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Hand Analysis Which software?

#1 User is offline   lucky_dom 

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Posted 2004-May-26, 08:51

I see a lot of posts which have analysed the difference between ZAR points, and 5-3-1, and etc etc. What software are you guys using to do this evaluation? Something home-made, or is there an easy to use program out there that can deal with customised point counts and the like?

I'm asking because I want to crunch some numbers on the frequency of Acol 2s as opposed to weak 2s, and I don't have the time right now to make something home made.

Thanks, Dom
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#2 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2004-May-26, 08:58

I'm very fond of Dealer

Kicks butt, and its free
http://www.dombo.org/henk/dealer.html

Please note, lots of folks have trouble running the program under modern windows variants.
Alderaan delenda est
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#3 User is offline   luis 

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Posted 2004-May-26, 09:02

Use your head.
ZAR and other bunch of methods are only a bad solution, a ridiculous attempt to mechanize judgement a task that we know is impossible.
Weak players try to achieve expert judgement by using ZAR and other fancy methods, I accept they can improve your biding over normal point-count buy what they really need is to learn how to evaluate hands regardless of points, ZAR and other stuff. There's no evaluation method better than human judgement.
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#4 User is offline   Free 

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Posted 2004-May-26, 09:06

luis, on May 27 2004, 12:02 AM, said:

Use your head.
ZAR and other bunch of methods are only a bad solution, a ridiculous attempt to mechanize judgement a task that we know is impossible.
Weak players try to achieve expert judgement by using ZAR and other fancy methods, I accept they can improve your biding over normal point-count buy what they really need is to learn how to evaluate hands regardless of points, ZAR and other stuff. There's no evaluation method better than human judgement.

TOTALLY AGREE!
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#5 User is offline   lucky_dom 

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Posted 2004-May-26, 09:42

Thanks for the advice Luis, however for the task I have in mind I need something that can deal and analyse hands! I want to compare the useable frequency of a weak 2 compared with an Acol 2. That's not something I can use my judgement to find out.

Thanks for the link horthgar, I'll try it out.

Dom
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#6 User is offline   whereagles 

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Posted 2004-May-26, 09:43

Agree as well, though that's easier said than done B)
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#7 User is offline   EricK 

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Posted 2004-May-26, 11:17

luis, on May 26 2004, 03:02 PM, said:

Use your head.
ZAR and other bunch of methods are only a bad solution, a ridiculous attempt to mechanize judgement a task that we know is impossible.
Weak players try to achieve expert judgement by using ZAR and other fancy methods, I accept they can improve your biding over normal point-count buy what they really need is to learn how to evaluate hands regardless of points, ZAR and other stuff. There's no evaluation method better than human judgement.

I don't agree.

Judgement isn't (and can't be) anything more than a set of rules. Complicated rules, to be sure, but rules nonetheless.

The trouble is that these rules are completely internalised and often the practitioners themselves are unaware of what those rules are.

I think it is excellent that people are making the effort to externalise those rules.

Eric
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#8 User is offline   Free 

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Posted 2004-May-26, 11:50

Eric, at some point you're right, BUT! Evaluation of the hand is not dependent of your own hand alone, it depends on all hands, and therefor has to be based on the bidding. If you have AQ10xx in a suit, your hand is twice as much worth when RHO opened in that suit than if your LHO opened that suit. Same like your partner has a singleton in a suit where you have KQJ10x, your hand isn't worth as much as if your HCP are in another suit... And as far as I know, NOT ONE evaluationmethod has rules that change handevaluation on the opponent's bidding yet, but ZAR uses some adjustments on partner's hand which should make it theoretically a better method than others.

When using your head to evaluate hands, you'll use ALL available info and your personal experience, like passing with a sure big fit to keep opps out of slam for example.
"It may be rude to leave to go to the bathroom, but it's downright stupid to sit there and piss yourself" - blackshoe
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#9 User is offline   Free 

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Posted 2004-May-26, 11:53

Dealer is a program you're looking for. I can't work with it however, and as far as I know it doesn't have ZAR points yet.
"It may be rude to leave to go to the bathroom, but it's downright stupid to sit there and piss yourself" - blackshoe
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#10 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2004-May-26, 11:56

Free, on May 26 2004, 08:53 PM, said:

Dealer is a program you're looking for. I can't work with it however, and as far as I know it doesn't have ZAR points yet.

