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Subject: SevenSpirits' partner passing convention rss

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Alex Rockwell
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The following is a partner passing convention developed by Sean McCarthy (SevenSpirits on BGG). It is independant of convetions for passing to one's opponents like the Fuegi convention, and therefore the two can be combined.


The convention is:

A "High Card" is defined as a Dragon, Phoenix, or Ace.

If one has 2 or more high cards, you pass an ODD card to your partner.
If one has 1 high card, you pass the high card to your partner.
If one has 0 high cards, you pass an EVEN card to your partner.

King and Jack are 'odd', Queen is 'even'.

Passing the Dog or 1 to your partner is not covered and does not indicate a high card count. You can add your own conventions for these cards.


Pros and Cons:

The best part of the convention is the information it conveys to both members of the partnership about the strnegths of your hands versus your opponents.

For example, if players swap odd cards, they know that they each have 2+ high cards and can expect low opposition from their opponents to a Tichu call. The goal should probalby be to make Tichu, to go 1-2, or both.

Knowing that your partner has 2+ high cards can help you to know when your opponents are out of them, or know that your partner still has somethign left, which can be very useful.

If a player considering calling Tichu receives an even card from their partner, they must now consider that their opponents have all unaccounted for high cards, which can disuade you from calling a bad Tichu that is likely to fail. Also, this can help you identify situations in which you are in a lot of trouble and at high risk of your opponents going 1-2. This will help you to know when you should just allow the opposing Tichu caller to go out without wasting your power fighting him, so that you can attempt to beat the other player and not suffer a 1-2.

This information gain is hugely valuable and is the purpose of the convention.


Additional benefits:

Because you pass ODD from a strong hand, you often end up passing a single King to the Tichu caller's partner. This king is valuable after the Tichu caller has gone out and opponents may have played their high cards trying to stop him. This can enable more 1-2 or 1-3s. SIngle kings are generally not very helpful to a Tichu caller, because when you play them it invites an Ace from an opponent, when you often wish you couldve played the Ace yourself. Getting the King into the partner's hand is useful. Of course, when you have multiple kings youre probably passing some other odd card, like a J/9/7/etc.

Passing the one high card out of a hand with only one consolidates the power into one player, to allow Tichu. (Many people already do this in their partner passing advice).


Drawbacks:

Occasionally it is annoying to have to pass odd or even when you dont want to for a particular hand. However, these effects are usually small in reality, and 'lying' by passing the wrong card can often have disastrous effects if you are relying upon the information being accurate. It is especially bad to pass odd and lie that you have 2+ high cards when you do not, as this can cause you partner to call an inadvised Tichu.

Generally one can actually find a way to pass their hand that enables you to give the correct odd/even card to your partner. This may involve playing for pairs/triples instead of straights, but thats generally ok. (Straights get beaten more than you might think).


Acceptable lies:

Generally it is okay to pass even to your partner if you really need to, if you are very certain that you will call Tichu, and need to pass even to make the hand work. If your partner passes you an even card but then calls Tichu, you should expect one of two scenarios. Either they lied, or they have a bomb and a huge play and will simply go out.

Dont lie by giving an even card when dont have 0 high cards and you arent calling Tichu, as doing so might make your partner not call Tichu themself when it would be a really good idea.


Dog and 1 passing:

Generally we have played that passing the Dog and 1 do not indicate a certain amount of High cards. Passing the Dog to your partner indicates that you have a hand that desires to be dogged to (very long straight for example, or you are strong and will call Tichu). Passing the 1 to your partner generally indicates that you do not have a straight or bomb, and that your partner should feel free to wish for whatever they think will hurt the opponents, without worrying about destroying you. You could develop your own meanings of Dog and 1 passes if desired. We usually only pass the 1 during an opponents Grand Tichu call, in order to put the 1 in front of the GT caller to attempt to wreck them (wish for an Ace, or wish for a low-medium card hoping to destroy a straight, or even better play a straight and wish for Ace, then if it is not beaten lead a pair/triple/fullhouse/stair to draw out multiple aces).


