Jack up and a green hand

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Mxx
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:20 am

Jack up and a green hand

Post by Mxx » Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:43 am

I have been enjoying reading the discussion on this community.

Here is a situation that came up in an online game today.

I am in 1st seat. The score is 7-7. Dealer has turned up a (Card_J-C)

I have: (Card_9-D) (Card_10-D) (Card_A-D) (Card_Q-C) (Card_A-H)

I am thinking:
- I'm worried about the dealer going alone for the win
- A block will likely put us 9-7 down
- I have two green aces in defense of a loner
- A hand in next (should the dealer turn it down!) will probably net 1 point, but is not a sure thing with no trump to lead to my partner's likely right
- A hand in diamonds is a possibility, but opponents will have both right and left

I passed, the dealer passed (!) and we made one point in diamonds.

What would you have done and why?



RedDuke
Posts: 237
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:22 am

Post by RedDuke » Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:43 am

You got lucky that the dealer passed and that your partner actually had diamonds that could help you out. Normally, that wouldn't be the case.

You have absolutely nothing blocked here in the first round. Second round you have diamonds blocked. With you having three diamonds in your hand, it's highly unlikely that your Ace of Diamonds is going to be the stopper on a lone. Your Ace of Hearts might be, but you have nowhere to know for sure.

If dealer goes alone, he wins the game.

This is one of those bite the bullet and play good defense. Order the dealer.

Wes (aka the legend)
Posts: 243
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:03 pm

Post by Wes (aka the legend) » Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:34 pm

Mxx wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:43 am
I have been enjoying reading the discussion on this community.

Here is a situation that came up in an online game today.

I am in 1st seat. The score is 7-7. Dealer has turned up a (Card_J-C)

I have: (Card_9-D) (Card_10-D) (Card_A-D) (Card_Q-C) (Card_A-H)

I am thinking:
- I'm worried about the dealer going alone for the win
- A block will likely put us 9-7 down
- I have two green aces in defense of a loner
Putting your team down 9-7 is a highly controversial move. It is debatable EVEN IF you have the nightmare 'no trump, no aces vs a bower' hand. I suspect it is correct to donate at 7-7 if you're in that nightmare spot, but I certainly don't KNOW. And if somebody never donated at 7-7, I would never tell them they are wrong. With your hand, however, the prospects aren't so dim. With two aces to possibly stop a loner definitely DO NOT donate here. That's certainly a good enough hand to gamble with here when the alternative is mostly likely going down 9-7. Pass and hope for the best.
Mxx wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:43 am
- A hand in next (should the dealer turn it down!) will probably net 1 point, but is not a sure thing with no trump to lead to my partner's likely right
Why are you even considering a next call with no trump when you have 3 trump and an off ace if you call diamonds?!?! Hoyle is not meant to be followed religiously. Basically you go with Hoyle when everything else is close to equal, but things are seldom equal!
Mxx wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:43 am
- A hand in diamonds is a possibility, but opponents will have both right and left
Are your opponents playing with their cards face up?? If not, you don't know this. It is statistically more likely they have both red bowers but so what. Euchre is a gambling game. Call diamonds, lead trump and hope for the best.

Remember euchre is not like poker. Poker is also a gambling game, but with poker, in small ante games like Texas Holdem, there is virtually no cost to folding. So you can fold a lot, 85% of the time, waiting for nice edges to exploit, and make money at the end of the year if you play well and never tilt. You don't have that luxury in euchre. In poker you effectively get to choose your cards, in euchre the cards choose you! In poker passing (folding) costs virtually nothing. In Euchre passing costs a lot, usually around a point, sometimes significantly more on average if you're passing a hand with no aces that block no suits. Becuz there is such a large cost to passing in euchre, and because you can't pass to victory, this means you are literally forced to gamble whether you like it or not. Most people don't like it so they pass too much and play euchre like they are playing poker, waiting for a nice hand that likely won't get euchred. Don't do that.

So yeah, calling diamonds and going against Hoyle with 3 trump + an off ace, with no bowers after your enemy just turned down a black bower, isn't the ideal hand, but remember you don't get to choose the cards. The cards choose you! Given the high costs of passing with a hand that only blocks 1 out of the 3 remaining suits, this hand is more than enough to gamble with. If you get euchred so what.

