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Which takes precedence? Losers or HCP, which takes priority?

#1 User is offline   steve_____ 

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Posted 2019-April-19, 04:55

Hi

If I have a hand with say 13 HCPs, but the hand also has 9 losers should I open?

The hand in question had 3 aces and a J (giving me 13 HCPs), but with 9 losers I think maybe I should not open.

Can anyone give me some advice please?

Thanks
Steve
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#2 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-April-19, 05:02

If you don't open this, you're going against the field, I never use LTC anyway. Aces are somewhat undervalued much of the time.
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#3 User is offline   fromageGB 

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Posted 2019-April-19, 06:53

Further to Cyberyeti, losers are meaningless unless you have a known trump fit. When you do, losers are best used as a decider if you cannot make your mind up by other methods, but length of fit and hcp are much more important.
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#4 User is offline   steve2005 

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Posted 2019-April-19, 10:29

Open all 13 hcp hands.
Sarcasm is a state of mind
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#5 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2019-April-19, 10:41

View Poststeve_____, on 2019-April-19, 04:55, said:

Hi If I have a hand with say 13 HCPs, but the hand also has 9 losers should I open?The hand in question had 3 aces and a J (giving me 13 HCPs), but with 9 losers I think maybe I should not open. Can anyone give me some advice please?ThanksSteve


Players brought up in the Culbertson era, automatically open with more than two and a half honour-tricks. Almost all players would open with
A 3 2 A 3 2 A 3 2 5 4 3 2

At the mere mention of LTC, the typical BBO expert reaches for his gun.

In contrast, even without a suit agreed, we stubborn journeymen supplement our feeble judgement with crude evaluation methods like WTC. Binky, Zar, etc..
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#6 User is online   johnu 

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Posted 2019-April-19, 13:04

I would open with 3 aces and no jack.
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#7 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2019-April-19, 14:22

View Postjohnu, on 2019-April-19, 13:04, said:

I would open with 3 aces and no jack.

Or 1 Jack and no aces ...

:)
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#8 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-April-19, 14:51

View PostTramticket, on 2019-April-19, 14:22, said:

Or 1 Jack and no aces ...

:)


Who needs a jack ?
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#9 User is offline   rmnka447 

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Posted 2019-April-19, 16:07

I'm probably in the minority here, but use primarily HCP and quick tricks as the main tools to decide opening or not.

Typically, an opening bid would normally be at least 12 HCP and 2 QTs. With more or less QTs, the opening HCP scale slides down or up respectively. So 11 HCP and 2 1/2 QTs, 13 HCP and 1 1/2 QTS are also openers. When you get to 14 HCP hands or hands with 3+ QTs, they are generally all openers for me.

This approach is best characterized as reasonably sound/middle of the road opening. If you want to lower those some to be more aggressive, that's OK.

Top American expect, Larry Cohen described his three major partners over the years in terms of their approaches to bidding. Marty Bergen, his first partner, was uber-aggressive. Ron Gerard, his second partner, liked very sound bidding. David Berkowitz, his current partner, is more middle of the road. Larry has won National level events with each of them. His point is that there isn't one way of bidding that is necessarily superior to the others.

What is important is that you feel comfortable with whatever style you adopt. Also, that you find a partner or partners, that bid in a compatible manner.

We all know that hand evaluation extends into a number of factors beyond QTs and HCP. Where I think LTC is useful is in those situations where you are at the cusp between bids. It may be a tool that helps you decide to go one way or the other. Let me give some examples:

Kxx
Axx
KJx
xxxx

11 HCP/2 QTs/9 losers clearly a pass for me.

Kx
Axxx
KJxxx
xx

11 HCP/2 QTs/7 losers. While this also falls short on the HCP/QT criteria, LTC makes this look like an attractive 1 opener.

