Pickup With Ace+1

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RedDuke
Posts: 179
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:22 am

Pickup With Ace+1

Post by RedDuke » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:30 am

We all know that the dealer position has a real advantage due to the ability to pick up an extra trump and create a void along with having the last play. How strong is that though? What's the weakest hand that you should call on?

This came up earlier today. I was dealer holding this:

(Card_A-S) (Card_K-C) (Card_K-D) (Card_Q-D) (Card_K-H)

Upcard was the (Card_10-S) .

Everybody passed and so I had the call. This is seriously a terrible position to be in since I have no idea if my partner is going to be able to help. If I pick up, I've got a void in next but if the first lead is something else then I can't trump in so might not be able to score that first trick. Unless my partner is holding a black jack, my trump position is pretty weak too.

At the same time, I've got no defense if I pass and no way to stop a first seat next loner. That means that picking up could very easily be the best option if only to stop first seat from attempting something.

Would you pick up here? In this particular game, the score was 0-0. If the score was 9-9 or something similar, that makes picking up an absolute necessity.



jblowery
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:43 am

Post by jblowery » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:32 pm

I think your chances of making that one are around 40%

Richardb02
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:57 pm

Post by Richardb02 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:44 pm

I’m confident tht at everyone agrees that the hand is too weak to pick up. The only reason to pick up is to donate. Donating came up a number of times in Wes’ Advance Euchre Quiz.

I have actually compared all the answers to the Quiz. From those comparisons, I have tweaked my approach, my BPS, to reflect the wisdom of Wes, Irish, Don, Red and others. I’m now in agreement with Wes 90% of the time. The 10% disagreements focus on donating.

In general, Wes will donate any time he has a weak hand (and the score is not critical, (Opponents having 8 or 9 points). My approach assumes that there is a point where donating tips the scales to the point that I cannot afford the price of 2 points.

I have identified 3 critical points. First, if I don’t have good cards in my hand, then the cards are somewhere. There is a 1/3 chance those cards are in my partner’s hand. So if I donate 100% of the time, I lose winning 1/3 of the time. BTW if the cards are in the kitty, the effect is neutral and actually, slightly in my favor. So there has to be a point where it is definitely counterproductive to donate. Irish, Don & Red agree, based on their quiz responses.

I’m anal, but i’m Not going to calculate the odds, or probabilities where my 1/3 possible gain exceed my gains from donating. I want easily observed points.

The 2 points are less than 4 points ahead (<4 pts) and more than 3 points ahead (>3 pts).

The thinking is with a lead of 4 or more, I want to eliminate the small chance of Opponents taking 4 points, because I can afford the protection because of the lead. So I need 2 points from Partner to win this hand and that matches adding 1.25 points.

With a 2 or 3 point lead, I cannot afford as much protection. So I add 0.50 points (2 tads), assuming that Partner has a chance to provide the difference needed to win the hand. I am only "paying" what I can afford. Personally I can't afford to lose the lead.

If I only have a 1 or 2 point lead I don' want to donate. I can't afford to give up 2 points needlessly. It is better to take the 1/3 chance that Partner can save the day!

Here is a BPS example:

0.50 Seat 4
0.25 Ts
0.50 As
0.25 Void (Hearts)
1.50 Short of 2.00 needed to pick up but
0.50 If I have a lead of 2 or 3 points
2.00 Pick, 2.00 is the "Edge Hand" in this situation.
or
1.25 If I have a lead of 4 or more points
2.75 Definite pick at this point

If I have a "disaster hand", I don't change my thinking. If I don't have the cards, then someone else has the cards. That someone else can be Partner or Kitty. So I still see a 1/3 chance that Partner can save the day. I don't see any significant change in the odds of Opponents getting 4 points.

So, I only donate what I can afford to donate. That is 2 tads (0.50) points with a 2 or 3 point lead. That is a bunch (1.25 points) with a 4 point or larger lead. That reflects the wisdom I found in the answers to Wes' Advanced Euchre Quiz.

Wes (aka the legend)
Posts: 138
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:03 pm

Post by Wes (aka the legend) » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:39 pm

RedDuke wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:30 am
We all know that the dealer position has a real advantage due to the ability to pick up an extra trump and create a void along with having the last play. How strong is that though? What's the weakest hand that you should call on?

This came up earlier today. I was dealer holding this:

(Card_A-S) (Card_K-C) (Card_K-D) (Card_Q-D) (Card_K-H)

Upcard was the (Card_10-S) .
I'm gonna steal a quote from a strong euchre player I know: "Sometimes you gotta eat it". This is one of those times. The hand is just too weak to call in non-donate scenarios. And BTW what exactly IS a donate scenario from the dealer spot is VERY debatable. My guess is something like: up 9-0, 9-1, 9-2, 9-3, 8-0, 8-1, 7-0.

