Leading when your partner calls from the third seat

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sdu754
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Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2021 3:15 am

Leading when your partner calls from the third seat

Unread post by sdu754 » Sun Jan 15, 2023 12:14 pm

I am having this discussion online on Youtube. I stated that if your partner calls from the third seat (directly right of the dealer) You should always lead Trump if you have it. I got the following reply:

"that advice really depends on knowing your partner. I play with some very strong players, and we often make trump on very lean hands. As a result, I rarely lead trump to my partner in this circumstance because it causes us to play two trumps on the same trick. If I can lead an off ace, I'll do that in the hopes of bagging trick early on without burning any trump. Assuming I can take that first trick with an off ace, I'll most definitely lead the same suit for my second trick hoping my opponents have more of that suit and that my partner can trump in. This is especially effective if trumps is in the "next" suit and my first and second leads are cross-color, which opponents are likely to be full of since they turned down the up card in the first place. But again, my partners and I are well seasoned in this game, and we tend to play quite aggressively--so no to your advice on leading trumps to my partner in this case."

To which I replied:

How lean are we talking here? What is the weakest hand you or your partner would call on in this situation?

The rule is to always lead Trump into the third seat. Why? If your partner calls Trump, he should have a good Trump hand, either three trump or the Right Bower plus one other Trump. The idea is that you will be stripping the Trump out of your opponent's hands which only strengthens your chances. Even if you habitually make thin calls, you should have a stronger than normal hand (for you) when calling from the third seat.

When your team calls and you have an off Ace, you should really lead Trump at that point to increase its chances of winning a trick. Let's say that Hearts are Trump, and you have the Ace of Spades and one low heart. One of your two opponents could be void in Spades and have a lone heart. If you lead the heart out first, you are stripping their Trump, making your Ace good. I can't tell you how many times I have seen an Ace get needlessly Trumped because the person in the first seat didn't lead out a Trump card first.

Double leading when your partner called (the same suit twice in a row) is also a bad idea as well. This puts your partner in a predicament. Does he trump high or low? I can't tell you how many times I have seen a partner get overtrumped in this position. Chances are that he will have to use a high Trump to take that offsuit lead. I only recommend double leading if the person to your left called or against a dealer that picked up on the Kitty, and you are hoping that they have two of the led suit in hand.

My opposition replied back: ""The rule" is your advice. Let's be clear about that. There certainly is no rule in the rulebook about which card to lead, so it's a judgment call. I've played many a hand where my partner and I have had three trumps between us and we get our point because we haven't bled each other out of trumps. Your advice is fine, especially for novices or when you have a good sense of how unaggressively your partner calls trump. Especially if it's a jack that was turned down, you need to remember that there is one fewer trump card in circulation for that hand, so three trumps between us is reasonable to take a point--but not if we waste two of our three trumps on the same trick. So my point is there are different styles and different strategies. Yours is perfectly valid for many circumstances, and in other scenarios my strategies have served me well, too."

I replied: "You said: "I play with some very strong players, and we often make trump on very lean hands."

How "lean" are the hands you calling from the THIRD seat? This is a very important thing to know. Your whole comment seems to be based upon this.

You said: "I've played many a hand where my partner and I have had three trumps between us, and we get our point because we haven't bled each other out of trumps."

Just because something has worked a few times it doesn't mean that it is a smart play. Were these hands called from the THIRD seat? I have made a point all by myself with only two Trump cards several times, even Right with either a nine or ten and an offsuit Ace.

You said: "Especially if it's a jack that was turned down, you need to remember that there is one fewer trump card in circulation for that hand"

Calling next should be done by the first seat, not the third seat, so I cover calling when a Jack is turned down already.

Remember, this is how to play when your partner calls from the THIRD seat. Go into any Euchre forum and they will give you the same advice that I have here. If leading Trump causes your partner to get euchred because they made a bad call, that is on them.



justme
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Unread post by justme » Sun Jan 15, 2023 4:36 pm

I am in complete agreement with you. sdu. And let's be clear about this. I don't hesitate to say your debate opponent has an exaggerated notion of his own playing strength. For the extremely few hands that might benefit from a non trump lead it's not worth simply trying to guess; "do I feel lucky today?". Just ordinarily calling thin from 3rd seat is not only a poor players game but also a selfish game. He who doesn't call strong from 3rd probably uses trump poorly in all aspects of the game.

sdu754
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Unread post by sdu754 » Sun Jan 15, 2023 8:05 pm

Justme, you are correct. He obviously suffers from Dunning-Kruger syndrome. He can't give an answer to what his minimum is on calling from the third seat, he just says it is "situational".

irishwolf
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Unread post by irishwolf » Mon Jan 16, 2023 11:59 am

An interesting conversation SDU about leading trump vs not. I will say this:

1. If S3 orders but not the Jack up and Eldest has just one trump but not the Ace or Left and a Green Ace singleton - it is okay to lead the Green Ace singleton first. This will result in fewer Euchres but fewer Sweeps as well. S3 did not go alone so he has at least one junk card and allows to slough it and now the Dealer has to lead back into S3. But this will be hazardous if S2 wins the 1st trick - about 15%. A ploy not known by many.