Summary:

I find this convention extremely useful in order to understand where the power lies in the hand (how much your partner has versus your opponents), before starting play. It can improve accuracy of your Tichu calls by preventing you from calling when opponents have more high cards or enabling you to call with an otherwise questionable hand if you know your partner has 2+ high cards. It is useful for knowing when to pursue 1-2, and knowing when to fight an opposing Tichu to try and set them, or to allow them to go out easily and then fighting their partner for points or to not be 1-2ed.

Its drawbacks are that it occasionally hampers your abilty to pass optimally, however this effect is much less important than the information gained.

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Curt Carpenter
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Re: SevenSpirits partner passing convention
I've dabbled with stuff like this before. I had a partner once who tried to convince me of a similar pattern, but to indicate whether we were holding the dog. Ultimately, I felt that the drawbacks you mentioned were greater than the gains. With the scheme proposed here, for example, if I have a crap hand and want to pass a king to my partner a king (my high card), it now counts as odd, meaning that I have 2 or more high cards, which is false. Or do you have a cutoff point at which cards above that value are defined to be a high card, and not even or odd?

Often it is the case that I really only have one reasonable choice for what to pass my partner, unless I start passing my partner a lower card which I would have passed to an opponent. So now the question is whether the info gleaned is worth giving an opopnent a better card than I would have, and/or my partner a worse card. I don't feel like I have a strong proof one way or the other, but my feeling has been that it wasn't worth it.

It might be interesting to look at some randomly selected hands (like from BSW logs) and compare what you would pass with and without the convention. And compare that with the default convention of passing high means expecting partner's hand to be dominant and vice versa.
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Sean McCarthy
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Re: SevenSpirits partner passing convention
I have some stats, too!


Chances of having X high cards, then chances of your partner also having Y high cards.

X P(X) P(Y=0|X) P(Y=1|X) P(Y=2|X) P(Y=3|X) P(Y=4|X)

0 0.1616 0.07 0.26 0.36 0.23 0.07
1 0.3668 0.12 0.33 0.35 0.16 0.03
2 0.3137 0.18 0.41 0.31 0.09 0.01
3 0.1287 0.29 0.46 0.22 0.03 0
4 0.0265 0.44 0.46 0.11 0 0

Chances that a team has the following combination of high cards (with either player having more):

0,0 1%
0,1 9%
0,2 11%
0,3 7%
0,4 2%

1,1 12%
1,2 26%
1,3 12%
1,4 2%

2,2 10%
2,3 6%
3,3 4%
2,4 1%

Following this convention strictly, the chances of exchanging certain combinations of cards:

Exchange Even with Even 1%
Exchange HC with HC 12%
Exchange Odd with Odd 21%
Exchange Even with HC 9%
Exchange Even with Odd 20%
Exchange HC with Odd 40%


You may notice that odd card passes are more common than even card passes. This is somewhat intentional. Exchanging cards of the same parity tends to give you more singles and fewer combinations, and this hurts much more if your hands are both weak than if they are both strong.

I did consider slightly more complex conventions, like this:

With 1 High Card, pass it (happens 37% of the time)
With 2 High Cards, pass an odd (happens 31% of the time)
With 0 or 3+ High Cards, pass an even (happens 32% of the time)

Doing that equalizes the frequency of the odd/even pretty precisely, and you can generally signal to your partner pretty quickly the difference between 0 high cards and 3+ high cards (by calling Tichu, or playing one of them). However, not only do I not think it's worth the additional mental effort and teaching requirement, I'm not convinced equalizing those numbers is even productive.


Another possibility considered and rejected was counting high card points instead of high cards. Here K = 1, A = 2, and P/D = 3. You'll get an average of 4.5 HCP, and thus can pass some information about Ks as well. While you're presumably still passing the same quantity of information initially (1-2 bits), you gain more information once your partner plays some of the point-worthy cards. Again, I concluded the additional complexity wasn't really producing anything though. Often you care most about the exact number of Aces your opponents have, so you can Dragon the last one, and the number of Ks is secondary.
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Sean McCarthy
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Re: SevenSpirits partner passing convention
curtc wrote:
I've dabbled with stuff like this before. I had a partner once who tried to convince me of a similar pattern, but to indicate whether we were holding the dog. Ultimately, I felt that the drawbacks you mentioned were greater than the gains. With the scheme proposed here, for example, if I have a crap hand and want to pass a king to my partner a king (my high card), it now counts as odd, meaning that I have 2 or more high cards, which is false. Or do you have a cutoff point at which cards above that value are defined to be a high card, and not even or odd?

