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Lavinthal Discards

#1 User is offline   pbleighton 

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Posted 2004-October-29, 19:27

In search of ways to beef up our defense, we asked our club manager for advice. He recommended Lavinthal discards. He says you are stuck less often than with standard discards.

What do you think of them?

Peter
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#2 User is offline   luke warm 

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Posted 2004-October-29, 21:34

for a long time lav is all my former partner and i played... worked well for us, but i convinced her that odd/even seemed a little better... she was in love with lav tho, so we compromised... we played o/e vs. suits and lav vs. nt

i think it's still a very good defensive treatment and i certainly think it will improve your defense
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#3 User is offline   Flame 

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Posted 2004-October-29, 23:35

I wonder what is standard discard, is that mean you discard a high card and you want this suit ? if that so then any other system is better.
i play both lavintal and italian, both have the hands that fit them better, i also played italian vs trump and lav vs NT like luke , which make some sense.
In both system you will somtimes prefer or have to discard differently then what the system says, i think the way to mesure between these system effectivness is both to count how many times you wont have an easy signaling card, but also and not less importent, is how easy it is for you to escape safly when that hapend.
The hard case for lavintal is when you got a long suit, you want this suit, but you dont mind throwing some of its cards, the hard case of italian either same as before but you have no odd cards of that long suit, or you dont have an even card to discard which suits ur signaling, usually this mean you ur small cards in the suit you dont want are odds numbers.
The resson to choose different system vs NT/suit is in suit you will many times be able to discard from your long and good suit, sicne you cant expect to make all the suit (it will eventually be ruffed) , while in NT it wont be ruffed and any low card can be another trick.
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#4 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2004-October-30, 01:59

If you look at the system cards for the Olympiad you will find a lot of variety. I did a quick check on the USA, England, Italy, Australia and Poland and was surprised to find a lot are playing natural (high=encouraging) or reverse (low=encouraging) as well as suit preference (Lavinthal) and odd/even.

My quick survey suggests you should play what you feel most comfortable playing, there is no method that is intrinsically better.

Of course, most of the players on these teams know where all the cards are at trick 2 anyhow so signalling is less important for them :unsure:

I used to play Lavinthal (aka McKenny) but switched to odd/even as it's easier to understand the signal.

As Ron Klinger (Australia) said, there is a lot of value in not wasting brain cells understanding your partner's discards so you can spend your energy in other areas.

p
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I don't work for BBO and any advice is based on my BBO experience over the decades
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#5 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2004-October-30, 02:36

We have been playing odds/evens for some time now and it works very well.
First discard only - odd encourages, even is McKenney. Otherwise udca
Also suggest you look at Slawinski's "Combine Leads"

Apart from that best way to improve defence is to count and more count
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#6 User is offline   bearmum 

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Posted 2004-October-30, 05:27

The_Hog, on Oct 30 2004, 09:36 PM, said:

We have been playing odds/evens for some time now and it works very well.
First discard only - odd encourages, even is McKenney. Otherwise udca
Also suggest you look at Slawinski's "Combine Leads"

Apart from that best way to improve defence is to count and more count

I agree with your

"Apart from that best way to improve defence is to count and more count" comment Ron - and I can play standard upsidedown revolving AND Lavinthal discards BUT my "senior" brain seems unable to understand o/e discards :P

Playing against systems which do NOT rate red or yellow dots on ABF system cards in OZ ( which is what we mainly play against) and using a combination of count signals and revolving discards we find we defend reasonably well - BUT against EXPERT and WORLD CLASS players I am sure we would NEVER be in the race :rolleyes:
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#7 User is offline   scoob 

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Posted 2004-October-30, 12:12

luke warm, on Oct 29 2004, 09:34 PM, said:

for a long time lav is all my former partner and i played... worked well for us, but i convinced her that odd/even seemed a little better... she was in love with lav tho, so we compromised... we played o/e vs. suits and lav vs. nt

i think it's still a very good defensive treatment and i certainly think it will improve your defense

try combining the two.

odd discard = encourage
even discard = lavinthal
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#8 User is offline   Flame 

