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Power Pinochle Bidding System
I figure three numbers are enough, and in the rare occasions you need to describe your hand further you can just type it out, but I want to see other member's opinions.
Let there be exceptions. Show them to us novices. I'll ignore them until I'm not a novice.

Give me a tool that shows me 80%-90% of the 50 openers. Just help me not look foolish.
Once I'm competent at something, there's a reason to keep on playing and learning.
Rick Hall
(05-25-2013, 11:07 AM)richardpaulhall Wrote:  Let there be exceptions. Show them to us novices. I'll ignore them until I'm not a novice.

Give me a tool that shows me 80%-90% of the 50 openers. Just help me not look foolish.
Once I'm competent at something, there's a reason to keep on playing and learning.

Great point.
RPH, 35-7-6 gives you the framework.

Typical trump suit: ATTxxxx
Typical trump length: 7 or 8
The common hand shapes will be 7-5-5-3, 7-5-4-4, 8-5-4-3, and 8-4-4-4...more or less balanced. But note that 8-4-4-4 and 7-5-4-4, also with meld, MAY elect to give meld to start with, especially with a weak trump suit.

As long as you're sticking to 35-7-6, you won't get burned badly.
Bidding in 1st Seat:

50 - I am comfortable with 35-7-6. I rarely get in trouble when I am declarer. Of course bad distribution can kill you. If there are other hands I should open I'm ready to see what they are. (Certainly I botch auctions I have opened, but I don't see the errors. If I get the bid and I don't think I overbid, I rarely have problems.)

51 - Showing Aces Around is a convention. Its easy to do, and fast. Partner never complains when I bid 51.

59 - I've had this twice. The first time my partner didn't believe me. I had no other bid so I passed afterward. He won the contested auction. (He said he thought I was making a shutout bid.) The second time we were about to go out. Partner, 3rd or 4th seat, had nothing and passed. The opponents: "Does he REALLY have Double Aces?" "I hope not." I had a 8 card trump suit and won the bidding. No problems with 59.

52-57,58 - Give me a second to count and I'll show my meld. Nobody seems to notice some of my 52s and 53s are "Adjusted Meld" bids. Me having 16 to 18 is OK by them. They don't even know I bid my scattered Aces.

60 - With you guys I know 60 shows a "50" hand with more strength. But nobody else has ever mentioned it, so I won't use it on Yahoo. What does such a hand look like? 50-8-7? I assume Opener -owns- the hand. Thus Partner's 65 cannot be a "save", so it shows meld. How much?

65+ - Not a clue.

Pass - Here I have a few issues. 1) Most of the time I am passing with garbage. 2) I keep reminding myself a First seat Pass shows "Less than 20 Adjusted meld". So my 10-15 meld or bare 5 card run might be a nice surprise for Partner when he takes the bid or less nice if -they- take it. 16-18(Adjusted) In partner's eyes its would be more than a mild stretch. 3) 9 card suits with no marriage, the rub of the green. A good trump suit in -other- games, live with it. 4) (assuming no 35-7-6) 7 or 8 scattered Aces, no Aces Around, nothing like 20 meld. 6 scattered Aces is an easy pass, a statistical blip. 7 or 8 is a heart breaker. What will I do when I pick up 9 such Aces. I know a century of Pinochle players has found more value in "Aces Around" than I do. I just wish I had a way to handle a flock of Aces. I pass, I grit my teeth, but I pass. (I keep wishing 51 could also promise "7+ Aces, not Around")

I am no expert bidding in first seat. I make mistakes. I don't see most of then, but there're there. I think Partner is seldom dismayed with what I have to say in first seat. I am comfortable. A few Thursday night games with a knowledgable kibitzer looking over my shoulder should get me to the point where I am a solid Novice with that bid.

Thanks guys. I came here with a year of playing double deck but no instruction, different bidding too. I'm feeling pretty good about my bids in first seat.
Rick Hall
I formulated adjusted meld for a couple situations:

1. 14 meld, no aces around but 6 aces. I sure want to encourage partner.

2. SOOOO many yahoos think any 16 is 20, and they get their partners overboard. Sometimes it's their partner's fault for unrealistic expectations, but other times it's just a serious overstatement. Remember: I expect 15 from my freely-passed partner (that is, he had a way to show 20 and passed). 16 meld with no tricks...that's spot on. So there's no need to give 20.

9 card suits without a run are tricky, but ask yourself: do you meet 35-7-6? You have the trump length, and you probably have the tricks. Add your trick points (2.5 points per trick) to your meld. Do you have 35? Generally, you need something additional, but if you're really shapely:


it's worth taking a chance. Note that this is a 10 trick hand.

Another case, albeit rare: I'll open this


I have 8 tricks total playing in spades and cashing my short aces, perhaps *1* anywhere else. I don't care that I have no trump ace. I have plenty of meld with the double pino. This hand makes 60 on its own, with NOTHING from meld, and not 1 trick.

EDIT: mick pointed out the original posting had only 19 cards. I added the TD.

Runs are nice, but they're just meld. Meld can be critical in a competitive auction, but may not be in a non-competitive one. Let's say you have this hand:


In first seat, you open 52. Opponents will both pass.

#1: Partner bids 53. You bid 54, partner passes. You have to bid 54, then name SPADES. Partner just saved, so in diamonds you may only have 26 meld or so. You need to pull too much. In spades, you only need 20, and the diamonds aren't good enough to make up for the meld loss.

#2: Partner bids 54 or more. He doesn't have a suit. You do. You bid 1 more, and name DIAMONDS, which is the much safer trump suit. You figure to win about 4 tricks with your diamonds, plus the 2 aces, and you're much better protected against a terrible trump position against you just because you have 2 more.
There are many ways to get to "35".
Tonight during the Thursday night game at Yahoo I was in first seat, I looked at a hand and I had nothing "around". So I stopped evaluating my hand and passed.

As the auction progressed without me, I went and counted my hand for practice. I immediately noticed my 9 card, double A trump suit had a run. I also remembered "8 tricks and a run is 35".

The "-7-6" is simple, quick, and unambiguous.
But the 35 needs to be calculated.
Not under pressure to bid, when I looked at the hand it -looked- like a hand where I should have opened 50.
9 tricks for 22 and a run is enough.
Rick Hall
Pass is a descriptive bid. I deny the ability to bid 50, 60, 51, and 59. I have less than 20 adjusted meld.

"Pass" feels like I am not helping my partner take the bid. But accurately describing my hand make partner's bids easier. He will be less likely to bid cards I do not hold. We may take fewer bids, but we will go set fewer times.
Rick Hall

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