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Can anyone explain lebensohl please

#1 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2022-January-03, 01:15

Hi

I'm not exactly a novice or beginner having been around many years but still regard my understanding of many Bridge conventions as close to non-existent unless I have helpful tooltips

This one says 3D Drop etc.... I don't know what that means other than 5+ diamonds and not much else. I have read articles on lebensohl and am none the wiser. I have compared my choice of bids with others. Some took the wise (which I considered) option of ignoring the directive to bid 3C and bid 3NT

Many others ignored the command to "drop" and ended up in trouble. Just a small sample of hands

I considered 4 or 5 diamonds but decided to drop - which I decided must mean pass


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#2 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2022-January-03, 01:45

In lebensohl 2NT is a puppet — opener has no choice but to bid 3!C.

This is a pretty good explanation.
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#3 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2022-January-03, 03:58

2NT is a puppet to 3, one of the uses is for responder to compete in a part score with a weak hand and a long suit. 2NT puppet followed by 3 means "I want to play in 3", so opener must pass. In the posted deal, opener has a perfect fitting hand and 5 has good play, but the 4-0 break means it is off if you cash the wrong diamond honor first (there is no way to strip East of side suits and endplay them in diamonds).
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#4 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2022-January-03, 04:17

View Postblackshoe, on 2022-January-03, 01:45, said:

In lebensohl 2NT is a puppet — opener has no choice but to bid 3!C.



This is true in the situation where 1N is opened but not in some of the others where lebensohl is used.

Many use lebensohl in situations like 2-X-P-2N-P- now you need to do something other than 3 if you're looking at a 23 count and you don't want partner to pass with a bad hand with clubs.
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#5 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-January-03, 05:30

Is the lesson that lebensohl comes in many flavours and you need to have solid agreements?
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek.
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#6 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2022-January-03, 06:06

View Postpilowsky, on 2022-January-03, 05:30, said:

Is the lesson that lebensohl comes in many flavours and you need to have solid agreements?


There are only 2 main variants of lebensohl (hinging on whether outside clubs you use 2N for the good hands or the bad ones, and whether going thru 2N shows a stop or denies one) but there are other conventions that do the same job https://en.wikipedia.../wiki/Rubinsohl for example.

You need agreements but they're not complicated.
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#7 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2022-January-03, 10:22

I'm afraid there's more than two main variants. AL explained the most common (and simplest) version.

You need solid agreements. This is true regardless of whether you play lebensohl.
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#8 User is online   mycroft 

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Posted 2022-January-03, 10:40

The key thing missing is that using 2NT as a puppet bid ("please bid 3, partner, so I can show you my hand") [*] effectively doubles the number of hands you can show. And it means that 3 *directly*, without going through 2NT, is Game Forcing. Which solves the problem of when you have
or you have
and only have one diamond call short of 3NT.

Quick overview of "standard" lebensohl. Direct:
  • 2 bids are to play
  • 3 bids are game forcing
  • cue is GF Stayman without a stopper (**)
  • 3NT is natural, but denies a stopper (**)
  • double is penalty(**)

but after bidding 2NT first:
  • pass or 3 below their suit is to play ("drop dead")
  • 3 higher than their suit is invitational
  • cue and 3NT are as above, but show a stopper


(**)More complicated here because 2 shows 2 suits, neither of which are diamonds. There isn't really a "standard" on how to handle this here, I think GIB goes with "choose the cheapest shown suit as the 'lebensohl suit'". But in general this is how it works.

I've learned that in "robot games" whether it's robot indys or "free duplicate" or ... that a lot of players don't know GIB's system and don't read it, and that when I open 1NT and they interfere, or when they open 1NT and partner interferes, I'm headed for a good score just because people are going to misbid. You were right to pass; those that raised because they had such a good hand for diamonds - got away with it this time (if in 5, only if they played it right).
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#9 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2022-January-03, 16:20

View Postmycroft, on 2022-January-03, 10:40, said:

The key thing missing is that using 2NT as a puppet bid ("please bid 3, partner, so I can show you my hand") [*] effectively doubles the number of hands you can show. And it means that 3 *directly*, without going through 2NT, is Game Forcing. Which solves the problem of when you have
or you have
and only have one diamond call short of 3NT.

Quick overview of "standard" lebensohl. Direct:
  • 2 bids are to play
  • 3 bids are game forcing
  • cue is GF Stayman without a stopper (**)
  • 3NT is natural, but denies a stopper (**)
  • double is penalty(**)

but after bidding 2NT first:
  • pass or 3 below their suit is to play ("drop dead")
  • 3 higher than their suit is invitational
  • cue and 3NT are as above, but show a stopper


(**)More complicated here because 2 shows 2 suits, neither of which are diamonds. There isn't really a "standard" on how to handle this here, I think GIB goes with "choose the cheapest shown suit as the 'lebensohl suit'". But in general this is how it works.

I've learned that in "robot games" whether it's robot indys or "free duplicate" or ... that a lot of players don't know GIB's system and don't read it, and that when I open 1NT and they interfere, or when they open 1NT and partner interferes, I'm headed for a good score just because people are going to misbid. You were right to pass; those that raised because they had such a good hand for diamonds - got away with it this time (if in 5, only if they played it right).


In the OP the overcall showed 5+/5+ in the majors, so I don't think it is necessary to have a Stayman bid incorporated into Lebensohl in this situation (are you ever going to want to play in a major if you know they are breaking 5-0?). Maybe use the cue bids instead to show/deny a stopper in that suit and ask partner to bid 3NT if they have the other suit stopped. Maybe we are getting a bit too technical for the beginner forum, and the primary objective in a competitive auction is to be on the same wavelength.
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#10 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2022-January-03, 17:02

View Postmycroft, on 2022-January-03, 10:40, said:

..wonderfully concise explanation



Thx everyone.

Sadly with best hand bridge I don't think I've ever had the chance to use it myself. Played Cappelletti (aka Hamilton) a few times but I don't even know I would remember lebensohl unless I wanted to bid natural 2NT and couldn't
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#11 User is online   mycroft 

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Posted 2022-January-03, 18:08

Yes, AL, discussions on what to do with two suits to cue or whether we want Stayman over majors is a very very long topic; one I didn't want to expand an already large discussion for.

I would agree with you if they guaranteed 5=5, but apart from GIB, "nobody" does; and I bet a lot of "looks like 5=5 to me" with 5-4 happens even when that's actually their agreement. And opposite a potential 4-1, it may still be useful to look for the 4=4 game.
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