Zar points can be added to the hand evaluation using a relatively simple script

Bubble sort the hands so that they are arranged from longest to shortest
calculate the distributional points
add in the controls...
Alderaan delenda est
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#11 User is offline   EricK 

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Posted 2004-May-26, 12:12

Free, on May 26 2004, 05:50 PM, said:

Eric, at some point you're right, BUT! Evaluation of the hand is not dependent of your own hand alone, it depends on all hands, and therefor has to be based on the bidding. If you have AQ10xx in a suit, your hand is twice as much worth when RHO opened in that suit than if your LHO opened that suit. Same like your partner has a singleton in a suit where you have KQJ10x, your hand isn't worth as much as if your HCP are in another suit... And as far as I know, NOT ONE evaluationmethod has rules that change handevaluation on the opponent's bidding yet, but ZAR uses some adjustments on partner's hand which should make it theoretically a better method than others.

When using your head to evaluate hands, you'll use ALL available info and your personal experience, like passing with a sure big fit to keep opps out of slam for example.

You are right in that the "correct" evaluation method takes account of opponents' bidding (and state of the match, your estimation of partner's skill, psychological aspects etc etc). But there are still rules to all of this.

eg Whatever evaluation method I was using, I would count AQ as if it were AK if my RHO bid the suit.

Adding these rules to zar (or any other method) would only improve it. But that is no reason to discount the whole enterprise of trying to construct the rules of bidding.

Eric
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#12 User is offline   Flame 

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Posted 2004-May-26, 12:41

The way i see it an evaluation system are good for
1. computers oviously a computer will have easier time with a counting system then humen and harder time with system humens are using.
2. people who have to expalin themself to partners, if you play with a team and your pair went down in 4h after you opened a 1 hcp 1h it will be much eaiser blaming zar.
What i dont think its good for is actually what zar ment it to be, a system that will help rookies make decisions like good players, this can help them getting better results but if they want to get better which will help on the long run they will have to understand more and count less, begining with a counting system can work both ways, it can work for the best and teach help them develope a better self sense, or it can make them abendon self evaluation falling in love with counting.
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#13 User is offline   Flame 

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Posted 2004-May-26, 13:35

My prev post here talked about normal evaluation methods, but there is one way that is different, when we are counting something together with partner, for example controls, if we use control counting and have bids that show controls (example an opening in midmac show atleast 3 control) then this can lead to some results that normal self evaluation cant. a good example of this is LTC, LTC has something that is beyong self evaluation. sometimes even parts of the evaluation system is beyond self evaluating, an example could be the trump honors in zar, if i remember corectly you dont get extra for having more then 2 honors , this is because of honors duplication. I tried to read what calls natural evaluation system, which i suspect has some points that are beyond self evaluating , but its writen in a way that my english isnt good enough for, not to the point if you ask me, because to understand bridge you dont need to talk so much (not to the point imo)
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#14 User is offline   Cascade 

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Posted 2004-May-26, 14:33

EricK, on May 26 2004, 03:12 PM, said:

eg Whatever evaluation method I was using, I would count AQ as if it were AK if my RHO bid the suit.

This is an over-evaluation.

AK is worth two tricks and might build up a Queen or a long suit in your partner's hand.

AQ in RHOs suit is only a likely (or very likely) two tricks and is not likely to build up anything in your partner's hand.
Wayne Burrows

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True but I know Standard American and what better reason could I have for playing Precision? - Hideous Hog
Bidding is an estimation of probabilities SJ Simon

#15 User is offline   inquiry 

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Posted 2004-May-26, 14:50

Cascade, on May 26 2004, 03:33 PM, said:

EricK, on May 26 2004, 03:12 PM, said:

eg Whatever evaluation method I was using, I would count AQ as if it were AK if my RHO bid the suit.

This is an over-evaluation.

AK is worth two tricks and might build up a Queen or a long suit in your partner's hand.

AQ in RHOs suit is only a likely (or very likely) two tricks and is not likely to build up anything in your partner's hand.

As nice a statement of why not to up-grade AQ in your RHO suit to full AK value as I have ever seen....

AK in ZAR = 10
AQ in rho suit in ZAR = 9

Not perfect, but reflects what you said, AQ is worth more after RHO bids the suit, but not as much as when partner bids the suit. Interestingly, if your partner bids this suit, this AQ is now worth 10 (6 for Ace, two for Q, and one for each honor). Again reflecting the same kind of evaluation you said so nicely in words rather than math. Surely whole points is not as accurate, as say worth 1.238 more, but the math is easier and the principle is the same.


