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Nity



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Re: Spades-palooza [Dial-up Warning. Many images within.] Reply to this Post
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Now for a few of my tips/tricks :)

Firstly, lemme get this off the top of my head. In order to get blind nil in the game, your team must be at least 100 point behind. A little trick I've always enjoyed, and here comes the bidding strategy, is keeping the other team from getting a blind nil. For example, if the scores are 174 to 83, your lead, do the math before you bid, ESPECIALLY if you have last bid.

Lemme try and do this as simply as possible :)
The other teams combined bid = 5, your partner bids 3. Their score of 83 + 50 pts = 133 (assume they take no bags)
Your partner hints 3, in order to prevent them, thus keeping them far behind, from getting blind nil, bid so you will have 90 ahead, never 100. So even if you have an easy 3, keep the bid at 5 and throw under an ace with your king to prevent them from the blind nil.

- Boy am I mean, at least I'm sharing secrets! :)

In the same respect, you can also bid FOR bn. I dont recommend doing this unless you are at least 70-80 points behind. Not worth the extra bags you may take etc.

~nilling

Ah yes, my favorite bid of the game.

Bidding nil really depends a lot on how you play your cards. I will tend to bid nil on a 1-2 bet, unless I'm carrying ace of spades or have any solo aces. (even do it with solo king once in awhile)

~Covering a partner who nils~
I have seen so many many mistakes with this that I really want to see people do better. /me has been helping cover some nils in games already.

When nilling, your partners intent is to take 0 tricks. Nada, zip, zilch. Watch as the cards are played to see where your partner stands with their hand.
For example: If the other team plays ace of diamonds and your partner throws a 10. It's *usually* safe to assume your partner has nothing above a 10. Therefore, should you have lead, you are safe throwing 9 of diamonds as lead and knowing your partner can go under.
It's also nice to notice that the lower your partner throws, the closer they are to being void of that suit. If your partner throws a 5 of clubs on the ace of clubs, the best thing to do is run clubs when you have the chance, thus giving your partner the chance to throw cards from other suits.
At the same time, if the other team has your partner covered when it comes to your turn to throw, don't go throwing out the jacks and queens in your hand. Throw your lowest, always get rid of anything below a 7 or 8 so that you can cover your partner.
This of course is my way of covering a nil. I'll take the bags I'm given to cover a nil, although always trying to avoid them if possible.

I hope that helps with covering nils a bit.
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Tawnee says, "What freak would sig Shur?"
~Nity~
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by Nity at Nov 27, 2004 1:14:08 AM]
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Mercano



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Smolder wrote: 
Another Term (i kinda stole it from hearts)

Flushing: Flushing is where you play a specific card with the hopes that you will draw out a certian card played by an opponent.

Example: I have 10 J K of clubs. I dont want to throw out my highest club because I know that the ace will beat me. Instead, i throw out the jack, hoping that the player holding the A of clubs doesn't also have the Q, and wants to take that trick.

It's a tricky strategy, but can be very useful when you dont have aces or other high cards.


They may still throw the Ace, even if they have the queen. If they are paying atention, they know the king hasn't been played yet. If they play the Queen, there is a chance your partner will throw the King. Or, at least, they think there is a chance, as all they know is they DON'T have it. Playing the ace is almost a sure thing, unless they know your partner is out of clubs and could trump it.
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BuccinMike



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Markoman wrote: 
Eh, funny little screenie I liked. We won by one point.


How is 336-335 a win? Isn't that really a 33-33 tie, since the last digit is merely a sandbags counter? It seems kind of silly to win by virtue of having one more sandbag than the other team. :/

[size=9](Sorry if this is in the wrong place. A search for "spades tie*" didn't turn up anything, including this thread, and a search for "tie*" in Game Design didn't turn up the Spades thread there.)
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Faulkston

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BuccinMike wrote: 
Markoman wrote: 
Eh, funny little screenie I liked. We won by one point.