Wes (aka the legend)
Posts: 138
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:03 pm

Post by Wes (aka the legend) » Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:03 pm

Richardb02 wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:44 pm
I’m now in agreement with Wes 90% of the time. The 10% disagreements focus on donating.
I'll allow it as long as you disagree with god 10.1% of the time.
Richardb02 wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:44 pm
In general, Wes will donate any time he has a weak hand (and the score is not critical, (Opponents having 8 or 9 points).
I do donate a lot and I do think one should be very skeptical of some of my donate recommendations. There are many donates I myself am not very confident in. I mean I still do them, I still believe they are correct, but believing and knowing are two different things.
Richardb02 wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:44 pm
My approach assumes that there is a point where donating tips the scales to the point that I cannot afford the price of 2 points.
My qualm here is that the above logic is faulty. You are implying that calling costs you 2 points, but that's not really what's going on here. What really cost your team was you getting dealt a really bad hand. That's where the major damage happened. The instant you looked down and saw some crappy, probably 4 suited hand, with no trump or one small trump, and probably no aces, that's when your team took the hit EV-wise. Donating or passing is just a way of managing that damage.

And keep in mind in euchre--unlike poker--you can't pass yourself out of a bad situation (In poker you can just fold). Yeah in euchre you can pass with that crap hand, but when seat 2 invariably calls you still have that crap hand and your opponents now have a great shot at 2 points becuz you have a nothing hand for defense. And if seat 2 goes alone, an action that goes up big time in probability given your nothing holding--remember in euchre if you don't have it someone else usually does--that loner is way more likely to sweep given your nothing hand.

So when a strong player donates he isn't usually thinking "I must block a loner", it's more like "I have a really bad holding, if I pass my team has a great chance of losing 2 points anyways becuz I can't help my partner on defense, therefore I might as well donate in case my opponents have a 4 point sweep."

Donating never costs your team anywhere close to 2 points becuz the cost of passing is so high given your bad holding. Donating is just a way of managing a bad situation, just like passing. And it is often the case in euchre where you're better off calling with that crap hand and solving your problems with aggression. And of course there will be many debatable spots where two strong players can disagree. Such is life without that magical euchre simulator.
Last edited by Wes (aka the legend) on Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

RedDuke
Posts: 179
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:22 am

Post by RedDuke » Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:43 pm

Donating never costs your team anywhere close to 2 points becuz the cost of passing is so high given your bad holding. Donating is just a way of managing a bad situation, just like passing. And it is often the case in euchre where you're better off calling with that crap hand and solving your problems with aggression. And of course there will be many debatable spots where two strong players can disagree. Such is life without that magical euchre simulator.
You guys are making me want to code a simulator...

Richardb02
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:57 pm

Post by Richardb02 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:16 am

Wes (aka the legend) wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:03 pm
Richardb02 wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:44 pm
I’m now in agreement with Wes 90% of the time. The 10% disagreements focus on donating.
I'll allow it as long as you disagree with god 10.1% of the time.
I am 100% in with God. Happy Good Friday Wes. I am not being blasphemous with my following statement. I am merely pointing out obvious similarities and maybe the timing is a divine appointment. Today we celebrate Jesus making the ultimate sacrifice, the great donation if you will. It looked like it was the loss of 2 points but 3 days later, the result was salvation for all mankind! Happy Easter. Happy Resurrection Sunday.

Richardb02
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:57 pm

Post by Richardb02 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:13 pm

Wes (aka the legend) wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:03 pm
Richardb02 wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:44 pm
In general, Wes will donate any time he has a weak hand (and the score is not critical, (Opponents having 8 or 9 points).
Wes (aka the legend) wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:03 pm
I do donate a lot and I do think one should be very skeptical of some of my donate recommendations. There are many donates I myself am not very confident in. I mean I still do them, I still believe they are correct, but believing and knowing are two different things.


We agree.
Richardb02 wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:44 pm
My approach assumes that there is a point where donating tips the scales to the point that I cannot afford the price of 2 points.
Wes (aka the legend) wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:03 pm
My qualm here is that the above logic is faulty. You are implying that calling costs you 2 points, but that's not really what's going on here. What really cost your team was you getting dealt a really bad hand. That's where the major damage happened. The instant you looked down and saw some crappy, probably 4 suited hand, with no trump or one small trump, and probably no aces, that's when your team took the hit EV-wise. Donating or passing is just a way of managing that damage.

