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Tricky Decision Competitive bidding, LoTT

Poll: Tricky Decision (29 member(s) have cast votes)

What do you bid as East over 2S?

  1. pass (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  2. 3D (9 votes [31.03%])

    Percentage of vote: 31.03%

  3. 3S (4 votes [13.79%])

    Percentage of vote: 13.79%

  4. 4D (9 votes [31.03%])

    Percentage of vote: 31.03%

  5. 5D (6 votes [20.69%])

    Percentage of vote: 20.69%

  6. Other (1 votes [3.45%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.45%

To what extent did you take into account Law of Total Tricks?

  1. Not at all (3 votes [10.34%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.34%

  2. Marginal (9 votes [31.03%])

    Percentage of vote: 31.03%

  3. Important (16 votes [55.17%])

    Percentage of vote: 55.17%

  4. Decisive (1 votes [3.45%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.45%

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#1 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-September-06, 13:29

A tricky decision from a MP tournament yesterday.



Given the auction so far, what do you bid now as East?
Partner is quite aggressive at this vulnerability but would rarely intervene at 2-level with less than 6-card in a minor.
How if at all does Law of Total Tricks effect your decision?
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#2 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2019-September-06, 13:59

4D for me.
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#3 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2019-September-06, 16:53

It seems likely that the opps are on a 5-3 fit, which usually means that a Law-abiding South might be reluctant to bid over 3D by us. However, it is possible that opener has extra shape, such as 5-5, and will take a call.

So 3D, hoping to buy it but allowing South to bid 3H or 3S, the former possibly hitting a home run with North (a good north does not deny hearts by bidding 2S: if his hand is only worth a single raise, he should raise with 3 spades and not double even with 5+ hearts). While I generally like my chances against 4S, I won't be comfortable defending 4H.

So that suggests 4D, but while that diminishes the risk of their finding 4H, when that is right, it doesn't eliminate it, and in any event I still have a decision over 4S, should they bid it, and I may be turning a plus in 3D into a minus in 4D..

Finally, although not a big fear, if I preempt to 4D, and LHO bids 4M, maybe partner, thinking I have no defence, will take a phantom.

I think I'd like to know something about my opps. If I think they are conservative, I bid 3D and probably bid 4D next. If I think they are aggressive, I bounce to 4D and then decide what to do later, but expect to be passing. A double is likely to cost at least a trick against good players, since it telegraphs the trump break and we may have no trick to spare (assuming we can beat 4S).
'one of the great markers of the advance of human kindness is the howls you will hear from the Men of God' Johann Hari
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#4 User is offline   FelicityR 

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Posted 2019-September-06, 22:11

I'm bidding 3 [not a typo] here as a FNJ (Fit Non Jump). I want partner to know I have a good raise in s, not some pre-emptive hand plus indicate an alternative lead. I can raise in s later. Partner doesn't need much for 5 to be viable. He/she could have bid 3 on the first round with a six card suit and a weak hand, so I will take the 2 overcall as better than just interference.
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#5 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-September-06, 22:52

View Postpescetom, on 2019-September-06, 13:29, said:

Given the auction so far, what do you bid now as East?
Partner is quite aggressive at this vulnerability but would rarely intervene at 2-level with less than 6-card in a minor.
How if at all does Law of Total Tricks effect your decision?

While partner may be aggressive NV vs V, they may actually have a good hand. 3NT is the likeliest game so I make a game try with 2NT. I expect partner to retreat to 3 with an unsuitable hand.
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#6 User is offline   heart76 

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Posted 2019-September-07, 01:49

NS have a double fit in the majors if your partner's action is excluding 4 hearts.
10 D your way + 8 S NS +1 for the double fit = 19 total trumps. So the weak spot is when they have just 9 and you have just 10 tricks.
For 5D to make, partner needs to have x Axx Axxxx Kxxx which is not impossible but x xxx AQxxx KQxx won't work.
What is 3S now in your agreements?
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#7 User is offline   MRTRUB44 

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Posted 2019-September-07, 02:26

View Postjohnu, on 2019-September-06, 22:52, said:

While partner may be aggressive NV vs V, they may actually have a good hand. 3NT is the likeliest game so I make a game try with 2NT. I expect partner to retreat to 3 with an unsuitable hand.

