Defensive Block Or Not?

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RedDuke
Posts: 268
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:22 am

Defensive Block Or Not?

Post by RedDuke » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:04 pm

This came up in a game I was playing online a little earlier. I'm in first seat holding this:

(Card_A-C) (Card_K-C) (Card_A-D) (Card_A-H) (Card_K-H)

Upcard is (Card_J-C).

Would you order this at a neutral score? On one hand, you technically don't block anything. On the other, you have a hand full of aces so it is somewhat unlikely they be able to sweep against you. This also is not a euchre hand, but it still does have a decent chance of taking two tricks if the dealer isn't loaded to the teeth on trumps.

In this particular game, my partner was not a particularly aggressive player. I passed it as the score was 2-0 in our favor and I didn't think their odds of getting a loner sweep were high enough to justify putting the right into the dealer's hand. At the same time though, I technically didn't have anywhere to go in the second round... calling reverse next with only Ace+1 and the opponents turning down a bower is not a particularly strong call.

Would you have played this the same way?



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

Post by Wes (aka the legend) » Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:52 am

RedDuke wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:04 pm
This came up in a game I was playing online a little earlier. I'm in first seat holding this:

(Card_A-C) (Card_K-C) (Card_A-D) (Card_A-H) (Card_K-H)

Upcard is (Card_J-C).

Would you order this at a neutral score? On one hand, you technically don't block anything. On the other, you have a hand full of aces so it is somewhat unlikely they be able to sweep against you. This also is not a euchre hand, but it still does have a decent chance of taking two tricks if the dealer isn't loaded to the teeth on trumps.

In this particular game, my partner was not a particularly aggressive player. I passed it as the score was 2-0 in our favor and I didn't think their odds of getting a loner sweep were high enough to justify putting the right into the dealer's hand. At the same time though, I technically didn't have anywhere to go in the second round... calling reverse next with only Ace+1 and the opponents turning down a bower is not a particularly strong call.

Would you have played this the same way?
The only scores I would order the Right up with that specific hand would be up 9-7 and up 9-6. At those scores I don't mess around. Up 8-6 I'd gamble and pass hoping to set the dealer should he pick up, and that would be my approach at any other score. If he passes I'm calling next expecting to make it quite often. Yes we have no trump but we have 3 aces. We could easily get 2 tricks ourselves. Just need a little trump help from our partner to eke out a point. Just remember not to lead the turned down suit. Lead the singleton green ace first and then the doubleton green one.

Of course the not so hidden assumption here is a Next call with no trump + 3 off aces is better than crossing the river in hearts with two trump no bowers + 2 off aces. I think it is but I can't prove it.

Richardb02
Posts: 173
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:57 pm

Post by Richardb02 » Sun Oct 20, 2019 12:57 pm

Wes (aka the legend) wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:52 am
RedDuke wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:04 pm
This came up in a game I was playing online a little earlier. I'm in first seat holding this:

(Card_A-C) (Card_K-C) (Card_A-D) (Card_A-H) (Card_K-H)

Upcard is (Card_J-C).

Would you order this at a neutral score? On one hand, you technically don't block anything. On the other, you have a hand full of aces so it is somewhat unlikely they be able to sweep against you. This also is not a euchre hand, but it still does have a decent chance of taking two tricks if the dealer isn't loaded to the teeth on trumps.

In this particular game, my partner was not a particularly aggressive player. I passed it as the score was 2-0 in our favor and I didn't think their odds of getting a loner sweep were high enough to justify putting the right into the dealer's hand. At the same time though, I technically didn't have anywhere to go in the second round... calling reverse next with only Ace+1 and the opponents turning down a bower is not a particularly strong call.

Would you have played this the same way?
The only scores I would order the Right up with that specific hand would be up 9-7 and up 9-6. At those scores I don't mess around. Up 8-6 I'd gamble and pass hoping to set the dealer should he pick up, and that would be my approach at any other score. If he passes I'm calling next expecting to make it quite often. Yes we have no trump but we have 3 aces. We could easily get 2 tricks ourselves. Just need a little trump help from our partner to eke out a point. Just remember not to lead the turned down suit. Lead the singleton green ace first and then the doubleton green one.

Of course the not so hidden assumption here is a Next call with no trump + 3 off aces is better than crossing the river in hearts with two trump no bowers + 2 off aces. I think it is but I can't prove it.
This website is a gem for information. This thread is excellent. I want to address Wes’ last point.

