To donate or not to donate....

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Tbolt65
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To donate or not to donate....

Post by Tbolt65 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:04 pm

I am new here but not to the game.
I've been reading over posts and I'D like to give my thoughts on donating.


So I'm going to bypass why we donate because I feel most here from what I've seen so far understand the why part. Onto the when.........

Usually its the first seat responsibility. The Only time you would 3rd seat it is that if your partner demonstrates they don't donate.

Obviously you want to donate when your up and you want to prevent a team from goin out/winning. You do two things. A. Your in the game and B. It's your deal next. That's a very important concept especially when donating at 9-6, 9-7 or even 9-5.

There is also donating to protect your lead. For example: 8-2, 9-2.

Now can you over donate? The answer is yes. Well what is over donating? Donating too much especially early in the game is the main case and sometimes mid game. You just don't want to be giving up unnecessary points too often. Early in the game you can afford a loner against, Late in the game you can NOT afford that loner. But hey tbolt65/Edward isn't 4 pts unnecessary as well? It's is but you can risk it in hopes of a stopper by you or your partner. You can do this since it's early in the game, ie: 0-0, 1-1 2-1,ect....

I personally used to donate every chance I didnt have a stopper. But I have seen and learned that through those times many of those games I'd be giving up too many free points. Where we had a stopper and it would come back to hurt us in the end with a loss.

You have balance the times you donate and not be so overly aggressive in giving them out.

......from my experience that is.


Tbolt65
Edward



Wes (aka the legend)
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Post by Wes (aka the legend) » Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:01 pm

Tbolt65 wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:04 pm
I personally used to donate every chance I didnt have a stopper. But I have seen and learned that through those times many of those games I'd be giving up too many free points. Where we had a stopper and it would come back to hurt us in the end with a loss.

You have balance the times you donate and not be so overly aggressive in giving them out.

......from my experience that is.


Tbolt65
Edward
I agree that donating every time we don't have a stopper would be overdoing it. Besides the obvious spots to donate, whether I donate or not really depends on my specific holding.

E.G. if I have no trump no aces vs a Jack upcard I strongly believe donating at 0-0 or 3-3 is the correct play. In fact in this specific dire situation I would donate at ANY score as long as my opponents didn't have 8. I realize that's a very controversial position to take, but that's how bad I believe my team's situation is when I have no trump no aces vs a Jack.

Other non-conventional examples:

Upcard is an (Card_A-S)

My team is up 2-0, I'm in Seat 1 with (Card_K-S) (Card_K-D) (Card_K-C) (Card_K-H) (Card_9-H)

One trump, no aces vs an Ace upcard I'm donating.

Upcard is a (Card_9-D)

My team is up 6-4, I'm in Seat 1 with (Card_10-C) (Card_9-C) (Card_10-S) (Card_9-S) (Card_9-H)

No trump, no aces + no where to go in the 2nd rd vs ANY upcard up 2 points is a clear donation spot for me.

Tbolt65
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Location: Las Vegas

Post by Tbolt65 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:25 pm

Tbolt65 wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:04 pm


Donating too much especially early in the game is the main case and sometimes mid game. You just don't want to be giving up unnecessary points too often. Early in the game you CAN afford a loner against, Late in the game you can NOT afford that loner.

........you can risk it in hopes of a stopper by you or your partner. You can do this since it's early in the game, ie: 0-0, 1-1 2-1,ect....



......from my experience that is.


Tbolt65
Edward
I'm on my phone here at work and in my response to you Wes I wanted to highlight this above quote and yours but I don't how to insert yours since I can't copy and paste it.

I used to be as liberal in my donating in all the situations you highlighted. I no longer donate at 0-0 , 2-2 Or 3-3 for my said "quoted" reasons in this current post. You just give up too many points. There will be times they make that loner and if they do you are still not in bad shape. Hence why I risk it plus I find it that it's not too often they make it. Not saying the don't but not nearly enough for me to justifying to donate it.

The 6-4 donate however is one I'm more inclined to take since it could really put my team at risk if they do make it and furthermore put the other team in the driver's seat where as the can donate on our deal and get it to their deal.


Tbolt65
Edward

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

Post by Wes (aka the legend) » Tue Jun 18, 2019 4:22 pm

Tbolt65 wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:25 pm
I used to be as liberal in my donating in all the situations you highlighted. I no longer donate at 0-0 , 2-2 Or 3-3 for my said "quoted" reasons in this current post. You just give up too many points. There will be times they make that loner and if they do you are still not in bad shape. Hence why I risk it plus I find it that it's not too often they make it. Not saying the don't but not nearly enough for me to justifying to donate it.

The 6-4 donate however is one I'm more inclined to take since it could really put my team at risk if they do make it and furthermore put the other team in the driver's seat where as the can donate on our deal and get it to their deal.


Tbolt65
Edward
The problem with these arguments is they can't really go anywhere. My donation strategy is carefully and thoughtfully crafted and tested over 20K games, and I know you would say the same thing about your strategy/experience. (To get others up to speed, I play with Ed in real life, he's a very strong and thoughtful player).

But me saying "Bro I take this very seriously and have tested this out over 20K games and have gotten great results" is still a super weak argument becuz my donation strategy is not grounded in sound math and the human brain can certainly play tricks on oneself. E.G. if you already think a certain strategy is correct your brain will be more apt to remember spots where your strategy prevailed and thus pat yourself on the back, and discount/forget spots where it failed. I'd give anything to be able to run a decent simulation in these spots to tease out what really is best.

