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Sometimes the takeout doubles are far too controlling

#1 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-October-27, 19:30

Hi

I know things have changed over the years with relation to doubles and all their different uses and that they are usually takeout to a reasonably high level. However I find the overuse of them, in a rather aggressicve and controlling way by the GiB system, somewhat annoying. Especially if I have passed twice opposite an ordinary opener, I do not like being forced to make a bid at the three level or pass a risky double of a major etc. Bridge used to be a partnership game where a partner was respected and not forced (except with specific GF bids - but even then I have a right to bid what I judge fits the situation) If your hand is good enough to keep pushing, just bid what you have and take some responsibillity

And before nyone asks me to, I am not going to post some contrived hand. I am discussing the more general case ok. I hope nobody is upset at missing another opportunity to bully someone, who actually knows what they are talking about. I appreciate you could go though my hands, post it etc. But I am not asking about a specific hand. Oh look at that loser passing that doubled major into game. Well believe it or not I was checking out how the system works or doesnt :)

I mean seriously. I may not be a world champion, an expert or even advanced but in my simple mind double should work with reasonable outcomes either way. Who knows what the odds of diffeennt outcomes were, but it doesnt seem smart to me doubling 2 of a major when it makes 3 even with a relatively strong pass

It may seem strange (and I know I'm simple and old fashioned) but I'm not always intersted in competing for the sake of it to make a part scofre. Sometimes I prefer to take a more relaxed approach and run the risk opps could make a meagre part score rather than a game. Sorry. Its the way I learned

regards P
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#2 User is online   smerriman 

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Posted 2020-October-27, 19:51

GIB is well known to be awful when it comes to doubles. Nothing you can do about it.
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#3 User is online   TylerE 

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Posted 2020-October-27, 20:00

Your last 11 words were unnecessary.
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#4 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-October-27, 20:20

Whose last 11 words and which last 11 :)

EDIT

Just crunching some numbers to see I have right to be aggrieved. So far from my perspective it was a tradeoff between 66% chance of doubled into game versus 72% part score. If I had those numbers in my head I guess I would have bid the unnecessarily competitive part score rather than letting opps hake 2 spades :)

Checking from partner's perspective to see if it was justified :)

EDIT After having proved to myself I should have bid the enforced takeout, after checking from North's perspective its not looking so good for GiB. 95% chance of EW making 2 spades (they would keep bidding), 14% chance of South making 3H and around 9% chance of 4C so whats the point etc
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#5 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2020-October-27, 20:39

It's apparently extremely difficult to code definitions of double in the GIB markup language.

GIB generally plays and bids better than most BBO humans, but when it comes to definition of doubles it is exentric. My totally unqualified advice:
- Always hover over the double before you make any assumptions about what it means.
- If it is called "take-out double" but does not specifically promise take-out shape, don't take the expression "take-out" seriously. It just means that God knows what that double means, so don't make it unless you're happy for partner to leave it in or to take it out. I have seen GIB passing a "take-out" double when it had unadvertised 6-card support and a void in opps' suit.
- Don't learn from GIB's double definitons. When you play with a good human partner, you will discuss double definitons with him/her and read about it in books. You should not make any use of your experience with GIB in this respect.
As much as I like you guys, you really need to know that this is all complete nonsense --- Pilowsky
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#6 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2020-October-28, 09:59

Doubles were the hardest part of "standard bidding" to understand when I started playing, and it's only gotten worse. I'm starting to lean into "doubles below game are takeout unless defined otherwise" rather than trying to enumerate all the possibilities, and what each "takeout" would mean.

Now, some of my default rules are:
  • If a double has been passed for penalty, further doubles are penalty;
  • double at the 2 level is pure takeout, 3 level is usually "do something intelligent, partner"
  • XXX applies around 1NT (re-)doubles (first double is strong, second double is cards, third double is penalty)

so, there may be a lot of rules still. Doesn't help that in my main partnership, we play Power doubles and 1NT overcall for takeout, so there's a bunch of unique rules for those cases.

And it's always hard when you are playing a hopeless contract, and even harder when partner "forced" you into it. But bridge (especially matchpoints) is a game of probabilities, and the probabilities say that "bridge is a bidder's game". And when you're booked for a 30% board when you let them play their nice comfortable two-of-a-fit, the probabilities say that if you win once for every two times it's hopeless, you're breaking even.

I had some interesting discussions with RedSpawn a few years ago over "partners hate it when you put them in hopeless situations" (around keeping weak 2s conservative and disciplined, rather than wide-ranging and aggressive (and disciplined)). My opinion, and my partners', haven't changed. I want to do well, and part of doing well is sometimes competing and catching partner with nonfitting dreck. Sometimes it's giving partner a choice between -800 and -870 *this time*. But sometimes it's +110 instead of -110, or -170 instead of -620, or -300 instead of -620 (or, as exampled back then, +100 into -620 when my weak 2 opener didn't give them the room to diagnose the diamond weakness; at the other table they passed and our teammates did find it, and played the Moysian heart game).

