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How many TPs to raise?

#1 User is offline   shevek 

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Posted 2012-March-16, 20:24

Doesn't get much simpler than this

In Australia, we have 2 competing textbooks for beginners.
Both teach "Standard", meaning close to SAYC.
So 5-card majors, 15-17 1NT, 25 TP for game.

One book has
1H - 2H/1NT as 6-10, therefore 3H limit = 11-12 TP.
2-over-1 still 10+ so responder uses judgement with 10-counts.

The other has
1H - 2H/1NT as 6-9, so 3H = 10-12 TP.

There are arguments both ways.
6-10 TP is wide for a raise. A few beginner openers will feel like inviting with 15 TP, since 15+10 = 25.
Most will invite with 16 TP, leading to too many minus scores in 3H & 4H.

On the other hand, bidding 2NT/3H on 10-counts is also too wide a range and leads to a few -50s on combined 22 counts.

What's best (for beginners) and what does the rest of the world do?

TIA
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#2 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2012-March-16, 20:36

I don't know what your TP are exactly, but I suspect they do not account for the important difference between 3-card and 4-card support. I would invite more aggressively with 4-card support, so perhaps the right answer is 11-12 TP or 10 TP with 4-card support. Hard to say without knowing what TP are.
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#3 User is offline   JustaDummy 

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Posted 2012-March-16, 20:37

I don't think that either is specifically better than the other (at my level…). This probably falls into the realm of partner agreement! I'm learning from Fred's excellent software, and his view is 6-9. If it's good enough for him, it's good enough for me! :D
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#4 User is offline   quiddity 

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Posted 2012-March-16, 21:16

Don't get too hung up over differences of a point here or there. All of these ranges are going to be fuzzy approximations. Think of it as "around 6-9 or a bad 10".
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#5 User is offline   Antrax 

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Posted 2012-March-17, 00:08

When I learned TP it was once you have a fit, take your HCP, add points for shortness (1/3/5 for doubleton/singleton/void), add a point for every card in your fit over 8, and that's your TP. So in a way it accounts for 8 card fits vs. 9 card fits, but it seems like a pretty poor approximation. A weak doubleton in the long trump hand is rarely an asset, whereas a fourth trump in the short hand rarely isn't, yet both are worth one TP.
I think the ACBL "learn how to play bridge" software (highly recommended, btw) values shortness differently - I think 1/2/3 instead of 1/3/5, and it also teaches to value long suits before a fit is made.
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#6 User is offline   Fluffy 

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Posted 2012-March-17, 01:27

4M needs a tiny bit less to make than 3NT, that's why you play 4M when you have 8 card fit and not 3NT.

This correlates into 1M-3M to need less strenght than 1M-2x (about 1 HCP less).

so 1M-1NT can be bid on 6-10 hands (with some 10 counts upgrading) while 1M-2M is in general 6-9.


Going into more precision than you want, 10 counts are possible for 1M-2M but only flat shapes such as 4333 and 4432.
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#7 User is offline   bluecalm 

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Posted 2012-March-17, 01:47

As far as I know, nobody has answers to those questions and even elite players often play ridiculous games or 11 trick partscores especially those playing full range openings so do not worry about those details too much :)

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think the ACBL "learn how to play bridge" software (highly recommended, btw) values shortness differently - I think 1/2/3 instead of 1/3/5, and it also teaches to value long suits before a fit is made.


1/3/5 is what I've learnt when I was learning bridge, it depends on when shortness is located. It's closer to 1/3/5 if it's with shorter trump fragment and 1/2/3 sounds right with longer trump fragment.
Also about any hand with a void and 4 card support is worth a game and about any hand with stiff and 5 card support is worth a game so 1/2/3 surely undervalues those.
You surealy don't want simple raise with with xxxxx x Axxx xxx but that is what simple 1/2/3 indicates.
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#8 User is offline   JustaDummy 

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Posted 2012-March-17, 08:09

ALERT! ALERT! Novices around!!

Some clarification, please, folks?

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A weak doubleton in the long trump hand is rarely an asset

I don’t get that. If I have long trumps how can my doubleton not be an asset?

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Going into more precision than you want,…

Newbs like me really need to concentrate on the basics, and play with these basics for a while, so that they become a more natural part of my playing before I start looking ahead to graduated modifications to my understanding of Bridge. I’m maxed out during that time. Please try to understand that.

