When to Trump and When to Rely On Partner

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jblowery
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:43 am

When to Trump and When to Rely On Partner

Post by jblowery » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:27 pm

Seems like this happens a lot. I'm in the 2nd seat and we've ordered trump. I may have called it or the dealer (my partner) may have called it. I wonder if the answer could depend upon that.

I have >1 trump in my hand (I'd always lay it down if it is my only one) but the 1st seat leads a low card. May even be a king. I don't have any of that suite. I'm looking for some guidance on when I would trump that and when I would throw off another low off-suite.

Dilemna is that my partner could very well have the Ace and is also in position to over-trump 3rd seat. On the other hand, 3rd seat could over-trump me. Therefore I've typically gotten rid of a low card in these situations. Maybe I should be laying down a trump instead.

When would you trump and when would you rely on your partner in these situations? I'm guessing it may depend upon who ordered or other factors.

I've typically relied on partner in these situations, if I have >1 trump. If I only have one (dealer ordered) then I'm always using it if I can.



Wes (aka the legend)
Posts: 279
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:03 pm

Post by Wes (aka the legend) » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:11 pm

jblowery wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:27 pm
Seems like this happens a lot. I'm in the 2nd seat and we've ordered trump. I may have called it or the dealer (my partner) may have called it. I wonder if the answer could depend upon that.


To a large degree it does. Generally speaking, when your partner calls it you should tend to trump in when you can. And when you call it from the 2 seat you should tend to throw off your garbage.

E.G. Score is 0-0. The dealer upcard is the (Card_K-S)

You have (Card_Q-S) (Card_J-S) (Card_J-C) (Card_Q-D) (Card_Q-C)

You order the dealer up and the 1 seat leads the (Card_Q-H)

Throw off one of your losers, and in this case throw off the (Card_Q-D)

It's always best to short suit yourself in the green suit if you have the choice. Now why should you auto-throw off here? Well think about it, if you trump in those loser cards you hold ain't going away, so trumping in doesn't really solve anything. Another thing to keep in mind: whenever seat 1 leads some garbage card your partner is more likely to have the Ace in that suit than in the loser suits you hold. The reason for this is nearly self-explanatory. In the garbage suits you have anyone at the table can have the ace, but when seat 1 leads a garbage suit we now already know he DOES NOT have the ace. Use this simple math in your favor by getting rid of one of your losers. Also, if youre wrong and your partner doesn't have the Ace in that suit, you still have a backup plan. Your partner was the dealer and got to create a void. Maybe he is void in the suit led. Another benefit to playing off on the first lead is you can never get overtrumped. This is kinda important given that you obviously don't close the action in the 2 spot. Getting overtrumped on that first lead can often spell doom for you. Maybe not in this specific example cuz you still have 2 bowers to fall back on, but certainly with many other hand configurations.

Another example:

Score is 0-0, your partner, the dealer, picks up the (Card_K-S)

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

Seat 1 leads the (Card_K-C)

Throw off the (Card_9-D)

This is an exception to the general rule that if you're in the 2 seat and your partner orders up, you should usually be trumping in on the first lead if you can. However when you have the Right, you should throw off on a garbage lead (I.E. non-ace lead) and short suit yourself instead. You're holding back the Right in hopes your P leads trump later in the hand allowing you to use your Right for maximum value cleaning up potentially 2 of your enemy's trump at the same time--a very strong strategy that can often save your team. Also, if your P is a very strong player he will read your play on the first lead as meaning either you have no trump or you have the Right. Usually in both scenarios, your P's best strategy is to lead trump anyways. If you have no trump, it's often critical your partner leads trump as soon as he can since his enemy is now richer in trump than expected. So when you play off in that spot you are sending a true signal to your partner to lead trump asap. Conversely, if you had the Left in this spot, trump in on the first lead so your partner's Right and your Left don't fall on the same lead.
jblowery wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:27 pm
I have >1 trump in my hand (I'd always lay it down if it is my only one) but the 1st seat leads a low card.

jblowery wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:27 pm
I've typically relied on partner in these situations, if I have >1 trump. If I only have one (dealer ordered) then I'm always using it if I can.
Except when you have the right.

Ok Lets do some more examples. Assume trump is always spades and you're always in the 2 seat, and score is 0-0.

Dealer upcard: (Card_K-S)

You have (Card_J-S) (Card_9-S) (Card_10-D) (Card_9-D) (Card_10-H)

You order the dealer up and first seat leads the (Card_Q-C)

Throw off the (Card_10-H)

Your hand is marginal, you're gonna need your P's help, so let him help you. Remember your P is more likely to have the Ac then he is the Ad, and take advantage of the fact that your P got to create a void and could easily be void in clubs. Trumping in with the (Card_9-S) is not an option here. Your hand is vulnerable, getting overtrumped on the first lead would be a disaster for your team. Never let this happen, short suit yourself in hearts.

Dealer upcard: (Card_K-S)

You have (Card_A-S) (Card_J-S) (Card_9-S) (Card_Q-C) (Card_9-D)

You order up and first seat leads the (Card_9-H) , throw off the 9D.

