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Power Pinochle Bidding System
We have the opportunity to document an "official" bidding system. We will create a page on this website and have the bidding system. The only "official" bidding system I have ever seen was in the out-of-print book "Winning Pinochle Strategies" written by Anthony Collins, an NPA player. But the NPA counted a run as 25 instead of 15, which changes the whole bidding game (which also probably explains why they were meld first always bidders).

That is why we are having these recent discussions in the bidding section of the forums. I want something solid for the pinochle world. It isn't right that I currently have a 2063 rating in 390 games under the Yahoo ID rak_beater (back when I used to play more often), but I never was taught or learned some of the more logical/basic facets of game play or bidding. When I was playing often, I searched and searched for books or websites that had some sort of definitive system. I would ask higher ranked players for opinions and teaching lessons, and of course I was always denied.

I don't mean for us to create a whole new bidding system, but to take the existing general knowledge most players have, and finalize it by making it a little more logical and easier to understand and learn on some of the finer, rarer points. While we are a small community, I think we have some of the sharpest card minds around. Maybe I'm biased, but I think we can do it. Then whatever happens will happen, but at least when we analyze hands together we will be on the same page with our bidding system.
As a side note, I think the system needs to be defined with trick count and meld.

However, ace count above the assumed norm has a relationship with meld bidding and trump suit strength and length have a relationship with trick count.

Let's start with the basics and work our way from there. Many of the recent discussions will help to give us a base to start from.
Please, first put away the knives and then decide "Always Meld First" vs whatever the alternative is.

Is this system for the Expert, Experienced, or the Novice player?
If it is for the novice, 75% of the system will be explaining basics to Novices.

Also, realise self-crowned experts will call most of it obvious or trivial, and the rest wrong.

I am reading Milton Work's first book on Contract Bridge bidding from 1929. It is totally unlike modern Contract Bridge bidding.
Be thick skinned. Long time Pinochle players will comment. Modern experts will comment.
Rick Hall
I don't think anyone here is a Meld First Always bidder (is anyone?), so I think most of us would agree that a strong hand takes precedence over a meld hand. But we need to define what a strong hand is in terms of trick taking ability. Perhaps that needs to be another thread question to discuss. (I will get to that another night). This system should be for all, because the basic fundamentals should be the base that advanced players use for advanced bidding situations.
"I don't think anyone here is a Meld First Always bidder (is anyone?)"
Then what was ToreadorElder talking about today, or yesterday.

Ok, please describe "Melt First Always Bidding" for me in opposition to opening 50 with 35-7-6.
Rick Hall
Meld first ALWAYS says that you give meld on your first bid, regardless of your hand. Meld first MOSTLY says you do so, unless you have something totally dominant. Of course, on Yahoo there's the "partner always give me meld...oh, but I'll only give you meld when I don't want it" bidders.

What I suggest is strength first...make it clear you have a hand, and ask partner to give meld. The 35-7-6 guideline defines what I consider a minimum hand to do this, but that's to ask for meld at all. When you have a choice between giving meld and asking for it, it's reasonable to bid...not a better hand, but a more offensively oriented one...with a meld-ask, and give meld with others. For example, with


you meet 35-7-6, but this isn't a hand I'm crazy to play. I will play it if partner gives me meld; I do certainly expect to pull 20 most of the time. But partner can easily have a lot better...and when he does have even, say, spades that are about the same as my hearts...I have trump support for him. It's easy to give 30 on your first bid; you're still in the auction, and can bid again if that is warranted.

Meld first mostly says you give meld with:

Meld first ALWAYS says you give meld with:

What's the point of giving meld when I have 9 tricks in the first hand (plus the potential opportunity to use spades as loser-on-loser plays to eliminate trump losers); in the second, I have 12, with potentially 2 more from spades. I have to bid to play it after I've given why give meld?

Meld first bidders are fairly common on Yahoo; for one thing, I believe it's pretty common advice on "how to play pinochle" sites. "Give partner your meld; you don't know what he has." I think that's just plain wrong, because it also ignores what YOU have...and you know that. Those sites are usually geared towards absolute newcomers, tho, so their advice is IMO seriously wrong. They tell dummy "cash your trump aces!" and they tell declarer "after you've cashed your non-trump aces, exit with a trump!" This simply can't be correct all the time, but they assert it as if it were Holy Writ.
Just to verify: 35-7-6 means:

Meld = 35
Length of trump = 7
Estimated trick takers = 6?

If that is right or even if I have the last two numbers switched, can we use this as a standard hand description for the forums? The only thing I can think of if we are going to have a standard system like this to describe hands is if we need to add total number of aces in the hand? Those are the 4 important numbers I think you need to accurately describe your hand. Thoughts?
Aces count is NOT relevant when we're discussing making a meld-ask. If I say a 6 trick hand, it doesn't matter if it's 6 aces or a AGTGTGTGTGKGKGQGJG trump suit.

You are correct on what the order is, but remember that these are the MINIMUMS. I'd rather emphasize that aspect where possible...saying "minimum meld-ask" makes this clear, while 35-7-6 tends to, at least subconsciously, make someone think this *is* what they have.
You are right about discussing a meld-ask. I'm talking about making it a standard number, like....well I had 25-6-9-6 should I have just let my partner have it since I have aces in support or should I have tried to take it.

Although 25-6-9 in most cases will show a decent amount of aces if you are taking 9 tricks but only have 6 trump. Just looking for overall thoughts on using a standard hand measurement.
"Tricks" *covers* the aces requirement...because there isn't one.

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