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Preemptive Bidding and Weak Jump Overcalls Hand Composition, pluses and minuses

#1 User is offline   ruleof15 

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Posted 2020-January-01, 09:27

The purpose of preemptive bidding is to make it difficult for the opponents to bid their suits and to inform your partner that your hand is suited for offense only. Making a preemptive bid with two Aces misinforms your partner as to the construction of your hand and the defensive strength it contains. This is not recommended, period.
Originally the 2-bid was 8-12HCP with ½ of the HCP in the suit bid. It was an offensive bid with some defense. This was used with the 1♣ forcing system.
Currently, weak and preemptive opening bids of two ♦, ♥ or ♠ indicate a six card suit and between 5 and 10 HCP, no void(s), no four cards in an unbid major suit and not more than one ace. Some players do not open weak-two bids with an ace outside the suit bid. Bids of three ♣,♦,♥,♠ which indicates a seven card suit, with the exceptions listed previously and between 7 and 11 HCP. With both of these bids most of your high cards should be in the suit bid. Have patience. If most of your high cards are not where they should be, in your long suit, then you have a defensive hand.

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#2 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2020-January-01, 11:26

You can continue to have patience and wait for the ideal hand to pre-empt. I agree that this style of preempting makes things easier for partner. You won't pre-empt very often, but you will be very accurate.

Meanwhile, some of us around here find that these bids are very effective at disrupting opponents and we like to pre-empt more often. A primary consideration is seat at the table, rather than arbitrary rules about the strength of the suit. I suggest that in 3rd seat you should pre-empt often and make life difficult for the one person who can have a strong hand. In first seat you are 2 to 1 favourite to be inconveniencing an opponent rather than partner. Only in second seat would I try and be a bit more disciplined.

I suggest you loosen up a bit and pre-empt more often (particularly if the vulnerability is in your favour). It is fun as well as winning bridge.
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#3 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-January-01, 12:11

View PostTramticket, on 2020-January-01, 11:26, said:

You can continue to have patience at wait for the ideal hand to pre-empt. I agree that this style of preempting makes things easier for partner. You won't pre-empt very often, but you will be very accurate.

Meanwhile, some of us around here find that these bids are very effective at disrupting opponents and we like to pre-empt more often. A primary consideration is seat at the table, rather than arbitrary rules about the strength of the suit. I suggest that in 3rd seat you should pre-empt often and make life difficult for the one person who can have a strong hand. In first seat you are 2 to 1 favourite to be inconveniencing an opponent rather than partner. Only in second seat would I try and be a bit more disciplined.

I suggest you loosen up a bit and pre-empt more often (particularly if the vulnerability is in your favour). It is fun as well as winning bridge.


In a similar recent debate, mikeh pointed out that discipline and aggressiveness are not opposites when it comes to preemptive bidding. It's a conclusion I was already tending to and took to heart.
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#4 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2020-January-01, 13:17

View Postpescetom, on 2020-January-01, 12:11, said:

In a similar recent debate, mikeh pointed out that discipline and aggressiveness are not opposites when it comes to preemptive bidding. It's a conclusion I was already tending to and took to heart.


I agree and I am suggesting that less disciplined pre-empts in 3rd seat (also 1st seat) can be very effective. I don't mind preempting with a 12 count in third seat.

For me, the seat at the table is the single most important consideration when judging whether to pre-empt - more so than vulnerability, suit quality and definitely more important than point-count.
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#5 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2020-January-01, 14:20

HAPPY NEW YEAR

4th-hand pre-empts depend on vulnerability and scoring methods but can flout Rule of 15. For example, you might agree...
  • 2-level = 10-13 HCP, 6+ suit. e.g. 2 with A x Q x A J x x x x x x x
  • 3-level = 9-13 HCP. 6+ solid suit e.g. 3 with A K Q x x x x x x x x x x


Some experts feel that, in general, pre-empts shouldn't be too predictable.