With only the queen as defence against the opponents running spades, that seems very risky
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#8 User is offline   FelicityR 

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Posted 2019-September-07, 05:38

View PostMRTRUB44, on 2019-September-07, 02:26, said:

With only the queen as defence against the opponents running spades, that seems very risky


3NT has been adequately stopped on less than Q874 in many other contracts. It's usually easier to make 9 tricks in the no-trumps than 11 tricks in the minors.
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#9 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-September-07, 06:41

Thanks to those who replied so far. I'd be interested to know the reasoning of those who bid 5.

View Postmikeh, on 2019-September-06, 16:53, said:

I think I'd like to know something about my opps. If I think they are conservative, I bid 3D and probably bid 4D next. If I think they are aggressive, I bounce to 4D and then decide what to do later, but expect to be passing.

Knew nothing about opps at the time except that they seemed experienced - turned out later that they won the tournament B-)

View Postheart76, on 2019-September-07, 01:49, said:

What is 3S now in your agreements?

Invitational raise, sorry forgot to spell that out.
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#10 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-September-07, 07:10

Here's the full layout.



W only makes 3 against a clubs lead, but more often 4 which was worth 78%.
NS makes 3, but no EW allowed that.
At most tables some game went down - mainly 5-1, some 3NT-2 or 4-1.

Interesting that NS also have a 9-card fit in clubs, which would make 9 tricks. Not sure if that does (or should) change things in terms of LoTT here.
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#11 User is offline   anudeole 

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Posted 2019-September-07, 09:11

View Postpescetom, on 2019-September-06, 13:29, said:

A tricky decision from a MP tournament yesterday.



Given the auction so far, what do you bid now as East?
Partner is quite aggressive at this vulnerability but would rarely intervene at 2-level with less than 6-card in a minor.
How if at all does Law of Total Tricks effect your decision?

I will bid 3 d hoping max one down.
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#12 User is offline   cholula 

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Posted 2019-September-07, 09:14

I expect someone is void in diamonds and therefore how many defensive tricks does my partner have? I have 2... my partner should have 1 outside of diamonds for his bid. Maybe he has 2, tough to say. At IMPs I just fly 5d. At MPs I might go slower and see what happens.
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#13 User is offline   ncohen 

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Posted 2019-September-07, 11:41

View Postpescetom, on 2019-September-07, 07:10, said:

Here's the full layout.



W only makes 3 against a clubs lead, but more often 4 which was worth 78%.
NS makes 3, but no EW allowed that.
At most tables some game went down - mainly 5-1, some 3NT-2 or 4-1.

Interesting that NS also have a 9-card fit in clubs, which would make 9 tricks. Not sure if that does (or should) change things in terms of LoTT here.


i. LOTT doesn't take into account long side suits. In the most extreme example, it's off by 8 tricks: N is 7-6 solid in the majors, E is 7-6 solid in the minors. W has the rest of N's suits (all small) and S has the rest of E's suits. Then, both NS and EW make a grand in their 7-card trump suit (W and S can make a lead P's void in, but P is also out of trumps and so can't ruff).
ii. LOTT doesn't take into account what I call purely defensive tricks. W's QJ10x of hearts is a trick on defense, but not on offensive because E only has 2, so the 3 round could be ruffed (unless N doesn't get a club lead in on time). E's SQ is similar -- of no use on offensive, but a trick on defense. LOTT is premised on a situation like clubs -- the K offsides is one trick less for EW but one more for NS, so the total tricks are the same. So, in making adjustments for LOTT, if you use it, weak trumps is a subtraction.
iii. LOTT is based on averages. Diamonds split 2-0 roughly half the time (actually, 48%) on average. If they had split 2-0, NS might have an extra trick (For instance, swap S's diamond for one of N's clubs). In this hand, the even diamond split reduced the total tricks available.
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#14 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-September-07, 14:40

View Postpescetom, on 2019-September-07, 07:10, said:

Here's the full layout.