I'm 100% certain I'm wrong to some degree, that's the way it has to be when you make decisions without the underpinning math. I just have no way of proving it, but I really wish I could. So with all that said, when it comes to controversial donating I just try to tell people what I would do and why under the assumption that just saying what I would do has some value in itself as it can possibly stimulate further discussion. I can't really say, "Hey this is correct!"

Although I did just that in question 24 of my quiz, but hey nobody's perfect:

https://ohioeuchre.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=111

Edit:

That said I do strongly believe that having "No trump, no aces" is a special case in euchre that needs to be treated with special care, and whenever the opposing dealer has a Jack up is also a special case. But again, strong beliefs pale in comparison to sound math.
Last edited by Wes (aka the legend) on Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tbolt65
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Location: Las Vegas

Post by Tbolt65 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 5:32 pm

Wes (aka the legend) wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 4:22 pm
Tbolt65 wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:25 pm
I used to be as liberal in my donating in all the situations you highlighted. I no longer donate at 0-0 , 2-2 Or 3-3 for my said "quoted" reasons in this current post. You just give up too many points. There will be times they make that loner and if they do you are still not in bad shape. Hence why I risk it plus I find it that it's not too often they make it. Not saying the don't but not nearly enough for me to justifying to donate it.

The 6-4 donate however is one I'm more inclined to take since it could really put my team at risk if they do make it and furthermore put the other team in the driver's seat where as the can donate on our deal and get it to their deal.


Tbolt65
Edward
The problem with these arguments is they can't really go anywhere. My donation strategy is carefully and thoughtfully crafted and tested over 20K games, and I know you would say the same thing about your strategy/experience. (To get others up to speed, I play with Ed in real life, he's a very strong and thoughtful player).

But me saying "Bro I take this very seriously and have tested this out over 20K hands and have gotten great results" is still a super weak argument becuz my donation strategy is not grounded in sound math and the human brain can certainly play tricks on oneself. E.G. if you already think a certain strategy is correct your brain will be more apt to remember spots where your strategy prevailed and thus pat yourself on the back, and discount/forget spots where it failed. I'd give anything to be able to run a decent simulation in these spots to tease out what really is best.

I'm 100% certain I'm wrong to some degree, that's the way it has to be when you make decisions without the underpinning math. I just have no way of proving it, but I really wish I could. So with all that said, when it comes to controversial donating I just try to tell people what I would do and why under the assumption that just saying what I would do has some value in itself as it can possibly stimulate further discussion. I can't really say, "Hey this is correct!"

Although I did just that in question 24 of my quiz, but hey nobody's perfect:

https://ohioeuchre.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=111

Edit:

That said I do strongly believe that having "No trump, no aces" is a special case in euchre that needs to be treated with special care, and whenever the opposing dealer has a Jack up is also a special case. But again, strong beliefs pale in comparison to sound math.
I hope you didn't misinterpret what I was sayin, but let me clarify my stance on not only this situation but all euchre related strategy.

Euchre is situational. One time you might play something one way and another time you play it differently. There are rules of thumb or convention to go by in euchre but to be so rigid to play it the same way all the time limits ones adaptability to the "situation". Upon seeing and play (x) -amount of hands with different levels of players you'll start to see patterns or probabilities and this can start to influence previous notions of various situations. The only real absolute wrong way to play in euchre is not having an adaptive play style and of course not leading Trump when your partner picked up the right. :)



Plus Wes you are right every thing has value it all about how you assess it or don't for some.


Edit:
I'm not arguing which way is the right way, in regards to donating. I'm just highlighting the pros and cons of my experiences and giving my take on it. Your thoughts and feelings are not invalid and you do provide a reasonable approach. One of which I am more selective with now-a-days. But if the situation presents itself you never know I just might walk on that wild side once again, :)



Tbolt65
Edward
Last edited by Tbolt65 on Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Wes (aka the legend)
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Post by Wes (aka the legend) » Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:41 pm

Tbolt65 wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:04 pm
Usually its the first seat responsibility. The Only time you would 3rd seat it is that if your partner demonstrates they don't donate.
I got some spare time, so I'll elaborate a little on some points.

I would conservatively estimate that around 99% of people don't donate. I say conservative becuz I actually think it's closer to 99.9% based on my experience on the app I play on with has traffic close to 10K people per day. The amount of people I come across that donate is closer to 10 than 100. What this means is that the idea that one should not donate from the 3rd seat while correct in theory, is most likely not going to be true in practice. This ofc opens up a whole other discussion on what our 3rd seat donation range should be? Should it be the same as our range from Seat 1? Or should it be tighter.

Based on a lot of trial an error, my current approach from the 3rd spot is to donate with no reads. That's my starting position. Once I get a read that Seat 1 does donate, then I adjust. I do tighten up my donating range significantly becuz it is just too damn likely that I'll end up donating too much once I'm donating from 2 seats. The vast majority of my 3rd seat donations are against Jack upcards with "no trump, no aces" hands, "no trump, one ace" and "one trump, no aces". Again, all against the Jack upcard. The only time I donate from 3rd against a non-Jack upcard is if I have "no trump, no aces" vs an Ace upcard. I purposely left out the scores. The above is basically my recommendation of what to look for to consider donating. I'll leave it to the reader to decide at which scores to pull the trigger.

