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Relaying an unlimited hand

#1 User is offline   Kungsgeten 

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Posted 2018-March-06, 09:37

The ones of you who play relays after a strong club, where responder is unlimited (say 8+ hcp), what is your experience with this? Is it problematic not being able to limit opener's and/or responder's hand until much later in the auction? We currently use a structure where we try to separate responder's hands into 8-11 and 12+, but we do not use relays.

The idea is to perhaps play relays in a Swedish Club structure, where two-suiters will resolve at +1 (I think?) like this:

2NT = Long legged
3C = High sho
3D = 5422
3H = 5431 low sho
3S = 6421 low sho
3N = 6430 low sho
4C = 7420 low sho
4D = 7411

An example of how a sequence might go could be this:

1C-2C; (1C = 12-14 NT or most 17+) (2C = 8+ hcp, single-suited with 6+D or 5D and 4+C)
2H-3NT; (2H = 17+ relay) (3NT = 3-0-6-4, 8+ hcp)
??

It seems kind of silly if opener is allowed to pass this bid, since responder is unlimited. At the same time it seems quite silly not being able to play 3NT when opener has 17 and responder 8 and there's a misfit.

We already use relays like this over our 1M and 1D openings, but then at least the hands are limited to 11-16 or 16-19.
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#2 User is offline   nullve 

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Posted 2018-March-06, 09:50

View PostKungsgeten, on 2018-March-06, 09:37, said:

It seems kind of silly if opener is allowed to pass this bid, since responder is unlimited. At the same time it seems quite silly not being able to play 3NT when opener has 17 and responder 8 and there's a misfit.

My selective memory suggests that it's ok not being able to play 3N when one hand is (6430).
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#3 User is offline   foobar 

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Posted 2018-March-06, 15:13

This is a little tangential to the question, but awm's IMPrecision is arguably the base solution to to the problem of partitioning responder's strength (0-2 / 7+ QPs go into 1). In cases where responder does have 7+ QPs, we end up relaying opener's hand instead. IME, this works out great, but if you want responder to be able to show more 7+ QP hands, perhaps straube can chime in with his tweak of swapping the IMP responses of 1 / 1N over 1 - 1 (0-2 or 7+ QPs).

Note in many case, shapes are resolved at +0, but some +1 are inevitable.
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#4 User is offline   DinDIP 

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Posted 2018-March-07, 00:56

View PostKungsgeten, on 2018-March-06, 09:37, said:

The ones of you who play relays after a strong club, where responder is unlimited (say 8+ hcp), what is your experience with this? Is it problematic not being able to limit opener's and/or responder's hand until much later in the auction? We currently use a structure where we try to separate responder's hands into 8-11 and 12+, but we do not use relays.


After some experiments with using 1H as 12+ and other responses as 8-11, shevek and I have used unlimited responses for 35+years. Rarely a problem in practice, although there are issues in theory. We are helped because our response structure is a step lower so 3N = 7411. It's so rarely right to play 3N opposite that shape that it's possible to play it as forcing. In practice, we utilise the two sequences available to show 7411 (via high shortage or low shortage) to split the range, with one limited and the other better than minimum.

When I played a symmetric system with sfi, we took that one step further and played
3S = 6430
3N = 7411, 5-6SP
4C = 7420
4D = 7411, 9SP
4H = 7411, 10SP
etc

Being up one step complicates things but not fatally. When we were pushed up one step because of interference, sfi and I reverted to
3N = 6430, 5-8SP
4C = 7411, 5-7SP (8+SP went via the high shortage branch)
4D = 7420
4H = 6430, 9SP
4S = 6430, 10SP
etc

An alternative I've experimented with involves switching the response structure:
3H = 6421, unlimited OR 6430, 5-7SP
3S = 5431, 5-6SP or 9+SP
3N = 5431, 7-8SP
4C = 7411, 5-6SP or 9+SP
4D = 7420
4H = 6430, 8SP
4S = 6430, 9SP
etc

(Arguably, it's better to do an additional swap and play OPTION A
4C = 6430
4D = 7411
4H+ = 7420, zooming)

After 3H-3S
3N = 6421, 5-6 (5-7 is also playable)
4C = 6430, 5-7
4D = 6421, 7SP
etc

After 3H-3N teller only resurrects with 9421 and 9+SP.