How is 336-335 a win? Isn't that really a 33-33 tie, since the last digit is merely a sandbags counter? It seems kind of silly to win by virtue of having one more sandbag than the other team. :/

I think it makes the overtrick points worth something positive rather than just being a record of how you've underbid. It's a fine balancing act to have enough overtrick points to get a win in the unlikely event of a tie (on main points), yet not incur the sandbagging penalty.
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Odm



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Smolder wrote: 
It's a tricky strategy, but can be very useful when you dont have aces or other high cards.
It seems to me you try to flush when you have a mid card and a low-high card (as in a jack or a queen.) Trying to do it when you have two mid cards might just mean you flush out three of the high, and still don't get to use the mid.

I usually flush everyone's spades out if I have one or two extra cards left but lots of spades. For example if I have 4 spades, I can use the first three to flush out the majority, then use my highest to try and win that trick, then win the others with my extra cards. It doesn't work when one of my opponents has lots of spades, though.
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Whitefire

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Nity wrote: 
It's safe to assume your partner has nothing above a 10.


Wrongo. Last night I went nil with the K♠. With upper level players, it's safe to assume that they have several outs for any trouble cards they have. You should pay attention to what tells your partner sends and play appropriately.

I'm working on a Nil strategy write up right now. But, as Murphy would have it, the second I try to get nil hands all I get are 4+ hands.
[Nov 27, 2004 8:51:53 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Nity



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Whitefire wrote: 
Nity wrote: 
It's safe to assume your partner has nothing above a 10.


Wrongo. Last night I went nil with the K♠. With upper level players, it's safe to assume that they have several outs for any trouble cards they have. You should pay attention to what tells your partner sends and play appropriately.

I'm working on a Nil strategy write up right now. But, as Murphy would have it, the second I try to get nil hands all I get are 4+ hands.


ok ill change that to "usually safe to assume" :) Most players dont keep kings in their hand when they can throw it under an ace on a nil
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~Nity~
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Mercano



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I hate to nitpick, but I think I should point out somthing here.
Whitefire wrote: 
Nity wrote: 
It's safe to assume your partner has nothing above a 10.


Wrongo. Last night I went nil with the K♠.


Context is important.

Nity wrote: 

(When your partner bet nil) For example: If the other team plays ace of diamonds and your partner throws a 10. It's safe to assume your partner has nothing above a 10.


When playing nil, it is usally a good idea to play the highest card you can that won't win you the trick. I don't think even you, Whitefire, would hold on to a king if you see an ace down that you know will beat it. A nil-bid player will want to get rid of any high ranking card they have ASAP, sacrificing them by either playing them under higher-ranking cards or by play them off suite.
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Nity



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Heres 2 pretty awful, yet decent hands I had tonight, hate not being able to nil... have a blast White...




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~Nity~
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Lizthegrey
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Re: Spades-palooza [Dial-up Warning. Many images within.] Reply to this Post
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I'd have done 2 on the first hand, and 3 on the second.
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maroon_beard

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It depends what my partner had bid, its a shame ye had ter bid before yer partner because if yer partner bid medium-high ye could have been more risky as it is more likely he has the missing cards, whereas if yer partner bid low I would too, as it is less likely then that he has the cards ye need ter make yer winners. That is the biggest mistake most people make when they are bidding, they just look at their hands and ferget that their partner also has 13 cards of which one could be an ace they need ter make a winner.

At the moment I am working on a guide ter paying in Spades, taken a lot from my experiance in Bridge, expect it done around Tuesday :). If anyone would like ter help me /tell seadog in game and PM me on these forums :)

Thanks in advance,
Seadog
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Whitefire

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Nil Workshop - Part 1 - Bidding

Niling is a very important part of spades. You can convert worthless 1-3 bids into nice 50 point hands. In most cases, the team who can play and set nils the best will win the game.

Partner's and Feeder's Bid

When deciding to bid nil or not, these two bids are extremely important. A few assumptions that can be made about opening partner bids:

Bid of 2: Very few, if any Aces. No more than 4 low-mid♠.
Bid of 3 and 4: Partner has a decent hand, nothing spectacular. Expect problems covering 1-2 suits.
Bid of 5: Your partner has the A♠ and wants you to nil.
Bid of 6: Your partner lacks the A♠ but has strong off-suit hands.
Bid of 7: Your partner has the A♠ and wants you to blind nil.

