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Unlucky or bad bidding

#1 User is offline   mr1303_2 

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Posted 2018-December-06, 02:29




I suppose slam on these cards will often go down, but finding Qx of hearts in the slot and diamonds 3-3 produced an ugly +710, which felt pretty bad.

Should we do more, and if so, whom?

Our auction, by the way, continued as follows:

X(no leaping Michaels), 3C (a good 3C, 2NT would be Lebensohl)
3H (F1), 3NT (suggestion)
4D (Still forcing) 4H (suggestion)
P (looks like a misfit)
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#2 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2018-December-06, 04:45

4H is dreadful. Every card in North's hand is working and partner has forced to game. North's hand should produce at least 3 tricks.

If I had to guess a contract, I would try 6H. However, I have the luxury of a 4S cue or a 5H call to suggest bidding 6 with good trumps. My instinct is to go with 5H. If partner cues I can reconsider whether we should be in 7.
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#3 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2018-December-06, 04:48

If anybody should do more it's S, but not clear they should, tough hand. Also not sure leaping michaels will help unless you play it as always absolutely huge.
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#4 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2018-December-06, 05:03

View PostCyberyeti, on 2018-December-06, 04:48, said:

Also not sure leaping michaels will help unless you play it as always absolutely huge.


We do play it as huge - you are forcing to game on your own.

But we don't promise a sixth heart, so it would still look like a misfit.
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#5 User is offline   GrahamJson 

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Posted 2018-December-06, 05:05

I wouldn’t lose too much sleep over this. 6H is an ok contract, but certainly no better than that, particularly given the 2S opening increases the chances of bad breaks. I think your sequence looks perfectly reasonable to me. Maybe one or other could have done more, but I don’t blame either for taking the safe option.
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#6 User is offline   The_Badger 

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Posted 2018-December-06, 05:24

View Postmr1303_2, on 2018-December-06, 02:29, said:

I suppose slam on these cards will often go down


I would be horrified - as you were - to be making 4M+2 or 4M+3 on these cards. Other than the opponent's opening bid, there's absolutely nothing that suggests you shouldn't be in slam on these cards. As to how you get there, that's another matter.

Given that a direct 3 by South would be interpreted as a Western Cue Bid, I'm ever-so-slightly-but-not-totally-convinced in favour of a leaping Michael's Bid here (4) to show s + s though as Cyberyeti has rightly indicated South's hand is an extreme example, and most Leaping Michael's hands would be bid on far less and be typically 5-5 usually than this near rockcrusher of a 6/5 with two suits headed by AK. It's a shame that South hasn't got the sequence Double - 3 - 4 available as a delayed Leaping Michael's here showing a more powerful type of hand.
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#7 User is offline   GrahamJson 

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Posted 2018-December-06, 05:51

Hmm. For slam to make you need trumps 32 onside (about 32%) or diamonds 3-3 (40% of the remaining 68%), and that’s not including hands with two certain trump losers. Off the top of my head that’s about 55%. That seems to me to be pretty boarderline, a slam you’d be happy to be in but shouldn’t be too worried about missing.

Also, would the bidding go differently if south had AKxxxx in hearts instead of AKJxxx? Without the jack it becomes a very poor slam, with even five being far from safe.
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#8 User is offline   The_Badger 

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Posted 2018-December-06, 08:28

View PostGrahamJson, on 2018-December-06, 05:51, said:

Hmm. For slam to make you need trumps 32 onside (about 32%) or diamonds 3-3 (40% of the remaining 68%), and that’s not including hands with two certain trump losers. Off the top of my head that’s about 55%. That seems to me to be pretty boarderline, a slam you’d be happy to be in but shouldn’t be too worried about missing.

Also, would the bidding go differently if south had AKxxxx in hearts instead of AKJxxx? Without the jack it becomes a very poor slam, with even five being far from safe.


That's the problem with borderline slams, Graham, just one card can make the difference. If the hand was x AKxxxx AKJxx K swapping the red suit jacks, the slam looks a far better proposition. Whilst I totally agree that the slam may prove difficult as it stands on the cards in the OP's diagram, I would still be a little miffed that we chose the safe option of game on the bidding and didn't even contemplate a higher level. And then when dummy's actual cards hit the table, I may then think again "better to be in game here, despite the controls and the good suits" :)
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#9 User is offline   msjennifer 

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Posted 2018-December-06, 08:56

Sir,since we do not know what North may hold, we will not double but make a bid of 3S as the presence of that Hj tempts us to fish for a game in hearts or in diamonds. Very little is required in Norths hand for this purpose.A small slam also can not be ruled out.The TOD on such a strong TWO suited may be difficult to describe accurately later on.Personally ,since the partnerships detailed treatment of such a hand is not known, it would be improper on my part to find a fault with any of these bids .
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#10 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2018-December-06, 09:05

View PostTramticket, on 2018-December-06, 05:03, said:

We do play it as huge - you are forcing to game on your own.

