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BBO deals

I am an insignificant club player and I often have problems with so-called "distribution" hands which are dealt on BBO When we used to play "Kitchen Bridge", the most typical hand we dealt by hand would be 3-3-3-4 or 3-4-4-2 something similar . Less common would be 1-4-4-4 and even less frequently 5-4-2-2 . 6-card suits were hardly thought of (though of course they did happen). However nowadays we play in a Club, online, where the hands are dealt by machine. 6-card suits are very common, 7-cards almost as frequent. I've had occasions where a 6-card suit turns up on half of the hands.
Well So What ?
Well what mostly happens to me it seems is that when I get a 6-card suit I often get a 6-4-3-0 distribution, maybe 6-5-2-2. Fine..... But mostly I find that my partner will have a void or a single in my 6-card suit, furthermore he or she will often have a six-card or longer suit in which I have the 2 or the 4 if we are lucky. Mis-matches often occur. This happens too often for it to be accidental - has Someone - in - Charge made a decision to make deals more "exciting"?


  • With regards to the above - how does one cope with a mismatch such as I describe? e.g. how can we distinguish the situation before we get into game in the wrong suit? Say, for example, I have a nine-point weak two opener in Hearts - my partner has say 6 Spades and10 points and one heart, how can he/she avoid a bad crash, apart from just going no bid and perhaps missing a better contract.

  • Computer dealt hands, whether online or through dealing machines, are intended to be random (technical people might says they are actually pseudo-random). No-one has made a decision to make deals more exciting because they are exciting enough when properly dealt. It is hand dealing that often fails to produce random deals, simply because so many players are lazy about shuffling.

    As to your final question, it's often best to stop bidding early if you suspect a mis-fit.

  • edited March 2021

    I have played in a social club where cards were hand dealt at the start. It was a club where almost nobody shuffled there hands before putting back in the board and less still on the last play of the board. Some would even sort their hands back into suit order.
    I would try to get there early as I would shuffle properly with 7 riffle-shuffles and a couple of cuts.
    Others would give a cursory shuffle at best...

    With hand shuffling, especially with bad shuffling, the deals are far from random.

    Hand dealt cards will have far more 12-14 1NT opens than in a more true random deal. This means with an actual random deal the real chances of very distributional hands are realised... such as the initially surprising fact that that there is a better than 1 in 20 chance of a void... When I played on Tuesday we played 22 boards and I had 3 voids and my partner 1, the other direction and 2 and non.

    So, 22 boards were dealt for 88 hands, with a probability of a void being 0.0512, we would expect 4.5 voids on average on the night. We had 6.
    I would not expect that on a hand dealt night, especially when they are poorly dealt.

  • Regarding your example of of a weak 2 open in H, with a partner with a 10 count and 6S.

    My recommendation would be to pass...

    I tell my learner group that if you are not in game, pass in the lowest possible sensible contract.
    Here the 2H open is (normally about) 6-9
    With partner's 10 count, that makes a possible range of 16-19, without a significant fit and extra distributional values it is miles away from game. The worse the fit, the worse the hand will play and so that 10 count and a singleton H will play more like a 6 or 7 count... you can only finesse in H once for example (if you can even get to dummy).

    If partner has a 6 card H suit and you have a singleton H, you have a 7-card 6-1 fit already.

    I think it is more normal to play 2H (Weak) - P - 2S as strong and forcing for a round, than trying to find a better part score for your 2 weak hands to play in.

  • Thank You Martin & Gordon for your answers. Martin makes good sense about possible mismatches I will contact my partner and try to get her to agree. I seem to have read somewhere that you don't raise a weak 2 unless you have strength and don't bid your own suit likewise. I'm getting forgetful!!

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