It's important to remember that making the best use of space to show exact shape plus specific SP at the lowest possible level is not the only consideration. Any good relay system will give asker alternatives to asking for controls/SP and some form of DCB. These could include key-card asks that set a suit, trump quality asks, void asks etc. The lower you show shape the more effective these alternatives are, a reason why OPTION A above may be preferable. My experience suggests that these alternatives are less useful the stronger teller is, so the need to show shape as low as possible is somewhat reduced.

David
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#5 User is offline   Kungsgeten 

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Posted 2018-March-07, 14:56

I like the idea of responder relaying opener's shape. We used to play that in our strong club system (like DinDIP we used 1H as 12+). I think IMPrecision is really clever, even though it seems to make some sacrifices on part score deals. Since our 1C opening includes not only strong hands, but also 12-14 NT, I think it is hard to use point showing waiting bids at a low level. I have seen Swedish/Polish club systems where the 1D response is negative or a "super-positive", but I'm not quite sure how they work in practice.

The latest idea is to split minor-based hands into non-forcing (vs 12-14 NT that is, so say 7-10), invitational (about 11), and game-forcing (12+) right away. This consumes an awful lot of responses, but I think it could work.

1C---
1D = 0-7 "any" / 8-10 NT, no major.
1M = 4+ major, may have longer minor. 8+ hcp. Not balanced with 4M if GF.
1NT = a) Unbal GF without a major. b) Balanced GF, may have a four card major.
2m = Natural unbalanced without a major. Non-forcing. Perhaps 7-10 hcp (GF vs strong hand).
2H = 11-14 NT. Doesn't want to declare. Usually no major but may have 4M333.
2S = INV with both minors.
2NT = Preemptive in a minor.
3m = INV.
3M = Preemptive.
3NT = Not sure... Perhaps 4333 and 16-18 hcp.

The plan is to use symmetric relays after 1C-1NT and 1C-2m. After 1C-1M we'll probably stick with Odwrotka (opener's 2D rebid shows 17+ and 3+ support) and natural bidding for now.
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#6 User is offline   PrecisionL 

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Posted 2018-March-07, 15:12

My favorite system (C3) uses unlimited positive transfer responses into 4-cd majors over an opening of 1 (Most 16+ hcp hands).

We did NOT use Symmetric Relay, but our own artificial distribution scheme. If there was an 8-cd fit, then the bid of that suit (after distributional asks) was a Beta for controls (Aces & Kings) that would usually solve the question of how strong responder was. On the rare occasion where responder had extra distribution, he could bid again. After showing controls, opener could bid again asking for extra strength or length.

Edit: 3/25/18: Sometimes denial cue bidding is used if 1-2 controls (A or K) are missing.

Note: Some but not all of the distribution schemes are in Ultra Club, reference below:
Ultra Relay: see Daniel's web page: http://bridgewithdan...stems/Ultra.pdf
C3: Copious Canape is still my favorite system. (Ultra upgraded)

NOW playing a Mosca (Nightmare-Fantunes-Millennium like) system with canapé, 11-14 NT with Keri Invites and Intermediate 2 bids (10-14), & 15+ 1 opener with transfer negatives @ 1-level & transfer positives @ the 2- and 3-levels. Canape after opening 1 or 1 (into a minor suit only). Playing Naturelle in another partnership.

Looking for an ACBL District 7 Strong Club Partner - September 2018
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#7 User is online   awm 

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Posted 2018-March-07, 16:31

When relaying an unlimited hand, I think the extra step you're losing is really important. It works pretty well as long as you have shape resolved by 3, so 3 can ask strength and you can still play 3NT opposite minimum. Otherwise it gets a bit dicey, and you've got a lot of hands resolving above 3.

