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What's the most dangerous good convention?

I like conventions.

There are a few reasons ... my judgement is poor, but my ability to digest and remember complex systems (at least, those that follow rhyme and reason) is good. And I just enjoy tinkering. That's partially why I play Polish Club.

But some conventions are dangerous ... they apply in normal sounding auctions. Splinters are probably the least dangerous convention people play; a splinter is practically a slap in the face with a glass of ice water. And some conventions are so universal (Stayman, Jacoby Transfers) that they don't rate as dangerous once you've seen them a few times.

No, the dangerous conventions sound normal and (if you play with many partners) often are normal.

Probably the most dangerous convention I've ever played is a 2N system where 3S relayed to 3N (to play or start a minor suit slam sequence) and 3N showed the reverse flannery hand. I mean the 2N-3N just screams "Pass!" not "Pass if you don't have a fit." Uck.

The most recent burn happened on the following auction:

My RHO opened 1S and I passed with a mediocre 12 count with 3=4=3=3 . LHO passed, partner balanced with a double and RHO bid 2S. I had an easy 3H ... except we play good/bad 2N. So partner started thinking. I'd shown a good hand, willing to consider game. (I know what you are thinking, but this hand was a death trap 12 count, even ignoring the shape).

I only play Good/Bad in one partnership, and it just sounded so natural to compete. But partner had a good balance and bid the game.

I think Good/Bad is a great convention, it's worked out well, but unless I'm routinely playing it, it's just natural to forget the negative implications when bidding. At least, I've forgotten it, so it's dangerous for me.

So even though it's a good convention (IMO), it's a dangerous good convention -- on a pure results basis it's given me a bad result because I can't handle it. (I've probably only missed it 5% of the time, but those misses tend to be huge).

So -- what conventions do you like but don't play because they are too dangerous? Or what conventions do you play in spite of their danger?

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