EricZalas Point System and Mathematics

Ask questions, discuss and debate your strategies, euchre polls and more
Tbolt65
Posts: 487
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:14 pm
Location: Las Vegas

EricZalas Point System and Mathematics

Unread post by Tbolt65 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 4:53 pm

The following below is a word for word quote from Eric Zalas on his experience with what he's gathered with his Point System and the subsequent books he as written on the game of Euchre with said mathematical approach.


by EricZalas » Wed Nov 13, 2019 4:25 am
Hello Gary Davis,
I am Eric Zalas, author of the Power Euchre five volume series of books. First allow me to address the comments of the person Dlan who responded. I have no idea who Dlan is and I can assure you that I did not "consult" with him/her during the 9 year period in which I researched and wrote the 1400 page Power Euchre series of books. I've had some conversations and email exchanges with euchre players but all of those engagements were very positive. I did have 105 people around the world complete my Euchre Research Self-Assessment (ERS) instrument. Maybe Dlan is one of these individuals but that is not a consultation. The ERS is a research tool - not a quiz Dlan -which identifies the trump naming frequency of players based on the baseline hands used to name trump in my model.

It is true that my analysis of euchre is very mathematical. As I mention in my books I consulted with several statisticians with advanced degrees and MBAs with an emphasis on statistical analysis. I have earned several advanced degrees. My research methods were validated by a team of experts. I have taken great pains to be extremely detailed in the presentation of data in my five volumes, presenting experts with more than 600 data tables of information to review. To date, not a single mathematician or statistics expert has reached out to me regarding problems with my data or analysis.

I would suggest that this person named Dian commenting below may be a terrific person and a wonderful human being but is simply ignorant in mathematical analysis. My model is simply a series of algorithms which dictate game decision making for three computer players. The biggest difference in the computer players is their frequency in naming trump. To really analyze the mathematical foundation of euchre one must use a computer model. I analyzed a total of 1.72 million hands during the writing of my five books. Approximately 300,000 of those hands were analyzed on my model to generate macro understandings on euchre. For some hands I gathered up to 55 different variables per hand. This type of analysis would be impossible to complete IF the data had to be gathered from real human players. Even in that case, which players would you select to analyze? Hence computer modeling is the only reasonable way to accomplish the analysis. Clearly Dlan does not understand this. That doesn't make him/her dumb, just ignorant of mathematical analysis.

When you spend nine years - close to 10,000 hours - writing five books and analyzing 1.72 million hands you are a very, very experienced person in the game of euchre and probably a world expert.

Much of my work on euchre was simply asking basic questions about the game and creating experiments to find the answers to those questions. For example, should you count on your partner to take a trick when you name trump? My research indicated that no other euchre book author, blogger or web site owner had ever considered such a question. I seemed to be the first. This is actually a very simple analysis to conduct which requires no computer model or "bots" as Dlan erroneously suggests. You simple play lots of hands and count how many times the partner takes a critical trick. It turns out that when you have an Ultra Aggressive Euchre player, who names trump at every possible opportunity, his partner only takes a meaningful trick to help win the hand about 40.9% of the time (n=2448 hands). This is the highest theoretical rate that a player can help his partner who names trump by taking a meaningful trick. Therefore this old-school conventional wisdom axiom - treated as the gospel truth by every euchre book, blog and website - is dead wrong. On average my partner helps me only 23% of the time to take a meaningful trick when I name trump.

I shared that story simply to emphasize that the vast majority of my euchre work is not related to my computer model but simply basic statistical analysis of card play. Anybody could reproduce my results.

Your original question was about my Z-Score system. The Zalas Score, or Z-Score, is simply my system to guide me when to name trump while playing euchre. I have asked four euchre book authors, "When should you name trump?" Every expert had difficulty explaining their answer to me. In fact one of my books discussed that the different experts offered, as I recall, something like 29 different answers to that simple question. Some of the experts even disagreed with one another's responses. So I analyzed this question to find the answer. My answer to that question is very simple: "I consider naming trump when I hold a hand with a Z-Score strength = 9 or higher." This question of when to name trump in euchre is very, very complex. Sometimes I will play alone from seat #1 with certain Z-Score 8 hands; other times I always pass with certain Z-Score 9 hands. Therefore experience comes into play - which is all explained in my books. Nonetheless, I compared my Z-Score system against two other systems (Perry Romanowski System and a system developed by a C++ programmer in Seattle) and analyzed the three systems in parallel against a long series of identical hands. The results of this analysis demonstrated that the Z-Score has the lowest variance and hence, is the best system. 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. A really experienced player can see that the Z-Score is not perfect because both trump bowers have the same point strength and we know this to not be true. However in euchre hand strength quantification systems one must trade-off accuracy with ease of use.

The system works extremely well. It takes me about 2 seconds to calculate my Z-Score. I have received very nice compliments from players in the US and Europe on how the Z-Score system has changed their game performance in a great way.

Now I only name trump about 17% of the time. I have never found another player who names trump at such a low frequency. In fact the average trump naming frequency for euchre players around the world is about 36% based on my ESA instrument. So the average euchre player is naming trump twice as often as I do. Nonetheless, I find this strategy optimizes my chances of winning. I typically generate 1.5 points per hand when I name trump and generate lots of euchres on my opponents as well as help my partner win when he/she names trump. My best performance ever was generating 1.68 points per pick over a nine game tournament. I've never finished worse than second in a tournament (net points winner) so the system works very well. As I tell my readers, I like to win. If naming trump 33% of the time would help me win more, I would do it. If naming "next" would help me win more, I would do that also. But these inferior, losing strategies do not work and the mathematics prove that very nicely.

I tell all my readers that euchre is a game - have fun! Enjoy yourself. I never tell players how to play the game. Play in the manner that gives you most enjoyment. What I do tell my readers is the optimal strategies and approaches to the game and support those conclusions with statistical analysis. I simply tell my readers what the data says.

I suspect Dlan may be one of those old-school players who likes to name trump on 35%-40% of all hands played, expects his partner to always take a trick, names "next" often, and never orders his partner to pick up a Bower. Dlan may be a person motivated by "instant gratification" and get a rush out of taking risks. I don't have a problem with that style and I love to play against players who play that style. Naming trump at such high frequencies is really an ego thing, a control thing. Some players "imagine" and truly believe that they are the quarterback, and the only way to win is for them to control the game and name trump with really marginal, thin hands. In reality all of these old-school strategies don''t work and in fact make you lose when playing against Power Players. It is difficult for players who have played euchre using these old-school, conventional wisdom axioms to accept change. As I have said many times in my books, you can win at euchre playing a loose, highly aggressive style by naming trump at high frequencies approaching 35%-40%. All you need to do is play against cognitively challenged players who play with the same style. But this style does not work at all against Power Players and I cite many, many examples provided by other euchre book authors who caution highly aggressive players to play much more conservatively when playing against a Power Player.

So in closing my mathematical analysis of the game is probably not for every euchre player out there. It's a game - have fun! My books are for really good players who wish to take their game to the next level, a championship level. If Dlan wishes to reach out to me I would be happy to patiently answer any questions to clear up his misconceptions regarding my work. I think that Don the owner of this site can direct you to me. I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards, Eric Zalas, MBA
=====================================================================


Thanks Eric for the post. I agree with you that mathematics does play a huge role in the game of euchre, it's not end all or be all in everything euchre. Euchre is indeed a simple game at first glance. Calling trump, trying to make three tricks to score a point. Trying to make an alone hand to gardner 4pts. Or even the exciting 2 point euchre hand. Yes there is Five trick march with your partner for 2pts. That is always fun too but less thrilling then an actual set/euchre of your opponents.

With all that being said. As we delve deeper into the game of euchre, we find that there are many different variables in the game. I'm going to list some here now(mind you not all of them). The many variables which keeps making euchre an interesting game and often never the same situation. You may find yourself in similar situations but each situation depends on a lot of things......... Like, your opponents playstyle, Ie: agressive or passive. Players tendencies. When I speak of these I mean not just your opponents but your partners as well. All this information can convey critical information that you would take in for analyasis. Score is another variable in determining what you should or should not do, or what you may or may not do. As you mentioned there are conventions like calling next/hoyle to factor in. Eric you claim that it is inferior. At the inappropiate time it is the wrong call to make but it is also another factor, to consider to take in when making a call or non-call/order. I've just briefly touched upon some variables to consider. Conventions, opponents/ partners playstyle tendencies and score.


So what am I getting at, whats the point in my reply to you Eric? There is a lot of what you say above which I disagree with. Not just with the facts you present but the style and feeling you express it. It is your opinion and I respect that so I am not here to attack that. I am not hear to promote myself in anyway either. I am just here to offer other ideas, and thoughts to what you may not have given consideration too. There is more to the game of euchre than just mathematics and the point system you offer is another rule of thumb to play by or take into consideration just like anything else. Just like anything else any one thing by itself is not complete. For me, To be a complete player at the game of euchre one must consider and employ everything you have learned and be open to new information and data that comes your way via, either by your playing experience, other authors, other players experience to name a few. One must be flexible and not so rigid in ones game of play.


I hope to hear your thoughts about anything I may not be taking into consideration from the above post you made, Eric. Or anything I said, or you think I'm implying. Discussion and critical thinking I think is one of the leading factors in coming to understanding in things. Not just in Euchre but also in life.


Thanks.


Tbolt65
Edward



Wes (aka the legend)
Posts: 1189
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:03 pm

Unread post by Wes (aka the legend) » Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:14 pm

EricZalas,

By any chance could you post the "50 random euchre hands" from your "Euchre Research Self-Assessment (ERS) instrument" in this thread? I think that could generation some great discussion.

User avatar
Dlan
Site Admin
Posts: 395
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:08 pm
Location: Ohio

Unread post by Dlan » Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:35 pm

Here you go,

https://ohioeuchre.com/EuchreSelfAssessment.htm

The initial Euchre Self-Assessment was send out as an excel spreadsheet. You would fill in your answers and return to Eric for evaluation. From there he would compare your answers to those returned by his bots.

A web page was the only way I could post it.

Tbolt65
Posts: 487
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:14 pm
Location: Las Vegas

Unread post by Tbolt65 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:44 pm

Dlan wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:35 pm
Here you go,

https://ohioeuchre.com/EuchreSelfAssessment.htm
Thanks Dlan,

I'm curious where is the self Assessment part come in? I mean, sure you pick what one will do. How ever, I would imagine you'd have to keep a rolling list of these kinds of hand to actually compare the data?


Tbolt65
Edward

Wes (aka the legend)
Posts: 1189
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:03 pm

Unread post by Wes (aka the legend) » Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:02 pm

Much of my work on euchre was simply asking basic questions about the game and creating experiments to find the answers to those questions. For example, should you count on your partner to take a trick when you name trump? My research indicated that no other euchre book author, blogger or web site owner had ever considered such a question. I seemed to be the first.

I think there's a reason for this. The "count on your partner for 1" heuristic was only meant for beginners to help them bid. Strong players do not think in these terms. They think more along the lines of: "What's best for my team in this particular scenario? Calling or passing or going alone" and if they choose to call they can easily have a hand that is counting on their partner to get 2 tricks, even 3! An example to illustrate this point.

You're in Seat 1. Your team is up 9-7. The upcard is the (Card_A-D), and the dealer's team turns it down. You have:

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

A strong player is always calling next in this spot. That's the best suit for his team based on his hand and the action. And there's no way a strong player is passing given his team is up 9-7 and blocks no suits in the 2nd round. He can't allow Seat 2 a chance at a game winning loner, and strong players know even if their team gets euchred they still have the deal at 9-9 as a 2-1 favorite. Making this thin next call assures his team 2 chances to win the game, one chance on their forced Next call and one chance when they have the deal as a 2-1 favorite. If he instead passes, his team is not guaranteed one chance to win. Notice when the strong player calls Next he has no guaranteed tricks, he is essentially counting on his partner for 3 tricks, and yet it's the correct call!
This is actually a very simple analysis to conduct which requires no computer model or "bots" as Dlan erroneously suggests. You simple play lots of hands and count how many times the partner takes a critical trick. It turns out that when you have an Ultra Aggressive Euchre player, who names trump at every possible opportunity, his partner only takes a meaningful trick to help win the hand about 40.9% of the time (n=2448 hands). This is the highest theoretical rate that a player can help his partner who names trump by taking a meaningful trick. Therefore this old-school conventional wisdom axiom - treated as the gospel truth by every euchre book, blog and website - is dead wrong. On average my partner helps me only 23% of the time to take a meaningful trick when I name trump.

I agree that too many people do treat the "count on your partner for 1" heuristic as gospel truth or close to it, but again almost by definition strong players don't think along these lines. And although this heuristic is far from perfect it does indeed help beginners get things going. The "count on your partner" rule of thumb is like a good set of training wheels for those new to the game trying to figure out what to do, but yes, as one improves, keeping those training wheels on will end up hindering their game more than helping it.
Now I only name trump about 17% of the time. I have never found another player who names trump at such a low frequency.
In my experience the people who call close to this low of a frequency are the worst players in the room and the only time you can find people who call that infrequently on the app I play on (Karman games) are at the very low ranks.
In fact the average trump naming frequency for euchre players around the world is about 36% based on my ESA instrument.

