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playing 3Nt rather than 4M in 8cards fit. Uncontested auction in Imps

#1 User is offline   benlessard 

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Posted 2013-February-06, 17:19

In order of preference what make you go for 3Nt rather than 4M. Uncontested auction in Imps.

A- 4333 shape
B- Extra values
C- Soft values
D- 53 or 62 fit rather than 4-4
E- wasted values in partner shortness
F- bad trumps
G- rightsiding
H- Concealing your hand
I - Both hands are balanced
J - other

This is mostly to start a discussion because I find that my partner and I have a different style here and im curious about what other players think.


EX

1NT--2C
2H--3H
??

you have a maximum, how often are you going to bid 3NT or 3S ?

1Nt--2D
2H---???

Do you have a way to give opener some options to stop in 3NT even if hes got a H fit ?


Assuming you play no gadget

1NT--2D
2H---3NT
??? ______ you have 3H card support, how often are you going to pass 3NT ?
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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#2 User is offline   Fluffy 

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Posted 2013-February-06, 17:50

4-4 points toward suit, a lot. Exception is awful trumps.

quacks are better in NT

5-3 and 6-2 are good for NT only when the trump is solid.

Contrary to what some people think, in my opinoin having a good 5 card minor on the side is very bad for NT, you very hardly have the time to develop 2 suits before the opponents develop one.
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#3 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2013-February-06, 18:35

View Postbenlessard, on 2013-February-06, 17:19, said:


Assuming you play no gadget

1NT--2D
2H---3NT
??? ______ you have 3H card support, how often are you going to pass 3NT ?

Zero percent, but that is me. I might be flat, but partner isn't.

Agree with Fluff's post for when we do have some information.

Do we have a way to give opener the option to stop in 3NT when a 5-3 major is known? YES, but not when the opening bid was 1NT; only when the opening bid was in the 5cM.
"Bidding Spades to show spades can work well." (Kenberg)
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#4 User is offline   JLOGIC 

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Posted 2013-February-06, 18:40

View Postbenlessard, on 2013-February-06, 17:19, said:

Assuming you play no gadget

1NT--2D
2H---3NT
??? ______ you have 3H card support, how often are you going to pass 3NT ?


I would pass 100 % of the time with 4333 and 3M, and maybe 5 % of the time otherwise. Playing 3N with 4333 opp 5332 is important to me.
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#5 User is offline   JLOGIC 

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Posted 2013-February-06, 18:41

View Postaguahombre, on 2013-February-06, 18:35, said:

Zero percent, but that is me. I might be flat, but partner isn't.



Don't agree, 3N is almost always 5332, and the other times it is 5422 with some honors in the doubleton. With 5431 or 5-5 or 5422 with a weak doubleton partner would just bid his second suit.
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#6 User is offline   straube 

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Posted 2013-February-06, 19:09

View PostJLOGIC, on 2013-February-06, 18:41, said:

Don't agree, 3N is almost always 5332, and the other times it is 5422 with some honors in the doubleton. With 5431 or 5-5 or 5422 with a weak doubleton partner would just bid his second suit.


I'm curious after this how often you get to 4M on a 5-2 fit and whether you can ever stop in 4m. For us we might theoretically find the 5-2 fit but don't allow 4m.

We play a system that lets us show all of the 5M431s before we pass 3N but none of the 5M4m22s. Those, however, can demand a preference to 4M with a 3-fit which leaves 1N-transfer, acceptance-3N as a true choice of games showing a 5332. So generally we're pretty happy but I wonder if you'd recommend a more natural method that can show a 5M4m22.
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#7 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2013-February-06, 19:11

Oh, I understand that my opinion on this is contrary to that of the majority of experts. The conditions are IMPs, and I just wonder though ---since we are not exploring the strength of our 3-2 side suit in the auction--- what the frequency of occurrence would be on a sim:

The occasions where we can make exactly 9 tricks in both 3NT and 4M vs.
The occasions where ten tricks in the major are likely, but the opps can get 5 tricks vs NT.
"Bidding Spades to show spades can work well." (Kenberg)
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#8 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2013-February-06, 21:58

Btw: It might seem self-contradicting that we do have a toy to uncover 4-3-3-3 and choose 3NT if it is the opener who has 5-3-3-2 with a major.

However, our situation is quite different. Opener, with the 5cM is the one with the option to play 3NT or 4M.

1M-1N(F)
2x-3N! the 4-3-3-3 choice of games hand --- obviously not possible if 1N is not really forcing.

Now, she gets to make a more informed judgement. She will know if she is really 5-3-3-2, and even if she does have that distribution can make a judgement based on whether her opening bid has primes (suit play) or quacks.
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#9 User is offline   GreenMan 

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Posted 2013-February-06, 22:47

Form of scoring matters. More likely to prefer 3NT at matchpoints with a flat hand and 5-3 fit. But I treat each case individually.

