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Train wreck hideous misfit

#1 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2021-August-27, 17:05



IMPs. Opps were playing a weak NT, I was East and thought partner was making a slam try via cue bidding, I bid 5 because it occurred to me at that point partner might be trying to show a big minor two suiter (although why not overcall 2NT or 4NT in that case?), and if she is cue bidding, I'm not totally distorting my hand. Other EW pair found 2NT making (I have no idea how) whilst partner went two down in 5. How do you think the bidding should go?
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#2 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-August-27, 17:50

I like 2D rather than 2N as it expresses the value of the hand rather than emphasizing its shape. Double, to me, is a poor choice.
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#3 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2021-August-27, 18:14

I don't understand double - there's just so much chance the auction will go off the rails after doubling. I also don't understand 2H - give partner AKxx in hearts and a side ace and 4H is basically cold. Even without the side ace we're going to be favourites to make.

2NT is an option, but I agree with Winston. And I would expect 2D to end the auction here.
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#4 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2021-August-27, 18:32

Here’s a very good rule.

Never double 1M without at least 3 cards in the other major OR an enormous one suited hand

The west hand could choose a conservative 2D (my choice) or an aggressive 2N

If one bids 2N, one is,imo, pretty much committed to bidding again, probably 3S over 3m.

If one bids 2D, this is nowhere near as conservative as some may think.

We have bad suits….half our high cards are in the majors, where they are unlikely to promote length winners for our side

And given our majors, I’d give good odds that the auction will not go all pass, allowing us to bid clubs next time.

Finally, if it does go all pass, I’m willing to bet that 2D is a decent spot…maybe not as good as some club contract, but when the opps pass out 2D, partner has a lot of major suit cards
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#5 User is offline   Douglas43 

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Posted 2021-August-27, 23:45

View PostAL78, on 2021-August-27, 17:05, said:

IMPs. Opps were playing a weak NT, I was East and thought partner was making a slam try via cue bidding, I bid 5 because it occurred to me at that point partner might be trying to show a big minor two suiter (although why not overcall 2NT or 4NT in that case?), and if she is cue bidding, I'm not totally distorting my hand. Other EW pair found 2NT making (I have no idea how) whilst partner went two down in 5. How do you think the bidding should go?


Maybe 2NT overcall passed by East on the basis that nobody had doubled yet? Helpful by Mikeh on how the bidding should go. Nothing to add
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#6 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2021-August-28, 02:12

View Postsfi, on 2021-August-27, 18:14, said:

I don't understand double - there's just so much chance the auction will go off the rails after doubling. I also don't understand 2H - give partner AKxx in hearts and a side ace and 4H is basically cold. Even without the side ace we're going to be favourites to make.


A bit of masterminding on my part. I was tempted to bid higher in hearts but thinking about the situation at the time, if partner had a classic TOX with heart tolerance we have a superb fit, but I am stacked in LHO suit which suggested to me a good chance of a misfit hand, and partner could have a one suiter in one of the minors too strong for a direct overcall. I therefore decided to take it slow and give partner the opportunity to clarify her double at a low level in case she had the strong one suiter. The plan was to pass 3-minor if she bid it, but I didn't expect her to leap to 4. The limited methods we play, logically, that shouldn't exist other than meaning a slam try. I wasn't a million miles out as partner was initially trying to show the too-strong-to-overcall hand.
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#7 User is offline   eagles123 

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Posted 2021-August-28, 03:49

your partner's double is just plain wrong. Even if she wanted to show a "Too good to overcall" hand, which this hand clearly isn't, why the need to jump to 4D?
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#8 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2021-August-28, 04:23

View Posteagles123, on 2021-August-28, 03:49, said:

your partner's double is just plain wrong. Even if she wanted to show a "Too good to overcall" hand, which this hand clearly isn't, why the need to jump to 4D?


