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Competitive Bidding for a BEGINNER can you answer my member's question ?

#1 User is offline   hallway 

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  Posted 2004-November-11, 13:13

I have a member of my BEGINNER Section who would like some advice.

She writes as follows:

Here is one of my burning questions. We have lovely guides as to how many HCP you need to open the bidding (about 12 or 13, unless you use the rule of 20 to open with less, on occassion), and how much you need to respond (about 6, or 8 points if pard opens 1NT).

Are there similar rules for how many TIMES you can bid, or how high you may bid? When I am in a competetive bidding situation, I often feel flummoxed by knowing whether my 10 HCP are enough to bid a new suit at the 3 level, say, when partner has opened by RHO has intervened. I'm developing some feel for this, flying by the seat of my pants, but feel I may have missed some important, obvious, oh-everyone-knows-that sort of guidance.

Would appreciate some input from you - remember please this is for a BEGINNER
Maureen
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#2 User is offline   luke warm 

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Posted 2004-November-11, 13:33

hallway, on Nov 11 2004, 09:13 PM, said:

I have a member of my BEGINNER Section who would like some advice.

She writes as follows:

Here is one of my burning questions.  We have lovely guides as to how many HCP you need to open the bidding (about 12 or 13, unless you use the rule of 20 to open with less, on occassion), and how much you need to respond (about 6, or 8 points if pard opens 1NT). 

Are there similar rules for how many TIMES you can bid, or how high you may bid?  When I am in a competetive bidding situation, I often feel flummoxed by knowing whether my 10 HCP are enough to bid a new suit at the 3 level, say, when partner has opened by RHO has intervened.  I'm developing some feel for this, flying by the seat of my pants, but feel I may have missed some important, obvious, oh-everyone-knows-that sort of guidance.

Would appreciate some input from you  -  remember please this is for a BEGINNER

there are many different ways to handle her question about 10+ hcp and a 3 level bid... i think many (most?) don't play this, but i like negative free bids in this situation... i play them to 10/11 hcp (12 needed for game force), and they follow an auction such as 1d (1s) 2h or 1s (2h) 3d... the 2h and 3d bids are negative free bids

the definition is 5/6-10/11 with a 5+ card suit, they're only "on" at the 2 and 3 levels (so level 1 and 4 are not nfb)... the bidding 1d (1s) x has to be used for a game force hand with little or no support for partner's opening OR as a normal negative free bid

if you (or she) is interested in learning more on this method, either of you can pm or email me
"Paul Krugman is a stupid person's idea of what a smart person sounds like." Newt Gingrich (paraphrased)
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#3 User is offline   EricK 

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Posted 2004-November-11, 14:48

Competitive bidding is one of the most interesting facets of bridge, but also one of the hardest. It doesn't readily break down to simple rules, but if I had to explain things to a beginner I would make these points:

1. Not all 10 point hands are the same! I would hope even a beginner already realises this, but if not, it is important that they find out sooner rather than later.

2. Determine how much you want to declare the hand and how much you want to defend (what Robson and Segal call the ODR - Offense to Defense Ratio)
a. Distributional hands want to play, balanced hands want to defend
b. Hands with concentrated honours want to declare, hands with scattered honours want to defend
c. Hands with support for partner want to declare, hands with shortage in partner's suit want to defend

3. If your hand wants to declare, be prepared to bid a level higher than you would in a non-competitive auction. If it is neutral or slightly defensive bid to the same level as you would in a non-competitive situation. If it is really wants to defend, hold back more than you would in a non-competitive auction.

4. Try to involve partner in the decision. You don't want partner "bidding one more" when you were about to double them. Similarly, you don't want partner doubling them when you haven't yet told him that you really want to declare. So you should play some methods which at least attempt to portray to partner your ODR, and (especially on offensive hands) the level you are prepared to bid to.

Since I don't know the beginner in question I am not sure how much of this they would understand. But I think that the basics of "offensive v. defensive" are understandable by anyone who has played the game a few times and is inquisitive enough to ask sensible questions. Obviously, as they get better they will realise that there are many subtleties to determining one's ODR and that point 3 is a vast over-simplification. But I feel this is a good start.

