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All comments by Wayne Burrows
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On the actual hand you will not be happy with double as 4 is cold.

I don't actually see how double can be penalties without trump tricks as we know nothing of partner's distribution and therefore nothing about how likely our AK's are to cash and we have no information about how many diamond tricks they have.
Dec. 17, 2019
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Peter: Sorry I should have put in a meaning for double. Our agreement would be takeout but often passed. So you can expect to defend unless responder has some distribution.

Steve: I like 4NT to be good bad in some other auctions but would play it as two suited here. The distinction between 4NT and 5 is that the former is more like 6=4 or better and the latter more like 5=5. What are your rules for when good bad applies? Currently, I need no suit agreement and for responder to have bid (or made a takeout double) for good bad to kick in.
Dec. 17, 2019
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The card magic community know this. Card backs are classified as one-way when they are not symmetric. There are beginner card tricks that many would have learned as a child with a one-way deck where just by returning the card to the deck in the opposite orientation it can be tracked. Obviously, this works best to deceive the audience if the one-way orientation is more subtle.

The subtle one-way printing of decks that are not supposed to be one-way that Shireen refers to has been written and talked about as a means of performing those tricks.

After the APBF in Singapore this year where we were given, what is now standard in international bridge, a deck of symmetrical cards, I took them along to the local magical club and showed how they were designed to prevent cheating by the orientation in which the two way faced cards were played. To contrast with this, at the meeting, with a standard deck of cards, I performed some tricks that exploited the two-way face design of certain cards. Essentially, just forcing the spectator to choose one of the two-way cards in a standard deck - there are so many that this is easy. And then simply by controlling the orientation of that card relative to the deck, I can find the chosen card under seemingly impossible conditions.
Dec. 17, 2019
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Thanks corrected hand.
Dec. 16, 2019
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No one, least of all not me, is suggesting making up meanings at the table.
Dec. 16, 2019
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Fair enough. I have never made that bid and never thought about making that bid previously. This hand came up a couple of days ago and I was thinking about how to solve the problem.

On the actual hand partner had two small diamonds and 6NT was the place to play with clubs and spades running and 6 down on the diamond ruff.

After the diamond preempt there is not enough room to agree spades and then offer no trumps on many auctions.

From a sample of one I was not suggesting this method was best, hence my question about what it can be used for. As I say, I have never previously needed this bid before.
Dec. 16, 2019
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That is why you discuss it with partner and use internet forums etc to discover if anyone else has had a more frequent problem.

The hand was something like.

Qxx
Ax
KQx
AQxxx

1 (3) 4 (P)
4 (P) 4NT (P)
5

Now 6 might be down on a diamond ruff but 6 might need a heart ruff.
Dec. 16, 2019
Wayne Burrows edited this comment Dec. 16, 2019
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Yes John. I know the cards you mean. I have reported it to directors who have acknowledged that it is contrary to the law and have done nothing about it.

“The backs of all 52 cards in a deck should be identical. They may incorporate words, a logo or a pictorial design but the image used should possess a centre of symmetry.”

I am almost certain I know exactly the design you are talking about. The backs have a number of small circles on them but each card cuts the borders at a different place.

Since nothing has been done, I have in the back of my mind to go through some packs and see if there is any consistency to the inconsistency. In other words are all the same cards marked the same way from pack to pack. If so this would be a serious problem.

As an aside a few years ago in the National Rubber Bridge competition in one of the early rounds our opponents turned up with their own cards to be used. They were new decks sealed in plastic. We played the first hand. At the end of the hand I invited the provider of the cards to mixed them. Then I said “We shouldn't play with these cards.” He said “Why not?” and I spread the cards on the table and turned one card over saying “Because this is the ace of spades.” The cards had a flawed back design which I had partially decoded after one deal.
Dec. 16, 2019
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If this is a regulation, I would hate it. Personally, I find keeping the score a distraction. I would rather move on to the next board. Fortunately, I do not play in the ACBL assuming this regulation can be found.

