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How should one disclose the strength of an opening bid

A discussion in another thread got me thinking about disclosure of methods and, more specifically, what constitutes a desirable level of disclosure regarding the range for various opening bids and the like.

Let me start with an applied example:

I have a Dealer script that I can use to generate hands suitable for various opening bids playing MOSCITO. While standard “Work” HCPs are not used as part of the hand evaluation process, I can use these to describe the strength of an opening bid.  In some cases, disclosure regulations might require that I use Work HCPs to describe the strength of my openings.  (If I preferred, I could represent the strength using ZAR Points, BUM RAP or any other external standard).

For kicks and giggles, I generated 100K one heart openings and created a frequency table showing the strength of these openings using a 4/3/2/1 Work HCP scale.

  • 07 HCP 0%
  • 08 HCP .85%
  • 09 HCP 7.45%
  • 10 HCP 16.73%
  • 11 HCP 25.74%
  • 12 HCP 23.16%
  • 13 HCP 15.31%
  • 14 HCP 10.12%
  • 15 HCP .6%
  • 16 HCP .03%
  • 17 HCP 0%

If we look at the range for this opening bid, it extends from 8 HCP --> 16 HCPs. However, the frequency with which hands on either tail of the distribution occur are extremely rare. Only .85% of all hands contain 8 HCPs. Only .63% of hands contain 15+ HCPs. I’d argue that the frequency that some of these hand strengths occur is so rare that including this information as part of a summary description of the HCP range is likely to do more harm than good. As a practical example, consider 16 HCP hands.  Less than 1:3000 1H openers will contain 16 HCPs. Does it really make sense to describe my HCP range as 8 – 16 HCPs?

In the case of this 1H opening, the range 9 – 14 HCPs captures more than 98% of all hands opened For the purposes of summary disclosure, does this represent a “better” range than, say, 8 – 15 HCPs? Is it even possible to draw objective criteria.

FWIW, I would suggest that, for those pairs who have detailed knowledge about their opening ranges,

1. Objective criteria are desirable

2.  I'd love to see the Zonal orgs decide what these ranges should be

3. Being able to capture somewhere between, say 95% and 98% of all hands is a good target

I welcome suggestion / comments


If a Hand with foo HCPs is possible, then the range disclosure should include foo HCPs
I believe that the tails of the distribution should be trimmed, but I am not sure what the right amount it
The HCP range should encompass ~99% of hands
The HCP range should encompass ~98% of hands
The HCP range should encompass ~95% of hands
None of this makes any sense
This makes sense, but seems wild impractical / irrelevant

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