Thursday, July 23, 2009

Unusual vs Unusual

ANNOUNCEMENT: I'm off to summer nationals and probably won't be posting tomorrow or next week. Regular posting should resume on August 3rd.

Enough play hands for the moment.

I've come up with many pretty dumb bidding ideas, but also a couple that I think are sound. One is a generalized defense to overcalls showing 2 known suits. Usually people use the available cue bids to show a LR+ or the 4th suit (usually forcing). To me, this has 2 problems:

a) it doesn't fully exploit useful space
b) it might not generalize to, e.g. 1H-(2N) showing minors, and really doesn't generalize well to 2 suited jump overcalls such as 1S-(3C) showing clubs and hearts.

So, I propose:

0. NT bids, natural raises, and jumps mean whatever they normally mean. (I like to use cheapest JS into a minor as a GF raise establishing a force.)

1. The first priority is to have an LR+ bid below 3 of opener's suit. But, this bid does not require any room, and should otherwise be as rich as possible. For example, 1S-(2N)-3H is a limit raise, regardless of which 2 suits 2N might show.

2. If room is available, we should have a negative free bid in the 4th suit available. But, this is a fairly precise hand-type and so should use the next most expensive bid, except not above 3 of the 4th suit (which would be illogical). If this turns out to be an artificial bid, then it could be planning to bid again. So if 1S-(2S) shows the reds, 3C is the natural nfb, but if it shows the minors, 3D is an nfb in hearts. (So I use 1H-(2N)-3S as a nfb and only make the bid on hands with a strong pref for spades over hearts, some might prefer to also require the nfb bid to be below opener's suit.)

3. The next available bid is the forcing in the 4th suit bid. This will often be pretty cheap, allowing the most room to work out the best strain.

I'm not sure I've ever had a "success" attributed to this system, but I do feel confident that we're prepared for any crazy 2-suited auction that might show up.


  1. Walter passed this on to me a few years ago. It's a good concept, I was giving Walter the credit.