Tough Call Here...

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RedDuke
Posts: 444
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:22 am

Tough Call Here...

Unread post by RedDuke » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:58 pm

This one came up yesterday in a game I was playing online and was wondering how you guys would have played it.

I'm the dealer holding this:

(Card_J-C) (Card_J-S) (Card_A-S) (Card_K-S) (Card_A-H)

Upcard is (Card_J-H) .

Score is 1-0 in our favor.

Everybody passes and it comes to me. Here's the challenging part. It's a Right+1 two-suited hand if I pick up and discard the Jack of Clubs. However, if I pass, it's a near-perfect loner in spades.

I chose to pick up and play it like that for two reasons. The first is that it still has a pretty good chance of making at least a point. The second is that there's no guarantee that it would actually get back to me in the second round and I'd be in real trouble against a first seat next call. Ultimately, we did end up making a point.

Unfortunately though, as the hand played out, I quickly realized that everybody would have passed in Round 2. Nobody had the right of the next suit, everybody had at least three to four suits, and nobody had more than a lone ace. Based on my view of the opponents as the game played out, I was mostly against people that wouldn't call without a sure thing and nobody had one.

I'm dead certain that I made the right call if I was going up against experts that would never let me get a chance to try the loner in second round. I'm not as certain against amateurs though, especially when one considers that it was still early in the game so we could have come back against a next loner and my left might have been able to stop it anyway if played right.

How would you have played this hand? Would your view change if I was holding the (Card_J-H) and the (Card_A-H) was the upcard?



jblowery
Posts: 125
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:43 am

Unread post by jblowery » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:01 am

I'd pick it up,. Nobody is going to call a black suit but in most cases somebody is going to call diamonds.

MeeKer
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Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2019 1:57 pm

Unread post by MeeKer » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:32 am

I agree that it makes sense to pick up when playing against expert opponents. You have a guaranteed loner, which means that it is likely that someone else has a very strong hand in another suit, and it's more likely that an opponent will call it rather than have everyone pass and give you the opportunity.

As jblowerly points out, the risk is having an opponent call diamonds. It's possible that the six diamonds are spread out evenly among your opponents, your partner and the kitty (in which case your biggest risk would be losing one point) but it's also likely that most of them are in the hands of your opponents and not in your partner's hand, which means that you could lose 2 points or maybe 4.

Anyway, there's something wrong with this comment by RedDuke:
we could have come back against a next loner and my left might have been able to stop it anyway if played right.
In this case, you can't have the left if one of your opponents called a next loner. You would have already turned it down.

RedDuke
Posts: 444
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:22 am

Unread post by RedDuke » Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:20 am

In this case, you can't have the left if one of your opponents called a next loner. You would have already turned it down.
True, and I caught that this morning myself. However, I did also ask if you would make the same call if you were already holding the jack and the ace was the turn card. That was probably already in my head when I was typing up that statement. Nobody has answered this yet.
I agree that it makes sense to pick up when playing against expert opponents. You have a guaranteed loner, which means that it is likely that someone else has a very strong hand in another suit, and it's more likely that an opponent will call it rather than have everyone pass and give you the opportunity.
There's no real concern that an opponent will call a black suit. If one of them has a relatively decent hand in black (say four clubs or something like that) and calls it, I've got a decent shot at euchring them depending on what my partner holds and what their fifth card is.

Nobody is going to be crazy enough to call spades unless they're really drunk, in which case I have a surprise for them. (I did have someone try a hearts loner against me when I was holding a Dutchman and two off aces though, which predictably caused their partner to go through the roof and mine to fall out of his chair with laughter).

As you correctly point out, the real risk is that someone will be holding something like the right+2 diamonds and try a loner there. Realistically, the odds that somebody else has a killer lone hand aren't that great. I'm actually holding both black jacks, one of the red ones, and two aces, one of which is red. The odds that somebody is holding a hand good enough to sweep me are pretty astronomical (1 in 1500 or so). Most likely one of my aces will stop the sweep or my partner will stop it.

It's more likely that somebody will call something and take their partner along. Most likely that will be diamonds or clubs, with diamonds being somewhat more likely. I've got a decent shot at euchring a clubs call. A diamonds one will probably make a point unless my partner has the other jack or the ace.

My hand is pretty unlikely to make more than 1 point. Yes, I've got the 2 aces but the ace of spades is unlikely to take a trick unless I'm really lucky on anything but a spades call. This is because 3 spades are in my hand, so there's a max of 3 more spread among my opponents, partner, and kitty. It's pretty likely that somebody has a void.

