Discarding After Picking Up (Aces)

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jblowery
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Discarding After Picking Up (Aces)

Unread post by jblowery » Wed Jan 12, 2022 9:50 am

Common situation. Wondering what people typically do. The basic question is what to discard when you pick up and you have to choose between a) keeping an ace and a low card or b) discarding the ace so you have 2 low cards but fewer suits in your hand.

For example, I pick up the (Card_J-H) and I'm also holding (Card_K-H) (Card_10-H) (Card_A-S) (Card_K-C) (Card_10-C).

Discard the (Card_A-S) or the (Card_10-C) ?
This is just an example. I'm wondering what people generally do in similar situations.

I've also been ordered up before and actually been left 4-suited when I had 2 singleton aces. Should I have instead discarded an ace; leaving a void?



irishwolf
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Unread post by irishwolf » Wed Jan 12, 2022 11:17 am

How ridiculous to even consider discarding the AS to keep King dblt.

Discard the (Card_A-S) or the (Card_10-C)

jblowery
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Unread post by jblowery » Wed Jan 12, 2022 12:21 pm

I've kept the ace but heard good players propose discarding ace, at least in some situations.

Wes (aka the legend)
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Unread post by Wes (aka the legend) » Wed Jan 12, 2022 12:24 pm

jblowery wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 12:21 pm
I've kept the ace but heard good players propose discarding ace, at least in some situations.
You misheard. No good player would ever get rid of that ace with that hand.

jblowery
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Unread post by jblowery » Wed Jan 12, 2022 12:57 pm

I didn't mishear. It wasn't on here.

Wes (aka the legend)
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Unread post by Wes (aka the legend) » Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:39 pm

jblowery wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 12:57 pm
I didn't mishear. It wasn't on here.
I was being facetious. Don't throw away the Ace unless you're a masochist who likes to make things harder on oneself.

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Dlan
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Unread post by Dlan » Wed Jan 12, 2022 5:05 pm

And just maybe you can throw off the king on a diamond trick that your partner takes

Wes (aka the legend)
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Unread post by Wes (aka the legend) » Wed Jan 12, 2022 6:17 pm

Dlan wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 5:05 pm
And just maybe you can throw off the king on a diamond trick that your partner takes
True, at 8/9 scores where we should just call, but at all other scores we should go alone with:

(Card_J-H) (Card_K-H) (Card_10-H) (Card_A-S) (Card_K-C)

Wes (aka the legend)
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Unread post by Wes (aka the legend) » Wed Jan 12, 2022 6:35 pm

jblowery wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 12:21 pm
I've kept the ace but heard good players propose discarding ace, at least in some situations.
There are no situations we should get rid of the ace with this hand but there is debate over this alone hand:

Upcard is (Card_J-H)

We are dealer and we have:

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

There's also debate over this alone hand:

Upcard: (Card_J-H)

We're dealer with:

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

irishwolf
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Unread post by irishwolf » Wed Jan 12, 2022 10:08 pm

I should let it go, BUT - I am not going to:

There are no situations we should get rid of the ace with this hand but there is debate over this alone hand:

Upcard is (Card_J-H)

We are dealer and we have:

(Card_J-H) (Card_K-H) (Card_A-S) (Card_K-C) (Card_Q-C)
There is an advantage to keeping the AS. And that is when S1 leads to the AS (S3 follows suit). Now one of the opponents has another Spade (KS or QS) and the AD. You get to the 4th lead, does the opponent toss the AD or the KS/QS (gets forced). I have observed this many, many times.
Also if you keep the AS, S1 has to leads to the AS (if he has two Aces), S3 has to have a void in AS (with 4 unknown) and a trump.

Go Figure!

There's also debate over this alone hand:

Upcard: (Card_J-H)

We're dealer with:

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

I would be interested in this Debate and justification for Discarding the AS and keeping the QC? As this is a terrible decision to discard the AS!

IRISH

Wes (aka the legend)
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Unread post by Wes (aka the legend) » Thu Jan 13, 2022 12:05 am

irishwolf wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 10:08 pm
I should let it go, BUT - I am not going to:

There are no situations we should get rid of the ace with this hand but there is debate over this alone hand:

Upcard is (Card_J-H)

We are dealer and we have:

(Card_J-H) (Card_K-H) (Card_A-S) (Card_K-C) (Card_Q-C)
There is an advantage to keeping the AS. And that is when S1 leads to the AS (S3 follows suit). Now one of the opponents has another Spade (KS or QS) and the AD. You get to the 4th lead, does the opponent toss the AD or the KS/QS (gets forced). I have observed this many, many times.
Also if you keep the AS, S1 has to leads to the AS (if he has two Aces), S3 has to have a void in AS (with 4 unknown) and a trump.

