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What is double in this sequence and why?

#1 User is offline   Cthulhu D 

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Posted 2012-March-20, 19:19

All red, you deal yourself some balanced 3-4-3-3 12 count with Axx of spades playing a 14-16 NT and 2/1 GF. Systematically this is a clear 1C. Unfortunately this then goes off the rails pretty much immediately:

1C - (1S) - 1NT - (2S)

P - (P) - X - (P)

??

I tanked for a long time and pulled, thereby missing an awesome +1100. Should double be always penalties here when we tend to have two flat hands facing each other?
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#2 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2012-March-20, 19:37

View PostCthulhu D, on 2012-March-20, 19:19, said:

I tanked for a long time and pulled, thereby missing an awesome +1100. Should double be always penalties here when we tend to have two flat hands facing each other?


No. But partner's double of a suit in which he has already promised a stopper should almost always be for penalties.
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#3 User is offline   Cthulhu D 

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Posted 2012-March-20, 20:36

View Postmgoetze, on 2012-March-20, 19:37, said:

No. But partner's double of a suit in which he has already promised a stopper should almost always be for penalties.


Okay that makes sense.
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#4 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2012-March-20, 21:26

Yes, this should be an easy one. Partner is saying they are wrong. The alternative is silly--that he meant to make a negative double last time, and is trying to backpeddle.
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#5 User is offline   ggwhiz 

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Posted 2012-March-20, 21:34

Not too many do but I pass 12 counts with this shape.

If opening this is your style you have to pass the double on this sequence and if it blows up on you, you immediately have a valuable partnership discussion that avoids it in the future at the cost of only one hand.

When you pull, even (especially) if it works you are guessing partnership wise well into the future.
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#6 User is offline   Antrax 

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Posted 2012-March-21, 00:06

Partner's 1NT promises 7-10 HCP and hopefully a stopper, right? I have a minimum opener, so we have 19-22 HCP. Holding 3 spades, I know partner can't have too many - the overcaller has five, and his partner has three or more for the raise.
So how can partner tell we can set them? (1100 is -4 doubled, if I remember correctly)
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#7 User is offline   squealydan 

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Posted 2012-March-21, 00:17

View PostAntrax, on 2012-March-21, 00:06, said:

Partner's 1NT promises 7-10 HCP and hopefully a stopper, right? I have a minimum opener, so we have 19-22 HCP. Holding 3 spades, I know partner can't have too many - the overcaller has five, and his partner has three or more for the raise.
So how can partner tell we can set them? (1100 is -4 doubled, if I remember correctly)


I agree, while I think double must be penalties as I can't see any other sensible use for it in light of partner's previous bid of 1NT, I would be very surprised to pick up 1100 here when the opponents have around half the honours in the deck and a 7-card fit at worst. I'd be hoping for a decent 200 at matchpoints, and I have my doubts whether partner should ever double at imp-scoring.
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#8 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2012-March-21, 04:49

View PostAntrax, on 2012-March-21, 00:06, said:

Partner's 1NT promises 7-10 HCP and hopefully a stopper, right?


Given the overcall partner's range can be a bit higher - say 8-12 HCP.
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#9 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2012-March-21, 06:16

View Postmgoetze, on 2012-March-21, 04:49, said:

Given the overcall partner's range can be a bit higher - say 8-12 HCP.

I can't imagine bidding it with many 11-counts, and certainly not with a 12-count.
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#10 User is offline   Cthulhu D 

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Posted 2012-March-21, 06:32

It was going for 1100 because they'd psyched and pard had 5 spades to the KJ. I spent several minutes in the tank trying to work out what to do. Was frustrating when dummy came down and the psyche was revealed. However even if they had the spades they were supposed to have it wasn't pretty.
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#11 User is offline   MrAce 

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Posted 2012-March-21, 12:46

View Postmgoetze, on 2012-March-21, 04:49, said:

Given the overcall partner's range can be a bit higher - say 8-12 HCP.


NO

Overcall changes the normal 6-10 hcp in theory (5-10 in practice) to 8-10 in theory (7-10 in practice). As Gordon said maybe you can downgrade a bad 11 but definetely not a 12 hcp.
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#12 User is offline   Antrax 

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Posted 2012-March-21, 23:28

So sorry, I'm lost. Assuming I play in an environment where people do have their bids, should I still always pass this X with a balanced hand?
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#13 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2012-March-22, 00:23

View PostAntrax, on 2012-March-21, 23:28, said:

So sorry, I'm lost. Assuming I play in an environment where people do have their bids, should I still always pass this X with a balanced hand?

I am lost, too. I play in an environment where the one person I trust to have her bids is partner, regardless of the quality or reliability of the opponents normally.

And in the given scenario, partner's double after having bid 1NT is a very strong suggestion that she is the one who has her bids --- not a suggestion that she really has a different hand than she thought she had when she bid 1NT, but rather that she has the nuts and they have made a mistake. If the opponents do have their bids, partner will have a pass.
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#14 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2012-March-22, 11:34

The agua man has it right: it is always best to trust your partner, unless you have good reason not to do so.

I have never seen and never expect to see a partner psych firstly a 1N bid in competition after we open a minor, and then double, which is a strong suggestion that we defend.

While admittedly I have rarely seen a psychic overcall, and think that psyching 1 here is profoundly misguided, when the auction tells you that someone has lost their mind, always trust partner.

As a beginner, and especially in a pickup game, you are going to be disappointed from time to time if you adopt this approach. However, in the long run, by adopting this approach you will become viewed as a steady, reliable partner, and the flakes will either be dropped by you or will learn that they need to be honest.

