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2NT value in competitive auction

#1 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2021-August-14, 12:26



Here's an auction from the club the other day.
There was a question about the strength of the 2NT bid and as with any bridge questions, various "right" answers but the only point agreed on was that 2NT showed a heart stopper.

What values should 2NT promise, what is best practice?
Does playing a weak or strong NT affect the response?
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#2 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2021-August-14, 12:56

View Postjillybean, on 2021-August-14, 12:26, said:



Here's an auction from the club the other day.
There was a question about the strength of the 2NT bid and as with any bridge questions, various "right" answers but the only point agreed on was that 2NT showed a heart stopper.

What values should 2NT promise, what is best practice?
Does playing a weak or strong NT affect the response?

There are conventions known as good-bad 2N or bad-good 2N, which use 2N as artificial here, and substitute double as the ‘strong’ 2N hand, but that’s not for this forum, and obviously isn’t in contemplation since it’s agreed, for this thread, that 2N shows a stopper.

Logic should give you the answer. The 1S bid didn’t promise much in the way of values. Even conservative players don’t need more than 6 hcp for 1S.

Plus opener has already opened. Having opened, and then passing 2H, doesn’t suddenly announce that opener psyched. Therefore opener can pass with a minimum opening hand and no spade support.

2N should therefore show 18-19 hcp, just as it would had 4th seat passed 1S.

To allow 2N to be 12-14 with no good spade support is silly. It also makes bidding an 18 count very difficult…one presumably has to jump to 3N, which is incredibly silly….the 2H bidder will usuall6 have a decent suit and some side values, so if responder has a minimum 1S bid you’ve basically handed the board away most of the time.

Remember….once one shows values, as in opening the bidding….passing in a competitive situation doesn’t mean you don’t have opening values, so pass leaves it up to responder, who will now play opener for no good spade support and a minimum hand.
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#3 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2021-August-14, 12:58

Playing a weak NT, I would expect 2NT to show about 17-19'with a stopper. Double would cover the 15-16 point range, or stronger without a stop.

This is one reason why support doubles don't work well in a weak NT system.
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#4 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2021-August-14, 13:06

View Postmikeh, on 2021-August-14, 12:56, said:

There are conventions known as good-bad 2N or bad-good 2N, which use 2N as artificial here, and substitute double as the ‘strong’ 2N hand, but that’s not for this forum, and obviously isn’t in contemplation since it’s agreed, for this thread, that 2N shows a stopper.

Logic should give you the answer. The 1S bid didn’t promise much in the way of values. Even conservative players don’t need more than 6 hcp for 1S.

Plus opener has already opened. Having opened, and then passing 2H, doesn’t suddenly announce that opener psyched. Therefore opener can pass with a minimum opening hand and no spade support.

2N should therefore show 18-19 hcp, just as it would had 4th seat passed 1S.

To allow 2N to be 12-14 with no good spade support is silly. It also makes bidding an 18 count very difficult…one presumably has to jump to 3N, which is incredibly silly….the 2H bidder will usually have a decent suit and some side values, so if responder has a minimum 1S bid you’ve basically handed the board away most of the time.

Remember….once one shows values, as in opening the bidding….passing in a competitive situation doesn’t mean you don’t have opening values, so pass leaves it up to responder, who will now play opener for no good spade support and a minimum hand.


Thanks, that's basically what I said, you just say it a lot more clearly.
Searching for your own mistakes is the only way to learn this game. - Fluffy

And no matter what methods you play, it is essential, for anyone aspiring to learn to be a good player, to learn the importance of bidding shape properly. - MikeH

SLOW DOWN! This is not a speedball :)
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#5 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2021-August-14, 13:19

View Postmikeh, on 2021-August-14, 12:56, said:

Remember….once one shows values, as in opening the bidding….passing in a competitive situation doesn’t mean you don’t have opening values, so pass leaves it up to responder, who will now play opener for no good spade support and a minimum hand.


So what do you do with a 1453 15-16 without enough high hearts to want to penalise 2 ? Say x, Q432, AQJxx, AKx
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#6 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2021-August-14, 14:04

View PostCyberyeti, on 2021-August-14, 13:19, said:

So what do you do with a 1453 15-16 without enough high hearts to want to penalise 2 ? Say x, Q432, AQJxx, AKx

Pass and wait for partner to reopen with a X?
Searching for your own mistakes is the only way to learn this game. - Fluffy

And no matter what methods you play, it is essential, for anyone aspiring to learn to be a good player, to learn the importance of bidding shape properly. - MikeH

SLOW DOWN! This is not a speedball :)
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#7 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2021-August-14, 14:45

View PostCyberyeti, on 2021-August-14, 13:19, said:

So what do you do with a 1453 15-16 without enough high hearts to want to penalise 2 ? Say x, Q432, AQJxx, AKx

Let me make sure I understand your point.

I hold 15-16 hcp. I have one heart stopper. I have a misfit with partner. I expect to go down in anything we bid over 2H if partner has a normal minimum response and lacks good support for my first suit.

So with that in mind, I’m wondering what I should do?

Duh

Pass

Of course, if one is the type of player who views bridge as a form of solitaire, where one makes all the partnership decisions, one can do whatever one wants, but one is wasting ones time trying to play a partnership game without allowing partner to participate.

