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Missed game and even slam spades

#1 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2018-September-11, 20:41

Hi all

Just playing a few robot IMP hands and was dealt this

http://tinyurl.com/ycgcl2yb

Even though I had 3 aces and 14 points I didn't like my trump suit much. The robot jumped to 3S and I should at least have bid 4S which is what almost everyone else did. And most of them made all 13 tricks, but that was due to the wrong lead by the robot. C lead clearly stops slam. There are really only 11 safe tricks I think. My play was bad and I only made 10 but thats a different matter. If I had that hand by the robot I think I would have bid something stronger than a 3S limit because of the good trumps, the long diamonds and the two short suits.

Anyway, I would be interested for any thoughts on this hand. Seemingly nobody else saw the slam to bid it so its probably too risky to bid because of the C losers.

I need to improve bidding and lay to avoid missing this but I think the response could have been stronger too

regards P
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#2 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

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Posted 2018-September-11, 21:24

The robots have tons of bugs in them, you can't expect them to make all the close judgment decisions. Yes it should bid more with the good 6-4 shape. But you should bid more also; 3 aces is good, you shouldn't worry too much about the trumps because you have a 9 cd fit. Even opposite 4 small you can get out for 1 trump loser 40% of the time. And vul at imps you want to be in 40% games, you shouldn't be shy about bidding them especially when you are at 3 level already. The gain is huge if game makes, while the losses small when it doesn't, sometimes the loss is REALLY small because 3 is already down, and 4 is only down 2. So vul you need to be bidding on anything remotely close. Any 14, any kind of shape, I'd only pass with bal/semi-bal 12-13.
On the play, you aren't taking the best line; basically you are suppose to play for diamonds 3-2, ruffing out the Q, then using the long diamonds to pitch all your club losers. You shouldn't have taken any heart finesse as it's unneeded once the trumps and diamonds split friendly. Basically draw trumps, 3 rounds of diamonds ruffing the third, ace of H, ruff H, pitch clubs on long diamonds, crossruff. Generally it's nearly always better to rely on long combined suits splitting (8 combined in diamonds will split close to 68% of the time) than finesses (only 50% to work). When you have sufficient entries to develop and run a long side suit, setting it up is usually plan A.

I'd suggest getting a copy of some/all of Bill Root's "How to Play a Bridge Hand" (and "How to Defend a Bridge Hand"), or Victor Mollo/Nicholas Gardner "Card Play Technique", if you wish to improve your play & defense.

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#3 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2018-September-11, 21:53

View PostStephen Tu, on 2018-September-11, 21:24, said:

The robots have tons of bugs in them, you can't expect them to make all the close judgment decisions. Yes it should bid more with the good 6-4 shape. But you should bid more also; 3 aces is good, you shouldn't worry too much about the trumps because you have a 9 cd fit. Even opposite 4 small you can get out for 1 trump loser 40% of the time. And vul at imps you want to be in 40% games, you shouldn't be shy about bidding them especially when you are at 3 level already. The gain is huge if game makes, while the losses small when it doesn't, sometimes the loss is REALLY small because 3 is already down, and 4 is only down 2. So vul you need to be bidding on anything remotely close. Any 14, any kind of shape, I'd only pass with bal/semi-bal 12-13.
On the play, you aren't taking the best line; basically you are suppose to play for diamonds 3-2, ruffing out the Q, then using the long diamonds to pitch all your club losers. You shouldn't have taken any heart finesse as it's unneeded once the trumps and diamonds split friendly. Basically draw trumps, 3 rounds of diamonds ruffing the third, ace of H, ruff H, pitch clubs on long diamonds, crossruff. Generally it's nearly always better to rely on long combined suits splitting (8 combined in diamonds will split close to 68% of the time) than finesses (only 50% to work). When you have sufficient entries to develop and run a long side suit, setting it up is usually plan A.