There is a role for psyching, and I think that anyone hoping to progress beyond novice status needs to understand the concept and the basics of psychic bidding. The player who overcalled 1 doesn't have such an understanding....or they just didn't care.

Actually, if I were the opener, I might have reasoned that maybe LHO chose to make a dubious 4 card overcall, because 1 robs us of most of the 1-level, and that RHO made a silly 2 card raise because he has some hcp and didn't want to let us have an easy 1N contract....so I wouldn't be sure that they had outright psyched, as opposed to both making bad bridge decisions.

But no matter which way we slice it, this is an easy pass. If they make, then partner needs to learn what his double means.

That is not to say that we can never pull. Had we opened on, say, a 1=3=3=6 with 11-12 hcp, we definitely need to bid 3 here, rather than sit for the double.

Probably the toughest thing for a novice to learn is that bad results are part of the game, and that it is incorrect to reason that 'if we got a bad result, we did something wrong'. Far too many bad players reason this way, and it often leads to silly criticisms of partner or the opps, or needless worrying about one's own decisions. This can lead to doing something wrong next time, because doing the right thing last time didn't work out.

On the other hand, most bad results that arise at non-expert level probably have been caused by error, and often multiple errors. This forum, and the I/A forum, at a higher level, can play a useful role by giving an (usually) objective analysis of the issues, tho one has to learn to recognize those who are being objective :P
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#15 User is offline   HighLow21 

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Posted 2012-March-27, 23:57

The double in this case is absolutely for penalty, barring special partnership agreement. Partner has something like KQJT T3 T974 KT3. They aren't making 2 spades. Remember, Partner bid 1NT voluntarily. He will not be minimum with a single stopper. Spades is his best suit and he should have at least 8 HCP.
There is a big difference between a good decision and a good result. Let's keep our posts about good decisions rather than "gotcha" results!
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#16 User is offline   P_Marlowe 

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Posted 2012-March-28, 01:36

X is whatever you agreed it to be, we play X as T/O.

1NT showed a stopper, but in the given seq. the stopper
will be more often Kx than AKQ.

With kind regards
Marlowe
With kind regards
Uwe Gebhardt (P_Marlowe)
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#17 User is offline   P_Marlowe 

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Posted 2012-March-28, 01:40

View PostCthulhu D, on 2012-March-21, 06:32, said:

It was going for 1100 because they'd psyched and pard had 5 spades to the KJ. I spent several minutes in the tank trying to work out what to do. Was frustrating when dummy came down and the psyche was revealed. However even if they had the spades they were supposed to have it wasn't pretty.

Partner could have passed, awaiting the reopening bid.

And if they did not make the psych bid, than partner does not have KJxxx,
and 2S may well make.

And finally - psychs work sometimes.

As it is, the psych would have backfired had responder passed, responder
could have hit 2S, if 2S comes back to him, what seems likely.

The real lesson to take from this hand is, to learn how negative doubles
work, how to make them pay, when playing neg. X after overcalls.

With kind regards
Marlowe
With kind regards
Uwe Gebhardt (P_Marlowe)
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#18 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2012-March-28, 07:17

View PostP_Marlowe, on 2012-March-28, 01:36, said:

X is whatever you agreed it to be, we play X as T/O.


OK, but please save your non-standard agreements for the non-beginner forums.
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#19 User is offline   P_Marlowe 

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Posted 2012-March-28, 09:21

View Postmgoetze, on 2012-March-28, 07:17, said:

OK, but please save your non-standard agreements for the non-beginner forums.


Actually the question is what X by opener in the seq.

1C - (1S) - 1NT - (2S)

X - ...

means.

My guess is, that T/O is the more standard aproach, but what ever.
If X is T/O, than opener will have to pass with a certain length,
and since there are only 13 cards in the deck, most of the time
2S will be passed out, if we face this scenario.

It may well be that this is not something to discuss in the
beginner forum, but than my statement would be the whole thread
is not suitable for the beginner section.
The topic - how to make a penalty double, when opponents found a
fit on the 2 level, and we have barely more than half of the deck
is not a topic for beginner and novices.

And hopefully you will in future screen those threads as well,
requesting, that those threads get moved to the more advanced section
of the forum.

With kind regards
Marlowe

PS: Of course I should have outlined my thoughs more explicit, why
penalty double may not as clear cut as it seems.
And the short comment "means what ever you have agreed it to be"
is not suitable for this section, but ...
Below the flawed statement followed a statement, that outlined some of the
reasons, why I believe, what I believe.
With kind regards
Uwe Gebhardt (P_Marlowe)
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#20 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2012-March-28, 11:20

View PostP_Marlowe, on 2012-March-28, 09:21, said:

And the short comment "means what ever you have agreed it to be"
is not suitable for this section, but ...
Below the flawed statement followed a statement, that outlined some of the
reasons, why I believe, what I believe.

So you decided to answer a totally different question than was asked without telling anyone and it's OK because you gave some reasons for your answer?

View PostP_Marlowe, on 2012-March-28, 09:21, said:

It may well be that this is not something to discuss in the
beginner forum, but than my statement would be the whole thread
is not suitable for the beginner section.
The topic - how to make a penalty double, when opponents found a
fit on the 2 level, and we have barely more than half of the deck
is not a topic for beginner and novices.

And hopefully you will in future screen those threads as well,
requesting, that those threads get moved to the more advanced section
of the forum.

If a beginner chooses to ask their question here they should get an answer here, and it should be an answer suitable for beginners. (I suspect Cthulhu D is more an intermediate than a beginner but I still think he can post here if he prefers.) It is up to the advanced and expert players to be careful with how they answer. In my opinion, at least.
"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"
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