The point behind doubling as a competitive action is not to be controlling, but to offer choice. Sure, it might be the choice between a bad score and a worse one, but it's a very flexible call, which is why it's used a lot. If that didn't happen, they'd still compete, it would just be by guessing where the fit was instead of asking partner. It wouldn't be replaced by "pass".
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#7 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2020-October-28, 10:16

 helene_t, on 2020-October-27, 20:39, said:

GIB generally plays and bids better than most BBO humans


This may not be true now, when many experienced players are playing on BBO.
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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#8 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-October-28, 18:51

 mycroft, on 2020-October-28, 09:59, said:


The point behind doubling as a competitive action is not to be controlling, but to offer choice.


But sadly not always true in practice. A poor double is not offering choice at all :) As in the above auction I am discussing I felt I had no choice. If that is the case the error is clearly the double. Surely in any situation a pass should be one of the options without huge risk, especially with some doubles

I appreciate it may seem I am making a bit of a fuss over nothing when I could have made the enforced and unnecessary 3-level bid on a clearly contrived hand that would have been overbid. I guess its a different philosophy. Some people like to waste time pushing things up to too high level and compete over part scores and minor penalties. But for some of us time is more valuable than that :)

Its also kind of pleasant sometimes (at least for me) to delegate something to your partner to do (oops, let them take the lead)(double oops - just share responsibility. No letting or delegating involved at all :)), or even not waste time trying to defeat an easy contract for your opps, just let them get on with it as quickly as possible, take a refreshing break (even in defence) and move on to the next one :)
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#9 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2020-October-29, 01:15

View Postthepossum, on 2020-October-28, 18:51, said:

Some people like to waste time pushing things up to too high level and compete over part scores and minor penalties. But for some of us time is more valuable than that :)


This “time-wasting” is called 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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#10 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-October-29, 05:48

I know there are different styles of game. It's just a shame we have MP bidding in IMPs or TPs. That's all. Each to their own. I'm no judge. Surely it would be good if we could choose a bidding style or even a system geared towards our preferred style or game type. Having said that I would prefer to bid my system and style at MPs anyway

But apologies if an obvious light hearted comment about Bridge, business and life caused any offence. None was intended despite suggestions(sorry implications) to the contrary

But I refuse to be drawn into another ridiculous conflict over a throw away comment. I'm sure that wasn't the intention.

But I feel I am entitled to express personal preferences over anything without it being made out as any disrespect. I'm sick of it. I honestly don't see why I have to feel under attack every time I post anything here. But time for bed, I'm not going to risk any more involvement in a thread and see yet another thread ruined

I imagine I said something to offend or an error in this post. I guess someone may be tempted to pick it part. Life is too short
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#11 User is online   nige1 

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Posted 2020-October-29, 06:17

View Postthepossum, on 2020-October-27, 19:30, said:

HiI know things have changed over the years with relation to doubles and all their different uses and that they are usually takeout to a reasonably high level. However I find the overuse of them, in a rather aggressive and controlling way by the GiB system, somewhat annoying. Especially if I have passed twice opposite an ordinary opener, I do not like being forced to make a bid at the three level or pass a risky double of a major etc. Bridge used to be a partnership game where a partner was respected and not forced (except with specific GF bids - but even then I have a right to bid what I judge fits the situation) If your hand is good enough to keep pushing, just bid what you have and take some responsibility And before anyone asks me to, I am not going to post some contrived hand. I am discussing the more general case ok. I hope nobody is upset at missing another opportunity to bully someone, who actually knows what they are talking about. I appreciate you could go though my hands, post it etc. But I am not asking about a specific hand. Oh look at that loser passing that doubled major into game. Well believe it or not I was checking out how the system works or doesn't I mean seriously. I may not be a world champion, an expert or even advanced but in my simple mind double should work with reasonable outcomes either way. Who knows what the odds of different outcomes were, but it doesn't seem smart to me doubling 2 of a major when it makes 3 even with a relatively strong pass It may seem strange (and I know I'm simple and old fashioned) but I'm not always interested in competing for the sake of it to make a part score. Sometimes I prefer to take a more relaxed approach and run the risk opps could make a meagre part score rather than a game. Sorry. Its the way I learned.
In bidding competitions, the 5 high-scoring calls seem to be
  • Pass, Especially if, by any stretch of the imagination, partner could construe it as forcing.
  • 4SF, citing Terence Reese's "pitiful crutch".
  • 3NT, with a similar obligatory Hammond quote.
  • UCB, implying a fit or a good hand.
  • Double, Popular and flexible. Usually regarded as consultative rather than controlling.

