BBO Discussion Forums: The large number of players that allow a ruff-and-discard on BBO - BBO Discussion Forums

Jump to content

Page 1 of 1
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

The large number of players that allow a ruff-and-discard on BBO

#1 User is offline   masterho 

  • Pip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 3
  • Joined: 2019-May-03

Posted 2019-July-12, 03:07

Since my early days of learning bridge, Iíve been told how not to allow a ruff-and-discard as a defender. In general, one almost never benefit by leading a suit which allows declarer to ruff at short hand (usually dummy). Leading that suit is probably the worst choice out of 4. If possible, usually itís best to lead a trump.

On BBO, there have been numerous times where I stretched to bid a doubled contract with obvious losers going for down 1, which somehow made because the defender allowed a ruff-and-discard. Most of the time it happened when the defenders won A-K in a suit and then decided to lead a Q into a void in dummy which had 3 trumps. Those who made the mistakes includes players who claim to be intermediate or even advanced. In fact are there situations that Iím not aware of that the defender can actually benefit in a ruff-and-discard? Were those players that made the mistake simply taking calculated risk that failed?
0

#2 User is offline   FelicityR 

  • PipPipPipPip
  • Group: Full Members
  • Posts: 441
  • Joined: 2012-October-26
  • Gender:Female

Posted 2019-July-12, 03:40

Only very, very, very, very rarely are there occasions where a defender can provide a ruff-and-discard to declarer that has no benefit to him or her.

In the main you are absolutely right, it is usually awful bridge to help declarer along by allowing a ruff-and-discard. I wouldn't take much notice of the bridge level posted by some players. The other thing that contributes to this situation cropping up is poor carding (or not discussed carding between the two defenders).

The player on lead that allows a ruff-and-discard maybe thinks that declarer still has a card in his/her suit and partner has the void, whereas the reality is completely different.
0

#3 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 3,479
  • Joined: 2003-May-14

Posted 2019-July-12, 05:23

View Postmasterho, on 2019-July-12, 03:07, said:

In fact are there situations that I'm not aware of that the defender can actually benefit in a ruff-and-discard?


Yes, there are situations where forcing a ruff-discard is best for the defense. Examples abound in defense books. Generally, if declarer is known to have no more losers in the remaining side suits, this is often best, it sometimes promotes a trump trick for the defense in some manner. Another situation is when there is only choice between ruff-sluff and breaking a side suit which will give up your only trick in the suit, while you have counted out that a single ruff-sluff will not be fatal, still letting you win that trick.


Quote

Were those players that made the mistake simply taking calculated risk that failed?


Unlikely. More likely they are just bad defenders, or had a leading agreement mixup, or had a brain cramp. BBO average level of play is pretty low, and defense is the hardest part of the game to learn for most.
0

#4 User is offline   johnu 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 2,847
  • Joined: 2008-September-10

Posted 2019-July-12, 05:48

View Postmasterho, on 2019-July-12, 03:07, said:

Those who made the mistakes includes players who claim to be intermediate or even advanced.


On BBO, you can assign yourself a world class ranking even if you just learned the basics of bridge 5 minutes ago. It's easier to get into a game as an intermediate, even easier as an advanced played, so a large percentage of players promote themselves to a better self-ranking. Basically, BBO self-rankings mean almost nothing.

When is a sluff-ruff OK?

Suppose a side suit is 4-4 and you have all the honors and spot cards except the queeen. A sluff-ruff doesn't really help you since you still have to guess where the queen is.
0

#5 User is offline   barmar 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Admin
  • Posts: 18,571
  • Joined: 2004-August-21
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2019-July-12, 08:44

They may not realize they're giving declarer a ruff-sluff, or they hope they aren't. Sure, they can see that dummy is void, but they don't know that declarer is also out of the suit -- maybe they hope that you're out and can overruff or get a trump promotion.

Avoiding this requires good count signaling between the defenders. If you're playing with someone you don't know, you probably don't know whether they're giving count, or whether you can trust their signals. So you guess, and it's easy to guess wrong.

This almost certainly also goes on with pickup f2f partners. But you notice it more online because you probably play with more randoms there than f2f. Even when you pick up someone at the partnership desk in a f2f tournament, you're probably paired up more evenly.