As far as capturing reality, that number is WAY off. I've played over 20k games on the most popular euchre app (around 10k people playing per day), and the average calling frequency is always around the low 20s. I think anybody who plays ANY euchre app that keeps track of opponent statistics will end up seeing the same kind've number. And this number (low 20s) is consistent with the people I play with in real life in my weekly tournament. So this is something we can speak confidently on. The average trump naming frequency is not even close to 36%. It's in the low 20s.
So the average euchre player is naming trump twice as often as I do. Nonetheless, I find this strategy optimizes my chances of winning. I typically generate 1.5 points per hand when I name trump and generate lots of euchres on my opponents as well as help my partner win when he/she names trump. My best performance ever was generating 1.68 points per pick over a nine game tournament. I've never finished worse than second in a tournament (net points winner) so the system works very well. As I tell my readers, I like to win.

Points per pick up doesn't really say much becuz one can play real conservative and always generate a nice looking number. And I assume you don't play in a tournament very often. If you frequently play in a tournament with 20-30 people the vast majority of the time you will not finish in the top 2 no matter how good you are. The luck factor is too dominant in a tournament structure. That said, if one is the best in their tournament they should place in the top 2 more often than others in the long run.
If naming trump 33% of the time would help me win more, I would do it. If naming "next" would help me win more, I would do that also. But these inferior, losing strategies do not work and the mathematics prove that very nicely.

I actually have some real life concrete evidence on this. In my tournament of 20-30 people every Thursday in Vegas, the player with the most points at the end of the year earns Player of the Year aka Las Vegas Euchre Champion. The point system is pretty simple. Each Thursday First place gets 5 points, 2nd 4 points, 3rd 3 points, 4th 2 points, and 5th 1 point. The player with the most points at the end of the year wins. Over the last 7 years--since 2012--the same three guys have won the Las Vegas Euchre championship. Here's the link:

http://www.vegaseuchre.com/HOF.html

2012 was my arbitrary cutoff cuz I never met the guy that won it in 2011. Those same three guys are very aggressive. I've played with them a lot and I can confidently say they all call at a higher than 30% frequency. The people who call in the low 20s/high teens never even sniff the championship.
Naming trump at such high frequencies is really an ego thing, a control thing.

No it is not. It's just the nature of the game. The penalty for passing in euchre is very high. You usually end up losing around 1 point on average. It's a race to 10 and you can't pass to victory (generally speaking). The format of the game necessitates very aggressive play. To contrast, take the game of poker where passing (i.e. folding) is virtually cost free. Now playing really tight makes sense. When passing costs virtually nothing one should be very choosy of what one plays. In poker you can make a decent living with a vpip of 17% ( Voluntary Put Money In Pot) if one plays well enough. In euchre calling around 17% will get one destroyed in the long run, at least against more aggressive players. Again, this plays out well in my weekly tournament. The few aggressive players dominate it and on the app I play on (10k people per day), the aggressive players (calling over 30%) are always the highest ranked. In this respect euchre is no longer a mystery. We all potentially have access to a lot of data just by playing on a euchre app that keeps track of stats. We can speak confidently on this, aggressive play wins the day. Anybody can quickly find this out too just by playing euchre online building up their own database and/or simply asking other high ranked players what their call rate is. The information is out there. We don't have to guess.

jspectre
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:04 am

Unread post by jspectre » Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:37 pm

This is all very interesting to me. I don't have any numbers, just my own experience, so I can't say with any certainty that my play-style is the more advantageous one, but I'm very skeptical. You would be turning down a LOT of hands with this particular 9 point bidding system, and I can think of plenty of situations where it would make you vulnerable to loners or strong 2 point calls in next. I'm also very confused at both bowers being worth the same point value, and all trump being equal in value, this is surely not the case in practice.

When I make calls there's generally a couple things I'm considering, can my partner realistically help me in this situation since they passed, and whether I can afford to pass as well. As the dealer I believe it is my job to have next protected, I'm not going to call a weak holding in diamonds when I have more strength in hearts. I have to assume that my partner holds strength in black, so I can't be worried about facing a black loner for turning down a marginal diamonds hands.

Now, it's my partners job here to call me up if he has a decent hand (left + A + side ace) and doesn't protect anything besides next, in this scenario it's much more likely that first seat is holding a power hand in black. Euchre is all about knowing when you need to call versus when it's smarter to pass, but it's all based on the cards you're holding, and passing on good hands just seems like a losing exercise to me.

Now, I certainly won't call next a losing strategy, you just have to have a feel for when you're walking into a trap or not. It really comes down to bad luck a lot of the time. When I'm sitting on a pure red hand, but diamonds is too weak to call, I hope that my partner has black covered and I pass. Instead of having a strong black hand, 1st seat has garbage, but he does have the only two remaining hearts and a green ace, so he calls next and walks right into a buzz-saw. His partner was sitting on a near black loner, but he didn't know that.

However, it's just as likely that his partner was sitting on both red bowers and the dealer passed not because next was covered, but because his hand was just terrible, he only had 2 low diamonds if he picked up, and no aces, only a call worth making as a block, with no real opportunities for a point otherwise. Now if 1st seat passes the next call here he has most likely given up 2 points anyway to a strong black holding, and possibly 4 points if a loner can be called from 2nd seat.

I used to call much more conservatively and never understood how I was giving away all my advantages, some teams just get all the good cards, but if you aren't doing your part to make your own luck and calling next for your partner then you aren't playing a team game, you're just waiting for good cards to come to you, and they might not, you have to make your own luck in that situation. I'm not sure I understand who this "power" player is either, weaker players are the ones who call the most conservatively and where your next calls will be less effective.

Just my two cents on this.

patiencepays

Unread post by patiencepays » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:11 pm

IMO there are 2 types of weak players, the too conservative player and the too agressive player. It's fair when identified for either to suggest the other is weak. To me the "power" player Eric speaks of is a player whose capabilities lends him to succeed in being able to control himself from being neither over agressive nor over conservative. IOW a power player plays closer to optimal than either the agressive or conservative player. One should be most proud of their play when it is optimal, since agressiveness is as dangerous to winning euchre as is meekness. Follow the math every hand. Winning starts and ends with it. Most of the rest is an illusion. Thank you!

PS Outside a next call, many players who subscribe to the myth of counting on your partner for one make one big mistake; they make trump with their own hands being too weak. (eg: 2 trump, one sure trick, no aces, no void)

Patiencepays when you're playing the odds.

User avatar
Dlan
Site Admin
Posts: 395
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:08 pm
Location: Ohio

Unread post by Dlan » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:25 pm

The secret to counting on your partner for one trick is to give them the opportunity to do so. Players that trump every trick they can, play the right after they have two tricks, lead trump on forth lead and so-on, limit their partners ability to help.

Wes (aka the legend)
Posts: 1189
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:03 pm

Unread post by Wes (aka the legend) » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:04 pm

Dlan wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:25 pm
The secret to counting on your partner for one trick is to give them the opportunity to do so. Players that trump every trick they can, play the right after they have two tricks, lead trump on forth lead and so-on, limit their partners ability to help.
Very true.

MeeKer
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2019 1:57 pm

Unread post by MeeKer » Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:56 am

Which tournaments has Eric won?
Which tournaments has Wes won?
Which tournaments has Don won?

Who has been the most successful at playing euchre?

Tbolt65
Posts: 487
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:14 pm
Location: Las Vegas

Unread post by Tbolt65 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 12:54 pm

MeeKer wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:56 am
Which tournaments has Eric won?
Which tournaments has Wes won?
Which tournaments has Don won?

Who has been the most successful at playing euchre?

This is very subjective. First it depends on the type of tourney. But I'm not going to go in and break down why. What I will say is this.

Let's compare basketball players. Is Michel Jordan good? Is Kareem good? What about bird, or magic? Who's better between them all? They all bring a certain aspect or style to the game. The are all good in that sense therefore all credible authority on various aspects of the game to different degrees of play with similar understandings.

People of high caliber play understand other people's caliber of play. It an inherent understanding when one gets to a certain level of play or mindset no matter what game it is.

Tbolt65
Edward

Wes (aka the legend)
Posts: 1189
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:03 pm

Unread post by Wes (aka the legend) » Thu Nov 14, 2019 1:31 pm

MeeKer wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:56 am
Which tournaments has Eric won?
Which tournaments has Wes won?
Which tournaments has Don won?

Who has been the most successful at playing euchre?
Lol, you really think that matters? Ultimately whether my advice here is good or not rests on the case I make. Sometimes I can make a strong argument. Sometimes I can't. Not having that mythical euchre simulator and having to rely on back of the envelope math at best will often leave room for reasonable doubt. How many tournaments I've won won't resolve much. I certainly wouldn't want anyone believing anything I've said on reputation anyways.

That said if you must know, I have only played in my weekly Vegas tournament. 2019 was the first year I was eligible to win player of the year. You have to pay a whole $5 to be eligible and then youre officially part of the club and they keep track of your stats. I started playing in 2017 but I only played 1 time and finished 2nd. I played almost all of 2018 but I never bothered to officially join the club. I believe if they had kept track of my stats in 2018 I would've been player of the year and won the Las Vegas Euchre Championship. I believe I finished in First and in the top 5 often enough to get the job done. But that's just hearsay. I didn't pay the $5 so we'll never know.

True story: At the end of 2018, I paid the $5 to finally be eligible to win Player of the Year for 2019. After I gave my $5 to the cause I walked over to the table where the three best players were sitting, the same guys who have taken turns winning POY the last 7 years. I told them all to their faces that they had a great run and they should be proud of their accomplishments but now their reign of terror is over FOREVER. The true GOAT has arrived! They all laughed at me, mocked me, cackling maniacally with overconfident joy. How could the person who gets euchred by far more than anyone else in the room, pissing everyone off in the process, have a chance to win the whole F**king thing?!?

Well it's mid-November, about 6 weeks left in the year and I hold a solid but tenuous 8 point lead for Player of the Year. But it's not really tenuous at all. There's no way I'm gonna choke that lead away. I promised the three best players in the room that their time is over and I will hold to that promise. I will make them realize what they've should've known all along: The Legend is real.
Last edited by Wes (aka the legend) on Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MeeKer
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2019 1:57 pm

Unread post by MeeKer » Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:17 pm

Wes (aka the legend) wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 1:31 pm
Lol, you really think that matters?
Yes, I do. Why do you think I'm asking? :?
Ultimately whether my advice here is good or not rests on the case I make.
Actually, it rests on the results.
I certainly wouldn't want anyone believing anything I've said on reputation anyways.
I didn't ask about reputation.

Anyway, just to be clear: I am more interested in Eric's results than I am in yours or Don's. Also, I'm pretty sure that you've been more successful than he has been at winning euchre tournaments. He's way more "successful" than you at writing about it ... ;)

Tbolt65
Posts: 487
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:14 pm
Location: Las Vegas

Unread post by Tbolt65 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:07 pm

Tbolt65 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 12:54 pm
MeeKer wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:56 am
Which tournaments has Eric won?
Which tournaments has Wes won?
Which tournaments has Don won?

Who has been the most successful at playing euchre?

This is very subjective. First it depends on the type of tourney. But I'm not going to go in and break down why. What I will say is this.

Let's compare basketball players. Is Michel Jordan good? Is Kareem good? What about bird, or magic? Who's better between them all? They all bring a certain aspect or style to the game. The are all good in that sense therefore all credible authority on various aspects of the game to different degrees of play with similar understandings.

People of high caliber play understand other people's caliber of play. It an inherent understanding when one gets to a certain level of play or mindset no matter what game it is.

Tbolt65
Edward
Oh and I forgot but it is very important to take note of. It takes two to be successful. This is a team game. If partners understand each other. As being on the same page. They will fair better and be more consistent in their win percentage. This goes for all levels of play. Obviously the higher the euchre I.Q. the higher the percentages.

Tbolt65
Edward

Tbolt65
Posts: 487
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:14 pm
Location: Las Vegas

Unread post by Tbolt65 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:55 am

Tbolt65 wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 4:53 pm
The following below is a word for word quote from Eric Zalas on his experience with what he's gathered with his Point System and the subsequent books he as written on the game of Euchre with said mathematical approach.


by EricZalas » Wed Nov 13, 2019 4:25 am
Hello Gary Davis,
I am Eric Zalas, author of the Power Euchre five volume series of books. First allow me to address the comments of the person Dlan who responded. I have no idea who Dlan is and I can assure you that I did not "consult" with him/her during the 9 year period in which I researched and wrote the 1400 page Power Euchre series of books. I've had some conversations and email exchanges with euchre players but all of those engagements were very positive. I did have 105 people around the world complete my Euchre Research Self-Assessment (ERS) instrument. Maybe Dlan is one of these individuals but that is not a consultation. The ERS is a research tool - not a quiz Dlan -which identifies the trump naming frequency of players based on the baseline hands used to name trump in my model.

It is true that my analysis of euchre is very mathematical. As I mention in my books I consulted with several statisticians with advanced degrees and MBAs with an emphasis on statistical analysis. I have earned several advanced degrees. My research methods were validated by a team of experts. I have taken great pains to be extremely detailed in the presentation of data in my five volumes, presenting experts with more than 600 data tables of information to review. To date, not a single mathematician or statistics expert has reached out to me regarding problems with my data or analysis.

