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Hand Evaluation

In Bernard Magee's Acol Bidding CD, he evaluates a hand where the suit has been agreed by adding 5 for a void, 3 for a singleton etc.. AND then adds 1 point for length in a five card suit in the same hand, "provided you intend to use the length". I understood that you add for length to start with, when no suit has been agreed, but once a suit is agreed you switch to evaluating by adding for shortage and don't count length. Is Bernard's method double counting?


  • edited August 2014

    If I hold two 5-card suits (which is not what Magee is discussing), and one of those suits fits partner, then partner will either ruff my other long suit, or complement it with his length and/or strength. My second 5-card suit gives my hand tremendous offensive strength, something point count systems were not designed to quantify.

    Without having read what inspired you, I imagine this is the sort of situation that Magee was addressing and for which there is old maxim "points don't take tricks. FIT takes tricks."

  • edited 11:27PM
    This is what Bernard Magee writes: 

    Basic Raises

    Raises as responder
    and raises as opener:



    After a 1ª Opening (you have 4-card support for

                2ª       shows  6-9 points

                3ª       shows
    10-12 points

                4ª       shows
    13-15 points (but only with a DISTRIBUTIONAL HAND  - see below)



    After you open 1© and your partner responds 1ª (you have 4-card support for spades)

                2ª       shows
    12-15 points

                3ª       shows
    16-17 points

                4ª       shows
    18-19 points


     (remember to include LENGTH & SHORTAGE

  • edited 11:27PM

     Sorry - cut and paste didn't come out right. 

    Hand Evaluation 


    It is important
    to add points on for shortage when your partnership has found a fit (decided to
    play in a particular suit contract). Singletons and voids carry a lot of
    weight, and you must include their value when adding points. Little is added
    for doubletons except that they are probably worth ½ a point when responding. 

    The amount added
    on varies depending on whether you hold long trumps or not:

    If you hold a
    long trump suit add 4 points for a void and 2 points for a singleton.

    If you hold a
    short trump suit add 5 points for a void and 3 points for a singleton. 

     LENGTH POINTS: Add one point
    for each card in any suit after the fourth. ONLY ADD THESE
    POINTS if the suit is likely to be used.likely to be used.

  • edited September 2014
    The two comments immediately above (about long and short trump holdings) is easy to misinterpret. As responder, obviously shortages are potentially more valuable if you have more trumps; but if you hold longer trumps than your partner (eg you have 5 and she has 3), you don't want to take many ruffs in your own hand lest you lose control.
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