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6 D to A,Q, J; 6 H to K, singleton S x, and C void in 2nd seat

#1 User is offline   wobur123 

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Posted 2012-March-17, 10:01

RHO dealt and passed. Different ways to count the points to justify an opening bid, but in any case 10 HCP. I thought the potential was too great for a weak 2. Any thoughts?

Thanks! Judy (wobur123)
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#2 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2012-March-17, 10:16

View Postwobur123, on 2012-March-17, 10:01, said:

RHO dealt and passed. Different ways to count the points to justify an opening bid, but in any case 10 HCP. I thought the potential was too great for a weak 2. Any thoughts?

Thanks! Judy (wobur123)

This is way too good for a weak 2, 1 every day of the week. One commonly used way of calculating hand strength is to add the length of your two longest suits to your points. In this case 6+6+10=22, I open most rule of 19 hands, more conservative players will say rule of 20, but this is plenty good enough.
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#3 User is offline   FrancesHinden 

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Posted 2012-March-17, 10:51

When you are posting, you can click on the strange spade symbol on the right of the set of icons to input a hand, like this:



It is definitely a 1-level, 1 opening. Although a weak 2H opening may well be described a "6-10" points, or similar, particularly in second position (after RHO has passed), this hand has too much playing strength to open 2H. It is also too likely to want to play in diamonds, which a 2H opening won't help for.

Something like

42
AQJ432
K4
742

is also 10 points, but it looks much more like a weak two: it only has one good suit rather than two. (Many people would also open this hand 1H, but that is just a matter of agreement with your partner about how strong a 2H opening can be.)
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#4 User is offline   inquiry 

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Posted 2012-March-17, 11:14

View Postwobur123, on 2012-March-17, 10:01, said:

RHO dealt and passed. Different ways to count the points to justify an opening bid, but in any case 10 HCP. I thought the potential was too great for a weak 2. Any thoughts?

Thanks! Judy (wobur123)


Welcome to the forum judy. You were correct the potential is too great for a weak two. See FrancesHinden's excellent summation which supports your view with sound logic.
--Ben--

#5 User is offline   JustaDummy 

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Posted 2012-March-17, 11:41

View PostCyberyeti, on 2012-March-17, 10:16, said:

One commonly used way of calculating hand strength is to add the length of your two longest suits to your points. In this case 6+6+10=22, I open most rule of 19 hands, more conservative players will say rule of 20, but this is plenty good enough.

This is interesting. I add each card above a length of 4 in any suit as a distribution point to my high card points. So in the OP's hand, I count 10HCP+4DP=14 Total Points, and can open with 13+.

Does it make much difference? What's the maths? (I may be a noob in Bridge but I can handle maths OK :D ).
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#6 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2012-March-17, 12:14

Now might be a good idea to clarify Bergen's "Rule of 20"* that Cyberyeti mentions.

It works like this:

1. Add up your high card points. Here we have 10.
2. Add up the length of your two longest suits. We have six hearts and six diamonds. That's 12.
3. The total is 22.

If your total is more than 20, you have an opening bid.

As you progress, you will look at other aspects to what you need for an opener, but this is a good start.







* - I know what you are thinking h8r's. "Clayton's talking about the Rule of 20 - What a pooch". Its the Novice/Beginner forum so BE NICE and go back in your hole.

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#7 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2012-March-17, 13:15

View PostJustaDummy, on 2012-March-17, 11:41, said:

This is interesting. I add each card above a length of 4 in any suit as a distribution point to my high card points. So in the OP's hand, I count 10HCP+4DP=14 Total Points, and can open with 13+.

Does it make much difference? What's the maths? (I may be a noob in Bridge but I can handle maths OK :D ).

On a hand with a second 4+ card suit, they are the same rule a point out (you are using rule of 21), ie 6421 10 count by my method is rule of 20, by your method comes to 12. It differs because you treat 6322 and 6421 as the same where the rule I use doesn't.
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#8 User is offline   squealydan 

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Posted 2012-March-17, 15:11

View PostJustaDummy, on 2012-March-17, 11:41, said:

This is interesting. I add each card above a length of 4 in any suit as a distribution point to my high card points. So in the OP's hand, I count 10HCP+4DP=14 Total Points, and can open with 13+.

Does it make much difference? What's the maths? (I may be a noob in Bridge but I can handle maths OK :D ).


