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Some humans are worse than the robots

#1 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2020-September-18, 20:30

In the 6-board free individuals that I play sometimes, there are often howlers in the auction. Like the time my partner didn’t like his doubleton in my first suit nor 5-card support in my second, and decided to have a go in 2NT. But I think yesterday’s was the worst one yet.



Guesses as to South’s next call on a postcard.
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#2 User is online   smerriman 

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Posted 2020-September-18, 20:41

Pass, presumably.
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#3 User is offline   TylerE 

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Posted 2020-September-18, 21:02

Well, having denied support twice already I'm sure the "field" bid is 4 so as to utterly confuse.
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#4 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-September-18, 21:24

1 "I have 5 and 10 - 22 HCP
2 "I have 4-7 and 4-18 HCP
3 this where it gets tricky - for some players this could mean BERGEN! "I have 4card support etc and forgot about the interference thing", or it could mean "I have a lot of ". Definitely means "I have >6 HCP" or half a dozen other things.
3 "I have either no hearts or the Ace of Hearts or whatever, anyway don't worry about hearts. I have a strong hand we're off to the races"
pass "well, I put my cards on the table I have 5-6 and 8-10 HCP that's it for me"
3NT "up to you"
pass "I'm staying out of this"
4 "don't like 3NT"
pass "make up your mind guys"

I'm voting for 4 and if it's wrong, North can correct it to 5.

I would say that most humans are worse than robots.
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#5 User is online   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-September-18, 21:56

4 hearts?

More seriously Pass :)

PS I don't know how I compare with robots since most of the time I am playing against them but also have one as a partner :)
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#6 User is online   AL78 

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Posted 2020-September-19, 01:58

I am going for pass. I've had at least one human partner do that to me in a similar auction.
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#7 User is offline   nullve 

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Posted 2020-September-19, 03:41

P ("going plus")
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#8 User is online   helene_t 

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Posted 2020-September-19, 04:13

Given that the call can be deemed nonsense without seeing South's holding, I can only think of pass and 7NT. Pass is more likely, since 7NT would look more like a sabotage bid than being worse than a robot.
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#9 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-September-19, 04:19

View PostVampyr, on 2020-September-18, 20:30, said:

In the 6-board free individuals that I play sometimes, there are often howlers in the auction.


Hey, I just put you into 3NT and let you get on with it B-)
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#10 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2020-September-19, 04:25

Vampyr 'In the 6-board free individuals that I play sometimes, there are often howlers in the auction. Like the time my partner didn't like his doubleton in my first suit nor 5-card support in my second, and decided to have a go in 2NT. But I think yesterday's was the worst one yet. Guesses as to South's next call on a postcard.'
++++++++++++++++++++
Pass seems wrong but how wrong depends on the systemic meaning of 4. On BBO, you can see the meaning of a call, before committing to it. IMO, f2f, that would be illegal but on-line, it's implicitly permitted.

View Postpilowsky, on 2020-September-18, 21:24, said:

I would say that most humans are worse than robots.
Agree. IMO modern Bridge robots are much better than most human players. Even Gib scores above average.


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#11 User is offline   TomSawyer4 

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Posted 2020-September-19, 11:54

Depending upon exact content of the South hand, six spades, six diamonds, 4NT, 5NT, seven diamonds or seven spades. All obvious from the biding.

Is this some sort of test?

Do I need to say more?
Your bidding shows either a two suited hand (5-5 in Spades and Diamonds ) or a distribution like 5-1-4-3 with a strong hand (18+).
Responder showed his long diamonds and his A or Kx in hearts by bidding 3NT.
When you bid 4D you showed you couldn't play in NT, indicating a two suiter, with a likely singleton heart, i.e 5-1-5-2 or better.
From there, its only a matter of counting tricks, and points don't mean much given the distribution.
If he needs more information to decide between six and seven, 4NT is blackwood and 5NT is grand slam force.