Often it is the case that I really only have one reasonable choice for what to pass my partner, unless I start passing my partner a lower card which I would have passed to an opponent. So now the question is whether the info gleaned is worth giving an opopnent a better card than I would have, and/or my partner a worse card. I don't feel like I have a strong proof one way or the other, but my feeling has been that it wasn't worth it.

It might be interesting to look at some randomly selected hands (like from BSW logs) and compare what you would pass with and without the convention. And compare that with the default convention of passing high means expecting partner's hand to be dominant and vice versa.
This convention was actually partly born out of my realization that I usually don't want the strong hand in the partnership to have the Ks.

I think you're overestimating the value of passing your partner a medium-high card. Even before this convention, I was usually just doing the "pass your partner the card that has the greatest probable strength differential in my partner's hand vs mine" which often leads to passing low cards. It's not that big a deal! Tichus rest on A/P/Ds and combinations, not on single Ks and Qs.

Btw, I'm not surprised your convention to indicate whether you have the dog was not worth it. That just doesn't matter very much. Knowing Ace counts is WAY more informative to whether you should call tichu, and situations where either your partner or opponent A has the dog, and opponent B wants to be dogged to to go out, and opponent A is winning the trick, and your partner is not capable of beating opponent A but you are, are pretty rare.
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Curt Carpenter
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Re: SevenSpirits partner passing convention
Interesting analysis. I hear you about K not making a tichu, but it's not really so much about the K making a tichu, as it is a random low/middle single killing a tichu. That's potentially one extra single to get rid of, which your partner has to bank on covering.

But I think the analysis is interesting. I would be willing to try it.

Edit: However, my feeling is still that you already get the same effect with the simpler system of passing high/low. If I pass a high card, 95+% of the time, it's my only one. And since you only get 0 high cards 16% of the time, if I don't pass a high card, it usually means I have strength. Obviously in that 16% of the time, I still have to pass something, which is where I think passing Q or K is useful, to tell your P that your hand blows, and that you're not holding strength. Wityh the proposed system, I'm not sure that with the required ocassional lying due to not having an even/odd to pass your opponent (unless you're really saying you'd be willing to pass a 2/4 to your partner when you have zero high cards) you'd be coming out any better than the traditional system. Maybe if I get bored and have some time I'll try to fish out some sample hands and compare.
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Sean McCarthy
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Re: SevenSpirits partner passing convention
In my practical experience, it's seemed very beneficial. Not so much that I'm totally confident it's good (which is why I hadn't posted it yet) but pretty darn confident.

Oh one other thing Alex forgot to mention, this convention is OFF during Grand Tichu calls. I'm still not sure what is the best way to oppose a GT, but I think in most cases you should aim to support the player who gets to play after the GTer.
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Alex Rockwell
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Re: SevenSpirits partner passing convention
SevenSpirits wrote:

Oh one other thing Alex forgot to mention, this convention is OFF during Grand Tichu calls. I'm still not sure what is the best way to oppose a GT, but I think in most cases you should aim to support the player who gets to play after the GTer.
I've been kindof liking it when an opponent calls GT as well, though you are much more likely to have the 1 be passed in those hands. But you can play with it on or off in GT hands.

When your partner calls Grand Tichu however, you should definitely give your best card and ignore the convention.

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Alex Rockwell
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Re: SevenSpirits partner passing convention
curtc wrote:
Interesting analysis. I hear you about K not making a tichu, but it's not really so much about the K making a tichu, as it is a random low/middle single killing a tichu. That's potentially one extra single to get rid of, which your partner has to bank on covering.
I generally avoid passing VERY low cards to the partner, in all but the wierdest hands. I am usually passing K/J/9 out of a 2+ high card hand. My opponent probably isnt tichuing, so I am not wrecking them if I do pass a 7 or 5. If my opponent is tichuing then we BOTH have strong hands, and even if I gave them a 5 it probably isnt a big deal.