I think "rule of 20" is a definite improvement on the "high card points + length points". Pretty much everyone would open a respectable 4-4-3-2 shape hand with 12 points, for instance, which passes the rule of 20, but doesn't pass the 13 in HCP+length points test.

As others have said, judgement is always more important than simple rules. Compare these two hands :

AQT98 - 4 - AT983 - 63

K7532 - Q - T5432 - KQ

Both have 10 HCP, both are 5=1=5=2 shape. The first hand is an easy 1S opening bid, the second not so.
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#9 User is offline   JustaDummy 

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Posted 2012-March-17, 15:11

View PostCyberyeti, on 2012-March-17, 13:15, said:

On a hand with a second 4+ card suit, they are the same rule a point out (you are using rule of 21), ie 6421 10 count by my method is rule of 20, by your method comes to 12. It differs because you treat 6322 and 6421 as the same where the rule I use doesn't.

So why is it that every "Learn Bridge" source I have ever looked at talks about 13 points (apart from the honour trick system which I only vaguely remember)? Is the "rule of X (decide yourself what value X has)" more modern, or more advanced, or more accurate, or more esoteric?

Should everyone playing Bridge adopt this system, since surely the time to start doing that is now, for us N/B types, before we waste any more time on learning useless systems, or is that question more suited to a more advanced forum? Because as far as I can see, all bids depend on hand assessment, and all the guidance about that is phrased in terms of a number which represents hand value. So all the stuff I have read about point count and hand evaluation has to be ignored, since their numbers are wrong, across the range. Is that the case? If not, at which point do I start to ignore the "rule of" and start to segue into HCP/DP/TP stuff?

And should I stop looking at Fred's software right now?
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#10 User is offline   JustaDummy 

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Posted 2012-March-17, 15:18

View Postsquealydan, on 2012-March-17, 15:11, said:

As others have said, judgement is always more important than simple rules.

I do understand that. But at what point in a novice's development can a novice trust his/her judgment? Surely that is not Novice material, and probably not beginner either. I'd guess that once a player is ready to think that way, they are past the beginner stage.

I'll settle for simple rules, so that, as I am developing, I'll enjoy the game and my participation in it. As I improve, over time, I'll hopefully become more comfortable and maybe start to explore the envelope a bit.

But for some, it won't happen. My wife will not play Bridge at all because of all this stuff surrounding the game. That is a fact.
A Seagull Consultant is an expert who flies in, eats all your food, craps all over you, and flies out again.
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#11 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2012-March-17, 15:41

View PostJustaDummy, on 2012-March-17, 15:18, said:

I do understand that. But at what point in a novice's development can a novice trust his/her judgment? Surely that is not Novice material, and probably not beginner either. I'd guess that once a player is ready to think that way, they are past the beginner stage.

I'll settle for simple rules, so that, as I am developing, I'll enjoy the game and my participation in it. As I improve, over time, I'll hopefully become more comfortable and maybe start to explore the envelope a bit.

But for some, it won't happen. My wife will not play Bridge at all because of all this stuff surrounding the game. That is a fact.

Judgment usually develops with experience (and not just with standard).

If you decide that points plus longest suit is a reasonable rule of thumb, you can decide how sound you want to be, but you need to recognise that a 5431 has more trick taking potential if you have a fit than a 5332. Some people do this by consciously adding points for shortages when they start out. Rule of n is better though, but even then 5431 > 5422 much of the time.

Then you start to recognise pluses and minuses. Good intermediates are a big plus, honours in the short suits are a big minus, touching honours are often underrated. Aces can be underrated, Qs and Js overrated particularly when unsupported.
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#12 User is offline   BunnyGo 

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Posted 2012-March-17, 16:11

View PostJustaDummy, on 2012-March-17, 15:11, said:

So why is it that every "Learn Bridge" source I have ever looked at talks about 13 points (apart from the honour trick system which I only vaguely remember)? Is the "rule of X (decide yourself what value X has)" more modern, or more advanced, or more accurate, or more esoteric?

Should everyone playing Bridge adopt this system, since surely the time to start doing that is now, for us N/B types, before we waste any more time on learning useless systems, or is that question more suited to a more advanced forum? Because as far as I can see, all bids depend on hand assessment, and all the guidance about that is phrased in terms of a number which represents hand value. So all the stuff I have read about point count and hand evaluation has to be ignored, since their numbers are wrong, across the range. Is that the case? If not, at which point do I start to ignore the "rule of" and start to segue into HCP/DP/TP stuff?