Since you were shocked, I'll guess he can count 13 tricks in 7D.
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#12 User is offline   FelicityR 

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Posted 2020-September-19, 12:55

'Pass' would be too easy to guess, and if that happened it was incredibly stupid. So out of the blue I'm going to go with 6NT with no logical explanation why it was bid and what holding South has to make that call? Now that would be incredibly, incredibly stupid.
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#13 User is offline   SelfGovern 

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Posted 2020-September-19, 13:32

View Postpilowsky, on 2020-September-18, 21:24, said:

1 "I have 5 and 10 - 22 HCP
2 "I have 4-7 and 4-18 HCP
3 this where it gets tricky - for some players this could mean BERGEN! "I have 4card support etc and forgot about the interference thing", or it could mean "I have a lot of ". Definitely means "I have >6 HCP" or half a dozen other things.
3 "I have either no hearts or the Ace of Hearts or whatever, anyway don't worry about hearts. I have a strong hand we're off to the races"
pass "well, I put my cards on the table I have 5-6 and 8-10 HCP that's it for me"
3NT "up to you"
pass "I'm staying out of this"
4 "don't like 3NT"
pass "make up your mind guys"

I'm voting for 4 and if it's wrong, North can correct it to 5.

I would say that most humans are worse than robots.


Let me make a few suggestions that might improve your bidding a bit.

3!D: Has to be essentially opening bid strength, since it's forcing and therefore you're willing to play at the 4-level. 6+? Not on your life. With that you pass, and hope partner can re-open with a double and let you show "suit, but not enough values for an immediate bid".

3!H: Unknown, forcing, extras; typically shows a partial heart stopper, asking responder if he can provide enough in hearts to bid 3NT (if opener had hearts well stopped, he'd bid 3NT himself in this kind of auction). This "can you help with a diamond stop?" is often called the Western Cue (or WQ for short). In any case, this is how opener sets a game force and finds out more about responder's hand; it's 100% forcing after all.

3NT: If you were looking for heart values (your 3!H was Western Cue), I have 'em.

4!D: This is where the inferences come in. If opener simply wanted to raise diamonds, he'd have bid 4!D or 5!D (rarely) over 3!D. But he didn't.
One thing he is not doing is offering responder a choice of playing in 3NT (the WQ 3!D above) and then changing his mind, pulling 3NT to 4!D. This auction shows a very good hand in support of diamonds, too good to raise to 4!D immediately.
Many pairs would interpret this as minorwoodI, setting diamonds as trump and asking responder to show key cards. ("Minorwood" is in the style of Blackwood, but is the key card ask for the minors, and allows you to stop at 5m, while Blackwood will often bypass five of our minor).


What happens after that, we don't know. A lot of people don't know that 4!D should be key card ask on this auction, so I wouldn't expect anyone but an expert or high advanced to treat it that way (and only with discussion!). I would expect GIB to treat it as a forcing bid and probably bid 6!D or similar.

Yes, it's possible for responder to show Hx secondary support for spades here (Qx or better).

Without looking at responder's hand, it's impossible to know what calls are logical -- or illogical -- at this juncture.

I hope that some of my comments above will help you clarify auctions in the future.
Liberty breeds responsibility
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#14 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-September-19, 14:07

View PostSelfGovern, on 2020-September-19, 13:32, said:

Let me make a few suggestions that might improve your bidding a bit.

3!D: Has to be essentially opening bid strength, since it's forcing and therefore you're willing to play at the 4-level. 6+? Not on your life. With that you pass, and hope partner can re-open with a double and let you show "suit, but not enough values for an immediate bid".

3!H: Unknown, forcing, extras; typically shows a partial heart stopper, asking responder if he can provide enough in hearts to bid 3NT (if opener had hearts well stopped, he'd bid 3NT himself in this kind of auction). This "can you help with a diamond stop?" is often called the Western Cue (or WQ for short). In any case, this is how opener sets a game force and finds out more about responder's hand; it's 100% forcing after all.

3NT: If you were looking for heart values (your 3!H was Western Cue), I have 'em.

4!D: This is where the inferences come in. If opener simply wanted to raise diamonds, he'd have bid 4!D or 5!D (rarely) over 3!D. But he didn't.
One thing he is not doing is offering responder a choice of playing in 3NT (the WQ 3!D above) and then changing his mind, pulling 3NT to 4!D. This auction shows a very good hand in support of diamonds, too good to raise to 4!D immediately.
Many pairs would interpret this as minorwoodI, setting diamonds as trump and asking responder to show key cards. ("Minorwood" is in the style of Blackwood, but is the key card ask for the minors, and allows you to stop at 5m, while Blackwood will often bypass five of our minor).