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Posted 2004-October-30, 12:59

scoob, on Oct 30 2004, 01:12 PM, said:

luke warm, on Oct 29 2004, 09:34 PM, said:

for a long time lav is all my former partner and i played... worked well for us, but i convinced her that odd/even seemed a little better... she was in love with lav tho, so we compromised... we played o/e vs. suits and lav vs. nt

i think it's still a very good defensive treatment and i certainly think it will improve your defense

try combining the two.

odd discard = encourage
even discard = lavinthal

what you call combining the two is called italian first discard. (some call it roman discards)
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#9 User is offline   Rebound 

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Posted 2004-October-30, 17:18

Just my 2 cents, I love lavinthal. When combined with udca, defense seems so easy.

- easy in the sense that I don't find myself having to ponder over partner's or my own discards.

This post has been edited by Rebound: 2004-October-30, 17:20

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy - but it might improve my bridge.
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Posted 2004-October-31, 08:09

I always hate it when playing lavinthal discards, that I'm not playing odd/even... For the rest it should be quite better than standard, but if you've showed a long suit, you can't give a negative/positive signal in that specific suit by discarding one, even when you need all your other cards.
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#11 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2004-October-31, 08:51

What I always disliked when playing Lavinthal is that with my first discard, I had to pick one suit. Sometimes I don't care which suit should be led, sometimes I have 2 suits that could be led -- all of this poses little problems with udca discards (in particular when you have to make several discards).
I guess it's just my own inability, but I can communicate more nuances with udca.
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#12 User is offline   Flame 

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Posted 2004-October-31, 09:05

cherdano, on Oct 31 2004, 09:51 AM, said:

What I always disliked when playing Lavinthal is that with my first discard, I had to pick one suit. Sometimes I don't care which suit should be led, sometimes I have 2 suits that could be led -- all of this poses little problems with udca discards (in particular when you have to make several discards).
I guess it's just my own inability, but I can communicate more nuances with udca.

Its not enough to know the systems ,you need to learn how to use them, for example if you dont care about the suit, you can signal you want the suit which you oviously dont, also there could be acase for intermidiate cards.
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#13 User is offline   BrianEDuran 

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Posted 2004-November-01, 14:13

Hello

I think Lavithal discards are great. I'll even claim they are the best of the three most common in my area, standard, odd/even, & lavithal. I'll give a VERY simplified waterdown reason for why.

With standard I don't think you can paint enough of a picture for partner on the defense. Your one card usually ends up saying don't lead this suit, which means partner needs to figure out which suit to lead. I actually don't think this is a huge problem.

Odd/even is way to clear to everyone at the table. Not just your partner, but declarer as well.

Lavithal, like Goldie Locks said, is just right. It has the clarity of Odd/even and less guess work for partner then standard. The key reasoning is you get to discard in a suit you don't want, which usually means partner is protecting it. If partner is potecting the suit, it usually means they have longer then then declarer, which means it is easier for partner to read then declarer.

I have one additional reason for liking lavithal, which is you use the same philosophy in many other carding situations. Like when you give partner a ruff, to indicate which suit you want to return to your hand.

I second the thoughts of those that say put your energy into counting.
Brian
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#14 User is offline   flytoox 

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Posted 2004-November-01, 14:23

Flame, on Oct 30 2004, 05:35 AM, said:

I wonder what is standard discard, is that mean you discard a high card and you want this suit ? if that so then any other system is better.
i play both lavintal and italian, both have the hands that fit them better, i also played italian vs trump and lav vs NT like luke , which make some sense.
In both system you will somtimes prefer or have to discard differently then what the system says, i think the way to mesure between these system effectivness is both to count how many times you wont have an easy signaling card, but also and not less importent, is how easy it is for you to escape safly when that hapend.
The hard case for lavintal is when you got a long suit, you want this suit, but you dont mind throwing some of its cards, the hard case of italian either same as before but you have no odd cards of that long suit, or you dont have an even card to discard which suits ur signaling, usually this mean you ur small cards in the suit you dont want are odds numbers.
The resson to choose different system vs NT/suit is in suit you will many times be able to discard from your long and good suit, sicne you cant expect to make all the suit (it will eventually be ruffed) , while in NT it wont be ruffed and any low card can be another trick.