2. If any other holding with one trump - lead trump. Especially if S1 had the Left or Ace of trump. If the Jack is up lead trump I suspect, but why order??

In addition probably (1.) works well with S3 ordering thin but actually that is a No - No, generally speaking.

And this would be pretty much straight forward for Ray's Simulator to test.

IRISH

raydog
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Unread post by raydog » Mon Jan 16, 2023 10:09 pm

Not at all a straightforward simulation, but I was interested in what it would show so I did it.

The major issue here is that my results are HUGELY dependent on what hands S3 calls. I think in general my program is rather conservative (compared to actual players), though I have applied the same metrics as for any seat: test hands, with all cards randomized, and let the EV's direct the call.

To give an idea how S3 bids:
* will call alone with any 5 trump
* will always call with 4 trump (alone if very strong hand, else wp)
* with 3 trump, will pass if R turned, bid alone with very solid hand, or bid wp with a very good hand; but will also often pass with just a good hand
* will only bid with 2 trump if has both bowers and all off-suits led by A

My program only has S3 bidding wp, R1, less than 2% of the time. And given the extra stipulations given by Irish (S1 has only 1 trump, K or lower, and a singleton green ace) we are looking at very rare hands.

I gave S1 the 9S and the AH, and fixed the AS as the turn card, randomizing all the other cards. I then isolated the hands where:
1) S3 bid, R1, with partner
2) S1 had only one trump (the 9S)
3) S1 had only one H, the AH

I tested 1,000,000 hands, and this is what I found:
1) lead 9S: (980 / 2511 / 72) [sweep / 1 pt / euchred] EV = +1.21
2) lead AH, then worst card, 2nd trick (if win 1st trick): (651 / 2800 / 112) EV = +1.09
3) lead AH, then the best card in the suit S3 threw off on the 1st trick, if possible; else, lead 9S:
(624 / 2829 / 110) EV = +1.08
Only 3563 hands met the criteria, and as for the 3rd scenario, S1 was able to lead the suit S3 discarded 832 times.

I also tried giving S1 the KS and setting the 9S as the turn card:
1) lead KS: (916 / 2772 / 101) EV = +1.16
2) lead AH, then worst card: (605 / 3062 / 122) EV = +1.06
3) lead AH, then discarded suit or KS: (593 / 3068 / 128) EV = 1.06
3789 hands met the criteria, and S1 was able to lead the discarded suit, R2, 965 times.

So I basically find that it is best to simply lead trump.

irishwolf
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Unread post by irishwolf » Tue Jan 17, 2023 12:21 am

I think you missed my Point, not sure I am in total agreement, but interesting what you tested. The strategy is to lead AH then lead Trump or play the hands from the AH not winning the trick. What you tested does not appear to be the same as I described. Ploy had nothing to do with leading what S3 sloughed to the 1st trick.

Further, the universe of hands S3 is bidding as I would play would be something like this if AS was up card: Only hands for S3 to bid are JS JC KS dblt GREEN SUIT // JS JC QS 10S 9D // JC KS QS 10S 9D or 9C // JS JC QS 10S 9D // JS QS 10S AD XC // JC KS 10S AD dblt // JS KS QS AD XC // etc. Basically, S3 with a strong hand and 1 bad card and can't get back to S1's ace. Maybe something you can't test.

I don't have a clue what S3 actually did here.

I know it works! Well tested by me.

IRISH



1,000,000 hands, and this is what I found:
1) lead 9S: (980 / 2511 / 72) EV = +1.21
2) lead AH, then worst card, 2nd trick (if win 1st trick): (651 / 2800 / 112) EV = +1.09 {why not lead 9S? here, that's the rule???]
3) lead AH, then the best card in the suit S3 threw off on the 1st trick, if possible; else, lead 9S:
(624 / 2829 / 110) EV = +1.08
Only 3563 hands met the criteria, and as for the 3rd scenario, S1 was able to lead the suit S3 discarded 832 times.

