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stuffed up by psyche

#1 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2020-October-21, 07:57

This hand came up with my friend and her partner.



This was worth 21%, all but one were in 4 or 5 making 10 or 11 tricks. The 21% was obtained because three pairs went off in 5.

I've heard that this is a basic situation to psyche, and I recall there is a way for the opponents to expose it. Is it doubling in 4th seat to show a spade suit?
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#2 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2020-October-21, 08:11

View PostAL78, on 2020-October-21, 07:57, said:

This hand came up with my friend and her partner.



This was worth 21%, all but one were in 4 or 5 making 10 or 11 tricks. The 21% was obtained because three pairs went off in 5.

I've heard that this is a basic situation to psyche, and I recall there is a way for the opponents to expose it. Is it doubling in 4th seat to show a spade suit?


This is known as a “baby psych”, and doubling shows spades.

On the actual auction, East should be checked for a pulse.
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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#3 User is online   hrothgar 

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Posted 2020-October-21, 08:32

First and foremost, I'd start by having a discussion about what type of hands are suitable for a double followed by introducing your own suit.

Perhaps my views here are idiosyncratic, but I am somewhat aghast wrt the the choice of double here.

Second: East's initial pass is really flawed.
East has values. East has spades and clubs stopped.
East needs to bid something.

Once West decides to bid their Spades at the THREE LEVEL its even more incumbent for East to do something.

This is less about handling psychs as it is about learning basic bidding
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#4 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2020-October-21, 10:20

I have a lot more sympathy for your friends than the previous posters because I still remember the first time when someone did this to me.

It normally happens when you take the jump to play in a higher level of game and outside your normal circle of friends or club members, so it is a very unnerving situation that you've not met before. The good news is that you learn quickly.

The simple method to play is that after a takeout double, if the next hand bids a major then you double to show a 4-card holding in that major and, if available, two of that major is also natural showing more points and 5+ suit.

So, in this case, East would double to show some values (perhaps 6+) and four spades. With more points (eg 8-11) and a 5+ spade suit, then East could bid two spades.

These methods have proved fairly good at eliminating some psyches, so some pairs are reverting to playing takeout doubles again in the fourth seat, but I would not recommend this for less experienced players.

The more common baby psych position is when the auction starts with a pre-emptive bid and takeout double, eg (3C) Dbl - now psyching a major is a lot safer since the opener is less likely to raise and it is more important to be able to double 3M when you hold the suit yourself.
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#5 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2020-October-21, 10:35

View Posthrothgar, on 2020-October-21, 08:32, said:

First and foremost, I'd start by having a discussion about what type of hands are suitable for a double followed by introducing your own suit.


I questioned her decision to double rather than overcall 1, and she said her partner likes a double first with an opening hand. Personally I only do this if I have the equivalent of a strong opening hand with a 5+ card suit, and AFAIK that is standard.
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#6 User is online   DavidKok 

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Posted 2020-October-21, 12:25

You are correct, it is standard to double with a take-out double or 17+ hands (though not 15-18 bal, or whatever your 1NT overcall strength is if you play this as strong natural), and overcall instead with 9-16, with of course room for partnership agreement. I personally like making the 9-16 slightly more wide-ranged and play around 7+-17-. The West hand is a clear overcall in my opinion.
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#7 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2020-October-21, 13:00

Responsive doubles originally only applied after 1y-(overcall or double)-2+y, not after 1y-(action)-1z. Many people have extended it to the 1y-X-1z case; more power to them. It does in fact work well, most of the time.

I have not done so. They want to bid my known 7+card suit, with the points pretty evenly split? Go right ahead - but you're playing it doubled.

There are two advantages to this:
- when we go looking for 3NT because the opponents are 4-2 (or because partner has the double-and-bid hand with a minor), we know that I have a "stopper" (hey, xxxx is a stopper, right?)
- when we bid the suit later after they move on, our bidding the suit is natural. At least we know the 4-1 break on the opening lead. And sometimes it's not a 4-1 break!