It's probably not that hard to adjust IMPrecision style relays for Swedish Club. Maybe something like:

1 = 0-6 (any) or 13+ (any) or 7-12 balanced without a four-card major
1 = 7-12 with 4+
... 1 = GF relay
... 1NT = 11-13 without four spades
... 2 = 11-13 with four spades
1 = 7-12 with 4
... 1NT = 11-13 without four hearts
... 2 = GF relay
... 2 = 11-13 with four hearts
1NT = 7-12 with 5+
... 2 = GF relay
... 2 = 11-13 with 2-4 (maybe some super-accepts available with four hearts)
2 = 7-12 with 5+
... Pass = 11-13 not a hand that accepts a club invite
... 2 = GF relay
... 3 = 11-13 with good hand for clubs
2 = 7-11 with 5+ and no second suit
... Pass= 11-13 not a hand that accepts a diamond invite
... 2 = GF relay
... 3 = 11-13 with good hand for diamonds
2 = 7-12 with 5+ and 4
... 2 = GF relay
... 2NT, 3m = 11-13 suggesting a contract

1 - 1
... 1 = 17+ natural or balanced w/o four hearts (now 1=0-6, 1NT=GF relay)
... 1 = 17+ with 4+ (now 1NT=GF relay, others NF and 0-6)
... 1NT = 11-13; note that partner will often have 7-12 balanced without a four-card major
... 2m = natural 17-20ish
etc

This is actually a bit easier than IMPrecision, because if responder bids above 1 and opener does not have a GF, opener is always 11-13 balanced (whereas in IMPrecision he can have any shape). You also have a bunch of relay breaks available (I like cheapest relay break = GF with 0-1 in responder's shown suit, and responder continues to describe at +1 step).
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a.k.a. Appeal Without Merit
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#8 User is offline   robdixon87 

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Posted 2018-March-10, 07:45

We play a 1 response to 1 as 8+ unlimited positive (with 1 as super-negative 0-4, and 1+ as semi-positive shape relay).

Now opener relays 1 with 19+ (or a freak that wants to take control) to ask for responder’s shape, and otherwise bids 1+ to show their own shape and a limited strong hand. So the only time we relay opposite an unlimited hand is when opener is 19+ and responder is 8+.

NB we don’t do this when responder is a passed hand, now we play 1 response is any semi-positive (with 1 FG relay asking for shape), 1 super-negative as before, and 1+ as a limited positive shape relay.
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#9 User is offline   shevek 

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Posted 2018-March-22, 18:13

View PostKungsgeten, on 2018-March-06, 09:37, said:

The ones of you who play relays after a strong club, where responder is unlimited (say 8+ hcp), what is your experience with this? Is it problematic not being able to limit opener's and/or responder's hand until much later in the auction? We currently use a structure where we try to separate responder's hands into 8-11 and 12+, but we do not use relays.

The idea is to perhaps play relays in a Swedish Club structure, where two-suiters will resolve at +1 (I think?) like this:

2NT = Long legged
3C = High sho
3D = 5422
3H = 5431 low sho
3S = 6421 low sho
3N = 6430 low sho
4C = 7420 low sho
4D = 7411

We already use relays like this over our 1M and 1D openings, but then at least the hands are limited to 11-16 or 16-19.


This structure came from Roy Kerr's Kiwi club in the mid 70s. He has 1C - 1H as 12+ any, with reverse relay. 1S+ were 8-11.
We used this for a while, then Paul Marston and others ditched the super positive 1H to lower the structure by a step.
Convinced this is the way to go, provided relayer uses judgement and has the right tools when shape is out.
We do Step = QPs (start at 5), Step+1 = kontrol ask (start at 2)
We don't use 4D end signal, but rather use it as a mild slam try in an undisclosed suit, needing "extras" and good trumps.
Sometimes it is clear that simple DCB will not help much, or take us over the top.
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#10 User is offline   Wackojack 

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Posted 2018-March-23, 12:10

I cannot advise as have no experience of relay bidding after a strong club. Nevertheless, I have a tangential question to ask. Playing 1♣ 17+ with one partner where the response of 1♠ shows a balanced hand of 8+, I have got to thinking that there is room here for the strong hand to interrogate the balanced hand for greater accuracy than other methods.
We already have good (I believe) methods when the strong hand has 5-5+ distribution. 1♣-1♠-2♥/♠/NT and 4441 where opener jumps to the 3 level. What remains for the strong hand are balanced, semi-balanced and single suiters. With these distributions, Is there an effective system of relays to interrogate responder with 8+HCP and 4333, 4432, or 5m332 distributions?
Just looked at symmetric relay on “bridge Guys” and not impressed. Here is a system that I cobbled together that seems to work get all relevant details for most balanced hands.