I also tried giving S1 the KS and setting the 9S as the turn card:
1) lead KS: (916 / 2772 / 101) EV = +1.16 2772 + 101 = 2873
2) lead AH, then worst card: (605 / 3062 / 122) EV = +1.06 [LEAD TRUMP THE KS]
3) lead AH, then discarded suit or KS: (593 / 3068 / 128) EV = 1.06
3789 hands met the criteria, and S1 was able to lead the discarded suit, R2, 965 times.

So I basically find that it is best to simply lead trump.
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irishwolf
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Unread post by irishwolf » Tue Jan 17, 2023 12:53 am

Upon further review, I cannot accept the Simulator's results that there will be fewer Euchres leading trump vs leading AH. So I say give me those hands where this is true so they can be reviewed?

IRISH

raydog
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Unread post by raydog » Tue Jan 17, 2023 10:28 am

I did initially test S1 leading the AH, then leading their sole trump, R2, if the A walked. But the results were not significantly different from leading trump on the 1st trick. So I assumed the ruse was to lead the suit S3 appears to be voiding themselves in. Bad assumption, it turns out.

I'm fairly confident that we are getting different results because we are looking at different subsets of hands that S3 would call. I initially thought that I was playing too tight, but now it looks like you are much more unlikely to call from S3, R1. For example, with the A turned, I will ALWAYS call with 4 trump, whereas you seem to be defining only certain strong hands.

Of course, there are also likely cases where you play the hand better.

It would be difficult to isolate hands where the euchre rate is different (a handful out of a million); I am instead going to focus my attention on re-testing my criteria for S3 calling, R1. Not right now, but will add it to my list.

raydog
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Unread post by raydog » Tue Jan 17, 2023 10:45 am

Quick question for Irish (and everyone else):

You are in S3 with K-Q-10-9S + 9H (AS turned). Do you call or pass?

irishwolf
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Unread post by irishwolf » Tue Jan 17, 2023 2:03 pm

Answer to the K Q 10 9S + XX:
I would and did one time (with an Ace) in a tournament and Dealer had JS JC AS. But easy to get euchred without than off suit Ace too. Ace to your off suit, and Dealer has Left or Right. Or S2 has Bower guarded. I would say getting euchred about 25 to 30%. However, + EV overall considering many hands.

Reason I would as Eldest now makes anything he is on his own and a Euchre most likely is about the same.

IRISH

irishwolf
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Unread post by irishwolf » Tue Jan 17, 2023 2:50 pm

To Ray, THE PLOY IS ONLY WITH KING AND BELOW. OTHERWISE LEAD TRUMP.

I am perplexed with the Euchres being higher leading the AH. Those hands I gave as examples is very difficult to get euchred on. And of course S3 must have a strong hand to order. Maybe you are correct in what the Simulator is ordering with? Well, we are only off by .10 EV as it is. No big deal. The four small trumps is not in this Ploy as S1 would have to have a Bower and of course you lead any Bower first.

JC + 2S with an Ace depends on those other two trumps but should pass if the off suit includes a Club. I would not order with JC QS 10S AD 9C, or K dblt. And S3 should not be ordering if he has two Aces, pass and wait on Next or S1 can call anything and you can help. I play aggressive but conservative at S3 ordering the upcard.

The reason for asking for examples, if there are it would include a subset less than 1 or 2%. There are only two unknown trumps out if S3 had 3 and 1 if he 4. Consider the likelihood of getting euchred when leading trump. The difficulty in S1 not leading his AH is that might not even come into play. Either an opponent or S3 has to lead Hearts. And sometimes if S2 leads a Heart and S3 is void - the AH gets trumped. So many more ways for S3 to get euchred.

IRISH

I'm fairly confident that we are getting different results because we are looking at different subsets (PERHAPS) of hands that S3 would call. I initially thought that I was playing too tight, but now it looks like you are much more unlikely to call from S3, R1. For example, with the A turned, I will ALWAYS call with 4 trump (OF COURSE BUT THAT NOT THE PLOY IF S1 HAS A BOWER), whereas you seem to be defining only certain strong hands.

sdu754
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Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2021 3:15 am

Unread post by sdu754 » Wed Jan 18, 2023 4:07 pm

irishwolf wrote:
Mon Jan 16, 2023 11:59 am
An interesting conversation SDU about leading trump vs not. I will say this:

1. If S3 orders but not the Jack up and Eldest has just one trump but not the Ace or Left and a Green Ace singleton - it is okay to lead the Green Ace singleton first. This will result in fewer Euchres but fewer Sweeps as well. S3 did not go alone so he has at least one junk card and allows to slough it and now the Dealer has to lead back into S3. But this will be hazardous if S2 wins the 1st trick - about 15%. A ploy not known by many.

2. If any other holding with one trump - lead trump. Especially if S1 had the Left or Ace of trump. If the Jack is up lead trump I suspect, but why order??