So the real choice here is between picking up and (probably) making a point or passing and giving the opponents a decent possibility of making a point... with the added gamble that I might be able to make 4 points with a pass. Against an expert opponent, you absolutely want to pick up because they'll never pass in the second round if they don't have reverse next blocked and there is exactly zero chance that anyone has both reverse next suits blocked (although they might have clubs blocked and figure that's good enough at a score at 1-0). Against an amateur though, it is a tougher call.

Richardb02
Posts: 633
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Location: Florida

Unread post by Richardb02 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:03 pm

Short answer: I would order as you ordered. It would make no difference if the Ah is up and the Jh is In your hand.

Your big conundrum is evaluating "amateurs." I like the term amateurs, they are not just conservative bidders, they are poor evaluators and card players. The point is that they are error-prone, they are not consistent. Therefore in analyzing their impact on your decision, you have to limit your evaluation to predictable impact. Because they are poor players they are by nature unpredictable and we also have to take into account that some of their errors will help our cause. So in general terms, I limit the impact of poor players to "one klick", "one iota", "one tad" or "one whatever" you want to call it.

Using my BPS, I limit the impact to 0.25 points. I have tested using 0.25 points and have been happy with the results. What does the BPS look like with this hand:
0.50 S4 R2
0.75 (Card_J-H)
0.50 (Card_A-H)
0.25 (Card_A-S) (Tripleton Ace)
0.75 2 Voids (2 suited)
2.75 2.00 is my minimum order for S4 R2, Order
-.25 for Poor Opponents (also for Poor Partner)
2.50 Still 2 klicks above my minimum, 2.00 points, (I test for 65% success with my minimum order. I am comfortable that I achieve 95%+ success with 3.75 points. By interpolation this hand has a 74% chance of success).

Based on the BPS, it would make no difference if the Ah is up and the Jh is In your hand, in this scenario. The Up Card, especially a J would impact the decision from the other 3 seats, but the net effect is the same for S4 (Dealer).

Richardb02
Posts: 633
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:57 pm
Location: Florida

Unread post by Richardb02 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:51 pm

RedDuke wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:20 am
Realistically, the odds that somebody else has a killer lone hand aren't that great. I'm actually holding both black jacks, one of the red ones, and two aces, one of which is red. The odds that somebody is holding a hand good enough to sweep me are pretty astronomical (1 in 1500 or so). Most likely one of my aces will stop the sweep or my partner will stop it.
I disagree with your statement, "Realistically, the odds that somebody else has a killer lone hand aren't that great." Using my rounded results, I call Alone 10% of the time and I am successful 30% of the time. So I make a lone 3% of the time. So my average odds of making a Loner is 1 in 33.3 hands. That is my average 1 in 33.3 compared to the 1 in 1500 you recommended.

I suggest my odds of success are greater than 3% because card distribution has been improved in my favor. The (Card_J-H) has been discarded and cannot be used to stop my Loner. Your Partner doesn't have 3 trumps (hearts) or he would have ordered. The odds of a successful Loner are obviously greater I suggest 5%.

Now lets look at the likelihood of S1 calling Alone. S1 is calling Next and that makes it more likely that S1 will call Alone and be pleasantly surprised at how often weak Loners work! I suggest that there is a 6-7% chance of a successful Loner from S1 R2.

A S4 R1 order in this case is a good defensive call as well as a good offensive call, albeit for 1 point only. At neutral scores the crap shoot of passing and going for the opportunity to gain 4 points will cost you more than you will gain.

But, if I am down by 3 or more or the score is 6-9 or 7-9 against me, I would pass and hope that I get the opportunity to go Alone! That is a Hail Mary Pass! Pun intended. When the odds are stacked against you, you may as well go for the long shot win.

RedDuke
Posts: 444
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Unread post by RedDuke » Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:14 pm

Richardb02 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:51 pm
RedDuke wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:20 am
Realistically, the odds that somebody else has a killer lone hand aren't that great. I'm actually holding both black jacks, one of the red ones, and two aces, one of which is red. The odds that somebody is holding a hand good enough to sweep me are pretty astronomical (1 in 1500 or so). Most likely one of my aces will stop the sweep or my partner will stop it.
I disagree with your statement, "Realistically, the odds that somebody else has a killer lone hand aren't that great." Using my rounded results, I call Alone 10% of the time and I am successful 30% of the time. So I make a lone 3% of the time. So my average odds of making a Loner is 1 in 33.3 hands. That is my average 1 in 33.3 compared to the 1 in 1500 you recommended.

I suggest my odds of success are greater than 3% because card distribution has been improved in my favor. The (Card_J-H) has been discarded and cannot be used to stop my Loner. Your Partner doesn't have 3 trumps (hearts) or he would have ordered. The odds of a successful Loner are obviously greater I suggest 5%.

