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Anyone still using forcing 1H-3H nowadays? Is this old-fashioned?

Poll: Anyone still using forcing 1H-3H nowadays? (21 member(s) have cast votes)

How do you play 1H-3H?

  1. Game forcing (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  2. Invitational (9 votes [42.86%])

    Percentage of vote: 42.86%

  3. Preemptive (12 votes [57.14%])

    Percentage of vote: 57.14%

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#1 User is offline   mikl_plkcc 

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Posted 2021-August-20, 09:01

I am digging out my old system notes played in the past, after a recent hand when we didn't have an agreement what to bid holding a slam interest hand with support with an ad-hoc partner.

I found out that, in such situation, I used 1H-3H as a forcing raise. I believe this is old-fashioned bidding.

Do any established partnerships here still use 1H-3H, or 1S-3S as a game forcing raise? Or do you prefer to play it as invitational or preemptive?
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#2 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2021-August-20, 10:24

View Postmikl_plkcc, on 2021-August-20, 09:01, said:

Do any established partnerships here still use 1H-3H, or 1S-3S as a game forcing raise?
Or do you prefer to play it as invitational or preemptive?


Never say never, however, I haven't even heard of anyone playing this as forcing in decades.

Not sure whether invite or preempt is more popular.
If I had to hazard a guess, I'd go with invitational.
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#3 User is offline   akwoo 

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Posted 2021-August-20, 10:31

I think it's important to have a game-forcing raise (or an artificial inv+ raise).

I have recently played in one partnership where partner wanted an absolute minimum of artificial bids, so we played 1H-3H (and 1S-3S) as game forcing.

However, I do think Jacoby 2N is better, and even better are various variants of it.

The game forcing 1H-3H (and 1S-3S) are now so uncommon that the ACBL recently made it alertable.

My preference is for 1S-2N and 1H-2S to show an at least invitational raise, with artificial relay-lite followups, but that's too artificial for most novice and intermediate players. In this system 1H-3H and 1S-3S are "mixed", showing a hand like x Kxxx Axxxx xxx - about 6-8 hcp, four card support, and usually a singleton or void somewhere.
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#4 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2021-August-20, 10:57

View Postmikl_plkcc, on 2021-August-20, 09:01, said:

I am digging out my old system notes played in the past, after a recent hand when we didn't have an agreement what to bid holding a slam interest hand with support with an ad-hoc partner.

I found out that, in such situation, I used 1H-3H as a forcing raise. I believe this is old-fashioned bidding.

Do any established partnerships here still use 1H-3H, or 1S-3S as a game forcing raise? Or do you prefer to play it as invitational or preemptive?
Most good pairs seem to agree that 1M-3M is a weak pre-empt with jumps in notrump or a plain-suit showing various kinds of support, at least invitational. You are spoilt for choice. Heed Charles Outred's advice, however, and don't give away too much information, useful to defenders, on run-of the-mill hands.
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#5 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2021-August-20, 12:07

View Postakwoo, on 2021-August-20, 10:31, said:

I think it's important to have a game-forcing raise (or an artificial inv+ raise).
Layers upon layers, I think. I don't have such a strong direct raise, but instead I have more ways to show weak or invitational support. I have benefited immeasurable amounts from having my artificial invitational raises be limited, so to get 1M-2NT*; 4M very often, and this is a big winner.
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#6 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2021-August-20, 18:05

View Postnige1, on 2021-August-20, 10:57, said:

Most good pairs seem to agree that 1M-3M is a weak pre-empt with jumps in notrump or a plain-suit showing various kinds of support, at least invitational.


I don't have a good handle on the percentage playing 1M-3M as preemptive, but I have to disagree with plain suit jumps (aka Bergen raises) being played by most good pairs (in the US). Maybe in the UK?
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#7 User is offline   Cthulhu D 

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Posted 2021-August-21, 04:47

I'm currently playing it as a mixed raise (4 card support, less than invitational), which I have mixed feelings about, but it seems to work OK.
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#8 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-August-21, 14:24

View Postmikl_plkcc, on 2021-August-20, 09:01, said:

I am digging out my old system notes played in the past, after a recent hand when we didn't have an agreement what to bid holding a slam interest hand with support with an ad-hoc partner.

I found out that, in such situation, I used 1H-3H as a forcing raise. I believe this is old-fashioned bidding.

Do any established partnerships here still use 1H-3H, or 1S-3S as a game forcing raise? Or do you prefer to play it as invitational or preemptive?


I wrote and article many years ago (November issue, 2007) for Bridge World that was titled Better Bergen Bidding - my modification of the Bergen bids used a forcing 3-of-the-major bid and 2N as a natural NT.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#9 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-August-21, 14:36

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-August-21, 14:24, said:

I wrote and article many years ago (November issue, 2007) for Bridge World that was titled Better Bergen Bidding - my modification of the Bergen bids used a forcing 3-of-the-major bid and 2N as a natural NT.


These are the same guys that refused to publish the Blackwood 4NT convention, right? :)
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#10 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2021-August-21, 15:09

Old fashioned but still what they teach in some classes.
Searching for your own mistakes is the only way to learn this game. - Fluffy

And no matter what methods you play, it is essential, for anyone aspiring to learn to be a good player, to learn the importance of bidding shape properly. - MikeH

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#11 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-August-21, 15:21

View Postjillybean, on 2021-August-21, 15:09, said:

Old fashioned but still what they teach in some classes.


Here they now teach it as preemptive, but many still play it as invitational which is already old fashioned.
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#12 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2021-August-21, 16:32

View Postmikl_plkcc, on 2021-August-20, 09:01, said:

Do any established partnerships here still use 1H-3H, or 1S-3S as a game forcing raise? Or do you prefer to play it as invitational or preemptive?


