2/10 Hand quiz. Should Don lead trump or not

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Wes (aka the legend)
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2/10 Hand quiz. Should Don lead trump or not

Unread post by Wes (aka the legend) » Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:26 pm

Me and Don are partners. I'm the dealer and Don is in the 2 seat. We are down 2-6.

The upcard is the (Card_J-C), and the action is passed around to me and I pick up.

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

Don takes the first trick:

S1 leads (Card_9-D)
Don plays (Card_A-D)
S3 plays (Card_10-D)
I play the (Card_K-H)

Don now has: (Card_K-C) (Card_J-D) (Card_Q-S) (Card_Q-H)

What should Don lead next. Should he lead trump? If so, why? Should he not lead trump? If so why not? And if he doesn't lead trump what should he lead here?



irishwolf
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Unread post by irishwolf » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:12 am

Don has no voids so his King is not going to be much help. So lead trump!

Wes (aka the legend)
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Unread post by Wes (aka the legend) » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:16 pm

irishwolf wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:12 am
Don has no voids so his King is not going to be much help. So lead trump!
What if Don had a void, would that change your answer. Say he had this hand after taking the first lead:

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

irishwolf
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Unread post by irishwolf » Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:32 pm

You changed the situation and the goal posts. So the answer now it ALL DEPENDS!

Depends on what you say?

1) Who's my partner and how does he/she play?

2) With a very skill partner and I know how they play (I will give a couple of examples):
a) They have no next in the event the JC is the only trump and will not use that Jack to over trump as well. Then play the I will play the QS.
b) Will pick it up with 9, 10 or Q and no aces. I will still play the QS.
c) Even if he has the JC/AC the QS is not a bad lead. He takes his choice to trump and lead (I lose the KC, so what, goal is to get out alive).

3) But if I have an unknown partner, or very conservative, I will lead the KC.

So one best answer here does not fit all. But number two is the best way for the dealer to pick it up thin. If I had the 9, 10, Q, or two trumps I am leading to my partner/

Wes (aka the legend)
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Unread post by Wes (aka the legend) » Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:12 am

irishwolf wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:32 pm
You changed the situation and the goal posts. So the answer now it ALL DEPENDS!

Depends on what you say?

1) Who's my partner and how does he/she play?

2) With a very skill partner and I know how they play (I will give a couple of examples):
a) They have no next in the event the JC is the only trump and will not use that Jack to over trump as well. Then play the I will play the QS.
b) Will pick it up with 9, 10 or Q and no aces. I will still play the QS.
c) Even if he has the JC/AC the QS is not a bad lead. He takes his choice to trump and lead (I lose the KC, so what, goal is to get out alive).

3) But if I have an unknown partner, or very conservative, I will lead the KC.

So one best answer here does not fit all. But number two is the best way for the dealer to pick it up thin. If I had the 9, 10, Q, or two trumps I am leading to my partner/
Very good post IW. I agree, with more conservative partners, tend to lead trump in this spot. But with aggressive partners I think leading the QS is best.

BTW, I tried to figure out the exact range make up of my hand when I pick up the Right at a neutral score. It was tedious, and a bit headache causing doing all the combos. I can only hope I didn't make any mistakes, but this is what I got. Here's my range breakdown when the Right is the upcard, and I just pick up without going alone:

First there's a total of (28,193 - 60 euchre hand combos = 28,133 combos) of hands I'm either calling with or going alone. Out of those combos I'm going alone with 10,849 combos. IOW I am going alone 10,849/28,133 = 38.56% of the time. Thus there are 28,133 - 10,849 = 17,284 hand combos that I'm just calling with, broken down thus:

Right + 0: 732 combos (4.24%)
Right + 1: 12,576 combos (72.76%)
3 trump: 3,576 combos (20.69%)
4 trump: 400 combos (2.31%)

Notes: 77% of the time I will have 2 trump or less. Of the 12,576 R+1 combos, 6006 of them I will have R+1 and no off aces (34.75% of my range). The 400 4 trump combos are those 4 trump + an off suit lower than a green jack or Next Ten, hands Eric Zalas' simulations suggest calling is better than going alone. Keep in mind this is my range at a neutral score. In the actual hand my team is down 6-2. At such a score I'm going alone with all Right + 3 combos with a few extra combos added from other hand configurations. So the above shows my range is pretty weak, and down 6-2 it will actually be a tad weaker than that.