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Also about any hand with a void and 4 card support is worth a game

If you mean that comment in response to an opening of one of a suit, it seems to completely break the rules of SAYC bidding that I’m struggling to incorporate in my game. With 13 points held by opener, and you have a void and four rags in opener’s suit, an expert might comfortably get game out of it, but I’m pretty sure that nine times out of ten I’d go three down. You’ll really have to fully explain what you mean there. But if it’s above intermediate level, I'm not sure I want to know right now.
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#9 User is offline   Cthulhu D 

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Posted 2012-March-17, 08:41

View Postshevek, on 2012-March-16, 20:24, said:

What's best (for beginners) and what does the rest of the world do?



There is a general issue at play here. The teacher is striving to give you a set of mechanical rules to apply so you understand the bidding. These mechanical rules are an attempt to codify fine hand judgement. A classic case is do you open 1NT with a 5 card major if the hand is balanced? Some people teach 'yes, always,' and some people teach 'no, never,' but if you look at the actual expert consensus in operation the answer is 'Sometimes based on situational judgement.' As the teacher cannot easily teach you fine judgement, they pick one.

This is another case of what's being taught vs the actual definition. The 'real' definition of the 1NT response is probably something like 'not interested in game opposite a weak NT and have no other sensible bid' but that isn't a mechanical rule, so not taught in beginners classes.

So my answer is: It doesn't matter, agree one with whoever you are playing with. This applies for all the 'just do it this way' rules you're taught learning.
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#10 User is offline   Antrax 

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Posted 2012-March-17, 09:08

View PostJustaDummy, on 2012-March-17, 08:09, said:

I don’t get that. If I have long trumps how can my doubleton not be an asset?
Generally speaking, when you ruff a trick, you only gain something(a trick) if you do it in the short trump hand. When you look at your hand and count your tricks, you're already counting each trump in the long hand as a trick - for instance, if you have AKJxx opposite Qxx, you will score 5 spade tricks. Ruffing in the AKJxx hand doesn't gain anything - that small spade you ruffed with was a winner anyway. On the other hand, if you ruff with a small spade from the Qxx hand, you gained a trick - since you will still get five spade tricks (Q, A, K, J and two small), but you have that ruffing trick as well.
So, a doubleton in the long hand is good in the sense you can't lose more than two tricks in that suit, but it's not good in the sense that to will need to look elsewhere to make extra tricks. Another way to think about it (again, this is from "Learn to play Bridge" by the ACBL) is that ruffing in the long trump hand is equivalent to discarding the card you were planning to ruff on an extra round of trumps.
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#11 User is offline   BunnyGo 

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Posted 2012-March-17, 09:29

View PostAntrax, on 2012-March-17, 09:08, said:

Generally speaking, when you ruff a trick, you only gain something(a trick) if you do it in the short trump hand. When you look at your hand and count your tricks, you're already counting each trump in the long hand as a trick - for instance, if you have AKJxx opposite Qxx, you will score 5 spade tricks. Ruffing in the AKJxx hand doesn't gain anything - that small spade you ruffed with was a winner anyway. On the other hand, if you ruff with a small spade from the Qxx hand, you gained a trick - since you will still get five spade tricks (Q, A, K, J and two small), but you have that ruffing trick as well.
So, a doubleton in the long hand is good in the sense you can't lose more than two tricks in that suit, but it's not good in the sense that to will need to look elsewhere to make extra tricks. Another way to think about it (again, this is from "Learn to play Bridge" by the ACBL) is that ruffing in the long trump hand is equivalent to discarding the card you were planning to ruff on an extra round of trumps.


For all of the above reasons, you should *generally* not try to trump things with the long trump suit just to do so. If there's another reason (set up a long suit in dummy, or something else) then ok, but don't trump things with the long trump with no other reason in mind. They're your tricks anyways.
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#12 User is offline   bluecalm 

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Posted 2012-March-17, 12:59

Quote

If you mean that comment in response to an opening of one of a suit


I mean major suit 5 card openings.
More or less you either want to preempt to four level or bid game to make with hands like 4card support + void or 5card support or stiff.
Hands like Axxxx x xxxxx xx are strong enough to play in 4S facing 1S openers, that's why 1/3/5 tp adjustments for shortness in shorter (or equal) trump lenght seems better than 1/2/3. Also shortness is worth much more if you have 4+trumps to go with it. I am not sure how total point stuff adjust for that.

