FrancesHinden, on 2012-May-21, 17:04, said:
I might be tempted to rule on the basis of an illegal convention. I don't think a 4342 1-count qualifies as a 'weak take-out double' although I admit that is all that the OB says.
Something over ten years ago a player overcalled 1NT on a 3343 zero count. When this was discussed at an L&EC meeting I suggested it might be illegal but was told that it was definitely legal to play it this way.
mycroft, on 2012-May-22, 13:46, said:
Having said that, is there a "you should know to protect yourself" clause in the English regulations?
5 H Misinformation and Penalties
5 H 1 A player’s claim to have been damaged because the opponents failed to alert or announce a call will fail if it is judged that the player was aware of its likely meaning and if he had the opportunity to ask without putting his side’s interests at risk.
gnasher, on 2012-May-22, 13:58, said:
I agree: many people aren't as familar with the alerting regulations as Bluejak's posts might suggest. Personally I would always ask the meaning of this double, regardless of my hand. But, because I would always ask, I'm not giving anything away by doing so.
If I gave the impression that people know the alerting rules, then I am sorry. While people have been pretty good over the years with alerting of bids and passes, doubles has been different. Under the previous rules, which seemed reasonable, I doubt one player in three got them right. That is why they were simplified. Now that they are simple the number of people understanding them is rising quite a lot, but not to the extent where people are particularly reliable. Like gnasher, I always ask in this sort of situation, but only about doubles: other calls I rely on the alerts.