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Bidding the opponent's suit when they didn't really bid a suit?

#1 User is offline   cloa513 

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Posted 2023-October-25, 03:39

If the opponent open one of minor and it could be short, what tools are there to bid their suit when you and possibly your partnet have a fit in that suit? I saw one in V-graph opponent opened 1 with Axx. Opponents ended in 3Nt and were absolutely doomed with singleton A and Jx and no running tricks whereas a 5 contract was excellent.
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#2 User is online   DavidKok 

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Posted 2023-October-25, 04:38

In general it is difficult to play in a suit the opponents have opened, even if it could be short. Modern bidding systems simply prioritise investigating playing in other strains more, as it happens more frequently. If the opening bid is nebulous I think it makes sense to allocate space to showing the suit the opponents have bid (but not shown), but over e.g. a 3+ 1 it is going to be difficult. You could design a system around finding this, but you'll miss having an artificial call more than you'll profit from having the natural call.
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#3 User is offline   awm 

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Posted 2023-October-25, 11:10

A few treatments that are fairly common:

1. It's standard to play that coming in with their suit on the second round is natural (for example, 1-Pass-1-Pass-1NT-2 is natural).
2. Some people even play that their suit is natural when partner overcalls (for example, 1-Pass-1-1-Pass/X-2 natural, with 2 being a raise).
3. I've seen people play a direct overcall of a short club as natural (1-2); typically they use 2 to replace the cuebid and just bid either 1 or 3 with a diamond preempt. A natural 2 is less popular over a short diamond because you lose the cuebid for majors (you can use 2 for this, but that's problematic for several reasons).
4. It's fairly common to play that two of opener's suit is natural in sandwich seat (1-Pass-1-2).
Adam W. Meyerson
a.k.a. Appeal Without Merit
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#4 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2023-October-25, 12:43

View Postawm, on 2023-October-25, 11:10, said:

A few treatments that are fairly common:

1. It's standard to play that coming in with their suit on the second round is natural (for example, 1-Pass-1-Pass-1NT-2 is natural).
2. Some people even play that their suit is natural when partner overcalls (for example, 1-Pass-1-1-Pass/X-2 natural, with 2 being a raise).
3. I've seen people play a direct overcall of a short club as natural (1-2); typically they use 2 to replace the cuebid and just bid either 1 or 3 with a diamond preempt. A natural 2 is less popular over a short diamond because you lose the cuebid for majors (you can use 2 for this, but that's problematic for several reasons).


I agree with #1, which is quite frequently sufficient.
#2 looks terrible to me, but maybe that's why I am not an Expert and really should keep quiet here.
#3 is very popular around here and I thank my opponents for playing it, just as I would for the 3+ diamond of OP.
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#5 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2023-October-25, 15:44

Another useful agreement is to play bids like (1C) - 3C and (1D) - 3D as natural and constructive, with a 6+ card suit. If you do this, you need to agree on when it applies - I prefer to be able to do it when opener's suit is 4+, but some partners prefer to limit it to 3+.
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#6 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2023-October-25, 15:49

View Postpescetom, on 2023-October-25, 12:43, said:

#2 looks terrible to me, but maybe that's why I am not an Expert and really should keep quiet here.
#3 is very popular around here and I thank my opponents for playing it, just as I would for the 3+ diamond of OP.

#2 makes sense. Second hand can't have a natural heart bid since they would have already overcalled 1H, but they can have a natural club bid. So why not use the one that has to be artificial as the raise?

What's your concern about #3? It's not my favourite agreement, although I've played it before without it seeming to cause any issues. When we did that, we also used 3C as natural and preemptive, and just discarded Michaels over a 3+ 1D opening. Losing Michaels is the main reason I don't love it, but the rest seemed fine.
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#7 User is offline   bluenikki 

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Posted 2023-October-25, 16:27

View Postcloa513, on 2023-October-25, 03:39, said:

If the opponent open one of minor and it could be short, what tools are there to bid their suit when you and possibly your partnet have a fit in that suit? I saw one in V-graph opponent opened 1 with Axx. Opponents ended in 3Nt and were absolutely doomed with singleton A and Jx and no running tricks whereas a 5 contract was excellent.

#4 is Bridge World Standard, and also that 2 would be to play.on that auction.

(How many different ways do you need to show the same two unbid suits?)
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#8 User is offline   cloa513 

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Posted 2023-October-26, 03:07

The example hand was making an overcall with the other minor- in the given case it was 2 over 1 opening (which could be 3 diamonds and it was). Then partner bid 2, he then rebid 3NT- for me that says the overcallers has t least four good diamonds because otherwise he would bid 1NT or double and then bid NT.
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#9 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2023-October-26, 11:00

View Postsfi, on 2023-October-25, 15:49, said:

#2 makes sense. Second hand can't have a natural heart bid since they would have already overcalled 1H, but they can have a natural club bid. So why not use the one that has to be artificial as the raise?