Another thing to keep in mind when deciding to trump in or get rid of a loser card. Ask yourself this question: "If I trump what will be my next lead?" If the answer to that question is some garbage card then don't trump in, get rid of that garbage card now. If you have such a holding that leading trump would be the best lead after trumping in than that's a stronger argument for trumping in on that first lead.

Dealer upcard: (Card_K-S)

You have (Card_J-S) (Card_10-S) (Card_9-S) (Card_10-D) (Card_9-D)

First seat leads a (Card_9-C)

Throw off one of the diamonds. This kinda sux since you can't short suit yourself, but remember that question above. If you trump in your next best lead will be a garbage diamond anyways, play the garbage diamond now, and hope your P can pick up the club lead. Also getting overtrumped is a real risk with this holding. Don't let that happen.

Generally speaking, when you call from the 2 seat you should almost always be throwing off a garbage card if Seat 1 leads with a non-ace. Why is that so? Well remember, you just called with whatever holding indicating you will likely need your P's help becuz you presumably have a loser somewhere in your hand (if you didn't need your P's help you would've gone alone), and the best place to get rid of that loser and let your P help you is on that first lead when Seat 1 leads some garbage card.

Also when your partner calls it and you trump in on the first lead and have no trump to send back pay very close attention to what card your P plays on that first lead:

Dealer upcard (Card_K-S)

(Card_Q-D) (Card_J-D) (Card_Q-H) (Card_J-H) (Card_A-S)

Seat 1 leads the Tc and you trump it with your As, Seat 3 follows suit with the Ac and your partner throws off with the (Card_9-H) . DO NOT LEAD BACK WITH A HEART. Your partner is the dealer. He already had a chance to create a void when he ordered up. This means when you see him play off with a low heart he most likely has another one. Since your P is very likely NOT void in hearts, lead back the Diamond instead.

jblowery
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:43 am

Post by jblowery » Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:50 pm

Thanks. That's generally what I thought. The other day my partner (the dealer) ordered up spades and I had the (Card_A-S) and (Card_10-S) in my hand, or something like that. I held onto my spades and played a junk card when 1st seat led a junk card.

My thought process is that one of my spades is going to get sucked when spades is led and I can use the other one. I should save it for when it is more likely to help. Based on what I had I was pretty sure we were going to get 1 pt but my goal at this time was to get 2. Shoudl I have played my Ace then? In the end I was able to use that other spade so it all evened out. My partner said "no way" though.

Wes (aka the legend)
Posts: 279
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:03 pm

Post by Wes (aka the legend) » Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:37 pm

jblowery wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:50 pm
Thanks. That's generally what I thought. The other day my partner (the dealer) ordered up spades and I had the (Card_A-S) and (Card_10-S) in my hand, or something like that. I held onto my spades and played a junk card when 1st seat led a junk card.

My thought process is that one of my spades is going to get sucked when spades is led and I can use the other one. I should save it for when it is more likely to help. Based on what I had I was pretty sure we were going to get 1 pt but my goal at this time was to get 2. Shoudl I have played my Ace then? In the end I was able to use that other spade so it all evened out. My partner said "no way" though.
Ok, so let's say your partner picked up a (Card_Q-S)

And let's say you had (Card_A-S) (Card_9-S) (Card_K-D) (Card_Q-D) (Card_10-H)

And Seat 1 leads the (Card_Q-C)

Should we trump in or throw off our loser thus voiding ourselves in hearts?

This passage would suggest that perhaps creating a void in this spot is best:
"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."

--The Columbus Book of Euchre by Natty Bumppo, pg 50-51
After reading that passage, I tried that strategy for probably around 5K games. Sometimes this play would benefit my team but it felt like way more often it would backfire. So I scrapped that strategy in favor of trumping high and sending low (unless I had Left + 1 or Right + 1, then it depends).

Now this is a very poor argument scientifically speaking. For one, it sounds like I have an impressive sample size. 5k games, which means thousands of more hands, but this spot actually doesn't come up all that often. So not only was I making a decision based off of a small sample size, I never recorded the results either, so there's also the added possibility my glitchy carbon-based brain is tricking me. That said, my conclusion on this is: I highly suspect that trumping high and sending low will outperform throwing off and creating a void. Also, if our 2 trump was T-9 I'd still trump and send trump.

Tbolt65
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:14 pm
Location: Las Vegas

Post by Tbolt65 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:45 pm

jblowery wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:50 pm
Thanks. That's generally what I thought. The other day my partner (the dealer) ordered up spades and I had the (Card_A-S) and (Card_10-S) in my hand, or something like that. I held onto my spades and played a junk card when 1st seat led a junk card.

My thought process is that one of my spades is going to get sucked when spades is led and I can use the other one. I should save it for when it is more likely to help. Based on what I had I was pretty sure we were going to get 1 pt but my goal at this time was to get 2. Shoudl I have played my Ace then? In the end I was able to use that other spade so it all evened out. My partner said "no way" though.
I agree with your partner. Trump in here. Only time I'm not trumping in is when I hold the bare right.

Now if you had ordered then I can see doing what you did.

Tbolt65
Edward

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