I'd suggest getting a copy of some/all of Bill Root's "How to Play a Bridge Hand" (and "How to Defend a Bridge Hand"), or Victor Mollo/Nicholas Gardner "Card Play Technique", if you wish to improve your play & defense.


Hi Stephen

Many thanks for the tips. I used to play many years ago but my play is very rusty so I regard myself as an experienced beginner trying to relearn my play. My brain isnt what it used to be. Somedays I play really well and other times I let myself down with really bad strategy, especially as declarer. I nearly went to 4S above. It was quite interesting that one other table ended up in 3S+4. They were an advanced and epxert pair who missed the 4S bid via a 3D jump shift which is one of the bids I was considering. Would a splinter or 2D bid be appropriate as responder there or is the hand not strong enough. To me I would have forced/encouraged to game. Thanks again for the advice

thanks P
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#4 User is online   msjennifer 

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Posted 2018-September-12, 02:20

Sir,my opinion is that you were correct in passing the 3 Spade bid.Your hand has 7 losers and the 3S bid asks you to bid 4S with 6 losers.And NO THE HCP COUNT IS HARDLY THE CRITERION on which you bid a hand when a suit fit is found.The Robots hand has only 6 losers and a bid of 4S , if not a splinter bid 4H, was on the cards. It was your hard luck that you got a Robot as your partner.18-6-7=5 and so 5H was your sides limit. I am not a bidder who bids correctly after seeing the results hence all the justfications.
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#5 User is online   gordontd 

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Posted 2018-September-12, 02:52

View Postmsjennifer, on 2018-September-12, 02:20, said:

Sir,my opinion is that you were correct in passing the 3 Spade bid.Your hand has 7 losers and the 3S bid asks you to bid 4S with 6 losers.And NO THE HCP COUNT IS HARDLY THE CRITERION on which you bid a hand when a suit fit is found.The Robots hand has only 6 losers and a bid of 4S , if not a splinter bid 4H, was on the cards. It was your hard luck that you got a Robot as your partner.18-6-7=5 and so 5H was your sides limit. I am not a bidder who bids correctly after seeing the results hence all the justfications.

It seems automatic to me to accept the game invitation: the hand does have 3 1/2 quick tricks and 14 hcp.
Gordon Rainsford
London UK
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#6 User is online   msjennifer 

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Posted 2018-September-12, 03:54

View Postgordontd, on 2018-September-12, 02:52, said:

It seems automatic to me to accept the game invitation: the hand does have 3 1/2 quick tricks and 14 hcp.

SIR,We do not play by "TRICKS OR HCP when a suit fit is found.The LTC is far superior and has accurately given a corect maximum contract of 5 H.We gave up long ago on the concept of TRICKS from the era of CULBERTSON,GOREN et al.The Robot has never given an indication of a heart singleton nor a six carded diamond suit headed by KING.His hand could easily have been KQ10x,xxx,KQJ,xxx which the robot again would have responded 3S .If the heart K is offside one goes down in 4S.Please note that this hand of robot has then 8 losers and the LTC again gives the correct result of 18-8-7=3.However I do not even suggest that others use this method, which please note.Kindly note that this LTC may not be 100 per cent correct and I ,humbly, do not suggest so.Gadgets fail in many cases as one knows.One has to find the and use the better one as per ones choice and experience.AS I have pointed out the Robot has grossly under valued the hand which has only Six losers.We ,by our methods ,would make a bid of 4S and on a sunny day a splinter bid of 4H. Please understand that I am not criticising the method of Quick Tricks at all.
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#7 User is offline   diana_eva 

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Posted 2018-September-12, 04:39

View Postgordontd, on 2018-September-12, 02:52, said:

It seems automatic to me to accept the game invitation: the hand does have 3 1/2 quick tricks and 14 hcp.


What Gordon says. To put it in a different way, you're 1 point shy of a strong 1nt opener. That 3-ace 14hcp hand is not a bad hand at all.

View Postthepossum, on 2018-September-11, 20:41, said:


Even though I had 3 aces and 14 points I didn't like my trump suit much.