When passing even out of a weak hand, I am probably giving my biggest single. This is most likely a Q or 10. I probably am not wrecking my partner's Tichu. Even then, Tichu calls are NOT ADVISABLE in these situations except with very strong hands, as I am offering NO support to my partner! I dont really want my partner calling Tichu here!


The critical situation where a low card would be most likely to wreck my partner's Tichu, or a high card to make it, is where I offer SOME support (1 high card). Here, the convention means passing the high card, which is helping make the Tichu work!


Quote:

Edit: However, my feeling is still that you already get the same effect with the simpler system of passing high/low. If I pass a high card, 95+% of the time, it's my only one. And since you only get 0 high cards 16% of the time, if I don't pass a high card, it usually means I have strength. Obviously in that 16% of the time, I still have to pass something, which is where I think passing Q or K is useful, to tell your P that your hand blows, and that you're not holding strength. Wityh the proposed system, I'm not sure that with the required ocassional lying due to not having an even/odd to pass your opponent (unless you're really saying you'd be willing to pass a 2/4 to your partner when you have zero high cards) you'd be coming out any better than the traditional system. Maybe if I get bored and have some time I'll try to fish out some sample hands and compare.
If you wanted, you could replace odd/even with high/low, and define high/low in clear terms. Then you could derive the same amount of information. In your system, passing 'low' means my hand is strong, and 'high' means its weak. However, I really like the idea of getting single kings to the player WITHOUT the Ace/P/D cards. They are much better there. Kings are really useful for trying to be the third player out instead of the fourth.

Also, when my hand is very strong, I like giving you a King to try and help us 1-2, if you have some power as well.

Quote:

With the proposed system, I'm not sure that with the required ocassional lying due to not having an even/odd to pass your opponent (unless you're really saying you'd be willing to pass a 2/4 to your partner when you have zero high cards)
This happens rarely but can happen. Lying to portray yourself as weaker than you are doesnt usually have terrible consequences. (Often it leads to your partner not Tichuing and then an oppoennt Tichuing instead, which is practically the same thing) Lying that you are stronger than you really are definitely can. You can often get in situations where your partner Tichus and then your opponent over-Tichus and destroys you.


The primary benefit of the convention is in knowing the Ace/P/D counts very well, which is extremely useful information. The drawbacks arent really very major. But it is critical to follow the convention pretty strictly and not lie, so that the information is reliable.


 
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Alex Rockwell
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Re: SevenSpirits partner passing convention
I think it would be very beneficial for people to randomly generate some hands, post them, and then we analyze how you would pass with or without the convention, and see the effects.
 
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Aaron Fuegi
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Re: SevenSpirits partner passing convention
I am kind of surprised at the prohibition on 'lying'. Whenever I've thought about such things, I have always completely allowed lying and merely treated the convention as a tendency towards a certain behavior. However, I could be wrong on allowing this flexibility. I don't like your convention but with my one below I could probably live with the no lying in the case of 0 and do it extremely rarely in the case of 2+.

I think there are too many hands where it would lead to pretty obviously generally inferior passes. I also _really_ don't like prohibiting the pass of a King from a 0 hand. That King may add to an existing King or two to make a big difference. One King is often ok/bad but 2+ is usually quite valuable so focusing them in the strong hand makes 100% sense to me. Given that ignoring the high card and 1/Dog passes which are not an issue in this discussion, a single King would be the card I would most want to pass to my partner, a convention that says I can't do it makes no sense to me.

Lets ignore the 1 high card situation and 1/Dog passes since we both agree on the pass here as a general rule (although I am willing to break this too on a fair number of particular hands).

I haven't tried this but here is another convention that I think I would prefer. If 2+, try to pass a card 2-7 (unless you know you will call Tichu in which case pass whatever). If 0 try to pass a card 8-K. This lets me always pass my high card when have a bad hand. I say 'try' here because as I said above I prefer not doing 100% rules but if you don't like 'lying' with your scheme, don't allow it here either.

