A fear of calling alone?

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Dlan
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A fear of calling alone?

Unread post by Dlan » Fri Dec 18, 2020 12:39 pm

Not sure what to say here. I can think of no reason for not calling alone.

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Richardb02
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Unread post by Richardb02 » Fri Dec 18, 2020 8:24 pm

Dlan wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 12:39 pm
Not sure what to say here. I can think of no reason for not calling alone.

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https://worldofcardgames.com/#!replayer ... %3A1%7D%5D
Great post Dlan for the Beginner & Casual section. East, D4 missed a strong Loner order. Playing for 4 points instead of 1 or 2 is too important, to fail to seize the opportunity, when it presents itself! This hand is an excellent example of failing to seize the opportunity!

I suggest that if you have 3 near-certain tricks, in your hand, you need to consider ordering a Loner. You own 2 Bowers, a 3rd trump, a Doubleton Ace (Hearts) and 2 voids. That is definitely 3 near-certain tricks and probably 4, to any motivated player. Then look at single card “Stoppers.” There are zero, non, nada single card Stoppers. You need to order a Loner! There is no reason to consider multiple card stoppers or “parlay” stoppers. IMO, “Parlays” are only equivalent to 1/4, 0.25 of a single card Stopper. FYI, a protected Kh is the only significant parlay. An opponent holding 3 trump is another parlay, but 3 cards parlays are so weak, I don’t even consider them. So order a Loner, with this hand.

To complete the guidance, I will order a Loner with up to 2.50 equivalent Stoppers. (2 single Stoppers and 2 parlays, or 1 single Stopper and 6 Parlays). Can I be euchred. Yes, definitely. I accept a 5 to 10% euchre rate for the opportunity to order a Loner and play for 4 points. (Two obvious exceptions are if my team has 8 or 9 points). Winning Euchre is balancing the small negatives of being euchred vs. the huge advantage of earning 4 points! Accepting possible euchres is critical to improving your Euchre success.

There are several other interesting points. This is an OE Monday night game played by players with strong “Loner-Vision.” This Loner was missed by one of the players! It happens, don’t beat yourself up if it happens to you. Another point, echoing Wes, it that with the new “no-name” posting of OE Monday games, it may have been me that missed the Loner order! It is impossible to be 100% focused in a game. Missing obvious decisions will happen to everyone. That is why you need to play on “auto-pilot”, to make the obvious decision, even if you miss a less detailed decision. BPS is part of my auto-pilot MO (Method of Operation). BPS would be screaming “order a Loner,” by the time it was my turn at D4. Of course, it could still be me, that missed this strong Loner order! /color]

RedDuke
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Unread post by RedDuke » Sat Dec 26, 2020 11:29 pm

The general rule is to go alone when there is literally nothing that your partner can do to change the outcome of the hand. The example that you gave is a pretty obvious loner but what about something like this...

You are holding this:

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

The dealer turns down (Card_J-C) .

What should you do?

The correct answer is to go alone in spades. A lot of people think that you need to have the right to go alone but that's not correct. Think about it. If your partner has the right, then the best he's going to be able to do is to overtrump you. If one of your opponents has the right, then this is a one-point hand whether you take your partner along or not. You already know that the left is out of play, so there's no chance that an opponent has four trumps, meaning that nobody can stop you from getting at least three tricks on your own (The absolute worst case scenario is that an opponent has the right and a guarded king of diamonds but even with that you should be able to get at least three tricks). This one is a pretty easy loner call that most new players will never make because you don't have a bower.

Richardb02
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Location: Florida

Unread post by Richardb02 » Sun Dec 27, 2020 3:04 pm

RedDuke wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 11:29 pm
The general rule is to go alone when there is literally nothing that your partner can do to change the outcome of the hand.

I suggest that the wording of your “general rule” is more of a specific rule! You define when you absolutely should go alone. I would restate it, “always go alone when there is literally nothing that your partner can do to change the outcome of the hand.”

I would reword the general rule to, “go alone when you are 95% confident of taking 3 tricks and there are no more than 2 Stoppers and 2 Parlays, that can stop your Loner from taking 4 points.”

To demonstrate an edge Loner let’s change your model hand to this:

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

The dealer turns down (Card_10-H).

What should you do?

IMO, the correct answer is to go alone in spades. A lot of people think that you need to have 4 or 5 guaranteed tricks (95% certainty), to go alone but that's not correct. Think about it. You confidently can see that you should take 3 tricks. So you meet the 1st test, a 95% expectation of taking at least 1 point.

Then let’s look at Stoppers. The Right or Left of trump are single card Stoppers. So 2 Stoppers or 2.00 Stoppers. Then look at Parlays. A guarded (Card_K-D) can stop 4 points. That is 1 Parlay. A diamond lead from Opponents and a trump is a Parlay that can stop 4 points. That is a 2nd Parlay. 2 Parlays times 0.25 (1/4th the probability of a Single Card Stopper) equals 0.50 Stopper-equivalents. That is a total of 2.50 Stopper-equivalents.

(Ignore this section, in parentheses, if the math is too intimidating. My investigation gives me a 14% opportunity to take 4 points. This closely aligns with Wes’ information from Eric Salas’ work. EV=14%x4+81%x1-5%x2=1.17 points by playing for 4. If we play for 2 points, let’s assume that your partner increases the success rate by 1/3rd. EV=19%x2+78%x1-3%x2=1.13 points by playing for 2 points. So a slight advantage in playing for 4 points. After all this is an edge Loner).

At its simplest, order Alone if you only foresee 2 Stoppers and 2 Parlays, when you can confidently foresee that you can take 3 tricks. Taking 4 points is too powerful and too much fun, not to order a Loner, at every opportunity. Imagine, being down 6 to 9 and this hand (or it’s equivalent) presents itself. You order a Loner. You take 4 points and the game! Your joy is immense!!
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RedDuke
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Unread post by RedDuke » Sun Dec 27, 2020 7:17 pm

Richard,

Your hand is not a guaranteed three tricks, but you probably have a good chance of doing so.

You correctly point out that either bower is a stopper. If either opponent has both of them, you're probably in serious trouble calling a loner there. If an opponent leads a diamond into his partner's void, that'll also stop you even with a nine of trumps. A guarded king of diamonds will also stop you. So there's more stoppers here than you're accounting for. I have been euchred with hands like the one you show. With that said though, I'd still go alone for the following reasons:

If I'm in second seat, I'm definitely going alone in your scenario. It's a pretty good bet that the dealer has at least one of the bowers.

From any other seat, I'd probably still go alone. Realistically, there's nothing your partner can do to change the outcome of that hand. If he's got one of the bowers, he'll probably just wind up stealing a trick from you. The only realistic thing that your partner could do is maybe take out an opponent's left with the right.

In this case, your partner might even wind up getting you euchred depending on the card distribution! The last thing you want is for the opponents to have a bower and another trump and your partner to lead diamonds!

If you actually have the lead on the first trick (first trick) and neither opponent has a bower, you will probably sweep the table unless someone has a guarded king.

I'd agree with you on going alone with that hand.

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