The special exception is in scenarios when my team is up 9-7/9-6. Then, I will loosen my standards a little bit. E.G. if I have "no trump, no aces" or even "no trump, one ace" and I know my partner doesn't donate, I'm gonna donate vs any upcard just to make sure my team does not lose to a hail mary loner. Guaranteeing my team another chance with the deal is just too critical to pass up when I have that weak of a holding and my P does not donate.
Tbolt65 wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:04 pm
Obviously you want to donate when your up and you want to prevent a team from goin out/winning. You do two things. A. Your in the game and B. It's your deal next. That's a very important concept especially when donating at 9-6, 9-7 or even 9-5.
I agree that one should always donate up 9-7 all the way down to 9-0.
Tbolt65 wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:04 pm
There is also donating to protect your lead. For example: 8-2, 9-2.
This begs the question of how large our lead needs to be to activate our entire donate range. Is 6 points enough? What about 4 points? For me personally, when I'm up 2 points, my whole donate range is activated.
Tbolt65 wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:04 pm
Now can you over donate? The answer is yes. Well what is over donating? Donating too much especially early in the game is the main case and sometimes mid game.
I disagree with the logic that donating early in a game is a bad thing. It's one of the best times to donate imo becuz you still have plenty of time to recover. The tough donates for me, I.E. the ones I hate making are mostly mid game.

E.G. If my team is up 1-0, and the dealer upcard is an (Card_A-C)

And I'm in the 1 seat with (Card_10-D) (Card_9-D) (Card_Q-H) (Card_J-H) (Card_K-S)

I have no problem pulling the trigger there and donating. Likely being down 2-1 is no big deal, giving up 4 points is and when I have a hand like that the probability my enemy has a 4 point sweep goes way up, and even if they just call they are gonna get 2 points very often since I have a dead hand to help my partner which leads into my general donating philosophy: I try to choose spots where my team has a great chance of losing 2 points anyways if my enemy just calls, thus by donating you get the best of both words, you get to block all possible 4 point plays and at very little cost since passing is gonna lead to a 2 point loss on a call quite often anyways.
Tbolt65 wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:04 pm
You just don't want to be giving up unnecessary points too often.
I agree with the idea but it kinda covers up the fact that the real hit we take points-wise is when we are dealt such a crappy hand. That's where the big EV hit takes place. Donating and passing are just two strategies to manage that crappy situation and it quite often isn't clear which strategy is best I'll admit. Any time you donate you can give up unnecessary points, like if it turns out your partner was guarded or had a key stopper he likely would've held onto. The real question tho ofc is whether this strategy is giving up unnecessary points in the long run.
Tbolt65 wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:04 pm
Early in the game you can afford a loner against, Late in the game you can NOT afford that loner.

But hey tbolt65/Edward isn't 4 pts unnecessary as well? It's is but you can risk it in hopes of a stopper by you or your partner. You can do this since it's early in the game, ie: 0-0, 1-1 2-1,ect....
I disagree with the idea that we should be less vigilant early in the game. I mean to some extent it's true, in theory we should have wider donating ranges up 9-0 vs 0-0, but that said, if we have "no trump, no aces" vs a Jack upcard at 0-0, not donating there literally feels like a capital offense. There are certain situations where the circumstances are so bad that the score pretty much doesn't matter. Obviously that's a controversial claim I cannot prove. So that's more of an assertion than a fact.

Tbolt65
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Post by Tbolt65 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:04 pm

Tryin to post throughout the day and in between work one loses thought and cohesiveness of what one is trying to convey.
I just edited my last post seemingly at the same time you posted your new one Wes.

As to your approach in donating in third, I take a similar stance but it's that of, It's first seat job to donate and if the show they are incapable of such then I'll start 3rd seating. I don't do anything different than I would in 1st seat. I treat it the same, way and standards as from 1st seat perspective. I'll 3rd it for sure if it looks like my pars doesnt.


I think we differ much in our logical and gut approach at times due to possible the quality of opponents we have seen. It could be possible that it "might" be a factor all considering. I'm not saying it is. Just that it might be.

Overall your thought process and analytical skills are great and like how methodical you mind set is to the approach of the game.

Tbolt65
Edward

Wes (aka the legend)
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Post by Wes (aka the legend) » Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:09 pm

Perhaps helpful to others, I'll go over some hand examples where I WILL NOT DONATE vs a Jack upcard.

Assume I'm in seat 1, and assume the same (Card_J-D) upcard for all hands:

My team is up 2-0. (Card_J-D) upcard.

I have (Card_A-D) (Card_9-D) (Card_A-S) (Card_K-S) (Card_Q-H)

I don't block a loner, but having the Ad9d does take out a lot of loner combinations. It takes out all 2 trump loner combos except JdJh loners, and as far as 3 trump loner combos, the dealer now HAS to have JJX to pull off any loner, and those times our trump cant help us we still have the off Ace that may save us.

My team is up 3-0.

I have (Card_A-H) (Card_9-H) (Card_A-S) (Card_Q-S) (Card_K-C)

I have no trump, but with two aces I'll take the gamble and pass. Two aces stop a loner quite often.

Score is 0-0.