Mxx
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:20 am

Post by Mxx » Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:44 pm

RedDuke wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:43 am
You got lucky that the dealer passed and that your partner actually had diamonds that could help you out. Normally, that wouldn't be the case.
I am in agreement here. That is what threw me, as even though I bid diamonds and won a point, I didn't have high hopes.
RedDuke wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:43 am
You have absolutely nothing blocked here in the first round. Second round you have diamonds blocked. With you having three diamonds in your hand, it's highly unlikely that your Ace of Diamonds is going to be the stopper on a lone. Your Ace of Hearts might be, but you have nowhere to know for sure.
If I hold the two green aces, this means a successful loner by the dealer would need to have the boss club and another club with 3 trumps (sure there are other loner configurations, but they are less likely). I am not smart enough to work out the % on that but I think it's low enough.
Wes (aka the legend) wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:34 pm
Putting your team down 9-7 is a highly controversial move. It is debatable EVEN IF you have the nightmare 'no trump, no aces vs a bower' hand. I suspect it is correct to donate at 7-7 if you're in that nightmare spot, but I certainly don't KNOW. And if somebody never donated at 7-7, I would never tell them they are wrong. With your hand, however, the prospects aren't so dim. With two aces to possibly stop a loner definitely DO NOT donate here. That's certainly a good enough hand to gamble with here when the alternative is mostly likely going down 9-7. Pass and hope for the best.
This is pretty much my conclusion so I passed. I can't think of a scenario to donate at 7-7 as that means to win our team would most likely need a march on our deal and then a point against the deal on the following hand. Or a loner on our deal of course (less likely). I have read somewhere that the dealer wins a point ~75% of time if they pick up. So with the opponents on 9 with at least one deal, I see it as highly likely they will win.

Keep in mind I talk in probabilities, not all possible scenarios.
Wes (aka the legend) wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:34 pm
Why are you even considering a next call with no trump when you have 3 trump and an off ace if you call diamonds?!?! Hoyle is not meant to be followed religiously. Basically you go with Hoyle when everything else is close to equal, but things are seldom equal!
Two reasons:

In first seat as a general rule, when a jack is turned down (doesn't happen much), I try to find any excuse to call next and lead it to my partner. Partly because it is likely my partner is sitting there with at least the right and an off ace. And partly because passing to second seat without the green suits blocked usually ends badly.

The other reason is I freely admit to be being a poor judge at crossing suits in first or second seat. Perhaps the more experienced players here can give some pointers on ignoring Hoyle. Clearly I am willing to cross call three small trump and an off ace from first seat, but that is probably at the limit for me.
Wes (aka the legend) wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:34 pm
Are your opponents playing with their cards face up?? If not, you don't know this. It is statistically more likely they have both red bowers but so what. Euchre is a gambling game. Call diamonds, lead trump and hope for the best.

Remember euchre is not like poker. Poker is also a gambling game, but with poker, in small ante games like Texas Holdem, there is virtually no cost to folding. So you can fold a lot, 85% of the time, waiting for nice edges to exploit, and make money at the end of the year if you play well and never tilt. You don't have that luxury in euchre. In poker you effectively get to choose your cards, in euchre the cards choose you! In poker passing (folding) costs virtually nothing. In Euchre passing costs a lot, usually around a point, sometimes significantly more on average if you're passing a hand with no aces that block no suits. Becuz there is such a large cost to passing in euchre, and because you can't pass to victory, this means you are literally forced to gamble whether you like it or not. Most people don't like it so they pass too much and play euchre like they are playing poker, waiting for a nice hand that likely won't get euchred. Don't do that.

So yeah, calling diamonds and going against Hoyle with 3 trump + an off ace, with no bowers after your enemy just turned down a black bower, isn't the ideal hand, but remember you don't get to choose the cards. The cards choose you! Given the high costs of passing with a hand that only blocks 1 out of the 3 remaining suits, this hand is more than enough to gamble with. If you get euchred so what.
I understand your point about Euchre being a forced gamble (sometimes having to choose the best of multiple expected negative outcomes) and it is a good one.

In this scenario I was not considering a pass in the second round, I was choosing between calling next and calling diamonds. You say it is statistically more likely the opponents have both red bowers and I agree. In my view this probability is a significant decision factor when a black jack has been turned down. I am still uncertain in this scenario calling diamonds would have a better success rate than calling next. Change my mind!

RedDuke
Posts: 237
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:22 am

Post by RedDuke » Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:39 am

If I hold the two green aces, this means a successful loner by the dealer would need to have the boss club and another club with 3 trumps (sure there are other loner configurations, but they are less likely). I am not smart enough to work out the % on that but I think it's low enough.
The dealer actually has a pretty good chance to have three trump, one of which will be the right. This is one of the reasons why a first round dealer is pretty dangerous.

