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negative free bids

#21 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2020-January-14, 04:03

View Postakwoo, on 2020-January-13, 21:16, said:

And with a hand like this, you're better off using a negative double how?

Playing NFBs, with a 3154 11-count opposite a 3523 7-count, it goes 1D-(1S)-2H

Playing forcing free bids, with the same hands, it goes 1D-(1S)-X-(P)-2C-(P)-2H (especially at MPs)

and you have the same problem.

Yep as awm mentioned, I'd pass 2. In general, when my partner can have lots of different shapely minimums, I'd prefer to wait for them to describe what they have rather than blurting out random 5-carders.

PS imaginative openers can bid 2 on a 3-card fragment (I personally don't do it, and definitely wouldn't do it undiscussed, but I find the idea interesting).
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#22 User is offline   awm 

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Posted 2020-January-14, 10:26

I’ve played negative freebids some (and against it more) and have noticed two big shortcomings:

1. You usually don’t really have a way to bid a five card suit. You have to either bid it as a six card suit and accept that you will play a lot of five-two fits at the game level and some five-one fits in partials... or treat it as a four card suit (typically negative double). Obviously this sometimes works out but not the majority of the time.

2. You can’t really invite opposite a 12-14 range; you have to either make a negative free bid (which partner will always pass in this range unless he has a real fit) or game force. Again, sometimes 12-11 makes game and sometimes 14-11 doesn’t but I’d expect better results playing partials in the former and games in the latter.

Against this, negative free bids are really good when you have less-than-invite with a six bagger, or when opener holds a weak notrump. Still, I don’t think the trade offs are worth it.

I do like transfers when opener has a frequent weak notrump in competition (I.e. opener makes his “usually a weak notrump” minor opening and opponents overcall cheaply).
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#23 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2020-January-14, 15:54

I don't like forcing freebids at the 2-level so much, and basically just play them because it is standard and there are usually more important things to discuss with partner.

You have to have agreements about negative freebids anyway for the purpose of passed-hand bidding (unless you define them as strictly 10-11 but that seems a waste), and if you want to bid a suit in a forcing way it is in most situations better to play Switch or transfers. This applies at level 3 and 4 also.

You sometimes play a 5-1 partscore, and the strong jump shifts sometimes takes away bidding space that you need, but I haven't found it to cause problems that often.

But ultimately, it would be nice to avoid having to cater to opener having a minimum balanced AND cater to a minimum unbalanced hand at the same time, so play weak NT or Polish club. Of course, that comes with other downsides.
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#24 User is offline   ruleof15 

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Posted 2020-January-14, 16:36

The use of Negative Free Bids has a place in the scheme of bidding. Against aggressive opponents there may be some value. In head-to-head matches it may be useful. Over the long haul, when playing pairs or changing opponents after a few boards, there is no value. It is better to play the complete Negative Double convention. Reopen the auction after an overcall when holding these distributions, 4-4-3-2, 5-3-3-2, 4-3-3-3. These are the only distributions where there is not a convenient rebid available. By opening with a double two things are in your favor. Partner may want to leave the double in for penalty and you have at least 2 cards for partner should the response be in your 2-card suit. Along with this your defense should be Lavinthal which is the most prolific in destroying opponents contracts. Lavinthal carding and Suit Preference are very similar. For both the play of a low card indicates the low suit, a high card the high suit other than the suit led or trumps. The second low card is an echo encouraging the play of the same suit.
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#25 User is offline   rhm 

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Posted 2020-January-15, 03:14

View Postawm, on 2020-January-14, 02:49, said:

In general I don’t make non-forcing rebids of five card suits where I’ve already shown 4+ length. This does seem to be a difference between my style and some Acol and Polish Club players.

I play Polish Club but neither do I rebid 5 card suits, unless it is a very strong major and might be best even opposite a singleton. This is no question of what bidding system you play.

View Postawm, on 2020-January-14, 10:26, said:

I’ve played negative freebids some (and against it more) and have noticed two big shortcomings:
1. You usually don’t really have a way to bid a five card suit. You have to either bid it as a six card suit and accept that you will play a lot of five-two fits at the game level and some five-one fits in partials... or treat it as a four card suit (typically negative double). Obviously this sometimes works out but not the majority of the time.

In a strong notrump context, opener will usually be 12-14 balanced or if unblanaced find another bid. But that is why it is important that the bid is constructive and the suit is good.
The alternative in standard to negative double and then show the suit a level higher thereafter (or miss game) is surely worse.

Quote

2. You can’t really invite opposite a 12-14 range; you have to either make a negative free bid (which partner will always pass in this range unless he has a real fit) or game force. Again, sometimes 12-11 makes game and sometimes 14-11 doesn’t but I’d expect better results playing partials in the former and games in the latter.

I do not get this point. If I have a good suit and an invitational hand I need either a fit or extras with opener for game to be worthwhile. Of course there is room for judgement by opener. However, with no assurance of a real fit and a possible minimum I do not want to force him. So the above is exactly the reason why your argument is not a sign of weakness but of strength for NFB.

Rainer Herrmann
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#26 User is offline   awm 

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Posted 2020-January-15, 09:12

On a weak hand you always have this 5-card suit problem. But NFB give you a problem with invitational hands. Say the auction starts 1d-(2c) and you have five hearts and eleven points. In NFB you can double, but then over 2s from opener you probably have to bid 2nt (basically treating hearts as four) or you can bid 2h but will have to accept that opener passes on singleton quite often (basically treating hearts as six). With forcing free bids you bid 2h (forcing showing five and F1). Even GF hands have this issue somewhat; for example an auction like 1d-(2c)-X-(3c)-3s leaves you unable to show your five card heart suit effectively whereas forcing freebids lead to an easier auction.

The issue with invites comes from the range. Basically, there are hands where game opposite 11 is good but the three level opposite 7 is scary. By splitting between 7-11 vs 12+ you give opener a problem when he has 14-15 (enough for game opposite 11 but dubious to bid higher vs 7). Forcing free bids split 7-9 vs 10+ which reduces the problem because of the tighter range on weak hands as well as removing the problem for balanced hands (since the otherwise annoying balanced 16 opened 1nt).
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#27 User is offline   fromageGB 

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Posted 2020-January-15, 11:01

View Postbilgo, on 2020-January-12, 00:29, said:

My partner and I play 2/1. I'd like to know the cons and pros of negative free bids. I personally prefer playing that a free bid is forcing to 1 round, and my partner prefers negative free bids.

Compromise. Throw both away, play transfers instead, and you have the best of both worlds. You can assign meanings to whether partner completes the transfer or breaks it, and if the transferer is strong enough to bid again then he can do things like show a 5 card suit on the way to a raise, or a force, to offer alternative contracts.
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