I have (Card_A-D) (Card_9-D) (Card_K-H) (Card_Q-H) (Card_10-S)

Same logic as before. The dealer basically has to have JJX to pull off a sweep and the two trump JJ combo that can possibly beat us is quite rare. At 0-0 I'd rather pass and take my chances. Up 9-7 auto-donate.

My team is up 4-2.

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

Having the Left still takes out a decent chunk of loner combos. In my experience most of a person's loner range is the JJx variety. I think that's wrong and too tight, but that's mostly what I run into. So just having the Left is significant and we still have an off ace that may save us when things go wrong.

My team is up 8-6.

I have (Card_K-D) (Card_10-D) (Card_9-D) (Card_A-S) (Card_10-C)

Yes I don't block a loner and a loner sweep could close out the game, but that will be so rare given my holding. I'd rather pass, hoping my enemy pics up and try to euchre them for the win. Change the score to my team being up 9-7 and now I would donate with this hand becuz trying to euchre my opponent now has no value.

My team is up 8-6.

I have (Card_A-D) (Card_9-D) (Card_A-C) (Card_K-C) (Card_A-S)

I'm gonna gamble and pass again. Not only is it gonna be very hard for my opponent to pull off a loner sweep given my holding, but if he pics up I still have a decent hand that could help euchre him for the immediate win. Plus donating up 8-6 isn't that appealing to begin with since you're basically trying to secure an "8-8 with the deal situation" which gives us approx 54% equity. Donating to secure coinflip equity isn't that sexy to me which is why my donation range is much wider up 9-7 than up 8-6.

Where I got the 54% number:

http://members.tripod.com/~Borf_Books/euchprob.htm

Tbolt65
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Post by Tbolt65 » Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:44 am

Wes (aka the legend) wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:09 pm
Perhaps helpful to others, I'll go over some hand examples where I WILL NOT DONATE vs a Jack upcard.

Assume I'm in seat 1, and assume the same (Card_J-D) upcard for all hands:

My team is up 2-0. (Card_J-D) upcard.

I have (Card_A-D) (Card_9-D) (Card_A-S) (Card_K-S) (Card_Q-H)

I don't block a loner, but having the Ad9d does take out a lot of loner combinations. It takes out all 2 trump loner combos except JdJh loners, and as far as 3 trump loner combos, the dealer now HAS to have JJX to pull off any loner, and those times our trump cant help us we still have the off Ace that may save us.

Yep

My team is up 3-0.

I have (Card_A-H) (Card_9-H) (Card_A-S) (Card_Q-S) (Card_K-C)

I have no trump, but with two aces I'll take the gamble and pass. Two aces stop a loner quite often.

For me that's pretty much on all hands and situations, with this holdings.

Score is 0-0.

I have (Card_A-D) (Card_9-D) (Card_K-H) (Card_Q-H) (Card_10-S)

Same logic as before. The dealer basically has to have JJX to pull off a sweep and the two trump JJ combo that can possibly beat us is quite rare. At 0-0 I'd rather pass and take my chances. Up 9-7 auto-donate.

Yes and Yes again here as well for me too.

My team is up 4-2.

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

Having the Left still takes out a decent chunk of loner combos. In my experience most of a person's loner range is the JJx variety. I think that's wrong and too tight, but that's mostly what I run into. So just having the Left is significant and we still have an off ace that may save us when things go wrong.


Im not as well here too, but not for your said thought process.

My team is up 8-6.

I have (Card_K-D) (Card_10-D) (Card_9-D) (Card_A-S) (Card_10-C)

Yes I don't block a loner and a loner sweep could close out the game, but that will be so rare given my holding. I'd rather pass, hoping my enemy pics up and try to euchre them for the win. Change the score to my team being up 9-7 and now I would donate with this hand becuz trying to euchre my opponent now has no value.

I agree with the 8-6 scenario here but on the 9-7 I can also see a pass as well and not so much an auto donate, I'll tell you why from my perspective. With having said hand. Your going to lead your singleton Ace. If it gets trump say with a queen he's going to need to have Right-Left-Ace of trump behind it to make it. Any and all other holdings you stop him. If he follows suit you stop him and anything else but Right left Ace Queen makes his bid a one point hand. So at 9-7 I don't think its an auto donate for sure but you certainly can lock up the deal and not take the chance and get to that 65% situation for 9-9 and your deal. But keep in mind that 65% as Sword_4_hire talks about is taking into consideration optimal play. If you have oppents or even a partner of lesser caliber then that percentage dramatically decreases.

My team is up 8-6.






I have (Card_A-D) (Card_9-D) (Card_A-C) (Card_K-C) (Card_A-S)

I'm gonna gamble and pass again. Not only is it gonna be very hard for my opponent to pull off a loner sweep given my holding, but if he pics up I still have a decent hand that could help euchre him for the immediate win. Plus donating up 8-6 isn't that appealing to begin with since you're basically trying to secure an "8-8 with the deal situation" which gives us approx 54% equity. Donating to secure coinflip equity isn't that sexy to me which is why my donation range is much wider up 9-7 than up 8-6.

I agree here as well, Wes.

Where I got the 54% number:

http://members.tripod.com/~Borf_Books/euchprob.htm

Sword_4_Hire aka fastfredy is probably one of the best euchre players I've ever partnered with and played against. He is very math oriented and he himself has seen 10's of thousands of games and has done the math.

