How Strong to Call from 3rd positiion - Round 1

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jblowery
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:43 am

How Strong to Call from 3rd positiion - Round 1

Post by jblowery » Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:03 pm

I know 3rd position is vulnerable to euchre, particularly during round 1. How strong of a hand do you need to call it. Let's say I have (Card_J-C) (Card_10-C) (Card_9-C) (Card_K-S) (Card_Q-H) and the upcard is (Card_K-C) . Would you order this up from 3rd position?



Wes (aka the legend)
Posts: 269
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:03 pm

Post by Wes (aka the legend) » Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:19 pm

jblowery wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:03 pm
I know 3rd position is vulnerable to euchre, particularly during round 1. How strong of a hand do you need to call it. Let's say I have (Card_J-C) (Card_10-C) (Card_9-C) (Card_K-S) (Card_Q-H) and the upcard is (Card_K-C) . Would you order this up from 3rd position?
I pass that hand, but it's close. At the very least, if one does call this it should pretty much be the exact bottom of their calling range.

In theory this hand is a CLEAR pass, it's not strong enough to call from 3rd, 1st rd, and it's not just becuz we are in the most dangerous spot in the game due to the fact we don't have the lead, and can get overtrumped by the dealer who just created a void after we gave him a trump. Another reason to consider passing here is to keep in mind that every time we call from 3rd, 1st round to try to fight for a point (which is what this hand is doing), we need a parlay to occur to make our call correct in the technical sense. We need both the dealer to have a passing hand if we had passed, and our partner to not have at least a 1 point calling hand in the 2nd rd had we passed and the dealer passed. If either leg of that parlay doesn't hold then we will always be better off passing since why would we fight for a point in the toughest spot in the game if the dealer would've called anyways or our partner had at least a 1 point calling hand in the 2nd round. Parlays are hard to hit. This is yet another reason that one needs to play really tight from 3rd, first rd.

But of course I said "in theory". The water get's muddy if our partner doesn't play 1st seat, 2nd round well. If our partner often passes biddable hands in the 2nd rd, that might swing this marginal hand into a call in the first rd. I honestly don't know. All I can say is with no reads I do pass JT9 + nothing from 3rd, 1st rd. There's just so much to balance here. The inherent toughness of Seat 3, 1st rd calls, the parlay problem, and the vicissitudes of our partner's play, and it's not just what they do in the 2nd round. If your partner doesn't lead trump to your calls, you can forget about even trying this marginal call.

Let's do one controversial example of what I would do in Seat 3, 1st round just for fun:

Score is 0-0. Dealer upcard is a (Card_9-S)

The action is on me and I have (Card_A-S) (Card_Q-S) (Card_10-S) (Card_A-D) (Card_A-H)

I'm passing this hand ALL DAY and here's why.

1) If I pass and the dealer picks up, my team now has a great chance to set him.

2) If I pass and the dealer passes, my hand hits my partner well enough no matter what he calls. If he calls next I have 3 aces to help him including 2 singleton green aces. If he crosses the river, I still have 2 off aces to help his cause.

3) I have no bowers in my hand. This is important, not becuz I wish I had bowers, no it's more subtle than that. When I have no bowers in my hand there is a greater than normal chance my partner is sitting on a 2nd round loner those times the dealer passes. Also, when I have no bowers in my hand there is a greater than normal chance the dealer picks up despite the fact that I have 3 trump. Both these potential outcomes are awesome for my team. I don't wanna mess up this favorable dynamic by calling.

Richardb02
Posts: 171
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:57 pm

Post by Richardb02 » Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:15 pm

Wes (aka the legend) wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:19 pm


Let's do one controversial example of what I would do in Seat 3, 1st round just for fun:

Score is 0-0. Dealer upcard is a (Card_9-S)

The action is on me and I have (Card_A-S) (Card_Q-S) (Card_10-S) (Card_A-D) (Card_A-H)

I'm passing this hand ALL DAY and here's why.

1) If I pass and the dealer picks up, my team now has a great chance to set him.

2) If I pass and the dealer passes, my hand hits my partner well enough no matter what he calls. If he calls next I have 3 aces to help him including 2 singleton green aces. If he crosses the river, I still have 2 off aces to help his cause.

3) I have no bowers in my hand. This is important, not becuz I wish I had bowers, no it's more subtle than that. When I have no bowers in my hand there is a greater than normal chance my partner is sitting on a 2nd round loner those times the dealer passes. Also, when I have no bowers in my hand there is a greater than normal chance the dealer picks up despite the fact that I have 3 trump. Both these potential outcomes are awesome for my team. I don't wanna mess up this favorable dynamic by calling.
I remember reading this post in April or May and relegating it to, "this is too advanced for me." But 6-7 months later I see the logic to Wes' points. From a basic approach, having 3 trump and 2 green aces is a hand to call, even from Seat 3. My BPS-Basic concludes that the hand is 2 notches better than minimum for calling. But the analysis is based on calling to earn 1 point and ignores the potential of Dealer ordering (an excellent chance of earning 2 points by euchring the dealer) as well as, my hand providing excellent support for Partner calling Next! Even if Partner calls Reverse-Next, my aces should make me good for 1 trick, or more, to support Partner!

