BBO Discussion Forums: NT vs. suit contracts - BBO Discussion Forums

Jump to content

Page 1 of 1
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

NT vs. suit contracts

#1 User is offline   amre_man 

  • PipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 21
  • Joined: 2012-June-12
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2013-October-15, 13:25

I am looking for reading material on when to bid a NT contract vs. a suit contract. Last night I opened 1 NT with 17 hcp with 3 3 3 4 distribution. My partner transferred me to 2 and then bid 3nt. I passed 3nt even though I had 3 card support, making 5 which topped all the 4 contracts. I was then told by my opponent that I should always, always, always take the 8 card trump suit. He was well intentioned and I took it that way. How do I find the analysis to prove or disprove his comment?

Along the same lines, when you are pursuing a slam in an agreed upon suit, what conditions do you look for to bid 6NT?

Thanks
1

#2 User is offline   TylerE 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 2,391
  • Joined: 2006-January-30

Posted 2013-October-15, 13:52

Point the 1st: I'd take any advice from opponents with a grain of salt
Point the 2nd: Given a known 5-3 fit in the major it's usually correct to be in 4M except when the parternership has known extras... 27-30 HCP or so is the sweetspot for playing 3N. Any weaker and you play 4M. With 31+ you start to think about slam, especially in a 9 card fit.
0

#3 User is offline   1eyedjack 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 6,575
  • Joined: 2004-March-12
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK

Posted 2013-October-15, 14:03

Many years ago Torbjorn Lindeloef ran a few sims that suggested that 5-3 major suit fits when both hands were balanced, particularly those with no ruffing potential in the short trump suit, should generally be eschewed in favour of NT.

But to answer the OP, depending on your methods there MAY be a wealth of a difference between recommended action after 1N-2R-2M-3N contrasted with 1N-2R-2M-2N. In the former, you can take more confidence that responder is balanced within the context of having a 5 card major. In the latter, if responder lacks a 6 card major and where a new suit would be GF, then responder could be quite distributional for the 2N bid and this argues for removing it back to 3M on any minimum with 3 card support. This can also help to find thin 4M games where responder, with added shape, is ill-disciplined enough to raise to game after a 3M "signout" secure in the knowledge of a fit. This sort of coup is particularly effective against the opponent in the OP, who is then so livid at the result that they then go and blow the next two hands in the round.
Psych (pron. saik): A gross and deliberate misstatement of honour strength and/or suit length. Expressly permitted under Law 73E but forbidden contrary to that law by Acol club tourneys.

Psyche (pron. sahy-kee): The human soul, spirit or mind (derived, personification thereof, beloved of Eros, Greek myth).
Masterminding (pron. mPosted ImagesPosted ImagetPosted Imager-mPosted ImagendPosted Imageing) tr. v. - Any bid made by bridge player with which partner disagrees.

"Gentlemen, when the barrage lifts." 9th battalion, King's own Yorkshire light infantry,
2000 years earlier: "morituri te salutant"

"I will be with you, whatever". Blair to Bush, precursor to invasion of Iraq
0

#4 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 3,616
  • Joined: 2003-May-14

Posted 2013-October-15, 14:04

Reading material: Matchpoints by Kit Woolsey.

Your opponent is wrong, it's very reasonable to pass 3nt when 4333 on this sequence. Some very good players advocate always passing with 4333 in fact, as the percentage action. Note after the transfer partner could have bid a minor if unbalanced. OTOH, if you had opened 2nt, or 2c and rebid 2nt, and partner transfers & rebids 3nt, he will be forced to do this when unbalanced far more often, so that makes supporting the major a better action.

If you want proof of analysis, then you can set up a computer simulation.

suit slam vs. 6nt:
depends a lot on MP vs. IMPS. You will try to play 6nt a lot more often at MPS, for the extra pts. At IMPS you just want to make, and if it's close often you need an extra trick from a ruff to get 12 so you play in the suit.

At MP:
6nt requires high card power or running suits. If you aren't sure you have enough tricks without ruffs but decent shot with ruff(s), play in the suit. If you are bidding low HCP slams that field isn't going to find, definitely want to be in a suit to give you extra chances, 6m kills everyone in 3nt even if 6nt makes.

If holding enough power that 6nt is an option, then:
6 major vs. 6nt: Tend to bid the suit holding all key cards, because sometimes there is a ruff, and this allows you to make 7. Missing an ace, then play in 6nt, since you will probably lose that ace in both contracts.
6m vs. 6nt: 6nt always outscores the minor, regardless of overtricks, so you tend to bid 6nt holding sufficient power regardless, if you think most of the field is reaching slam.

At IMPs, one bids 6nt if:
- holding sufficient power that 6nt should be safe, this avoids ruffs on opening lead & bad trump breaks.
- sometimes to protect a vulnerable stopper in a particular side suit, e.g. you hold Kx in a side suit, sufficient tricks elsewhere, but want to play 6nt from your side to protect that K instead of playing in partner's trump suit.
0

#5 User is offline   ArtK78 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 7,786
  • Joined: 2004-September-05
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Galloway NJ USA
  • Interests:Bridge, Poker, participatory and spectator sports.
    Occupation - Tax Attorney in Atlantic City, NJ.