In the actual hand Don chose to not lead trump. Instead he tried to find my void by leading the Qs. I know that Don has no voids, suggesting he should lead trump, but given how weak my range is I suspect that perhaps Don's line is STILL the best line despite the fact that he has no voids. I suspect it is but do not know, which is why I should've left the quiz part out of my thread title becuz it's hardly a quiz when I'm not sure about the answer!

This also leads to a bigger picture question beyond just this scenario where I'm picking up the Right. As the dealer I tend to go alone alot and call aggressively (I know Edward thinks I call too much lol). Which means when I don't go alone and just pick up, my range is gonna be pretty weak over all, especially when I have defensive calls in my range like say this spade call:

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

I pick that up becuz I don't block anything and try to eke out a point.

Given how weak my overall range is perhaps it's best to take Don's line and try to find my void when Don doesn't have much like in this hand. Altho I would argue if a trump lead could benefit Don's hand than he should lead trump, and I would hypothesize that if Don has one off ace backing him up then he should go ahead and lead trump. There's also other sticky scenarios where Don likely wont be able to get to my void.

Say Don has this hand after winning the diamond trick:

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

And say I played a (Card_9-H) on the first lead suggesting I have another heart and am void in Spades. But Don doesn't have a spade and is thus stuck between double leading me Diamonds and putting me in a squeeze (can't do that) or leading a heart knowing that's a toxic lead too. Maybe in this scenario Don should say F it, I might as well lead trump now? Do you agree on that?

Do you agree that given how weak my range is that even with no voids, Don should not lead trump or do you still think he should?

BTW here's the actual hand:

https://worldofcardgames.com/#!replayer ... %3A1%7D%5D

irishwolf
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Unread post by irishwolf » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:38 am

Wes

No voids,no additional ace, I disagree unless he has the Ace of trump and very clear to me with 9, 19 & Q. Even the King, no voids I would lead. Reason is he will obstruct more often than not. For sure if he has a triplet off suit. I've studied this before.

Say Don has this hand after winning the diamond trick:

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

And say I played a (Card_9-H) on the first lead suggesting I have another heart and am void in Spades. But Don doesn't have a spade and is thus stuck between double leading me Diamonds and putting me in a squeeze (can't do that) or leading a heart knowing that's a toxic lead too. Maybe in this scenario Don should say F it, I might as well lead trump now? Do you agree on that?

Do you agree that given how weak my range is that even with no voids, Don should not lead trump or do you still think he should?

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Dlan
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Unread post by Dlan » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:36 am

I’ve been experimenting with the trump lead back. What I am starting to see is, overall, a lead back works best with less aggressive partners. It may not be the best move with a partner that tends to make thin calls.

* looks like I'm a couple of posts behind ;)

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Unread post by irishwolf » Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:51 am

Suppose S2 won first trick with an Ace, has KS or below, and has a triplet (no ace)! With this type of hand, I would also lead the KS even with one void. Reason is you put your partner in a possible squeeze situation with eldest behind the dealer. This assuming the dealar has Right + 1.

You will obstruct and the best thing is lead that trump and get out of the way!

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Unread post by Wes (aka the legend) » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:30 pm

irishwolf wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:38 am
Wes

No voids,no additional ace, I disagree unless he has the Ace of trump and very clear to me with 9, 19 & Q. Even the King, no voids I would lead. Reason is he will obstruct more often than not. For sure if he has a triplet off suit. I've studied this before.
If you're right, I'm not sure why the (Card_A-C) would be an exception.
irishwolf wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:51 am
Suppose S2 won first trick with an Ace, has KS or below, and has a triplet (no ace)! With this type of hand, I would also lead the KS even with one void. Reason is you put your partner in a possible squeeze situation with eldest behind the dealer. This assuming the dealar has Right + 1.

You will obstruct and the best thing is lead that trump and get out of the way!
Good example IW.

Ok, I'm going to assume IW is correct on this stuff becuz I certainly am not sure. So here's the official breakdown in this spot for S2 with an aggressive partner who ordered (If you guys disagree with anything let me know):

1) Generally speaking, if leading trump to the maker cannot help your hand, don't lead it. Instead try to find your P's void.