I would suggest that this person named Dian commenting below may be a terrific person and a wonderful human being but is simply ignorant in mathematical analysis. My model is simply a series of algorithms which dictate game decision making for three computer players. The biggest difference in the computer players is their frequency in naming trump. To really analyze the mathematical foundation of euchre one must use a computer model. I analyzed a total of 1.72 million hands during the writing of my five books. Approximately 300,000 of those hands were analyzed on my model to generate macro understandings on euchre. For some hands I gathered up to 55 different variables per hand. This type of analysis would be impossible to complete IF the data had to be gathered from real human players. Even in that case, which players would you select to analyze? Hence computer modeling is the only reasonable way to accomplish the analysis. Clearly Dlan does not understand this. That doesn't make him/her dumb, just ignorant of mathematical analysis.

When you spend nine years - close to 10,000 hours - writing five books and analyzing 1.72 million hands you are a very, very experienced person in the game of euchre and probably a world expert.

Much of my work on euchre was simply asking basic questions about the game and creating experiments to find the answers to those questions. For example, should you count on your partner to take a trick when you name trump? My research indicated that no other euchre book author, blogger or web site owner had ever considered such a question. I seemed to be the first. This is actually a very simple analysis to conduct which requires no computer model or "bots" as Dlan erroneously suggests. You simple play lots of hands and count how many times the partner takes a critical trick. It turns out that when you have an Ultra Aggressive Euchre player, who names trump at every possible opportunity, his partner only takes a meaningful trick to help win the hand about 40.9% of the time (n=2448 hands). This is the highest theoretical rate that a player can help his partner who names trump by taking a meaningful trick. Therefore this old-school conventional wisdom axiom - treated as the gospel truth by every euchre book, blog and website - is dead wrong. On average my partner helps me only 23% of the time to take a meaningful trick when I name trump.

I shared that story simply to emphasize that the vast majority of my euchre work is not related to my computer model but simply basic statistical analysis of card play. Anybody could reproduce my results.

Your original question was about my Z-Score system. The Zalas Score, or Z-Score, is simply my system to guide me when to name trump while playing euchre. I have asked four euchre book authors, "When should you name trump?" Every expert had difficulty explaining their answer to me. In fact one of my books discussed that the different experts offered, as I recall, something like 29 different answers to that simple question. Some of the experts even disagreed with one another's responses. So I analyzed this question to find the answer. My answer to that question is very simple: "I consider naming trump when I hold a hand with a Z-Score strength = 9 or higher." This question of when to name trump in euchre is very, very complex. Sometimes I will play alone from seat #1 with certain Z-Score 8 hands; other times I always pass with certain Z-Score 9 hands. Therefore experience comes into play - which is all explained in my books. Nonetheless, I compared my Z-Score system against two other systems (Perry Romanowski System and a system developed by a C++ programmer in Seattle) and analyzed the three systems in parallel against a long series of identical hands. The results of this analysis demonstrated that the Z-Score has the lowest variance and hence, is the best system. 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. A really experienced player can see that the Z-Score is not perfect because both trump bowers have the same point strength and we know this to not be true. However in euchre hand strength quantification systems one must trade-off accuracy with ease of use.

The system works extremely well. It takes me about 2 seconds to calculate my Z-Score. I have received very nice compliments from players in the US and Europe on how the Z-Score system has changed their game performance in a great way.

Now I only name trump about 17% of the time. I have never found another player who names trump at such a low frequency. In fact the average trump naming frequency for euchre players around the world is about 36% based on my ESA instrument. So the average euchre player is naming trump twice as often as I do. Nonetheless, I find this strategy optimizes my chances of winning. I typically generate 1.5 points per hand when I name trump and generate lots of euchres on my opponents as well as help my partner win when he/she names trump. My best performance ever was generating 1.68 points per pick over a nine game tournament. I've never finished worse than second in a tournament (net points winner) so the system works very well. As I tell my readers, I like to win. If naming trump 33% of the time would help me win more, I would do it. If naming "next" would help me win more, I would do that also. But these inferior, losing strategies do not work and the mathematics prove that very nicely.

I tell all my readers that euchre is a game - have fun! Enjoy yourself. I never tell players how to play the game. Play in the manner that gives you most enjoyment. What I do tell my readers is the optimal strategies and approaches to the game and support those conclusions with statistical analysis. I simply tell my readers what the data says.

I suspect Dlan may be one of those old-school players who likes to name trump on 35%-40% of all hands played, expects his partner to always take a trick, names "next" often, and never orders his partner to pick up a Bower. Dlan may be a person motivated by "instant gratification" and get a rush out of taking risks. I don't have a problem with that style and I love to play against players who play that style. Naming trump at such high frequencies is really an ego thing, a control thing. Some players "imagine" and truly believe that they are the quarterback, and the only way to win is for them to control the game and name trump with really marginal, thin hands. In reality all of these old-school strategies don''t work and in fact make you lose when playing against Power Players. It is difficult for players who have played euchre using these old-school, conventional wisdom axioms to accept change. As I have said many times in my books, you can win at euchre playing a loose, highly aggressive style by naming trump at high frequencies approaching 35%-40%. All you need to do is play against cognitively challenged players who play with the same style. But this style does not work at all against Power Players and I cite many, many examples provided by other euchre book authors who caution highly aggressive players to play much more conservatively when playing against a Power Player.

So in closing my mathematical analysis of the game is probably not for every euchre player out there. It's a game - have fun! My books are for really good players who wish to take their game to the next level, a championship level. If Dlan wishes to reach out to me I would be happy to patiently answer any questions to clear up his misconceptions regarding my work. I think that Don the owner of this site can direct you to me. I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards, Eric Zalas, MBA
=====================================================================


Thanks Eric for the post. I agree with you that mathematics does play a huge role in the game of euchre, it's not end all or be all in everything euchre. Euchre is indeed a simple game at first glance. Calling trump, trying to make three tricks to score a point. Trying to make an alone hand to gardner 4pts. Or even the exciting 2 point euchre hand. Yes there is Five trick march with your partner for 2pts. That is always fun too but less thrilling then an actual set/euchre of your opponents.

With all that being said. As we delve deeper into the game of euchre, we find that there are many different variables in the game. I'm going to list some here now(mind you not all of them). The many variables which keeps making euchre an interesting game and often never the same situation. You may find yourself in similar situations but each situation depends on a lot of things......... Like, your opponents playstyle, Ie: agressive or passive. Players tendencies. When I speak of these I mean not just your opponents but your partners as well. All this information can convey critical information that you would take in for analyasis. Score is another variable in determining what you should or should not do, or what you may or may not do. As you mentioned there are conventions like calling next/hoyle to factor in. Eric you claim that it is inferior. At the inappropiate time it is the wrong call to make but it is also another factor, to consider to take in when making a call or non-call/order. I've just briefly touched upon some variables to consider. Conventions, opponents/ partners playstyle tendencies and score.


So what am I getting at, whats the point in my reply to you Eric? There is a lot of what you say above which I disagree with. Not just with the facts you present but the style and feeling you express it. It is your opinion and I respect that so I am not here to attack that. I am not hear to promote myself in anyway either. I am just here to offer other ideas, and thoughts to what you may not have given consideration too. There is more to the game of euchre than just mathematics and the point system you offer is another rule of thumb to play by or take into consideration just like anything else. Just like anything else any one thing by itself is not complete. For me, To be a complete player at the game of euchre one must consider and employ everything you have learned and be open to new information and data that comes your way via, either by your playing experience, other authors, other players experience to name a few. One must be flexible and not so rigid in ones game of play.


I hope to hear your thoughts about anything I may not be taking into consideration from the above post you made, Eric. Or anything I said, or you think I'm implying. Discussion and critical thinking I think is one of the leading factors in coming to understanding in things. Not just in Euchre but also in life.


Thanks.


Tbolt65
Edward



by Richardb02 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:04 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.


Took me less than 2 days to read. Here it goes. This is my review that I have posted on Amazon. It's currently takes apparently a few days before it gets approved but here are my thoughts on it. Eric you a free to comment and ask any questions you like on my review or any previous comments above that I had originally asked prior to reading the book.

My review of:

Power Euchre Volume V: Euchremetrics Performance Outcomes for Two Hundred Twenty-Five different Euchre Hands


4 out of 5 Stars

Informative but....

Eric gives an extensive breakdown and analysis of hands and uses a system to exploit aggressive euchre players. Using the Z-score method to rank hands and playability. While at the same time admonishing with what his mathematical findings say that conventional euchre thinking and axioms are totally outdated, inferior and in all likelihood a result of the feeling or need to be in control of all situations. Basically getting a rush out of naming trump or picking up. The author clearly states many times he does not understand some of the reasons and justifications. Perhaps he was asking the wrong people or perhaps not the right questions?

The hand analysis and rankings alone make this a must read for all euchre players. Regardless of skill you will improve your game to some degree. I find the sample size of his archetype(s)too small. Therefore it erroneously paints most euchre players as either aggressive or ultragressive. Which is totally a miscategorization of the world's euchre base. From these misconceptions of players and conventions of play style he goes on to support the fact based mathematical percentages of wining hands that takes advantage of the so called weaker play. He does not account for passive players in his models when comparing play. Unless that what he means by "power euchre players" being the passive player.

All in all. Eric Zalas is a smart and critical thinker. His information is thoroughly presented and I think most people of such minds will have no problem following his outline to be a "power player". In the end this is only but one of many tools that can help you in your quest to be the best possible euchre player possible. Take it for that which it is and continue to always improve on your game.


Tbolt65
Edward

jblowery
Posts: 124
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:43 am

Unread post by jblowery » Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:29 am

Conservative but not too far off at the worst IMO. Let's take for example the situation where I have Left+1 and I order up the rt to my partner. That is 5 pts that I have right there. I also probably have a void and that makes 6 pts. The bower that I order up is another 3 pts so I've met the standard. We could easily get euchered in this situation with Left+1 plus 3 junk cards from 2 suites.

jblowery
Posts: 124
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:43 am

Unread post by jblowery » Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:32 am

I'm not big on the philosophy of always calling something (except when I have reverse next blocked) from Seat 1, Round 2. Plenty of loners by opponents during Round 2 but not usually and my partner may also have a great hand. I always call with junk if we have a big lead but otherwise I'm passing.

However, maybe this still too conservative for me. Let's say opponent passes round 1 and I'm in Seat 1 Round 2 holding: (Card_J-D) (Card_A-D) (Card_K-D) (Card_10-C) (Card_10-H) . According to this system I only have 8 pts (count 1 void) so I'm passing. However, this is an obvious diamonds call.

If I had: (Card_J-D) (Card_A-D) (Card_K-D) (Card_A-S) (Card_J-C) now I only have 9 pts. This is barely biddable with Eric's system but it is actually a decent loner hand.

I realize that it is simplified. (Card_J-H) (Card_10-D) (Card_9-D) (Card_10-C) (Card_J-S) is also 8 pts for diamonds and I can definitely see passing on this one, especially if it is reverse next.

Maybe the main problem is that it is just too simplified. Both bowers count the same and an Ace of trump counts the same as a 9 of trump, and there is no accounting for next or reverse next.

Wes (aka the legend)
Posts: 1189
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:03 pm

Unread post by Wes (aka the legend) » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:13 pm

jblowery wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:32 am
I'm not big on the philosophy of always calling something (except when I have reverse next blocked) from Seat 1, Round 2. Plenty of loners by opponents during Round 2 but not usually and my partner may also have a great hand. I always call with junk if we have a big lead but otherwise I'm passing.
Well first I would say, there is no philosophy. Math is the ultimate arbiter. The reason why strong players often call thin from Seat 1, 2nd round when they don't block reverse next is because the cost of passing is greater than the cost of calling. Now many strong players may not have attempted to crunch the math themselves but they intuitively understand this concept. In fact this concept imo is what separates the great players from the merely mediocre: the idea that a call can be -EV in a vacuum but still be correct becuz passing in even more -EV.

So it's not really about blocking loners per se, it's strictly about the math. That's what should guide us. Now I'll often phrase it as if it is about blocking loners, like for example if I say, at 0-0, if I don't block reverse next I'm calling Next with 2 low trump and an off ace. But that's just a shorthand way of saying I'm calling becuz in this spot the EV of calling is greater than the EV of passing. When you don't block reverse next the probability of your opponents (primarily Seat 2) having a 4pt, 2pt, 1pt play all go up, and the probability they will get euchred will go down. That's all baked into the math behind our thin next call.

This leads me to what I wanna talk about next, Eric Zalas' book, specifically this book: "Power Euchre Volume V: Euchremetrics Performance Outcomes for Two Hundred Twenty-Five different Euchre Hands" Kindle Edition.

I'm only on chapter 4, but I wanna talk about what I read on "location 879, 15%" on my kindle app. It's about 3 "bad" calls these experts will make:
EZ: "Let's now look at some very specific decisions made by Euchre Expert 2 and Expert 3 on several hands presented by the author in the Euchre Self-Assessment Research Instrument."

