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SAYC opening bid & prtnr's respons

#1 User is offline   jade321 

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Posted 2012-April-14, 01:40

had a discussion with one of my partners not so long ago - he maintains that a response over a a one /opening is NOT bidding the 4 cards MAJOR he holds but rather the 5 card MINOR - what is correct????

#2 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

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Posted 2012-April-14, 02:30

You might want to specify exactly what sequence you are talking about. 1 or 1 responses show 4 cd or longer major.

In standard american, Over 1, you respond in a 4 cd major in preference to raising diamonds. You also respond in a 4 cd major in preference to longer 5+ clubs, EXCEPT when you are strong enough to force to game. So with 4xx5 or 4xx6 shape, you'd bid 1, unless you had around 13+, in which case you'd bid 2 followed by bidding spades later, which would be a game force. If you have less than game force, you probably wouldn't get to mention the clubs unless partner bids them. You prioritize finding a high-scoring major fit, because without strength for game, you'd really rather play 2 or 1nt instead of maybe getting as high as 2nt or 3 without a fit. With a game force, you bid out your pattern, because you are strong enough to force the bidding up to a high level anyway. Bidding out the pattern has the major benefits of:
1. making it much easier to find game or slam in clubs when it is right.
2. helping partner evaluate how well his cards fit your shape.
3. ensuring that partner's major raises are on 4 cds. If you respond on 4cd major, a lot of players like to raise on 3 cd support on certain shapes, believing it is a winning strategy, because sometimes you have a 5 cd response and don't care, and the auction gets faster/simpler, sometimes the 4-3 fit plays well, and the alternate rebids are just unpalatable. Bidding out pattern makes finding the right game easier.

Over 1, the situation is different, since 1 doesn't take up much room. Tactically it can be better to bid a 4cd major in preference to 4cd diamonds, if the opponents interfere, they might bury your major fit if not strong enough to bid again. Thus some std players have taken to a treatment called "Walsh", where one skips over diamonds, even 5 or 6 of them, to bid 4c majors, except again in the case of holding GF strength, where you bid 1 and reverse into a major later. There are different variants of this also, some will still bid diamonds with invitational+ strength, and some differ on whether opener conceals 4cd majors after a 1 response.

If you are strictly playing "SAYC" by the book, by the system notes, it specifies "up-the-line" bidding, so you shouldn't skip diamonds especially 5+ to bid a 4 cd major. But a lot of people don't know the difference between "SA" standard american, the general term, and "SAYC", the specific variant with notes from the ACBL. They think they are synonyms, instead of the reality being that SAYC is a specific subset of SA. So try to ferret out whether partner is playing by the notes or not, which they really mean when they say "SAYC".

#3 User is offline   Fluffy 

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Posted 2012-April-14, 15:31

neither is correct.

-4 card majors have priority when you have a weak hand (looking for partscore) that would be the 6-9 range
-5 card minors have priority when you have a strong hand (lookinjg for best game) that would be 12+ range

With invitational values (10-11) the normal thing to do is to give priority to 4 card majors as if we were weak.

#4 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

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Posted 2012-April-14, 15:45

Fluffy's statements are only true over 1, if playing "SAYC" by the book. They are only true over 1 if playing "Walsh" style agreements, which are NOT part of SAYC notes; it is an additional treatment. It's more common with 2/1 players than SA players.

Bypassing long diamonds over 1c has both advantages and disadvantages. Advantage is not getting your 4-4 fit buried after an opp preempt, some concealment advantages when the auction goes 1c-1d-1nt-3nt or similar, and 1c-1d-1M can now promise real actual clubs But it has disadvantages as well. It makes finding diamond partials harder, and also if opener raises majors rather frequently on 3 cd support, walsh can force you bid some dodgy 4cd majors and you can end up playing some dodgy 2M on a 4-3 rather than 1nt or 2d.

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