Eric
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#4 User is offline   han 

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Posted 2004-November-11, 15:47

I agree with the previous message, but this is all rather abstract. Whether you can bid a new suit at the three level also depends on whether you have limited your hand. Here is an example:

Let's say you hold xxx x AJ10xxx Kxx. Partner opens 1H, and RHO passes, and you bid 1NT, because you are not strong enough for 2D. Now LHO bids 2S, which is passed around to you. Since you have already limited your hand, you can freely bid 3D. You have a beautiful suit, and selling out to 2S is not a good idea. Partner is not going to think that you have a big hand, because you bid 1NT first.

Now let's say you have the same hand, partner again opens 1H but now RHO jumps to 2S. This time 3D is not competitive, but forcing, and you are not good enough to bid it (unless you play negative freebids as Luke does). If you play negative doubles then you can double, and then bid 3D. Otherwise you are stuck, and you should probably pass (ouch!).

So whether you can compete at the 3-level not only depends on your hand, but also on the nature of the auction. If you have already limited you hand, and you feel that bidding on iis a good idea, go ahead. If you are still unlimited and want to bid a new suit, then you have to be more careful.
Please note: I am interested in boring, bog standard, 2/1.

- hrothgar
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#5 User is offline   luke warm 

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Posted 2004-November-11, 17:18

this is why i like nfb... i've yet to see any hand where it loses much, and it seems to gain on quite a few... i do know that many people dislike the convention tho
"Paul Krugman is a stupid person's idea of what a smart person sounds like." Newt Gingrich (paraphrased)
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#6 User is offline   HeartA 

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Posted 2004-November-11, 17:27

luke warm, on Nov 11 2004, 06:18 PM, said:

this is why i like nfb... i've yet to see any hand where it loses much, and it seems to gain on quite a few... i do know that many people dislike the convention tho

nfb is my favorite. I always try to sell it to my partner whenever possible.
Senshu
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#7 User is offline   pclayton 

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Posted 2004-November-11, 18:42

NFB should not be discussed or suggested in a BI forum, sorry.

I'll try to answer Maureen's question in basic terms, heck, its the least we can do for her, considering the effort she puts into the BIL. Here's a few rambling pointers:

In most competitive auctions, the two sides frequently have approximately an equal amount of points. The '26 points for game' rule does not apply to competetive auctions. Here, we are more interested in the degree of fit and how well the hands fit together.

If they have a fit, we have a fit. If they don't have a fit, there is a lesser chance we have a fit too. Be compulsive about balancing at the 2 level if the opponents have bid, raised and passed in a part score. Be more wary about the 3 level. If you have never gone for 1100 you arent competing and balancing enough.

If the partnership has a good fit, frequently the hand can seemingly be overbid. If the partnership has two suits that fit, then the hand can really be overbid.

As Eric said, a balanced hand is a red flag for competition. Similarly, hands with extreme distribution can be pushed much higher than the HCP would seem to indicate.

Have the BILies have a basic understanding about total tricks. The crux of this is when we have an 8 card fit; bid to the 2 level, unless the hand contains values for game. With a 9 card fit, we should feel comfortable about competing to the 3 level. If we have a double fit with 2 - 8 card fits, the 3 level is generally safe.

Try to 'visualize' your partner's hand. For instance, say you hold xxxx of a suit your opponents have bid and raised. You can picture that your partner has at most a singleton or void, so act accordingly. On the other hand, you partner might realize you have length in their suit, that you may have some defense against their contract and will not compete as much as a result.

Good judgment will ultimately come from experience. Feel free to have them post hands here for our input. Good luck.
"Phil" on BBO
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#8 User is offline   luke warm 

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Posted 2004-November-11, 20:48

"NFB should not be discussed or suggested in a BI forum, sorry."

if you say so, but to me if a person can play negative doubles (and most bi's i know play them), surely this isn't too difficult... it's actually fairly simple imho
"Paul Krugman is a stupid person's idea of what a smart person sounds like." Newt Gingrich (paraphrased)
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#9 User is offline   sceptic 

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Posted 2004-November-12, 00:39

http://www.prairienet.org/bridge/

I think Karen has some excellent articles to help any beginner

http://www.prairiene...ge/respcomp.htm

this page may be of some use
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#10 User is offline   sceptic 

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Posted 2004-November-12, 00:40

http://www.prairienet.org/bridge/

I think Karen has some excellent articles to help any beginner

http://www.prairiene...ge/respcomp.htm

this page may be of some use
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#11 User is offline   jtfanclub 

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Posted 2004-November-12, 02:05

hallway, on Nov 11 2004, 02:13 PM, said:

Are there similar rules for how many TIMES you can bid, or how high you may bid?