Terence Reese said:

A pre-empt that is known to be weak is a blunt sword


Other useful references are Andrew Gumperz's series of articles in BridgeWinners

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#6 User is offline   FelicityR 

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Posted 2020-January-01, 15:00

The idea of pre-emptive bidding is to make life difficult for the opponents. Remember there are two opponents to one partner. Sticking rigidly to rules laid down in textbooks is not keeping with how modern pre-empts are bid.. They are a disruptive tool, which sometimes works, and occasionally do not.

I will do everything in my power to make the opponents second guess what to do next, whether it be IMPs or MPs.

You can look at your hand and think ODR (Offensive to Defensive Ratio) but those aces are useless against a void if the opponents can trump, so you have no definite way of knowing whether your hand is good or bad.
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#7 User is offline   fromageGB 

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Posted 2020-January-02, 14:10

View Postruleof15, on 2020-January-01, 09:27, said:

The purpose of preemptive bidding is to make it difficult for the opponents to bid their suits and to inform your partner that your hand is suited for offence only.

Not true these days, as others have pointed out. Chop it down to "The purpose of preemptive bidding is to make it difficult for the opponents to bid". When you adopt more flexibility you include defensive hands too. It is a well known fact that distributional offensive hands on one side are usually partnered by equally offensive hands for the other side, and a "sound" preempt assists them in their bidding. Mix in some mixed hands, and it becomes much trickier for them to bid. You have achieved your purpose.

When in 3rd seat my partnerships can be more flexible as to both length and strength. A jump opening is announced (EBU-land) as "weak to intermediate".
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#8 User is offline   ruleof15 

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Posted 2020-January-06, 13:49

View PostTramticket, on 2020-January-01, 11:26, said:

You can continue to have patience and wait for the ideal hand to pre-empt. I agree that this style of preempting makes things easier for partner. You won't pre-empt very often, but you will be very accurate.

Meanwhile, some of us around here find that these bids are very effective at disrupting opponents and we like to pre-empt more often. A primary consideration is seat at the table, rather than arbitrary rules about the strength of the suit. I suggest that in 3rd seat you should pre-empt often and make life difficult for the one person who can have a strong hand. In first seat you are 2 to 1 favourite to be inconveniencing an opponent rather than partner. Only in second seat would I try and be a bit more disciplined.

I suggest you loosen up a bit and pre-empt more often (particularly if the vulnerability is in your favour). It is fun as well as winning bridge.

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#9 User is offline   ruleof15 

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Posted 2020-January-06, 13:56

While I play for many hours a week on BBO, I have no intentions on changing my way of playing to match the games found here. Sure, one can interfere with most players but excellent players will only use the wild bidding to their advantage. After having played in the top 3 strats for about 10 years. I know what it takes to be competitive. Since i have retired I don't intend on showihg the I-N-A players bad bidding.
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#10 User is offline   ruleof15 

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Posted 2020-January-06, 14:00

View Postnige1, on 2020-January-01, 14:20, said:

HAPPY NEW YEAR

4th-hand pre-empts depend on vulnerability and scoring methods but can flout Rule of 15. For example, you might agree...
  • 2-level = 10-13 HCP, 6+ suit. e.g. 2 with A x Q x A J x x x x x x x
  • 3-level = 9-13 HCP. 6+ solid suit e.g. 3 with A K Q x x x x x x x x x x


Some experts feel that, in general, pre-empts shouldn't be too predictable.