Starting at 1♣-1♠ = balanced 8+ the rebid of 1NT initiates the shape-controls-strength relay sequence.

Next step by opener asks for Shape (In order of frequency) steps
2♣ Any 4432 (25%), 2♦ Any 4333 (10.5%), 2♥ 5m332 (7.8%)

Next step by opener asks for Controls A=2, K=1.
Step 1 (0-2), Step 2 (3), Step 3 (4)

Next step by opener asks for Strength
Step 1 (8-9), Step 2 (10-11), Step 3 (12-13) etc

A next step 3NT by opener is still an ask. Then 4NT is to play

Then any bid below game level asks Q + Length in suit:
4333: Step1 (3-Q), Step2 (3+Q), step 3 (4-Q), step 4 (4+Q)
4432: Step1 (2-Q), Step2 (2+Q), Step 3 (3-Q), step 4 (3+Q), step 4 (4)
Any suit game bid that skips these steps is to play

A further relay in a new suit is Length + Jack.

Being a newby at this I expect this to be torn apart
May 2003: Mission accomplished
Oct 2006: Mission impossible
Soon: Mission illegal
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#11 User is offline   foobar 

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Posted 2018-March-23, 21:43

View PostWackojack, on 2018-March-23, 12:10, said:

I cannot advise as have no experience of relay bidding after a strong club. Nevertheless, I have a tangential question to ask. Playing 1♣ 17+ with one partner where the response of 1♠ shows a balanced hand of 8+, I have got to thinking that there is room here for the strong hand to interrogate the balanced hand for greater accuracy than other methods.
We already have good (I believe) methods when the strong hand has 5-5+ distribution. 1♣-1♠-2♥/♠/NT and 4441 where opener jumps to the 3 level. What remains for the strong hand are balanced, semi-balanced and single suiters. With these distributions, Is there an effective system of relays to interrogate responder with 8+HCP and 4333, 4432, or 5m332 distributions?
Just looked at symmetric relay on “bridge Guys” and not impressed. Here is a system that I cobbled together that seems to work get all relevant details for most balanced hands.

Starting at 1♣-1♠ = balanced 8+ the rebid of 1NT initiates the shape-controls-strength relay sequence.

Out of curiosity, what didn't you like about symmetric relay? My recommendation would be to take a look at TOSR or similar systems that have already solved the problem of resolving balanced shapes. After shape is resolved, one can use DCB, PCB, specific RKC asks, etc. to place most cards with almost 100% accuracy if exploring slam.
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#12 User is offline   straube 

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Posted 2018-March-24, 12:53

View PostWackojack, on 2018-March-23, 12:10, said:

Being a newby at this I expect this to be torn apart


It’s very important for the balanced hand to be captain whenever the partnering hand is unbalanced. The start of 1C-1S for balanced responding hands preempts opener from showing a shapely hand. Contrast this start to IMprecision’s 1C-1D start for these balanced GF hands or even MOSCITO’s or SCREAM’s 1C-1D starts for GF balanced hands.

It’s no big trick to pattern out balanced hands. Many structures exist for doing so.

After a control or relay point answer, the next task should be specific card placement (denial cue bidding or parity cue bidding). Asking instead for hcps won’t help you much at all.
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#13 User is offline   PrecisionL 

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Posted 2018-March-25, 15:14

View Poststraube, on 2018-March-24, 12:53, said:

It's very important for the balanced hand to be captain whenever the partnering hand is unbalanced.