He's almost certainly going to be void in diamonds so your Ace of Diamonds probably won't mean much. The Ace of Hearts has a decent enough chance to be the stopper though and that's the card I'd be saving until the end.

Most likely, the dealer here will have three clubs, including the right. He'll have a second suit, which will probably be spades or hearts. If it's hearts, you've got the stopper. If it's spades, you'd better pray that your partner has it. Really, your best shot at stopping this lone will be either your Ace of Hearts or your partner's guarded left (assuming he has that).

Wes (aka the legend)
Posts: 243
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:03 pm

Post by Wes (aka the legend) » Thu Mar 28, 2019 3:15 am

Wes (aka the legend) wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:34 pm
Putting your team down 9-7 is a highly controversial move. It is debatable EVEN IF you have the nightmare 'no trump, no aces vs a bower' hand. I suspect it is correct to donate at 7-7 if you're in that nightmare spot, but I certainly don't KNOW. And if somebody never donated at 7-7, I would never tell them they are wrong. With your hand, however, the prospects aren't so dim. With two aces to possibly stop a loner definitely DO NOT donate here. That's certainly a good enough hand to gamble with here when the alternative is mostly likely going down 9-7. Pass and hope for the best.
Mxx wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:44 pm
This is pretty much my conclusion so I passed. I can't think of a scenario to donate at 7-7 as that means to win our team would most likely need a march on our deal and then a point against the deal on the following hand. Or a loner on our deal of course (less likely).
My hypothesis is if you have no trump, no aces vs a Jack, it is correct to donate even at 7-7. But that's all it is, a hypothesis. We would need that mythical euchre simulator to flesh out the truth.
Mxx wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:44 pm
I have read somewhere that the dealer wins a point ~75% of time if they pick up. So with the opponents on 9 with at least one deal, I see it as highly likely they will win.
Here's a cool probability chart you can check out. Not sure how much trust we can put in these numbers but it's the best we got as far as I know:

http://borf_books.tripod.com/euchprob.htm

Notice based on the chart, if we're down 7-9 with the deal we have approx 23% equity. So for my hypothesis to be true, we'd have to have less than 23% equity at 7-7 vs their Jack when we have no trump, no aces.
Wes (aka the legend) wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:34 pm
Why are you even considering a next call with no trump when you have 3 trump and an off ace if you call diamonds?!?! Hoyle is not meant to be followed religiously. Basically you go with Hoyle when everything else is close to equal, but things are seldom equal!
Mxx wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:44 pm
Two reasons:
In first seat as a general rule, when a jack is turned down (doesn't happen much), I try to find any excuse to call next and lead it to my partner. Partly because it is likely my partner is sitting there with at least the right and an off ace. And partly because passing to second seat without the green suits blocked usually ends badly.
I agree with that approach. When a jack is turned down we wanna veer towards a next call as much as reasonably possible.
Mxx wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:44 pm
The other reason is I freely admit to be being a poor judge at crossing suits in first or second seat. Perhaps the more experienced players here can give some pointers on ignoring Hoyle. Clearly I am willing to cross call three small trump and an off ace from first seat, but that is probably at the limit for me.
Don't set limits!! Some examples where you should go against Hoyle without 3 trump + an off ace:

You're up 2-0 in the 1 seat and the dealer turned down a (Card_K-C)

You have (Card_Q-H) (Card_J-H) (Card_A-S) (Card_Q-C) (Card_10-C)

Call hearts. A hearts call isn't that strong but it 1) makes a lot more sense than a next call, and 2) this hand is good enough to gamble with vs the prospects of passing when you only block 1 out of the 3 remaining suits.

Another example:

You're up 2-0 in the 1 seat and the dealer just turned down a (Card_K-C)

You have (Card_K-D) (Card_Q-D) (Card_9-D) (Card_Q-C) (Card_10-C)

Call diamonds. Again, it's not a call you're proud of but it's better than calling next, and it beats out passing with a potentially dead hand with no aces that blocks nothing.
Mxx wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:44 pm
In this scenario I was not considering a pass in the second round, I was choosing between calling next and calling diamonds.
I actually misread your original post. I thought you passed on diamonds and your partner somehow called diamonds. As far as I'm concerned, VNH.

