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Bidding Huge balanced hands

#21 User is offline   rhaas 

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Posted 2019-April-21, 20:54

We just play:

2NT = 20-22
2-2-2NT = 23-25
2-2-3NT = 26-28

We also play that 2-2 is an immediate double negative (0-3 HCP, no Ace or King) so 2-2-2NT is game-forcing -- partner has already promised sufficient values for game.

I think it's a mistake to focus too much on high card points. The original poster was worried about partner turning up with Qxx Jxx xxxx Kxx, but if partner has instead Qxxx Jxxx xx Kxx, you need a 3-3 break in one of the red suits to make 6NT. But if partner has Axxxxxx and out, neither 6H nor 6NT is in any danger unless hearts break 4-0, and even then you may be able to set up diamonds or fall back on the club finesse. So, it's often partner's shape that is the critical ingredient, more than exact HCP strength.

But that being said, if partner has no useful shape and just wants to count HCP, that works fine too, if you use 3-point ranges. If it goes 2-2-3NT showing 26-28 (or 25-27) and partner has 5 (or 6) HCP and a balance hand, 4NT by partner gives you the option to either pass or bid 6NT depending on whether you have a maximum or minimum. With 2-point ranges this is a lot less useful. Partner's strength is already so narrowly constrained that you're not really asking a meaningful question.
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#22 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2019-April-22, 06:13

View PostHardVector, on 2019-April-21, 19:47, said:

You will note I was responding to the original question.


Congratulations.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
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#23 User is offline   rookil 

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Posted 2019-April-22, 09:07

View PostLiversidge, on 2019-April-20, 02:03, said:

We play 3 weak 2s and the 2 response to 2 is a waiting bid, which might have as many as 10 HCP and no good 5 card suit.

Suppose I have AK KQ9 AKQxx AQ3, 27 HCP. Partner replies 2 (waiting). If I rebid 2NT partner might pass with 0-1 HCP. If I bid 3NT showing 25-26 and partner has a balanced 6 HCP with something like Qxx Jxx xxxx Kxx she will pass while 6NT is a laydown with a combined 33 HCP. And my 3NT rebid prevents a weak responder from showing a second negative.
How do I bid balanced hands with 25+ HCP after partner responds 2.


I prefer not to use 2D waiting. Most of the better partnerships I play in show controls over 2C. I.e. 2=0controls 2=1control 2=2controls 2NT=3controls 3=4controls etc. where K=1control and A=2controls. With the hand in question, if partner responds 2, showing no A's or K's, you sign off in 3NT as you know that slam has less than 50% chance. If partner responds 2, showing one K, you know he has the K of clubs,(the only one missing) and you can investigate a small slam. If partner bids 2, showing one ace or two k's, you know he has the A of hearts (the only one missing,he can't have 2 K's)and you will almost surely bid a slam. And if partner bids 2NT, showing an A and a K, or three K's, you know he has both of the missing controls and will probably bid a grand.

It seems to me that it is much easier for the big hand to find out a few things about responder's hand than it is for responder to find out lots of things about opener's big hand. The most relevant things for slam bidding are often controls followed by support for a long suit.
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#24 User is offline   fromageGB 

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Posted 2019-April-22, 09:29

Opener opening or rebidding 2NT with a 2-point range is extremely desirable, as responder has to make an instant game decision. Kokish is good if you have no other choice, but the downside is that it it tends to destroy constructive bidding when opener has a 2-suiter with hearts. Having said that, a compulsory 2 tends to destroy that as well, so for the novice/beginner do look at Kokish.

With a 3NT rebid, however, responder does not have an instant game decision to make, so the bid can be wider ranging. Responder will be using 4NT and 5NT as slam invitations, so the 3NT rebid can be happily made with a 3-point range. I play all 2NTs as 2-point ranges, but a very simple
3NT = 25-27
4NT = 28-30
5NT = 31-33
6NT = 34-36
7NT = 37. (Or 37-40 if you are dealt 14 cards)
Not that I have ever had anything greater than 3NT, but it is comforting to know I can bid something with no strain on memory : just 3-point range steps.