As for the author of the book, Natty Bumpo don't get me started on him, ;)
Athough he has some good stuff in there, from my discussions in years past with him. I think he's too rigid in his play and thought process and frankly full of himself to be honest. Let's just say we disagree on a great many of things.



Tbolt65
Edward

irishwolf
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Post by irishwolf » Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:21 am

THE DONATE:

WES SAID: "if I have no trump no aces vs a Jack upcard I strongly believe donating at 0-0 or 3-3 is the correct play. In fact in this specific dire situation I would donate at ANY score as long as my opponents didn't have 8 . . .'


Score is 7 - 7 and the situation as described above and you are in first seat. You donate and now the the score is 7 to 9. Statistical probability is you will score 1 point 65% of the time and 2 points 16% with opponents scoring the remainder. Thus, most of the time on the opponents deal the score will be 8 to 9, opponents favor. And they will win the game, statistically.

It's a bad strategy to donate as described at this score putting your opponent at 9, statistically. It would be a rare situation for me to to donate late in the game because you have little chance to make up that one point. Sometimes you just have to take your lumps. Besides - you have a partner with five unknown cards and a talon with three.

Wes (aka the legend)
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Post by Wes (aka the legend) » Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:51 pm

Tbolt65 wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:44 am
Wes (aka the legend) wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:09 pm
My team is up 3-0.

I have (Card_A-H) (Card_9-H) (Card_A-S) (Card_Q-S) (Card_K-C)


For me that's pretty much on all hands and situations, with this holdings.

Up 9-7/9-6 I would still donate with that hand. At those scores I just don't screw around. I am very open to the idea that there may be some hands where it's best to pass even if we don't block a loner at 9-6/9-7, but I would definitely need very strong evidence to deviate from this convention. The kind've evidence I don't think any of us have access too. Still, I wouldn't be surprised at all if such hand exceptions existed. At least there's one nice communication advantage to this rigid strategy: the fact that if I pass in that spot and you're my partner you will always know I have a sure trick which can allow you to call a tad more marginal from 3rd.

BTW the best math argument I can find on this topic is a pro-donate argument based on a sample size of 50 hands. Not very convincing but entertaining to read:

http://members.tripod.com/~Borf_Books/ecolum22.htm#Bridge2
Tbolt65 wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:44 am
Wes (aka the legend) wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:09 pm
My team is up 8-6.

I have (Card_K-D) (Card_10-D) (Card_9-D) (Card_A-S) (Card_10-C)


I agree with the 8-6 scenario here but on the 9-7 I can also see a pass as well and not so much an auto donate, I'll tell you why from my perspective. With having said hand. Your going to lead your singleton Ace. If it gets trump say with a queen he's going to need to have Right-Left-Ace of trump behind it to make it. Any and all other holdings you stop him. If he follows suit you stop him and anything else but Right left Ace Queen makes his bid a one point hand. So at 9-7 I don't think its an auto donate for sure but you certainly can lock up the deal and not take the chance and get to that 65% situation for 9-9 and your deal. But keep in mind that 65% as Sword_4_hire talks about is taking into consideration optimal play. If you have oppents or even a partner of lesser caliber then that percentage dramatically decreases.


The thing is tho is this is not really a straight donate. It's more like a semi-donate. We have 3 trump + an off ace after all. Even vs a Jack upcard we are still gonna score a point a decent chunk of the time. It's like we almost get the best of both worlds on this hand. Our opponents never beat us on a loner sweep and we score a point for the win significantly more often than the usual donate.

Passing also has some clear downsides besides the obvious albeit rare loner sweep encounter. If the dealer passes, not only will we wish we had called but now we're faced with the unenviable prospect of having to basically donate again, but this time with an almost nothing hand. I.E. if the dealer passes, I'm never passing from Seat 1, 2nd rd with a hand that doesn't block all loners at 9-7 becuz I'm never gonna give Seat 2 a chance to be a hero when I'm guaranteed another hand as the dealer with a 2-1 edge even if I get euchred. So if the dealer passes, I'm calling something. In this case I would call Next with no trump and hope for the best.

Another more subtle downside to passing are those times the Dealer's team picks up and gets euchred. One may think "Why is that a bad thing, we win the game?!" True, but against that euchred range we very likely win the game on a call also. If passing and calling both win the game vs that range, we might as well call to prevent the loner sweep possibility. Every time we pass and our opponents get euchred in this spot we basically allowed our team to get free-rolled for nothing. This dynamic changes if we go back to the original 8-6 score. Now passing accomplishes something calling cannot. Passing can win the game on this deal by euchring our enemy, calling never can.

As far as Sword_4_Hire's 65% equity number at 9-9, yeah I think the biggest mistake in this spot is Seat 2 not properly loosening up their calling range. I'm sure that burns a decent amount of equity.
Tbolt65 wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:44 am
Sword_4_Hire aka fastfredy is probably one of the best euchre players I've ever partnered with and played against. He is very math oriented and he himself has seen 10's of thousands of games and has done the math.
I'm jealous that you got to play with him! I wish I had a chance to meet him.
Tbolt65 wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:44 am
As for the author of the book, Natty Bumpo don't get me started on him, ;)
Athough he has some good stuff in there, from my discussions in years past with him. I think he's too rigid in his play and thought process and frankly full of himself to be honest. Let's just say we disagree on a great many of things.
I've read his book. Some good stuff in there, but overall there is enough poor strategy advice that I would not recommend it. For someone trying to better their game, I would just tell them to read every lesson and article on this site and download a euchre app to gain experience at hyper-spreed.

