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Asking if a bid is Weak 2 Weak 2s are not 'standard'

#1 User is offline   brukp 

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Posted 2013-August-07, 03:25

I have enjoyed playing on Bridge Base for some time now but this is my first time on this forum

I am getting weary of the abuse I sometimes receive for asking if an opening 2 bid is weak - when the profile does not say anything. Last night I was told to get off 'if I didn't understand basic bidding'.

The problem is I play standard UK ACOL which typically uses Strong 2s. Some people do not seem to realise that weak 2s are not universal.

Should I persist in asking or just assume that if there is nothing on the profile an opening 2 bid is weak?

Thank you
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#2 User is offline   CamHenry 

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Posted 2013-August-07, 03:35

In general, Standard American or something similar is most common on BBO. Many European and Asian players also use something similar. You'll therefore see a preponderance of weak 2s.

If you're used to Acol, I suggest playing in the Acol Club as much as possible. Sure, you don't get such a variety of opposing systems, but you're more likely to find opponents who will answer questions politely and more likely to find a partner who will play strong 2s with you (if that's your preference).
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#3 User is offline   P_Marlowe 

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Posted 2013-August-07, 05:35

Assuming, that the bid is a weak 2, if you have no other indication is certainly
a good strategy.
Also alerting a strong 2, even if it is non alteratble in your enviroment is the
logical consequence of this.

2nd - If someone behaves like this mark him as enemy, over time you will filter out
the ones, you dont want to play against.

With kind regards
Marlowe
With kind regards
Uwe Gebhardt (P_Marlowe)
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#4 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2013-August-07, 05:48

One of the advantages of a site like BBO is the huge number of people you can play against — or with. One of the disadvantages of a site like BBO is the huge number of jerks you meet.

I agree with Marlowe - mark 'em as enemy, and don't play with or against them again. Eventually you may filter out everybody except the three polite people on BBO, but it'll take you a while. B-)
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#5 User is offline   brukp 

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Posted 2013-August-07, 08:42

Thank you for all of your positive replies.

I do play in the Acol club when I can but move to the main club when there is no one there.

I will assume weak 2s from now on.

I wasn't aware you can mark someone as an 'enemy' but will look into that for the future.
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#6 User is offline   TylerE 

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Posted 2013-August-08, 08:21

I think one of the reasons people react negatively to this is that, frankly, some players are less than ethical about it, since there parter will see the alert. For some reason, the kind of players that ask and then pass often show up with balanced 12 counts.
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#7 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2013-August-08, 08:34

View PostTylerE, on 2013-August-08, 08:21, said:

I think one of the reasons people react negatively to this is that, frankly, some players are less than ethical about it, since there parter will see the alert. For some reason, the kind of players that ask and then pass often show up with balanced 12 counts.

Well partner can't know that you asked. For all he knows, opener volunteered the alert. It wouldn't occur to me that an opp might click my opening bid as a way to conway info to his partner.

I would find it more likely that his partner would use the UI from the alert. But I see no reason to be paranoid about. Just assume that opps don't cheat. I am sure some opps cheat but most of them will find more effective ways of cheating than exchanging information through clicking on our bids.
Ejection for the second offense is mandatory. If the TD feels uncomfortable doing this, he should tear up his TD card and take up knitting. --- Blackshoe
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#8 User is offline   CamHenry 

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Posted 2013-August-08, 09:14

Helene: BBO doesn't display your alerts to your partner, so unless they type stuff in the chat, that's not a problem.
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#9 User is offline   Antrax 

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Posted 2013-August-08, 09:28

CamHenry, if N asks E for an explanation, S will also see it. S knows he didn't ask for the explanation, so N must've asked for it, and thus UI. Helene's post is replying to that.
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#10 User is offline   P_Marlowe 

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Posted 2013-August-08, 09:38

View PostAntrax, on 2013-August-08, 09:28, said:

CamHenry, if N asks E for an explanation, S will also see it. S knows he didn't ask for the explanation, so N must've asked for it, and thus UI. Helene's post is replying to that.

you always can ask the opponents direct, not going via the table chat channel,
this is at least possible with the windows version, and I would be suprised,
if it is not possible with the flash version.

Finnally: Assuming no cheats, is certainly the right aproach.
With kind regards
Uwe Gebhardt (P_Marlowe)
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#11 User is offline   RMB1 

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Posted 2013-August-08, 09:44

View PostAntrax, on 2013-August-08, 09:28, said:

CamHenry, if N asks E for an explanation, S will also see it. S knows he didn't ask for the explanation, so N must've asked for it, and thus UI.


Unless East woke up and spontaneously gave a late alert/explanation before South called.

Perhaps you could try psyching a weak opening with a strong hand - give a late alert late - and have RHO use UI and make a thin protection ...
Robin

... with one degree in maths and another in astrophysics, it was either that or back to the dole queue on Monday (DNA)
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#12 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2013-August-08, 12:03

I've commented on this loophole a number of times here: if someone uses the "click on bid for explanation", the explanation shows up in the auction as a popup, with a now "I've Alerted it" shading, to all (including partner). Even if you choose not to explain, "no information provided" shows up as a popup to that call.

