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To pass out .... or not?

#1 User is offline   661_Pete 

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Posted 2018-August-18, 08:13

I suppose passed hands are the least interesting facet of Bridge: "nothing to see here, move along please - to the next board"...

But of course, in duplicate (in my case pairs MPs) there's often a MPs value, positive or negative, in a passed hand.

Faced with this after three passes, playing Acol 12-14 1NT, N-S vul:

I didn't take too long deciding to pass out!

This meant that we had plenty of free time before the next round was called. One of my opponents - an experienced player - told me that statistically I chose the right option to pass on 11 with no biddable suit. More often than not, a light opening in this situation goes down.

But as it turned out, of the eight tables, six passed and two played - and made - 1NT to E-W. So not so good for us after all!

I had no agreement with partner to open 1NT on 11, I suppose I could have chanced it knowing that she couldn't have more than 11 herself so was unlikely to raise. And the odds were, we were likely to have more HCP than the opponents, so 7 tricks is a reasonable bet.

Should I add "1NT = 11-14 if fourth in hand" to my CC? Seems like there may be some value in it.
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#2 User is online   rmnka447 

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Posted 2018-August-18, 10:17

Don't judge your action from the result of one hand. Think more in terms of the long run. There'll be some days that passing will be a net negative, but there'll be other days that passing gets you an average plus or better. That's sort of the rub of the green on any given day. As long as they about even out over time, then you're probably pursuing a reasonable approach to opening.

But if the hands you pass skew toward negative results over time, then maybe you should consider opening a little more often. Likewise, if you open more "questionable" hands in pass out seat and find the results skew toward the negative, then maybe you should consider passing more.

In the end, you'll be a lot more happier, if you make your best judgment on any hand, move on to the next hand, and leave it at that.
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#3 User is offline   FelicityR 

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Posted 2018-August-18, 11:04

It's a poor hand, no honours in long suit, doubleton queen, more like a ten count than an eleven. There's only one situation I know of when you open on a similar hand in fourth seat. It is governed by the rule of 15.

http://howtoplaybrid...the-rule-of-15/

However, I might open 1NT in fourth seat playing Acol with KJT KT9 AT98 T98. That looks a 12 plus count because of all the intermediate cards and tenaces.
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#4 User is offline   kuhchung 

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Posted 2018-August-18, 12:46

4th seat decisions are much more than just hand evaluations. do your opps open light? is your partner very sound? do you have a large skill edge over opps?
Videos of the worst bridge player ever playing bridge:
https://www.youtube....hungPlaysBridge
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#5 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2018-August-18, 18:21

There are some Acol players who play 11-14 in 4th seat. It strikes me as unsound as partner will invite with 11 points, and 2nt with 22 points is not always safe. But maybe it works more often than not.
So there is someone who is more pedantic than I am. Good to know ;) --- Blackshoe
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#6 User is offline   kuhchung 

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Posted 2018-August-18, 19:53

do people really invite with 11 opposite 11-14? that's horrible. even worse than inviting with 8 opposite 15-17
Videos of the worst bridge player ever playing bridge:
https://www.youtube....hungPlaysBridge
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#7 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2018-August-18, 20:20

View Postkuhchung, on 2018-August-18, 19:53, said:

do people really invite with 11 opposite 11-14? that's horrible. even worse than inviting with 8 opposite 15-17

Yeah I think so. 11+14 is a bit better than 17+8. Also, sometimes responder has an 11-count with a 4- or 5-card major.

Weak notrump in 3rd/4th seat is one my pet peeves. Play 11-13 with nonconstructive responses or 14-16 with constructive responses.
So there is someone who is more pedantic than I am. Good to know ;) --- Blackshoe
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#8 User is online   rmnka447 

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Posted 2018-August-18, 21:40

View Postkuhchung, on 2018-August-18, 19:53, said:

do people really invite with 11 opposite 11-14? that's horrible. even worse than inviting with 8 opposite 15-17


The closer balanced hands are in value, the easier it becomes to make 3 NT with them. Weak NTers often see 12 opposite 12 making 3 NT especially when the bidding goes 1 NT-3 NT.

To invite with 8 opposite 15-17, you'd better have a good 8 hand, maybe something like Kxx xx KQ10xx xx, to make 3 NT a good bet opposite a max strong NT. But if you have Qx Kxx Jxxxx Qxx, you're probably better off passing 1 NT.

Likewise, a good 11 opposite a good 13 or decent 14 is often a good bet to make 3 NT. But just like over a strong NT, you have evaluate the overall quality of the hand not just use the point count to invite. Of course, making 2 NT on 11 opposite 11 can be a challenge at times, but that sort of goes with the territory.

The big reason that equal value hands have a trick taking advantage is that there are less problem moving between hands to be able to lead toward honor holdings.
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#9 User is offline   msjennifer 

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Posted 2018-August-18, 23:47

This hand has NINE losers.It does not satisfy the rule of twenty either.Opponents may discover and play in an easy makable 2H/S contract.Accordingly.an easy ALL PASS.INTERCHANGE spades and diamonds and I shall just consider ,but only just, to open 1 spade.
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#10 User is offline   msjennifer 

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Posted 2018-August-18, 23:50

Sorry.Duplicate post !
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#11 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2018-August-19, 03:30

If the Q was somewhere else, I'd open it like a shot, as is I think it's close, but I think this is a sub par 11 count (K&R gives 10.1) so I'd pass.