Wes (aka the legend)
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Post by Wes (aka the legend) » Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:04 pm

irishwolf wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:21 am
THE DONATE:

WES SAID: "if I have no trump no aces vs a Jack upcard I strongly believe donating at 0-0 or 3-3 is the correct play. In fact in this specific dire situation I would donate at ANY score as long as my opponents didn't have 8 . . .'


Score is 7 - 7 and the situation as described above and you are in first seat. You donate and now the the score is 7 to 9. Statistical probability is you will score 1 point 65% of the time and 2 points 16% with opponents scoring the remainder. Thus, most of the time on the opponents deal the score will be 8 to 9, opponents favor. And they will win the game, statistically.

It's a bad strategy to donate as described at this score putting your opponent at 9, statistically. It would be a rare situation for me to to donate late in the game because you have little chance to make up that one point. Sometimes you just have to take your lumps. Besides - you have a partner with five unknown cards and a talon with three.
Yeah I am totally fine with people disagreeing with me on this. Yes I absolutely will donate at 7-7 with no trump, no aces vs a Jack. It's the only time I donate at 7-7. I think the situation is THAT bad. But the burden of proof is clearly on me to prove my case given that I'm advocating a highly controversial strategy. I can't meet that burden of proof. I'm stuck in the hypothesis stage.

irishwolf
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Post by irishwolf » Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:34 pm

I think the criticism of Natty' Book should be backed up citing those situations with "poor strategy advice" given? We learn nothing without it!

WES said. "I've read his book. Some good stuff in there, but overall there is enough poor strategy advice that I would not recommend it. "

jblowery
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Post by jblowery » Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:25 pm

Somewhat related is why do people mostly seem to think that it is 1st seat's responsibility to donate? Seems like there is a reasonable chance that 2nd seat could order up so why not make it 3rd seat's responsibility instead?

Tbolt65
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Location: Las Vegas

Post by Tbolt65 » Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:28 pm

jblowery wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:25 pm
Somewhat related is why do people mostly seem to think that it is 1st seat's responsibility to donate? Seems like there is a reasonable chance that 2nd seat could order up so why not make it 3rd seat's responsibility instead?
I'm assuming your talking about first round. There is a reasonable chance for second seat to order and go alone. Hence why most commonly it comes to first seat to make that decision so that neither the dealer or 2nd seat goes alone.


Tbolt65
Edward

Wes (aka the legend)
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Post by Wes (aka the legend) » Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:02 pm

irishwolf wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:34 pm
I think the criticism of Natty' Book should be backed up citing those situations with "poor strategy advice" given? We learn nothing without it!

WES said. "I've read his book. Some good stuff in there, but overall there is enough poor strategy advice that I would not recommend it. "
I'm probably being too harsh, but there are two strategies advocated in "The Columbus Book of Euchre" that really annoy me.

1) Say I call trump, and during the hand my partner gets the lead and say they have a tripleton Ace or a quadrupleton Ace, etc and for whatever reason their best lead is from that suit. I can't stand when my partner doesn't lead the Ace.
Like if they have A-K-x, they lead the King instead. Now I get what they're thinking. It's a really dirty ace. Chances are it's gonna get trumped and they are trying to induce me, their partner, to trump in. The problem is all too often what really ends up happening is they induce me to get overtrumped which is often enough to sink our battle ship. After all, they clearly have a crappy hand or they wouldn't be in that spot and my hand can't be that great or I would've went alone. So inducing me to unnecessarily burn a trump can easily be all it takes to euchre us. Just take your lumps and lead the Ace instead, give me a chance to throw away some garbage suit. This gives us a much better chance to score a point than setting me up to get overtrumped. Ok so where did this idea even come from? I suspect here:
"Lead King from A-K-x: When you lead from a long suit (i.e., three cards or more in the same suit), you must assume that someone is going to trump. Do not lead your partner into a false sense of security by leading the ace. The best thing, of course, is not to lead that suit at all, since your opponent has the last chance to trump and might overtrump your partner. But there are situations when you have to lead that suit, and you should lead the ace from that combination only when you want to draw opponents' trump without wasting any of yours. Some partnerships even establish a king lead as a signal to the partner to trump as high as he can (if void in the suit led)."

--Natty Bumppo, pg 52
IMO, it's almost never correct to lead the King instead of the ace, for my reasons stated above. That play has burned me too many times. It tricks your partner into getting overtrumped way too often.

2) Another spot that annoys me immensely: As the dealer I order up with Right + 1. Seat 1 leads some green suit that my partner is void in. He has Left-Ten in trump. He trumps in with the Left and then sends the low trump. Notice what just happened here. If he had trumped low and sent the Left our team would be guaranteed a point. Now we are not, in fact if we don't have any off aces we are in deep trouble. Now I get the idea of trump high, send low. It's a good play becuz it minimizes the chance the guy on your left overtrumps you thus ruining your chance to lead trump to your partner. If I had A-9, K-9, Q-9 in trump I absolutely would trump high and send low, but when you have Left+1 it's a different story (same if you have Right +1). The fact that trumping low and sending the left can instantly clinch your team's point is HUGE. It's worth the risk of getting overtrumped when you trump low. IMO when seat 1 leads a green suit, trumping in with the Left and sending low is a terrible play. If seat 1 leads the Next suit that's a different story. Now trumping in with the Left and sending low is defensible. On a Next suit lead it's close. On a green suit lead it's criminal. Now where did this toxic idea (or I should say sometimes toxic idea) come from:
"High/low: If your partner has made trump, you have two trump, and you can trump the first trick at second or third hand (without trumping your partner's ace), play your higher trump (to guard against being overtrumped on your left) and lead the lower (to put your partner in charge). You can trump in even with the left or right bower in this situation; you can assume that your partner has the other bower."

