Sunday, June 14, 2009

5-Level Agreements?

Here's a situation that is not all that uncommmon, but caused a bit of a stir at our online table recently. Each of the four players involved had different opinions of what 5-level bids should mean in this sequence:
1S-1NT*-3C-4S**-?
*-forcing
**-the 3 card limit raise

What agreements to you play here? How would you handle this hand (the one actually held at the table)?
KQxxx
void
Axx
AKQxx

10 comments:

Memphis MOJO said...

I don't think you can handle the five level after the awkward jump to 4S. This is the caveman in me, but I believe I'd jump to 6S and let them figure out what to lead. If it makes 7S, so be it.

Memphis MOJO said...

Different method over 1S 1NT to consider:

3C is artificial, asks responder to bid 3D (unless he has a six-card heart suit (3H) or the 3-card limit raise (3S)). Over 3D

1. 3H rebid says I have a real jump shift in clubs (you can't have hearts)

2. 3NT says I have 19 or 20 HCP (note then 3NT over 1NT shows tricks, not HCP)

3. 3S says I have jump-shift values, but a one-suited hand.

Memphis MOJO said...

I talked to the walkers. They thought you should bid 5D, then 6H over a 5S signoff.

I asked them if they realistically thought they could bid the grand intelligently and they admitted that it wasn't likely.

Becker said...

Thanks for the comments mojo. Jumping to slam is practical. If trying to be scientific in this type of auction I like to cuebid naturally, patterning out my hand. Whether to bid 5 clubs or 5 diamonds is a good question, but I prefer 5 diamonds since it pinpoints the heart shortness and lets partner evaluate his cards. As far as bidding 6 hearts over 5 spades goes, that's awfully excessive...to me just bidding one more for the road at that point would be plenty optimistic. Partner's actual hand was Axx QJTxxx K Jxx.

kennyz said...

I think a 5 level bid is a simple control bid. I want to make a move toward slam, but I have a reason I can't bid blackwood: either a void or an uncontrolled suit. I am asking partner to make a control-showing bid at the lowest possible level. I can't see any real point in playing it differently. "Shaping out" dosn't make sense to me at this level. What if I open 1H with XX AKQXX AX AQ10X and the auction goes 1h-1nt-3c-4h. I suppose you could just pass, but isn't this hand worth another move? Opposite as balanced and crappy a hand as AXX XXX KQXX JXX, slam is golden. I need to be able to bid 5d to tell partner that I'm missing a spade control.

kennyz said...

On the hand in question, slam figures to be good as long as partner has the A or J of spades. If he has 3 small spades, it is going to be somewhere between a bad slam and a hopeless slam. I'm mgoing to bid 5S, which should as about trump quality. Partner will certainly bid 6 with the ace, but will he know to do so with the J? Probably not, but even opposite JXX I need some other good stuff so I'll chance missing the slam in that case.

Jonathan Weinstein said...

I'm in the "patterning out" camp since I think most often the crucial thing is to let responder evaluate his high-card location. I think the 2-5-2-4-missing a control hand Kenny gave is comparatively rare...with that I might bid 5D faking my shape, and partner can usually still make the right decision. Or just blast maybe. The main thing is I think 5-4-3-1s and 5-5-3-0s of some kind are more common.

kennyz said...

If Jonathan says it, there must be more merit than I think. Still, it just doesn't make sense to me. Maybe 5-5-3-0 and 5-4-3-1 are more common than 5-4-2-2, but I have other legitimate options for those hands playing the control-showing method. with 5-3-1-4 I can bid blackwood, and with the void I can bid it - showing a control. Granted, both of those options are potentially flawed, but at least there is a way to bid it that's not a psych. With a small doubleton playing the pattern method, I have no choice but to psych or blast. Even if it's less likely to come up, that seems like an inferior position to be in.

Memphis MOJO said...

I'm with Kenny on this one. Patterning out is fine, but not at the five level.

Jonathan Weinstein said...

Well, all approaches have problems, right? If a cuebid could be Axx or void, partner won't know if his KQ in that suit is the perfecta or totally wasted. He can't cuebid it to let you decide, either. I acknowledge that if I sat down with someone and hadn't discussed this, I would definitely assume 5-level cuebids are just cuebids, and expect to usually get along ok. It might require an almost impossible level of discussion to cover every case of when bids should just be patterning out.