From the graphic:

"Why Would Euchre Experts 2 & 3 name trump with these Weak, losing ESA Euchre Hands?"

Hand 1:

The score is 0-0, and the experts call next in clubs:

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

According to author based on his simulation: The Euchre % of this call = 41.4%, The mean EO (expected outcome) = -.16 pts, n = 302 hands.

Hand 2:

The score is 0-0, and the expert makes this heart call from the dealer position:

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

Euchre % = 43.9%, Mean EO = -.28 pts, n = 421 hands.

Hand 3:

The score is 0-0, and the expert calls Next in clubs with:

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

Euchre % = 54.5%, Mean EO = -.61 pts, n = 356 hands.
So all 3 calls are ostensibly losers. Here's what the author has to say about that:
EZ: "Also carefully observe that all three of the hands generate a negative mean expected outcome. A hand with a negative mean expected outcome means that you are actually scoring more points for the opposing team though euchres than you are for your own team when you name trump. Ponder the irony of that fact for a moment. We're not talking about a high-school dropout named Joe Sixpack sweeping floors at the warehouse here. These are people who consider themselves bonafide experts who actively tell people how to play the game of euchre though their books, website or blog."
Anyone notice the fatal mistake of the author? A mistake so serious that it renders all his books on the subject of euchre virtually worthless. A mistake that betrays a basic and fundamental lack of understanding of the game of euchre itself, something only a novice can be forgiven for.

Well here it is, and it ties in perfectly to the beginning of this post. In order to conclude those above hands are bad calls and to then go on making fun of how dumb those experts are, the author implicitly assumed the cost of passing = zero. The fact that passing is costly in euchre is what drives the action in the game. It's what makes euchre...well....euchre. If you completely ignore this aspect and assume passing is cost-free ,well then you're not really talking about euchre anymore, you're talking about some made up variation in your head. And it appears this rotten assumption is baked into all of his conclusions about what hands are playable and what are not. If that's the case then all of his books are nearly worthless.

Now for the fun of it lets get back to the reality of euchre and recognize that passing is costly. Let's analyze those three hands again. Here's the assumptions I will use to break down the EV of those hands:

1) The cost of passing = roughly 1 point, which is perhaps a conservative assumption when we block no suits.

2) This probability chart is a decent approximation of reality:

http://members.tripod.com/borf_books/euchprob.htm

3) The author's euchre % for all three hands is a decent approximation of reality, therefore I will use them.

4) I'm gonna assume that these thin calls net 2 pts 5% of the time.

Ok here we go.

Hand 1 gets euchred 41.4%:

The score is 0-0, and the experts call next in clubs:

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

According to our probability chart this means that 41.4% of the time our team will be down 0-2 on our deal with 38% equity. 5% of the time we'll be up 2-0 with 64% equity, and 53.6% of the time we'll be up 1-0 with 57% equity. This translates to:

(.414 x .38) + (.05 x .64) + (.536 x .57) = 49.48%

Our equity if we pass will be our equity down 0-1 on our deal: 45%

49.48% > 45%. Since the equity of calling is greater than the equity of passing, we will do better in the long run if we call.

Hand 2 gets euchred 43.9%:

The score is 0-0, and the expert makes this heart call from the dealer position:

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

So 43.9% of the time our team is down 0-2 on our opponent's deal with 36% equity, 5% of the time we're up 2-0 with 62% equity, and 51.1% of the time we're up 1-0 with 55% equity.

(.439 x .36) + (.05 x .62) + (.511 x .55) = 47.01%

Our equity if we pass will be our equity down 0-1 on their deal: 43%

47.01% > 43%. Since the equity of calling is greater than the equity of passing, we will do better in the long run if we call.


Hand 3 gets euchred 54.5%:

The score is 0-0, and the expert calls Next in clubs with:

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

54.5% of the time our team is down 0-2 on our deal with 38% equity. 5% of the time we're up 2-0 with 64% equity, and 40.5% of the time we're up 1-0 with 57% equity.

(.545 x .38) + (.05 x .64) + (.405 x .57) = 47.00%

Our equity if we pass = 45%.

47% > 45%. Since the equity of calling is greater than the equity of passing, we will do better in the long run if we call.

Now I have not "proved" any of the above hands are good calls. I think they are. I think I've made a good case, but "prove" is too strong of a word. Any of the assumptions underpinning my math can be challenged and if you disagree with any of them that can easily change each conclusion. But that's not really what this is about. The main point I want to drive home is this way of thinking--theoretically comparing the EV of calling vs the EV of passing--is the only way to approach this game in the pursuit of maximizing correct decisions. If you just analyse the EV of calling in a vacuum you'll never be any good at this game. This is kinda why I despise Euchre Point systems in general. You just can't look at the game this way if you wanna be great at it. Euchre is just too complex.

I'd also like to point out that as it turns out the experts in Eric Zalas' examples aren't so dumb after all and their calls certainly aren't "really an ego thing, a control thing". Even if you disagree with the assumptions behind my EV calcs you'll at least agree that these decisions are close enough to say that these experts do not deserve to be compared to "high-school dropout[s]".

Here's the thing about euchre. To a certain degree, you don't really get to choose your hands, the hands choose you. It's a race to 10 and you generally can't pass to victory. The pressure is on. Whether you realize it or not, you are constantly under the gun. And why is that? Don't forget! Becuz passing is costly! In such a game format, one cannot afford to pass up ANY +EV (expected value) opportunity no matter how marginal. And a +EV call can easily be -EV in a vacuum but +EV overall due to passing being even more -EV. Any analysis of euchre that ignores this dynamic and thus doesn't take into account the cost of passing does not deserve to be taken seriously.

irishwolf
Posts: 700
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:33 pm

Unread post by irishwolf » Wed Nov 20, 2019 10:33 pm

Reading these posts it appears some good euchre players but so much chest beating. For Eric and The Legend as well as others (Tbolt, Dan and who ever), the only way to verify if you are really that good is to set up situation where all play with and against each other to see who really has the best style and euchre skills.

So this is a challenge to play some euchre on a Internet website such as HardWood or Nidink on a weekly, mutually agreed to time and place. We use to do this all the time on Euchre Science for those who might remember this.

So if you are up to the challenge of testing your skill at euchre. Just give a yell!

Irishwolf

Tbolt65
Posts: 487
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:14 pm
Location: Las Vegas

Unread post by Tbolt65 » Wed Nov 20, 2019 11:28 pm

irishwolf wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 10:33 pm
Reading these posts it appears some good euchre players but so much chest beating. For Eric and The Legend as well as others (Tbolt, Dan and who ever), the only way to verify if you are really that good is to set up situation where all play with and against each other to see who really has the best style and euchre skills.

So this is a challenge to play some euchre on a Internet website such as HardWood or Nidink on a weekly, mutually agreed to time and place. We use to do this all the time on Euchre Science for those who might remember this.

So if you are up to the challenge of testing your skill at euchre. Just give a yell!

Irishwolf

Yeah Gerry had it going on Sundays I think. Another time Robin was doing it on Saturdays. I was actually thinking about this the other day. Too bad yahoo isn't around.

Challenge is too confrontational. Why not just set up an Ohio euchre day where people could show up and rotate in and out and ppl can watch the play. Only wished kabitz was available.

As for chest beating I have done none of the sort. I have refrained. I learned a valuable lesson last time I tried to puff out my chest vs. Another book author. (I was right btw and dont want a break down in civility that which happened before). All I want is a dialog. That's all. I can most certainly be more blunt about obvious errors but I want an open dialog where ideas can be shared.
Thats how we can learn and get a better understanding.


Tbolt65
Edward

WolfHills
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:26 pm
Location: Abingdon VA

Unread post by WolfHills » Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:31 am

I love the discussion, and the debate as a lurker on the site I really learn and apply critical thinking to everyone’s argument. I hope to see more posts on Eric’s book either pro or con and keep learning. So far Eric has not convinced me of anything but keeping an open mind. I have to remind myself there is a cost to passing.

irishwolf
Posts: 700
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:33 pm

Unread post by irishwolf » Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:50 am

Well Eric, guess what, I also do statistical analysis on euchre and euchre hands. you stated the following about your partner helping out which I want to take issue with is the percent of time, you say 40.9% takes a meaningful trick. First of all it all depends on how you play your hand. If I have 3 trumps with an ace, and made trump it all depends on how I play my hand. My partner may have trump or two trumps. I have to give him an opportunity to win a trick. In this case, statistically, only 17% of the time will he be void in trump or off suit aces. And guess what, there is less than 20% of the time your partner cannot help you - NO TRUMP NO ACES - CALCULATE IT! Compare that number with your 40.9%.

Of course if I have both bowers and keep leading trump, I deplete all options of my partner taking a trick with trump. If I do not "trust" a trick when necessary, how can my partner take help out? Euchre is a partnership game and you have to play accordingly.

You quoting that number of 40.9% - how about providing some proof and validating it? Statistical people don't provide a number without a +/- or a standard deviation to accompany it. If you know what you are doing what is the standard deviation of euchre in your research?

This calling trump 17% of the time - not a Winning strategy in euchre if your Partner plays like that as well. Euchre is a game of Aggression. A winning strategy in the long run is to not only call on biddable hands but you have to also take chances and call for your partner when the situation demands it.

Your comments suggest to me that you are not really an experienced player. You are a computer modeling and analysis type. And it would be almost impossible to simulate the psychology of the game. I can match or better you with Statistical Probability or Combinatorics of euchre - anytime! How about if I give you a hand and let you break it down on how you would play it with all the Statistics and Probabilities?

Euchre is first of all, a statistical game. It's not mathematics it's statistical probability and combinatorics. Secondly, a game of knowing your partner and how he or she plays is critical. Then the psychology of the the game, and your opponents. And luck in the game is about 40% +/-5%. What players do in Euchre is far more complex than the probabilities of the cards. You would find it difficult to model that, lol.

MAYBE YOU ARE PLAYING IT WRONG: You simple play lots of hands and count how many times the partner takes a critical trick ..." My partner wins a trick far greater than your 23% of the time.

How many games have you played against skilled players to test your skill?

And how about testing your skill, let's set up some games to test you skill?

So there is some feedback to think about.

~Irishwolf

You stated, "Much of my work on euchre was simply asking basic questions about the game and creating experiments to find the answers to those questions. For example, should you count on your partner to take a trick when you name trump? My research indicated that no other euchre book author, blogger or web site owner had ever considered such a question. I seemed to be the first. This is actually a very simple analysis to conduct which requires no computer model or "bots" as Dlan erroneously suggests. You simple play lots of hands and count how many times the partner takes a critical trick. It turns out that when you have an Ultra Aggressive Euchre player, who names trump at every possible opportunity, his partner only takes a meaningful trick to help win the hand about 40.9% of the time (n=2448 hands). This is the highest theoretical rate that a player can help his partner who names trump by taking a meaningful trick. Therefore this old-school conventional wisdom axiom - treated as the gospel truth by every euchre book, blog and website - is dead wrong. On average my partner helps me only 23% of the time to take a meaningful trick when I name trump.

I shared that story simply to emphasize that the vast majority of my euchre work is not related to my computer model ..."

MeeKer
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2019 1:57 pm

Unread post by MeeKer » Sat Nov 23, 2019 6:47 am

@irishwolf, it's great that you are doing statistical analysis on euchre.
irishwolf wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:50 am
You quoting that number of 40.9% - how about providing some proof and validating it? Statistical people don't provide a number without a +/- or a standard deviation to accompany it. If you know what you are doing what is the standard deviation of euchre in your research?
Good point, but you say:
In this case, statistically, only 17% of the time will he be void in trump or off suit aces. And guess what, there is less than 20% of the time your partner cannot help you - NO TRUMP NO ACES - CALCULATE IT!
What is the +/- or a standard deviation to accompany your "20%"? Also, it would be helpful if you show your calculations.

Then there's this:
Euchre is first of all, a statistical game. It's not mathematics it's statistical probability and combinatorics.
Are you saying that "statistical probability" is not part of mathematics? Also, how is "statistical probability" different from "probability"?
And luck in the game is about 40% +/-5%.
Please show the calculations that you used to arrive at 40% and the margin of error.

Thanks.
Last edited by MeeKer on Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

irishwolf
Posts: 700
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:33 pm

Unread post by irishwolf » Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:04 pm

So let me help you out mathematics: the abstract science of number, quantity, and space. Mathematics may be studied in its own right ( pure mathematics ), or as it is applied to other disciplines such as physics and engineering ( applied mathematics ).

One should never say mathematics when when they mean statistics, probability or combinatorics.

Mathematics is the study of numbers, shapes and patterns. ... Mathematics includes the study of: Numbers: how things can be counted. Structure: how things are organized. This subfield is usually called algebra.
Statistics is a branch of "applied" mathematics.

For the details on how to calculate, I suggest you go back to school to understand statistical pr obability, variance, standard deviation, and combinatorics. you said, "What is the +/- or a standard deviation to accompany your "20%." "What would you do with it if provided? You're lost!

irishwolf
Posts: 700
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:33 pm

Unread post by irishwolf » Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:04 pm

This is what is puzzling about Eric's comments. He states, "I analyzed a total of 1.72 million hands during the writing of my five books."
With 24 cards in euchre there are only 42,504 hands. So this needs to be explained, the 1.72 million hands.

