Saturday, May 30, 2009

An Unusual Auction

Playing at Bills club last week in the weekly team game, this unusual auction came up. Imps, All Vul

2N P 3C P
3H P 6H P
7H P P P

North said before 7H that if you can bid 6H, I can bid 7. Of course it made, but the question from everyone is why did N bid this 7H. He is a very good player, and seemed to think it was a decent shot. I am sure not everyone would agree but I will try to re-create his reasoning. I partially agree with him, but not sure if the percentages are right for a bid of this type or not.

N’s hand was AK AKxxx Kxx Axx, he is max for his action, with the doubleton and 5th heart, all good things. The main point is partners action and implied hands. I believe his reasoning was that partner probably had both majors (maybe a false assumption) and in the range of 11-12/13 HCP for this bid, with no great feature to show on the way. Or at least I think that is the most probable hand on this auction. If partner has 9 cards in the majors, and the Q of hearts, A of diamonds and K of clubs, you will probably have excellent play since you will cover all 4 of partners minor suit cards, and have no quick loosers in the majors. The only question will be if you have enough winners.

I think the real question comes up when either partner is 4-4 in the majors or has any hand with hearts and not holding spades. (Holding xx QJxx AJxx Kxx or worse x QJxx AJxx Kxxx, what would your auction be?) In both of those cases, with your flat distribution, I really think that the grand quickly becomes against the odds, unless partner holds an undiscosed running suit in addition to hearts. So the question becomes, how often will partner hold a hand with 54 or greater in the majors for this auction vs holding a hand with 8 or less cards in the majors.
I may get ambitious and run a hand analysis on probabilities, but just a rough guess, I would say the grand is slightly over average, but definately not near 60%. And since the odds of it being bid at the other table are fairly low, given the probable constraints on partners hand from bidding 6H with no try of any kind, you should be more in the 75% + range to bid on. It worked this time, but not sure how it would pay off in long run.

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