Why is the even/odd split better than a high/low one?
 
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Curt Carpenter
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Re: SevenSpirits partner passing convention
There’s one more consideration, especially when changing what you would pass to opponents, which is whether you enforce the even/odd convention. My regular partner and I try pretty hard to adhere to that. If I am passing 3 cards under 10, and they are not all odd and not all even, then my preference would be to pass the lowest even and lowest odd to opponents, with the remaining card going to my P. This is when not passing my hard card to P.

After looking at a few hands from logs, the pattern I’m seeing is that the new convention doesn’t actually change my pass, or the information conveyed. That is, if I pass a single 10 or less, it always (or close enough) means I have 2+ high cards. So it doesn’t matter whether it’s even/odd. The only ambiguity is in two specific cases:
1) When passing from a hand with zero high cards, so usually pass JQK.
2) When passing from a hand with 2+ high cards, and nothing low to pass P, so usually pass JQK.

It’s true that P can’t necessarily distinguish between 1 and 2, unless P has a lot of high cards, and then assumes it’s case 1. If mistaken (both players have 2+ high cards), it’s usually a cake walk anyway, especially because although one player might have passed JQK, probably the other at least passed lower. So one of the players sitting on 2+ high cards knows the other is too. But when you have zero high cards, and get a JQK from your partner, usually I say "uh oh", and play conservatively, making avoiding the 1-2 the top priority. That’s usually a reasonable approach, even if my P actually has a T hand. After all, if he calls it, I know. Otherwise, as soon as I see a high card, I know he has more.

So what I’m really trying to see is situations where the decisions made based on the knowledge transfer of the convention work to a tangible advantage.

There are plenty of randomly generated hands readily available:
http://www.tichuliga.de/logs

 
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Sean McCarthy
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Re: SevenSpirits partner passing convention
I like it better for two reasons.

1) You're focusing on a fairly arbitrary characteristic (odd/even) instead of a practically meaningful one (strength). This allows you a lot of leeway in deciding how much of your strength to give up to your partner, which allows you to follow convention strictly without being forced to wreck your hand as much.

2) As mentioned, it lets you pass a single K out of the strong hand, which I really like. You say that one K is only OK/bad, but that's only true in the stronger hand. It's often very strong in the weaker hand. In the case where both players have a single K (and it's the high card for one player), concentrating them both in the weaker hand might be a tiny bit worse for tichu than putting them both in the strong hand, but it's excellent for getting a strong majority of the points.

I've tried this convention both strictly and non-strictly; I think it adds a lot of valuable information if you play it strictly and is only rarely inconvenient.
 
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Alex Rockwell
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Re: SevenSpirits partner passing convention
aarondf@bu.edu wrote:
I am kind of surprised at the prohibition on 'lying'. Whenever I've thought about such things, I have always completely allowed lying and merely treated the convention as a tendency towards a certain behavior.
The information is far more useful if it reliable, and its only reliable if you dont lie. Misinformation can lead to disasters.

The player who is a strong player and able to use this information very effectively is going to do card counting, and an unexpected Ace coming out of an opponent's hand might really wreck their plans. Maybe you have 23456 KK left and you lead KK 'knowing' it will stand (due to opponents not having enough Aces), because leading 23456 is likely to get beat. But an opponent has extra aces and can actually beat KK and wrecks you (while leading 23456 mightve still won).
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Re: SevenSpirits partner passing convention
aarondf@bu.edu wrote:
I also _really_ don't like prohibiting the pass of a King from a 0 hand. That King may add to an existing King or two to make a big difference.
I really like this part of it, I think its one of the strengths.
For a long time I have tried to figure out a way to pair up a teams's single kings. A convention of 'pass single kings' doesnt do this, you swap them. But if the strong hand passes single kings to the weak hand it is just awesome!

The problem in the situation of both players having a signle king is that you need to get exactly one of them to pass it. It is pretty likely that one partner's hand is 'strong' with 2+ high cards, and theo other is 'weak' with 0-1. This convention solves the single king problem because strong passes it to weak, while weak holds it. It also places single kings or pairs of kings in the best locaiton, which is the weaker hand.