Next he states, ...to 55 different variables per hand" I question 55 variables to consider so what are those variables?

He also states, "... aggressive player, who names trump at every possible opportunity,.. I have never met a player, any player, unless Drunk, that names trump every possible opportunity. NEVER!

I think Dan's closer to being right about his approach to Euchre play than Eric. I don't think Eric is a euchre player to any great extent. And I have yet to see a computer program that can beat two good euchre. This isn't Chess and Big Blue!

~Irishwolf

irishwolf
Posts: 700
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:33 pm

Unread post by irishwolf » Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:12 pm

This is for you Meeker: How to calculate the 42,504 hands in Euchre.
Formula is 5C24:

24 x 23 x 22 x 21 x 20 divided by 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 42,504

Irishwolf

Tbolt65
Posts: 487
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:14 pm
Location: Las Vegas

Unread post by Tbolt65 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:29 am

irishwolf wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:04 pm


He also states, "... aggressive player, who names trump at every possible opportunity,.. I have never met a player, any player, unless Drunk, that names trump every possible opportunity. NEVER!

I agree. That's one thing I Take issue(there are many however) with about the euchre player base. He(Eric) based his system off of the majority players calling in every or most situations. This just isn't true from my experience. I don't have data to back that up Eric but I've have Thousands of Euchre hours in online and live if not in the Tens of Thousands. Most people are passive to moderate callers. There are aggressive and ultra aggressive players but its is not a universal play style at all.

I think Dan's closer to being right about his approach to Euchre play than Eric. I don't think Eric is a euchre player to any great extent. And I have yet to see a computer program that can beat two good euchre. This isn't Chess and Big Blue!

I've never played with Dan at all but I have read everything he has on this site when I first registered back in June of this Year I believe. I can tell you Dan IS closer, much closer. For starters Eric rules out a lot of "key" elements in the game of euchre. He states as much too. He says multiple times he doesn't understand the play, ploys and outdated mentality and conventions. He often makes fun of it in his book and of the authors he mentions, Ie: Dan, Natty bumpo, Joe Andrews, Fred Benjamin, Perry Romanoski and Harvey Lapp. I know all these authors either personally to some extent with the Exception of Harvey(I'll be meeting him soon though for the first time) All these authors vary in Euchre Acuity but they all have a decent foundation to their game and knowledge of the game. I personally believe he was not asking the right questions and of the one's he did ask I highly suspect he wasn't fully understanding the answers he got back. He also mentions that none of the authors or bloggers could agree on much. There seemed to be a difference of opinion on how to play in certain spots and he uses this to point out the inefficiency of these old axioms and conventions because in his mind there should be a one way beats all method and as we all know Euchre is a "Situational" game and we must be prepared to adjust and always re-asses the situation.


~Irishwolf


Tbolt65
Edward

MeeKer
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2019 1:57 pm

Unread post by MeeKer » Sun Nov 24, 2019 10:44 am

irishwolf wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:12 pm
This is for you Meeker: How to calculate the 42,504 hands in Euchre.
Formula is 5C24
Actually, the formula is n!/(r! x (n-r)!).

In any case, I didn't ask you for the number of possible hands in euchre, which is something that I calculated easily when I first learned to play.

I'm asking you to provide the margin of error for your "less than 20%" after you criticized Eric for not providing a margin of error for his "40.9%". I'm sure I can understand whatever explanation you provide. For now, I won't quibble about some of your other mistakes.

As for mathematics, you provided a definition without providing a cite for that definition. (I guess it's difficult for you to copy and paste a link and, after all, there's only one definition for mathematics ... :|)

I found your definition at https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/mathematics.

From the same website, here is a definition for probability:
1.2 Mathematics The extent to which an event is likely to occur, measured by the ratio of the favourable cases to the whole number of cases possible.
https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/probability

Here's their definition for combinatorics:
The branch of mathematics dealing with combinations of objects belonging to a finite set in accordance with certain constraints, such as those of graph theory.
https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/combinatorics

Wes (aka the legend)
Posts: 1189
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:03 pm

Unread post by Wes (aka the legend) » Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:11 pm

Wes (aka the legend) wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:13 pm
Anyone notice the fatal mistake of the author? A mistake so serious that it renders all his books on the subject of euchre virtually worthless. A mistake that betrays a basic and fundamental lack of understanding of the game of euchre itself, something only a novice can be forgiven for.

Well here it is, and it ties in perfectly to the beginning of this post. In order to conclude those above hands are bad calls and to then go on making fun of how dumb those experts are, the author implicitly assumed the cost of passing = zero. The fact that passing is costly in euchre is what drives the action in the game. It's what makes euchre...well....euchre. If you completely ignore this aspect and assume passing is cost-free ,well then you're not really talking about euchre anymore, you're talking about some made up variation in your head. And it appears this rotten assumption is baked into all of his conclusions about what hands are playable and what are not. If that's the case then all of his books are nearly worthless.

I have to rescind that last sentence. I'm now on chapter 10 of "Power Euchre Volume 5" and I gotta say the work of this author is NOT worthless, in fact far from it. Here's my new updated conclusion on this: For the novice euchre player this book is too dangerous to recommend. The author has clearly demonstrated that he doesn't really know how to play euchre. Evaluating hands pretending the cost of passing doesn't exist will invariably lead anyone to becoming a poor euchre player. HOWEVER for the highly skilled euchre player who knows how to ignore the BS and take what is of value from this book, I STRONGLY recommend buying it and reading it. The simulations and evaluations of the 225 hands--that part of the book, not the other chapters where the author pontificates on why euchre experts are so dumb--is a must read. Insights will be gained. For example, let's look at Hand 44 (the score is 0-0 for all 225 hands):
EZ: "Dealer turns down the 10 of spades and names hearts trump while holding the Jack-A-K-Q of hearts and the 9 of clubs. Dealer plays with his parter.

(Card_J-H) (Card_A-H) (Card_K-H) (Card_Q-H) (Card_9-C)

Analysis:

Hand 44 wins 100% of the time and generates a mean expected outcome of 1.51 points per play based on a data sample of 223 hands played. My euchre judgement was openly questioned when I elected to play this hand with my partner during a lively game at the Indianapolis Euchre Club event in 2014.
My partner immediately asked why I did not play this hand alone. I calmly explained that my statistical analysis showed that the mean expected outcome when played with the partner is significantly higher than playing alone. At the time the other players must have thought that I was speaking in a Martian dialect because everyone at the table unanimously agreed that they would have played the hand alone. The analysis of Hand 76 [Wes: same as Hand 44 but this time dealer goes alone] demonstrates quite well that playing alone with this hand yields an expected outcome of only 1.16 points per play based on analysis of 170 hands played. The difference in the means are statistically significant at the 99% confidence level (t=5.311). On hands like this, the Power Player will bring his partner along if the non-trump card is a nine or ten and always play alone if it is a jack or higher".
Ok, here are his numbers if we just call with the above hand:

Sample size: 223 hands
Take 3 tricks: 49.33%
Takes all 5 tricks: 50.67%
Euchred: 0%
Mean expected outcome: 1.51


Here are his numbers if we go alone with that hand:

Sample size: 170 hands
Take 3 tricks: 94.7%
Takes all 5 tricks: 5.3%
Euchred: 0%
Mean expected outcome: 1.159


Just calling appears to be better than going alone (1.51 > 1.159). The obvious attack on this argument is the small sample size, but nevertheless this is still the best argument I have ever come across for advocating calling instead of going alone. I personally have always gone alone with that holding except at 8/9. The idea that I could be wrong is fascinating and exciting.

Ok, now I'm gonna ask you guys two things (and by 'you guys' I mean everyone in this forum):

1) Are there other flaws in this argument that I'm missing?

2) Despite any flaws there may be do you guys find this argument compelling enough to just call with the above hand at 0-0?

Tbolt65
Posts: 487
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:14 pm
Location: Las Vegas

Unread post by Tbolt65 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:11 pm

1. He says dealer turns down spades and then he calls hearts. Unless it's a very passive game to moderate he won't be getting the option to call in the 4th position a second time. That's the only flaw I see. But it's not really one though. It's just a situation that was set up and to call that a flaw is not correct.

2. You already know my answer. I'm calling. (Edit) for 2pts that is.

Tbolt65
Edward

irishwolf
Posts: 700
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:33 pm

Unread post by irishwolf » Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:13 am

I am not doing your work for you Meeker. I charge for that! You might be Eric or his co-author. I smell a rat! And 5C24 is the notation.

There are so many holes, weakness, in Eric bid system it's not funny. For example giving Ace King of trump the same value as the 9 and 10. Ridiculous!

irishwolf
Posts: 700
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:33 pm

Unread post by irishwolf » Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:09 am

Wes
I do agree in this situation, go for 2 because opponents get to eliminate one off suit on the 1st lead. To breakeven with the sweeps you have to be at 25.3% successful loners. 5% loners made is not even close to sweep pts. Must have been playing STD but it does not say. That might be important variable here. Nevertheless, one suit eliminated on first lead and opponents are likely to have both others left covered (not sure at 95%?).

Turn this hand around and give it to eldest the chance for a loner where he has the same hand. I say go alone as you can squeeze the holder if they might come down to two aces. I think the outcome might be different.

Wes (aka the legend)
Posts: 1189
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:03 pm

Unread post by Wes (aka the legend) » Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:25 am

irishwolf wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:09 am
Wes
I do agree in this situation, go for 2 because opponents get to eliminate one off suit on the 1st lead. To breakeven with the sweeps you have to be at 25.3% successful loners. 5% loners made is not even close to sweep pts. Must have been playing STD but it does not say. That might be important variable here. Nevertheless, one suit eliminated on first lead and opponents are likely to have both others left covered (not sure at 95%?).

Turn this hand around and give it to eldest the chance for a loner where he has the same hand. I say go alone as you can squeeze the holder if they might come down to two aces. I think the outcome might be different.
Thanks for the response Irishwolf. Given the evidence at hand, I'm gonna take this loner out of my game. I don't like the small sample sizes but that's the best we got. The fact that other strong players like you and tbolt are just calling in this spot adds to the case. I agree that going alone with this hand has much better prospects from Seat 1 for the reason you mentioned--the enemy gets no prior clue what our offsuit may be.

Here's a hand example from Zalas' book that supports the idea that one should go alone with this type of hand from the 1 seat (or at least it doesn't refute it):
EZ: "Dealer turns down the 9 of hearts. Seat #1 holds the Jack-K-10 of clubs, the Jack of spades, and the 9 of diamonds. Seat #1 names clubs trump and plays alone. EO = 1.579

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

Analysis: I call this classic the "four sledge hammers and a mouse" hand.
Virtually every player I bump into wants to play this hand alone at every single opportunity. In this case seat #1 has a great advantage considering that he can lead both black bowers right out of the starting gate and carpet bomb his opponents. Hand 41 wins 100% of the time while generating a mean expected outcome of 1.579 points per play based on a data set of 341 hands played.
Would you play this hand alone or play with your partner? If you play alone you are gambling that the lowly 9 of diamonds can "squeak" through the gauntlet on the fifth trick, hence, the mouse metaphor. This bet pays off roughly 20% of the time. In contrast playing the same hand with your partner will allow your team to take all five tricks about 55% of the time for a mean expected outcome of 1.546 points per play based on a data set of 183 hands played. There is no difference, statistically speaking, between the two plays. The Power Player prefers to play with his partner when the non-trump mouse card is a nine simply because the odds are in his favor to make an explosive play [Wes: If I recall correctly, an explosive play is defined as 2 points or more]. The Power Player will generally play alone when the non-trump mouse card is a jack or higher."

irishwolf
Posts: 700
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:33 pm

Unread post by irishwolf » Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:09 am

I have often taken my partner along Except when way down in score like 7, 8 or 9 to a low score. Experience in my loners not going through tells me it the correct strategy.
I do want to make a comment about his testing methods. First of all how did he do his test? To have two rounds, 7 passes and no one made trump. I am speaking about the 223 hands with partner vs 170 hands alone, total of 393 hands. For each hand which favors making clubs next dealer's opponents, JC JS AC KC QC 10 ... For each hand, 5 cards to 3 players all have to be non biddable hands. For each hand passed he would have had to toss out, I estimate 4 o 5 biddable hands or assist hands by his partner in spades. It would be extremely difficult and time consuming to program this I estimate 5 times the 393 hands, about 2000 hands. And if he did this by hand and then he has play them out. And in euchre, eldest has three suits to choose from to lead. Sometimes it a toss up as to lead this suit or that suit. Meaning sometimes he playing each hand at leas twice. Not to mention when Pone gets squeezed with a choice between two cards. How was that done?

Secondly, to another issue on testing methods. This one actually is just COMMON SENSE, think about it. We or he is just trying to determine the best strategy for going alone vs taking partner along. For a really Valid test, it has to be done with each hand played two ways - WITH PARTNER vs ALONE (same hand). It's called a PAIRED COMPARISON TEST. Set up correctly then you see if statistically valid by going to a table. It will also give you the variance (+/-). So when I see 223 hands vs 170 he did not set up the test that would be accepted in the academic field, yet he said he had experts evaluate. He would have spend hours and hours playing out hands.