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#12 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-October-29, 06:22

View Postnige1, on 2020-October-29, 06:17, said:

In bidding competitions, the 5 high-scoring calls seem to be
  • Pass, Especially if, by any stretch of the imagination, partner could constue it as forcing.
  • 4SF, Terence Reese's "pitiful crutch".
  • 3NT, with an obligatory Hammond quote.
  • UCB, implying a fit or a good hand.
  • Double, Popular and flexible. Usually regarded as consultative rather than controlling.



Thx Nige
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#13 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2020-October-29, 10:26

View Postthepossum, on 2020-October-29, 05:48, said:

I know there are different styles of game. It's just a shame we have MP bidding in IMPs or TPs. That's all. Each to their own. I'm no judge. Surely it would be good if we could choose a bidding style or even a system geared towards our preferred style or game type. Having said that I would prefer to bid my system and style at MPs anyway


With a like-minded partner, you can bid any system and style you like.

Anyway, whatever posts were attacking you seem to have been deleted, so take it easy.
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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#14 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2020-October-29, 10:31

View Postmycroft, on 2020-October-28, 09:59, said:


[*]XXX applies around 1NT (re-)doubles (first double is strong, second double is cards, third double is penalty)[/list]


That’s interesting. We play the second double as takeout. I don’t know which way is better.
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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#15 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2020-October-29, 14:08

View Postthepossum, on 2020-October-28, 18:51, said:

But sadly not always true in practice. A poor double is not offering choice at all :) As in the above auction I am discussing I felt I had no choice. If that is the case the error is clearly the double. Surely in any situation a pass should be one of the options without huge risk, especially with some doubles

Yes, sometimes the choices are Scylla and Charybdis. The point is that for every time the double drops you on the rocks without a sail, twice it pushes them out of their comfortable contract into either a comfortable one for you, or an okay one for you, or "operation: push them to the 3 level" succeeds (which can only be an advantage for you, except for the "oops, I have extras too, let's bid the game we always should have", of course). And sometimes, when there is a clear winner for the opponents of defend, defend doubled, or take the push, they make the wrong guess, and you win anyway.

If you want to play very conservatively, defending comfortable contracts instead of pushing them around, that is your right. Find a player who believes the same, and work on your defence, because to win playing that style means you have to defend better than the field. Note: this isn't a criticism, really; one of my partnerships has to defend better than the field as well, because (at least at matchpoints) we double a lot, so we're playing top-and-bottom rather than ave+/ave-.

It just has proven to not be a winning strategy in general, so very few will be joining you.
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#16 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-October-29, 15:20

View Postmycroft, on 2020-October-29, 14:08, said:

Yes, sometimes the choices are Scylla and Charybdis. The point is that for every time the double drops you on the rocks without a sail, twice it pushes them out of their comfortable contract into either a comfortable one for you, or an okay one for you, or "operation: push them to the 3 level" succeeds (which can only be an advantage for you, except for the "oops, I have extras too, let's bid the game we always should have", of course). And sometimes, when there is a clear winner for the opponents of defend, defend doubled, or take the push, they make the wrong guess, and you win anyway.

If you want to play very conservatively, defending comfortable contracts instead of pushing them around, that is your right. Find a player who believes the same, and work on your defence, because to win playing that style means you have to defend better than the field. Note: this isn't a criticism, really; one of my partnerships has to defend better than the field as well, because (at least at matchpoints) we double a lot, so we're playing top-and-bottom rather than ave+/ave-.

It just has proven to not be a winning strategy in general, so very few will be joining you.


Who cares. Certainly not me :)

As I said I play Bridge with people of similar philosophy and temperament and with a sense of humour

I know the world is now dominated by those who fight tooth and nail over scraps and some make big dollars from that strategy and regard it as successful. But there are other parameters of philsophies of success. In my book, I'm not a billionarire but can happily (EDIT - not sure if thats the right word) sit round doing what I like (Correction, not quite, unfortunately I'm not a billionaire) for (some of) the rest of my life and (hopefully) stop my stress levels getting too extreme. That kind of successful strategy. Thats if I can avoid being upset by people who constantly want to fight :)

And to be honest I know the forms of Bridge that fit my temperament and strengths

Apologies for always tending to look at the bigger issue than just Bridge, which is often a wonderful metaphor for much that happens. Some of us have particular mindsets in relation to all kinds of endeavour and prefer freedom, expansiveness, preferring to make 6-1 (especially if it were makeable by a top player) than 3+3 (maybe 3+2 :) - but wheres the fun? ) sometimes etc. And also I dont really care about pushing bidding up unnecessarily. I am happy to try and defeat lower level contracts :)

Also so much seems to have become so full-on and excessively technical seeking for 24/7 technical perfection and losing something - whether its in Bridge, business, music, life, anything. But its early in the morning, I wasnt even going to check this thread again, and I can feel stress flowing through my body and head immediately. So have a nice day/night everyone :)
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