Quote:

I haven't tried this but here is another convention that I think I would prefer. If 2+, try to pass a card 2-7 (unless you know you will call Tichu in which case pass whatever). If 0 try to pass a card 8-K.
The main problem I have with this is that I hate giving my partner a 6 or below, and really prefer to give them 9+ in most circumstances. Also, I rarely have 3 low singles that are all 7 or less, and I dont want to be giving something like 3/10 to opponents and 4 to my partner to follow this convention, when I really want to pass 3/4 to opponents and some medium high card to my partner.


Everyone can generally agree that in a 1 high card hand, passing the 1 high card is good, to consolidate for Tichus. (This is rarely bad in hands of one high card plus enormous straight, but thats about it. And without the 1, those hands rarely work out anyway).

To get useful information therefore, we need to distinguish between 2+ and 0. Odd/even is a way to do this. Low/high is another. You could come up with more confusing ones. But I like Odd/Even with Odd meaning 2+ high cards for the reasons explained.




Regarding lying: A couple of my early lies resulted in direct losses of 100+ points, as Sean was really counting on the information being accurate in a couple plays, and because it wasnt the plays failed spectacularly. (Things such as calling an inadvised Tichu due to belieing in partner's strength, finishing by leading the KK in a hand of 23456 KK from my earlier example, and then having it beat and getting 1-2ed as a result, for a score of -100 to 200. Without the lie, this wouldve been a situation where Sean went 2nd and captured a dent amount of points, for a score nearer 50-50 or 50-150 if opponent Tichued)

After witnessing the spectacular failure due to lies, the only options were to implement 'no lying', or abandon the convention. We tried no lying and then it became beneficial.
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Curt Carpenter
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Re: SevenSpirits partner passing convention
SevenSpirits wrote:
I like it better for two reasons.

1) You're focusing on a fairly arbitrary characteristic (odd/even) instead of a practically meaningful one (strength). This allows you a lot of leeway in deciding how much of your strength to give up to your partner, which allows you to follow convention strictly without being forced to wreck your hand as much.
Funny, I have the opposite conclusion. I feel that the even/odd constraints my pass more than high/low. How do I "wreck my hand" with high/low? I don't get that.

SevenSpirits wrote:
2) As mentioned, it lets you pass a single K out of the strong hand, which I really like. You say that one K is only OK/bad, but that's only true in the stronger hand. It's often very strong in the weaker hand. In the case where both players have a single K (and it's the high card for one player), concentrating them both in the weaker hand might be a tiny bit worse for tichu than putting them both in the strong hand, but it's excellent for getting a strong majority of the points.
Not sure how that is. KK, when in the weaker hand, will often be overplayed, either as singles or a pair. So you lose the points. Or they might win a trick but you go out 4th and don't get to keep them anyway. Either way, I don't see how you get more points in general with KK in weaker partner's hand.

SevenSpirits wrote:
I've tried this convention both strictly and non-strictly; I think it adds a lot of valuable information if you play it strictly and is only rarely inconvenient.
I can see how this would be useful compared to no convention, but I think we need to see some examples of where it beats high/low to see how it's better than that convention.
 
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Re: SevenSpirits partner passing convention
curtc wrote:
Not sure how that is. KK, when in the weaker hand, will often be overplayed, either as singles or a pair. So you lose the points.
He needs to hold the Kings until they are safe. There is a good chance this means waiting until there are two players left. However, he then has a good chance of going out 3rd, and you end up with the majority of the points for the hand. This is a great way to turn your Tichus into 175-25 wins, and your opponent's Tichus into 125-75 "losses", where you say 'wow, that couldve been a lot worse'.





One more benefit of the convention:

Your team generally knows which of the two of you has the Aces, and can thus be expected to defend on singles, once the trick gets high.

You dont really want the player with the Aces passing and leaving it to the player with Kings to put something on that opposing Jack. The Ace is good here, it wins or it forces P/D. The King is bad, it gets eaten by the opposing Ace and loses 10 points.