This is accepted as common knowledge, however we have NOT found it to be necessarily true. The 1 opener can abort the relay scheme and ask for support (SAB-3) for his own good suit(s). Our scheme allows responder in such a case to show 0-1, 2, 3 or more card support (zooming to controls with 3-cd or better support).
Ultra Relay: see Daniel's web page: http://bridgewithdan...stems/Ultra.pdf
C3: Copious Canape is still my favorite system. (Ultra upgraded)

NOW playing a Mosca (Nightmare-Fantunes-Millennium like) system with canapé, 11-14 NT with Keri Invites and Intermediate 2 bids (10-14), & 15+ 1 opener with transfer negatives @ 1-level & transfer positives @ the 2- and 3-levels. Canape after opening 1 or 1 (into a minor suit only). Playing Naturelle in another partnership.

Looking for an ACBL District 7 Strong Club Partner - September 2018
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#14 User is offline   benlessard 

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Posted 2018-March-25, 20:37

In a pure strong club...instead of splitting responder range its better to split opener range. This is because there is more variance into responder range than into opener range (unless responder is a passed hand).

If you play 1C 15+ and responder is GF, opener will be 15-17 more than 50% and rarely 21+. But a GF responder could be 8-11,12-14,15+ so its harder for responder to show his strenght than for opener to simply do some super accept in the relay scheme. Also if you play that style you can use xfer and put responder negative hand with responder GF hands.


1C---1H (15+, 1H= weak 0-5 or GF)
??

1S= 15-20 can be 3 card support
1Nt = 15-20 no support
2C = 15-20 6
2D = any 22-23 hand
2H = 15-17 with 6
2S = 19-21 with 4 card support.

if responder is weak he can pass 1S if he bid on hes showing an unb hand with 4!S.

1C-1H 15+, weak or GF
1S-2C at least 3 support 15-20, + GF
2D-2H (not super accept, reverser so 5S)
2S-2NT (ask, low short)
3C-??

5341,5251,6241,5350,6340

note that responder can signoff in 4S without leaking info.

IMO 1H responses as 12+ is a very poor design since its too rare an not efficient.
From Psych "I mean, Gus and I never see eye-to-eye on work stuff.
For instance, he doesn't like being used as a human shield when we're being shot at.
I happen to think it's a very noble way to meet one's maker, especially for a guy like him.
Bottom line is we never let that difference of opinion interfere with anything."
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#15 User is offline   foobar 

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Posted 2018-March-25, 22:36

View Postbenlessard, on 2018-March-25, 20:37, said:

In a pure strong club...instead of splitting responder range its better to split opener range. This is because there is more variance into responder range than into opener range (unless responder is a passed hand).

If you play 1C 15+ and responder is GF, opener will be 15-17 more than 50% and rarely 21+. But a GF responder could be 8-11,12-14,15+ so its harder for responder to show his strenght than for opener to simply do some super accept in the relay scheme. Also if you play that style you can use xfer and put responder negative hand with responder GF hands.


1C---1H (15+, 1H= weak 0-5 or GF)
??



Looks like there's some context missing here. To GF opposite a 15+ opener, responder must hold ~10 HCPs. How are hands in the 6-9 range handled under this scheme? Also, how does it work after interference: 1 - 1 ( with 0-GF presumably) - (3)?
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#16 User is offline   benlessard 

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Posted 2018-April-01, 21:23

Quote

How are hands in the 6-9 range handled under this scheme?


we bid 1D with any SP hands (or any hand with 4H or GF bal). After 1C-1D we split our bal hands in 3 ranges 15-16/17-18/19-20

with 15-16 we bid 1M that can be 3 card like in PC
with 17-18 we bid 1Nt (or 2H with 18 & 4card support for !H)
with 19-20 we bid 1NT but we will accept when responder bid again with a SP hand (if he pass 1M hes showing 0-5).

1C--1D--(3m)
??

here we play X as showing 4H. if responder got 4H we are ok if not responder will have 6-8 pts. (with most 9 we GF)
I somewhat believe that shape first is more important and GF hand go better with weak hand rather than putting the SP with the GF hands.
With GF balanced hand we go slow.
From Psych "I mean, Gus and I never see eye-to-eye on work stuff.
For instance, he doesn't like being used as a human shield when we're being shot at.
I happen to think it's a very noble way to meet one's maker, especially for a guy like him.
Bottom line is we never let that difference of opinion interfere with anything."
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