Go Figure!
I would keep the AS also.
irishwolf wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 10:08 pm
Upcard: (Card_J-H)

We're dealer with:

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

I would be interested in this Debate and justification for Discarding the AS and keeping the QC? As this is a terrible decision to discard the AS!

IRISH
The justification is by getting rid of the AS and holding ACQC you're more likely to dodge the first lead. That is true but I am still not getting rid of the AS. If I had AcKc then obviously I would but AcQc is significantly weaker. I'd rather have both Aces.

Either way I'm just pointing out I've seen debates about getting rid of the Ace on these hands. They've never convinced me although I suppose I'll keep an open mind as these spots have never been tested.

irishwolf
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Unread post by irishwolf » Thu Jan 13, 2022 12:14 am

So we are in agreement:

"The justification is by getting rid of the AS and holding ACQC you're more likely to dodge the first lead. That is true but I am still not getting rid of the AS. If I had AcKc then obviously I would but AcQc is significantly weaker. I'd rather have both Aces.

Either way I'm just pointing out I've seen debates about getting rid of the Ace on these hands. They've never convinced me although I suppose I'll keep an open mind as these spots have never been tested."

KC dblt is so much higher (for one of the opponents) than S3 having a void and a trump, no advantage. No debate!

Total different story though for AS AC/KC - ditch the AS.

IRISH

jblowery
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Unread post by jblowery » Fri Jan 14, 2022 3:36 pm

I think the situation that i saw was one where somebody ordered up somebody else and they thought they should have thrown away an ace to create a void. I definitely agree with you guys.

Irish - "Total different story though for AS AC/KC - ditch the AS"

Is this for all situations (e.g. picking up for loner vs. picking up as normal vs. ordered up)?

irishwolf
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Unread post by irishwolf » Fri Jan 14, 2022 5:49 pm

No, this for a Loner. I don't quite understand what other holding or situation you are referring to? Give an example!

Any other seat you can't discard?

jblowery
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Unread post by jblowery » Fri Jan 14, 2022 8:33 pm

Any situation where u are ordered up and have to choose between 2 aces and KA of same suit

irishwolf
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Unread post by irishwolf » Fri Jan 14, 2022 10:18 pm

That is different than going alone. I have not tested when S3 orders and in that situation, yes, discard the AS vs AC/KC.

Not the same if S1 orders, IMO.

Hypothetical example: In that case, I am the Dealer and (S1 orders) hearts is ordered, I have as off suit to choose a discard of AS AC/KC - Discard the KC is better. Think of it this way, the opponent will have three trumps, dealer has 2 or 3, (so S3 is not likely to trump) this lessons the chance that S3 could be void & trump. And I do not want to use a trump to get that trick.

So you have a better chance of winning the trick with AC or AS. Than if you just had AC/KC Trumps are valuable because of the possible strength of the Maker (opponent). If S3 orders he will probably have a void in Spades or Clubs so you lesson the chance by holding one, just like with a loner if S3 orders but no so with S1 ordering. If S1 is donating it makes little difference, IMO.

Does that make sense?

IRISH

sdu754
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Unread post by sdu754 » Sun Nov 27, 2022 11:43 am

I know this is an older thread, but I'll put my two cents worth in.

You should keep a singleton Ace rather than going down to being two suited. The only exception would be if you are going alone because you would want to eliminate a suit that you can get caught on.

A singleton Ace is as likely to take a trick as the Queen of Trump, which you would never throw away in favor of a low offsuit card. The low offsuit card will very rarely take a trick. Even in your scenario, you might be able to slough off the King of Clubs after eliminating the 10 of Clubs from your hand.

raydog
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Unread post by raydog » Wed Dec 07, 2022 10:12 pm

For what it's worth, I tried simulating this situation. But what struck me is that it is somehow unsatisfying to simply know what the better play is. Myriad situations arise, and it is impossible (at least for me) to consistently make the right choice; my memory is just too flawed. What is more important is to understand WHY the correct play is what it is, something which I recognize that Irish and a few others try to explain in many of these posts. Being able to do a quick and accurate analysis, on the fly (in a real game setting, where you don't have 5 minutes to make a decision), is crucial. So what's important is to develop a good sense of how to analyze these scenarios.

I have developed a habit of trying to EXPLAIN the results of my simulator, partially because it can help me uncover errors in the program (or in how I programmed a specific scenario), but also because it helps make me a better player.

Philosophy aside, here is what I found.

