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How does Acol bid the 4441 hand pattern?

#1 User is offline   32519 

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Posted 2014-February-24, 20:47

How does Acol bid the 4441 hand pattern, with the singleton anywhere?

Break your answer down into three parts:
1. 12-14 HCP
2. 15-16 HCP
3. 17+ HCP

(This post has been edited.)
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#2 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2014-February-24, 21:50

Those who play 4-card majors will in all cases open 1. I assume that partner response 2. Then opener will bid 2 if they are in their 1NT opening range, and some number of NT if they are not. Really big hands will probably open 1 and reverse with 2, preferring to lie about the minor rather than the major. But I am not positive about this one.

My regular partner and I play 5-card majors, and with him I open 1, because we have a way to show this hand after a GF raise.

With other people with whom I play 5-card majors I just decide which lie I can live with best. It's rare that I get into trouble -- they don't always respond 2.
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#3 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2014-February-24, 22:21

I, and I believe so does Vampyr, assume that by 4441 you mean singleton Club in the original question.
The breakdown of point ranges specified does not make sense. For example 14 point hands would normally be bid in the same way as 13 but not as 15.
So as stated above most would open 1H and with fewer than 15 rebid 2D over 2C.
In old fashioned style 2N rebid would be a nonforcing limit on 15-16, but in modern style it would be forcing with no upper limit (15+). (over 2C of course)

Quite a few have gradually been migrating to 5 card majors, some starting with only 5 card S suit which does not alter the above. But recognising that the 4-4-4-1 hand is the only reason that they are not playing 5 card H suit openings, some take the extra step of shoving this hand into the 1D opener, and then alert that 1D-2C-2D does not promise a 5th D, specifically if 4-4-4-1 with fewer than 15.

That's a problem with Acol. For decades now there has been no single Acol system. Few regular partnerships who profess to play Acol play the same way. I expect that you get more homogeneous treatment across the pond.
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#4 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2014-February-24, 22:55

I think there are also people who play artificial methods over 1 - 2 but I don't know the details of any. So if such people also played 5-cd majors, this would probably take care of the problem for them.
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#5 User is offline   32519 

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Posted 2014-February-25, 00:25

View Post1eyedjack, on 2014-February-24, 22:21, said:

I, and I believe so does Vampyr, assume that by 4441 you mean singleton Club in the original question.

Sorry, the OP has been amended.

Acol plays a weak NT (12-14), so how does Acol treat the 4441 hand (any singleton). Playing standard you are normally OK. Open in a minor, if partner replies in your singleton, often you can still bid a second suit on level 1. When your singleton is and partner bids it, you can bid 1NT to show 12-14 or rebid in the lower minor. Acol can't rebid 1NT (as standard bidders can) as that would show 15-16 HCP. How about opening 1NT with 4441 (any singleton) with 12-14 HCP? Do any Acol players do that?

The two treatments that I am really intrested in are these:
1. A 12-13 HCP 4441 hand (any singleton). This must surely be awkward for the Acol players.
2. A 4441 hand and exactly 15 HCP? With 16 you can possibly reverse?

I am really interested in how Acol treats these awkward hands.
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#6 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2014-February-25, 00:37

4441 stiff C 12-14
Nearly all the Acol players I know and have played with would open this 1D and rebid 2Ds. They would not open 1M because:
1H 2C
2D
would show 5H and 4D. We believe it is better to make a small lie about the D length that to lie about the M suit length. I guess in Aust Acol is a different flavour than old fashioned Acol in GB. This is probably because of the influence of the late Don Evans and the late Jim and Norma Borin. They pretty much played a style of Baronised Acol.

With any other stiff, the opening would be 1C

With 15+ The options are greater. Some would open 1NT, particularly if the stiff was an hon. Others would open 1D and reverse into the M over 2C. Obviously if a M is bid, the options are for a raise or a splinter if good enough.
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#7 User is online   gordontd 

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Posted 2014-February-25, 02:33

View Post32519, on 2014-February-25, 00:25, said:

The two treatments that I am really intrested in are these:
1. A 12-13 HCP 4441 hand (any singleton). This must surely be awkward for the Acol players.
2. A 4441 hand and exactly 15 HCP? With 16 you can possibly reverse?

I am really interested in how Acol treats these awkward hands.

I can't see why you think either of these is difficult in Acol. With three touching suits (ie singleton club or spade) open the middle suit and if partner responds in the singleton, rebid the next suit up. With a red singleton, open the suit below it and once again if partner responds in the singleton, rebid the next suit up. Doesn't matter whether you have 12-13, 15, or indeed any other number short of a game force. Why would you lie about your suit lengths by reversing?
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#8 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2014-February-25, 04:24

What Gordon says is standard although some older textbooks prescribe 1 with a singleton spades.

With a minimum and a singleton clubs you are supposed to open 1 and rebid 2 over a 2 response. As Ron says this is not ideal. Bidding diamonds twice is what you might do in some interpretations of SAYC but for almost all Acol players,
1-2
2
is nonforcing. So bidding this way with only four diamonds is not great.