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it seems to completely break the rules of SAYC bidding that I’m struggling to incorporate in my game


Sayc is just bidding system, judgement is separate thing. Just adjust for shortness with shorter trump fragment more aggressively than fo shortness in opener hand and you will be fine. Also 4th trump and shotness is really powerful combination worth more than those factors separately.
Also don' worry that much about precision, it's elusive target anyway. Try to learn some simple algorithm for estimating when the game makes (as you are apparently trying to do) and observe/ask when it works and when it doesn't. With time you won't need "tp's" and stuff like that and you will know when :)
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#13 User is offline   JustaDummy 

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Posted 2012-March-17, 17:41

View Postbluecalm, on 2012-March-17, 12:59, said:

Hands like Axxxx x xxxxx xx are strong enough to play in 4S facing 1S openers.
Nope. Not at my level. And I already tried to say that.

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Sayc is just bidding system, judgement is separate thing. Just adjust for shortness with shorter trump fragment more aggressively than fo shortness in opener hand and you will be fine. Also 4th trump and shotness is really powerful combination worth more than those factors separately.
Also don' worry that much about precision, it's elusive target anyway. Try to learn some simple algorithm for estimating when the game makes (as you are apparently trying to do) and observe/ask when it works and when it doesn't. With time you won't need "tp's" and stuff like that and you will know when :)

Great. Thanks for that. Really helpful for someone like me who is actually just trying to understand the strength relationships between opening bids and first responses. I'm glad you are here to help. :huh:
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#14 User is offline   JustaDummy 

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Posted 2012-March-17, 17:48

View PostBunnyGo, on 2012-March-17, 09:29, said:

For all of the above reasons, you should *generally* not try to trump things with the long trump suit just to do so. If there's another reason (set up a long suit in dummy, or something else) then ok, but don't trump things with the long trump with no other reason in mind. They're your tricks anyways.

Thanks to you and Anthrax. Got that. Very helpful. I see some situations where leading to my ruff from dummy will help, particularly if I have length in that dummy suit and once the trumps have gone I may have winners there (assuming I have entries :blink: ) but apart from that, there is no benefit - and maybe this discussion can move off to a higher plane? Because it makes my brain hurt. :(
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#15 User is offline   wyman 

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Posted 2012-March-18, 08:11

View Postbluecalm, on 2012-March-17, 12:59, said:

Hands like Axxxx x xxxxx xx are strong enough to play in 4S facing 1S openers



View PostJustaDummy, on 2012-March-17, 17:41, said:

Nope. Not at my level. And I already tried to say that.





As an example, I've included a sample hand to show you how powerful shape [meaning singletons (sometimes referred to as stiffs) and voids] can be.

North has a minimum 1S opener: 13 points and 5 spades. There's nothing special about his hand. He has no singletons or voids. He has only 1 ace. South has only 4 high card points. But note that he has 5 trumps AND a singleton.

I'll make a few notes that you should think about, and if you have questions, feel free to ask.

(1) If trumps split 2-1 (which is the normal split), you'll take 10 tricks on this hand.
(2) If trumps split 2-1, North's trump Q is useless (or wasted) and his J is always useless.

In particular, this means that -- after a 1S opening by North, the south hand is very very powerful.

I'm not trying to teach you how to use this to your advantage here. I'm just trying to get you to recognize the power of shape. We develop judgment over time by seeing many, many examples.
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#16 User is offline   jjbrr 

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Posted 2012-March-18, 09:12

Also the discussion doesn't end with "Does 4S make?"

You must also consider the score the opponents achieve if you don't bid 4S (ie do they make 4H?), the psychological effect jumping to 4S has on the opponents (you only have 4 points!), the score you might achieve if they bid to the 5 level and it's wrong for them, the equity you get from them doubling 4S and you making it, the chance that they can make something at the 5-level and decide to defend 4S, etc.

You're right that on some hands, 4S is the losing action; however I think it's the winning bid on balance.
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#17 User is offline   JustaDummy 

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Posted 2012-March-18, 09:29

View Postwyman, on 2012-March-18, 08:11, said:

… singletons (sometimes referred to as stiffs)
Thank you! I saw that term referred to in another post, without explanation, but decided that I had already made too much noise, so I decided to remain ignorant.