So the next question, did he do this all the way through his 5 series of books? I am not wasting my money although there could be some good caveats.

There is another question about how the hand might be played out when taking your partner along. So the majority of time the dealer will be trumping the first trick. Then leads a Bower. If the opponents have have no trump, does his program keeping leading trump or play the 9c loser? Same question if he leads both bowers and gets down to trick 4, does he lead another trump, and possibly squeezing his partner's aces? So only he knows how he programmed his bots.

~Irishwolf

_____________________________________________________________

Ok, here are his numbers if we just call with the above hand (refer to previous posts):

Sample size: 223 hands
Take 3 tricks: 49.33%
Takes all 5 tricks: 50.67%
Euchred: 0%
Mean expected outcome: 1.51

Here are his numbers if we go alone with that hand:

Sample size: 170 hands
Take 3 tricks: 94.7%
Takes all 5 tricks: 5.3%
Euchred: 0%
Mean expected outcome: 1.159

Just calling appears to be better than going alone (1.51 > 1.159). The obvious attack on this argument is the small sample size

Wes (aka the legend)
Posts: 1189
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:03 pm

Unread post by Wes (aka the legend) » Mon Nov 25, 2019 5:20 pm

Wes (aka the legend) wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:25 am
Thanks for the response Irishwolf. Given the evidence at hand, I'm gonna take this loner out of my game. I don't like the small sample sizes but that's the best we got. The fact that other strong players like you and tbolt are just calling in this spot adds to the case. I agree that going alone with this hand has much better prospects from Seat 1 for the reason you mentioned--the enemy gets no prior clue what our offsuit may be.
Here's one more example of this hand configuration from the dealer spot that suggest it's a virtual tie between going alone and bringing your partner along (assume score is 0-0). Bringing your partner edged out going alone but the difference was not statistically significant:
EZ: Hand 48

"Dealer holds the Jack-A-Q-9 of clubs and the 9 of diamonds after discarding the 9 of hearts. Dealer names clubs trump and plays alone. EO = 1.435

(Card_J-C) (Card_A-C) (Card_Q-C) (Card_9-C) (Card_9-D)

Analysis: Hand 48 is identical to hand 45, except this time the dealer plays alone. This is one more version of the classic "four sledge hammers and a mouse" euchre hand which most experienced euchre players play in a suboptimal way. When played alone, Hand 48 wins 100% of the time and generates a mean expected outcome of 1.435 points per play based on a data sample of 276 hands played. There is no statistical difference in mean expected outcome when this hand is played alone or with the partner at this sample size.

The Power Player always plays this hand with his partner because by doing so he has a 47.5% chance to make an explosive play (i.e., take all five tricks and score two points). My statistical analysis demonstrates that a team having just one more explosive play than their opponents eventually goes on to win that game 70% of the time."

[Wes: Note, in hand 45 the EO of just calling with this hand was 1.476]
I suppose there is still room for a rational person to justify going alone with these hands given the unsatisfactory sample sizes that suggest bringing one's partner along is marginally better. I personally am surrendering at this point and only going alone with an off jack or better in this spot.

irishwolf
Posts: 700
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:33 pm

Unread post by irishwolf » Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:27 pm

Well, guess what I found a very important issue with Eric's hand below. The whole premise of taking your partner alone here is the Sweeps of 50.68% of the time. However, this high percentage is NOT statistically possible for randomly shuffled cards over 223 hands. The dealer has to have his partner win this low card trick. And must I say in randomly dealt cards the odds are 2:1 against the dealer making a SWEEP. The breakdown is 33.3% for the dealer's partner to win that trick with the AC (or KC if AC is buried, or QC if both are buried) compared to 66% opponents will win the trick. So we have 33.3% compared to his numbers of 50.68%. He is off by 17.38% on hand 45. The issue same for the Hand 48. So is Eric's partner Ah Sin from "The Heathen Chinee", originally published as "Plain Language from Truthful James" with cards up his sleeve. Just joking there but not joking that Eric needs to explain why his numbers are Statistically Different from random distribution of the cards.

Eric needs to explain how he came up with so many "Sweeps"? If this is incorrect on two hands, what else might be in error in his books?

Now it gives me reason to question if the successful Loner Rate is really 5%. He did such a low sample size the +/- number will be really high (+/- 12). Still you have to approach a euchre rate of 1 in 6 attempts to just breakeven. The Standard for sample size is about 400 hand samples. More than 800 gives you no better accuracy, practically for the effort. However, samples have to statistically represent the population under consideration.

~Irishwolf

_______________________________________________________________

Ok, here are his numbers if we just call with the above hand (refer to previous posts):

Sample size: 223 hands
Take 3 tricks: 49.33%
Takes all 5 tricks: 50.67%
Euchred: 0%
Mean expected outcome: 1.51

Wes (aka the legend)
Posts: 1189
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:03 pm

Unread post by Wes (aka the legend) » Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:41 pm

irishwolf wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:27 pm
Well, guess what I found a very important issue with Eric's hand below. The whole premise of taking your partner alone here is the Sweeps of 50.68% of the time. However, this high percentage is NOT statistically possible for randomly shuffled cards over 223 hands. The dealer has to have his partner win this low card trick. And must I say in randomly dealt cards the odds are 2:1 against the dealer making a SWEEP. The breakdown is 33.3% for the dealer's partner to win that trick with the AC (or KC if AC is buried, or QC if both are buried) compared to 66% opponents will win the trick. So we have 33.3% compared to his numbers of 50.68%. He is off by 17.38% on hand 45. The issue same for the Hand 48. So is Eric's partner Ah Sin from "The Heathen Chinee", originally published as "Plain Language from Truthful James" with cards up his sleeve. Just joking there but not joking that Eric needs to explain why his numbers are Statistically Different from random distribution of the cards.
Now this is the kind've stuff I like seeing posted! The main reason I posted these hands was in hopes that the stat people around here could verify or poke some holes in these numbers. I agree that the 50.67% sweep numbers seems too high, but I don't have the ability to prove it. For the record, the sweep number for hand 44:

(Card_J-H) (Card_A-H) (Card_K-H) (Card_Q-H) (Card_9-C)

Sweep %: 50.67%.
N = 223


And the Sweep % for hand 45:

(Card_J-C) (Card_A-C) (Card_Q-C) (Card_9-C) (Card_9-D)

Sweep %: 47.55%
N = 286


If Irishwolf is right that the sweep % should actually be closer to 33% then that can possibly change EVERYTHING here. Possibly. It would still all come down to how often we really sweep those loners.
irishwolf wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:27 pm
Now it gives me reason to question if the successful Loner Rate is really 5%. He did such a low sample size the +/- number will be really high (+/- 12). Still you have to approach a euchre rate of 1 in 6 attempts to just breakeven. The Standard for sample size is about 400 hand samples. More than 800 gives you no better accuracy, practically for the effort. However, samples have to statistically represent the population under consideration.

~
The loner sweep % also seemed off to me. Intuitively I would've guessed it to be around 10-15%. I was very surprised at the 5% number. Again, here are the loner sweep numbers for hand 76 (same as hand 44 but now going alone):

(Card_J-H) (Card_A-H) (Card_K-H) (Card_Q-H) (Card_9-C)

Sweep %: 5.3%
N = 170


For hand 48 (Same as hand 45 but now going alone):

(Card_J-C) (Card_A-C) (Card_Q-C) (Card_9-C) (Card_9-D)

Sweep%: 14.49%
N = 276

Richardb02
Posts: 581
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:57 pm
Location: Florida

Unread post by Richardb02 » Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:34 pm

Wes (aka the legend) wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:13 pm
Just calling appears to be better than going alone (1.51 > 1.159). The obvious attack on this argument is the small sample size, but nevertheless this is still the best argument I have ever come across for advocating calling instead of going alone. I personally have always gone alone with that holding except at 8/9. The idea that I could be wrong is fascinating and exciting.

Ok, now I'm gonna ask you guys two things (and by 'you guys' I mean everyone in this forum):

1) Are there other flaws in this argument that I'm missing?

2) Despite any flaws there may be do you guys find this argument compelling enough to just call with the above hand at 0-0?
I work with simple analysis. I would analyze this hand:
With my Partner:
On average Partner will have the 5th trick 1/3 of the time (One Partner vs. 2 opponents = 1/3 chance Partner has the 5th trick. So:
67% chance of 1point + 33% chance of 2 points = 1.34 points per hand

If I go Alone:
I expect to take 3 tricks 100% of the time.
If I have a Kc
The odds that the Ac is in the kitty or Partner's cards is 9/19 or 47.3%
So: 52.7% chance of 1 point + 47.3% chance of 4 points = 2.89 Points/ hand
If I have a Qc
The odds that the Ac or the Kc is in the kitty or Partner's cards is 9/19 or 47.3% x 9/19 = 22.4%
So: 77.6% chance of 1 point + 22.4% chance of 4 points = 1.86 Points/ hand
If I have a Jc
The odds that the A, K or Q is in the kitty or Partner's cards is 9/19 x 9/19 x 9/19 = 10.6%
So: 89.4 chance of 1 point + 10.6% chance of 4 points = 1.31 Points/ hand
If have a 10c
The odds that the A, K, Q or H is in the kitty or Partner's cards is 5%
So: 95 chance of 1 point + 5% chance of 4 points = 1.15 Points/ hand

So I am going Alone if I have a Jc since 1.34 with partner vs. 1.31 Alone is too close to call.
I would also err on the side of going Alone because the probability that I would pull the winning clubs card from the Opponents' hand on the 4th trick.

My conclusion, if there are 3 cards that can stop my Loner, (I have the Jc in the example), I am definitely going Alone. If there are 4 cards that can stop my Loner, I will go Alone, unless 2 points is important because of the score.

irishwolf
Posts: 700
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:33 pm

Unread post by irishwolf » Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:24 pm

Richard & Wes

Richard there are not 19 unknown cards. Dealer upcard plus what he holds is six - 24 = 18 cards.

Wes, I intended to add that calculating when the Opponents have No clubs is easy and it is less than 5% but that is only a small part of the equation. You and I know when defending against a loner, it is what you both save for the last card. This is much higher variance than when both are totally void. There are five unknown clubs, all higher than the 9D or 9C. You can get squeezed and this is the unknown percentage and could be wide swings on these. I am not sure it's worth the effort as the variance will be high but not reach 17%.

If the last card is the 10C or 10D, I think it will be a wash (breakeven). One less card and the percentages go up about 7% for each rank in card. So for me, I am taking my partner but not if I hold the 10 or higher. To each his own! I am done, moving on! It's up to Eric to weigh in, it's his mess.

~Irishwolf

cgutowski
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:51 am

Unread post by cgutowski » Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:59 am

You guys are assuming your partner has to win with an AC or KC, but there are other opportunities.
Your partner could have a trump and let you dump the 9 off the opening hand.
Your partner could have an Ace in another suit that gets lead in opening hand and lets you dump the 9.
Your partner could have 2 trump and give you the chance to play the 9 back to him early. Where the trump are should be pretty clear after you play the J.

These all raise the sweep % above 33%. Not sure if 50% but I wouldn't be surprised.

irishwolf
Posts: 700
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:33 pm

Unread post by irishwolf » Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:08 pm

cgutowski, good observation.

However, there are other things as well to factor in. If an ace is led by eldest and dealer's partner trumps it and has nothing to lead, or even leads an ace, eldest is behind the dealer and could over trump - the likelihood could be as high as 15%.

I see that the 33% might be less at times. Also consider that the AC might not even come into play if the opponents have the Left guarded. That number could be 27 opponents will have the left guarded as there are 3 unknown trumps, one being the Left. True, if dealer's partner has an ace to the first lead dealer sloughs the loser, but he could also obstruct his partner on his 2nd lead with eldest behind the dealer.

Many variables to consider. Okay give the dealer's side a few more marches but certainly will not be improve sweeps by 17%.

The whole point of all the discussion was for Eric to EXPLAIN the high Sweeps!

~Irishwolf

Tbolt65
Posts: 487
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:14 pm
Location: Las Vegas

Unread post by Tbolt65 » Tue Nov 26, 2019 3:35 pm

irishwolf wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:08 pm


The whole point of all the discussion was for Eric to EXPLAIN the high Sweeps!

~Irishwolf
Amongst other things as well and it doesn't look like that's goin to happen. There is a whole resource of information (people)here along with the math smarts to engage in meaningful dialog to further discuss euchre and what author means and to get a better understanding what the author was conveying. It seemed like from Eric's First and only post here at ohioeuchre which is quoted in full at the beginning of this thread. That he has some insights gathered over the 9 years and that no other math or statistician has come to him to ask questions of him yet. Well there are people here who are asking questions but no response thus far. We shall see what happens but the likelihood of a response grows dimmer each day.

Tbolt65
Edward

Wes (aka the legend)
Posts: 1189
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:03 pm

Unread post by Wes (aka the legend) » Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:21 pm

cgutowski wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:59 am
You guys are assuming your partner has to win with an AC or KC, but there are other opportunities.
Your partner could have a trump and let you dump the 9 off the opening hand.
Your partner could have an Ace in another suit that gets lead in opening hand and lets you dump the 9.
Your partner could have 2 trump and give you the chance to play the 9 back to him early. Where the trump are should be pretty clear after you play the J.

