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Death Hand?

#1 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2019-September-30, 02:23



IMPs

How do you value this hand? The solid diamond suit is great - but it is difficult to judge the worth of the spade and club holdings. Options include:
- Open 2 - we play this as forcing to game.
- Open 1 and rebid 3 over the 1 response.
- Open 1 and make up a bid over the 1 response (3 maybe? or 2NT which we play as a balanced 19-20? Or ...)
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#2 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-September-30, 04:50

My choices:

1: Acol 2 (no I don't play one either)
2: Multi and 3 (Acol 2, and no I don't play that one)
3: 1 and a forcing gadget to show a whale, either 2 or 2N rebid, we would use 2N

Of stuff available to you, do you respond light, and do you ever pass the 2N rebid ? also do you have any structure available over it to find 5-3 hearts ?

I would never bid 3, you are way too good, but my choice between the other options might depend on what I play over 2N.
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#3 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2019-September-30, 05:43

View PostCyberyeti, on 2019-September-30, 04:50, said:

Of stuff available to you, do you respond light, and do you ever pass the 2N rebid ? also do you have any structure available over it to find 5-3 hearts ?


Yes, a strong Acol 2 would be perfect! Unfortunately we can't change system based on our holding! :)

2NT would be forcing and we bid naturally over it (so 3 would show a five-card heart suit).
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#4 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-September-30, 05:52

View PostTramticket, on 2019-September-30, 05:43, said:

Yes, a strong Acol 2 would be perfect! Unfortunately we can't change system based on our holding! :)

2NT would be forcing and we bid naturally over it (so 3 would show a five-card heart suit).


If 2N is forcing you should consider playing some artificiality over it (you can then put some 4 card raises in it).

I would bid 2N with your strictures, of course partner will have 10xx, KJxxx, xx, J10x and 3N will make but 4 won't, but c'est la vie

Rebidding 3N could work, the K could easily be your 9th trick at trick 1
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#5 User is offline   TMorris 

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Posted 2019-September-30, 06:01

Partner held this and decided to open 2NT! Not quite what I was expecting, still the bidding and play in 3NT was easy.
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#6 User is offline   FelicityR 

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Posted 2019-September-30, 06:09

When there's nothing sensible to bid, bid something that looks sensible, I agree that 3 looks an underbid, and is, I feel, an underbid despite the unsupported and honours, but it's the nearest sensible bid without any add-on conventional gadgetry.

Making up a bid with 3 is just asking for trouble.

A hand that was made for Acol Strong Twos/Benji/Reverse Benji as we once knew it. No doubt 2/1 and SAYC face a similar dilemma with this hand. And perhaps a better hand to bid for those opening with a strong 1.
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#7 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2019-September-30, 06:15

View PostCyberyeti, on 2019-September-30, 05:52, said:

Rebidding 3N could work, the K could easily be your 9th trick at trick 1


Yes, we discussed a 3NT response as a possibility in the post mortum. I'm thinking that we should probably define it as this hand, but even without discussion partner will surely think guess it to be something like this.

Partner held: A102 J874 95 A1083. The best contract is 3NT. This was found at most tables - possibly after a 2 weak jump overcall by East. A 6 contract needs the king of spades onside (it is) - we stumbled to 6 through an auction that does us no credit - then partner took it out into 6. I could still rescue things by bidding 6NT (but I didn't).
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#8 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2019-September-30, 06:18

View PostTMorris, on 2019-September-30, 06:01, said:

Partner held this and decided to open 2NT! Not quite what I was expecting, still the bidding and play in 3NT was easy.


That could have been spectacularly wrong! But I can't argue with success! :)
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#9 User is online   sfi 

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Posted 2019-September-30, 09:43

View PostTramticket, on 2019-September-30, 02:23, said:

How do you value this hand? The solid diamond suit is great - but it is difficult to judge the worth of the spade and club holdings.

I would force to game after partner responds, but the honours are all wrong to open a strong bid. My basic plan on these sort of hands is to rebid 3NT unless I have a good reason not to. There's an argument that not having stoppers in either side suit (after a 1H response) is a good reason, but the opponents don't yet know I'm lacking them. So 3NT it is.
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#10 User is offline   rmnka447 

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Posted 2019-September-30, 11:22

Yep, it's a 20 point hand, but 6 of those points are unguarded so not carrying full weight. So it's a poor 20 point hand.

The question is "How much you demote those points?"

I came up with hand I'd rate on the cusp between a 1 - 3 rebid and a stronger hand.