If we can defeat 2H then, while not guaranteed, partner will often be able to reopen with a double. If we can make a partial in my suit, partner can often bid it. If we belong in spades despite our shortness, partner can bid it. If we belong in some game contract, guess what…you got it…partner will bid something

Meanwhile, shocker alert, when we hold 15-16 hcp with no fit and soft cards in their suit, sometimes our best result is letting the opps play the hand.

And, of course, even if one wants to be able to ‘do something’ with that misfitting 16 count (perhaps because one can’t stand to utter the magic word…pass), using 2N to say ‘ we’re heading for a minus unless you have significant extras’ is not only somewhat bizarre, as a bidding method, but also means you have to start doing other bizarre things when you have an actual 2N bid.


Finally, trying to get magic results on every hand dooms one to getting a lot of completely unnecessary bad results. Most players who hate to pass remember all the good results from overbidding….many of which good results would have been obtained anyway since the aggressive action only ‘worked’ because partner had enough extras that he’d have reopened….while forgetting the bad boards.

The bad boards are not merely those where the aggressive action failed but also other boards where partner remembered one’s tendencies. So partner either doesn’t reopen, because he’s convinced you’d have done your usual overbid, or pulls back after your bid, when you actually has your values, and so on.

Bridge players usually remember the good results, and most bridge players don’t have good partnerships, so all too many mastermind. And the best way to ensure that one never develops a good partnership is to consistently mastermind.

One cannot and never should try to get the ‘best possible result’ on every hand. Instead, bearing in mind that bridge is a partnership game and one should stay within one’s methods, try to get the best result possible…which is not always the best possible result


Anyone here consistently win team matches with the opps scoring zero imps? Or consistently have mp sessions with no below average boards? Me neither…and I’m ok with that. I don’t need to win on every board…and that attitude allows me to win far more often than if I were always trying to win on every hand.
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#8 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2021-August-14, 15:50

View Postmikeh, on 2021-August-14, 14:45, said:

Let me make sure I understand your point.

I hold 15-16 hcp. I have one heart stopper. I have a misfit with partner. I expect to go down in anything we bid over 2H if partner has a normal minimum response and lacks good support for my first suit.

So with that in mind, I’m wondering what I should do?

Duh

Pass



My point is that partner will assume you're 12-14, and you could easily miss something if he's NOT minimum. A quacky piece of cheese like QJxx, Jxx, Kx, QJxx is a solid 3N, do you really expect them to reopen when they expect 12-14 most of the time ?
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#9 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2021-August-14, 16:31

View PostCyberyeti, on 2021-August-14, 15:50, said:

My point is that partner will assume you're 12-14, and you could easily miss something if he's NOT minimum. A quacky piece of cheese like QJxx, Jxx, Kx, QJxx is a solid 3N, do you really expect them to reopen when they expect 12-14 most of the time ?

Where do you find your opps? Ok, they might just be unlucky, but in my experience it’s unusual for us to have a 4-3 heart fit on the auction you gave.

Put another way, bidding 2N with x Qxxx AQJxx AKx in the hope that partner has Jxx in hearts and a 10 count strikes me as….optimistic?
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#10 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2021-August-14, 16:53

View Postmikeh, on 2021-August-14, 16:31, said:

Where do you find your opps? Ok, they might just be unlucky, but in my experience it’s unusual for us to have a 4-3 heart fit on the auction you gave.

Put another way, bidding 2N with x Qxxx AQJxx AKx in the hope that partner has Jxx in hearts and a 10 count strikes me as….optimistic?


Non vul plenty of people here will overcall with AKxxx and an ace, almost all with AKxxx and the AK.

Yes it's optimistic, but I was trying to point out that pass is not without risk.

Would you expect partner to back in to the auction with say Axxx, xx, xx, QJxxx opposite what might be 11-12 ? 3 will make, 2 might.
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#11 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2021-August-14, 17:16

View PostCyberyeti, on 2021-August-14, 16:53, said:

Non vul plenty of people here will overcall with AKxxx and an ace, almost all with AKxxx and the AK.

Yes it's optimistic, but I was trying to point out that pass is not without risk.

Would you expect partner to back in to the auction with say Axxx, xx, xx, QJxxx opposite what might be 11-12 ? 3 will make, 2 might.

I never said nor implied that pass was without risk

What I said was that a combination of factors, including partnership cohesion, discipline and trust, plus avoidance of simply handing the opps good results when partner has his fairly common dreck, plus the problems one has with balanced or semi-balanced 18-19 counts makes, to me, using 2N to show the 18-19 with hearts stopped by far the best option.

Every action comes with risk….absent holding the tricks for ones contract in ones own hand.

Bidding is about combining a myriad of possibilities, made all the more complex by the need to have a coherent method.

To me, with 1=4=5=3, per your example, I pay to hands on which partner can’t reopen. As I wrote earlier, trying to maximize ones results on every hand is a sucker’s game.

Every now and then my system forces us to get a bad result. That doesn’t bother me, since I think I play a well-designed system with both of my two serious partners….not the same system, btw, but with a lot of similarities
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