These all raise the sweep % above 33%. Not sure if 50% but I wouldn't be surprised.
Good point cgutowski. So the sweep % of calling is somewhere between 33% and 50%. Let's assume that the sweep % of bringing your partner along = 40%, a reasonable assumption I think, and let's assume that the sweep % of going alone = 10%, an assumption that's kind've right in the middle of the two simulations from the book. Now using this probability chart can can figure out which strategy is better (http://members.tripod.com/borf_books/euchprob.htm):

If we go alone 10% of the time our team will be up 4-0 on our opponent's deal with 75% equity, and 90% of the time our team will be up 1-0 on our opponent's deal with 55% equity.

If we bring our partner along, 40% of the time we sweep and have 62% equity up 2-0 on our opponent's deal, and 60% of the time we get 1 point netting us 55% equity up 1-0 on our opponent's deal.

Going alone: (.10 x .75) + (.90 x .55) = 57%

Just calling: (.40 x .62) + (.60 x .55) = 57.8%


So it's very close with an edge towards bringing your partner along.

What if we assume a loner sweep % of 15% and a calling sweep % of 45%:

Going alone: (.15 x .75) + (.85 x .55) = 58%

Just calling: (.45 x .62) + (.55 x .55) = 58.15%


Once again it's close, but calling edges out going alone. As before, I'm now inclined to believe that calling is better than going alone in this spot when our offsuit loser is a 9 but it's still close enough where we really don't know for certainty without a larger sample.

Edit: One intriguing argument for going alone would be: Sure just calling edges out going alone but you're not factoring in the fact that you're usually playing opponents who are not very good at euchre, who don't defend against loners well--opponents who usually do not know how to lead correctly vs loners or legally communicate with their partner through proper card laying during the course of the loner. That could easily, and perhaps even probably swings things towards the loner side. Something for all of us to think about.

Wes (aka the legend)
Posts: 1189
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:03 pm

Unread post by Wes (aka the legend) » Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:17 pm

Dlan wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:35 pm
Here you go,

https://ohioeuchre.com/EuchreSelfAssessment.htm
Score is 0-0 for all hands. I will answer this "quiz" as if it IS stick the dealer even tho it's not due to the fact that STD is the most common variation of the game.

1) (Card_J-H) upcard. We are in Seat 3 with:

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

I pass. In my estimation the dealer will pick up too often to warrant calling ourselves and fighting for a point. Better to try and trap the dealer. The only time I'm calling with this holding is if the score is 9-9, or my team is up 9-x where x = 7 or below. Then I'm trying to close out the game.

2) (Card_J-C) upcard. We are in Seat 3 with:

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

Same story. I'm passing to try to trap the dealer rather than calling for a point. Again, at 9-9 or 9-x where x = 7 or below I'm calling to try to close out the game.

3) (Card_J-C) upcard. We are in Seat 1 with:

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

With no reads I call. Our hand is strong enough to fight for a point and we have no where to go in the 2nd round should the dealer pass. If however we know that the dealer is a very aggressive player--say like me, someone who is picking up with Right + 1 and sometimes even picking up with only the Right if they don't block much and have a non-tripleton green ace or even a singleton next ace to go with it--then the math could easily show that passing this hand with the intention of trapping the dealer is the best play despite the fact that we're screwed if the dealer passes. So against most people call, against very aggressive players it's a math problem.

4) (Card_9-S) upcard. We are the dealer, We turned down the (Card_9-S) and the action gets back to us in the 2nd round with:

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

Not sure why we're turning down the 9s in the first round when picking that up gives us Left + 1 and two perfect outside aces--an easy and necessary call to make when we only block 1 out of the 3 remaining suits in the 2nd round, but whatever, let's assume we misclicked and passed.

For me it's very close between calling clubs and going alone in clubs. In an average game setting I'm taking a shot and going alone. It is quite rare to have the perfect outside Ace configuration--two green aces with no gap in the suited ace. When I'm fortunate enough to get that I will loosen up a tad and take more chances. For example, you give me the perfect outside ace setup and I'll go alone in Next with Just Left-9 or even AK in trump. And in the 2 seat, 1st rd like in my quiz, I'll go alone with Left-Ace in trump. All that said, in the actual hand, just calling clubs here at 0-0 is fine to me. It could easily be the optimal play. But I'm going alone in clubs becuz I can't help myself.

5) (Card_Q-S) is turned down by the dealer. You're in Seat 1 with:

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

Call Next. Passing this good of a hand when you block no suits would be absolutely criminal.

6) You turn down the (Card_9-D) as the dealer. The action gets back to you with:

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

Go alone. Right + 2 + a suited ace = party time.

7) (Card_J-H) upcard. You're in Seat 2 with:

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

This hand is heavily dependent on the nature of your partner. My default mode is to call becuz 99% of the euchre population cannot be trusted. If my partner is one of the special 1% who I can trust, then I pass.

8) You turn down the (Card_9-D) as the dealer and the action gets back to you with:

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

Call clubs.

9) You turn down the (Card_9-D) as the dealer and the action gets back to you with:

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

Call clubs.

10) The dealer turns down the (Card_J-S). You're in the 1 seat with:

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

Call Next.

11) You turn down the (Card_9-S) as the dealer and the action gets back to you with:

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

Call diamonds.

12) The dealer turns down the (Card_K-D). You're in the 1 seat with:

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

Call next.

13) Dealer turns down the (Card_9-D). You're in the 1 seat with:

(Card_J-C) (Card_A-C) (Card_10-C) (Card_Q-D) (Card_9-H)

Call clubs.

14) You turn down the (Card_9-H) as the dealer and the action gets back to you with:

(Card_J-C) (Card_9-C) (Card_A-S) (Card_A-D) (Card_K-D)

Go alone in clubs.

15) Dealer turns down the (Card_J-S). You're in the 1 seat with:

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

Call Next. Two trump + an off ace + a void is an auto-call when you block no suits. This is a comfortably +EV call when you factor in the cost of passing.

16) Dealer turns down the (Card_9-C). You're in Seat 1 with:

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

When I block no suits I'm calling something at 0-0. The cost of passing is high enough to make calling next with no trump + 2 off aces a +EV call. But the thing is I also believe crossing the river in hearts is a +EV call. So what's better? Next with no trump + 2 aces with no voids or Crossing the river with 2 low trump + two off aces + a void. I suspect it's actually the latter. I've played it both ways, which doesn't really mean much, cuz we need hard data to really decide but I actually think a heart call is the best course. I didn't always think that, but I think it now. What complicates this spot tho is if you have a pro as a partner who correctly bags the dealer in the first round depending on you to hit him in Next in the 2nd. In this scenario a Next call is even more likely to work than normal and could easily swing the math back to calling Next. On that account I'm not sure.

17) You turn down the (Card_9-H) as the dealer. The action gets back to you with:

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

Call diamonds.

18) Dealer turns down the (Card_9-C). You're in the 1 seat with:

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

Go alone in Diamonds. You have the lead, you have no holes in your hand, and your partner is very unlikely to be able to help you when you have Left-A-X. Standard loner.

19) You turn down the (Card_9-S) as the dealer and the action gets back to you with:

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

Call hearts.

20) You turn down the (Card_9-H) as the dealer and the action gets back to you with:

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

Go alone in clubs.

21) You turn down the (Card_9-D) as the dealer and the action gets back to you with:

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

Call clubs. If down 9-6, go alone in clubs.

22) Dealers turns down the (Card_9-H). You're in Seat 1 with:

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

Call Next.

23) Dealers turns down the (Card_9-D). You're in the 2 seat with:

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

I'm not passing when I block no suits so I'm calling something. The question is should I call hearts with 2 trump + 3 aces or should I call reverse next with 1 trump + two off aces. I'm going with reverse next in either clubs or spades with 1 trump + two off aces.

Counterargument: this could be one of those spots where passing without having any suits blocked could be ok. Number one, we can cause a next call from 3rd some problems with 2 trump + 3 aces, and no matter what 3rd seat may call we will always have at least 2 aces to work with which is often half the recipe to a euchre if our partner can have some trump which he often will if 3rd seat calls black. Plus if 3rd seat goes alone we have a decent chance to stop him with our 2-3 aces (we only have 3 aces if he goes alone in hearts). And if 3rd seat passes we're happy with the fact that we never put ourselves in spot where we could guess the wrong suit. With this much going for our hand on defense it may not be worth calling reverse next with just 1 trump. This is another spot I wish I could simulate. That said, if Seat 1 is a pro there is no argument. Always pass this hand in that case. Calling reverse next with 1 trump isn't gonna work out well when a pro passes from the 1 spot, 2nd rd.

24) (Card_9-H) upcard. You're in Seat 1 with:

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

This one is tougher than it looks imo. The question is do we call in the first round or do we bag in the first round with the intention of calling Next with the Right and the turned down suit off ace. If the dealer is your average player who is not that aggressive then call in the first round. If the dealer is someone like me, it may easily be best to pass and try to trap. One thing that should be mentioned, passing in the first round with the intention of passing in the 2nd round is not an option when you don't block reverse next. So there's only two strategies to consider here and most of the time ordering in the first round will be the correct course of action in my estimation.

25) You turn down the (Card_9-D) as the dealer and the action gets back to you with:

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

Go alone in clubs.

26) You turn down the (Card_9-H) as the dealer and the action gets back to you with:

(Card_J-C) (Card_J-S) (Card_9-C) (Card_K-D) (Card_Q-D)

Go alone in clubs.

27) You turn down the (Card_10-H) as the dealer and the action gets back to you with:

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

Call clubs or spades.

28) (Card_J-C) upcard. You're in Seat 3 with:

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

Pass. It's not worth fighting for a point when the dealer will pick up often enough. Try to trap him. Call at 9-9 or up 9-X where X = 7 or below to try to close out the game.

29) Dealer turns down the (Card_Q-D). You're in the 2 seat with:

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

Call reverse next in clubs. Don't pass in this spot when you block nothing. Try to hit your partner. Two trump + an off ace with no voids is good enough when you consider the cost of passing.

30) (Card_9-H) upcard. You're in Seat 1 with:

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

I guess the question is whether to donate or not? Well at 0-0 I would not donate here. Yes we have no trump, which is always worrisome, but the fact that it's vs a 9 upcard and we have a place to go in the 2nd round (Clubs) should the dealer pass means I'm passing. Plus, it's not the end of the world if the dealers gets a loner sweep at 0-0. It's still early in the game. Now change the score to up 8-5, and yes I'm donating with no trump + one off ace.

31) (Card_A-D) upcard. You're in Seat 2 with:

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

Call Diamonds with Left+1 and an off ace. Do not pass Left + 1 and an off ace from the 2 seat when you only block 1 out of the 3 remaining 2nd rd suits.

Counterargument: what if Seat 1 aggressively calls Next? You have a hand that could cause him some trouble. Then whether we should pass or not in the 1st rd becomes a math problem. 99% of the time this will be a clear first rd call.

32) (Card_K-H) upcard. You're in Seat 1 with:

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

This one's very close between calling hearts in the first round or passing trying to trap with the intention of calling next with the Right + 2 aces. At the very least, I think one would not go to wrong by calling this in the first round vs average/passive players and passing this vs aggressive players. The thing is though, a next call consisting of the Right + two off aces may be strong enough to warrant always passing in the first rd regardless of reads. That is the question. With no reads or vs just your average player I'm passing in the first rd. If the dealer is super passive tho, then I'm calling.

33) (Card_J-C) upcard. You're in Seat 3 with:

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

With no reads call clubs. However, if you have a really good partner that knows how to call next and the dealer is an aggressive player who will always pick up with Right + 1 unless they block all suits, or will pick up with just the Right + an off ace when they don't block much, then bag the f**k out of the dealer! Also, if your team is down 9-8, and the dealer is an aggressive player, bag for the win!

34) You turn down the (Card_9-S) as the dealer and the action gets back to you with:

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

Call hearts.

35) Dealer turns down the (Card_9-H). You're in Seat 1 with:

(Card_J-S) (Card_J-C) (Card_A-C) (Card_K-C) (Card_9-D)

Go alone in clubs. As mentioned in this thread, this hand is different than the dealer spot. With the lead, your opponents get no clue where your offsuit loser is at until it's too late (hopefully!). I think that's enough to change the odds in favor of going alone.

36) You turn down the (Card_9-H) as the dealer and the action gets back to you with:

(Card_K-C) (Card_Q-C) (Card_9-C) (Card_A-S) (Card_A-D)

Call clubs. If down 9-6, go alone in clubs. Your hand has no holes and only needs 3 cards buried. It's worth a shot, unless you know for a fact that Seat 1 is a pro, then you have no shot at 4 pts so just call.

37) Dealer turns down the (Card_J-H). You're in Seat 1 with:

(Card_A-C) (Card_10-C) (Card_A-S) (Card_A-D) (Card_9-D)

Call diamonds. If down 9-6 or down big this is a MUST go alone in diamonds.

38) You turn down the (Card_9-H) as the dealer and the action gets back to you with:

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

Go alone in clubs.

