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Passed hand bidding question

#21 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-September-18, 12:13

View Poststeve2005, on 2021-September-18, 11:50, said:

Responder needs to show 5 hearts
2 should show 5+ hearts any strength F1 (except denies strength shape for 3
even playing Lebensohl




I don't get why I should be looking for the better partscore with a weak hand and a fit for partner's suit.

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#22 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-September-18, 12:18

View PostCyberyeti, on 2021-September-18, 04:15, said:

Does everybody bid 2 here ? I think I would bid 3


Me, too.
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#23 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-September-18, 13:35

View PostDavidKok, on 2021-September-18, 08:41, said:

Responder is too strong for Lebensohl in my opinion, even if available.


Hard to fault either decision. It's right on the edge.
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#24 User is online   hrothgar 

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Posted 2021-September-18, 16:32

Few thoughts here

1. The bid that I really hate is 2!S. Absent agreement (and it doesn't sound like you have many agreements if Lebensohl is off the table), I don't think that this shows opener's hand. I strongly prefer 3!H to 2!S

2. With this said and done, I don't like 2!H on a fairly weak 5 bagger. I'd like to raise clubs, but my trumps are just too weak. I'd want four small or Hxx for the raise. However, given a choice between 2N (likely wrong siding the contract) and 2!H I guess that I am forced to bid 2!H

For me, at least, I don't just want a balanced hand, with xx in Spades, its essential not to hog NT in the hopes that partner has a positional stopper.
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#25 User is offline   smerriman 

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Posted 2021-September-18, 16:45

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-September-18, 12:13, said:

I don't get why I should be looking for the better partscore with a weak hand and a fit for partner's suit.

I could understand 3 if you consider this hand strong enough to GF (though I'd still bid 2 either way), but you said earlier you'd bid 2N lebensohl. So what's the downside of bidding 2? If you were going to end up in 3 through lebensohl, you'll still end up there when you don't have a heart fit..

And if partner *does* have a double fit with hearts and clubs, you'll be in a making game you were otherwise going to miss.

To me 2NT leb denies 5 hearts.

As for the OP.. you need to play a system where you have an artificial negative, otherwise you really have no hope with reverses.
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#26 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-September-18, 17:43

View Postsmerriman, on 2021-September-18, 16:45, said:

I could understand 3 if you consider this hand strong enough to GF (though I'd still bid 2 either way), but you said earlier you'd bid 2N lebensohl. So what's the downside of bidding 2? If you were going to end up in 3 through lebensohl, you'll still end up there when you don't have a heart fit..

And if partner *does* have a double fit with hearts and clubs, you'll be in a making game you were otherwise going to miss.

To me 2NT leb denies 5 hearts.




Well, for me 2H would show either A) a better suit and hand or B) no fit for partner or C) both. I have no argument with someone who says responder has too much for Lebensohl. That is a judgment call. If reverses are shaded, though, down to a 16 then to me this hand isn't good enough to encourage.

Everyone has a basic idea on how bidding should go - me and my partners' showed strength first. So that would mean that responder could have hearts - just not good ones in a game-forcing hand. That's why I also said above that I thought the auction should follow the reverse bid with 2N then 3H from opener, which is another way to find the fit with a game-forcing opening hand but does not try to find a 5-3 heart partial. If partner has a weak hand with hearts and no club fit, he can bid two hearts and then pass a raise of hearts.

And the reason I chose that approach is that my partners would never believe I have genuine club support if I bid hearts and then take a preference to clubs.
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#27 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2021-September-19, 08:50

View PostTokyo007, on 2021-September-18, 06:37, said:

Reverse is 16+. I don't think pd had enough for game… until after 2S. I would take a direct 2N (not 2H) as a scramble, probably 6HCP, 4432 with xxxx in S.

I think you miss the point of Lebensohl, which is specifically to show a hand that is not worth game. As mentioned, how you show this hand depends on system, with a Lebensohl 2NT being just one option. If you are just playing B/I Std, you show the same thing with 3. Over that Opener can show a GF hand with 3 hearts by bidding 3. It is a very simple auction.

Several players using these forums play a convention knows as Strong Reverses. You can find out about them if you read mikeh's excellent write-up that is pinned in one of the forums. Over a strong reverse, it is quite possible that this Responding hand is worth a game force, in which case you obviously have a different auction. Since you mention 16+ I will assume you are playing the type of reverse that I grew up with (I won't say Weak Reverse as some play a reverse not to show any extra strength at all).

View PostTokyo007, on 2021-September-18, 08:37, said:

No Leb available, so not an option.
Not sure I even like the possibility of Leb in that sequence - it takes bidding space and potentially takes the decision making away from a relatively unlimited hand and gives it to a passed hand.