But we don't promise a sixth heart, so it would still look like a misfit.


Is AKJxx, AKxxx enough for the bid ?

I meant bigger than that, AKQxx, AKJxx slam is playable if not great, 10 makes it decent, you are not going to value outside quacks, so you will either have really good suits, an extra card or a side K (and not stiff if in spades).
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#11 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2018-December-06, 09:11

View PostGrahamJson, on 2018-December-06, 05:51, said:

Hmm. For slam to make you need trumps 32 onside (about 32%) or diamonds 3-3 (40% of the remaining 68%), and that’s not including hands with two certain trump losers. Off the top of my head that’s about 55%. That seems to me to be pretty boarderline, a slam you’d be happy to be in but shouldn’t be too worried about missing.

Also, would the bidding go differently if south had AKxxxx in hearts instead of AKJxxx? Without the jack it becomes a very poor slam, with even five being far from safe.


This is rubbish, it also makes any time E is 6(32)2 or 6Q??, you cash a top trump and K, diamond to Q, A pitching a diamond, K and then ruff the third diamond, if the ruff stands up or the overruff is from 3 trumps or W has Q109 so there is no overruff you are home.
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#12 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2018-December-06, 19:40

I don't think South can do more. He has a good hand but there could easily be a ton of red suit losers and North doesn't always have A. With the actual North hand, the 5-level is not safe, and without A you even need some luck to make 4.

But I agree with sfi that North should have done more, although I wouldn't go so far as to call 4 "dreadful". If South has only five hearts, 5 could be too high.

4 looks like the right contract, though.
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#13 User is offline   rmnka447 

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Posted 2018-December-07, 01:41

The +710 might "feel bad", but a look at the conditions needed for that to occur and their probabilities will make you understand that the result was a very lucky one.

It takes 3-3 , 3-2 , and the queen onside for +710. If any of those conditions isn't there, you're not making +710. Since all must occur simultaneously, the probability is the product of multiplying together the probability of each condition happening. It's roughly then 36% (3-3 ) X 68% (3-2 ) X 50% (Q onside) which comes out to about a 12% chance they will all occur. So it is a very lucky hand.

Given the bidding agreements you have, I don't think the bidding was bad. You did about as good as you could with the tools available. But you might want to discuss with your partner bidding with 2 suited hands over weak 2s. If you have to double and then bid both suits to show the big 2 suiter, you may not in some auctions be able to show both suits. Also, bidding that way does put quite a burden on the takeout double.

With most of my partners, we use a Roman Jump overcall structure for big 2 suiters (5-5 or better, 16+) where a jump in a new suit over a weak 2 shows the suit bid and the next higher unbid suit. That way responder has immediate information on what overcaller holds.

But as Tramticket alluded to in his comment about using leaping michaels, it doesn't highlight the 6th in overcaller's hand.
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#14 User is offline   GrahamJson 

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Posted 2018-December-07, 04:31

View PostCyberyeti, on 2018-December-06, 09:11, said:

This is rubbish, it also makes any time E is 6(32)2 or 6Q??, you cash a top trump and K, diamond to Q, A pitching a diamond, K and then ruff the third diamond, if the ruff stands up or the overruff is from 3 trumps or W has Q109 so there is no overruff you are home.

Agreed. My initial analysis was a bit pessimistic, but I did say it was off the top of my head. I still wouldn’t lose sleep over this. As Reece says in Practical bidding and practical play, no partnership is good enough to bid every slam that comes their way. The sensible thing is to bid the obvious ones and not worry too much about the others. In this case both partners have maximums for their bidding and as a consequence they miss a reasonable, though far from lay down, slam.
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#15 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2018-December-07, 04:59

View PostCyberyeti, on 2018-December-06, 09:05, said:

Is AKJxx, AKxxx enough for the bid ?

I meant bigger than that, AKQxx, AKJxx slam is playable if not great, 10 makes it decent, you are not going to value outside quacks, so you will either have really good suits, an extra card or a side K (and not stiff if in spades).


No, X, AKJXX, AKXXX XX is not strong enough for Leaping Michaels (in our partnership).