You're evaluating hands based on shape, which is a good step forward from bean counting, but aces are pretty cool as well. And when robot jumps to 3 he's showing at least 4-card fit so you will know you have at least a 9-card fit.

This post has been edited by diana_eva: 2018-September-12, 04:42


#8 User is offline   eagles123 

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Posted 2018-September-12, 04:54

yes u should raise, but 3 spades from the GIB wow
"definitely that's what I like to play when I'm playing standard - I want to be able to bid diamonds because bidding good suits is important in bridge" - Meckstroth's opinion on weak 2 diamond
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#9 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2018-September-12, 04:58

View Postgordontd, on 2018-September-12, 02:52, said:

It seems automatic to me to accept the game invitation: the hand does have 3 1/2 quick tricks and 14 hcp.


I don't think it's automatic to accept by a long way (KQJxx, KJx, Qx, xxx is a supermax with VERY little play), although I think I would accept. The problem is that the robot has no judgment and should be bidding 4 (or 3 fit if it plays that), and you need to take that into account.
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#10 User is offline   nekthen 

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Posted 2018-September-12, 05:00

If 3 is a normal invitational raise, then I do not think I would accept.
If my partner only bid 3 on the North I would be upset with him (and I play 4 card majors)

I think

KJxx
xx
Kxxx
Qxx

is a respectable raise to 3 and you are less than 50% to make 4
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#11 User is offline   diana_eva 

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Posted 2018-September-12, 05:04

Did you guys see you're vul at IMPs? It's auto to accept, even if you feel it's stretching, but I don't think it's stretching at all.

#12 User is online   gordontd 

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Posted 2018-September-12, 05:24

View PostCyberyeti, on 2018-September-12, 04:58, said:

I don't think it's automatic to accept by a long way (KQJxx, KJx, Qx, xxx is a supermax with VERY little play)

It has mirror shape and lots of wastage. Not a reasonable counter-example.
Gordon Rainsford
London UK
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#13 User is online   gordontd 

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Posted 2018-September-12, 05:27

View Postnekthen, on 2018-September-12, 05:00, said:

If 3 is a normal invitational raise, then I do not think I would accept.
If my partner only bid 3 on the North I would be upset with him (and I play 4 card majors)

I think

KJxx
xx
Kxxx
Qxx

is a respectable raise to 3 and you are less than 50% to make 4

It doesn't look like a respectable raise to 3 to me, yet you are still around 50% to make. What odds do you want to bid your vulnerable games at IMPs?
Gordon Rainsford
London UK
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#14 User is offline   Lorneg 

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Posted 2018-September-12, 06:21

I play with Robots a lot, and I know that their bidding is just horrible.
They have been around for 12 years that I know of and have not
improve much over that time. In todays world of Hi Tech they
should have improved much more that they have. BBO has to do
something about them soon so some kids will make them obsolete.

I would like to see Robots that could play my CC. I believe that it
could be done.
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#15 User is offline   The_Badger 

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Posted 2018-September-12, 06:33

Having found a fit in s total points come into consideration. It is in this day and age acceptable to think of a 25 point major suit game. Maybe when you were playing previously, that number was 26, even for some 27.

As partner has shown 10-12 total points, add that to 14 high card points that you already have, and its better than evens that you should bid game. If partner has only 10 total points then you might fail, but with 11 or 12 you have a total of 25-26.

Even with 25-26 you may go down, but in the long run you will gain more by bidding games as opposed to safely settling for a part score.
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#16 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2018-September-12, 06:38

View Postgordontd, on 2018-September-12, 05:24, said:

It has mirror shape and lots of wastage. Not a reasonable counter-example.


Yes, but doesn't have to be maximum.

I think there are many normal invites where you're around the "don't mind if I'm in it or not" percentage, with some either side.

Want to be in it opposite the 4243 version of partner's actual hand (add J if you want) ? Yes you do although it's far from laydown (50% ish), but partner has well placed high cards for you, want to be in it opposite KQJx, xxx, KJx, Jxx no you really don't (25%) and I think there are many hands that fall between these.