Ben
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#16 User is offline   Cascade 

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Posted 2004-May-26, 15:10

The other point to appreciate about AQ and similar holdings is that it was already worth more than 1 1/2 tricks.

With no other information if you have an AQ ...

It is worth two tricks if partner has the K with length (3+)*

It is worth two tricks when RHO has the K

It is worth one trick when LHO has the K (unless LHO leads this suit or various other minor obscure possibilities e.g. squeeze).

This averages to 1 2/3 tricks without the additional possibilities in the third case.

When RHO bids this suit this expectation goes up but I do not think to a full two tricks.

When partner bids this suit this expectation goes up to more than two tricks.

When LHO bids this suit this expectation goes down. This drop in value I would judge to be more than the increase in value when RHO bids the suit.
Wayne Burrows

I believe that the USA currently hold only the World Championship For People Who Still Bid Like Your Auntie Gladys - dburn
dunno how to play 4 card majors - JLOGIC
True but I know Standard American and what better reason could I have for playing Precision? - Hideous Hog
Bidding is an estimation of probabilities SJ Simon

#17 User is offline   tysen2k 

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Posted 2004-May-26, 15:53

Free, on May 26 2004, 12:50 PM, said:

Evaluation of the hand is not dependent of your own hand alone, it depends on all hands, and therefor has to be based on the bidding.  If you have AQ10xx in a suit, your hand is twice as much worth when RHO opened in that suit than if your LHO opened that suit.  Same like your partner has a singleton in a suit where you have KQJ10x, your hand isn't worth as much as if your HCP are in another suit...  And as far as I know, NOT ONE evaluationmethod has rules that change handevaluation on the opponent's bidding yet, but ZAR uses some adjustments on partner's hand which should make it theoretically a better method than others.

I am actually working on this problem right now. I should have something to post within a week or so. I'm looking at quantifying the adjustments that should be made to evaluation based on the opponent's bidding. I agree, I've seen no one quantify this before except for these rules of thumb people keep passing around. "Add a point with AQx if RHO bids it," etc.

I'm working on the data now but it seems a lot more complicated than that. For example, AQx is worth more than AQxxx since you're going to run into shortness in both partner and LHO in the second case.

I have done work on quantifying how evaluation changes when partner mentions a suit (how much does Qxx in trump support go up in value?):

Improving Hand Evaluation Part 1

Improving Hand Evaluation Part 2

These articles are a little long and technical, but I'm also working on a "for dummies" version of these findings that can actually be used at the table. I might post that in another week or so. I've been finding time and again that hand evaluation is very dynamic and these articles attempt to quantify this revaluation based on statistics instead of just guessing that "this hand should get better by 2 points because of these honors."

Tysen
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#18 User is offline   Fluffy 

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Posted 2004-May-26, 15:57

AQ may be worth 7 tricks when it lets you stablish a side suit in NT contract (or even suit sometimes), I don´t think any evaluation method will ever think about such things.
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#19 User is offline   tysen2k 

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Posted 2004-May-26, 16:33

Fluffy, on May 26 2004, 04:57 PM, said:

AQ may be worth 7 tricks when it lets you stablish a side suit in NT contract (or even suit sometimes), I don´t think any evaluation method will ever think about such things.

Sure. It could also set up 4 tricks, 1 trick, or none. My evaluation programs take each of these situations and multiplies it by the probability of it actually happening. So you get a weighted average of the benefit. As you gain more information about your partner's hand, your evaluation will get more and more accurate. If you've learned that your partner has enough outside strength and support for you to safely establish a 7-card suit, then the probability of extra tricks goes up and your evaluation goes up appropriately.

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#20 User is offline   EricK 

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Posted 2004-May-26, 22:11

Cascade, on May 26 2004, 08:33 PM, said:

EricK, on May 26 2004, 03:12 PM, said:

eg Whatever evaluation method I was using, I would count AQ as if it were AK if my RHO bid the suit.

This is an over-evaluation.

AK is worth two tricks and might build up a Queen or a long suit in your partner's hand.

AQ in RHOs suit is only a likely (or very likely) two tricks and is not likely to build up anything in your partner's hand.

If RHO overcalls in a suit, I don't see why AK in my hand is more likely to build up a long card in partner's hand than AQ is. I certainly don't expect it partner to have the Queen when I have AK in RHO's suit, any more than I would expect him to have the King when I have AQ.

Eric
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