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probably a hand with no solution

#1 User is offline   2200 

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Posted 2018-September-30, 10:39

Teams, all white.

Pd opend 1C, RHO jumpd 2S, and you held
KQ
xx
QJ9xx
Axxx


At my table, my pd tried 2NT(which I strongly disagree), raised to 3. Not a success. Dummy put down
xxx
AQ10x
Kx
QJ9x


Quickly concede down 3, after a normal spade lead.Stopping at 2NT is irrelevant. The difference is extra -50.

At the other table, our opp didn't get any better. After 2S, 3D was bid(my preference, which is obviously an overbid but no other alternative). They quickly bid no play 5C.

Seems a hand with no solution.
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#2 User is offline   The_Badger 

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Posted 2018-September-30, 14:10

I suppose it all depends on what system you are playing. If 1 can be bid on 2+/3+ then it is far more difficult than a guaranteed 4+ (for example, standard Acol. Easy 1 - 3 limit raise). I agree 2NT (11-12 balanced?) is far from ideal, and nor is 3. However, make the J the J in opener's hand and 3NT is still a thin game but it has some play.

Where the opponents have used a weak jump overcall, many players might use 2NT as Lebensohl. But all in all it is one of those hands where the weak jump overcall achieved its objective against opponents who both have 12 counts.

However, there's a reasonable case for bidding 3 as responder here based on the probabilities of hand distribution. If I remember correctly 4333 shape only comes up about 10% of the time, so it more likely that partner has 4432/5332/5422/5431 etc. distribution so it's odds on (1-9 on) that he has more than a 3 card minimum suit, so if this can be taken as a limit raise, it's seems to me the best descriptive bid by responder.
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#3 User is offline   diana_eva 

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Posted 2018-September-30, 14:48

Doesn't look like a hand that needs to be in game. I like 2nt better than 3D and opener should just pass that, it's not forcing and he has no extras.

#4 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2018-September-30, 17:19

View Postdiana_eva, on 2018-September-30, 14:48, said:

Doesn't look like a hand that needs to be in game. I like 2nt better than 3D and opener should just pass that, it's not forcing and he has no extras.


Unfortunately partner's hand was Jxx, A109x, K10, Kxxx and 3N was cold on a spade lead, the N hand is actually potentially quite powerful, I tend not to crime anybody when you bid game with 2 flattish 12 counts, it often makes.
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#5 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2018-September-30, 18:42

View PostCyberyeti, on 2018-September-30, 17:19, said:

Unfortunately partner's hand was Jxx, A109x, K10, Kxxx and 3N was cold on a spade lead, the N hand is actually potentially quite powerful, I tend not to crime anybody when you bid game with 2 flattish 12 counts, it often makes.


Even better when it's a flat 12 opposite a flat 11.
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#6 User is offline   TylerE 

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Posted 2018-September-30, 21:27

View Postdiana_eva, on 2018-September-30, 14:48, said:

Doesn't look like a hand that needs to be in game.


12 highs, a decent 5 card suit, and partner opened in 1st or 2nd position. It's IMP scoring. Saying this hand should not be in game is resulting of the worst order.
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#7 User is offline   diana_eva 

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Posted 2018-October-01, 04:24

View PostTylerE, on 2018-September-30, 21:27, said:

12 highs, a decent 5 card suit, and partner opened in 1st or 2nd position. It's IMP scoring. Saying this hand should not be in game is resulting of the worst order.


I'm usually not shy to overbid, but after a 2S overcall that KQ in spades is of dubious value. I would bid 2NT.

Anyway advanced GIB agrees with you, it forces to game instead of bidding 2NT: http://tinyurl.com/y7blc4kw



#8 User is offline   P_Marlowe 

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Posted 2018-October-01, 05:18

Hi,

depending on your agreement set, you may or may not have a natural 2NT av. in the given seq.,
it is not uncommon to play 2NT as good / bad.
If I played a natural 2NT (10/11-12 bal., and a stopper), than I would use the bid.
Partner may or may not raise, he has a min opener, but than we play IMPs, but than we are green,
and missing a 50% game is not the end of the world.