#6 User is offline   pescetom 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 1,887
  • Joined: 2014-February-18
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Italy

Posted 2019-July-12, 09:19

I think an important part of the explanation is simply that to a beginner it's not even obvious that opponent will be able to both ruff and discard on the same trick, let alone that this is usually a bad idea for our side. If nobody explains this clearly - and playing on BBO that is unlikely - then the habit may persist into intermediate stage.
0

#7 User is offline   nige1 

  • 5-level belongs to me
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 7,846
  • Joined: 2004-August-30
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Glasgow Scotland
  • Interests:Poems Computers

Posted 2019-July-12, 09:45


Surprizingly often, a ruff and a sluff is best defence. For example it can
-- fatally weaken declarer's trumps or
-- simply give nothing away when alternatives are risky
South is declarer in 6 on Q lead.
Declarer cashes AK AK AK and exits in s
If West now leads a , then declarer can pick up the entire suit.
Although a minor exit gives declarer a ruff and a sluff,
declarer finds that a slow loser is inevitable.

0

#8 User is offline   pescetom 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 1,887
  • Joined: 2014-February-18
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Italy

Posted 2019-July-12, 10:11

View Postnige1, on 2019-July-12, 09:45, said:

If West now leads a , declarer can pick up the entire suit.
Although a minor exit gives declarer a ruff and a sluff,
declarer finds that a slow loser is inevitable.


It's a good example, but did South forget he was planning to bid 5 after 5 ? B-)
0

#9 User is offline   johnu 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 2,847
  • Joined: 2008-September-10

Posted 2019-July-13, 00:52

View Postnige1, on 2019-July-12, 09:45, said:


Surprizingly often, a ruff and a sluff is best defence. For example it can
-- fatally weaken declarer's trumps or
-- simply give nothing away when alternatives are risky
South is declarer in 6 onQ lead.
Declarer cashes AK AK AK and exits in s
If West now leads a , then declarer can pick up the entire suit.
Although a minor exit gives declarer a ruff and a sluff,
declarer finds that a slow loser is inevitable.



Good example. I'm too lazy to write something up, but sometimes giving a ruff-sluff can cause declarer to lose control of the hand by causing communication problems, or possibly having to ruff with a trump that (eventually) creates a trump loser.
0

#10 User is offline   the hog 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 10,610
  • Joined: 2003-March-07
  • Location:Laos
  • Interests:Wagner and Bridge

Posted 2019-July-13, 04:35

A ruff and sluff is not infrequently the only way to beat a hand.Take a similar hand to the following hand I defended a while back. South is in 4S. You lead AKQ of hearts. The hand cannot make now. All you need to do is hold off until the third S is played and then give another ruff and sluff. If a third S is not played, you will eventually get a ruff and the Ace of spades. A very easy defence if you know what you are doing.



"The King of Hearts a broadsword bears, the Queen of Hearts a rose." W. H. Auden.
0

#11 User is offline   barmar 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Admin
  • Posts: 18,571
  • Joined: 2004-August-21
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2019-July-14, 14:32

I think saying that this is the best defense "surprisingly often" is an overbid. It's sometimes the best defense, but it's sufficiently infrequent that it's usually the subject of bridge columns aimed at advanced players. Most of the time a ruff-and-sluff helps declarer, and forcing defenders to do this is the basis of the well known strip and endplay technique.

It's similar to the maxims "2nd hand low" and "3rd hand high". There are certainly many occasions where you should not follow these guidelines, but you should have a good reason for it.

#12 User is offline   nige1 

  • 5-level belongs to me
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 7,846
  • Joined: 2004-August-30
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Glasgow Scotland
  • Interests:Poems Computers

Posted 2019-July-14, 18:50


barmar 'I think saying that this is the best defense "surprisingly often" is an overbid. It's sometimes the best defense, but it's sufficiently infrequent that it's usually the subject of bridge columns aimed at advanced players. Most of the time a ruff-and-sluff helps declarer, and forcing defenders to do this is the basis of the well known strip and endplay technique. It's similar to the maxims "2nd hand low" and "3rd hand high". There are certainly many occasions where you should not follow these guidelines, but you should have a good reason for it.'
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Deals, where a ruff and sluff is best defence, sometimes go unrecognized at the table e.g.
West cashes AKQ against South's 4.
To defeat the contract, West must lead a 4th , giving declarer a useless ruff and sluff.

1

#13 User is offline   barmar 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Admin
  • Posts: 18,571
  • Joined: 2004-August-21
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2019-July-15, 07:49

Giving a few examples is not a way to show that they're frequent. I'm sure we could come up with just as many examples where a ruff-sluff is the only way for the defense to fail.