Natty Bumppo, pg 50.
I would also add that if your partner is aggressive like me, it's not that safe to assume he has the other bower just becuz he called it.

Another idea advocated in the book that I don't agree with:

Say your partner, the dealer, orders up a (Card_Q-H)

You have (Card_A-D) (Card_10-D) (Card_K-S) (Card_10-H) (Card_9-H)

And the player on your right leads the (Card_Q-C)

Throw off with the (Card_K-S)

I tried this strategy for a few thousand games and lets just say I was often not happy with the results. Too often it would backfire. I think the KISS approach is best here (Keep it simple stupid). Trump in and lead trump. Here's the passage below talking about this strategy:
"Second hand low: But don't trump a weak lead just because you can. Say hearts are trump; you hold the ace-ten of diamonds, king of spades and ten-nine of hearts, and the player on your right leads the queen of clubs. Consider throwing the king of spades. Your partner may have the ace of clubs, or he may be able to trump too. If the player to your left is void in clubs, he can overtrump; and your trump would be wasted without forcing his. Ditching the king gives you a void; and one of your little hearts may take a spade trick later, or be led back to your partner when you take your red ace. Second hand low can turn a one-point hand into a two-point hand, and it can save a one-point hand. On defense it, it can euchre.

If the dealer (your partner) made trump and you have only one trump, do not trump anything but an ace or a king at second hand. Better to let [your] partner take the trick if he can; you do not have a safe lead to him if you take it: Your ace is apt to be trumped, and likely by an opponent; if your partner has to trump in he may lose a card he needs to gather opponents' trump.

Second hand low does not apply when you can trump an opponent's ace or king or use an unguarded left bower. It has significantly less application after the first trick. It does not mean exactly the same thing it does in bridge. But it is a useful maxim, particularly for novices."

--Natty Bumppo, pg 50-51
I also disagree with the 2nd paragraph. Just becuz you don't have a safe lead back doesn't mean you should avoid trumping in. If you have 1 trump use it, and watch which card your partner, the dealer, plays on that lead to give you a BIG clue what to lead back. More often than not Natty Bumppo's strategy discourages Seat 2 from helping his partner out. Seat 2 has 1 trump that can get cleaned away on a trump lead later in the hand. Make good use of it now. The positives from playing this hand the way Natty Bumppo advocates don't materialize enough to even worry about. An exception would be those times you have the lone Right bower. Now throwing off the Ks on a non-ace lead is the correct play.

Also, sometimes what he says is contradictory or at least confusing. I mean which one is it:
"Don't order up anything you can't catch: This is a seemingly obvious maxim not to order the right bower into your opponent's hand. There are exceptions, of course, two of which even have names (the Columbus coup" and the "Bubinski").

What is not so obvious is that this precept is equally applicable to the dealer's partner. By ordering the bower into your partner's hand, you are preventing your partner's going alone (I once ordered a bower into my partner's hand, and my mama spanked me). You should have enough confidence in your partner to assume he will pick up the bower if he has any hand at all. Conversely, the dealer should not assume that a passing partner has no help; and if he does not have stoppers in the other suits, he should pick up a bower even if it will be his only trump.

If you are the dealer's partner, you should consider ordering up a bower only when you have three trump or more (since that means there are only three more trump scattered among the other three hands in the deck, and it is highly unlikely that the dealer will have all three, which would be his most likely incentive to go alone), or when you have four aces. In such a case, you are the one who should consider going alone. And since you would be putting the right bower out of the game by doing so, you would not be violating the maxim: you would "catch" the right bower by ordering it up.

Not only should the second player never order a right bower into his partner's hand (unless going alone), but the dealer should never turn down a right bower without another suit to run to--and, I would add, without a sure trick in every other suit (to guard against a loner. I once turned down a bower, and my mama spanked me).

Well, never say never: There are exceptions, mainly at scores of 8 or 9 points. You don't need a loner at 8 or 9, and it may be ok to turn down a bower when the opponents have 8 or 9 (You don't wanna get euchred)."

Natty Bumppo, pg 39-40
The idea of never ordering a bower into your partner's hand unless you intend to go alone yourself is so bad I don't think any further elaboration is necessary.

irishwolf
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Post by irishwolf » Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:58 am

Wes,

Good job on your critique! You have capture some good points. But I would not characterize his remarks as weak or bad suggestions for the new or average player. His book is better than what I see in print. Generally, I agree with your remarks, but can also see where his hints also apply in certain situations. Even leading the King when you have the Ace off suit has its advantages if you have a chance for euchring the dealer. I've used it to sort of tricking you partner to trump and over trump to force the dealer to spend a big trump. It can also be used if 2nd seat is dead set on 2nd hand low on anything less than an Ace. So it does have application. It's hard to suggest rules of thumb when there are so many situations that require an exception to the rule.
Yes, (I know Natty well, he is in the top 90-95 percentile as a player.) he is pretty set on how he plays which if any play sets a specific pattern of play is a sitting Duck (too set on making Next for example or picking up a bower)! Many players have used his book to improve their game!