If I play good bad 2NT, than depending on version
1) the bad hands go via 2NT, than I would bid 3C showing an inv. raise with clubs,
partner may or may not pass, or ask for a spade stopper.
2) the good hands go via 2NT, than I would bid 2NT, partner showes min 3C, and I may or
may not pass.

With kind regards
Marlowe
With kind regards
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#9 User is offline   wuudturner 

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Posted 2018-October-01, 07:45

I don't agree that there is no alternative to bidding 3♢. There are several, although it depends on the meaning of 2NT. Assuming that 2NT is just an offer to play and not forcing, it is a valid choice. In fact, this is one of those hands where you hate all of your choices, and of course, why they preempt. So, your choices are:

1. Double - obscene, since it really promises more than a doubleton heart. You don't want to see partner respond in any number of hearts here, and on this bidding, given a doubleton heart in your hand, the odds of 4 harts with partner are very high.

2. 2NT - not happy, since that spade holding is not terribly useful. However, they often preempt on complete trash these days. I'd not be amazed to see partner show up with Jxx in spades, or even Axx. Ax is also possible, but now your queen is wasted.

3. 3♣ - an underbid on strict point count, and an overstatement of your club holding. At the same time, 5 points for the spade KQ is a significant overestimate of the value of that holding most of the time. Partner can easily have a 3 card club suit, although 4+ clubs is likely. 3♣ will probably end the bidding there, and a plus score at IMPS is better than a minus score.

4. 3♢- a clear overbid. Forcing. These days, people (me included) are willing to open the bidding on air. That hand is simply not sufficient to essentially force to game, although at team scoring you can afford to be pushy.

So really, you have 3 semi-viable choices here, none of which are anything to write home about. I'd not fault partner for choosing any of options 2, 3, or 4, and I would NEVER say something at the table. For me, that would be a quiet discussion we would have in the parking lot after the game, where we would each try to see what partner did through their eyes.

My choice would probably have been 2NT (if it is natural and non-forcing), because 3NT is our most probable game if one exists for us, and this is team scoring. At match points, I would argue for 3♣.

If I did bid 3♢, I could see the bidding go:

1♣ - (2♠) - 3 ♢ - pass
3♡ - pass - 3♠ - pass
???

3♠ for me would now invite 3NT from partner, with help in spades. It suggests I may have something in spades, but am not willing to bid 3NT on my own. The nice thing is, now partner can bid 3NT if they do have that magic help in spades. The problem is, odds are they do not, and I have now just forced partner to make a choice at the 4 level, very often getting us wildly overbid on two semi-balanced hands. That means 3♢ is for me a Dirty Harry bid. Do you feel lucky, punk? So if I bid 3♢, it is because I am hoping I can get us to 3NT, because I hope that partner has help in spades!

And that is why at teams, this is an unhappy 2NT for me. The objective of bidding in bridge is often to find the smallest lie.
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#10 User is offline   gszes 

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Posted 2018-October-01, 09:41

absent the known long spade suit 2n or 3n would be the eventual contract depending on aggression. The fact that there IS a long spade suit should not be ignored since that long suit may very easily lead NT quickly into negative territory. This last fact would lead me away from any direct NT and end up making me choose 3d and I am not even all that sure I would consider it an overbid. This would be quickly followed by 3h and 3s with south settling for 4d as the final contract. The partnership has to realize that it takes more power to make 5m than 3n or 4M and here are 2 close to dead minimum hands for their bidding. The 2s bid made it tough to find the club suit but it at least steered us away from the hopeless NT route.
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#11 User is offline   ggwhiz 

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Posted 2018-October-01, 10:22

Everything has warts and big ones with that spade holding absolutely sucking for notrump and even worse for me, we open 1 often on 3-3-4-3 shape.

