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Subject: Bidding Variations rss

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Matt Posey
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It seems like every 42 group has different rules for what constitutes as a legal bid. In my group there are several bidding options:

2 Mark - This obviously means that the hand is now worth 2 marks instead of the usual 1. This is a common bid amongst most players. However, we play that this can be bid by anyone without someone bidding 1 mark before them.

Doubling Bids - We play that each sequential bid greater than 1 mark can be at least double the previous mark. So if the person before you bids 2 marks, you can bid either 3 or 4 marks. If the person before you bids 4 marks, you can bid 5-8 marks.

Follow Me - There is no trump. Can be called on any bid.

Nill/Low Boy - The person who bids this must take no tricks, and their partner does not play. You MUST call Follow Me, so there is no trump. Also, the minimum bid is 1 mark. We play that only the shaker can call nill. This is to reduce the number of times nill is called in a game since someone has to sit out when it is called.

Doubles Low - Instead of doubles being the highest of any number, they are now the lowest of any number. So the [6|6] is now the lowest 6, even lower than the [6|0]. This can only be called when calling Follow Me. ("Follow me, doubles low")

Splash/Plunge - A person bids as normal, but must bid at least 2 mark. IF, and only if, they win the bidding, they can say either "Splash" or "Plunge" and their partner must choose trump and play first. Saying "Splash" means that the bidder has AT LEAST 3 doubles, and the round is worth their called bid. Saying "Plunge" means that the bidder has AT LEAST 4 doubles, and the round is worth 1 more mark than they called. So if a person wins the bid with 2 marks, and then calls "Plunge", the round is now worth 3 marks.

7's - The person who wins the bid MUST play their domino that has the number of dots closest to 7. ([4|3], [5|2], [6|1]) Everyone else must do the same. The person with the number of dots on their domino closets to 7 wins the round. In case of a tie, the first person to play the domino wins. My friends and I do not play this, but I listed it because we know if its existance.

So what type of bids do y'all play with?
 
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Chris Shaffer
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I've played follow me, nullo, doubles low, plunge and sevens. All learned at the Dixie Chicken and Dudley's Draw in College Station. I've never heard of anyone playing 2 mark or double bids without someone previously bidding one mark.
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badalchemist
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Another bidding variation (that I've only seen in nil bids) is Doubles Catch Doubles. In this, doubles are treated as their own separate suit.

So if you had 5 really low dominoes plus maybe 1-1 and 2-2, you wouldn't want doubles to be high in their suit b/c you could get caught by 1-0 + off, 2-0 + off, 2-1 + off, 2-0 + 2-1. You also wouldn't want them to be low their suit because you could get caught by any double + off. In this case, you would want to specify Doubles Catch Doubles so that you would really only have to worry about one play: 0-0 + off.
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Matt Posey
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badalchemist wrote:
Another bidding variation (that I've only seen in nil bids) is Doubles Catch Doubles. In this, doubles are treated as their own separate suit.

So if you had 5 really low dominoes plus maybe 1-1 and 2-2, you wouldn't want doubles to be high in their suit b/c you could get caught by 1-0 + off, 2-0 + off, 2-1 + off, 2-0 + 2-1. You also wouldn't want them to be low their suit because you could get caught by any double + off. In this case, you would want to specify Doubles Catch Doubles so that you would really only have to worry about one play: 0-0 + off.

I just played a few games with the inlaws, and they play that when a person bids nill they HAVE to bid Doubles Catch Doubles. It was ANNOYING! I normally play that you can either bid doubles high or low, which I like because it gives the bidder more options.
 
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John McJilton
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We have been pretty creative with our variants as well. It means we play a large number of full mark hands compared to 30-41 point hands.

Doubles are Trump: Doubles become an eighth suit and are trump.

Inverted ranks: Blanks are high, sixes are low. It's kind of odd when the only things that will lead a 5 are the 5-5 and the 5-6.

Cannonball: Bid is higher of 1 mark or the number of marks the bidding team trails by. Bid is made blind. When auction is won bidder looks at tiles and trades two with partner. Bidder must now have at least four doubles or immediately forfeits. If bidder has requisite doubles they call the game ("nello doubles low" or "follow me" or an obvious trump) and must win all the tricks.

We allow lots of combinations too.

Doubles low is allowed in nearly any game: nello, follow me, numeric trump. In sevens we say "doubles low" when we mean doubles are losers equal to the double blank. It doesn't make sense in doubles are trump so that is exempt.

Some examples of legal games:
31 points 4's are Trump - inverted ranks (we just say "inverted") - doubles are low
Nello - inverted - doubles low

We haven't come to an agreement on what doubles are low means in 7's inverted. My opinion is that low in 7's means losers, but there are those that maintain that low means equal to double blank.

Another variant that we have toyed with but hasn't been accepted into the regular game is 4's are count. Instead of 05, 14, 23 being five points and 55, 64 being 10 points the multiples of four are the count dominoes: 04, 13, 22, 62, 53, 44, 66. The quirk here is that 66 is worth -1 point so that the total is still 42.
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