Calling When You Have Nothing

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Calling When You Have Nothing

Post by RedDuke » Sun Mar 03, 2019 2:26 pm

Almost every time I play, stick the dealer is in effect. For those that don't know, this means that if everybody passes in the first and second round of bidding, then dealer must name trump. This sometimes leads to some hard calls.

For example, let's say you're the dealer holding this:

(Card_A-C) (Card_10-C) (Card_Q-S) (Card_Q-D) (Card_K-H)

The upcard that was turned down was the (Card_10-S) .

Everybody passes second round. So what do you do here? Would you call clubs? That's your strongest suit but it's also a next call. You might have one trick here from the ace. If that's trump though then the bowers can beat it. Odds are your partner doesn't have them or he'd have ordered you up.

You're also four-suited here and have no opportunity to create a void, so you can't count on trumping in when an opponent leads to your void. You have no real strength in any suit except clubs. If you make that trump then you might even weaken your strength in this suit because the Ace isn't boss in trump.

Would you try a reverse next call here, name hearts trump and hope that your partner is loaded up on red cards?

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Post by Richardb02 » Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:01 pm

Let's try my, Checklist with a Quantitative Kicker (CQK), approach. (Yes I posted it before with a different name).

From Seat 4 (Dealer), 2nd Round, we know that a Reverse Next call is stronger than Next call. But how much stronger? With a quantitative kicker we assign it a value.

The basis for the value is that the Right, a definite trick, is worth 1 point. Everything else is assigned a relative value. I have been using 0.25 for a Reverse Next call from Seat 2 or 4. We can debate what the value should be, but we should obviously agree that a Reverse Next call, in this situation, improves the value of the hand.

Lets just work through the values that I would assign to this hand:
2nd Round________0.25____2nd Round_____0.25
Next_____________0.00_____Reverse Next _0.25
2 Trump__________0.00__________________-.50

The result is a dead tie! I suggest my CQK and your approach arrived at the same conclusion.

But now beyond bidding, we should look at playing the hand:
If we bid clubs, I think the Ac has a good chance of taking a trick and the Kh has half a chance.
If we bid hearts, I don't expect the Kh to take a trick and I expect the Ac to take a trick.
Advantage Club but a very weak advantage. So go with your gut.

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Post by CaptnSkully » Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:23 am

I'd lean towards reverse next 9/10 times as the best chance and yes- Kh here. The Q is weaker of red, falling in the lower half of rank.

Not to argue your point of the hand being super weak, but you don't have "nothing" in this situation like calling blind. You have a trump card, a side ace (of next), and a partner with 5 more cards. With luck, on a lead of spades or diamonds, your partner takes it and you gain a used void.

Your partner is assumed split in red and wasn't sure which way to go. You are counting on the opponents having next split between them (which makes your weak next ace good), and weren't comfortable enough to call anything. ...Which is all assumed why you are in this call position.

If you can in anyway snag an early trick here, lead that King in to reveal trump. You definitely are leaning on your partner to get one trick for sure if not two tricks, and hopefully holds a bower and another side trump/side ace.

It isn't a pretty spot. You aren't going for 2 pts here- simply trying to not get euchred. If red can't make it after getting stuck, chances are the question was moot anyway- you were set all along. lol

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Post by Wes (aka the legend) » Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:02 pm

I call clubs and hope for the best. I understand we are going against Hoyle here but only weakly so. Put me in the 1 seat after a diamond was turned down and then I go with Hoyle can call hearts (score depending). Things are a little different here as the dealer after everyone passed twice. Cards are more likely to be evenly distributed. I'd rather call the suit I have two of.

Keep in mind that this situation isn't as hopeless as it looks. If you have a good partner, odds are they have everything blocked, and they could have a strong euchre hand here which gives your team a decent shot at making a point. Or you're partner has nothing and you're dead no matter what you do.

That's another way to look at this situation: if your partner has nothing, you're screwed no matter what you call. If your partner has all suits blocked, you'll probably compliment your partner best by calling with the suit you have two of.

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