I occasionally keep a score in a teams game and never in a pairs game.
Dec. 16, 2019
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Isn't that the Hideous Hog's system. Thanks Victor Mollo.
Dec. 16, 2019
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“Is the discrepancy between the two approaches legal?”

Of course. We do not have an agreement which suit to open. In fact, obviously, we have a disagreement. Moreover the difference is one of style and judgement not system.

Systemically, we both open 1 with four or more diamonds and 1 with two or more. When asked we also disclose that my partner is more likely to open 1 with 4=4 and I am more likely to open 1. We both at times have used our judgement and opened the better minor with extreme disparity in suit quality - AKJx Jxxx etc.
Dec. 16, 2019
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Personally, I think one should super-accept rarely. That is I am not a fan of so-called law raises just because I have four (or more) trumps. However:

“The super-accept is a bid which should be used rarely. It gains only on the parlay of responder having a hand which would not have moved after a normal 2♥ call, would have bid game after a super-accept, and game makes.”

is not true. You also gain for various reasons when they could compete over 2 but won't over 3. Those gains are important at all forms of scoring.
Dec. 16, 2019
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Not sure I have any definitive answers.

I came from a history of playing weak no trump and four-card majors (Acol). My current partner played 2/1 so I agreed to play her system despite protesting that it was my least favourite system.

In Acol our style was to bid the lower of two four card suits, which makes the system almost five-card majors - 1 was only opened with four with 4=3=3=3 and 15+ hcp and 1 was only opened with four with 3=4=3=3 or 4=4 in the majors and 15+ hcp. There seemed to be benefits from opening 1 with 4=4 in the minors as we would always conveniently find a fit at a low level when it was important.

My new partner's style was always 1 with 4=4 in the minors. We have played for around two to three years with her opening 1 and me opening 1 on these hands.

My experience over this time has been that it almost never makes a difference. There are almost zero hands where one opening would score significantly better than the other and when it does it is often down to a luck factor rather than any sound principle.
Dec. 16, 2019
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We switch to two places to play.
  • Usually both minors but could be clubs and hearts.
  • With diamonds and hearts given we are a passed hand we can double then correct clubs to diamonds.
  • Over 2 it is both minors.
  • Also over 2, a 2 overcall is four spades and a minor.

Whoops this is for responder to the 1NT opening, not 2M overcallers partner.
Dec. 16, 2019
Wayne Burrows edited this comment Dec. 16, 2019
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If you enter an auction but no cards then you get just the auction displayed.
Dec. 15, 2019
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What do you prefer over 3?
Dec. 15, 2019
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Paul, partner almost never has no aces.

They would have to have Q, KQJ, J or most of those and a stiff heart honour and be willing to bid 4. That is close enough to zero chance for me.
Dec. 14, 2019
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I have no idea what is standard but I think west should attempt to give count when he plays the second spade. The way I do that is high for an original odd number and low for an original even number. When playing high, obviously play the highest you can afford.

Thereafter east needs to work out what is going on. It is a little difficult here because south did not rebid the seven card heart suit. So a high spade is consistent with both 109x and 1097xx.

There is only the Smith echo to transmit information. I suspect west should give a positive Smith for spades, if only because there is no switch that looks attractive.
Dec. 14, 2019
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I think 2 is non-forcing and it could be 5=4 or better in the majors.

I would not double with length in clubs say 5=4=1=3 as then I am stuck over the common 2 from partner. If not stuck then we have the same problem over again - is double then bid 2 forcing or not forcing. In this situation I would play double and bid as stronger.
Dec. 14, 2019
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Richard, I like your idea but I am unsure of the precise mechanics that allow partner to know when you need the A and some other stuff and when you need the specifically A too (as well as the A) as well as when you need diamonds controlled..
Dec. 14, 2019
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