A couple of contributors have mentioned bids in reply to 3NT, but I play simple puppet stayman and 4-suit transfers (spades to clubs). Of course everything is a level higher than normal, but you are at least in game anyway.
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#25 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-April-22, 10:24

View Postrookil, on 2019-April-22, 09:07, said:

I prefer not to use 2D waiting. Most of the better partnerships I play in show controls over 2C. I.e. 2=0controls 2=1control 2=2controls 2NT=3controls 3=4controls etc. where K=1control and A=2controls. With the hand in question, if partner responds 2, showing no A's or K's, you sign off in 3NT as you know that slam has less than 50% chance. If partner responds 2, showing one K, you know he has the K of clubs,(the only one missing) and you can investigate a small slam. If partner bids 2, showing one ace or two k's, you know he has the A of hearts (the only one missing,he can't have 2 K's)and you will almost surely bid a slam. And if partner bids 2NT, showing an A and a K, or three K's, you know he has both of the missing controls and will probably bid a grand.

It seems to me that it is much easier for the big hand to find out a few things about responder's hand than it is for responder to find out lots of things about opener's big hand. The most relevant things for slam bidding are often controls followed by support for a long suit.


Nobody any good plays this, it may work on this hand but imagine (with opener holding something more normal) the auction starting 2-P-2-3M now opener can be describing his hand at the 4 level, god forbid responder has some sort of 5-5 hand. Most of the time you'd have got a 2 overcall over 2-P-2 and had a much easier time.
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#26 User is offline   miamijd 

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Posted 2019-April-22, 17:56

View PostStephen Tu, on 2019-April-20, 08:52, said:

I find it very weird to utilize Kokish to establish 2 pt range NT ladder. I thought the original development of Kokish relay was to put all 25+ NT into 2c-2d-2h-2s-2nt, so that responder had utilization of the normal gadgets over 2nt to find suit fits at a sane level. These 2 pt ladder systems seem to sacrifice this for these tight ranges. This also frees 2c-2d-3nt as a simply "to play" bid with a running suit + stoppers opposite 2d which IMO is best played as limited.
Are people really seeing frequent major positive swings by having 2 pt ladder vs. your peers who don't?

I just play 2c-2d-2nt = 22-24, 2c-2d-2h-2s-2nt as 25+, with 28+ opener bids again over game signoffs. Over 2c-2d-2h-2s-2nt you can also theoretically have sequence for responder to warn 28+ that he is really broke, to avoid getting higher than 3nt.


Stephen:

As you know, you have to balance the gains from breaking the 22-27 hands into 2-point (instead of 3-point) ranges against the losses from not having your 2NT system available for 26-27 hands.

The 22-25 hands come up over 40 times more often than the 26+ hands. So I focus on the 22-25 hands, and there, the two-point range is a lot easier to handle when investigating slam.

But maybe your experience is different.

Cheers,
Mike
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#27 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2019-April-22, 19:21

View PostCyberyeti, on 2019-April-22, 10:24, said:

Nobody any good plays this, it may work on this hand but imagine (with opener holding something more normal) the auction starting 2-P-2-3M now opener can be describing his hand at the 4 level, god forbid responder has some sort of 5-5 hand. Most of the time you'd have got a 2 overcall over 2-P-2 and had a much easier time.


Yes, the method is poor, but to be fair, when responder shows 2 controls you are forced to game, so opener can just bid 2NT.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
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#28 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2019-April-22, 20:36

Hi all

Thanks for the interesting thread.

I'm curious about this conversation and the discussion on Kokish. However what strikes me is that the ranges used by the OP are such as to cause the problem in the first place. Surely what partnerships should do is to choose systems and conventions that do not have a gap in NT auction that could lead to the chance of game being missed with a 25-27pt no trump or slam being missed with 32-33+ points. If this situation can occur then it means that the NT ranges in the bidding system are incorrect. This situation should never occur. I thought most people would consider a 3NT rebid rather than 2NT to indicate 25-27 points

I guess everyone plays things differently and it has been highlighted that some partnerships prefer to not go above 2NT with a big hand. In this case surely partner should bid accordingly and not pass on a game force. It cant be played both ways.

Kokish sounds interesting but it seems to me that life is being made unnecessarily complicated when all that is required is reasonable NT ranges and an agreement on the quantitative ranges for game and slam

However I was brought up on Acol where everything seems nice and simple with clearly defined ranges :)

One other thing though, I would hope to always be in a partnership that erred on the side of going down 1 trick in 3NT or 6NT rather than missing out because of a 1 point calculation. So I would always err that way and be rather upset with any partner that stopped by underestimating the potential of their combined hands. That of course is up to partnership agreement or taking the matter of point adjustment into your own hands to reduce risks

regards P
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#29 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-April-23, 01:54

View PostVampyr, on 2019-April-22, 19:21, said:

Yes, the method is poor, but to be fair, when responder shows 2 controls you are forced to game, so opener can just bid 2NT.