Yes.

The magic point is one level above the last new suit bid. It takes one trick per level to bid higher than that. No-trump doesn't count as a new suit, so after 1-1NT, the magic point is 2, not 2NT.

After 1 1, you need nothing extra to bid 2 or less, and extra to bid 2 or more.

After 1 1NT, you need nothing extra to bid 2 or less, and extra to bid 2NT or more.

This is true for both opener and responder:
After 1 1NT 2, the magic point is 3.

After 1 2 2, the magic point is 3.

After 1 2 2NT 3, ANY bid shows extras. The magic point is one level above the last new suit bid, and that was 2.

What qualifies as a trick extra?
-A 9 card fit in partner's suit PLUS a singleton, two doubletons, or 2 HCP. Count the distribution twice- once for the normal Goren count, plus once for fit count.
-A 10 card fit in partner's suit.
-Two extra cards in your own suit- minimum of five if you haven't bid the suit before, six if you have. Or one extra card if your partner supported the suit.
-4 HCP. So if you normally open with 12, any 16 will do. to pass the magic point.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you have two extra tricks, or one extra trick and your partner has shown one you can bid game, or force to game.
If you have no extra tricks and your partner passes the magic point, best to find a place to stop as quickly as possible.

Until you learn the nuances of the LAW and suchlike, it's best to use the same rule with and without interference. So, if partner opened 1:

If the opponents overcall 1, bid normally.
If the opponents overcall 2, bid only if you have one extra trick from your normal bid.
If the opponents overcall 3, bid only if you have two extra tricks from your normal bid.

Did that make any sense at all?
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#12 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2004-November-12, 04:33

If you play a 15-17 1NT, responder should assume that opener (who opened one in a suit) has, until further notice, a ballanced 12-14 points. So a new suit at the 3-level means: partner, bid 3NT if you have a stopper in the opponents suit, even with a minimum ballanced hand. He should gamble on a decent 13 points by opener and therefore bid with a decent 11 points, but not with less than that.
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#13 User is offline   hallway 

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Posted 2004-November-13, 14:32

Thank You all for your replies.

I shall take the liberty of using some of the above in my Newsletter to my members, then they can all benefit.

The BIL membership ranges from a young lad of 12 who the other day said he had read an article on bridge and thinks he wants to learn how to play to those I refer to as Upper Intermediates some of whom are really quite good players in disguise :lol:

BEGINNERS are my true love - it is really for them that I do what I do.

The BIL definition of a BEGINNER - Newcomer to Bridge - one who is learning the BASIC principles

I have a Beginner Section through which they can ask questions and I will seek out the answers for them. The more they start asking the more times I will be seeking answers from the Forum so please forget the Intermediates in your replies , think BASIC !!

Thanks for the help
Maureen
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#14 User is offline   bearmum 

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Posted 2004-November-14, 06:23

hallway, on Nov 12 2004, 08:13 AM, said:

I have a member of my BEGINNER Section who would like some advice.

She writes as follows:

Here is one of my burning questions.  We have lovely guides as to how many HCP you need to open the bidding (about 12 or 13, unless you use the rule of 20 to open with less, on occassion), and how much you need to respond (about 6, or 8 points if pard opens 1NT). 

Are there similar rules for how many TIMES you can bid, or how high you may bid?  When I am in a competetive bidding situation, I often feel flummoxed by knowing whether my 10 HCP are enough to bid a new suit at the 3 level, say, when partner has opened by RHO has intervened.  I'm developing some feel for this, flying by the seat of my pants, but feel I may have missed some important, obvious, oh-everyone-knows-that sort of guidance.

Would appreciate some input from you  -  remember please this is for a BEGINNER

OK my 2˘ worth mainly about how HIGH to bid ;)

IF you KNOW your partner has a 5 card suit (especially spades but hearts second best) and you have 3 of them -- bid to the 2 level
if you have 4 of them compete to the 3 level ( taking into account point count of you have AND relative vul)
IF you have FIVE(in a major) of them AND a few points -- at favorible vul bid four

This is based on the Law of Total tricks (LOTT) which IMHO is a GUIDE only to what is a reasonable level to compete (or maybe to sacrifice) to (HORRIBLE grammar but I hope u all get my meaning)

There is a book about LOTT but I can't remember what it is called - :P :P - but I expect Maureen already knows what it is :)
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