Mxx wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:44 pm
You say it is statistically more likely the opponents have both red bowers and I agree. In my view this probability is a significant decision factor when a black jack has been turned down. I am still uncertain in this scenario calling diamonds would have a better success rate than calling next. Change my mind!
Without that mythical euchre simulator where we could run each scenario a million times and compare strategies, I wouldn't dare try to change your mind. Luckily I don't have to anyways. Your intuition lined up with mine on this one. You called diamonds after all. :)

Richardb02
Posts: 147
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:57 pm

Post by Richardb02 » Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:55 pm

I am in 1st seat. The score is 7-7. Dealer has turned up a (Card_J-C)

I have: (Card_9-D) (Card_10-D) (Card_A-D) (Card_Q-C) (Card_A-H)
I use "BPS - Basic" to analyze hands. It is a prioritized checklist with numerical approximations.

Bidding with the score 7-7, is not covered by BPS - Basic. Donating is an advanced concept, not covered in Basic. It will eventually be covered in Advanced. But Advanced will reflect that Donating at 7-7 is almost never the best choice.

However, Basic is excellent in evaluating the Round 2 hand. The key factor is calling Next vs. Going Against Hoyle.

Bidding Next:
0.25 Seat 1
0.25 Round 2
0.50 Next
0.50 Qc
0.50 Ad
0.75 Ah
0.25 1 Void
-.50 Only 1 Trump
2.50 Total, 2.50 a good call

Going Against Hoyle
0.25 Seat 1
0.25 Round 2
0.25 9d
0.25 Td
0.50 A
0.50 Ah
0.25 1 Void
0.50 Any 3 trump
2.75 Total, Better than 2.50

So BPS says to Call Diamonds. It is close, but because the decision is close, is really why you posted!

The decision passes the smell test. Three trump, Going Against Hoyle, smells stronger than a Singleton Next.

Mxx
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:20 am

Post by Mxx » Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:27 pm

Interesting analysis.

I agree it's a close call between the two. Perhaps the style of play of the opponents is a deciding factor.

Mxx
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:20 am

Post by Mxx » Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:48 pm

Wes (aka the legend) wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 3:15 am
You're up 2-0 in the 1 seat and the dealer turned down a (Card_K-C)

You have (Card_Q-H) (Card_J-H) (Card_A-S) (Card_Q-C) (Card_10-C)

Call hearts. A hearts call isn't that strong but it 1) makes a lot more sense than a next call, and 2) this hand is good enough to gamble with vs the prospects of passing when you only block 1 out of the 3 remaining suits.
I agree it makes more sense than a next call, but I have been euchred on this type of hand many times. I have no hard stats to offer, only my memory of regret when calling this hand.

I would be more inclined to pass. The most likely scenario is 2nd seat calls diamonds. I have a lone green Ace to lead that will be good most of the time. If second seat calls spades, I would shoot a club across the bows and hope my partner puts the left on it. Therefore using this highly accurate statistical model, 1 point to the opposition is better than 2.
Wes (aka the legend) wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 3:15 am
You're up 2-0 in the 1 seat and the dealer just turned down a (Card_K-C)

You have (Card_K-D) (Card_Q-D) (Card_9-D) (Card_Q-C) (Card_10-C)

Call diamonds. Again, it's not a call you're proud of but it's better than calling next, and it beats out passing with a potentially dead hand with no aces that blocks nothing.
This one I have more sympathy for the argument that not calling will likely gift a 2 or 4 pointer to the opposition. It's also two suited.

Wes (aka the legend)
Posts: 243
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:03 pm

Post by Wes (aka the legend) » Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:50 am

Mxx wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:48 pm
Wes (aka the legend) wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 3:15 am
You're up 2-0 in the 1 seat and the dealer turned down a (Card_K-C)

You have (Card_Q-H) (Card_J-H) (Card_A-S) (Card_Q-C) (Card_10-C)

Call hearts. A hearts call isn't that strong but it 1) makes a lot more sense than a next call, and 2) this hand is good enough to gamble with vs the prospects of passing when you only block 1 out of the 3 remaining suits.
I agree it makes more sense than a next call, but I have been euchred on this type of hand many times. I have no hard stats to offer, only my memory of regret when calling this hand.

I would be more inclined to pass. The most likely scenario is 2nd seat calls diamonds. I have a lone green Ace to lead that will be good most of the time. If second seat calls spades, I would shoot a club across the bows and hope my partner puts the left on it. Therefore using this highly accurate statistical model, 1 point to the opposition is better than 2.
I can't prove it but I do think passing that strong of a hand would be a large mistake. Now keep in mind, I totally get that that hand in a vacuum is not a strong holding. It's just that it does make a point often enough that one should never pass with it when they only block 1 out of the 3 remaining suits. IOW the hand is too strong to pass when the alternative is passing and exposing our team to 2 seat loners in Diamonds and Spades.