Remember opening 1N in a weak NT context is much better than 1 in a strong NT context in that opps have to come in at the 2 level when they are very likely to have the minority of the points
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#12 User is offline   PhilG007 

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Posted 2018-August-19, 07:09

What I like about duplicate is you can open on hands which would be thrown in at rubber bridge It tends to be forgotten that your true opponents are sitting in your direction.at the other tables I would open 1NT on 11-14 in fourth seat. Partner can still utilise Stayman and transfers. Of course it could also go belly up but,as in life,Fortune is allied to the brave.Posted Image
"It is not enough to be a good player, you must also play well"
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Bridge is a game where you have two opponents...and often three(!)


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#13 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2018-August-19, 07:21

Another point here is "what do you open ?" given that partner has passed.

I suspect we would open many of the hands where it's right to bid here but other people may not.
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#14 User is offline   gszes 

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Posted 2018-August-19, 07:33

Several things to take into consideration when deciding to open (light) in 4th seat:
1. Do I have a rebid? Not in this case if p bids 1h my 1n rebid shows 15-17 and passing 1h is hugely speculative and rebidding 2d or 1s?? ughh
2. How easy is it for the opps to outbid us? In this case we may easily be outgunned in both majors
3. Is my opening bid at the very least lead directing? Nope

Everything points to passing. Check the tables that played 1n and see if they played 15-17 so at least a 1n rebid was feasible. If not credit the players that opened 1n with winning while swinging.
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#15 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2018-August-19, 08:02

View Postgszes, on 2018-August-19, 07:33, said:

Several things to take into consideration when deciding to open (light) in 4th seat:
1. Do I have a rebid? Not in this case if p bids 1h my 1n rebid shows 15-17 and passing 1h is hugely speculative and rebidding 2d or 1s?? ughh
2. How easy is it for the opps to outbid us? In this case we may easily be outgunned in both majors
3. Is my opening bid at the very least lead directing? Nope

Everything points to passing. Check the tables that played 1n and see if they played 15-17 so at least a 1n rebid was feasible. If not credit the players that opened 1n with winning while swinging.


1 is not in the frame playing what the OP plays, it's pass or 12-14 1N.
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#16 User is offline   PhilG007 

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Posted 2018-August-19, 08:16

View Postgszes, on 2018-August-19, 07:33, said:

Several things to take into consideration when deciding to open (light) in 4th seat:
1. Do I have a rebid? Not in this case if p bids 1h my 1n rebid shows 15-17 and passing 1h is hugely speculative and rebidding 2d or 1s?? ughh
2. How easy is it for the opps to outbid us? In this case we may easily be outgunned in both majors
3. Is my opening bid at the very least lead directing? Nope

Everything points to passing. Check the tables that played 1n and see if they played 15-17 so at least a 1n rebid was feasible. If not credit the players that opened 1n with winning while swinging.


1. "Do I have a rebid"? Opposite a passed hand you don't need one as any change of suit is no longer forcing.
2 Yes Its possible that could happen but you'll never know until you have a go and its cowardly not to compete for any part score Although partner has passed.he too could well be holding 10-11 pts.
3. "Is my opening bid lead directing"? An opening 1NT doesn't promise a specific suit so partner has a free choice if the opponents buy the contract
and he becomes the opening leader.
"It is not enough to be a good player, you must also play well"
- Dr Tarrasch(1862-1934)German Chess Grandmaster

Bridge is a game where you have two opponents...and often three(!)


"Any palooka can take tricks with Aces and Kings; the true expert shows his prowess
by how he handles the two's and three's" - Mollo's Hideous Hog
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#17 User is online   rmnka447 

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Posted 2018-August-19, 10:37

As to the actual hand being discussed, I'd pass.

The hand is 11 with 2 QTs and there are negative features to the hand. The long suit although intermediates is not headed by an honor. The Q8 in not worth full value and the Q is dangling. If you want to open an 11 in 4th seat let it be something like AQx xx AJ109x xxx or Axx xx AQJxx xxx. Same points but the points are working together.
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#18 User is offline   Left2Right 

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Posted 2018-August-19, 11:06

One slight modification to the Rule of 15, I suggest: When I hold fewer than four spade cards, I mentally change it to the Rule of 16 (usually slightly more defense). Reason: If my passed opponents chime in with spades, I hate being pushed to the three level where I am either set with such a minimal hand or can't double and wish I had settled for positive zero originally by passing. When I have the spades, it's more likely that "they" will be ones pushed to the three level.

I've had noticeably better results with this little tweak. 8-)
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#19 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2018-August-19, 15:52

Opps are vulnerable so even if they have spades there's a chance they will keep quiet.

I would pass but I think it's close, provided that opening balanced 11 counts is acceptable in the partnership.
So there is someone who is more pedantic than I am. Good to know ;) --- Blackshoe
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#20 User is offline   msjennifer 

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Posted 2018-August-20, 00:26

It is lightheartedly said that in Bridge one has two opponents and sometimes three.I would overlightheartedly say FOUR as the fourth is oneself.
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