Of course, 99% of the population doesn't know this, so make sure you talk to your partner about what your bids mean beforehand.

The feeder bid is also important in factoring what to bid. A high feeder bid (4+) means they will probably have too many high cards to duck properly. A high feeder bid can make up for a low partner bid in many cases.

Identifying a Nil Hand

There are a few rules you should generally folow when biding nil.

    ?For every high card in a suit, make sure you have at least 2 ducking cards.

    ?If you have 4 or more cards in a suit, you are only required to have 2 ducking cards because the suit will likely be cut on the third play.

    ?Never bid nil if you are not short in one suit. Exception: When there are no cards in your hand above J

    ?Never bid nil with the A♠, KQ♠, QJ♠, J109♠ or any hand that has 5 or more ♠.[/list:u:ca43d91f7b]

    Examples

    Hand 1



    This hand screams nil, and makes me cry when I se the QJ♠. While every other suit is perfect for a nil, the QJ♠ combo puts you around 90% to set. Sadly we have to bid.

    Whitefire's Bid - 2

    Hand 2



    Here we have a somewhat iffy Nil. The shortness in clubs will let you sluff the A. The 4 spades is cause for concern, just sluff them on off suits and you're set.

    Whitefire's Bid - Nil

    Hand 3



    Once again, an iffy hand. The J108♣ is dangerous, as well as the solo J♠. Just sluff your ♣ asap when is played, and trust your pard to have a high spade lead.

    Whitefire's Bid - Nil

    Hand 4



    Am I crazy? Yes I am. Most people wouldn't dream of going nil with a solo Q but I noticed that, in previous hands, my feeder consistently underbid and focused more on wining tricks than setting nils. He subsequently lead me the A♣ and I cruised the rest of the way.

    Whitefire's bid - Nil
[Nov 28, 2004 4:34:59 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Whitefire

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Nity wrote: 
Heres 2 pretty awful, yet decent hands I had tonight, hate not being able to nil... have a blast White...



3 clubs means the Q may convert. Short on diamonds and long with a power card in spades. You can run the other people's trump and come out with an extra. I would bid 3, 4 if my pard indicates strength. 5 is a long shot, but doable.

Nity wrote: 


Hearts will be cut by the second play so thats all useless unless you run spades (but without any power cards you can't). The Q may convert, and added in the chance that your partner is short on hearts should give you 2.
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VPeric

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Well, after reading the bidding guide, I realized I've been underbidding, so I started getting a lot better in this, and thanks a lot for that! :D I've found this game somewhat similar to Preferans (but I've yet to meet someone here who has played it). Anyway, have a look at some of my hands:



I bid 4 on this.



I bid 7 on this.

Thoughts?

---

EDIT: Two more, because its fun! :D



I've gone with 3 here.



Another 7! Slightly risky, through. (I've lost, sadly. At least my partner bid nil after he saw my bid and won that :))

Thanks for the comments, Scarab. :)
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Wlada, Former King of Bloody Hell and former Captain of Sudden Death, Cobalt.
Vlada, Officer of the Rudder Royals, Azure.
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[Edit 2 times, last edit by VPeric at Nov 28, 2004 8:21:02 PM]
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rroberts



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I would have gone either 4/5 and 6.
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JCorrado



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VPeric wrote: 




I bid 4 on this.


Too low, as you worried.

Clubs and Hearts: the King should be good in each set, as you have a sluff card for the Ace when it comes out, and the lack of length means you can easily expect to go two rounds without being trumped. The Queens are a bit iffy, but having the Queens in both suits means at least one of them is worthwhile, so together you can count on 3 tricks.

Diamonds and Spades: With a singleton diamond, you can probably expect to trump 2 diamond rounds before someone else gets void in the suit, and you've got plenty of low spades to drop. The Queen is well protected even if you drop the 2 and 3, so that's a trick, for 3 total. Even if someone else goes out in diamonds early, you can use the low spades to set up the 9 and 10 of spades as high spades.

This hand is easily worth 6. Maybe 7 if your partner bids high (indicating AK of spades, or high Diamonds you can sluff heart losers on).