Psyching, including "baby psyches" like this one (or 2-2 "raise to 3", or 2-2NT or 4NT "without values, and 'everybody' knows that, but we're hoping you don't and we won't tell you" inquiries) have been discouraged to the point of being "not actually illegal, but definitely immoral and fattening", so people create systems that are incredibly fragile to them. And they usually get away with it; and when they get psyched, instead of changing their system, they complain about the psyching and try to make it even more immoral.

I'm kind of old-fashioned (even if still 20 years younger than the median player); do this against me and we expose it.

I agree with others that that isn't a "double-and-bid", but that's been covered very well by them. Except that I would never have passed 3 - for me "Confusing bids are forcing". If I didn't think it was an attempt to expose a psych, I'd bid 3NT, and then when partner corrects to 4, then even I would get it.
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#8 User is offline   TylerE 

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Posted 2020-October-21, 13:37

View PostAL78, on 2020-October-21, 10:35, said:

I questioned her decision to double rather than overcall 1, and she said her partner likes a double first with an opening hand. Personally I only do this if I have the equivalent of a strong opening hand with a 5+ card suit, and AFAIK that is standard.


You and all her partners need to be alerting her doubles, then. Not doing so is, well, the c-word.

Had a similar situation with a local pair who beleived in balancing on any 13 cards below 2NT.
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#9 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-October-21, 13:51

First of all, West would do much better overcalling 1 rather than doubling. But that is by the by. The remedy for this is, as you mention, for East's double of 1 to show spades. But perhaps of even more importance would be to ask East what they thought West might have for their bidding. 3 was passed so East presumably thought it was natural and not a cue bid. And yet, if it were natural then what sort of hand can West have where the East hand is not worth a raise? This looks mostly like a "rabbit in the headlights" panic pass. A good rule: if your partner does something weird and you have no idea what is going on, just try to bid something informative about your hand and don't pass! That would surely have gotten you to a good game on this hand one way or the other even without the first round psyche defence.
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#10 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2020-October-21, 14:09

View PostTylerE, on 2020-October-21, 13:37, said:

You and all her partners need to be alerting her doubles, then. Not doing so is, well, the c-word.

Had a similar situation with a local pair who beleived in balancing on any 13 cards below 2NT.


These differences in styles are something that will be ironed out as we play more frequently. This other partner plays a different style to me, but she is open to playing in line with the way I bid.
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#11 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2020-October-21, 14:39

View PostTylerE, on 2020-October-21, 13:37, said:

Had a similar situation with a local pair who beleived in balancing on any 13 cards below 2NT.


Sounds pretty sensible at matchpoints.
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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#12 User is offline   TylerE 

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Posted 2020-October-21, 15:07

View PostVampyr, on 2020-October-21, 14:39, said:

Sounds pretty sensible at matchpoints.


I mean, literally mandatory.

They would double with 432 432 432 5432 after, say, 1-2-p RvW.
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#13 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2020-October-21, 15:45

"We never let them play 2-of-a-fit undoubled, for bridge values of 'never'." That has to be Alerted?

As for "double on all 13+", that's a very common treatment - so much so that it was made not Alertable in the ACBL some years ago: "minimum offshape doubles". EBU rules are similar, at least in the last two years.

From the EBU Blue Book:

Quote

A take-out double suggests that the doubler wishes to compete and invites partner to describe his hand. Take-out doubles are frequently based on shortage in the suit doubled and preparedness to play in the other unbid suits, failing which significant extra values may be expected. Partner is expected to bid, though a pass may be made on a hand very suitable for defence in the context of the level of bid doubled and what he can be expected to hold for his actions (if any) to date.
(strikeout and added text in the original, showing 2017 changes).

So it looks specifically as if this is now expected (or "not unexpected enough as to be Alertable") in England as well.
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#14 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-October-21, 16:26

View Postmycroft, on 2020-October-21, 15:45, said:

As for "double on all 13+", that's a very common treatment - so much so that it was made not Alertable in the ACBL some years ago

The problem with this is that if the opps know in advance that this is your agreement, they can abuse it to cross you up. But if they do not know then it is relatively safe. So it seems somewhat unfair on the opps that you are allowed to keep it a secret.
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#15 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-October-21, 18:49

View PostAL78, on 2020-October-21, 07:57, said:

This hand came up with my friend and her partner.