Kings are bad singles (unless you control all the big cards or they are gone). Kings get eaten by your opponents for point loss. Its really beneficial to save your Kings for when they are good. (Unless forced to do otherwise). This is a key of strong play.

In most cases, the goal of the weaker hand of the partnership is to get out 3rd, and capture some points. The biggest way you do this is holding kings until late.
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Sean McCarthy
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Re: SevenSpirits partner passing convention
Alexfrog wrote:

For a long time I have tried to figure out a way to pair up a teams's single kings. A convention of 'pass single kings' doesnt do this, you swap them. But if the strong hand passes single kings to the weak hand it is just awesome!

The problem in the situation of both players having a signle king is that you need to get exactly one of them to pass it. It is pretty likely that one partner's hand is 'strong' with 2+ high cards, and theo other is 'weak' with 0-1. This convention solves the single king problem because strong passes it to weak, while weak holds it. It also places single kings or pairs of kings in the best locaiton, which is the weaker hand.
Also, the worst case with Ks is exchanging them (2 wasted passes). With this convention, that only happens when both hands are strong, which means you'll be playing singles anyway!
 
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Re: SevenSpirits partner passing convention
curtc wrote:
Funny, I have the opposite conclusion. I feel that the even/odd constraints my pass more than high/low. How do I "wreck my hand" with high/low? I don't get that.
Say you're doing J/Q/K vs the rest as you suggested. Often you do not have a single JQK. So to follow convention, you'd have to split up a combination!

Or, you do have a single K. Passing it away means you can't get the lead when it's down to you and one opponent, so you'll go out fourth.
 
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Curt Carpenter
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Re: SevenSpirits partner passing convention
Alexfrog wrote:
Aaron wrote:
I haven't tried this but here is another convention that I think I would prefer. If 2+, try to pass a card 2-7 (unless you know you will call Tichu in which case pass whatever). If 0 try to pass a card 8-K.
The main problem I have with this is that I hate giving my partner a 6 or below, and really prefer to give them 9+ in most circumstances. Also, I rarely have 3 low singles that are all 7 or less, and I dont want to be giving something like 3/10 to opponents and 4 to my partner to follow this convention, when I really want to pass 3/4 to opponents and some medium high card to my partner.
Yeah, I think 2-7 is too low. I generally use 2-10. And of course more often than not 6-10, since 2-5 get passed to opponents.
 
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Re: SevenSpirits partner passing convention
tweetlebeetle wrote:
Since the cards are asymmetrical from top to bottom, why couldn't you add this to the convention:
Because everyone would agree it's cheating.
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Tim Gilberg
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Re: SevenSpirits partner passing convention
SevenSpirits wrote:

Or, you do have a single K. Passing it away means you can't get the lead when it's down to you and one opponent, so you'll go out fourth.
Erm. If you have 2+ high cards, pass a king, and end up having two players go out before you I'd say you have problems well beyond your passing convention.
 
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Alex Rockwell
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Re: SevenSpirits partner passing convention
Totally random Tichu hands, drawn from the logs linked earlier:
(Dragon = D, Phoenix = P, 10 = T, Dog = 'Dog' (not D))

PAKQJJ9977655 Dog


Analysis: Two high cards, pass partner odd. Your low single is one 6. Difficult to find enough to pass.

Option 1: Pass partner K, opponents Dog and 6. (I'm not a fan of passing the dog to opponents, but sometimes its fine).
Option 2: Pass partner Dog, opponents 6 and ?.
Option 3: Pass Partner K, opponents 5 and 5.
Option 4: Pass Partner 5, opponents 5 and 6.

I think I like passing K55 most. AKQJ9 and Phoenix is asking to be destroyed by a 1-5 or 1-6 with Ace wish from an opponent.

This hand is probably not a Tichu hand, since you will be getting a couple low signles from opponents that probably wont pair. Its a great hand to try to go 2nd. If your partner's hand is good its a good chance for 1-2.


Does this convention hurt us? It disallows a pass of 6 to partner and 55 to opponents, requiring 5 to partner and 66 to opponents if we went this way. Not a big deal.