I think you can find hundreds of thousands (millions?) of player who play rubber bridge at home who play 1M-3M as game forcing. They learned this from old Goren bridge books.

Among tournament bridge players, you would be hard pressed to find anybody who plays that as strong.
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#13 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2021-August-21, 16:36

View Postjohnu, on 2021-August-21, 16:32, said:

I think you can find hundreds of thousands (millions?) of player who play rubber bridge at home who play 1M-3M as game forcing. They learned this from old Goren bridge books.

Among tournament bridge players, you would be hard pressed to find anybody who plays that as strong.


Its ever so cute that people still believe that there's any significant number of people who play rubber bridge at home.

My grandmother played rubber bridge at home.
She's been dead for 25 years.
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#14 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2021-August-21, 20:43

View Posthrothgar, on 2021-August-21, 16:36, said:

Its ever so cute that people still believe that there's any significant number of people who play rubber bridge at home.

My grandmother played rubber bridge at home.
She's been dead for 25 years.


I know a number of people who play home bridge who learned from their parents and/or grandparents. Sure, they are getting older and their parents or grandparents may be dead. It's not an increasing number.

That being said,

Understanding Bridge Players and Non-Players in the U.S.

I won't comment on their sampling methods to determine estimated population figures, but some of their results (for those 45+ with some college) are:

Quote

About 16M (out of 75M) people said they know how to play bridge (over 20%) -- WOW!

10M+ have not played in a long time, 3M+ play a few times a year, 2M+ play regularly (monthly/weekly/weekly+)

Almost two-thirds of the players learned before 1990. But more than 2 million in this age group have learned to play in this decade, a big uptick compared with either of the two prior decades.


And that's just for 45+ with some college in the US. Not including Europe and Asia, the other areas where there are large numbers of tournament players. My seat of the pants numbers are in the range of these numbers.

If you have better numbers I would like to see them.
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#15 User is offline   fromageGB 

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Posted 2021-August-22, 04:15

I voted "invitational", but "none of the above" would be better. I use it purely as a descriptive bid to help opener decide what to do. For me it show 4 card support and no shortage and 9 or 10 hcp. Of course that is invitational, but not what is understood by "invitational". To some this may be "giving away too much information, useful to defenders, on run-of the-mill hands", but surely it helps opener's decision (pass/game/slam) much more than it helps the opposition lead. They are going to see my hand after that anyway.
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#16 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2021-August-22, 07:42

Interesting paper. Thanks for posting it.

I don't have any data set that would refute its findings, however, I find the results incredibly surprising.

I have lots of friends who play bridge / played bridge.
Many of whom were quite serious about it.
Some of who continue to play in organized games.

The one thing that they all have in common: They no longer play much in the way of "social" bridge.
They've all moved on to other things / other games.

I'll play F2F social bridge once in a blue moon with some folks from work, but that's about it
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#17 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-August-22, 08:39

I agree that people who are quite serious about bridge are less likely to play social bridge: but then, most people playing competitive bridge are not serious about it. The people who dropped out of the national federations during the Covid crisis often found it an easy choice as they had social bridge to fall back on (immediately or later).

I too am a bit surprised by the numbers in the report. I don't know how SurveyMonkey works, but I wonder what was done to reduce bias due to people interested in bridge being more likely to respond.
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#18 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2021-September-12, 07:42

View PostDavidKok, on 2021-August-20, 12:07, said:

Layers upon layers, I think. I don't have such a strong direct raise, but instead I have more ways to show weak or invitational support. I have benefited immeasurable amounts from having my artificial invitational raises be limited, so to get 1M-2NT*; 4M very often, and this is a big winner.

Why not do both? It is perfectly possible to create a system with 3 weak raises, a mixed raise, 4 invitational raises, a GF raise and 12 GF splinter raises. And of course there is freedom to vary the numbers in each category to some extent as desired. Simply using 1 - 3 and 1 - 3 (or 3) as your invitational raise would get you most of the advantages of your 2NT response and free up a spot for the GF hands.
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#19 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2021-September-14, 04:15

View PostGilithin, on 2021-September-12, 07:42, said:

Why not do both? It is perfectly possible to create a system with 3 weak raises, a mixed raise, 4 invitational raises, a GF raise and 12 GF splinter raises. And of course there is freedom to vary the numbers in each category to some extent as desired. Simply using 1 - 3 and 1 - 3 (or 3) as your invitational raise would get you most of the advantages of your 2NT response and free up a spot for the GF hands.
Going through 2 for the GF raise usually lets me show the support with 2M, and the extra step over 2NT (compared to 3) is really valuable because it allows both slam exploration and a doubt-showing invite below 3. This has come up in a number of other discussions, but I really don't see why I would want to jump with hands that might belong in slam. I want all the space I can get.
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#20 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2021-September-14, 13:59

View PostDavidKok, on 2021-September-14, 04:15, said:

Going through 2 for the GF raise usually lets me show the support with 2M, and the extra step over 2NT (compared to 3) is really valuable because it allows both slam exploration and a doubt-showing invite below 3. This has come up in a number of other discussions, but I really don't see why I would want to jump with hands that might belong in slam. I want all the space I can get.

The problem with making a 2 GF relay is that when you have a 9+ card fit, good opps will preempt you often. My own view, arrived at after analysing several hundred hands, is that it is generally better to show the 4+ card support immediately but relay with only 3 card support. Against weak opponents who will not get involved with weak hands, relaying will always be better. So it might depend on what level you are playing at as to how you decide to structure the system.
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