And should I stop looking at Fred's software right now?



View PostJustaDummy, on 2012-March-17, 15:18, said:

I do understand that. But at what point in a novice's development can a novice trust his/her judgment? Surely that is not Novice material, and probably not beginner either. I'd guess that once a player is ready to think that way, they are past the beginner stage.

I'll settle for simple rules, so that, as I am developing, I'll enjoy the game and my participation in it. As I improve, over time, I'll hopefully become more comfortable and maybe start to explore the envelope a bit.

But for some, it won't happen. My wife will not play Bridge at all because of all this stuff surrounding the game. That is a fact.


For me (and I think many players) judgement came (and still comes) when I'm able to think about how my hand is going to be played opposite different dummies and different opponent distributions (based on clues in the bidding). This is very difficult--I still don't do it as well as I'd like.

The rule of 13 HCP is a baseline rule, that I think is a good starting point for many players because it requires less difficult judgement (which is harder to quantify in simple rules, and comes with experience) and helps to teach beginners what a "good" hand is. As I understand it, as players card playing ability improves, they'll realize how some 12 or 11 point hands are going to play very well (despite a lack of honors) and bid appropriately.

"The rule of X" is what people use to try and guide their judgement when they are unsure what to do. When I'm looking at a hand and can't decide how to bid it based on imagination of what the other hands are (if it's later in the bidding) or experience, then I try to see how the hand fits with several different "rules of X". I don't think many experts do this, but it's how I supplement my judgement when it leaves me with that "I have no idea" feeling. However, the "rules" are simply ideas that people have had to try and quantify their judgement. None of them always work, and they are all simply tools to try and bring you to the correct answer. I wouldn't say any of them is more or less sophisticated, or correct, I'd say that they are trying to provide you with a guideline for reasonable auctions when your experiences cannot guide the way.

I'll say that as I have learned to play over the past several years, I've gone from being VERY conservative with my openings (13 HCP) to VERY aggressive (13 cards) and back and forth trying to find a good balance. It takes practice, experience, and getting doubled 4 times in 6 hands in partscores by better players to figure out what works specifically for you and your partner :)

The numbers you're learning now about hand assessment are not wrong, they are the first rule that everyone uses. We then supplement it with experiences and other rules to try and make decisions that are tough.

I highly recommend Fred's software. It's a bit dry (for my taste), but if you can learn the bidding and (more importantly IMHO) cardplay lessons he provides, you'll quickly find yourself as a solid intermediate player.

Feel free to try out your judgement even as a novice, sometimes you'll get in trouble, sometimes it'll work and slowly you'll figure out what your judgement should be. My partner and I discuss it after hands, and play around with it (and have ever since we were novices/beginners together). One caveat, as you improve and start playing better players you'll find that aggression works very well against other beginners (who generally don't double to penalize you) but that advanced and expert players will knock you down if you're too pushy. I've had to try and adjust my judgement every time I start playing with a different class of players, because I realized that my old judgement was based on the opponents weaknesses, but I was not playing "good" bridge.

One last piece of advice based on how I learned (and still learn) the game. I learned to play cards first. I didn't learn good bidding till much later. To this day I'm a much better card player than I am bidder. I find it more interesting, and more useful. I also think that it's the single most important thing a novice-beginner-intermediate player can focus on. You'll play every hand better as you learn card play skills, and you'll find yourself winning more as you out play your opponents who have lots of fancy bidding and "rules of X" to (generally) get to the same contract.

In summary, if you're finding the bidding frustrating (like I did and do) learn to play the cards better--it's more fun, and it'll improve your game a lot more than learning to bid better. Also when you do bid to a bad spot, your card play can sometimes save you, but good bidding can't save bad card play.

Hope this helps, good luck!

Edit: To adress the OP as well, I agree with your judgement for all the reasons that Frances expressed so well. 1 is a very good bid.
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#13 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2012-March-17, 16:26

Crossed post above, which has a much more complete explanation about what I had said.
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#14 User is offline   BunnyGo 

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Posted 2012-March-17, 17:14

View PostPhil, on 2012-March-17, 12:14, said:

Now might be a good idea to clarify Bergen's "Rule of 20"* that Cyberyeti mentions.