Lebensohl is not taking any decision away, it is describing your hand. Opener is fully allowed to make a descriptive bid with a hand that is too good to sit for 3, which is precisely what has been suggested to you here.

As other posters have already pointed out, there is nothing really wrong with 2 from Responder. It is perfectly ok to bid that way. The problem is that it adds even more ambiguity to an auction that is already notoriously difficult for a pick-up pair without agreements. Not playing Lebensohl, Responder has a really easy call to show precisely what they have without creating any ambiguity, 3. You are not missing a heart game this way because with a GF 1345 or 0346, Opener has an obvious 3 bid. And if Opener does not have extras, you have at least reached a playable part-score. So while bidding 2 may or not be theoretically better, as a practical point it is for me just a bad decision.

View PostTokyo007, on 2021-September-18, 08:37, said:

On this hand you can almost feel your partner wishing you'd just STOP! :-)

Particularly if you have UI from partner to help you along to that conclusion. ;)
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#28 User is offline   smerriman 

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Posted 2021-September-19, 14:23

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-September-18, 17:43, said:

If reverses are shaded, though, down to a 16 then to me this hand isn't good enough to encourage.

Everyone has a basic idea on how bidding should go - me and my partners' showed strength first. So that would mean that responder could have hearts - just not good ones in a game-forcing hand. That's why I also said above that I thought the auction should follow the reverse bid with 2N then 3H from opener, which is another way to find the fit with a game-forcing opening hand but does not try to find a 5-3 heart partial. If partner has a weak hand with hearts and no club fit, he can bid two hearts and then pass a raise of hearts.

I'm trying to understand this (literally, not being argumentative I promise!)

I am agreeing this hand is not a game force opposite a minimum. However, are you saying that if opener has a minimum with 3 hearts - ie will stop in 3 after lebensohl - you *don't* want to be in game on this hand? You have a double heart and club fit and Kxx in partner's second suit - game is going to be virtually laydown opposite a dead minimum. This is the biggest benefit of starting with 2, as you'll reach this good game if partner has a minimum with hearts, and still be in a 3 partial if partner has a minimum without hearts.

Or are you saying that you're willing to miss out on these games in order to improve sequences where opener is *not* a minimum - strong enough to force to game even opposite lebensohl? In this case..

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-September-18, 17:43, said:

And the reason I chose that approach is that my partners would never believe I have genuine club support if I bid hearts and then take a preference to clubs.

.. I'm struggling to think of any auction where this sentence applies. If opener is going to make a forcing bid over both 2NT and 2, he has no idea you have clubs in *either* case (2NT doesn't show them!). In which sequence do you end up promising club support in one and not in the other?
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#29 User is offline   Tokyo007 

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Posted 2021-September-20, 19:32

View Postsmerriman, on 2021-September-19, 14:23, said:

I'm trying to understand this (literally, not being argumentative I promise!)
Nice evaluation. Matches with my thinking both then and after. I was sure the hand was good for game when I bid the 2S, I was just worried that we might miss a cold slam. C support just amplified that thinking.

My original point was really asking what is forcing after responder's rebid of their suit, when they know I don't have a 2C opener? I thought that an impossible 4th suit fitted the bill pretty well and created a GF. There was some confusion here between a scramble (pd's perspective) and avoiding fast arrival (my perspective).

A regular but new partnership, by the way. I think this is our first reverse ever. I should probably be grateful that we didn't stop in 2S :)

Anyway, analysis here is really helpful. I also remain unconvinced that Leb would add anything to this one.
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#30 User is offline   Tokyo007 

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Posted 2021-September-20, 19:40

View PostGilithin, on 2021-September-19, 08:50, said:

Particularly if you have UI from partner to help you along to that conclusion. ;)
Lots of UI on this one… but then again, my partner huffs and puffs over nothing much of the time (masks don't help these days). I just ignore it and bid my hand.
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#31 User is online   mw64ahw 

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Posted 2021-September-21, 00:50

I really don't get why this sequence is so difficult. West has shown 5 and a preference for over with at best middling hcp. East has the strength to take it to 4 even opposite a minimum. Personally I would have made the jump to 3 rather than 2 to show something better than a straight raise. With an Ace & a King in West's hand there is then the opportunity to explore further if so inclined.
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#32 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-September-21, 07:41

View Postsmerriman, on 2021-September-19, 14:23, said:

I'm trying to understand this (literally, not being argumentative I promise!)

I am agreeing this hand is not a game force opposite a minimum. However, are you saying that if opener has a minimum with 3 hearts - ie will stop in 3 after lebensohl - you *don't* want to be in game on this hand? You have a double heart and club fit and Kxx in partner's second suit - game is going to be virtually laydown opposite a dead minimum. This is the biggest benefit of starting with 2, as you'll reach this good game if partner has a minimum with hearts, and still be in a 3 partial if partner has a minimum without hearts.