Curiously a 5th trump may not be the boon partner thinks it is particularly if he has KQ(J).
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#17 User is offline   neilkaz 

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Posted 2018-September-12, 11:01

View Postthepossum, on 2018-September-11, 21:53, said:

Hi Stephen

Many thanks for the tips. I used to play many years ago but my play is very rusty so I regard myself as an experienced beginner trying to relearn my play. My brain isnt what it used to be. Somedays I play really well and other times I let myself down with really bad strategy, especially as declarer. I nearly went to 4S above. It was quite interesting that one other table ended up in 3S+4. They were an advanced and epxert pair who missed the 4S bid via a 3D jump shift which is one of the bids I was considering. Would a splinter or 2D bid be appropriate as responder there or is the hand not strong enough. To me I would have forced/encouraged to game. Thanks again for the advice

thanks P


I recommend studying declarer play every day as you know it is a major weakness. As Steven points out, it is easy to take 13 tricks after the trump lead. Your line of play was not optimal, but you still had a chance to rescue things. You must pay attention to long suits. You have an 8 card fit in and once they split 2-2 you should know that you can ruff out their final and have 3 winners in dummy. Your line did this, but then you missed it. The Q fell on trick 8 so now your J is high and you already saw east show out. Therefore, you play the good J and pitch a and it will be very clear to pitch 2 more on the remaining .
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#18 User is offline   neilkaz 

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Posted 2018-September-12, 11:13

"They were an advanced and expert pair who missed the 4S bid via a 3D jump shift which is one of the bids I was considering."

This is likely due to a mix up concerning Bergen or Reverse Bergen raises. I assume you're referring to making a strong jump shift to 3. These should be reserved for hands with at least some slam interest..ie a much better hand.

As most others point out, you have an automatic 4 bid and at any form of scoring. A 9 card fit is very nice, and you shouldn't have major worries about trump suit quality, when you have 9 of them and are only contracted for 10 tricks. 3 aces is an upgrade for a suit contract for sure.
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#19 User is offline   maartenxq 

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Posted 2018-September-12, 11:24

View Postmsjennifer, on 2018-September-12, 02:20, said:

Sir,my opinion is that you were correct in passing the 3 Spade bid.Your hand has 7 losers and the 3S bid asks you to bid 4S with 6 losers.And NO THE HCP COUNT IS HARDLY THE CRITERION on which you bid a hand when a suit fit is found.The Robots hand has only 6 losers and a bid of 4S , if not a splinter bid 4H, was on the cards. It was your hard luck that you got a Robot as your partner.18-6-7=5 and so 5H was your sides limit. I am not a bidder who bids correctly after seeing the results hence all the justfications.

Madam,
Thank you for explaining to me why I refuse to play LTC. Bidding by inspection is even superior to this judgement. We Play imps, partner invites, I have a non minimum so I bid game and see what happens. I also can quote Bob Hamman who said: Never be afraid to bid lousy games, there is more to win than to loose. Alas is my declarer play not at the same level, but stil.

Maarten Baltussen
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#20 User is offline   miamijd 

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Posted 2018-September-12, 23:06

Your hand is a clear raise to game over a limit raise -- not even close.

That being said, I have some advice for playing with the bots. Unless you opened some 10-count that you would pass in a flash in "real" bridge, go to game over ALL 4-card limit raises the bots make (yes, even with a mangy, balanced 12-count). The bots' limit raises are generally very heavy; they bid 3M with hands that should either bid 2NT, splinter, or else just go to 4S.

Do NOT adopt this strategy, however, over 3-card limit raises (i.e., 1NT followed by a jump to 3M). There, the bots' evaluation is more normal, and is even on the aggressive side. That is, the bots will occasionally make a three-card limit raise on a hand where I would have settled for a heavy single raise. So bid normally over 3-card limit raises.

Best,
Mike
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