Now lets look at the likelihood of S1 calling Alone. S1 is calling Next and that makes it more likely that S1 will call Alone and be pleasantly surprised at how often weak Loners work! I suggest that there is a 6-7% chance of a successful Loner from S1 R2.

A S4 R1 order in this case is a good defensive call as well as a good offensive call, albeit for 1 point only. At neutral scores the crap shoot of passing and going for the opportunity to gain 4 points will cost you more than you will gain.

But, if I am down by 3 or more or the score is 6-9 or 7-9 against me, I would pass and hope that I get the opportunity to go Alone! That is a Hail Mary Pass! Pun intended. When the odds are stacked against you, you may as well go for the long shot win.
True, but remember that I'm also holding two aces. That would make it pretty tough for an opponent to sweep me unless I throw away the wrong ace on the fourth trick. The most obvious hand for someone to be holding is five diamonds or something similar. The odds of that aren't particularly high.

You're definitely correct that there's a decent chance that somebody has a strong enough hand to make a point on a lone attempt. But mine is still good enough to stop most potential lones.

Tbolt65
Posts: 598
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:14 pm
Location: Las Vegas

Unread post by Tbolt65 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:37 pm

RedDuke wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:58 pm
This one came up yesterday in a game I was playing online and was wondering how you guys would have played it.

I'm the dealer holding this:

(Card_J-C) (Card_J-S) (Card_A-S) (Card_K-S) (Card_A-H)

Upcard is (Card_J-H) .

Score is 1-0 in our favor.

Everybody passes and it comes to me. Here's the challenging part. It's a Right+1 two-suited hand if I pick up and discard the Jack of Clubs. However, if I pass, it's a near-perfect loner in spades.

I chose to pick up and play it like that for two reasons. The first is that it still has a pretty good chance of making at least a point. The second is that there's no guarantee that it would actually get back to me in the second round and I'd be in real trouble against a first seat next call. Ultimately, we did end up making a point.

Unfortunately though, as the hand played out, I quickly realized that everybody would have passed in Round 2. Nobody had the right of the next suit, everybody had at least three to four suits, and nobody had more than a lone ace. Based on my view of the opponents as the game played out, I was mostly against people that wouldn't call without a sure thing and nobody had one.

I'm dead certain that I made the right call if I was going up against experts that would never let me get a chance to try the loner in second round. I'm not as certain against amateurs though, especially when one considers that it was still early in the game so we could have come back against a next loner and my left might have been able to stop it anyway if played right.

How would you have played this hand? Would your view change if I was holding the (Card_J-H) and the (Card_A-H) was the upcard?

Here is the thing you have to consider. What is the likelihood that everyone will pass a second time and it will get back to??? Also, does your partner allow you to pick up Jacks to possible go alone or would they always order the jack with any help what so ever. That's another consideration. Do you think Right +1 is a viable call for you to order up(if yes then pick up, if not then turn it down). Is it possible one of your opponents might go alone in Next?


After all these considerations I'd make your decision.



For me how I would play this hand is I'm picking it up in all games where opponents are more likely to call next because you have an unprotected left and they could go alone. Plus I feel Left+1 with off ace in most secnarios is a must call. So in this situation at 1-0 your team I'm picking it up.


If you were holding the Jack, more options would filter in and it would have to really depend on the opponents calling and habits but again I'll prob. most likely being ordering up in "Most" cases.

Tbolt65
Edward

Wes (aka the legend)
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Unread post by Wes (aka the legend) » Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:36 pm

RedDuke wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:58 pm
This one came up yesterday in a game I was playing online and was wondering how you guys would have played it.

I'm the dealer holding this:

(Card_J-C) (Card_J-S) (Card_A-S) (Card_K-S) (Card_A-H)

Upcard is (Card_J-H) .

Score is 1-0 in our favor.
I order up in the first round but I certainly can sympathize with the idea of passing hoping it gets back to you in the 2nd round. I'm sure there are table textures out there that are weak enough where this could possibly be the right play. One thing I would advise tho is when you're playing on your phone always play as if you're sitting with experts regardless of how weak your opponents may be. You'll still probably have to make some adjustments to account for your weak partner but other than that just make the play you think is best assuming your opponents are strong players. That way, for the most part, you'll always be training yourself for playing in tough games in real life. When you are playing in real life tho, then don't stick to any rigid plan, make whatever adjustments you deem necessary to give your team the best chance to win. On my phone I wanna be in expert mode as often as possible and I don't care if I sacrifice a little win equity doing it.

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