Since I can't decide between 2nt and 3 I follow my old standby rule. Throw them both out, go for door number 3 and PASS. If partner can reopen I'll come to life and if not expect a small plus.
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#12 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2018-October-01, 11:01

View Postggwhiz, on 2018-October-01, 10:22, said:

Everything has warts and big ones with that spade holding absolutely sucking for notrump and even worse for me, we open 1 often on 3-3-4-3 shape.

Since I can't decide between 2nt and 3 I follow my old standby rule. Throw them both out, go for door number 3 and PASS. If partner can reopen I'll come to life and if not expect a small plus.


The problems with pass are many.

Firstly, 3N will be anywhere from a decent to a good contract if he has a useful diamond holding, such as A10x, yet he should not be reopening with, say xxx Axx A10x KQxx, where we have good play on a diamond hook into the preemptor.

Give him Jxx KQxx Kxx KJx and he is also passing, and so on. IOW, on many hands where we belong in 3N, partner will be passing because he has the 'wrong' spade holding on which to reopen. Btw, I do see, on occasion, inexperienced players mistakenly thinking that playing negative doubles means one has to reopen any time responder and 4th seat pass. This is NOT TRUE. The reason to reopen with a double is that partner may be sitting there with a penalty double. If one holds Jxx in spades, and LHO bid 2S, there is virtually no chance at all that partner has a trap pass of 2S. More likely he has a blah hand, and if we reopen with spade length and a minimum hand, we are risking a disaster with no real upside.

Secondly, on hands where partner will reopen with a double, the odds are high that LHO has some spade length...at least 3 and sometimes 4. Give him any shape at all, and there is reason to think he has shape given our holdings, and he will raise spades.

Now partner is going to be forced to pass over 3S on many, many hands where we can make game. xx AQx Kxx KQxxx. We are odds on for 5C yet he'd be nuts to bid over 3S.

Sure, we can reopen....but if you think we have a difficult call over 2S, imagine our feelings after we pass and LHO bids 3S passed back to us.

So passing probably has us defending 2S whenever we can make 3N and probably has us guessing what to do over 3S whenever we can make 5C.

Note that this is not the same as saying....'if they bid 3S we can drive to 5C', since partner may hold, for example, x KQxx Axx KJxxx, and I'm being generous there, since he'd open with xx KQJx Kxx KJxx.

My 'solution' is the one that others have suggested, with nobody being happy: 2N.

We have several ways to win. Partner may raise and we have 9 winners....say xx Axx Axx KQxxx: all we need on the likely spade lead is a winning diamond hook, which is well over 50%

Partner may pass, and while we will usually drift off a couple of tricks, sometimes they were making 110, and we are only -100. Plus once in a while we take 8 tricks.

Partner may bid again....he may and should bid 3C with a weak hand and long clubs. He may have a BIG hand, and be reversing and we can get to 5C.

3D is a gross overbid, since we cannot handle many predictable developments. Pass is a gross under/misbid since we cannot handle the majority of predictable developments.

Finally, 3C is an under/misbid. I assume that 1C promised at least 3 (for me, and many, it would be 2+), but this is not the hand on which to play a moysian, and when he has long clubs, we may be making 3N. Consider the example I gave above of xx Axx Axx KQxxx. Why would he move over a competitive 3C? Wouldn't we all bid 3C with xx Qx Kxxx Axxxx? And of course why could he not have 10xxx AJxx Kx KQx?

2N is the smallest lie. So it didn't work. Tant pis.
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#13 User is online   rhm 

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Posted 2018-October-02, 03:55

View PostCyberyeti, on 2018-September-30, 17:19, said:

Unfortunately partner's hand was Jxx, A109x, K10, Kxxx and 3N was cold on a spade lead, the N hand is actually potentially quite powerful, I tend not to crime anybody when you bid game with 2 flattish 12 counts, it often makes.

Unfortunately what is the chance that opener will have 3 spades including a spade honor when the bidding starts 1-2.
Bridge is a game of probabilities

View PostTylerE, on 2018-September-30, 21:27, said:

12 highs, a decent 5 card suit, and partner opened in 1st or 2nd position. It's IMP scoring. Saying this hand should not be in game is resulting of the worst order.