I would open 1NT with a hand like
AQxx
Qxxx
KJxx
Q

but with reasonable hearts and/or a small singleton clubs I normally just open 1 and hope partner doesn't bid 2.
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#9 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2014-February-25, 06:32

Standard was already given: 1 with 1444/4144, 1 with 4414 and 1 with 4441. Some players prefer to open 1 with 4144 and as helene wrote some older (1970s) books give "the suit below the singleton", so 1 with 1444. My own preference is to open 1 with 4441 and make the sequence 1 - 2; 2 forcing for 1 round. That means that any time you open 1 or 1 and rebid a suit it shows a 5 card major.

As an aside, although one might reverse with a (4441) on certain hands it is absolutely not standard to do so and a reverse "promises" 5 cards in the original suit. The only really awkward hands here are the very strong ones, a feature that is common to many natural systems. In the past I have sometimes included a specific sequence for handling these, usually a 2 (reverse Benji) opening followed by a 2NT rebid. Indeed my first ever competitive grand slam came from such an auction (it also featured a LOOT).
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#10 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2014-February-25, 08:30

We do this in unusual fashion for an Acol pair. Our arrangements when holding no 5 card suit are simple (4432 and 4441):

We open diamonds if we have them
If we don't, we open clubs if we hold them
If we only hold major suits, we open hearts if we have them
If 4333 we open spades

Regardless of range

12-14 4441 we indeed open 1 and rebid 2 over 2.
15+ we rebid a GF not always balanced 2N over 2

With say 4144, we open 1 and rebid 1 with 12-14 or good 19-22 over 1, we'd probably rebid 1N with 15-bad 19

With 1444 we open 1, rebid 2 over 1 with 12-14, 1N with 15-bad 19, 2 with good 19-22.
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#11 User is online   hrothgar 

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Posted 2014-February-25, 08:41

FWIW, most of the books on Acol that I have said that you open the suit below the singleton.
(I don't have any books on "modern" Acol - most of them date back to the 60s-80s)
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#12 User is offline   jallerton 

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Posted 2014-February-25, 15:52

View Post32519, on 2014-February-24, 20:47, said:

How does Acol bid the 4441 hand pattern, with the singleton anywhere?



View PostVampyr, on 2014-February-24, 21:50, said:

My regular partner and I play 5-card majors, and with him I open 1, because we have a way to show this hand after a GF raise.


If you open 1 on this shape then you are not playing 5-card majors!
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#13 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2014-February-25, 16:41

I would think that, like all systems that don't waste a bid on it, the answer is "badly".
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#14 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2014-February-25, 18:06

View Postjallerton, on 2014-February-25, 15:52, said:

If you open 1 on this shape then you are not playing 5-card majors!


Well, it is pretty rare that we have this shape and 12-14 HCP, but anyway we usually tell our opponents we play "Five-card majors in principle".
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#15 User is offline   steve2005 

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Posted 2014-February-25, 18:54

4-4-4-1 difficult for any system any pt range.
I would thing in Acol would do better than other as it can start with 1
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#16 User is offline   Cascade 

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Posted 2014-February-25, 22:12

1. I never open a major - actually or style has some exceptions in 3rd and 4th seats

2. I open our rebid no trumps very frequently, especially with a stiff honour
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#17 User is offline   thebiker 

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Posted 2014-March-02, 16:44

With a minimum three suited hand one could/can pass and maybe reenter the auction later with a t/o double
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#18 User is offline   allias 

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Posted 2014-March-13, 18:05

Never open any 4441 hand in a major

If you have both minors open 1D and raise partners 1H bid or bid 1S, if partner bids 1S raise or bid 2C,
if partner bids 1NT raise his C suit,and if he bids clubs just raise [assuming 12/15]

If you have both majors open the minor you have and bid as above, if necessary rebid the minor

When it comes to points treat it as 12/15 or 16+[it is possible with 15 points and having found a major fit you
could treat it as a 16 count,look at your losers,so a major fit and 15 points and a 6 loser then treat it as 16 count]
With a 16+ count and say a singleton S [1D 1S you could now reverse into 2H]
Also with a 16+ hand you can jump raise lets say a singleton D [1C 1S 3S]

When you bid 2 suits you are saying you are a minimum 5 in the first and a minimum 4 in the second
So if you bid say: 1H 1S 2C partner may put you into 4H or even 6H on a 4.3 fit[not recommended]
[in all cases its better to lie about the minor suit than about a major]

So I reiterate don't open a 4441 hand with a major
After all playing 5 card majors[Americans,French,Germans etc.] they always open with the minor

Some of you may like to rebid NT when partner bids your singleton and you hold the correct point range
Personally its not my style as partner will expect 2/3 and may be annoyed to see a singleton, and also
you can only do this when you have the correct point count,but some leeway has to be given to these hands
as opener is forced to mislead partner whatever he does

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#19 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2014-March-14, 19:13

View Postallias, on 2014-March-13, 18:05, said:

Never open any 4441 hand in a major


This is an uncommon approach in English Acol.
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#20 User is offline   Cromlyn 

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Posted 2014-March-15, 03:56

4,4,4,1 (any singleton) is difficult in most systems. I am guided by my likely rebid before I open. If I have 15+ hcp I have the possibility of a no trump rebid but with 13 or 14 hcp perhaps the lowest suit in the hope I can rebid at the one level which would not promise additional values.

Originally Acol bidding books always advocated ‘open the suit below the singleton’ but that only works if you have the strength to rebid no trump!

With this distribution and 12 hcp I pass.
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