Questions and Answers


Question 2

I'm not extremely experienced but I can see how your book affects some current popular bidding methods.

One of the most widely adopted uses of The Law is bidding systems designed entirely around The Law. Countless players play Bergen Raises, and it's the best example to critique here.
   I can't help but wonder what kind of bidding conventions could arise as a result of the SST and WP method. WP may be guess work at the table (one challenge is estimating how many WP one has when there isn't interference – do you subtract an average of a trick knowing that chances are one finesse will fail or one A is behind a K? I can see people plowing on to 4S with 21 points and an SST of 3 and getting mad because a finesse fails, reducing the WP value and wondering what went wrong). If nothing else you two have created more reason for ad nauseum post mortems. However, SST and WP makes Bergen Raises essentially worthless. Distribution means more than knowing the difference between an 8 and 9 card fit. Now you and your partner are concerned with singletons and doubletons and how many points more than your suit. The reason they seemingly work is a 9-card fit will introduce more distribution than an 8-card fit, I'm guessing.
   The ultimate question I would have is, "Have you introduced or changed any bidding conventions as a result of this book, and what are they?" This is obviously a question a lot of people will have and a crutch too many people will rely on instead of their own judgment at the table. However, it has worth, and I'm interested in to see some insight on the website.

Jeff Puckett


Answer

It may not surprise you that none of us is a fan of Bergen Raises, and that we would very much prefer to use 3C and 3D in their natural sense (invitational or strong with a good suit).
   There are lots of situations where SST thinking can be applied. We will name one. Say that the auction starts 1C – (pass) – 1S – (2D); ?
   Instead of using double and 2S to distinguish between your number of spades, might it not be better to show whether you have a good raise or a weak one? One idea is to use double to show either a minimum raise, with a SST of 6, or a strong hand with a SST of at most 4 (responder expects the weaker variety, so if opener has the strong type he takes another bid), while a raise to 2S shows a STT of 5. Since you have the option of jump raising partner with four-card support, if you double and have the strong type, you have precisely three trumps. For hands with an SST of 5 or 6, you can have three- or four-card support.


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