This was worth 21%, all but one were in 4 or 5 making 10 or 11 tricks. The 21% was obtained because three pairs went off in 5.

I've heard that this is a basic situation to psyche, and I recall there is a way for the opponents to expose it. Is it doubling in 4th seat to show a spade suit?


I don't want to seem obtuse, but I don't really see how this is a psych.
South opens 1H "I have 5+ and 11-21 hcp; 11-22 TP" - almost!
West doubles: this is something of a psych. for this bid West should have no more than 4 and less than 2 with >7HCP.
North doesn't know what's going on so (maybe) cue bids West to show HCP. Who knows what's going on at this stage?
East, amazingly all things considered actually has 4 . This is a miracle really.

What is needed at this table is a psychoanalyst and a hot cup of tea.

When I was doing my training in psychiatry, I used to write '𝚿' on the cover of my psych notes as a shorthand.
My father always wondered why psychics needed to put signs up advertising their fairs - surely everyone would just know when they were going to be on and where.
A 'psych' is a psychiatrist, to psych- is to do something that creates a (usually false) idea in someone else's mind. Psyche is a Goddess - and a very friendly one at that.



non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek; N'écris jamais une lettre et n'en détruis jamais une.
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#16 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-October-21, 18:57

I may not be an advanced player and be a bit basic in my approach, but I'm finding it hard to see how anybody could not bid to game in that situation. Maybe if people were a bit more obvious in their bidding they could actually get to the right contract :)
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#17 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2020-October-21, 19:07

Well, it does have to be marked on the card. It just doesn't have to be Alerted - it's deemed common enough that you should be expecting it.

(Now, cynical me wonders if, instead of what I just said, what really happened is that "the people new enough to play this are also too new to know they have to Alert it, and are certainly too new to know how to explain it correctly; so since we're not going to get warned about it, we'll just give up on it." But of course, cynical me is Always Wrong.)
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#18 User is offline   mikestar13 

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Posted 2020-October-21, 19:12

View PostTylerE, on 2020-October-21, 15:07, said:

I mean, literally mandatory.

They would double with 432 432 432 5432 after, say, 1-2-p RvW.


This will likely lead to them finding the game they missed, or a very pricey penalty double of whatever partner bids. Aggressive balancing at matchpoints is sensible, but not selling out with a zero count is ridiculous. It also raises disclosure issues: that last pass in (1)-P-(2)-P is forcing and should be alerted as such.
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#19 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2020-October-21, 19:33

Alt78 'This hand came up with my friend and her partner. This was worth 21%, all but one were in 4 or 5 making 10 or 11 tricks. The 21% was obtained because three pairs went off in 5. I've heard that this is a basic situation to psyche, and I recall there is a way for the opponents to expose it. Is it doubling in 4th seat to show a spade suit?
++++++++++++++++++++
Yes. Over North's 1, East should double to expose the "baby psyche". IMO, with 5+ , East should still double. There seems to be no need to bid 2 with 5+ when you can simply bid again later.
West did well to reopen with 3 After West's enterprising 3, East should bid at least 4

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#20 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2020-October-21, 19:51

View Postmycroft, on 2020-October-21, 19:07, said:

Well, it does have to be marked on the card. It just doesn't have to be Alerted - it's deemed common enough that you should be expecting it.

(Now, cynical me wonders if, instead of what I just said, what really happened is that "the people new enough to play this are also too new to know they have to Alert it, and are certainly too new to know how to explain it correctly; so since we're not going to get warned about it, we'll just give up on it." But of course, cynical me is Always Wrong.)


Not this time. Making this unalertable was a terrible mistake. Another thing that no longer requires an alert is a non-forcing change of suit after a weak two. Disclosure of methods seems to be an issue the EBU struggles with.
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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