I don't know. I assume she counted three losers and wanted to be in a minor suit game and didn't want to risk being passed out in a part score with 5m on.
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#9 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2021-August-28, 09:08

View PostAL78, on 2021-August-28, 02:12, said:

A bit of masterminding on my part. I was tempted to bid higher in hearts but thinking about the situation at the time, if partner had a classic TOX with heart tolerance we have a superb fit, but I am stacked in LHO suit which suggested to me a good chance of a misfit hand, and partner could have a one suiter in one of the minors too strong for a direct overcall. I therefore decided to take it slow and give partner the opportunity to clarify her double at a low level in case she had the strong one suiter. The plan was to pass 3-minor if she bid it, but I didn't expect her to leap to 4. The limited methods we play, logically, that shouldn't exist other than meaning a slam try. I wasn't a million miles out as partner was initially trying to show the too-strong-to-overcall hand.

Ok, I suspect that you play a style in which overcalls are limited in strength. This was common in almost all circles 50 years ago, and I still see some non-experts playing that way.

I think most experts and many others now play that overcalls can be quite strong, and that a takeout double without tolerance for an unbid major has to be based on an extremely powerful hand.

Your partner did not have an extremely powerful hand. Adding up points or counting losers can be very misleading. Those major suit aces are not particularly good cards…of course they are better than any other singletons but they do not rate to help much when playing, as she planned, in a minor.

Consider x x AKQxxx AKxxx. Same shape, same high card points, but now this is a very powerful hand.

Even that, in my opinion, is not a hand on which I would double. Why? Because I want to find a fit.

Doubling will find partner bidding hearts 80% of the time (my guess, which may be low). Indeed, if you had held, say, xxxx KQxx void xxxxx, your correct bid over a double is 2H rather than 2C. And you should be passing a 3D bid by partner

With the monster 2 suiter, bid 2N then raise 3D to game and over 3C bid either 3D (showing a strong 6=5) or 3S, intending to pull 3N to 4C, showing a very strong game invitation.
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#10 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2021-August-28, 10:34

AL78 'IMPs. Opps were playing a weak NT, I was East and thought partner was making a slam try via cue bidding, I bid 5 because it occurred to me at that point partner might be trying to show a big minor two suiter (although why not overcall 2NT or 4NT in that case?), and if she is cue bidding, I'm not totally distorting my hand. Other EW pair found 2NT making (I have no idea how) whilst partner went two down in 5. How do you think the bidding should go?
+++++++++++++++++++
IMO, Over South's 1, West should overcall 2 = NAT or 2N = UNT minors. If the latter you intend to catch up by bidding again (perhaps 3N). IMO, East should make an undisciplined pass of 2N (Perhaps that explains 2N=) and consider rescuing a double to 3.

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#11 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2021-August-28, 16:58

View Postmikeh, on 2021-August-28, 09:08, said:

Ok, I suspect that you play a style in which overcalls are limited in strength. This was common in almost all circles 50 years ago, and I still see some non-experts playing that way.

I think most experts and many others now play that overcalls can be quite strong, and that a takeout double without tolerance for an unbid major has to be based on an extremely powerful hand.

Your partner did not have an extremely powerful hand. Adding up points or counting losers can be very misleading. Those major suit aces are not particularly good cards…of course they are better than any other singletons but they do not rate to help much when playing, as she planned, in a minor.

Consider x x AKQxxx AKxxx. Same shape, same high card points, but now this is a very powerful hand.

Even that, in my opinion, is not a hand on which I would double. Why? Because I want to find a fit.

Doubling will find partner bidding hearts 80% of the time (my guess, which may be low). Indeed, if you had held, say, xxxx KQxx void xxxxx, your correct bid over a double is 2H rather than 2C. And you should be passing a 3D bid by partner

With the monster 2 suiter, bid 2N then raise 3D to game and over 3C bid either 3D (showing a strong 6=5) or 3S, intending to pull 3N to 4C, showing a very strong game invitation.


Yes that was the way I learnt, overcalls are limited to around 16 HCP, and a hand that is the equivalent of a suit opener that would jump rebid their suit would start with a double then bid their suit. A double followed by a jump in their suit shows a strong Acol 2 hand and a double followed by a cue bid followed by a new suit shows a rockcrusher (equivalent 2 opener). Limiting overcalls like that means partner doesn't have to dredge a bid with a misfitting 8-9 HCP in case there is 17+ opposite and 3NT is there, then going off when the overcaller is minimum.