I can see your logic - it is difficult to construct a hand consistent with LM where slam is not playable. Maybe 4, followed by 5NT pick-a-slam.
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#16 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2018-December-07, 05:40

View Postrmnka447, on 2018-December-07, 01:41, said:

The +710 might "feel bad", but a look at the conditions needed for that to occur and their probabilities will make you understand that the result was a very lucky one.

It takes 3-3 , 3-2 , and the queen onside for +710. If any of those conditions isn't there, you're not making +710. Since all must occur simultaneously, the probability is the product of multiplying together the probability of each condition happening. It's roughly then 36% (3-3 ) X 68% (3-2 ) X 50% (Q onside) which comes out to about a 12% chance they will all occur. So it is a very lucky hand.


I don't know why you are analyzing a grand slam. Nobody has suggested bidding a grand. But a small slam is a good contract. You only need below average luck to make a small slam.
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#17 User is offline   wuudturner 

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Posted 2018-December-07, 07:51

The slam is simply not that truly great. Certainly not enough to be horrified at having missed. At most, disappointed. Making 13 tricks will still give you an above average score in many games.

Given the bidding and the known spade length in the East, a quick simulation shows the opposing heart length to be roughly:

West length
4-5 cards ~ 33%
3 cards - 40%
0-2 cards - 27%

So 6♡ is in deep trouble when West has 4 or more cards, unless you get pretty lucky.

When West has exactly 3 cards, 60% of that time the Queen will be wrong. So you would want diamonds 3-3, or be able to safely ruff a diamond. Can you really cash one high trump, then play to ruff a diamond? If West has 3 cards, then East has a doubleton. If East also has diamond shortness, then only if West has exactly QT9 will East not be able to overruff dummy. And if East has 6 spades and 2 hearts, then East has 5 cards in the minors. Roughly half the time they will be distributed so East has no more than 2 diamonds.

So we really are talking a roughly 50% slam, and one that is difficult to bid. It just is not worth losing a lot of sleep over.

As for the bidding, you might have tried 3♠ directly. Then when partner bids 3NT as I expect they might on this hand, now 4♡. Partner might now get the hint their cards are prime, so they might go further.
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#18 User is offline   gordonyao 

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Posted 2018-December-07, 08:41

After 4, 4 was an underbid, because two aces and q in south's second long suit were more that gold for him. I would try a cue bid 4 to show slam interest.
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#19 User is offline   GrahamJson 

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Posted 2018-December-07, 09:21

View Postgordonyao, on 2018-December-07, 08:41, said:

After 4, 4 was an underbid, because two aces and q in south's second long suit were more that gold for him. I would try a cue bid 4 to show slam interest.

Whilst I don't dispute that the aces and the diamond queen are great cards don't forget that the 3C bid showed values, although exactly how good these are depends on your agreement. Also, I consider south's hand to be just about as good as it could possibly be on the bidding so far. I wonder, would he bid the same with KJxxxx of hearts, say, or without the diamond king? If so then you certainly don't want to venture beyond the four level.
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#20 User is offline   rmnka447 

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Posted 2018-December-07, 12:05

View PostGrahamJson, on 2018-December-07, 09:21, said:

Whilst I don't dispute that the aces and the diamond queen are great cards don't forget that the 3C bid showed values, although exactly how good these are depends on your agreement. Also, I consider south's hand to be just about as good as it could possibly be on the bidding so far. I wonder, would he bid the same with KJxxxx of hearts, say, or without the diamond king? If so then you certainly don't want to venture beyond the four level.


The crux of the bidding rests on some understanding of how weak a hand the Lebensohl 2 NT sequence shows, how strong a simple suit bid can be, and minimum strength for a cue in response to the takeout double. Different people will have different views on where these will be. I play with one really fine player who thinks you need 8 or 9 counts to just bid a suit and Lebensohl 2 NT with lesser hands. I also play with other very good players where a decent 6 count is enough to avoid the Lebensohl 2 NT drop dead sequence.

You need understandings not only about advancing the takeout double, but also exactly what's expected when you double and show 2 suits (i.e. the big 2 suiter). IMO, neither of the alternate examples you pose would qualify as a big 2 suiter for me. I'd be overcalling 3 with both and trying to bid later, if possible.

I'd probably respond 3 to the takeout double, but not without some trepidations. IMO, advancer's hand is close, but not quite enough for a cue. The question is what should advancer do over doubler's 4 call. Qx has turned to gold giving advancer 3 cover cards for doubler's losers. OTOH, if doubler is simply 5-5 in the red suits, slam isn't necessarily a sure thing. Tough decision, but I'd probably give it one try with a 4 call.
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