The auction goes dumdedumdedum-3NT, with a bunch of Alerts because I'm playing a strong club system. No explanations asked for until before the opening lead, then 3 is asked about (and the popup happens to both defenders). OL finds a diamond lead into AQxxxx-and-an-entry. This one is avoidable by the simple ploy of auto-explaining (either 1 <explanation> club, or 1 , click on the bid *yourself* and put in the explanation).

The auction goes dumdedumdedum-3NT, with no Alerts because it's all natural. No explanations asked for until before the opening lead, then 3 is asked about. After the "natural/trial bid/'natural, but could be only available call'" response, OL finds a diamond lead into AQxxxx-and-an-entry. This one's only avoidable by explaining all your natural bids, which is going to get a lot of other comments.

Compared to the UI passable at the table, this one's minor, but it sure happens a lot. And it's probably a WeaSeL-type agreement; the person really wants to know what it meant, because it's odd with his hand, and "partner asked? Oh, I didn't take that into account, I just led my safest suit". I'm sure *some* people do it with intent, but most don't, it's just magic how they find those leads.

Having said that, to the OP: There are a certain contingent of the online bridge world who knows what 'standard' is, and that everybody plays it unless they play something else; and 'standard' doesn't need to be explained'. That contingent is called "(North) Americans." Not all, by any stretch of the imagination; but the homogeneity of bidding in the ACBL (I've stolen OTBS from computer jargon to mean the "One True Bidding Style" before) is such that they really can't believe that an unAlerted 2 call would be *anything but* a weak 2, and nobody who can "play bridge" would believe otherwise (note: in the ACBL - not on BBO, but in the ACBL - a natural strong 2 *is* Alertable). They just haven't seen anything else in their own sheltered little world. Note that that doesn't make his response correct in any world.

There's nothing wrong with asking, but I'd do it in chat, so that it can be privately replied to and partner gets less UI. The problem is (either way, really) that it goes 2-"ask-and-pass" (or "long tank-and-pass" while you're asking and getting a response)-pass-balance, and the ask-and-passer shows up with a balanced 12 or so and the balance would be risky if second-and-third's hands were switched. And for every time second hand has actually needed this information, this amazingly good guesser balance has happened 15 times.

General note, related to RL, not BBO: In the ACBL, there is *no* meaning for an unAlerted 2 or 2M call but "NAT, preemptive, not 'highly unusual or unexpected'". If I had my druthers, I would make:
- asking about an unAlerted weak 2 de facto UI and the auctions ruled based on that (as certain clubs used to do over unAnnounced NTs, back when "I needed to know if it was 15-17, 16-18, or 15-18" was popular (no, you didn't, but it's amazing how well partner guesses in fourth seat))
- forgetting to Alert Flannery/Roman/whatever MI that is exempt from the "must protect" rule, and ruling based on *that*

because, frankly, around here, 40% of 2 openers are Alertable, and 30% of 2 openers are Alerted. Doesn't seem to happen as much for Alertable 2 calls for some reason, both the ask and the failure to Alert. I think that's the only thing that will stamp this out.
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#13 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2013-August-08, 21:21

View Postmycroft, on 2013-August-08, 12:03, said:

I've commented on this loophole a number of times here: if someone uses the "click on bid for explanation", the explanation shows up in the auction as a popup, with a now "I've Alerted it" shading, to all (including partner). Even if you choose not to explain, "no information provided" shows up as a popup to that call.

No, it doesn't show up to partner, only the opponents.

Today in the NABC+ Fast Pairs, I opened a strong 2. LHO asked what it was, even though there was no alert. Guess what her club suit was: KJ9xx (for those of you in Atlanta, it's board 21 from the 1:30 game). At the end of the hand my partner told her that she shouldn't ask about an unalerted 2 bid when we're playing an essentially standard system. They got all upset over this (probably rightly so -- if you want to complain about unethical behavior, you should call the TD and let them instruct the opponents). The discussion got heated, and they called the TD to complain about his comments. They seemed to think that the fact that I used the Stop card before bidding 2 justified the question (maybe they're among the confused players who think that the Stop card should only be used for weak jumps).

We ended up getting a good board -- the possible UI from her question was irrelevant, because she led the suit into dummy's Txx and my AQx, so I went down only 1 instead of 2 in 3NT.

#14 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2013-August-09, 02:10

I think its a silly idea to use private chat instead of clicking on the call you want explained in order to avoid UI.

If a call requires explanation then partner is entitled to know the explanation as well. Yes, I know that you are not allowed to ask for the benefit of partner. But you are not allowed to leave your avertable calls unalerted either. And partner might ask the same question himself.

Besides, the explanations that come up in the auction diagram are more noticeable than private chat.
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#15 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2013-August-09, 11:16

View Postmycroft, on 2013-August-08, 12:03, said:

I've commented on this loophole a number of times here: if someone uses the "click on bid for explanation", the explanation shows up in the auction as a popup, with a now "I've Alerted it" shading, to all (including partner). Even if you choose not to explain, "no information provided" shows up as a popup to that call.

View Postbarmar, on 2013-August-08, 21:21, said:

No, it doesn't show up to partner, only the opponents.


My apologies: "it shows up to all - including *the asker's* partner." is what I meant.

Which is how the game works. I am passing throughout a 5-round auction to 3NT and am on lead. Before the lead hits, a explanation of 3 shows up. Who asked about it, and why would they be asking - and what should I lead, if I don't know the Laws?
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