And I do have questions on your very useful example.

Quote

(1) If trumps split 2-1 (which is the normal split), you'll take 10 tricks on this hand.

It is certainly an easy hand to play. If trumps are 2-1, it's a lay down. Am I correct in assuming that if they fall 3-0 then I lose a third to go one down in 4?

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(2) If trumps split 2-1, North's trump Q is useless (or wasted) and his J is always useless.

I don't see that (of course I see the useless J!). Surely Q will ruff a round?

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In particular, this means that -- after a 1S opening by North, the south hand is very very powerful.

I'm trying to see what this means in terms of how the bidding might go. I'm wondering what the differences might be if North had, say, 4 instead of the 9. I think 4 might then go down one even with a 2-1 split in trumps, yet I can't see how that difference would affect the bidding…
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#18 User is offline   jjbrr 

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Posted 2012-March-18, 09:47

View PostJustaDummy, on 2012-March-18, 09:29, said:

Thank you! I saw that term referred to in another post, without explanation, but decided that I had already made too much noise, so I decided to remain ignorant.

Not too much noise at all. Keep the discussion flowing!

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And I do have questions on your very useful example.
It is certainly an easy hand to play. If trumps are 2-1, it's a lay down. Am I correct in assuming that if they fall 3-0 then I lose a third to go one down in 4?

On 3-0 trumps, the hand is a bit trickier but still a big favorite to make. You must ruff 2 and a in dummy before pulling three rounds of trumps, or alternatively play to set up the suit in dummy. If are 3-3, you could even make the hand after erroneously pulling three rounds of trumps.

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I don't see that (of course I see the useless J!). Surely Q will ruff a round?

Correct, Q is still worth a whole trick which is nice, but it's not worth the two points we had evaluated it for. It's equal in value to the 2 on this hand, so useless wasn't the right word but perhaps "valueless" was.

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I'm trying to see what this means in terms of how the bidding might go. I'm wondering what the differences might be if North had, say, 4 instead of the 9. I think 4 might then go down one even with a 2-1 split in trumps, yet I can't see how that difference would affect the bidding…

Many of us are suggesting that, indeed, the bidding would be unchanged if you modify the hand slightly, and you are correct that the former is a great contract, the latter hopeless.

However, reference my previous post. On the example in which our 4S contract goes down, the opponents have a laydown 4 game. Even if they double our 4 bid and we go down, we still score better than we would if we allowed them to play their game.
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#19 User is offline   daveharty 

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Posted 2012-March-18, 09:55

View PostJustaDummy, on 2012-March-18, 09:29, said:

I'm trying to see what this means in terms of how the bidding might go. I'm wondering what the differences might be if North had, say, 4 instead of the 9. I think 4 might then go down one even with a 2-1 split in trumps, yet I can't see how that difference would affect the bidding…

You are correct, it might not affect the bidding. But jjbr made an important point too. Let's change the North hand as you suggest, and look at a possible four-hand layout:



NS are quite likely to go down in 4, but that is hardly a disaster, since EW have an easy ten tricks available in hearts! As jjbr suggests, bidding 4S immediately with a hand like South's--weak in high cards, but lots of trumps and good distribution (in this case, a singleton in a side suit, therefore a potential source of ruffing tricks)--is a good idea in the long run, not because you will make 4S every time (you won't), but because of a combination of factors: sometimes you will make it, sometimes you will keep the opponents from bidding their own making game, sometimes the opponents will be "pushed" into bidding on over your 4S bid and go down, etc.

EDIT: I see jjbr posted again during the time I wrote this and made some of the same points.
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#20 User is offline   JustaDummy 

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Posted 2012-March-18, 10:46

View Postjjbrr, on 2012-March-18, 09:47, said:

… or alternatively play to set up the suit in dummy. If are 3-3, you could even make the hand after erroneously pulling three rounds of trumps.

Sorry, I'm struggling with that. I'm trying to plan the hand and I see the basic principle of establishing two long tricks, but will I have the entries into dummy when I need them? My only way in is via the long s and to use these I first need to void in dummy's suit, which looks like your first strategy (ruff 2 and one ) is required by default. I'm really not sure, but I think that if I start on that route the route becomes unavailable…
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