Other useful references are Andrew Gumperz's series of articles in BridgeWinners


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#11 User is offline   ruleof15 

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Posted 2020-January-06, 14:07

4th hand preempts is like waving a red flag in front of a bull. Nothing good happens. If you don't want the opponents to bid, PASS. Opening an 8 trick hand is the only way to play the percentages. Weak-2 bids do not effect or intimidate good players. I lost the GNT by opening 2s. The opponents got to 6d which our teammates didn't. We lose by 4.
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#12 User is offline   ruleof15 

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Posted 2020-January-06, 14:08

View PostfromageGB, on 2020-January-02, 14:10, said:

Not true these days, as others have pointed out. Chop it down to "The purpose of preemptive bidding is to make it difficult for the opponents to bid". When you adopt more flexibility you include defensive hands too. It is a well known fact that distributional offensive hands on one side are usually partnered by equally offensive hands for the other side, and a "sound" preempt assists them in their bidding. Mix in some mixed hands, and it becomes much trickier for them to bid. You have achieved your purpose.

When in 3rd seat my partnerships can be more flexible as to both length and strength. A jump opening is announced (EBU-land) as "weak to intermediate".

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#13 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-January-06, 14:10

@ruleof15, I for one would be grateful if you could you put the quote and your comment to it in the same post.
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#14 User is offline   ruleof15 

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Posted 2020-January-06, 14:17

suggesting to B-N-I players that it is OK to be wild when preempting self defeating lessons taught. Bridge is a game requiring discipline. Not knowing what your partner's hand is like puts a lot of stress on the partnership. the object to any game is to make it easy to play and relaxing. I have played on teams who have won more than 25 head-to-head games in a row and I have played on teams where they get tired before the last round. Bridge is exhausting like any thing requiring that much thinking.
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#15 User is offline   apollo1201 

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Posted 2020-January-06, 16:11

View Postruleof15, on 2020-January-06, 14:17, said:

suggesting to B-N-I players that it is OK to be wild when preempting self defeating lessons taught. Bridge is a game requiring discipline. Not knowing what your partner's hand is like puts a lot of stress on the partnership. the object to any game is to make it easy to play and relaxing. I have played on teams who have won more than 25 head-to-head games in a row and I have played on teams where they get tired before the last round. Bridge is exhausting like any thing requiring that much thinking.

Are you a relative of bridgepali?
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#16 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2020-January-09, 23:17

My opinion on preemption is well covered on these forums if you go looking. And it won't easily agree with OP (although if my partner wants that, that's how I bid - with her.
She's the only partner I have where I believe we are ahead of my field when we sit down, so the opponents have to push us around, not vice versa).

But I want to reiterate what pescetom says he "is learning", because to me it is critical - "disciplined" and "aggressive" are two separate axes, not ends on a line. I am disciplined with my most common partner - she knows that while I might *have been dealt* AKQxxx and out this time, she shouldn't play me for it, at least not first seat white on red. She should play me for QT9xxx, and hope for more (and pray for not less). But I won't have two defensive cards outside of my suit. And I expect the same from her. That's our agreement and we don't violate it - I can count on her not to pass a "decent" 6-card suit first, favourable, without defensive strength.

Another partner, we've agreed "2/top 3 vulnerable and second", and we stick to that.

My frequent teammates are "traditional" first and second, and third seat preempts are described as "13 cards, some of which are in the suit". Insanely aggressive, but again, very disciplined.

What your agreement is, is much less important than not disappointing partner by violating your agreement "this time" because "it didn't feel right". There - not the rigid requirement to follow 1960's standards for preempts - is what you must do to keep your partner "knowing what you have" and "less stressed".

As for fourth seat jump openings - calling them "preempts" is a bit misleading; the goal is to be descriptive (in case you hit a gold mine from partner), while taking away room from the opponents to compete effectively (that is relatively easy after p-p-p-1M). Hopefully "winning the competitive auction in one bid". I absolutely agree with you - the best fourth-seat preempt is PASS. But a fourth seat 2 intends to go PLUS, which, last I checked, scores better than zero.

I, too, have lost events by being too active in the bidding, preempts that the other table didn't make that gave too much away. It's easier to see those than the ones where we quietly went down 2 for -200, winning 6-and-the-match when the other table passed at unfavourable and let our teammates find their game.
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