When you do have two suits available to cue it would seem to me more logical to use each for a different artificial use: for example 3 card and 4 card raise respectively. But I also struggle to imagine a deal where showing suit is likely to work out well: say I have five decent clubs and opening strength, Opener's failure to rebid suggests he has much the same.
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#10 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2023-October-26, 11:26

View Postsfi, on 2023-October-25, 15:49, said:



What's your concern about #3? It's not my favourite agreement, although I've played it before without it seeming to cause any issues. When we did that, we also used 3C as natural and preemptive, and just discarded Michaels over a 3+ 1D opening. Losing Michaels is the main reason I don't love it, but the rest seemed fine.


My main concern is losing Michaels as you say. Nor am I consoled by swapping Michaels to 2 instead: agreed that the natural bid is a small loss, but using it as a second artificial bid is profitable in my experience (we play that over 1, 2 is Hearts+Spades and 2 is Diamonds+Spades, thus filling one of the two gaps in the combination of Michaels and Unusual).

A lesser concern is that Opener may well have length in his "short" clubs and an in incautious intervenor may underestimate this risk and/or vulnerability to end up in a poor score: Experts should of course be able to look after themselves in this respect, but our intermediates don't seem to find it easy.
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#11 User is offline   bluenikki 

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Posted 2023-October-26, 14:05

View Postpescetom, on 2023-October-26, 11:26, said:


A lesser concern is that Opener may well have length in his "short" clubs and an in incautious intervenor may underestimate this risk and/or vulnerability to end up in a poor score: Experts should of course be able to look after themselves in this respect, but our intermediates don't seem to find it easy.

If they have 4 small it shouldn't matter. Maybe even 5 small.
Surely it is losing on balance to show a _poor_ suit.
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#12 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2023-October-26, 15:31

View Postpescetom, on 2023-October-26, 11:00, said:

say I have five decent clubs and opening strength

That's not the sort of hand where you want to bid opener's suit naturally - these bids should be used sparingly. Picture 6-7 good cards in the suit and a reasonable hand unless you really like declaring doubled partscores.
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#13 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2023-October-26, 15:40

View Postpescetom, on 2023-October-26, 11:26, said:

My main concern is losing Michaels as you say. Nor am I consoled by swapping Michaels to 2 instead: agreed that the natural bid is a small loss, but using it as a second artificial bid is profitable in my experience (we play that over 1, 2 is Hearts+Spades and 2 is Diamonds+Spades, thus filling one of the two gaps in the combination of Michaels and Unusual).

One of my friends is fond of saying that agreements are either provably superior or roughly equivalent, and most agreements fall into the latter category. This suggestion is another reasonable way to play it, but personal preference is likely to be the deciding factor here. If you don't see as much value in overcalling their suit immediately, that's a pretty good indication that you should find another meaning for it.
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#14 User is offline   fuzzyquack 

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Posted 2023-October-27, 17:59

View Postpescetom, on 2023-October-26, 11:26, said:

we play that over 1, 2 is Hearts+Spades and 2 is Diamonds+Spades, thus filling one of the two gaps in the combination of Michaels and Unusual

If you want to have both, 2 should be Diamonds+Spades and 2 Hearts+Spades otherwise you are narrowly limited with Diamonds+Spades.
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#15 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2023-October-28, 12:57

View Postfuzzyquack, on 2023-October-27, 17:59, said:

If you want to have both, 2 should be Diamonds+Spades and 2 Hearts+Spades otherwise you are narrowly limited with Diamonds+Spades.


From a theoretical point of view true, although playing mainly MP it seems a bit academic.
In any case I have a long list of inversions that would be better with an expert but not with my partners.
From a practical point of view I am more concerned with avoiding memory errors, and 1 banana 2 banana = Michaels goes in that direction.
Similarly, I reluctantly decided not to fill the other gap (clubs + spades over 1) as I find 2 too valuable and I simply cannot risk a forget of 3, being a pedantic TD when not playing :)
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#16 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2023-October-29, 03:57

There's a difference between a typical short club, and an artificial 1 as used by most Precision like strong club systems. Some open 1 on a void or singleton. There's much more to be said for using 2 as natural.
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#17 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2023-October-29, 12:46

View Postfuzzyquack, on 2023-October-27, 17:59, said:

If you want to have both, 2 should be Diamonds+Spades and 2 Hearts+Spades otherwise you are narrowly limited with Diamonds+Spades.

A Multi structure also works surprisingly well once you start along the Roman-style route. For example, a basic version is 2 = or ; 2 = + ; 2 = + ; 2NT = + . Over a nebulous 1, you could easily adjust this to 2 = or ; 2 = + ; 2 = + minor; 2NT = + minor if that was important to you. 2 natural and 2 majors is a French thing and quite popular in West-central Europe. I remember seeing it called Roudi about 20+ years ago but have not seen the term again for a very long time. In the auction with 2 cues, the rule I was taught (a long time ago) was RHO suit natural, LHO suit cue, which corresponds to Adam's #2. In auctions where the opponents bid 2 suits and neither cue is a raise, American standard seems to be that either cue shows that suit (and thus asks in the other) whereas most Europeans appear to play that either cue is asking. I feel like that latter is better from a theory perspective as it caters to the hand that has nothing in either suit and no other convenient call.
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#18 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2023-October-29, 15:51

View PostGilithin, on 2023-October-29, 12:46, said:

A Multi structure also works surprisingly well once you start along the Roman-style route. For example, a basic version is 2 = or ; 2 = + ; 2 = + ; 2NT = + . Over a nebulous 1, you could easily adjust this to 2 = or ; 2 = + ; 2 = + minor; 2NT = + minor if that was important to you. 2 natural and 2 majors is a French thing and quite popular in West-central Europe. I remember seeing it called Roudi about 20+ years ago but have not seen the term again for a very long time.