Not over the opponents' 3M overcall they can't and that was my point
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#30 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2019-April-23, 08:16

View PostCyberyeti, on 2019-April-23, 01:54, said:

Not over the opponents' 3M overcall they can't and that was my point


Ah, right.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
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#31 User is offline   HardVector 

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Posted 2019-April-23, 12:34

Controls works great on hands that the 2c opener already knows where they want to play. If you open a balanced 22-24 hand, then controls do nothing for you, because what you really want to know is what kind of shape your partner has. I was mentoring someone who insisted on controls and we had this auction: 2c-3c(4 controls)-3n(balanced 22-24)-p. Missing a cold 6d. The auction was elevated to the point where everyone was guessing what to do instead of having a cooperative discussion of where to play. The kind of hand it works great on, is something like; AKQJxxx A Kx Axx. Now you hear 4 controls, you can go ahead and bid 7n because you can see partner has an A and 2 K's.
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#32 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-April-24, 02:47

View PostHardVector, on 2019-April-23, 12:34, said:

Controls works great on hands that the 2c opener already knows where they want to play. If you open a balanced 22-24 hand, then controls do nothing for you, because what you really want to know is what kind of shape your partner has. I was mentoring someone who insisted on controls and we had this auction: 2c-3c(4 controls)-3n(balanced 22-24)-p. Missing a cold 6d. The auction was elevated to the point where everyone was guessing what to do instead of having a cooperative discussion of where to play.


Clearly with KKKK, responder should bid a slam (34 HCP minimum). With AKK, responder should make a very strong slam try (32 HCP minimum). With AA, responder should make a mild slam try (obviously depends on responder's shape and presence of other honor cards)(30-32 HCP minimum, so probably plays better in 6 if you have a suit fit). Responder should not woodenly pass 3NT and not take another look at their hand and take into account that opener has shown 22-24 HCP.
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#33 User is offline   fromageGB 

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Posted 2019-April-24, 03:33

Controls are good, but in my opinion they are best used when a suit is agreed and not before. If you bid controls immediately after 2, say a 2NT bid, you are not giving room for opener to describe his hand when he is 2-suited, and you may not end up playing in the best contract. The method I prefer is to keep the initial bidding low, such as a mere 2-step reply. 2 positive (for me 1+ aces or kings) and 2 negative (no ace, no king) allows opener to make a non-GF bid opposite the negative, or to bid a suit GF over 2. If this suit is a major, responder now has room to show support (eg 3+ cards) or deny support by bidding the next step. Over a major support denial, opener can now bid a second suit to let responder support that or give preference.

Responder shows support by NOW giving his number of aces or kings, in steps. In this way you know that you are in the best fit as well as knowing controls.

I prefer number of aces/kings rather than controls (A=2,K=1) because it keeps the bidding lower, so opener can ask for other values first. There is always room to ask for aces, and the given reply therefore tells opener how many kings responder has.
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#34 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-April-24, 11:01

View PostHardVector, on 2019-April-23, 12:34, said:

Controls works great on hands that the 2c opener already knows where they want to play.

With such a hand we play that he jump bids his suit to impose trumps and invite responder to control bid (indifferent first or second level). We won't miss slam if it is only a question of control of all four suits, and with a different hand with uncertain direction we can still pattern out as usual. I think this is fairly common as an agreement and superior to counting controls.
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#35 User is offline   bravejason 

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Posted 2019-May-17, 17:41

I prefer to stick to standard treatment and just bid to the appropriate level of no trump. To memorize a system for a set of hands that occur rarely just doesn’t seem practical to me unless you are a very experienced player who plays all the time.
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#36 User is offline   HardVector 

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Posted 2019-May-20, 18:39

And the moral of the story is...learn a strong club system.
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#37 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-May-21, 04:01

View PostHardVector, on 2019-May-20, 18:39, said:

And the moral of the story is...learn a strong club system.


I play a strong club system that incorporates Kokish for game forcing NT hands.
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