#14 User is offline   barmar 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Admin
  • Posts: 18,571
  • Joined: 2004-August-21
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2019-July-15, 15:06

BTW, it's not just humans on BBO who give useful ruff-sluffs.

http://bridgewinners...ond-to-prayers/

#15 User is offline   nige1 

  • 5-level belongs to me
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 7,846
  • Joined: 2004-August-30
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Glasgow Scotland
  • Interests:Poems Computers

Posted 2019-July-15, 15:08

 masterho, on 2019-July-12, 03:07, said:

... I've been told how not to allow a ruff-and-discard as a defender. In general, one almost never benefit by leading a suit which allows declarer to ruff at short hand ...

 nige1, on 2019-July-12, 09:45, said:

Surprizingly often, a ruff and a sluff is best defence. For example it can -- fatally weaken declarer's trumps or -- simply give nothing away ...

 johnu, on 2019-July-13, 00:52, said:

... sometimes giving a ruff-sluff can cause declarer to lose control of the hand by causing communication problems, or possibly having to ruff with a trump that (eventually) creates a trump loser.

 the hog, on 2019-July-13, 04:35, said:

A ruff and sluff is not infrequently the only way to beat a hand. Take a similar hand to the following ....

 barmar, on 2019-July-14, 14:32, said:

I think saying that this is the best defense "surprisingly often" is an overbid. It's sometimes the best defense, but it's sufficiently infrequent that it's usually the subject of bridge columns aimed at advanced players. Most of the time a ruff-and-sluff helps declarer, and forcing defenders to do this is the basis of the well known strip and endplay technique. It's similar to the maxims "2nd hand low" and "3rd hand high". There are certainly many occasions where you should not follow these guidelines, but you should have a good reason for it.

 nige1, on 2019-July-14, 18:50, said:

Deals, where a ruff and sluff is best defence, sometimes go unrecognized at the table e.g ...

 barmar, on 2019-July-15, 07:49, said:

Giving a few examples is not a way to show that they're frequent. I'm sure we could come up with just as many examples where a ruff-sluff is the only way for the defense to fail.
Let;s compromise :) For players who believe that defenders "almost never" benefit from a ruff and sluff, it succeeds "surprizingly often" :)
0

#16 User is offline   barmar 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Admin
  • Posts: 18,571
  • Joined: 2004-August-21
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2019-July-15, 15:12

 nige1, on 2019-July-15, 15:08, said:

Let;s compromise :) For players who believe that defenders[size="2"] "almost never" benefit from a ruff and sluff, it succeeds "surprizingly often" :)

Question: how do you think this compares to another "almost never" guideline, which is underleading an ace against a suit contract?

#17 User is offline   nige1 

  • 5-level belongs to me
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 7,846
  • Joined: 2004-August-30
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Glasgow Scotland
  • Interests:Poems Computers

Posted 2019-July-15, 15:27

Quite similar :) Many of Victor Mollo's characters trust parrot cries rather than waste time on thought. I concede, however, that John Matheson says my' defence would improve if I wrote "2nd hand low" in the play section of my convention-card :(
0

#18 User is offline   cherdano 

  • 5555
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 8,859
  • Joined: 2003-September-04
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2019-July-17, 09:01

View Postbarmar, on 2019-July-15, 15:12, said:

Question: how do you think this compares to another "almost never" guideline, which is underleading an ace against a suit contract?

I think giving a ruff-and-sluff is right way more often than underleading an ace. But of course the comparison is flawed- you can almost never be certain that underleading an ace is right, but you can be certain about the former. Whenever you know declarers shape there will be situations where you know it cannot cost a side suit trick - in which case it may set up a trump trick or avoid giving away a guess etc.
If you never notice that it is the right option maybe you aren't counting declarers shape all the time?
The easiest way to count losers is to line up the people who talk about loser count, and count them. -Kieran Dyke
0

#19 User is offline   masterho 

  • Pip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 3
  • Joined: 2019-May-03

Posted 2019-July-18, 03:42

Thank you all for the discussion, especially those who give rare examples of when it actually benefits the declarer. I think the logic in the examples is easy to understand. The declarer only discards a winner and the defender avoids giving a free finesse to declarer.
0

#20 User is offline   nige1 

  • 5-level belongs to me
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 7,846
  • Joined: 2004-August-30
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Glasgow Scotland
  • Interests:Poems Computers

Posted 2019-July-18, 13:20



This deal from Andrew Robson's article in today's Times illustrates that even expert defenders have difficulty recognizing the need for a ruff and discard defence. In a Spring 4s match between this year's winners and last year's winners, South's declared 4. The opening lead was a , which allowed declarer to set up his s as trump surrogates, Later, over a meal, Joe Faucet spotted that 4 rounds of s would have defeated the contract.

0

Share this topic:


Page 1 of 1
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

1 User(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users