In addition probably (1.) works well with S3 ordering thin but actually that is a No - No, generally speaking.

And this would be pretty much straight forward for Ray's Simulator to test.

IRISH
The guy I was talking to said that he would have one Trump and his partner would call with two Trump, so this would not be a situation where one would order up unless the two Trump were both Bowers, and even then, one might pass and hope for a next call from their partner.

Your scenario is interesting, but it also depends on a small subset of hands:

"Only hands for S3 to bid are JS JC KS dblt GREEN SUIT // JS JC QS 10S 9D // JC KS QS 10S 9D or 9C // JS JC QS 10S 9D // JS QS 10S AD XC // JC KS 10S AD dblt // JS KS QS AD XC // etc. Basically, S3 with a strong hand and 1 bad card and can't get back to S1's ace."

sdu754
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Unread post by sdu754 » Wed Jan 18, 2023 4:09 pm

raydog wrote:
Tue Jan 17, 2023 10:45 am
Quick question for Irish (and everyone else):

You are in S3 with K-Q-10-9S + 9H (AS turned). Do you call or pass?
I'm calling with four Trump no matter what. My hope is that the other three are split evenly which would allow me to score a point.

irishwolf
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Unread post by irishwolf » Wed Jan 18, 2023 6:27 pm

sdu,

So your saying two trumps at S3 - and one at Eldest + the upcard. So that leaves 3 unknown trumps to be buried or with opponents. S3 would have to have an Ace as well and Right + ?? And it is still a suicide call. Toughest calling is always from third.

IRISH

sdu754
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Unread post by sdu754 » Thu Jan 19, 2023 4:46 pm

irishwolf wrote:
Wed Jan 18, 2023 6:27 pm
sdu,

So your saying two trumps at S3 - and one at Eldest + the upcard. So that leaves 3 unknown trumps to be buried or with opponents. S3 would have to have an Ace as well and Right + ?? And it is still a suicide call. Toughest calling is always from third.

IRISH
He never stated that it was a first round call, which is why I figured it was in the second round. Otherwise, you are correct. He also stated that they needed all three Trump to go through to make their point, so I'm guessing no Aces either.

irishwolf
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Unread post by irishwolf » Fri Jan 20, 2023 10:37 am

Makes a big difference R1 or R2!

All my comments and Ray's is about first round.

Tbolt65
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Unread post by Tbolt65 » Fri Jan 20, 2023 5:19 pm

sdu754 wrote:
Wed Jan 18, 2023 4:07 pm
irishwolf wrote:
Mon Jan 16, 2023 11:59 am
An interesting conversation SDU about leading trump vs not. I will say this:

1. If S3 orders but not the Jack up and Eldest has just one trump but not the Ace or Left and a Green Ace singleton - it is okay to lead the Green Ace singleton first. This will result in fewer Euchres but fewer Sweeps as well. S3 did not go alone so he has at least one junk card and allows to slough it and now the Dealer has to lead back into S3. But this will be hazardous if S2 wins the 1st trick - about 15%. A ploy not known by many.

2. If any other holding with one trump - lead trump. Especially if S1 had the Left or Ace of trump. If the Jack is up lead trump I suspect, but why order??

In addition probably (1.) works well with S3 ordering thin but actually that is a No - No, generally speaking.

And this would be pretty much straight forward for Ray's Simulator to test.

IRISH
The guy I was talking to said that he would have one Trump and his partner would call with two Trump, so this would not be a situation where one would order up unless the two Trump were both Bowers, and even then, one might pass and hope for a next call from their partner.

Your scenario is interesting, but it also depends on a small subset of hands:

"Only hands for S3 to bid are JS JC KS dblt GREEN SUIT // JS JC QS 10S 9D // JC KS QS 10S 9D or 9C // JS JC QS 10S 9D // JS QS 10S AD XC // JC KS 10S AD dblt // JS KS QS AD XC // etc. Basically, S3 with a strong hand and 1 bad card and can't get back to S1's ace."

I stand by you sdu, calling that weak in seat three against any competent players is going to get the makers set frequently. If they are wise to the situation. For example, if I k now my opponents order weak in seat 2 or dealer, I tend to lead trump. it's one thing to call thing from seat 2 R 1 or Seat 4 R1. Calling Seat 3 R1 weak is a recipe for disaster even against random opponents. Can it be done? Sure, but like it has been mentioned before. You want to calling stronger in seat 3 because you are giving the dealer a trump and they can also discard. There can be good arguements for calling seat 3 round 2 with having weak hands but first round is just not a good over all strategy.


Tbolt65
Edward

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