FWIW I generally follow Grant Baze's advice that if you're in the 28-29 HCP range (both hands) then 3NT is almost always better unless your major-suit fit is huge, like 6-3 or better.
If you put an accurate skill level in your profile, you get a bonus 5% extra finesses working. --johnu
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#10 User is offline   benlessard 

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Posted 2013-February-07, 02:14

Lets say you have a Non-slammish but GF 5143 vs a NT opening (unpassed hand). Do you feel that showing your shape is important ?

Pro- When partner got a doubleton 4M or 5m might easily be much better than 3Nt. When partner got 3trumps 3NT might be better if hes got wastage in the stiff (not easy for eveybody to stop in 3NT however).

Edit -----You probably need a way to show 5332 anyway if you want to avoid 4M when its 5332 vs 3334. This go in the pro section not against


Against -

partner is very often going to bid 4M anyway that leaking info might not be worth it. When you do show your second suit you are 5-5 or are at least a bit slammish so its going a lot easier for slam bidding.




---------------
I know Justin and Han are clearly in the show camp but for me its close and I think the 2 ways are playable. Also im wondering if showing the shortness before showing the 2nd is more 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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#11 User is offline   gnasher 

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Posted 2013-February-07, 03:37

I'll try to answer the first question, but it's difficult:

I - Both hands are balanced
C- Soft values
A- 4333 shape
B- Extra values
F- bad trumps
D- 53 or 62 fit rather than 4-4
J - other - having a 4-card suit opposite partner's doubleton
J - other - queens and jacks in your doubletons and in your side 4-card suit
G- rightsiding
H- Concealing your hand
E- wasted values in partner shortness (By "shortage" I assume you mean singleton or void. If so I'd just never try to play in 3NT.)

However, you can't just look at this list and award your hand a score for notrumpiness. There are different reasons for wanting to be in 3NT: it might be because you expect to make tricks outside the trump suit, it might be because you have four top losers but all the suits well stopped, or it might be because your trump suit is solid and you have nine fast winners. Depending on your objective, different hands are suitable. Here are some carefully constructed examples:
- With QJ10xx xxx KQx Qx opposite xxx QJ10x Axx AKx we want to be in 3NT
- With AKQJx xxx xxx xx opposite xxx Axx Axxx AKx we want to be in 3NT
- With QJ10xx xxx KQx Qx opposite xxx Axx Axxx AKx we want to be in 4
... that would still not be conclusive proof, before someone wants to explain that to me as well as if I was a 5 year-old. - gwnn
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#12 User is offline   han 

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Posted 2013-February-07, 03:42

Dutch bridge magazine IMP just had an article on this topic. It's in Dutch but the theme was that you should strive to play 3NT when the shapes are 4333 opposite 5332, even when you have a 5-4 fit.
Please note: I am interested in boring, bog standard, 2/1.

- hrothgar
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#13 User is offline   rhm 

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Posted 2013-February-07, 04:19

I think this is an important topic and most players play too often in a 4/4 when they should play 3NT.
This applies to IMPs and even more so to MP though for different reasons.
Many cannot even play 3NT once they have uncovered a major suit fit. They play 3NT conventional.

I also believe that the perception is wrong.
Going down in 3NT when 4/4 would have made, holding an 8 card (or better) fit is considered a major crime.
When 3NT would have posed no problem, but 4/4 goes down, people often will not realize it or when they do shrug their shoulder and that's it.
The cost is exactly the same. You can not expect to get this decision right every time, but you can do far better than preferring a major every time you hold 8 trumps.

Double dummy simulations show you should play more often in 3NT and double dummy simulation have a bias towards 4/4 not towards 3NT.
There was an article in the BW years ago about this subject.

The most important reasons for preferring notrump are flat shape, soft values, in particular queens and a lack of aces, and poor trumps.
Few 4-4 fits play well, when trumps do not break and this happens in one third of all cases.
There is a rare exception to the above:
Holding a long solid major suit you need aces on the side for 3NT to play better. (You may have 9 tricks but not ten and can ill afford to loose the lead).
Some people avoid using Stayman when holding 4333 shape.
The late Marshall Miles recommended using Stayman with game values and 5332 shape instead of transfer, which few people do.
I agree, at least when holding a lower honor in the two card suit.

Rainer Herrmann
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#14 User is offline   Fluffy 

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Posted 2013-February-07, 05:11

last week we bid (playing Match points)


my 3NT bid was based on quick tricks, my partner's pass was based on bad trumps and side source of tricks, this shouldn't had been a success, but LHO decided to lead a spade, +720 had no match.
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#15 User is offline   benlessard 

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Posted 2013-February-07, 05:50

Quote

Dutch bridge magazine IMP just had an article on this topic. It's in Dutch but the theme was that you should strive to play 3NT when the shapes are 4333 opposite 5332, even when you have a 5-4 fit.