1a) If you have an off Ace to promote go ahead and lead trump as a trump lead can now help your hand.

1b) If you have two trump, go ahead and lead trump? (Edit: just wanted to be clear on this, I mean you have two trump after you take the first trick, starting out with two trump but using one to take the first trick does not count)

Exceptions:

1) If you have no voids, lead trump.

2) If you have only toxic leads back to your P, then lead trump. This could be either becuz you don't have the suit your P is likely void in or becuz you have a tripleton lead back.
Last edited by Wes (aka the legend) on Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

irishwolf
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Unread post by irishwolf » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:52 pm

YEP, that's how I play it.
And if the dealer only has JS + (low trump or 0) and no aces and S2 has no aces, it will not make much difference which you no because there are two aces and 4 trumps possible to the opponents. However, that is a low probability for 6 significant cards to all be against the dealer.

Wes (aka the legend)
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Unread post by Wes (aka the legend) » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:55 pm

Dlan wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:36 am
I’ve been experimenting with the trump lead back. What I am starting to see is, overall, a lead back works best with less aggressive partners. It may not be the best move with a partner that tends to make thin calls.

* looks like I'm a couple of posts behind ;)
I think the default play vs unknowns should be to lead trump in that spot. Why? Becuz unknowns tend to be on the passive side, so their range will tend to be stronger. Another way to look at it is by posing one simple question: Does my partner call as the dealer with R+1 and nothing else? If the answer to that question is no (most unknowns pass that hand), then lead trump, as their range is now much stronger. But if the answer is yes they will call with R+1+nothing, then that weakens their calling range considerably, and now it's probably best not to lead trump barring the exceptions IW talked about in this thread.

The Monday night game is such a different animal. Everybody's aggressive. Or as they say in the poker world, everybody's solid.

Here's an example where I led trump to you, and I think this lead is wrong (this is slightly different as the maker is in S2 but the same concepts apply):

https://worldofcardgames.com/#!replayer ... %3A1%7D%5D

Notice, a trump lead cannot help my hand, and you're calling in a spot where your range is expected to be weak. Not just becuz you're calling from S2 but also the additional fact that you're in a close out spot up 9-6, which probably further weakens your range. I should've lead the KH as a doubleton Next lead is out of the question since that could lead to you getting overtrumped.

It turns out our team was carded pretty bad in this hand by S3, so no matter what I led we we're set, but that's not relevant.

irishwolf
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Unread post by irishwolf » Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:02 pm

"If you're right, I'm not sure why the (Card_A-C) would be an exception."

In general, when the Dealer makes trump, your job at S2 is support and win ONE trick. However, the Ace of trump is special (so is the Left). It is a special situation because, almost a waste, to lead it to the dealer, and he has to use the Right. But consider if the left is guarded. The ace can be used to win a trick or force the left. It also helps when the dealer has three small trump doing the same.
Thus, when at S2 I win the first trick with an ace, I then try to lead something the dealer can win with an off suit ace or trump. And if he gets over trumped, the majority of the time my Ace will win a trick and he has the third trick (Right or whatever he made trump on) only the left or right which makes my partner to clean up. And if that off suit I led gets won by the dealer and he leads the Right, I have accomplished what I wanted to - the 3rd trick for a point.
The King though is borderline situation, less effective to hold it back because it's a middle trump with an additional trump to get over trumped. And if the other high trump is guarded, there is more danger in getting euchred.
So not nearly as effective as holding back the Ace.

This just my theory, to each their own.

Wes (aka the legend)
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Unread post by Wes (aka the legend) » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:00 pm

irishwolf wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:02 pm
"If you're right, I'm not sure why the (Card_A-C) would be an exception."

In general, when the Dealer makes trump, your job at S2 is support and win ONE trick. However, the Ace of trump is special (so is the Left). It is a special situation because, almost a waste, to lead it to the dealer, and he has to use the Right. But consider if the left is guarded. The ace can be used to win a trick or force the left. It also helps when the dealer has three small trump doing the same.
Thus, when at S2 I win the first trick with an ace, I then try to lead something the dealer can win with an off suit ace or trump. And if he gets over trumped, the majority of the time my Ace will win a trick and he has the third trick (Right or whatever he made trump on) only the left or right which makes my partner to clean up. And if that off suit I led gets won by the dealer and he leads the Right, I have accomplished what I wanted to - the 3rd trick for a point.
The King though is borderline situation, less effective to hold it back because it's a middle trump with an additional trump to get over trumped. And if the other high trump is guarded, there is more danger in getting euchred.
So not nearly as effective as holding back the Ace.

