Pairs imps. Your score is compared with the average of the aggregate of all scores and imp that
 
And one scoring system is Match points: 2 points for every other pair in the field, 1 to tie, usually shown as a percentage
 
So the difference between 4M and 5m as compared to 3N in the three forms of scoring, in a field of 8 pairs:
 
At teams 4M beats 3N/5m by 1 imp. Sadly only 1 imp is lost in the noise- the team result after Victory Points would be 10-10 (you share the pot of 20)
 
At Pairs imps you also get a useful 1 imp in 4M compared with 3N and 5m, but only 1 imp
 
At Pairs MPs in 4M you get 14 points (in my chosen field)- 100%. Everyone else in 3N or 5m only get 6 points- 43%
 
If you can make exactly 10 tricks then of course it is a disaster in 5m (-100 cf +630, 12 imps out at imps and 0 points at MPs) but 3N+1 are now the real winner over 4M in the MP system
 
Finally I’ve scanned all my previous 3NT on BBO to find one of my scores where only 5m would make (whilst 3NT would go down) to suggest some bidding. Sorry I can’t- its a rare bird to require 5m…I’d go to the books!
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#12 User is offline   miamijd 

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Posted 2018-January-17, 18:07

View PostJoe_Old, on 2018-January-17, 09:20, said:

Stephen Tu makes very good points, but did not discuss the form of scoring issue.

IMPs are very different from matchpoints because going plus (at IMPs) is the only concern. I find that expert players play 3 NT contracts far more often than ordinary players because they concentrate on reaching the safest contract. Simply put, and distributional issues aside, 9 tricks in NT are almost always available whenever there are 10 or 11 tricks in trump and often when a trump game fails. Obviously, opponents bidding, unstopped suits, short suits and similar issues factor in.

Therefore, take a look at a typical hand record (36 deals) and evaluate it in terms of a team match. Consider safety plays. Over a large number of deals playing 3 NT instead of game in a suit (given balanced or semi-balanced hands) should show a profit.


Another way of looking at this is that in MPs, the major suit has to make only one more trick to be better than NT. But in IMPs, the major suit has to make two more tricks to be better than NT.

Cheers,
Mike
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#13 User is offline   rmnka447 

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Posted 2018-January-17, 22:39

The one case where a partnership might consider playing 3 NT versus 4 of a major is with very flat hands. But that does require some sort of partnership understanding.

If both players end up with 4-3-3-3 hands with all suits stopped and a 4-4 fit, 3 NT may be the superior contract.
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#14 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2018-January-18, 07:58

View Post0deary, on 2018-January-17, 10:37, said:

Finally I’ve scanned all my previous 3NT on BBO to find one of my scores where only 5m would make (whilst 3NT would go down) to suggest some bidding. Sorry I can’t- its a rare bird to require 5m…I’d go to the books!

I had one last week, 5 diamonds made where 3NT went down.
But I also had a 5 clubs that went down one trick where 3NT (with no stopper in diamonds) and 4 hearts (in 5-2 fit) both made.
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