W only makes 3 against a clubs lead, but more often 4 which was worth 78%.
NS makes 3, but no EW allowed that.
At most tables some game went down - mainly 5-1, some 3NT-2 or 4-1.

Interesting that NS also have a 9-card fit in clubs, which would make 9 tricks. Not sure if that does (or should) change things in terms of LoTT here.

It looks like a typical defense in a club game against 3NT by East would be 3 rounds of spades. A good east declarer would then make 9 tricks after running 6 diamonds and leading a heart to endplay South to lead a club. It shouldn't help South to bare the K since he is marked with AK and 5 spades for the opening bid. Of course, North can switch to a club to foil that plan.

Aggressive bidding to get to 3NT, or 5 unless bid as a sacrifice?
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#15 User is offline   maartenxq 

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Posted 2019-September-08, 05:42

Difficult, any bid can be right. Tactics depend also on your estimation of your opponents. 3is maybe the most honest bid, fit and some strength. However, I do not like to hear 4 in south and opponents maybe ever reaching slam. So I bid 5 and be done with it. Maybe they will play me for the short if they bid 5.

Maarten Baltussen
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#16 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-September-08, 07:16

View Postncohen, on 2019-September-07, 11:41, said:

i. LOTT doesn't take into account long side suits. In the most extreme example, it's off by 8 tricks: N is 7-6 solid in the majors, E is 7-6 solid in the minors. W has the rest of N's suits (all small) and S has the rest of E's suits. Then, both NS and EW make a grand in their 7-card trump suit (W and S can make a lead P's void in, but P is also out of trumps and so can't ruff).


It was said here recently that LoTT does take into account long side suits, hence my question.
Your extreme example is interesting from many points of view: S and E (but not N or W) can make 7NT.
Given this example, Bridgesolver for some reason says LoTT: 15-14 = 1 :unsure:
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#17 User is offline   msjennifer 

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Posted 2019-September-08, 09:49

Sir.I bid 3D which I ,personally, feel is enough competitive in this position.
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#18 User is offline   rmnka447 

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Posted 2019-September-09, 04:42

I'm bidding 4 which is a bit of a gamble.

From what you know about partner and giving the opponents minimum trump lengths, there are 19 trump. So LOTT says if you're making 4 , they are going down 1 at 4 . It also indicates that if you are going down 1 at 4 , they should be making 4 . LOTT isn't an absolute, but more of a guide as to what the probable outcomes might be. I'd never use it as the sole indicator as to what needs to be done.

At MP, you want to push the opponents up an additional level, if you can, and then beat them, OR, get to makeable contract that they won't outbid, OR, go down less than the part score they can make. At this vulnerability, I'll risk pushing them to a makeable game in favor of getting to a part score that prospects seem decent to make. Partner needs to have something besides just even if aggressive, otherwise a WJO would have been the right bid. You have a decent 10 count. If partner has similar, that doesn't leave a lot of values for the opponents to make 4 .

So 4 -1 will be OK if 2 or 3 making is pretty normal. 4 making should be a terrific result. And prospects seem good for beating 4 should they take the push. If they get to 4 , I'm not doubling and letting the cat out of the bag on the bad trump break.
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#19 User is offline   gszes 

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Posted 2019-September-09, 18:54

immediate 5d.I am unsure how often this will make but I would HATE to have to make another decision over 3s or 4s. I would much rather trust partner to have the goods than the opps so I seriously doubt 5d is in any serious trouble at these colors. Feel LOTT is umm unreliable on hands like these.
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#20 User is online   nige1 

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Posted 2019-September-09, 19:34

pescetom writes 'A tricky decision from a MP tournament yesterday. Given the auction so far, what do you bid now as East? Partner is quite aggressive at this vulnerability but would rarely intervene at 2-level with less than 6-card in a minor. How if at all does Law of Total Tricks effect your decision?
+++++++++++++++++++++++

I rank
1. 3 = UCB. High card raise. Keep game and slam options open.
2. 2N = NAT. Good advice from JohnU.
3. 5 = PRE. Partner didn't double 1, so opponents seem to have a double-fit.
4. 4 = PRE.
5. 3.

The law of total tricks is a useful rule-of-thumb.

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