This just my theory, to each their own.
F that! Either it's right or it's wrong :)

I know what you mean tho. It's hard to be positive on this stuff, but since you have put more thought into this spot than I have, I'm going with your theory unless future evidence proves it wrong. So when I'm your P I will try to execute this strategy to the letter, including the 'Ace of trump or Left' exception.

Actually I'm not sure about playing this way with the Left. I really wanna lead the Left in this spot becuz if our P has R+1 (which is a big part of an aggressive P's range in this spot), leading the Left secures our point while at the same time potentially cleaning out the enemy of trump. I like your idea about holding back the Ace of trump tho.

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Unread post by irishwolf » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:44 pm

Oh, I am positive! I tested the Ace theory as I discovered it and discussed on ES. I only had a few that agreed with me. And these were elite players commenting. But that does not bother me when I have done the tests for myself. I think somewhere I copied the discussions we had, lol. I know why they felt this way too! They were more conservative players. Those disagreeing believed that one should not pick up the right with a small trump as too risky and/or an ace (I tested that too). But I have done sufficient amount of hands with testing this ploy with the Ace. And I said what I did because some players who have played 10,000 games their way will not change NO matter what! Probably have not had a new idea in 20 years. Even if I have the ace, you won't know it and it does not matter!

I have used this as a 'convention' in tournament play with my regular partner for several years.

For the king, it was a toss up, about equal! So I favor leading it! So it not always true that something is either black or white. The King, lots of gray in between.

And about the Left. If you only pick up the Right, I don't want the two falling on the same trick, criminal! If I don't know that you have the right, of course, here it comes but not so with the ace. This allows the same methodology to procedure. Only time you might get fooled. But it has to be that way.

"This just my theory, to each their own."

"F that! Either it's right or it's wrong."

And when we play if you do follow the prescription I would be tickled as hell. And promise that is exactly what you can expect from me!

~Irishwolf

Wes (aka the legend)
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Unread post by Wes (aka the legend) » Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:39 am

irishwolf wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:44 pm
Oh, I am positive! I tested the Ace theory as I discovered it and discussed on ES. I only had a few that agreed with me. And these were elite players commenting. But that does not bother me when I have done the tests for myself. I think somewhere I copied the discussions we had, lol. I know why they felt this way too! They were more conservative players. Those disagreeing believed that one should not pick up the right with a small trump as too risky and/or an ace (I tested that too). But I have done sufficient amount of hands with testing this ploy with the Ace. And I said what I did because some players who have played 10,000 games their way will not change NO matter what! Probably have not had a new idea in 20 years. Even if I have the ace, you won't know it and it does not matter!

I have used this as a 'convention' in tournament play with my regular partner for several years.

For the king, it was a toss up, about equal! So I favor leading it! So it not always true that something is either black or white. The King, lots of gray in between.
I'm definitely on board with this!
irishwolf wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:44 pm
And about the Left. If you only pick up the Right, I don't want the two falling on the same trick, criminal! If I don't know that you have the right, of course, here it comes but not so with the ace. This allows the same methodology to procedure. Only time you might get fooled. But it has to be that way.
Oh crap. For some reason I thought you were speaking generally on not leading the Left in this spot. If I pick up the Right I agree with you. Hold back the left in this situation.
irishwolf wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:44 pm
And when we play if you do follow the prescription I would be tickled as hell. And promise that is exactly what you can expect from me!

~Irishwolf
Sounds good to me. That's all I wanna do: be the best partner possible!