 


I bid 7 on this.

Thoughts?


7 is good, though 8 should be easy and 9 is doable.

Consider it from this perspective: each non-spade suit is nearly guaranteed to go around 3 times. How many of those three times will you win?

Hearts: 2 (K, one trump)
Clubs: 1 (K)
Diamonds: 2 (two trumps; the singleton K is likely to fall on an Ace)

That's 5 right there; add in the AK for 7. But that still leaves you with two spades in your hand, one of which will likely be good.

To play this hand- as soon as you can, lead the A and then the K of trumps. There are only 6 trumps in all of the other players' hands- after two rounds of drawing, there will likely only be one or two left, and you'll know who has them. Making your 8 and 9 good after that should be easy.

 


I've gone with 3 here.


4 for me. AK clubs on a small suit (3 cards total) are almost guaranteed to be good for 2 tricks. 2 hearts means you'll likely be able to drop a trump on hearts for another. The A of spades is a guaranteed winner. That's 4 right there. I might even go 5 assuming I can steal a trick with the Q of diamonds or the other two medium spades.


 


Another 7! Slightly risky, through. (I've lost, sadly. At least my partner bid nil after he saw my bid and won that :))


7 looks good to me- I assume one of your opponents proved to be out of hearts or diamonds on the first round, then? Otherwise, I'd count the AK clubs, A hearts, trump on a diamond, and AKQ of spades as easy tricks.
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Rastigi



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More terms:
Whitefire wrote: 
Bags - Another name for Overage Points

Bag Set - When a team recieves 10 bags (overage points) they lose 100 points.

Also known as Sandbags and Sandbagging, respectively

 
Control - After winning a trick you are given control. You are allowed to play any suit except Spades if it is not broken yet.

Also known as Lead, as in - 'your lead' or 'you have the lead'.

 
Lead Suit - The suit of the first card played in a trick. You must play a card of the same suit unless you are void.

Following suit - playing a card of the Lead Suit.

Punting - Playing a low card in hopes of either passing the lead to your partner or drawing out a high card to make one of your cards high.

 
High Cards - J, Q, K, A

High Card of a Suit - The highest remaining card in a suit. If the A, K, and Q of hearts have been played, then the J is 'High Heart', or just 'High'. The High Spade is also the High Card of the game.
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maroon_beard

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I would like ter thank Whitefire fer that post about nilling, I have just started ter nill properly since reading that post and I am getting much better at it, instead of just bidding one or two like I normally might I now nill, thanks whitefire :).

Also the A,K,Q,J,10 are all called honours.
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JCorrado



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Corsair's Corollary On Bidding

Watch the other players.

Remember that there are 13 tricks total to be taken. Bidding for the 14th trick (e.g., your opponents have bid 7 total, your partner has bid 3, and you bid 4) is risky but acceptable, as you're guaranteeing that one side or the other will fail to make the contract. Bidding for a 15th trick is bad, no matter how good your hand is- you now need your opponents to have a bad fit or play poorly in order to set them by 2. What's worse- making your contract with an overtrick or two, or going down on a 6 or 7 bid? (Answer: Going down. Losing a 6 bid is worth -60 points. Taking a 6 bid and enough overtricks to sandbag is worth -40 points.)

Likewise, if your opponents bid very weakly (3 or 4 total between them), that might mean that you or your partner's hand is a lot stronger than you think. Bid a little higher if it takes you to 11 or 12 total tricks.

The reason for this is distribution. If we just bid by the number of A, K, and Qs in our hand, we'd come up with 12 tricks bid each time. But we don't- we also factor in whether those cards can be covered, and whether we can make use of small or medium trump. As a result, a hand may have less than or much more than 12 tricks bid.

Take the example of VPeric's second hand, which I said was worth between 7 and 9 as a bid.



If I were in first bidding position, I might make an 8 bid. But if I were in second, and the first bidder bid 4, I might only make it a 7 or even a 6. His or her 4 might be overstating, but it might indicate a distribution that will make my high cards worthless. (For example, he or she might be void in clubs or hearts.) But if first player bid 1 or nil, I might go with 9, knowing that he or she doesn't have the strength or length to interfere with what I see as my hand's strengths.