S4 has AS + K-10H + K-10C (JH turned). What to discard?

discard 10C (what my program currently does)
bid alone: (15,787 / 72,337 / 7,067) [sweep / 1 pt. / euchred] EV = +1.27
bid w/p: (22,564 / 66,391 / 6,236) EV = 1.04

discard AS:
bid alone: (11,578 / 70,605 / 12,862) EV = +0.96
bid w/p: (18,551 / 67,341 / 9,153) EV = +0.91

As was mentioned in the thread, this is definitely a loner hand, and it is clearly better to discard the 10C. The KC is only ever going to win if the AC is buried or with S2, no matter what is discarded. So it is simply a question of whether the singleton green AS is more likely to win a trick than the doubleton green 10C. Note that having to waste a trump on winning a S lead (because you discarded your AS), and very likely the K trump at that, doesn't seem likely to help your chances of getting a sweep, and the 4pts. that go with it. Also, as was previously mentioned, you may be able to dump your KC to create a void (assuming you discarded the 10C initially) if a D is lead and your partner is winning the trick. So this result makes sense.
__________________________

But what if we replace that AS with the KS?

discard KS (what my program currently does - creating a void):
bid alone: (11,932 / 69,986 / 12,557) EV = +0.98
bid w/p: (18,350 / 66,315 / 9,810) EV = +0.88

discard 10C:
bid alone: EV = +0.97
bid w/p: EV = +0.67

Here there doesn't seem to be any difference. Why? If the opponents have the AS, it would seem better to discard the KS, but that will cost you a trump if S are led, first trick, and still require that an opponent doesn't have a doubleton C - two ways of still getting your sweep thwarted. I guess the odds cancel out, making the choice moot.
___________________________

Wes suggested the hand where S4 has AS + KH + JD + K-QC (JH) [Wes: you have a typo in your post - you gave S4 the JH instead of the JD!]

discard QC, call alone: (32,487 / 62,081 / 689) EV = +2.00
discard AS, call alone: (33,200 / 61,399 / 577) EV = +2.03

I was surprised to see a virtual tie here - perhaps slightly better to discard the AS. What's going on? I think the crucial point here is that you need the AC to be buried or with your partner, otherwise you don't get your sweep. If the AC IS buried, you can still be thwarted if S1 leads a S AND S3 is void. If you kept your AS, you lose that trick. If you jettisoned your AS, you get to over-trump, win the next two trump leads, then (most likely) win with the KC and QC (unless S3 started w/ 4 trump or S1 started w/ 3 trump).
________________________

Wes also suggested this hand: S4 has AS + KH + JD + A-QC

discard QC, call alone: (76,581 / 18,007 / 91) EV = +3.41
discard AS, call alone: (64,764 / 30,393 / 124) EV = +3.04

Better to discard the QC, in case an opponent has Kx of C.

But what if S4 has the A-KC:

discard KC, call alone: (75,652 / 19,492 / 68) EV = +3.38
discard AS, call alone: (78,969 / 16,241 / 95) EV = +3.48

In this case it's a bit better to discard the AS. Which is what Irish predicted. Here you have almost all boss cards, so you just need to avoid getting trumped on that first trick. So ditch the AS and get 2-suited.
_________________________

Concerning this last hand, Irish posited that the correct might be different if S1 or S3 called. So I tested this hand:

S4 has AS + 10-9H + A-KC (QH turned).

S1 orders up the QH, R1 [just 2,500 of 100,000 otherwise random hands tested]

discard KC: EV = -0.96
discard AS: EV = -1.24

S3 orders up the QH, R1 [just 3,200 of 100,000 otherwise random hands tested]

discard KC: EV = -0.87
discard AS: EV = -0.88

Given how infrequently this situation arises, it is VERY dependent on how my program selects that S1 and S3 call. So I unfortunately cannot offer any good explanation on why these results are what they are.

irishwolf
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Unread post by irishwolf » Thu Dec 08, 2022 2:11 am

RAY,

OH, I think there is a good reason for the differences here.
S4 has AS + 10-9H + A-KC (QH turned).

You said, "S1 orders up the QH, R1 [just 2,500 of 100,000 otherwise random hands tested]

discard KC: EV = -0.96
discard AS: EV = -1.24

S3 orders up the QH, R1 [just 3,200 of 100,000 otherwise random hands tested]

discard KC: EV = -0.87
discard AS: EV = -0.88

Given how infrequently this situation arises, it is VERY dependent on how my program selects that S1 and S3 call. So I unfortunately cannot offer any good explanation on why these results are what they are. RAY"


I am assuming these are loner attempts here. Thus when S1 is going alone and orders so he must have JH JD KH OR AH as the 3rd card or has all four trumps. But what is 4 & 5th card? AD with 4 trump is 4 pts. AD dbltn depends on S2 to stop and makes no difference the discard.
But what about Spades or Clubs that S1 can have? Thus better to Keep that AS and the AC, discard the KC. End of story as you lose opportunity to stop Spades.

When S3 goes alone - what comes into play is S2 is leading and given what S3 must have ordering the QH. What comes into play to make a difference is when S3 has a Spade doubleton or a Club doubleton.