39) (Card_J-D) upcard. You're in Seat 3 with:

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

Same story as before with this spot. Pass and try to trap. The dealer will pick up/or your partner will have a 2nd rd hand, often enough. Call at 9-9 or up 9-X if X = 7 or below.

40) Dealer turns down the (Card_9-D). You're in Seat 2 with:

(Card_J-C) (Card_K-C) (Card_9-C) (Card_Q-H) (Card_9-H)

Call clubs. Go alone down 9-6. Same caveat as before (I won't mention it again but it's always there): If seat 1 is a pro, just call cuz a loner sweep is never happening.

41) (Card_10-C) upcard. You're in the 2 seat with:

(Card_J-C) (Card_A-C) (Card_Q-C) (Card_Q-S) (Card_10-S)

Call Clubs. Go alone down 9-6.

42) You turn down the (Card_9-D) as the dealer and the action gets back to you with:

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

Go alone in spades. Just calling with this strong of a hand would be criminal.

43) (Card_J-C) upcard. You're in Seat 2 with:

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

Obvious pass. This is a call at 9-9 tho (the onus is on Seat 2 to loosen up in this spot), and arguably a call down 9-8 but I wouldn't call down 9-8 with this holding becuz with no safe lead-back I could easily screw up a 2 point play. I'd rather give my partner a chance to go alone if he has one of those hands where bringing a partner can screw things up. With no trump in my hand my partner will not be passing often, and if my partner does pass I could cause a little trouble to a next call and if the action gets back to me I have a nice diamonds call. Change the (Card_9-D) into the (Card_9-C) and now I'm calling down 9-8.

44) Dealer turns down the (Card_9-H). You're in the 1 seat with:

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

Call clubs. It's not the greatest call, we are crossing the river, and we're 3 suited with no aces. It's a marginal hand that will get euchred more than we like. But not blocking diamonds (and having a potential dead hand to a diamonds call) is enough for me not to pass Left+2 here. This call still nets our team points in the long run so best to play it safe in case Seat 2 is sitting on a diamonds hand.

45) Dealer turns down the (Card_Q-H). You're in the 1 seat with:

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

This hand's close between passing and calling clubs. Your opponents turned down a red card and you have nearly 2 tricks in reverse next. I think passing is defensible here. Then again, passing without a single diamond in my hand does make me a bit paranoid--euchre will tend to do that to you. If one wants to call clubs and try to eke out a point just in case Seat 2 is sitting on those diamonds I can't blame them. I have a saying (9-9 scenarios excluded): Never call marginal from Seat 1, 2nd rd when you have reverse next blocked (and keep in mind we don't just have reverse next blocked, we have nearly 2 tricks in both black suits). Calling clubs violates my maxim. IDK man, I'm sympathetic towards both lines. I wish I could simulate this spot. This hand hurts my brain. At 0-0 I pass, with a big lead or up 9-7 I'm calling clubs just in case. If one did call clubs keep in mind there is only one correct lead! The (Card_10-S)

46) You turn down the (Card_9-H) as the dealer and the action gets back to you with:

(Card_J-S) (Card_A-C) (Card_K-C) (Card_Q-C) (Card_10-C)

Clubs alone.

47) (Card_9-H) upcard, you're in Seat 1 with:

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

Pass in the first round. Never call marginal when you have all suits blocked. Ordering the enemy up with Left-A-10 and nothing else is marginal. If the dealer passes, pass again. No reason to call in the 2nd rd. Same story, don't call marginal when you have all suits blocked. In this case you have a decent euchre hand to play with.

48) You turn down the (Card_9-H) as the dealer and the action gets back to you with:

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

Alone Clubs.

49) (Card_J-H) upcard. You are the dealer. If you pick up you would bury the (Card_9-D). You have:

(Card_K-D) (Card_Q-D) (Card_9-D) (Card_A-C) (Card_A-S)

So the question is do we pass or call? With 2 singleton green aces to work with and only blocking 1 out of 3 second round hands, I'm picking up the Right. This is a solid defensive call with a hand that has enough offensive potential in it's own right. The temptation of course is to pass and try to trap Seat 1 into a nearly hopeless next call. If someone like me is in Seat 1 the temptation gets even stronger as my Next range will be super wide when the Right is turned down. IDK ultimately that idea becomes a math problem and we have to factor in those times I'm sitting on a black loner or a strong black hand, but it's possible this trap strategy could be profitable vs me despite the risks. Again, it's a math problem that is only worth doing vs less than 1% of the euchre population. The default play here is to call. There are still less risky hand combos you can trap a Next call with that has all suits blocked.

50) You turn down the (Card_9-D) as the dealer and the action gets back to you with:

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

Alone clubs.

Richardb02
Posts: 581
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:57 pm
Location: Florida

Unread post by Richardb02 » Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:15 pm

Thank you IrishWolf, here are adjusted probabilities.
Richardb02 wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:34 pm
Wes (aka the legend) wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:13 pm
Just calling appears to be better than going alone (1.51 > 1.159). The obvious attack on this argument is the small sample size, but nevertheless this is still the best argument I have ever come across for advocating calling instead of going alone. I personally have always gone alone with that holding except at 8/9. The idea that I could be wrong is fascinating and exciting.

Ok, now I'm gonna ask you guys two things (and by 'you guys' I mean everyone in this forum):

1) Are there other flaws in this argument that I'm missing?

2) Despite any flaws there may be do you guys find this argument compelling enough to just call with the above hand at 0-0?
I work with simple analysis. I would analyze this hand:
With my Partner:
On average Partner will have the 5th trick 1/3 of the time (One Partner vs. 2 opponents = 1/3 chance Partner has the 5th trick. So:
67% chance of 1point + 33% chance of 2 points = 1.34 points per hand

My 1.34 points per hand compares to Eric Zalas 1.51. His estimate fails the “smell test”. He requires his partner to provide the winning off trump card 50% of the time! How can that be possible when Partner only controls 1/3 of the cards in players hands? How can Partner all of the sudden have the needed trick for 50% of the time, when on average, Eric Zalas states that partner only contributes a meaningful trick 23% of the time!?

If I go Alone:
I expect to take 3 tricks 100% of the time.
If I have a Kc
The odds that the Ac is in the kitty or Partner's cards is 9/18 or 50%
So: 50% chance of 1 point + 50% chance of 4 points = 3.00 Points/ hand
If I have a Qc
The odds that the Ac or the Kc is in the kitty or Partner's cards is 9/18 or 50% x 9/18= 25%
So: 75% chance of 1 point + 25% chance of 4 points = 1.75 Points/ hand
If I have a Jc
The odds that the A, K or Q is in the kitty or Partner's cards is 9/18 x 9/18x 9/18= 12.5%
So: 87.5% chance of 1 point + 12.5% chance of 4 points = 1.375 Points/ hand
If have a 10c
The odds that the A, K, Q or H is in the kitty or Partner's cards is 6.25%
So: 93.5% chance of 1 point + 6.25% chance of 4 points = 1.185 Points/ hand

So I am going Alone if I have a Jc since 1.34 with partner vs. 1.31 Alone is too close to call.
I would also err on the side of going Alone because the probability that I would pull the winning clubs card from the Opponents' hand on the 4th trick.

My conclusion, if there are 3 cards that can stop my Loner, (I have the Jc in this case), I am definitely going Alone. If there are 4 cards that can stop my Loner (I have the Tc), I will go Alone, unless 2 points is important because of the score. If I had the 9c, I would definitely take my partner.

My key point is, do not over analyze. The reason is there are too many variables to analyze. KISS: Keep it simple smartie! And, if your detailed analysis contradicts a simple analysis, you need to go back to my key point, do not over analyze. Enjoy the game, enjoy getting euchred 20-30% of the time and enjoy the camaraderie!



irishwolf
Posts: 700
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:33 pm

Unread post by irishwolf » Sat Nov 30, 2019 12:34 pm

Good point Richard, do the basics and let the rest ride. Sensing come into play as well. Sometimes I go against statistics and let me gut be my guide. Often more right do this.

My key point is, do not over analyze. The reason is there are too many variables to analyze.

MeeKer
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2019 1:57 pm

Unread post by MeeKer » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:21 pm

irishwolf wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:04 pm
This is what is puzzling about Eric's comments. He states, "I analyzed a total of 1.72 million hands during the writing of my five books."
With 24 cards in euchre there are only 42,504 hands. So this needs to be explained, the 1.72 million hands.
You are using "hands" to mean the ways that 5 cards can be selected from 24 cards, but euchre consists of more than just one player's 5-card hand.

I've noticed three ways that the word "hand" is used in euchre:
1. The five cards that one player has, e.g. "This is my hand".
2. The 20 cards that the four players have, plus the up-card, e.g. "I'll deal this hand".
3. The way the cards in #2 are played, e.g. "Together, we played a great hand".

You're using #1 and I think that Eric is referring to one of the other two meanings.

For #2, the number of possibilities takes into account the up-card and the other 15 cards in the hands of the other three players. Substantially more than 42,504 combinations. In fact, the number is several orders of magnitude higher than 1.72 million. :o

I'm sure you can do the calculation but maybe you haven't done it. Could be another interesting topic ... ;)

Wes (aka the legend)
Posts: 1189
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:03 pm

Unread post by Wes (aka the legend) » Sun Dec 29, 2019 9:10 pm

Wes (aka the legend) wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 1:31 pm
MeeKer wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:56 am
Which tournaments has Eric won?
Which tournaments has Wes won?
Which tournaments has Don won?

Who has been the most successful at playing euchre?
Lol, you really think that matters? Ultimately whether my advice here is good or not rests on the case I make. Sometimes I can make a strong argument. Sometimes I can't. Not having that mythical euchre simulator and having to rely on back of the envelope math at best will often leave room for reasonable doubt. How many tournaments I've won won't resolve much. I certainly wouldn't want anyone believing anything I've said on reputation anyways.

That said if you must know, I have only played in my weekly Vegas tournament. 2019 was the first year I was eligible to win player of the year. You have to pay a whole $5 to be eligible and then youre officially part of the club and they keep track of your stats. I started playing in 2017 but I only played 1 time and finished 2nd. I played almost all of 2018 but I never bothered to officially join the club. I believe if they had kept track of my stats in 2018 I would've been player of the year and won the Las Vegas Euchre Championship. I believe I finished in First and in the top 5 often enough to get the job done. But that's just hearsay. I didn't pay the $5 so we'll never know.

True story: At the end of 2018, I paid the $5 to finally be eligible to win Player of the Year for 2019. After I gave my $5 to the cause I walked over to the table where the three best players were sitting, the same guys who have taken turns winning POY the last 7 years. I told them all to their faces that they had a great run and they should be proud of their accomplishments but now their reign of terror is over FOREVER. The true GOAT has arrived! They all laughed at me, mocked me, cackling maniacally with overconfident joy. How could the person who gets euchred by far more than anyone else in the room, pissing everyone off in the process, have a chance to win the whole F**king thing?!?

Well it's mid-November, about 6 weeks left in the year and I hold a solid but tenuous 8 point lead for Player of the Year. But it's not really tenuous at all. There's no way I'm gonna choke that lead away. I promised the three best players in the room that their time is over and I will hold to that promise. I will make them realize what they've should've known all along: The Legend is real.
For those who want to see whether I choked or not:

http://www.vegaseuchre.com/

Spoiler alert: I OWN THIS F*#%ING CITY

patiencepays

Unread post by patiencepays » Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:42 pm

Wes (aka the legend) wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 9:10 pm

For those who want to see whether I choked or not:

http://www.vegaseuchre.com/

Spoiler alert: I OWN THIS F*#%ING CITY
I took the bait and clicked on Wes' link to VegasEuchre.com and discovered a rule they play by which I have never seen in effect elsewhere. #5. below is the rule to which I'm referring.

The Las Vegas Euchreplayers Association

4. Bidding starts with the eldest hand (left of the dealer). Play starts as soon as a player becomes the maker by ordering or calling trump. If four passes occur, a second round of bidding will take place.

5. If a second round of bidding makes its way back to the dealer, he can either call trump or give the opponents one point and pass the deal.


Now, I gather the euchre variant "STD" was introduced to attempt to shorten the playing time of each game but at the same time it punishes the dealing team by forcing the dealer to make trump even with crap cards, being an obvious advantage for the opposing team. This associations rule#5 shown here, allows the dealer to pass in the second round, but, his team pays for it by suffering both losing the deal and a point added to the oppositions score.

What is the justification for the penalty point. Isn't it enough to have lost the deal and the advantage that goes with it. To keep this short, I'll say the point penalty to me seems like a silly tinkering of the scoring rules that also needlessly increases the strategic complexity of the game.

Does anyone know the "horses mouth" reason for this rules implimentation? Do players here at the forum like the rule? Care to comment?

Thanks, Patiencepays (but with rule #5, punishment creeps in)

Tbolt65
Posts: 487
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:14 pm
Location: Las Vegas

Unread post by Tbolt65 » Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:47 pm

That's not as bad as losing 4 points on a euchred Loner try. A Rule they also have. As for the 1 point thing for the std to pass your deal. I don't know what the reason is for. Personally I don't like either stipulation. I do like to play euchre so I play.

Tbolt65
Edward

Post Reply