“Of course the not so hidden assumption here is a Next call with no trump + 3 off aces is better than crossing the river in hearts with two trump no bowers + 2 off aces. I think it is but I can't prove it.“

My R1 Quantitative analysis would be:
0.25 S1 R1
0.50 (Card_A-C)
0.50 (Card_K-C)
0.75 (Card_A-D) Singleton Green suit
0.50 (Card_A-H) Doubleton Green suit
0.25 1 Void
2.75 Subtotal
-.75 Value of Opponents’ up card
2.00. Net Value- below my 2.25 minimum order for S1 R2, so I pass

R2, Next
0.50 S1 R2
0.75 S1 R2 Next
0.25 (Card_A-C) Tripleton (Card_J-C) turned down is the 3rd club
0.75 (Card_A-D) Singleton Green suit
0.50 (Card_A-H) Doubleton Green Suit
0.00 A void in Trump is worthless
2.75 Subtotal
-.50. No trump (I use -.5 for 1 trump and have tested it. 0 trump is untested)
2.25 Net Value, meets points to call, but is there a better choice?

R2, Crossing the River, aka Reverse-Next
0.50 S1 R2
0.00 Reverse-Next
0.50 (Card_A-H) trump
0.50 (Card_K-H) trump
0.50 (Card_A-H) Next
0.25 (Card_A-C) Tripleton
0.25 Void in Spades
2.50 Net Value, Call Hearts. There is a small but definite improvement of success with Reverse-Next vs No Trump Next, (from 65% to 71%), based on my relative weighting of easily observed card values and combinations.

Of course, 0.25 point differences are very small. That is why this is such a compelling post. It is an edge hand.

Let me translate 2.5 points to, you have a 95% chance of taking at least 2 tricks. If you count on Partner to take a trick (I do 80% of the time in general, a little less since I have 3 aces in this hand, so let’s use 75%), then 75% x 95% = 71% chance of success. I am sure we can agree that S1 has an excellent chance (95%) to take 2 tricks and Partner has a 65% to 80% chance of taking 1 trick.

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

Post by Wes (aka the legend) » Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:16 am

Richardb02 wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 12:57 pm
2.50 Net Value, Call Hearts. There is a small but definite improvement of success with Reverse-Next vs No Trump Next, (from 65% to 71%), based on my relative weighting of easily observed card values and combinations.

Of course, 0.25 point differences are very small. That is why this is such a compelling post. It is an edge hand.

Let me translate 2.5 points to, you have a 95% chance of taking at least 2 tricks. If you count on Partner to take a trick (I do 80% of the time in general, a little less since I have 3 aces in this hand, so let’s use 75%), then 75% x 95% = 71% chance of success. I am sure we can agree that S1 has an excellent chance (95%) to take 2 tricks and Partner has a 65% to 80% chance of taking 1 trick.
Good post. I have been calling Next in this spot, but crossing the river in hearts here could easily be better. Next time I'm in this spot I'll call hearts in honor of your post! Either way, this hand hurts my head. Would give anything for that mythical simulator. To me, the biggest point to drive home in this spot is "Call something damnit!" I.E. don't pass a hand that blocks nothing when our team has decent prospects in Next or hearts.

Richardb02
Posts: 173
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:57 pm

Post by Richardb02 » Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:05 pm

Yes, "call something", is the cry sitting in Seat 1 Round 2 with this hand.

I can understand someone calling Next vs. Reverse-Next. The value of Next is elusive. My BPS assigns a value to Next, card values and other readily observable combinations. I test my results. I am confident that the values that I use are productive. But I can understand a strong player valuing Next more strongly than me.

I can't understand dismissing Reverse-Next because it is "A +1." That ignores 2 non-trump Aces and a void! Those aces and a void have value. The value of the 2 aces and the void are accounted for in my BPS analysis. I suggest that the systematic approach of BPS reduces the possibility of missing strengths in your hand, especially uncomfortable, "going against Hoyle", scenarios like this hand.

Tbolt65
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Location: Las Vegas

Post by Tbolt65 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:19 pm

On a neutral score and the game can not end, usually early to mid, game I let this hand fly and I do not order or "donate" here.

Tbolt65
Edward

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

Post by Wes (aka the legend) » Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:17 pm

Richardb02 wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:05 pm
Yes, "call something", is the cry sitting in Seat 1 Round 2 with this hand.

I can understand someone calling Next vs. Reverse-Next. The value of Next is elusive. My BPS assigns a value to Next, card values and other readily observable combinations. I test my results. I am confident that the values that I use are productive. But I can understand a strong player valuing Next more strongly than me.