Irishwolf

jblowery
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:43 am

Post by jblowery » Fri Jun 21, 2019 9:48 am

Tbolt65 wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:28 pm
jblowery wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:25 pm
Somewhat related is why do people mostly seem to think that it is 1st seat's responsibility to donate? Seems like there is a reasonable chance that 2nd seat could order up so why not make it 3rd seat's responsibility instead?
I'm assuming your talking about first round. There is a reasonable chance for second seat to order and go alone. Hence why most commonly it comes to first seat to make that decision so that neither the dealer or 2nd seat goes alone.


Tbolt65
Edward
I know it does happen but it seems like 90% of the loner attempts by the dealing team are going to come from the dealer. On the other hand, I see the 2nd seat order up quite a bit.

RedDuke
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Post by RedDuke » Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:28 pm

jblowery wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 9:48 am
Tbolt65 wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:28 pm
jblowery wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:25 pm
Somewhat related is why do people mostly seem to think that it is 1st seat's responsibility to donate? Seems like there is a reasonable chance that 2nd seat could order up so why not make it 3rd seat's responsibility instead?
I'm assuming your talking about first round. There is a reasonable chance for second seat to order and go alone. Hence why most commonly it comes to first seat to make that decision so that neither the dealer or 2nd seat goes alone.


Tbolt65
Edward
I know it does happen but it seems like 90% of the loner attempts by the dealing team are going to come from the dealer. On the other hand, I see the 2nd seat order up quite a bit.
If second seat is particularly strong in the turn suit then they're notorious for ordering up the dealer (especially if second seat is holding left+ace and a jack is showing) and going alone. While dealer loners are more common, I think - I don't have any studies or statistics to prove it, second seat loners are surprisingly common when you actually have a good player in that position.

In fact, there's a house rule in many parts of Canada that when second seat orders up, they have to go alone.

Wes (aka the legend)
Posts: 217
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:03 pm

Post by Wes (aka the legend) » Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:45 am

irishwolf wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:58 am
Wes,

Good job on your critique! You have capture some good points. But I would not characterize his remarks as weak or bad suggestions for the new or average player. His book is better than what I see in print.
I agree that my remarks were too harsh. I wish I could recant my initial statement. Even if I don't like certain parts of the book it's still the best euchre book out there and every serious euchre player should own a copy. I still think the advice on this site (the euchre lessons/articles) far exceeds that book tho.
irishwolf wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:58 am
Generally, I agree with your remarks, but can also see where his hints also apply in certain situations. Even leading the King when you have the Ace off suit has its advantages if you have a chance for euchring the dealer. I've used it to sort of tricking you partner to trump and over trump to force the dealer to spend a big trump.

I actually appreciate that tactic. As I can tell you know, there are spots where your partner should absolutely trump your Ace, but only top players know that. Leading the King in that spot from an AK-x set can induce your partner to make an expert play!

This play can also work against loners if you have a partner that doesn't know he's supposed to trump your Ace.

irishwolf wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:58 am
It can also be used if 2nd seat is dead set on 2nd hand low on anything less than an Ace. So it does have application. It's hard to suggest rules of thumb when there are so many situations that require an exception to the rule.

I like that play too, especially if the dealer picked up a small trump card. Then if your partner is the one who trumps your King he is less likely to get overtrumped.

Funny thing is tho, all these tactics are completely unnecessary if your P is a top player becuz a strong partner will know when to trump your ace, but alas I assume we all play with strong partners very rarely so these tricks of the trade become very relevant.

All that said, I'm still gonna stick to my guns on what I said earlier as far as playing on offence: "it's almost never correct to lead the King instead of the ace" becuz you will induce your P to get overtrumped too often. Instead lead the Ace giving your partner a chance to throw off a loser. That's your team's best chance of scoring a point. On defense this play definitely has some applications as you've pointed out.

Edit: Just to be clear, the scenario I'm talking about is when your P is the maker and you send him the the King out of the A-K-x set. I can't think of one example where that line would be correct.

RedDuke
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Post by RedDuke » Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:49 pm

Generally, I agree with your remarks, but can also see where his hints also apply in certain situations. Even leading the King when you have the Ace off suit has its advantages if you have a chance for euchring the dealer. I've used it to sort of tricking you partner to trump and over trump to force the dealer to spend a big trump.
I actually use that same tactic myself. It's great if you're holding something like a guarded left and an ace-king set. If you can force the dealer to burn the right by overtrumping your partner on that king lead then you have a decent shot at euchring him. In most cases though, you do want to lead the Ace as you don't want your partner to waste a trump if the dealer isn't weak in trump.
Edit: Just to be clear, the scenario I'm talking about is when your P is the maker and you send him the the King out of the A-K-x set. I can't think of one example where that line would be correct.
I can't either. If it's the first trick and your partner called (ie. you're in first seat), you always want to send him something that'll give him the lead... or force out the bowers if your partner doesn't have them. It is pretty rare to see someone call from third seat without holding the right though. If you can't lead trump, just lead whatever will give your partner the most information (ie. "Either let me have this trick or take it if you need control"). Leading the king just confuses them because they won't know if the Ace is sitting in the hand of the defender behind them.

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