I am not sure this is the case. With odd/even discard, there are lots of ethical problems.

On the other hand, nothign can replace counting, counting and logical analysis.
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Posted 2004-November-01, 14:47

BrianEDuran, on Nov 1 2004, 09:13 PM, said:

Odd/even is way to clear to everyone at the table. Not just your partner, but declarer as well.

So? In defense, I don't think you can't get enough precise information... Declarer may know what suit my partner can play, it doesn't change a thing. Just use your discards wisely and you don't have problems with accuracy. If dummy has nothing in a suit, and you have Kxx, you just signal this suit OFF.

If you discard smart enough, declarer doesn't have any advantages. Say there a AQx in dummy and I have nothing in that suit, my partner may always play that suit. So I'll probably signal for that suit. If my partner leads that suit, he won't give anything away.

That's probably the problem of most players I know: they just show values in a suit. I noticed that this is a wrong treatment. If you discard, just show a suit your partner MAY play, and nothing awful will happen. Every partner I had, I thought them this, and it lead to better results!
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#16 User is offline   PriorKnowledge 

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Posted 2004-November-01, 14:59

I consider odd/even (roman) a little better than lavithal. But neither has a "I don't know, use your best judgement" signal.

I can't count the number of times a partner has made a disastrous and obviously wrong play late in the hand and claimed, "But your lavinthal (roman) signal asked for that suit."

"The Hog" had it right. Make sure you understand good defense first. Make sure you are counting suits and points. Then the addition of Lavinthal or roman discards can only improve your play.

Lavinthal, Roman and UDCA solve an occassional problem in getting information that standard signals sometimes cannot give.

But the Smith Echo against NT solves a problem that no other signal solves. It tells the partner how the player feels about the suit of the opening lead. When following to the offense's first lead, and only not when count is obviously needed, a high card indicates favor to the opening lead suit, and low indicates non-favor.
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#17 User is offline   Flame 

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Posted 2004-November-01, 15:27

flytoox, on Nov 1 2004, 03:23 PM, said:

With odd/even discard, there are lots of ethical problems.

What do you mean ? can you give an example ?
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#18 User is offline   pclayton 

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Posted 2004-November-01, 15:44

cherdano, on Oct 31 2004, 06:51 AM, said:

What I always disliked when playing Lavinthal is that with my first discard, I had to pick one suit. Sometimes I don't care which suit should be led, sometimes I have 2 suits that could be led -- all of this poses little problems with udca discards (in particular when you have to make several discards).
I guess it's just my own inability, but I can communicate more nuances with udca.

Yeah I echo this. I 'get' the concept of never pitching from a suit you want led, but declarer is aware of these signals too. I've played touching suit, roman / o/e and just plain udca. I like the latter - I'm not saying that technically its the best, but as far as I'm concerned, suit preference is woven into udca with two intelligent defenders anyway.

By the way, I've never seen a thread about it, but I love the idea of encrypted signals. Amazes me that sponsoring organizations don't allow them. The free-marketers around here should support the idea as well, just as they support ferts and other 'destructive' bidding methods.
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#19 User is offline   Flame 

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Posted 2004-November-01, 16:30

I have something general to say about signaling, signaling will help a beginer more then an expert becuse an expert will probebly know what to do without them, but for the exact same resson signaling might get a beginer to not think , so maybe signaling is a bad idea for beginers, in general ppl got to undestand that signaling is never taking the place of bridge judgment, and when partner is encaraging a suit it doesnt mean we have to play that suit, its only add a peace of information to our bridge judgment.
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Posted 2004-November-01, 16:47

PriorKnowledge, on Nov 1 2004, 09:59 PM, said:

I consider odd/even (roman) a little better than lavithal. But neither has a "I don't know, use your best judgement" signal.

Actually with o/e discards, playing a high odd card followed by a low odd card in the same suit has this exact meaning... B)
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