I've heard Roudi in last ten years from French and Swiss players, as you say it is widespread in Italy at least.
I'm quite happy using both as twin-suiters and only wish I could do the same over diamonds (see previous post).

Thinking about it (out loud), with a different level of partner I guess we could play (1) 2 = + ( or ), over which we could play something like:
2 = pass with hearts or correct to spades
2 = pass
2NT = ask
.. 3 = clubs
.. 3 = hearts, max
.. 3= hearts
..... 3 = INV
3 = clubs, INV
.. 3 = hearts, max
.. 3 = hearts
3 = stop, F1
.. 3 = ask hearts stop
.. 3 = ask clubs stop
3/4 = pass (LoTT)



View PostGilithin, on 2023-October-29, 12:46, said:

In auctions where the opponents bid 2 suits and neither cue is a raise, American standard seems to be that either cue shows that suit (and thus asks in the other) whereas most Europeans appear to play that either cue is asking. I feel like that latter is better from a theory perspective as it caters to the hand that has nothing in either suit and no other convenient call.

Are you sure about that in geographical terms? Italians play it in what you call the American way, and the first players I met playing that either cue is asking (which I agree looks superior) were Americans, FWIW.
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#19 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2023-October-29, 21:41

View Postpescetom, on 2023-October-29, 15:51, said:

I've heard Roudi in last ten years from French and Swiss players, as you say it is widespread in Italy at least.
I'm quite happy using both as twin-suiters and only wish I could do the same over diamonds (see previous post).


One of the nice things about a Multi structure is that it works just as well over 1 as 1. In addition, like a Multi 2m opening, you can bundle stronger hand types in there as desired. So if you wanted full access to bidding diamonds over a nebulous 1 opening, you could very easily play:

2 = WJO in or ; or good overcall in
2 = +
2 = + a minor
2NT = + a minor
3m = nat WJO

View Postpescetom, on 2023-October-29, 15:51, said:

Thinking about it (out loud), with a different level of partner I guess we could play (1) 2 = + ( or )

This is a popular method in Germany and in fact what I have agreed with my current German partner. A typical response structure might be:

2 = pass/correct
2 = to play
2NT = ask
.. 3 = clubs, min
.. 3 = clubs, max
.. 3= hearts, min
.. 3= hearts, max
..... 3 = INV
3 = pass/correct

Yours may well be better on a theoretical level but there is a practical advantage to having the same rule for all these multi-asks, whereby you bid your suit with a min and bid something else with a max. So for me ideal here would sort of depend on the other conventions a pair is using.

View Postpescetom, on 2023-October-29, 15:51, said:

Are you sure about that in geographical terms? Italians play it in what you call the American way, and the first players I met playing that either cue is asking (which I agree looks superior) were Americans, FWIW.

Well most of my detailed bridge knowledge comes from Germany and the UK, with a large splattering thrown in from lurking on here for a long time. BBF does not have too many Italian posters. It is an observation over that time that American posters tend to show and European ones tend to ask. At German club level, cue agreements are generally split between pure asks and half-stopper shows/asks. I can't remember what Forum D prescribes though - that's probably what most would play if they knew it. In the UK I think almost everyone asks, to the point I thought it was universal until coming across international players. The American influence is strong in the south-east though, so it would not surprise me to hear that things have changed.
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#20 User is offline   mw64ahw 

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Posted 2023-October-30, 02:26

From The Overcall Structure

The Roman Jump Overcall
The two cheapest jump overcalls over a one level bid by opener show the suit bid and the higher touching suit with generally 6-15 HCP. There will always be at least nine cards in the two suits. If there are only 9cards, the lower ranking will always have five cards and the higher ranking will have four.

The bids are asfollows with minimum holdings and tendencies:
2/1: 5 and often 4
2/1: 5 and often 4
2/1: 5 and often 4
2/1: 5 and 4; 5-5 if vulnerable
2/1: 5 and 4; 5-5 if vulnerable
3/1: 5 and 4; tends to be 5-5
3/1: 5 and 4; tends to be 5-5
3/1: 5and 4; tends to be 5-5

The point ranges and limitations are very sensitive to relative vulnerability. Non-vulnerable vs. vulnerable opponents, 2/1 with Jxxxxx Txxxxx x --, would be acceptable. Vulnerable vs. non-vulnerable opponents, 2/1 with KJxx AJxxx Qx KQ, would be reasonable, as opposed to a double, especially opposite a passed partner. One hand that you will never have is 4-5-3-1 shape with shortness in opener's suit because that is a NTTO.
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