I would immediately agree if your spades were KQx instead of KQ tight.
It has been known for ages that such things matter.
Here it matters a lot. Projecting what will likely happen in notrumps and who is more likely to win the race establishing his suit first is not very difficult.

There are times to be optimistic and there are times where you should be cautious.
That is what is called judgement. Resulting is the opposite.

A similar scenario arises when holding Ax in openers suit when considering an overcall in notrumps.
Some call this not a stopper because 4 HCP are tight up and you can not hold up long enough.
KQ tight is even worse. 5 HCP tight up and you can not even hold up for one round. In fact counting this as 5 HCP borders on insanity.

If you can not do better than counting HCP you will never get beyond the basics in this game

3 is the only sensible option with this hand assuming you play a standard system. Opener is very unlikely to hold less than 4 cards in clubs when the bidding starts that way.

Rainer Herrmann
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#14 User is online   rhm 

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Posted 2018-October-02, 04:25

View Postmikeh, on 2018-October-01, 11:01, said:


My 'solution' is the one that others have suggested, with nobody being happy: 2N.

We have several ways to win. Partner may raise and we have 9 winners....say xx Axx Axx KQxxx: all we need on the likely spade lead is a winning diamond hook, which is well over 50%

Partner may pass, and while we will usually drift off a couple of tricks, sometimes they were making 110, and we are only -100. Plus once in a while we take 8 tricks.

Partner may bid again....he may and should bid 3C with a weak hand and long clubs. He may have a BIG hand, and be reversing and we can get to 5C.

3hy could he not have 10xxx AJxx Kx KQx?

2N is the smallest lie. So it didn't work. Tant pis.

All very low probability scenarios.
Yes even I would bid notrumps if I deemed it likely that I will have 8 immediate winners outside of spades.
Experience has proven time and again that this is very unlikely when you hold a balanced hand with one ace.
We have the balance of points and aiming for a very likely minus score is not a way to win at this game.

Sorry you often make good points but this is just plain nonsense.

Rainer Herrmann
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#15 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2018-October-02, 05:07

View Postrhm, on 2018-October-02, 03:55, said:

Unfortunately what is the chance that opener will have 3 spades including a spade honor when the bidding starts 1-2.
Bridge is a game of probabilities



Odds on he has 3 (you know about 8 and no raise), less so he has an honour unless you know your opps, even 10xx/9xxx can be enough with J(x) in the other hand.
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#16 User is offline   P_Marlowe 

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Posted 2018-October-02, 06:12

View PostCyberyeti, on 2018-October-02, 05:07, said:

Odds on he has 3 (you know about 8 and no raise), less so he has an honour unless you know your opps, even 10xx/9xxx can be enough with J(x) in the other hand.

Unless I got auction wrong again, it is your turn, before the other opps has the
chance to raise.
Regarding Odds: We know 8 spades, sometimes only 7, the remaining spades will
split on av. 2/3 or 3/3, i.e. if partner has only 3 spades, he will have 4 clubs.

With kind regards
Marlowe
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#17 User is offline   JanisW 

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Posted 2018-October-02, 06:17

I am always amased at how little credit is given to WJO. There is no reason to asume that RHO does not have what he promised. If it started pass-1-2 I might agree to take it slightly less serious.
As it is Kxx might be a better spade-holding than KQ tight.
So 3 it is. Partner will have 4, unless he either is 4423 3433 4333. Neither holding is paricularly likely given the bidding.

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#18 User is online   rhm 

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Posted 2018-October-02, 06:19

View PostCyberyeti, on 2018-October-02, 05:07, said:

Odds on he has 3 (you know about 8 and no raise), less so he has an honour unless you know your opps, even 10xx/9xxx can be enough with J(x) in the other hand.

