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Preemptive Raises With 4 Card Majors

#1 User is offline   pbleighton 

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Posted 2003-October-23, 21:59

I have recently started playing a system where 4 card majors are bid with 10-13 hcp, including with much longer minors. We only open with 4 with a biddable suit, i.e. with the Q10, K9, or A. With 14+ hcp, majors always show 5. 1NT is 14-16. Majors are 5+ cards about 70% of the time.

We play 1M-3M as preemptive. Given the above:
1) When, if ever, would you raise to 3M with 4 card support? For now, we are doing so only when NV and with a stiff or void.
2) What is the strongest hand you would preempt with? I have read 6 or 7 points. Is this dummy points? Would you give an example of 2 hands, one of which is just weak enough and one of which is just a little too strong to go to 3M with?

Peter
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#2 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2003-October-23, 22:17

Peter, as you are playing a system designed to put max presseure on the opponents, I would raise to the three level with most hands of up to about 6-7, regardless of vulnerability.

Obviously you need to temper this advice with a modicum of common sense. 4333 hands are notoriously bad, and I would strive to avoid the raise to 3. 4432s on the other hand are ok, but again, a 4432 yarb. vul vs not is just pushing out the envelope a little too far. The quality of the opponents also has its part to play in the proceedings. Also the question of which Major comes into play viz
1H 3H allows the opps to make a possible mistake with 3S.
Is 3S is pretty unilateral. They must commit to 4m or game, so with the S suit I would expect more shape.

Also, be wary of the jump to 3 when you have the strong holdings in the other M. The opps are less likely to play that Major and more likely to double you.

Be aware of the fact that you WILL get some poor results, however these will be more than adequately compensated by the good results you obtain when they find themselves in the wrong spot.

Ron
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#3 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2003-October-23, 22:22

Get yee a copy of "Major Suit Raises, the Scanian Way" by Mats Nilsland & Anders Wirgren. They provide a very nice response structure that can be integrated into a 4 card major system. Most notably, the 1M opening sounds very close to the one that you are employing.

However, its worth noting the that the 1M - 3M raise is defined as constructive, with 4 card support and NOT preemptive. Personally, I like this style. Trying to bundle balancing hands nine loser ands with 4 card support elsewhere in the system introduces all sorts of complications.
Alderaan delenda est
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#4 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2003-October-23, 23:39

However, its worth noting the that the 1M - 3M raise is defined as constructive, with 4 card support and NOT preemptive. Personally, I like this style. Trying to bundle balancing hands nine loser ands with 4 card support elsewhere in the system introduces all sorts of complications.

The point of this system is to get the bidding up to the 3 level asap. What Peter is playing is the Moscito when you are not playing Moscito, so 1M 3M really does need to be pre emptive. If he is playing the structure I sent him, 1M 2N is limit or better.
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#5 User is offline   mishovnbg 

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Posted 2003-October-24, 00:56

Hi Peter!
Way you play opening, you must "pre-empt" with trick more, than if you play 5 major - 1 trick in trump suit less for opener. Your "pre-empts" must be rather distributional optimistic limit raises and must include for sure 54/4441 at least. If you like to play pre raises like after 5 major opening, you must have agreements about 4333 or 3433 hand must not be open with 1 major with min hand. Side 4th suit give you same additional trick as 5th trump.
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#6 User is offline   Free 

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Posted 2003-October-24, 05:52

I see the point in pre-emptive raises in Hearts, but not so much in Spades. If you bid 1S-2S, ops have to bid at 3-level, if you bid 1H-2H, they can still bid 2S. So in Spades I don't think it's necessary to pre-empt so fast.

With a 4 card M support, jumping to 3-level in a 4-4 fit might be dangerous. If partner has 4333, it doesn't really matter if you have some distribution. If ops start playing trumps, you're down. And that's not what you want when you're vulnerable.

A question about your system: is the 1M-opening limited in HCP?
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#7 User is offline   pbleighton 

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Posted 2003-October-24, 07:17

Ron writes: "If he is playing the structure I sent him, 1M 2N is limit or better."

Yes, this is what we are playing.

Free writes: "A question about your system: is the 1M-opening limited in HCP?"

1M is 10-21 hcp. When we get comfortable with it, we may well go to a strong club version.

Ron suggested this to me in a thread on EHAA (we were experimenting with EHAA twos - though 4-10 rather than 6-12 because of out fairly light openers), as a way for a couple of intermediates to get their overaggressive ya-yas out at the one level, rather than opening opening every five card suit at the two level :)

So far we have played it half a dozen times, and like it - thanks Ron! Our 2H/2D bids are now 7(6)-9 hcp (2D is 8(7)-10, as we open 11-21 1m), and frequently have 5 cards when NV. The narrower range has cut down on frequency, but has reduced our self-preempting and made inviting to game safer. NV, our 3s are usually very weak, may have 6, and aren't raised by responder, except with 4 card support or half the deck.

In the honored tradition of expanding thread content, what do people think of this 1M structure in a strong club context. To elaborate a little:

1M-1NT is semi-forcing - 6-12 hcp (revalued). Denies 4+ trump support if 11(10)-12. Denies 3+ trump support if 6-10(9). In response, opener must bid with 14+ hcp, or with 10-13 if either a 6 card suit (rebid suit) or non-reverse change of suit available with a 4 card suit.
1M-1NT-2NT = 17-19 hcp, balanced. The 1Nt response is announceable as "semi-forcing", and any opener response to 1M-1NT is alertable as guaranteeing 5 cards. We raise to 2 on 3+ cards. 2/1 responses require 13 hcp and are GF.

This is a modification/simplification of the structure ("The Science") of what Ron sent me. It is GCC legal, which unfortunately is a requirement for us. It also allows us to guarantee 5 cards with any rebid after 1M-1NT. 4 card majors are thus easier to deal with for us 5 card major types, as the 2/1 auctions have room to clarify.

I am thinking of putting this in a Precision-type structure:
1C- 16+
1D- 11-15, 1+ D
1M - 10-15, if 10-13 4+, may have longer minor, 14-15 5+
1NT - 14-16
2C - 11-16, 6+ clubs
2D - 10-15, 4414 or 4405

This would essentially be a common flavor of Precision, which I have played a bit, with a LOT of the 1D openers and a few of the 2C openers moved to 1M.

Compared to the current system, it's somewhat less aggressive and more vulnerable to interference, but I believe it would be more accurate, even taking interference into account. 10-21 is a big range.

It would also make the 1M-3M (and 1m-3m - we play inverted minors) preempts a bit safer. A some may have guessed, the thread was prompted by a bad result - I opened with a very good 16, and my partner shut me out with a preemptive raise ;)

I know this is very sketchy, but what do you think?

Peter
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Posted 2003-October-24, 08:23

The way I usually play pre-emptive raises (on weak openings only) is according to LTC. Since you have a fit, it's quite accurate. Normally an opener has -7LTC if he has 13+HCP, if partner has -8LTC, he goes to level 3, -7LTC to level 4,... with -9LTC he just plays at 2-level. Maybe you can base you pre-emptive raises on that, and if opener has something extra (5 trumps, fewer losers,...) he can still bid game.
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