I'd probably bid it 1 - 3 .
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#11 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2019-September-30, 12:21

This is one of the toughest 'plan your auction' hands I have ever seen. As in all such hands, even ones slightly easier than this, the important point is to try to cater to possible auctions and to attempt to do the most practical thing, recognizing that freak hands can never be bid with any assurance that the end result will be ok.

Often one arrives at one's decision through a process of elimination: one ends up choosing an action/plan not because it is 'good' but because it seems less bad than the alternatives.

At the table my thinking would be along these lines:

1. This is not a 2C opener. For me, and I think for most, the sequence 2C - (waiting or negative response) - 3D is forcing. This hand is not remotely strong enough.

2. open 1D: then over 1M? Here are nothing but ugly choices. 3D is a grotesque underbid, especially with silent opps. The silence of the opps suggests that partner has sufficient values, and shape (such that the opps likely can't run 5 tricks in whatever suit they lead...no guarantees on this but it is a reasonable inference) for us to make 3N even when he lacks the hand to justify bidding it after we show about a decent 16 count with a decent suit. A reasonable hand for us would be Ax xx AKJxxx Axx, and if he has say xxxx Kxxx x Axxx he should be passing 3D. Yes, 3N could fail but it is surely odds-on even with a spade lead.

It isn't just missed games we should worry about: by limiting our hand to about a 16 count, with 6 diamonds, we are taking a lot of slams off the table as well. On many hands where slam is fair to good, or even cold, he'll just bid 3N. Kxxx KQxx x Axxx: he'd have zero reason to think of any call other than 3N. He has no safety beyond 3N opposite x Axx AKJxxx KJx

So 3D as a rebid is out. 2N? a misbid and an underbid: two problems for the price of one. We are less likely to miss game after this than after a 3D rebid, but if he does happen to have a good hand, we are likely to miss some good slams, since we are not exactly owning up to 20 hcp and a source of tricks. 2N as a rebid is far better than 3D, by enough that we are going to shortlist this route.

How about 3C? The fake jumpshift often has a lot going for it, but partner's sometimes raise clubs and while we will always correct to diamonds, we may be too high already. 3C has too much risk of missing 3N for me to like it. What would you do with Kxx Qxxx x AJxxx after partner opened 1D and then bid 3C? Surely you'd raise clubs? I'd far rather be in 3N than 5D. So I think that the fake jumpshift is a poor choice.

How about 3N? The sequence 1m 1M 3N traditionally shows something like a running suit (we have that), stoppers in the unbid suits (we are close to that, especially if partner bids 1S) and shortness in partner's suit (which may be untrue: he may bid 1H). It's close. It is likely very good if we have slam, since partner has a close approximation of our playing strength and our short black honours are likely fine IF partner has slam ambitions. It is also a fast way to our most likely game. As for hearts, it would be rare for this hand to be a better dummy in 4H than it is declaring 3N, at least in terms of making or failing. Note that even when we are wide-open in clubs, they will not always lead the suit and, when they do, there is a good chance that the lead will be away from the Ace. Meanwhile as little as 10xx or 9xx(x) may be a spade stopper in notrump but means 2 fast losers in hearts.

3. Open 2N. This has the beneficial effect of showing a good hand: partner will respond on hands where he might pass 1D, but that is not necessarily a good thing. If he is passing 1D, then in the modern style he will have a terrible hand, and is unlikely to be able to shore up both black suits...one, ok, but both? Possible but unlikely.

We are taking diamonds out of play. We might be cold for 6D and fail in 3N...imagine Axxx KQJx xxx xx.

After 2N, can anyone stay out of 3N? 6D is laydown and 3N may be down before we gain the lead.

Also, if we open 1D and the opps compete in a black suit, they may help us choose intelligently between diamonds and notrump, while if we open 2N they will likely be silent and give us no clues.


It takes longer to write all this out than it takes to think it through at the table, especially if you have learned to do this sort of process of elimination analysis, which comes up all the time. Learning to think this way will, imo, be a useful skill for the intermediate and advanced player.

My decision would be to open 1D and then (unless the auction tells me otherwise) rebid 3N. Flawed and imperfect tho that may be, it means that we will basically never miss a good game or slam, at the slight risk of sometimes being too high in 3N. I think this sequence gives the least distortion to our hand.
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#12 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

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Posted 2019-September-30, 12:29

Artificial 2S jump shift gadget would be awesome, but I've only ever had one partner willing to use it.
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#13 User is offline   nullve 

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Posted 2019-September-30, 13:27

I'd treat the hand as 22-24 BAL and open 2.
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#14 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2019-October-01, 01:03

Thank you all for some helpful comments, including Mike's detailed analysis. I went through some of this thought process and rejected the 2 opening and the option of opening 1 and rebidding 3 for the reasons suggested by Mike. I didn't even consider opening 2Nt - but I can see the logic. I did consider opening 1 and rebidding 3NT and with hindsight I agree that it is the least problematic option.
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#15 User is offline   cleveritis 

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Posted 2019-October-01, 09:48

We play a 1 minor opening and 3NT shows this hand. 2N COULD be ok - esp if partner has 5h or 6S - however this 20 count is too strong for 19-20.
2C then 3D over 2D and hope partner bids 3N might also work.