AKKQJT87443321


One high card, pass it to partner. I'm going to pass 7 and 2 to opponents. The convention probalby didnt effect what you did here.


DAQTTT99876542

Two high cards, so odd to opponent. Thats basically the 9. Opponents get 2 and 4, leaving me with a 5 card straight.
Without the convention I would probably give partner a Q and opponents 9 and 2. Not a huge difference however, and the 924 way might be better anyway.



AKQJ8866543322


One high card so I pass the A to partner. I'm going to give opponents 54 and keep a 2233 that might turn into a full house, or might stay as a nice stair. I dont think I would pass differently without the convention.



AKJTTT99886532


A to partner, 32 to opponents, convention doesnt change this.



PAQJJ877444321


Odd to partner is annoying, probably the first annoyance of this excersize. I think I give 7 to partner, 78 to opponents. Without the convention I probably give 32 to opponents and 8 to partner, not going for the low straight.


DAKKQQT985542 Dog


Dog to partner, 24 to opponents. Convention didnt really apply here.


AKQJ9776665332


A to partner, 52 to opponents. Convention didnt change it.



DPAAKK96665442


Wow. I give K to partner, 52 to opponents. I like partner having a K, my hand rules, I want them to have a chance to 1-2. SOme would give 952, that works too.



AQQJT988777333


A to partner 77 to opponents, leaving me with a 789TJ straight and a spare 8. Those 7s are totally singles for my two opponents (if they didnt fill straights. If they filled striaghts it was a straight LOWER than mine so they lead into me).


JJTT876543221 Dog


Lol. What can I pass? I can give a partner 8 here, that follows convention. Or I give partner Dog and opponents 28? Or partner 8 and opponents 22, hoping for a 2 back from one of them? This was tricky but not because of the convention.



AKKQQJT9985542


A to partner, 42 to opponents. WIthout convention I mightve passed 942 if we werent following a convention of '1 high card = pass to partner'. Many peopel do that anyway though.



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Curt Carpenter
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Re: SevenSpirits partner passing convention
Regarding the whole pairing up kings thing:

What is the percentage of hands where you and your partner each have one king? By my calculations it's 2/40 = 5% of hands. Of those, what is the percentage where exactly one of you has 2+ high cards? Of those, what is the percentage that the player with 2+ HC doesn't have a lower odd card they would rather get rid of (to bolster a possible T call)? I don't really agree with the logic about increasing points by putting kings in the weaker hand, but I think it's just not even worth discussing it this much. You might as well discuss which kind of tree is best to get under to avoid being hit by lightning. Ok, maybe not quite that unlikely, but certainly likely to not even come into play for most games.

Edit: Oops, my probability was flawed. Apparently it's more like 20%.

SevenSpirits wrote:
curtc wrote:
Funny, I have the opposite conclusion. I feel that the even/odd constraints my pass more than high/low. How do I "wreck my hand" with high/low? I don't get that.
Say you're doing J/Q/K vs the rest as you suggested. Often you do not have a single JQK. So to follow convention, you'd have to split up a combination!
Actually, it's very uncommon to not have a single high card above 10, keeping in mind that this includes high cards.
 
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Alex Rockwell
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Re: SevenSpirits partner passing convention
Gilby wrote:
SevenSpirits wrote:

Or, you do have a single K. Passing it away means you can't get the lead when it's down to you and one opponent, so you'll go out fourth.
Erm. If you have 2+ high cards, pass a king, and end up having two players go out before you I'd say you have problems well beyond your passing convention.
He was referring to you having no high cards, and passing your signle king. As an example of why its bad to use a 'I give you a face card means I had no high cards' convention'.
 
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Sean McCarthy
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Re: SevenSpirits partner passing convention
Gilby wrote:
SevenSpirits wrote:

Or, you do have a single K. Passing it away means you can't get the lead when it's down to you and one opponent, so you'll go out fourth.
Erm. If you have 2+ high cards, pass a king, and end up having two players go out before you I'd say you have problems well beyond your passing convention.
Tim, I was talking about Curt's convention, not mine. Passing a K would indicate NO high cards.
 
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