If he has AD dbltn it makes no difference on the discard - S4 can trump a Diamond lead when S3 has a diamond. Discard does not matter. What about when S3 has a loser Spade or Club?
So S4 is trying to stop S3 Spade or Club doubleton. If a spade is led and S3 has a Spade dbltn, S4 discards AS it makes no difference as he has AS or he has a void in spade. He can trump a Spade. That is the same as having the AS to stop a doubleton/singleton.
With S3 having Club dbltn or sgltn, it does not matter what is discarded as he still has the AC or AC/KC. Thus it Does not matter what the discard is when S3 has a loner Club.
Also, the difference is S2 leads when S3 orders. S4 cannot overtrump as he has QH 10H 9h. When S1 orders, he leading with a strong had. Thus EV will be higher for S1 than S3. There is a slight difference that S4 has two clubs, S2 leads clubs there are 3 unknown clubs vs 4 with Spades. Maybe the .88 vs 87 spells that out? Thus, it makes little difference here and you basically have a tie when S3 goes alone and a lower EV because S2 is leading to the first trick!

That is what I see and it makes sense to me and to your SIMULATOR!
MUST BE NAMED HAL AFTER THE ODYSSEY ! lol

Irish

irishwolf
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Unread post by irishwolf » Thu Dec 08, 2022 2:43 am

And look at S1 calling 2500 vs S3 calling 3200, a difference of 700 hands. That is quite large and I suspect that when S1 has JH JD KH AD DBLTN - S1 IS PASSING AND WAITING ON DIAMONDS TO GO ALONE. 700/100,000 HANDS = ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL!

That might not be what S3 would do to chance S1 passing or something different. All makes sense to me!

IRISH

raydog
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Unread post by raydog » Thu Dec 08, 2022 11:57 am

I had another look at this scenario.

First of all, S1 and S3 do not always call alone; it's really a mixed bag.

S4 holds AS + 10-9H + A-KC (QH turned)
S1 orders up, with partner (wp): (1,517 of 100,000 hands)

discard KC: EV = -1.24
discard AS: EV = -1.60

S1 orders up, alone: (872 of 100,000 hands)

discard KC: EV = -0.55
discard AS: EV = -0.65

In both cases, better to discard the KC. I agree with your analysis/justification for this. But I'll state it a bit more bluntly: you want to stop a sweep, so better to cover 2 suits than just 1 (don't put all your eggs in 1 basket). Being able to trump S (if you discard the AS) is not a factor, since you have the 3 lowest spades. Here, the AS is equivalent to the K trump.

S3 orders up, wp: (2,116 of 100,000 hands)

discard KC: EV = -0.81
discard AS: EV = -0.81

[discarding the KC yields -6 sweeps and +2 euchres, not enough to move the needle, and perhaps not statistically significant]

S3 orders up, alone: (11,285 of 1,000,000 hands)

discard KC: EV = -1.09
discard AS: EV = -1.09

[discarding the AS leads to +2 sweeps]
Really picking hairs here, I'm happy to call this a wash.

Note that the convention in this situation is for S2 to lead next (D), if possible, on the first trick. The unconditional odds of S2 having a diamond are 90.8%, I tested the empirical odds and found them to be 90.3% [S3 is slightly more likely to call alone when holding the AD, thus shading the conditional odds in this direction].

Basically, there are very few cases where the choice of what to discard makes any difference. I think it makes sense to keep the 2 Aces in case S2 leads a black card (you will have them both covered, and not be able to over-trump in any case), and if S2 does lead a D and is trumped by S3, you can keep the AS (beats more potential 5th cards S3 may hold, if bidding with 4 trump + x). Of course, if you discard the AS AND S2 leads a S AND S3 has to trump, you get to toss the KC, and stop the loner if S3 called with 3 trump + xx. Very marginal situations here, I say keep the analysis simple.
__________________________

As for the differential in hands called, you hit the nail on the head. S1 is much more likely to have a callable hand, BUT may pass because 1) better EV to potentially euchre S4 if they call, or 2) decent call, R2. S3 doesn't have that luxury (S2 has a very good chance of spoiling the party with a bid, R2), so has to bid if possible.

Go HAL!

irishwolf
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Unread post by irishwolf » Thu Dec 08, 2022 8:06 pm

Good stuff Ray. I did my analysis on just going alone by S1 and S3.

Interestingly, for S3 going alone, (with the hand the Dealer has) and be successful for 4 points is to have four (4) trumps. S4 will trump any Diamond lead and S3 with only 3 trumps (JH JD AH KH) must use one if Spade or Club is led. And it does not matter which (AS or KC) is discarded. With four trumps all are boss - 1.2% probability of S3 having 4 trumps. Very different with S1 lead but has to have AD dblt and that makes no sense - pass and go alone in Diamonds unless he has KH,void with AH.

IRISH

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