Posted 2013-October-15, 14:14

I find it amusing that, after taking the same number of tricks in notrump that you would have taken in your 5-3 heart fit, the opponent told you that you should have played in 4. And, the opponent may have been correct - perhaps on a different defense or on a less lucky lie of the cards a heart contract would have scored more tricks than a notrump contract. But that is not always the case. And it is not like the suit contract police are going to come after you.

Tyler pointed out the time that it is often right to play in notrump - when the partnership has extra values beyond minimum game values. Other factors include vulnerable short suit positions, especially singletons or voids, which may produce extra tricks in a suit contract or may be a weak spot in a notrump contract.

As for determining whether to bid 6 of a suit or 6NT, there are several considerations. The ability to ruff in the short trump hand may produce an extra trick. Obviously, if a ruff is needed for your 12th trick you want to be in 6 of a suit. At matchpoints, you should not overlook the possibility that a ruff may give you a 13th trick that is not available to you in notrump. But if you have more than enough tricks without ruffing - say you have a source of tricks in a side suit - then you want to be in the higher scoring contract as long as there are no weak spots that can be attacked in a notrump contract. If there is an ace which has to be knocked out and your holding in another suit consists of Axx opposite x, you want to be in a suit contract.

Usually, if you are off an ace, you can determine if you have enough tricks elsewhere to make 12 tricks and that there are no problem holdings. Then you want to be in notrump for two reasons. First, it scores more. And second, your opponents may find a ruff if you play 6 of a suit.
0

#6 User is offline   amre_man 

  • PipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 21
  • Joined: 2012-June-12
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2013-October-15, 15:43

Thanks for the input. My distribution and my partner's bidding suggested I had stoppers in each suit and no transportation issues. Will find a Woolsey book and continue my reading. Thanks again.
1

#7 User is offline   barmar 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Admin
  • Posts: 19,776
  • Joined: 2004-August-21
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2013-October-16, 10:20

The problem with some of these answers is that the NT bidder rarely knows what's best. His hand is reasonably well defined from his opening bid, but partner's hand is not. In the auction given, you don't know if partner has extra values. He may have shortness in one of the side suits, so unless they're double-stopped 3NT could be precarious (your 4-card suit may be safe with a single stopper, since it's less likely they'll attack it early).

At matchpoints it may be worthwhile taking these risks. If 3NT makes, it's likely to take the same number of tricks as the major, since you're probably not going to ruff in the short hand, and that extra 10 points can give you a top. But you have to realize that it's a risk.

#8 User is offline   TylerE 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 2,391
  • Joined: 2006-January-30

Posted 2013-October-16, 11:06

For me it's simple... if I'm on a good balanced 5322 or similar, with 12-15, and partner opens 1N I just raise to 3.
0

#9 User is offline   barmar 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Admin
  • Posts: 19,776
  • Joined: 2004-August-21
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2013-October-16, 11:15

View PostTylerE, on 2013-October-16, 11:06, said:

For me it's simple... if I'm on a good balanced 5322 or similar, with 12-15, and partner opens 1N I just raise to 3.

That makes sense. When your hand is short a card, you want to keep the contract lower. :)

If you meant 5332, that's somewhat surprising. While it's not uncommon to advise against using Stayman when you're 4333, this is the first I've heard of avoiding a transfer when you're 5332.

#10 User is offline   TylerE 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 2,391
  • Joined: 2006-January-30

Posted 2013-October-16, 11:23

I really think there is a lot to be said for just blasting 3N at MP on a wider range of hands than is frequently considered "normal". Not only is 3N the superior contract (or, at least, not materially worse than 4M), but you gain from the defense making an essentially blind lead, without the benefit of knowing a suit in dummy or make a lead directing double or for 4th hand to stick in a lead directing bid.
0

#11 User is offline   barmar 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Admin
  • Posts: 19,776
  • Joined: 2004-August-21
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2013-October-16, 11:34

I remember an old Bridge World article with a similar suggestion about slam bidding.

#12 User is offline   lexlogan 

  • PipPipPipPip
  • Group: Full Members
  • Posts: 242
  • Joined: 2003-March-27

Posted 2013-October-16, 13:52

If responder would just as soon be in 3NT on a 5-3 fit, he can use Stayman rather than a transfer, playing 3NT when 5-3 or 5-2 and 4M when 5-4 or 5-5. I prefer the sequence 1NT-2D-2H-3NT to be the question, "Do you have three hearts?" rather than "Which contract should we play?" If you want to be in 3NT opposite 4333 but not 4324, then opener must be allowed to pass 3NT; but then reponder must bid a second suit on an unbalanced hand, when he may not have any interest in a minor suit contract. I don't care for that and I don't care for opener exercising judgment with less information than responder.
Paul Hightower
1

Share this topic:


Page 1 of 1
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

1 User(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users