I'll agree that the genesis of the problem is the lousy cards in my hand. I'll assume that EV means something like "expected value". Please provide your explanation.
Now let's disagree. For quick and easy discussion, let's say my odds of wining have been reduced from 50% to 25%. That is reasonable because my team is effectively playing 1 against 2. Let's say an average hand nets 1 point. Lets cut my bad hand to .5 point. Let's even go to .25 point. I am only a net -0.75 on this hand.
It doesn't make sense to lock in -2.0 point to avoid a -0.75 average probability, 100% of the time.
Wes (aka the legend) wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:03 pm
And keep in mind in euchre--unlike poker--you can't pass yourself out of a bad situation (In poker you can just fold). Yeah in euchre you can pass with that crap hand, but when seat 2 invariably calls you still have that crap hand and your opponents now have a great shot at 2 points becuz you have a nothing hand for defense. And if seat 2 goes alone, an action that goes up big time in probability given your nothing holding--remember in euchre if you don't have it someone else usually does--that loner is way more likely to sweep given your nothing hand.

I agree with you. Passing does not protect you against a 4 point Loner. In order to protect yourself against a 4 point Loner you need insurance, when it is appropriate. BTW, Insurance is my vocation.
Wes (aka the legend) wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:03 pm
So when a strong player donates he isn't usually thinking "I must block a loner", it's more like "I have a really bad holding, if I pass my team has a great chance of losing 2 points anyways becuz I can't help my partner on defense, therefore I might as well donate in case my opponents have a 4 point sweep."

Insurance (donating) is your only possible solution.
But you must be able to afford the insurance. You can pay for insurance by reducing your lead.
Even if you lose the lead, say donate at 0-0 and going down 0-2, donating still makes sense. You have enough "opportunity" left in the game to overcome the -1.25 average cost of donating. That gives us a clue as to when it is appropriate to donate:
If you have a lead and the score isn't critical, then donate.You can afford the cost of insurance.
If you lose the lead but still have say 5 points (half a game) to make up the deficit, then donate.

We can debate the best point to make the decision but there is a definable point to do it.
Wes (aka the legend) wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:03 pm
Donating never costs your team anywhere close to 2 points becuz the cost of passing is so high given your bad holding. Donating is just a way of managing a bad situation, just like passing. And it is often the case in euchre where you're better off calling with that crap hand and solving your problems with aggression. And of course there will be many debatable spots where two strong players can disagree. Such is life without that magical euchre simulator.
I agree that the net cost is less than 2 points to donate. In fact I used -1.25 net.
Again, we can debate the net cost.
My almost irrefutable point is that there is a point to not donate.
The challenge is to define that point.

I'll leave it there and ask for input from the forum.

Wes (aka the legend)
Posts: 138
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:03 pm

Post by Wes (aka the legend) » Tue Apr 23, 2019 4:39 am

Richardb02 wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:13 pm
I'll agree that the genesis of the problem is the lousy cards in my hand. I'll assume that EV means something like "expected value". Please provide your explanation.

Yes EV means expected value.
Richardb02 wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:13 pm
Now let's disagree. For quick and easy discussion, let's say my odds of wining have been reduced from 50% to 25%. That is reasonable because my team is effectively playing 1 against 2. Let's say an average hand nets 1 point. Lets cut my bad hand to .5 point. Let's even go to .25 point. I am only a net -0.75 on this hand.
It doesn't make sense to lock in -2.0 point to avoid a -0.75 average probability, 100% of the time.

Whether to donate or not depends on the situation. When I play euchre I can often look at my cards and pretty much "know" if I pass my team is probably gonna lose 2 points on a call. Those are the times I usually donate. I put know in quotes becuz I'm exaggerating, but only slightly. As I've said before I donate a lot. There's only one player in the euchre universe I have ever seen that donates more than me. Frankly my results have been fantastic over a large sample size (15k to 20k games in less than 2 years, the luxury of playing on an app and having no life). So good, that ONLY a rigorous mathematical argument could dissuade me from donating in some of the spots I currently donate in. We currently don't have to the tools to make that strong of an argument.
Richardb02 wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:13 pm
We can debate the best point to make the decision but there is a definable point to do it.


I think the best we can do right now is just talk about hands and talk about spots to donate or not and just live with the fact that we are not gonna always agree. I know it's not a very satisfying position to take, but insights will nevertheless be gained from the discussion.

Richardb02
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:57 pm

Post by Richardb02 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:27 am

I agree to disagree. I enjoy the exchanges. I don't have a goal of convincing you to change your opinion. My goal is to get your explanation of your thinking (based on your vast experience), sort out strong points from weak points, apply it to a systematic approach to winning Euchre and share the journey with interested players. Are we ok?

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