Wes (aka the legend)
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Unread post by Wes (aka the legend) » Tue Mar 03, 2020 1:39 am

Irishwolf,

IMO this is a good spot to go by this convention and not lead trump and instead find my void, I.E. lead a spade:

https://worldofcardgames.com/#!replayer ... %3A1%7D%5D

A trump lead can't help your hand, you also still have a diamond void to work with, and my calling range from the dealer spot is weak overall when factoring in my marginal defensive calls and my aggressive loner style. Do you agree that leading a spade is best here? If not, why not?

irishwolf
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Unread post by irishwolf » Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:33 am

No, I don't agree, the 10H lead was best. It's just that Don had a semi-bag hand with the QH up and my hand is weak. . The reason is that after you take the Club lead, your basically Done. The 10H is too low and you have nothing else. Saving the 10H is useless and not the Convention. The Convention is if you had the AH (or KH which is borderline, effectiveness). Had S3 ordered he would have been euchred.

This hand spells euchre all the way as S3 has a void to S4 diamonds with a strong hand and best man in Clubs. Actually, there is a way out if you lead a spade if S3 uses JD or AH, I can slough another diamond and I have his QC lead. If he sloughs the spade lead, I can use QH. But your 10H would not be needed. Who would know that as considering all hand combinations it works best to lead the 10H.

"IMO this is a good spot to go by this convention and not lead trump and instead find my void, I.E. lead a spade: "

I did not want to pass because I have nothing if S1 crosses suit in black. Most of the time I will make a point with this holding. However, in this situation a pass was best as we have everything else covered.

~Irishwolf

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Unread post by Wes (aka the legend) » Tue Mar 03, 2020 7:18 pm

irishwolf wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:33 am
No, I don't agree, the 10H lead was best. It's just that Don had a semi-bag hand with the QH up and my hand is weak. . The reason is that after you take the Club lead, your basically Done. The 10H is too low and you have nothing else. Saving the 10H is useless and not the Convention. The Convention is if you had the AH (or KH which is borderline, effectiveness). Had S3 ordered he would have been euchred.

This hand spells euchre all the way as S3 has a void to S4 diamonds with a strong hand and best man in Clubs. Actually, there is a way out if you lead a spade if S3 uses JD or AH, I can slough another diamond and I have his QC lead. If he sloughs the spade lead, I can use QH. But your 10H would not be needed. Who would know that as considering all hand combinations it works best to lead the 10H.
Maybe I misunderstood something but this spot perfectly matches the criteria we laid out:
Wes (aka the legend) wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:30 pm
Ok, I'm going to assume IW is correct on this stuff becuz I certainly am not sure. So here's the official breakdown in this spot for S2 with an aggressive partner who ordered (If you guys disagree with anything let me know):

1) Generally speaking, if leading trump to the maker cannot help your hand, don't lead it. Instead try to find your P's void.

1a) If you have an off Ace to promote go ahead and lead trump as a trump lead can now help your hand.

1b) If you have two trump, go ahead and lead trump? (Edit: just wanted to be clear on this, I mean you have two trump after you take the first trick, starting out with two trump but using one to take the first trick does not count)

Exceptions:

1) If you have no voids, lead trump.

2) If you have only toxic leads back to your P, then lead trump. This could be either becuz you don't have the suit your P is likely void in or becuz you have a tripleton lead back.

Also, I just wanna point out that this is just a hypothesis for me. And my hypothesis is given my weak range as the dealer when I call, if S2 takes the first trick and has only 1 trump left, and leading trump will not help S2's hand they should not lead trump but instead try to find my void. The exception being if S2 has no void (S2 has a void in diamonds in this hand), then send trump unless you have the Ace of trump (or the Left if I ordered up the Right) and ofc lead trump if all other S2 leads are toxic.

In this case, S2 has a clear non-toxic lead, the lead that's very likely to find my void: Spades. And if S2 leads spades, believe it or not, I make the point. Just becuz the results are favorable doesn't prove it's correct ofc but I swear man, I really believe taking these types of lines help me more than hurt me.

PS: Also it was Richard who had the semi-bag hand. Just wanted to give kudos to him for making a good pass!

irishwolf
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Unread post by irishwolf » Tue Mar 03, 2020 8:04 pm

This hand is actually quite different to the discussion early. One, the dealer picked up the QH, so you have no idea he has the Right. His holding(s) could be various. I actually don't recommend leading trump unless S2 has the Left or Knows the dealer has the Right.

The convention was S2 winning the first trick and has the Ace or King (don't lead) and knows the dealer has the Right. If you hold the 9, 10 or Q, lead to the dealer who has the Right, lead trump.

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