A109x
AQ109x
xx
xx

10 HCP/2 1/2 QT/7 losers and working intermediates. Again short on HCP/QT, but LTC makes this also looks like an opener. BTW, this hand fails the Rule of 20.
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#10 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2019-April-19, 16:37

I passed a hand with 3 Aces once

Learned my lesson
Never did so again
Alderaan delenda est
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#11 User is offline   aawk 

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Posted 2019-April-20, 02:10

holding a 4333 pattern with 3 aces and a jack (9 ltc) playing for imps and vunarable in seat 1 or 2 pass is ok for me but it also depends what kind of system the opponents play and the strength of the field.
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#12 User is offline   steve_____ 

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Posted 2019-April-20, 02:11

Thanks to everyone for all the replies, really helping me.
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#13 User is offline   gszes 

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Posted 2019-April-20, 09:15

when I first began playing I would regularly pass with hands with only 3 aces A5432 A3 A54 543 for ex: this actually worked well in the world of the bridge club I was playing in at the time since no one would believe it. The problems began when p wanted to consider slam and since I was a passed hand they would never consider the idea I might hold 3 aces. It also became a problem in competitive sequences where once again p could not picture me having those 3 aces. In the long run I probably won a few matchpoints that way but got killed once I gravitated to imps. Partners also get quite agitated when you routinely pass with 3 aces so it is not a great idea from that perspective either. Another thing to think about when you decide to pass with 3 aces how much more will you add to those 3 aces and still pass? I feel in the long run it is a bad habit that only gets worse over time.
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#14 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-April-20, 09:41

View Postgszes, on 2019-April-20, 09:15, said:

when I first began playing I would regularly pass with hands with only 3 aces A5432 A3 A54 543 for ex: this actually worked well in the world of the bridge club I was playing in at the time since no one would believe it. The problems began when p wanted to consider slam and since I was a passed hand they would never consider the idea I might hold 3 aces. It also became a problem in competitive sequences where once again p could not picture me having those 3 aces. In the long run I probably won a few matchpoints that way but got killed once I gravitated to imps. Partners also get quite agitated when you routinely pass with 3 aces so it is not a great idea from that perspective either. Another thing to think about when you decide to pass with 3 aces how much more will you add to those 3 aces and still pass? I feel in the long run it is a bad habit that only gets worse over time.


Yeah, it's embarrassing when you pass your 3 aces, partner passes his KQJxxx xx and an ace in 4th, and you get passed out at one table, 3N= at the other.
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#15 User is offline   msjennifer 

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Posted 2019-April-20, 13:11

Sir,the losing trick count is to be considered NORMALLY if the hand has a 5 + card suit headed by at least one of the top three honors.It is not worth using it for a flat 3334 hand when making the first bid.For such a hand one has to count the quick tricks that the hand can provide in defence.One should have PREFERABLY at least two(and possibly 2and half tricks).Once you open a flat hand then if your side finds a 8+card fit the Loser count begins.If there is no such fit one must never count losers.There are other ways like rule of twenty etc for unbalanced hands.However,the 13 HCP hand mentioned by you has to be traditionally opened even without the Knave in all seats. In the 4 th seat one MAY pass with xxx-Axx-Axx-Axxx as per ones mood that day.I have passed such a hand only once only to discover that Opponents would have come in and comfortably scored at least 8 tricks in a 2S contract as it happened at all other tables Good Luck.
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#16 User is online   johnu 

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Posted 2019-April-20, 13:40

View PostCyberyeti, on 2019-April-20, 09:41, said:

Yeah, it's embarrassing when you pass your 3 aces, partner passes his KQJxxx xx and an ace in 4th, and you get passed out at one table, 3N= at the other.


Or partner has made a tactical pass with 10 solid and you and the opponents pass the hand out.
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#17 User is offline   miamijd 

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Posted 2019-April-20, 22:51

Bridge is a bidder's game. You don't win by sitting there and making life easy for the opponents. If your hand justifies making a bid, bid.

Always open 13 HCP -- period. I would say open 99.5% of 12 HCP hands; the only time I would pass is if I had something like:

QJx QJ QJxx Kxxx

Three Aces and a Jack? That's almost a 1NT opener. Make the J the Q and I probably open a 15-17 NT.

Cheers,
Mike
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#18 User is offline   dsLawsd 

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Posted 2019-April-21, 00:33

You may like to read Jeff Rubens "The Secrets of Winning Bridge" on hand evaluation including a modified LTC to handle close decisions.

Another older but fine book is "Morehead on Bidding" that deals somewhat in theory.

But I suspect almost all today would open something with 3 aces in all forms except Chicago 4 deal $ in the right situation....0

Your thinking a study is great keep it up!
DAVE
$00
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#19 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-April-21, 03:39

There are also some slightly different considerations depending on whether you play weak or strong NT.

Playing a weak NT, there is the occasional 12 count I will pass in third seat, much less of an issue in strong NT.

Playing a strong NT in 4th seat, you don't want to let them in with an easy 1M overcall, so might pass some hands you have to open 1m where you would open a weak NT
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