There isn't a perfect answer. But DO play a 3N rebid is a solid suit.
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#16 User is offline   nekthen 

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Posted 2019-October-01, 10:45

I know I’m old fashioned in this but this is a 3 rebid and it replaces the acol 2. Weaker hands with a running seven card suit can rebid 3N. Otherwise rebid 2 I have never missed a game rebidding 2 with a 6 carder and 16hcp
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#17 User is offline   Jyrki_63 

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Posted 2019-October-01, 11:46

Without any gadgets this hand is difficult to describe. I see the merit of opening 2NT, the risks notwithstanding. It may also be difficult for partner to realize that he should probe for a heart slam on a marginal hand with decent trumps and SA - he won't know about the source of tricks.

I have a suitable gadget in both my longstanding partnerships. With my first longsuffering partner we included this hand-type into multi. But then we would have had a problem if we belonged in hearts. My current regular partner came up with a way of showing this that meshes nicely with the rest of our bidding structure. Our basic structure is Transfer Walsh with 5c majors and 2/1. Furthermore:

1. All balanced minimum hands without a 5cM in the 12-13 and 17-18 ranges open 1C, as do 19-21 without a 5+ non-club suit. IRRESPECTIVE OF MINOR SUIT LENGTHS.

2. So a 1D opening is nearly always unbalanced. An exception is the 19-21 balancedish with a five carder.

3. After 1D-1M:
A) a weak hand with 3 card support shows it via the gadget of bidding 2M-1.
B) a 3D rebid promises 6+ cards in the 15-16 range, and denies 3 card support for M.
C) any strong hand or a 14+ hand with 3 cards in partner's major goes via 1NT, which is a variant of Gazzilli. 1NT can also be a weak opener if it would have wanted to bid a natural 2M-1 (so over the expected 2C rebid from partner, opener's 3rd bit of 2D shows a weak hand with long diamonds, if M=H, or a weak opener with 5+D and 4H, if M=S).

Anyway, with this whale we would go via Gazzilli. If partner bid hearts over my 1D, my 3rd bid would show 17+ with three card support, or if partner bid spades, my 3rd bid of 3D would show long diamonds, forcing, and denying support.

There's a lot to discuss about the continuations, but the basic structure is quite nice.
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#18 User is offline   msjennifer 

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Posted 2019-October-01, 14:21

Sirs,in our own way we consider the outside SQJ and CK useful in NT only and may not in a 5D contract if partner holds a bare 6-7 HCP so our bid is 1D and then 3Nt if partner bids 1NT (a limited hand)and 3D over any other bid as they can be unlimited hands.I know it is difficult to judge the value of SQJ and singleton CK without hearing partners response.. The hand falls short of a 2C opening and is unfit for a 2NT opening.The old-timers or A=COL fans would find this a good hand =for a strong 2D opening.And to top it all a beginner pair to whom I passed on this hand bid 6D after 1D-1S-4D sequence.Thanks.
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#19 User is offline   akwoo 

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Posted 2019-October-01, 14:42

This hand seems like a good advertisement for the K-S Updated treatment where 1m-1M-3m is game forcing and shows more or less this kind of hand. The intermediate hand goes through 1D-1M-2C (which is forcing for one round; 1D-1M-3C is minimum and non-forcing) or 1C-1M-2D.
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#20 User is offline   miamijd 

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Posted 2019-October-01, 15:20

Nothing is good at all here in the absence of some artificial gadget. A 3NT rebid is OK if you play that shows a good hand, but many, including me, play that as a hand weaker than 1m - 1 banana - 2NT. Something like:

Axx x xx AKQxxxx

After 1c - 1h, I would bid 3NT with this hand.

If you play the second-round jump to 3NT that way, then I think you are stuck with either 2NT or 3NT on the second round, and neither one of them is particularly good.

This problem wouldn't arise with a club suit, because then you just make the phony reverse into diamonds, but that isn't available here. Probably there is a 2S artificial treatment that would work nicely, but this hand and sequence is likely to come up once ever ten years, so catering to it with a special treatment doesn't seem worth it.
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