I dont find this too surprising because I often noticed that its 33 vs 33 that make 4M dreadful like in 3532 vs 3433.
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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#16 User is offline   fromageGB 

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Posted 2013-February-07, 05:51

What would influence me to play in 3NT?
B- Extra values
and the others to a far lesser extent in the priority :
C- Soft values
I - Both hands are balanced
A- 4333 shape
F- bad trumps
G- rightsiding
H- Concealing your hand
E- wasted values in partner shortness
D- 53 or 62 fit rather than 4-4

Having said that, once there is explicit heart agreement I can't play in 3NT as it is a slam-seeking control in spades. (3 is "non-serious 3NT"). I think this is more useful than the ability to play 3NT.
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#17 User is offline   han 

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Posted 2013-February-07, 07:54

View PostFluffy, on 2013-February-07, 05:11, said:

last week we bid (playing Match points)


my 3NT bid was based on quick tricks, my partner's pass was based on bad trumps and side source of tricks, this shouldn't had been a success, but LHO decided to lead a spade, +720 had no match.


I think that the 3NT call was not good.

I am not convinced that quick tricks are a good reason to look for 3NT at matchpoints. Suppose for example that partner has Qxx of spades. Even when you have a diamond stopper and at least 9 top tricks, you will need to take the spade finesse because the people in 4H are making 2 spade tricks. So now it's a top or bottom scenario, and sometimes you'll be down on them running diamonds while 4H would have been cold. It is worse when partner has 109x of spades.

I do think that you should look for 3NT, but you should do it slowly and you should allow for the possibility of partner becoming declarer. Of course if you were playing with a partner with whom normal bidding is impossible then ignore my comments.
Please note: I am interested in boring, bog standard, 2/1.

- hrothgar
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#18 User is offline   fromageGB 

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Posted 2013-February-07, 08:22

View Posthan, on 2013-February-07, 07:54, said:

I do think that you should look for 3NT, but you should do it slowly and you should allow for the possibility of partner becoming declarer. Of course if you were playing with a partner with whom normal bidding is impossible then ignore my comments.

If this was supposed to be a comment on the non-serious 3NT, then 3NT is normally to play. There is no point in bidding "non-serious" when partner has made a limit bid. My reply was in generalities, not a hand such as Fluffy's. For example, After 1 2 3, 3NT would be non-serious as partner is unlimited. 1 2 3NT is natural.
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#19 User is offline   JLOGIC 

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Posted 2013-February-07, 14:24

View Poststraube, on 2013-February-06, 19:09, said:

I'm curious after this how often you get to 4M on a 5-2 fit and whether you can ever stop in 4m. For us we might theoretically find the 5-2 fit but don't allow 4m.

We play a system that lets us show all of the 5M431s before we pass 3N but none of the 5M4m22s. Those, however, can demand a preference to 4M with a 3-fit which leaves 1N-transfer, acceptance-3N as a true choice of games showing a 5332. So generally we're pretty happy but I wonder if you'd recommend a more natural method that can show a 5M4m22.


I cannot ever get to 4m either.

OP suggested no special gadgets but if you can demand a preference with 3 trumps vs showing a choice with 3 trumps then that is a different story, you prevent information leakage and it's less likely you need to be in 5m instead of 3N when you have a minimum GF and 5422 so this might be best.

I don't know your methods but if you play transfers after transfers you can easily show all the shapes (eg 1N 2H 2S 2N 3C asks then 3D=5-5, 3H=bal 3S=low 3N=high, over 3D 5-5 next step asks for shortness... if the suit is diamonds it is trickier 1N 2H 2S 3C 3D, play 3H is 5-5 or 5422 then partner can bid 3N if they don't care, or bid 3S to ask then 5422, low, high..., 3S=low 3N=high
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#20 User is offline   JLOGIC 

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Posted 2013-February-07, 14:31

View Posthan, on 2013-February-07, 07:54, said:

I think that the 3NT call was not good.

I am not convinced that quick tricks are a good reason to look for 3NT at matchpoints. Suppose for example that partner has Qxx of spades. Even when you have a diamond stopper and at least 9 top tricks, you will need to take the spade finesse because the people in 4H are making 2 spade tricks. So now it's a top or bottom scenario, and sometimes you'll be down on them running diamonds while 4H would have been cold. It is worse when partner has 109x of spades.

I do think that you should look for 3NT, but you should do it slowly and you should allow for the possibility of partner becoming declarer. Of course if you were playing with a partner with whom normal bidding is impossible then ignore my comments.


Meh he was playing matchpoints, not giving away the lead has to be a big consideration. I might compromise by bidding 2N and if partner bid 3N being happy, if partner bid 3D continue with 3N, 3C or 3S obv avoid NT, but be very unhappy that I'm now in 4H having helped them with the lead.

But, he got a top even opposite that layout. This type of hand shows why matchpoints is an incredibly difficult and awesome game imo, you have to balance tactics with not being too ridiculous, trade off scientific accuracy with keeping them in the dark, etc. I have no idea if 2S or 2N or 3N is the best bid but they all seem at least somewhat reasonable.

I do agree that "source of tricks" is a bad argument for the bid though, prime cards are suit oriented and slow cards are NTy for a reason.
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