Some of my new-found wisdom is football season related! Passing is equivalent to punting on 4th down and pinning Opponent inside the 10 yard line. If Opponent goes for the block, (Picks up), I have the opportunity for a roughing the punter call, and a 1st down! If Opponent play it safe (Dealer passes), we have the opportunity to gain possession with good field position. This is equivalent to Partner, Seat 1, calling!

I have a "Power" defensive hand (great confidence in my defense). In euchre only 3 cards (out of 24 are not in play) so you should always play to strengths in your hand and/or Partner's hand. I am rooting for the Gators vs. the Dawgs as I type this out! My conclusion is, pass, play defense, it is my strength.

Lets add in Wes' direction if you have "Euchre hands" or blocking hands. My 30,000 foot view is, if you have Jacks or Aces in your hand,, then you are significantly better off passing than ordering.

If we go back to jblowery's original hand:
(Card_J-C) (Card_10-C) (Card_9-C) (Card_K-S) (Card_Q-H) and the upcard is
(Card_K-C) , would you order from S3?

I would pass, unless the score overrides passing. The BPS is 2.25. It is short of 2.50 needed if you trust Partner to lead a trump. It is 2 quanta short if you can't count on Partner to lead trump.

My conclusion, if I have Aces or Jacks, I am going to be more successful passing (than calling) from S3!
Of course, there are exceptions, 4 trump, 5 trump, RLA,
(Card_J-C) (Card_10-C) (Card_9-C) and 2 suited
but they are a tiny percentage of possibilities.

Wes (aka the legend)
Posts: 269
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:03 pm

Post by Wes (aka the legend) » Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:45 pm

Richardb02 wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:15 pm
I remember reading this post in April or May and relegating it to, "this is too advanced for me." But 6-7 months later I see the logic to Wes' points. From a basic approach, having 3 trump and 2 green aces is a hand to call, even from Seat 3. My BPS-Basic concludes that the hand is 2 notches better than minimum for calling. But the analysis is based on calling to earn 1 point and ignores the potential of Dealer ordering (an excellent chance of earning 2 points by euchring the dealer) as well as, my hand providing excellent support for Partner calling Next! Even if Partner calls Reverse-Next, my aces should make me good for 1 trick, or more, to support Partner!
Yep, never forget that you can often have your cake and eat it too when you pass ostensibly biddable hands from the 3rd seat, especially when you have a strong partner who plays Seat 1, 2nd rd really well. But also keep in mind that once your team is at 9, you should loosen up your calling range a bit. The same strong hands I recommend passing now become calls. This makes sense theoretically becuz once you're at 9, passing to trap the dealer no longer has any value since your team only needs 1 point to win.

Here's an extreme example I played the other day online. My partner is a poor player who passes ALOT who certainly doesn't play Seat 1, 2nd rd well. Our team is up 9-6, the upcard is the (Card_9-C)

And the actions on me from the 3rd seat with:

(Card_J-C) (Card_J-S) (Card_10-H) (Card_9-H) (Card_10-D)

I order the dealer up. Ordering from the 3rd seat, 1st rd with just two bowers and nothing else is generally a sucker call--a rookie mistake that a lot of beginners often make. But there's no way I'm passing in this situation. We're at 9 so there's no value in euchring the dealer, and if the dealer passes, my partner is gonna pass very often in the 2nd round setting up the nightmare scenario of Seat 2 being able to win the game with one heroic call. I can't allow that to happen. Therefore I'm calling in the first rd with this highly dubious hand for defensive purposes. If I had a good partner I would never make this call. In the actual hand we eked out the victory on this call. This example goes to show that when your team is up 9-X where X = 7 or below, and you have a bad partner even some unbiddable hands become biddable from 3rd.

Here's an extreme example of passing from 3rd that a very strong player, Kurt, told me about. He was playing in a cash game in the 1960s and his team was down 9-8. He had a very strong fearless partner who knew how to call Next. The dealer was also a strong aggressive player.

The upcard is the (Card_10-C) and the action's on Kurt in the 3rd seat with:

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

Kurt passed with a guaranteed point in his hand, the dealer picked up and the rest is history. :)

Now there's no way to prove Kurt's strategy is correct, but you can see why he did it, and this example illustrates beautifully how complex strong 3rd seat, 1st rd play can be. To play that spot really well requires much more than just playing your cards.

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