1) First you do not know whether your LHO has spades or not. The raise would come after your bid not before
2) You know only that RHO has at least 6 spades missing KQ. If he has only 6 spades missing the jack as well he would have a very empty suit. Not everyone preempts with a poor suit
3) Conclusion the chances that your partner has 3 (or more) cards in spades is less than 50%, since you know of at least 8 cards between RHO and you. Not what I would call odds on.
4) Give RHO the spade ace, which seems very likely. Assume for the sake of the argument your partner has 3 spades, which you consider odds on.
Since there are 10 cards left in spades the chance that one of 3 cards will be the jack is no better than 30%. Therefor overall chances for the holding must be less than 15%.

I said the probability for spade help is low. I have never said the probability is zero and even if you have a second stopper in spades, even then you have no guarantee 3NT will make. (Of course your chances have markedly improved in this unlikely case)

Rainer Herrmann
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#19 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2018-October-02, 06:43

View PostP_Marlowe, on 2018-October-02, 06:12, said:

Unless I got auction wrong again, it is your turn, before the other opps has the
chance to raise.
Regarding Odds: We know 8 spades, sometimes only 7, the remaining spades will
split on av. 2/3 or 3/3, i.e. if partner has only 3 spades, he will have 4 clubs.

With kind regards
Marlowe


Sorry I was considering the auction 1-(2)-2N/3-P- where opp has had a chance to raise, my problem is not initially, it's on the second round, if partner bids, he bids 3 on his actual hand, I bid 4 and there we rest, although probably he passes. I have no strong preference between 2N and 3, I don't bid 3.

I don't have this problem in the same way in my world, I KNOW partner has 4 clubs and almost certainly more than 4 in that he would actually open the hand opposite 1N rather than 1.
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#20 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2018-October-02, 09:38

View Postrhm, on 2018-October-02, 04:25, said:

All very low probability scenarios.
Yes even I would bid notrumps if I deemed it likely that I will have 8 immediate winners outside of spades.
Experience has proven time and again that this is very unlikely when you hold a balanced hand with one ace.
We have the balance of points and aiming for a very likely minus score is not a way to win at this game.

Sorry you often make good points but this is just plain nonsense.

Rainer Herrmann

Hi Rainer

I hope you meant 'sorry, you often make good points', rather than expressing regret that I do so :P

As for 'nonsense', you make some valid points but I think you've missed some considerations as well. I am not arguing that you've missed factors that make 2N a heavy favourite or indeed any kind of favourite, but:

Your analysis has the hidden premise that 3C will always be a safe contract, and this simply isn't true. Now, partner will probably have 4+ clubs, and 3C will be the better the longer his clubs, but why can't he be 3=4=3=3? It is unlikely, of course, but it is an error to analyze the choice between 2N and 3C on the unstated basis that one is risky and the other is bullet-proof.

Indeed, even if he has club length, there will be a (small) subset of hands on which 3N is a better contract that 3C! I do mean 'small', btw :)

Furthermore, your argument appears to assume that 2N locks one into notrump, and it shouldn't. Partner, with a terrible hand and long clubs, should pull...this is imps, not mps, and there is no shame in +110 when +120 might have been available. This argument wouldn't carry any weight were it not for our club Ace....a card partner won't have, so he can't 'know' his clubs are running. Again, I am arguing low frequency layouts. My point is that there are several low frequency layouts that cumulatively add up to a reasonable chance.

Again, if the argument were about a risky 2N (which I agree rates to lead to a minus more often than a plus) or a safe 3C, (the only downside of which would be missing the occasional game), I'd opt for 3C. But that is a false comparison, because 3C is not a sure thing. It is definitely much safer than 2N, but that isn't the point. As soon as one allows that 3C can lose by failing as well as by missing a game, the analysis becomes more difficult and less clear-cut.

Of course, you may well have understood all of this, and simply omitted some of the points for the sake of economy in posting (a habit I should probably try to develop). Anyway: do I like 2N? No, of course not. Would I choose it were I to be sure partner held 4 clubs? No, even tho 3C isn't always making even then. To me, 2N is a bad bid, but I believe that all of my choices are bad, and my tendency at imps, even white, is to choose the higher payoff unless one of the bad alternatives is significantly more attractive...here, 3C is more attractive but not by enough to sway me.
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