What happens after that, we don't know. A lot of people don't know that 4!D should be key card ask on this auction, so I wouldn't expect anyone but an expert or high advanced to treat it that way (and only with discussion!). I would expect GIB to treat it as a forcing bid and probably bid 6!D or similar.

Yes, it's possible for responder to show Hx secondary support for spades here (Qx or better).

Without looking at responder's hand, it's impossible to know what calls are logical -- or illogical -- at this juncture.

I hope that some of my comments above will help you clarify auctions in the future.

Very helpful I did mean closer to 'game-going' values 3 =4 and 10-12 HCP" as implied by the Bergen comment. To account for the title of the thread etc I provided an extreme lower range. 3NT also means choice of game.



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#15 User is online   smerriman 

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Posted 2020-September-19, 14:10

View PostSelfGovern, on 2020-September-19, 13:32, said:

A lot of people don't know that 4!D should be key card ask on this auction, so I wouldn't expect anyone but an expert or high advanced to treat it that way (and only with discussion!).

I disagree strongly with this. If 4 is keycard, what bid do you make when you are interested in a diamond slam, but are missing a control in a side suit (or want to probe for grand)? You must have a way to set diamonds and start a control bidding sequence without simply resorting to asking for aces.

[edit] Actually, if a direct 4 (instead of 3) is forcing and asks for controls, then it's fine to have the other method being keycard. But it seems you weren't intending this, as you said 3 would be 'too strong to raise to 4'.
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#16 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2020-September-19, 21:59

View Postsmerriman, on 2020-September-19, 14:10, said:

I disagree strongly with this. If 4 is keycard, what bid do you make when you are interested in a diamond slam, but are missing a control in a side suit (or want to probe for grand)? You must have a way to set diamonds and start a control bidding sequence without simply resorting to asking for aces.

[edit] Actually, if a direct 4 (instead of 3) is forcing and asks for controls, then it's fine to have the other method being keycard. But it seems you weren't intending this, as you said 3 would be 'too strong to raise to 4'.


My partner and I have the agreement that 4m is not Minorwood if it is the first time we have had a chance to support the suit. This, of course, was a stranger, and I would not consider Minorwood in any situation.

EDIT: Thinking about it, I realised that pulling 3NT to 4m in a strong auction is a classic Minorwood situation, so perhaps an exception can be made to the above.

Anyway, partner passed, 4+2, ho-hum. I love the one hand per partner aspect!
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#17 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-September-20, 00:12

View PostSelfGovern, on 2020-September-19, 13:32, said:

A lot of people don't know that 4!D should be key card ask on this auction, so I wouldn't expect anyone but an expert or high advanced to treat it that way (and only with discussion!).

Not only don't I know that 4 should be RKC, I think minorwood is one of the worst conventions that is played by mostly bad players. Few experts, and probably almost no world class players play minorwood.
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#18 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2020-September-20, 07:38

View Postjohnu, on 2020-September-20, 00:12, said:

Not only don't I know that 4 should be RKC, I think minorwood is one of the worst conventions that is played by mostly bad players. Few experts, and probably almost no world class players play minorwood.


Why do you dislike it so much?
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#19 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2020-September-20, 08:19

View Postjohnu, on 2020-September-20, 00:12, said:

Not only don't I know that 4 should be RKC, I think minorwood is one of the worst conventions that is played by mostly bad players. Few experts, and probably almost no world class players play minorwood.
Interesting. I'm amazed that world-class players shun it. Anyway, I don't think ordinary players should uncritically adhere to expert methods unless they play a lot of Bridge. For us, some reasonable criteria are:
  • Effectiveness -- Obviously, but also important are ...
  • Simplicity -- One disastrous forget undoes all previous successes,
  • Consistency -- Same methods in similar contexts to reduce memory-load and avoid mix-ups.
  • Coverage and frequency -- if it never comes up it's not worth the hassle.

Minorwood satisfies some of these criteria. So we should consider adopting the convention.
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#20 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2020-September-20, 12:14

View Postnige1, on 2020-September-19, 04:25, said:

On BBO, you can see the meaning of a call, before committing to it. IMO, f2f, that would be illegal but on-line, it's implicitly permitted.

If you're saying it's implicitly permitted simply because the software allows it, I disagree. Strongly.
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