Or are you saying that you're willing to miss out on these games in order to improve sequences where opener is *not* a minimum - strong enough to force to game even opposite lebensohl? In this case..


.. I'm struggling to think of any auction where this sentence applies. If opener is going to make a forcing bid over both 2NT and 2, he has no idea you have clubs in *either* case (2NT doesn't show them!). In which sequence do you end up promising club support in one and not in the other?


I was not speaking to this hand. The entire purpose of Lebrnsohl after reverses is to differentiate between a weak responding hand and an encouraging hand. If you start a sequence with 2N, you may only be preferring with two card support. If the preference comes without 2N, the inference is 3+ support.

When I look at responder's hand on this deal and see the reverse by opener my impulse is not to show my 5th heart but to support clubs in case opener has x, Kx, AQ10x, AKJxxx or even Ax, x. AQx, AKJxxxx.

The more I consider this the more it seems the issue is not about 2H or not but about Lebensohl or not. In a club fit, the hand is quite valuable so I'm reconsidering my original thought. If I consider: how much worse could my hand be? - and compare to this hand, this hand becomes quite valuable. Kxxx, Q9xxx, xx, xx would still be bid with 1H.

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#33 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2021-September-21, 08:30

View PostTokyo007, on 2021-September-20, 19:40, said:

Lots of UI on this one… but then again, my partner huffs and puffs over nothing much of the time (masks don't help these days). I just ignore it and bid my hand.

I would humbly suggest that you would be better served by following the rules of the game rather than creating your own. If you have UI then you need to carefully avoid taking advantage of it.


View PostTokyo007, on 2021-September-20, 19:32, said:

Nice evaluation. Matches with my thinking both then and after. I was sure the hand was good for game when I bid the 2S, I was just worried that we might miss a cold slam. C support just amplified that thinking.

My original point was really asking what is forcing after responder's rebid of their suit, when they know I don't have a 2C opener? I thought that an impossible 4th suit fitted the bill pretty well and created a GF. There was some confusion here between a scramble (pd's perspective) and avoiding fast arrival (my perspective).

A regular but new partnership, by the way. I think this is our first reverse ever. I should probably be grateful that we didn't stop in 2S :)

Anyway, analysis here is really helpful. I also remain unconvinced that Leb would add anything to this one.

Lebensohl, or better still Blackout/Ingberman, is an excellent convention over a reverse. It simplifies the vast majority of auctions.

Since this was your first ever reverse I am going to assume that you have no agreements at all at this stage of your partnership. If I sit down with a random pick-up of intermediate strength I will assume what I loosely refer to as B/I Standard. In this, Responder's repeat of their suit is non-forcing and a GF hand with a 5 card major has to bid the 4th suit. It is horribly inefficient but this is the way the vast majority of beginners and intermediates learn and never change. If I sit down with a random expert I will assume Lebensohl is in play and that a repeat of Responder's suit is forcing for a round. Finally, there are a small number of players who will play the suit rebid as forcing but not pair that with Lebensohl. That might arise organically, for example by agreeing to Weak Jump Shifts where NF makes little sense, or just through understanding that forcing is good without knowing the rest. It sounds like you are part of this third group and I suspect your partner is in the first group and wanted to let you know through means other than the bidding box.

What is forcing in this sequence (1 - 1 -- 2 - 2) is a factor of the underlying system. If 2 is not forcing then basically everything from Opener except 2NT and 3 is now forcing. While some would see it as lazy, I would just bid 4 at this point.

Things get much more interesting if 2 is forcing. The approach Mike suggests at this point is for Opener just to describe their hand. Now it is important to note that this is in the context of playing Strong Reverses, so the range for the reverse is less than would be the case for your system. An (arguably) simpler approach for "weaker" reverses is for Opener to bid the first step (in this case 2) with any non-GF hand without fit, and raise to 3 (ie 3) with a minimum and fit. Everything else is then forcing. Obviously such a method requires agreements though.

And this is really the point

View Postmw64ahw, on 2021-September-21, 00:50, said:

I really don't get why this sequence is so difficult.