I can't understand dismissing Reverse-Next because it is "A +1." That ignores 2 non-trump Aces and a void! Those aces and a void have value. The value of the 2 aces and the void are accounted for in my BPS analysis. I suggest that the systematic approach of BPS reduces the possibility of missing strengths in your hand, especially uncomfortable, "going against Hoyle", scenarios like this hand.
Out of experimental curiosity, I've switched to going against hoyle in the 2nd rd with two non-bower trump and two off aces instead of calling next with 3 aces and no trump. So far I like my results but unfortunately this permutation is rare enough where it's virtually impossible to get a decent sample size on even online where you can get a lot of hands in. Still, I think there's a very good chance you are right.

Richardb02
Posts: 173
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:57 pm

Post by Richardb02 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:00 pm

Great! I have to leave it to you to report back Wes. I am taking a Series 65 Financial exam and have to devote the next 6 weeks to the task. I'm confident, that your results will reflect my success with crossing the river, with similar hands, and that the EV is positive. If not, I welcome your report. Facts are facts.

I also want to suggest a second type of hand for you to analyze. If you have 2 off aces and are weak in trump (2 non-bower trump), where is your line?

Let's touch on Eric Salas post about his "Point System." He say, "The Z-Score takes five factors into consideration when measuring the strength of your hand: bowers = 3 points; all other trump = 2 points; non-trump Aces = 1 point; void one suit = 1 point; void two suits = 2 points; order your partner then add the value of that card to your hand total; and order your opponent, subtract that card value from your total." I say that is over-simplistic. I take into account 12 factors in BPS (Bidding Point System) Basic and will cover much more with BPS-Advanced.

Pertinent to this post, the Z-Score gives no value to Green Ace vs. Black Ace; no value to Singleton vs Doubleton to Triple Ace. It is too simplistic to reliably analyze this hand or similar hands. Einstein said, "everything should be as simple as possible, but not too simple." Eric's MBA is no match for Einstein's earned title of "Genius."

Eric also says that he only orders 17%. Think simply for a minute. If there are 4 players, wouldn't ordering average 25% per player over time? Any other answer is ludicrous! If Eric is ordering 17% of the time, he is giving up control of the situation, 8/25 or 32% of the time. How is that even a reasonable proposition?! His "simple analysis" is overly-simple analysis. His extensive tests and analysis are a sham because they do not test real life euchre.

Back to asking Wes to look at how he evaluates hands of 2 (or more Aces), I suggest that you are also under-evaluating the power of Aces. It works like Next from Seat 1 (or Reverse-Next from Seat 2), if you fail, you fail spectacularly (and it hurts emotionally). The acid test is did you succeed 65% of the time or more? (At 65% your EV (Estimated Value)is positive. And a positive EV will increase your success (your winning percentage).

I recently posted, to Wes' post, that Aces are a great reason to pass and play for 2 points for an euchre. However, there is no potential euchre with this hand. I am inquiring about hands with no potential euchre. Where is your line?

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

Post by Wes (aka the legend) » Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:50 pm

Richardb02 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:00 pm
Great! I have to leave it to you to report back Wes. I am taking a Series 65 Financial exam and have to devote the next 6 weeks to the task. I'm confident, that your results will reflect my success with crossing the river, with similar hands, and that the EV is positive. If not, I welcome your report. Facts are facts.
Good luck on your exam. Hopefully you stay away from addicting euchre apps for the next 6 weeks! Unfortunately I don't think my results will ever reach "fact" status. This spot is so rare it's probably next to impossible to reach a statistically significant sample size. The best I'll be able to do will only reach the level of anecdotal evidence. Anecdotal evidence is one of the poorer forms of evidence, but it's still evidence. If that's all one has, it's still something to go off of that will be better than nothing on average. Of course we do have slightly more than just my anecdotes. Your point system is also a form of evidence. The fact that it says one way is slightly better than another way is something to work with. Without that mythical euchre simulator we'll never know for sure, but it's nice that we at least have something to work with even if we don't have the real data to give us strong confidence.
Richardb02 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:00 pm
I also want to suggest a second type of hand for you to analyze. If you have 2 off aces and are weak in trump (2 non-bower trump), where is your line?
If I'm the dealer and I have a hand like this (say spades is trump):

(Card_A-C) (Card_K-C) (Card_10-S) (Card_9-S) (Card_A-H)

I'm calling spades. I don't pass two trump + two off aces when I don't block all suits.