Finally, look for nil bids. If your partner blind nil bids, your hand is worth 2 more tricks than normal. (He'll pass you his 2 best cards, likely, and you can shorten an already near-void suit in return.) If anyone nils, you can expect to take 1 or 2 more tricks than normal because one player will be playing to lose- meaning that a moderate honor like the Queen or Jack might make, or a suit that otherwise might get trumped will be used to sluff.

Obviously, most of this advice is for when you're sitting in 3rd or 4th seat. But you'll be there half the time- you might as well make the most of it.
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dravlid

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there has been a bug floating around that occasionally, a spade will be played and the high leading suit will still win the hand. I have seen this twice now. Just be aware and report it so that it can be documented.(Cause i forgot too) lol...
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Lizthegrey
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There's also an issue where the last trick is skipped. That one royally sucked - I was saving the Ace of Spades for last, and it ended up setting us.
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VPeric

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Thanks for the comments mates. Today, I had a somewhat strange hand that I wanted to share with anyone. Things not shown in the screenie is the player to my right bid on 1. ;)



I bid 4, through that was only because we'd win that. :) I would've gone with 5 or 6 maybe. Others? :)

---

EDIT: One more hand similar to this... I'm just unfamiliar with these situations. :) BTW, sorry for the editing, but I feel its useless to make another post just for this. :)



I bid 3 on this. I was really unsure of what to do.. thank god it was the ending hand, and we already practically won. :)

BTW, thanks for yer comments Stevedave. =)
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Wlada, Former King of Bloody Hell and former Captain of Sudden Death, Cobalt.
Vlada, Officer of the Rudder Royals, Azure.
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by VPeric at Nov 29, 2004 8:49:02 PM]
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Wow, that's one heck of a hand there Vlada. I would say 4 is probably safe. That ace of hearts is a winner, but I wouldn't expect to win anything with all of those diamonds. It's likely that since you're so long in diamonds someone else is very short and will start trumping them. You'd probably be able to trump out a few hearts or clubs but you'd get smacked down as soon as you lead out again.
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Shuranthae

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Best hand EVAR!
Click
And here's how the round ended.

[size=9]Edited to remove horizontal scroll, by private request. I've linked the image(s). Please remember that not everyone runs on 1024x768+, so try to trim your screenshots so that they are viewable on 800x600. -Diamondblade
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by Shuranthae at Nov 30, 2004 2:26:14 PM]
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RobertDonald

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My much better Nil hand... guess now I know why I didn't have too many high cards:


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Quizzical wrote: 
If winners and losers are arbitrarily chosen by ringers or OM's, then it is no longer even a game. It's just clicking random buttons hoping to be arbitrarily chosen, which becomes stupid really fast.

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Markoman

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Shuranthae wrote: 

here's how the round ended.


First: You took 8 tricks? Hehe

Second: What is Grim Hands doing?
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Markozeta
[Nov 30, 2004 2:39:56 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.Mersenne.org    Markozetaman [Link]  Go to top 
bigbeltbart

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Shuranthae wrote: 
Best hand EVAR!


That made me laugh very, very hard.

In a previous post I noticed Whitefire used the term "Feeder". Is that the opponent sitting to your right?
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Melanthe
[Nov 30, 2004 6:15:32 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
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I once did a blind nil and not only had 6 spades but I had A-K-Q-10 along with the ace for one or two other suits. I think I made that one too.
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Nity



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What a blind nil can do for you :)

Had 2 of diamonds and something else small i passed off... and white passed me a/k spades, ah beauty, if only i had other cards to back em up :-/


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Tawnee says, "What freak would sig Shur?"
~Nity~
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Gotagota

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Shuranthae wrote: 
Best hand ever!

Why am I looking at that and mentally figuring how to convert it? If your partner had the Ace or King of Diamonds...Hah, just today I had a blind nil hand like that, and had to lead with the Queen of Hearts. Thankfully, Rubby saved my bacon and I made it. I'm just bragging. <grin>
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Fronsac, human.
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to
add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
.
-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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