It works like this:

1. Add up your high card points. Here we have 10.
2. Add up the length of your two longest suits. We have six hearts and six diamonds. That's 12.
3. The total is 22.

If your total is at least 20, you have an opening bid.

As you progress, you will look at other aspects to what you need for an opener, but this is a good start.



FYP for clarity.
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#15 User is offline   JustaDummy 

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Posted 2012-March-17, 18:15

View PostBunnyGo, on 2012-March-17, 17:14, said:

FYP for clarity.

What? How does "FYP" (whatever that means) add to clarity? I hope I am not the only one here who has no clue what "FYP" means. I went through

http://www.bridgebas...ations-wdp-etc/

and it wasn't there. Is this some esoteric forum reference, or some esoteric Bridge reference, or what?

Excuse my abrasiveness, but I'm increasingly getting frustrated here in this new NOVICE / BEGINNERS forum with stuff dropped in by advanced players who ought to know better. Read my sig.

My advice to advanced players: think twice before posting here, and then, think again. And then, please, PLEASE tailor your post to suit novices and the level at which we bid and play. And remember, please, that we need time to develop to the stage that you have reached. Try to reinforce the kind of stuff we are trying to learn, instead of tearing it all down. Otherwise we really have nowhere to go.

We all need foundations from which to build. You cannot expect us to start building before we have fully settled on a foundation.

So I guess that this experimental forum has had it. Too much noise. It was a good idea, but…
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#16 User is offline   wobur123 

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Posted 2012-March-17, 18:17

Thank you all for taking the time to post such thoughtful responses; I appreciate the support!

Judy ( wobur123)
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#17 User is offline   JustaDummy 

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Posted 2012-March-17, 18:17

Apologies to the OP. I hope you got something out of all of this.
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#18 User is offline   BunnyGo 

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Posted 2012-March-17, 18:26

View PostJustaDummy, on 2012-March-17, 18:15, said:

What? How does "FYP" (whatever that means) add to clarity? I hope I am not the only one here who has no clue what "FYP" means. I went through

http://www.bridgebas...ations-wdp-etc/

and it wasn't there. Is this some esoteric forum reference, or some esoteric Bridge reference, or what?

Excuse my abrasiveness, but I'm increasingly getting frustrated here in this new NOVICE / BEGINNERS forum with stuff dropped in by advanced players who ought to know better. Read my sig.

My advice to advanced players: think twice before posting here, and then, think again. And then, please, PLEASE tailor your post to suit novices and the level at which we bid and play. And remember, please, that we need time to develop to the stage that you have reached. Try to reinforce the kind of stuff we are trying to learn, instead of tearing it all down. Otherwise we really have nowhere to go.

We all need foundations from which to build. You cannot expect us to start building before we have fully settled on a foundation.

So I guess that this experimental forum has had it. Too much noise. It was a good idea, but…



FYP, used all over these forums and the internet as "fixed your post"--and explained in that thread you mentioned here. Note the bold words that differ from the original post. They are different and (I think) clarify and correct Phil's meaning. I'm sorry you're finding these posts frustrating. I hope you're the only one.
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#19 User is offline   Cthulhu D 

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Posted 2012-March-17, 19:09

13 HCP for an opening hand also has quite a bit of history behind it.nIt was the point range originally popularized by Goren in the days of yore.

It has stuck. If you want a mechanical rule, I suspect 12 HCP would be a better reflection of modern Practice, but rule of 20 is close still.
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#20 User is offline   JustaDummy 

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Posted 2012-March-17, 20:31

View PostBunnyGo, on 2012-March-17, 18:26, said:

FYP, used all over these forums and the internet as "fixed your post"--and explained in that thread you mentioned here.

Sorry, missed that. It was on page 2 and I was losing the will to live.

Quote

I'm sorry you're finding these posts frustrating. I hope you're the only one.

Out of a cohort of 12000, I take your assessment of my uniqueness as a compliment. But, sadly, you're wrong, sorry - the stats are not on your side. If you examine the current posters in this forum (ignoring the posts dragged in from the previous B/I forum as irrelevant to a forum for novices), you might have a case.

But if you consider that only one BBO member in three has ever posted anything at any time in any of BBO's many forums, then my uniqueness decreases to one in 4000. Still pretty unbelievable. So you have to face up to the fact that I'm not alone, even though the BBO forums are mostly empty, from the point of view of an ordinary BBO member.
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