Another way to look at it: Yes this hand will get euchred more than we would like, but the theoretical cost of a euchre is significantly lower when we only block 1 out of the 3 remaining suits becuz our call will block some loners. This dynamic should compel us to gamble a little bit more. And thus a hand that has a decent shot at scoring a point becomes a must call to make sure Seat 2 never gets a 4 point sweep in Diamonds or Spades.

IMO, passing this hand would be an example of taking Hoyle too far. Once we start passing hands that have a decent shot at making a point from seat 1, 2nd rd, exposing our team to 2 seat 2nd round loners, we need to back things up and reevaluate. Seat 1 has a critical job to do, and that is to protect their team from 2 seat 2nd round loners. Sometimes we have to go against Hoyle to do that job right.
Mxx wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:48 pm
Wes (aka the legend) wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 3:15 am
You're up 2-0 in the 1 seat and the dealer just turned down a (Card_K-C)

You have (Card_K-D) (Card_Q-D) (Card_9-D) (Card_Q-C) (Card_10-C)

Call diamonds. Again, it's not a call you're proud of but it's better than calling next, and it beats out passing with a potentially dead hand with no aces that blocks nothing.
This one I have more sympathy for the argument that not calling will likely gift a 2 or 4 pointer to the opposition. It's also two suited.
Even if it wasn't 2 suited, gotta call. Passing with that type of hand is simply too dangerous imo.

Richardb02
Posts: 147
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:57 pm

Post by Richardb02 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:20 pm

Wes (aka the legend) wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 3:15 am
You're up 2-0 in the 1 seat and the dealer just turned down a (Card_K-C)

You have (Card_K-D) (Card_Q-D) (Card_9-D) (Card_Q-C) (Card_10-C)

Call diamonds. Again, it's not a call you're proud of but it's better than calling next, and it beats out passing with a potentially dead hand with no aces that blocks nothing.

This one I have more sympathy for the argument that not calling will likely gift a 2 or 4 pointer to the opposition. It's also two suited.
I would apply BPS:
0.25 Seat 1
0.25 Round 2
0.50 Kd
0.50 Qd
0.25 9d
0.75 2 Voids, 2 Suited
0.50 3 Trumps, no Bowers
3.00 I rate this diamond call as stronger than the previous diamond call!

If, the hand wasn't 2 Suited, it would earn a 2.5, which is the minimum to call from Seat 1.

Of course you won't win every time. You can easily see that there are 3 trump (RLA) that can take a trick and 2 cards (if 2 suited) and 4 cards (if 3 suited, 1 void) that can take a trick. So the worse case is your opponents have 7 cards that can take a trick. They need at least 3 of those cards to euchre you. So the 1st card that they draw has a 7/18 chance of being drawn. If they draw one of those cards they have a 6/17 chance of drawing a 2nd card that can hurt you.Then they have a 5/16 chance of hurting you times 8 more cards or 40/16. The math is: 7/18 x 6/17 x 40/16 = .343 or a 34% chance of euchring your minimal call. [These are crude calculations, not full blown analysis].

But if you win 66 hands out of 100 and earn 1 point you will earn 66 points.
If you are euchred 34 hands out of 100 and give up 2 points you lost 68 points.
You are slightly behind. But now add your additional benefits:
Calling will earn 2 points. I average 16%. Cut that in half, so plus 8 points.
You stopped possible Loners. Lets use only 2% of the time, so plus 8 points.
You stopped your opponents 1 and 2 point hands. I won't even count that.
I am ahead 16 points out of 100 hands.
I will call to earn 16 more points out of 100 hands with a call on the edge.
[Of course, my analysis is debatable. That is why this forum is interesting, entertaining and educational.]

The biggest issue is, are you willing to be euchred 34% of the time for a small but significant advantage? Wes, aka The Legend, has posted that he is euchred 27% of the time (on average). Most people are not. People are programmed to avoid pain and fail to look for the opportunities. Euchre favors the opportunist!

The 2nd biggest battle is staying the course for at least 100 hands (and preferable 400 hands)! After getting euchred twice most people give up.

The BPS helps me immensely in being confident in playing consistently with "Edge" hands. I have been able to stay the course with edge hands because I am calling systematically. The BPS is nothing more that a prioritized checklist with estimated values that reflect lessons from Ohio Euchre and this forum. Thank you Ohio Euchre and everyone that posts.

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