If you are playing overcalls that could be up to 18-19 HCP, what does responder do if they hold around 8 HCP balanced with say a doubleton in the overcallers suit? If a 1 level overcall could be on as little as 8 HCP but as many as 18 HCP, that is a wide range for responder to have to consider, so how do they untangle it without the auction going overboard?

Example:
(1) - 2 - pass - ?

K85
62
KJ74
JT87

or

T85
62
KQ84
KT97
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#12 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2021-August-28, 22:19

 AL78, on 2021-August-28, 16:58, said:

Yes that was the way I learnt, overcalls are limited to around 16 HCP, and a hand that is the equivalent of a suit opener that would jump rebid their suit would start with a double then bid their suit. A double followed by a jump in their suit shows a strong Acol 2 hand and a double followed by a cue bid followed by a new suit shows a rockcrusher (equivalent 2 opener). Limiting overcalls like that means partner doesn't have to dredge a bid with a misfitting 8-9 HCP in case there is 17+ opposite and 3NT is there, then going off when the overcaller is minimum.

If you are playing overcalls that could be up to 18-19 HCP, what does responder do if they hold around 8 HCP balanced with say a doubleton in the overcallers suit? If a 1 level overcall could be on as little as 8 HCP but as many as 18 HCP, that is a wide range for responder to have to consider, so how do they untangle it without the auction going overboard?

Example:
(1) - 2 - pass - ?

K85
62
KJ74
JT87

or

T85
62
KQ84
KT97

Valid questions to which there are no perfect solutions.

Generally one passes with your sort of examples

Bear in mind that playing virtually unlimited overcalls doesn’t mean you never double with a good hand. The key is looking at the situation.

Over 1m, I would never double with short spades absent an exceptionally strong hand with a very good 6 card or longer suit because partner may bid an uncomfortable number of spades

With spades and short hearts, I will double with long spades and a good hand…not the exceptional hand with hearts and short spades

I can correct hearts to spades without raising the level, so I don’t need as strong a hand

Over 1M, I won’t double with shortness in the other major unless I can handle any call partner may make in that major, including a jump to game on some 6+ suit and nice shape but modest hcp.

So it’s not that I don’t double with, say, AKQxxx and a nice 16 or 17+: it’s that my call depends on the situation and my level of comfort for suits partner may bid if I double

Sometimes we miss a decent game. But so what? If you think that doubling with all 16 counts, rather than overcalling. Means you get better results, I offer as exhibit A the hand you posted….even had partner not jumped over 2H, you were heading for a worse board than had she overcalled 2D, as I would have.
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#13 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2021-August-29, 04:06

 mikeh, on 2021-August-28, 22:19, said:

Valid questions to which there are no perfect solutions.

Generally one passes with your sort of examples

Bear in mind that playing virtually unlimited overcalls doesn’t mean you never double with a good hand. The key is looking at the situation.

Over 1m, I would never double with short spades absent an exceptionally strong hand with a very good 6 card or longer suit because partner may bid an uncomfortable number of spades

With spades and short hearts, I will double with long spades and a good hand…not the exceptional hand with hearts and short spades

I can correct hearts to spades without raising the level, so I don’t need as strong a hand

Over 1M, I won’t double with shortness in the other major unless I can handle any call partner may make in that major, including a jump to game on some 6+ suit and nice shape but modest hcp.

So it’s not that I don’t double with, say, AKQxxx and a nice 16 or 17+: it’s that my call depends on the situation and my level of comfort for suits partner may bid if I double

Sometimes we miss a decent game. But so what? If you think that doubling with all 16 counts, rather than overcalling. Means you get better results, I offer as exhibit A the hand you posted….even had partner not jumped over 2H, you were heading for a worse board than had she overcalled 2D, as I would have.


As usual, an excellent answer to my question which explains things very well. You would make a superb bridge teacher/coach if not already.

It comes down to not doubling unless you can deal with what partner will respond, and with strong hands where partner is likely to give you a problem response if you double, find another bid. It all makes sense, it is the fundamental rule of takeout doubles, you should be able to cope with any reasonable response. Thinking about it, the number of times you overcall in a suit on a 18 count, partner passes with 7-8 HCP with no support, and you miss a making 3NT has got to be very low.
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