Here's an interesting next call example with 2 non-bower trump that some would consider dicey based on the score:

http://members.tripod.com/~Borf_Books/ecolum31.htm#nexting

It's 8-8 and the dealer turns down the (Card_K-D)
You're in Seat 1 with:

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

I'm also calling in that spot if I have:

(Card_A-D) (Card_A-C) (Card_K-C) (Card_10-H) (Card_9-H)

Here's another example of a good marginal call (diamonds are trump) as the dealer up 9-7:

http://members.tripod.com/~Borf_Books/ecolum91.htm#leadvol2

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

Again, I'd also make that call with:

(Card_10-D) (Card_9-D) (Card_A-S) (Card_A-H) (Card_Q-H)

Also, if you're in the 2 seat up 8-5 or say 9-6, this hand becomes a must call:

Dealer upcard: (Card_Q-D)

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

Notice your team is already at 8 so you don't have to worry about blocking your partner's loner, and if you get euchred it's no big deal as your team is still the favorite to win the game. And also notice that you block no suits. If your partner passes your team could be in big trouble. And this marginal hand has a decent chance of scoring a point. All the pieces are in place to make this a MUST call.
Richardb02 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:00 pm
Let's touch on Eric Salas post about his "Point System." He say, "The Z-Score takes five factors into consideration when measuring the strength of your hand: bowers = 3 points; all other trump = 2 points; non-trump Aces = 1 point; void one suit = 1 point; void two suits = 2 points; order your partner then add the value of that card to your hand total; and order your opponent, subtract that card value from your total." I say that is over-simplistic. I take into account 12 factors in BPS (Bidding Point System) Basic and will cover much more with BPS-Advanced.

Pertinent to this post, the Z-Score gives no value to Green Ace vs. Black Ace; no value to Singleton vs Doubleton to Triple Ace. It is too simplistic to reliably analyze this hand or similar hands. Einstein said, "everything should be as simple as possible, but not too simple." Eric's MBA is no match for Einstein's earned title of "Genius."
Obviously you already know I'm not a big fan of point systems, but it does seem like you've tweaked your point system to try to fit more situations. Therefore without having read much on Eric Salas' system, I'd bet that yours is better. Funny thing is Edward (tbolt65) is actually currently busy reading some of Eric Salas' work. He purchased the 5th book only. Edward may have something more relevant to say on the subject down the road. I'm just guessing but based on what you've pointed out Richard, I agree that those are some pretty big flaws.
Richardb02 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:00 pm
Eric also says that he only orders 17%. Think simply for a minute. If there are 4 players, wouldn't ordering average 25% per player over time? Any other answer is ludicrous! If Eric is ordering 17% of the time, he is giving up control of the situation, 8/25 or 32% of the time. How is that even a reasonable proposition?! His "simple analysis" is overly-simple analysis. His extensive tests and analysis are a sham because they do not test real life euchre.
Something is definitely WAY off here. In order to only bid 17% of the time you have to basically only focus on your own cards. Trying not to get euchred must be your only objective. Trying to hit your partner will be completely disregarded. The idea that euchre is a partnership game goes completely out the window when it comes to bidding. That cannot be right. And as I've said before only the very poor players in my tournament or my euchre app call at this kind've low frequency. Before me and Edward starting playing in our Vegas tournament, there were only 3 high frequency players, i.e. aggressive players that called greater than 30% of the time. They've dominated that tournament the last 7 years each one trading Player of the Year honors. That's pretty strong evidence that aggressive play is the key to success at this game.

Richardb02
Posts: 173
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:57 pm

Post by Richardb02 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:04 pm

Thanks Wes, I’ll get into the weeds on your hands in about 6 weeks. Maybe Tbolt can give us his take on Eric Sales’ 5th book by the time I’ve passed the 65.

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

Post by Tbolt65 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:34 pm

Richardb02 wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:04 pm
Thanks Wes, I’ll get into the weeds on your hands in about 6 weeks. Maybe Tbolt can give us his take on Eric Sales’ 5th book by the time I’ve passed the 65.

I'm 20 percent done with the book. Eric is a smart, critical thinker. Although where I am now in with the book. My comments and concerns as I pointed out in the https://ohioeuchre.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=239 EricZalas Point System and Mathematics Thread still stands.

I'd like to speak with him(on the forum) about considerations, he has overlooked, dismissed and not taken into account. Basically he's critiquing , axioms and general rules of thumbs and ploys with out fully understanding when to apply them and that something you ONLY get when you play against various ranges of skilled opponents(weak-strong) and partners in an Non-Simulated play. Real play experience and constant critiquing gives one volumes of empirical evidence with actual play in an ever changing scenario's that which euchre represents.

Tbolt65
Edward

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