Reverse sequences are difficult for pick-up pairs because there are so many variations that are regarded as Standard. Once you have a few agreements in place, things become much easier. Just agreeing Lebensohl, Blackout or Inbgerman with a partner has the advantage of putting in place a sensible set of agreements with just a one word exchange. Playing anything else means additional discussion if you want to have an equivalently good structure. Now even Lebensohl does not cover everything, which you can see by minor disagreements between some of the better BBF players in Mike's thread, but just the basic set already gives you a significant advantage over most other pairs. In the end, find a set of agreements that you and your partner both like and can remember. Reverses are rare enough for system forgets but common enough for forgets to be expensive. So keep it as simple as you need it to be. If you and your partner can manage one of the systems that allow Responder to split their range efficiently (basically Lebensohl, Blackout, Ingberman or Transfers) then they are worth the effort to include. If not, just muddle through and try to keep the auctions as clean and simple as possible - most of the time that does actually end up working out.
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#34 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2021-September-21, 15:28

If 3 was forcing it must be GF (or at least forcing to 3NT) so 3 is forcing.
If 3 was nonforcing, opener would have passed it if they didn't want to be in game, so 3 is still forcing.

But I am struggling to interpret opener's bidding. If 2 was a GF, I think 2 was patterning out, and 3 is a control bid for clubs. Something like AKx-K-QJxx-AKxxx. But if 2 was not GF, maybe 2 is just a generic force. Opener may have splintered or bid 4 with 3-card support, so probably opener has doubleton support.
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#35 User is online   mw64ahw 

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Posted 2021-September-22, 04:51

With a pickup partner I'm reading after 2 Weak+ 5+ without any other agreement

2 I don't have 3 (may have 3 small s) and I have no control followed by
--2NT control/length not enough for game opposite a minimum reverse
--3 preference 3+<4 possibly a weak hand with 2+ & honours NF
----3 3 small s NF
--3 preference 4+ possibly a weak hand with 3+ & honours NF
----3 3 small s NF
--3 6+ no minor support
--3 control/length, happy for partner to play the 3NT
--3NT control/length enough for game opposite a minimum reverse
--4 3+ GI likely to be longer
--4 4+ GI likely to be longer
--4 self-sustaining suit
--5 3+ signoff likely to be longer
--5 4+ signoff likely to be longer

Alternative bids after 2
--2NT I have control, but not enough for game opposite a minimum
--3 6+4
--3 possibly 5 w. a strong rather than intermediate hand?
--3 3 not enough for game opposite a minimum
--3 3 w. control & worth a slam try if you have good controls
--3NT I have control and enough for game opposite a minimum
--4 3 w. control & worth a slam try if you have good controls inc. control
--4 3 w. control & worth a slam try if you have good controls inc. control (i.e. heavy in the Reds)
--4 3 enough for game

In this case 3/4 are the obvious choices with 3 being my preference. I wouldn't muck around with anything else regardless of whether its a pick up partner or not
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#36 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2021-September-22, 07:11

View Postmw64ahw, on 2021-September-22, 04:51, said:

--3 6+4

With extras or not? If not then you need to define bidding sequences over this.

View Postmw64ahw, on 2021-September-22, 04:51, said:

With a pickup partner I'm reading after 2 Weak+ 5+ without any other agreement

If 3 does show extras, this appears to be exactly the same as the "1st step minimum without fit" system I mentioned previously except that those minima are (for this auction) split between the 1st step and 2NT. It certainly requires more discussion than that system though, since it is not immediately clear to me how that works for an auction like 1m - 1 -- 2 - 2. Does 3om now become a minimum without a stop? What if the opening was 1 and Responder now wants to play there - we get forced to the 4 level. You might look at this and say "simple" but this method certainly requires some discussion. Which is the point - reverses require some discussion and then they stop being a problem. Without any agreements (as per the OP) they tend to cause issues.
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#37 User is online   mw64ahw 

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Posted 2021-September-22, 09:21

View PostGilithin, on 2021-September-22, 07:11, said:

With extras or not? If not then you need to define bidding sequences over this.

I've nothing in & 3NT is unlikely unless you can cover
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#38 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2021-September-22, 09:39

View Postmw64ahw, on 2021-September-22, 09:21, said:

I've nothing in & 3NT is unlikely unless you can cover

So now we have that 3 denies a stop, so presumably not 3046/2146 with values in . Now over to Responder - they have 6-7hcp including a good stop, are they expected to bid 3NT? Note that I am not saying that this method is unworkable, just that there are things that require discussion. It is not as simple to bid optimally without specific agreements as you seem to be thinking.
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#39 User is online   mw64ahw 

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Posted 2021-September-22, 10:04

View PostGilithin, on 2021-September-22, 09:39, said:

So now we have that 3 denies a stop, so presumably not 3046/2146 with values in . Now over to Responder - they have 6-7hcp including a good stop, are they expected to bid 3NT? Note that I am not saying that this method is unworkable, just that there are things that require discussion. It is not as simple to bid optimally without specific agreements as you seem to be thinking.

With extras I'm taking the slow route and bidding 2 first so I wouldn't expect partner to bid 3NT

Anyway in terms of this hand the discussion becomes academic and who knows how a pick-up partner will interpret. What you have is my interpretation in a pick-up situation
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