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Written Bidding

#1 User is offline   Chris3875 

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Posted 2017-December-03, 18:26

During the bidding North wrote 3, paused, then wrote 4 over the 3 and added H. The bidding progressed around to West who wrote 4D, insufficient. However, when I went to the table and sat in West's seat, North's bid actually looked like 3H to me (and to West obviously). I allowed the 4D bid to stand and North simply bid 4H next but what is the Law that would cover this situation if it ever occurred again. I was just happy no-one asked me which Law I was ruling under - The Law of Common Sense ?
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#2 User is offline   ahydra 

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Posted 2017-December-03, 20:32

Ah, the wonders of written bidding. The quicker we get rid of it and replace with the much-more environmentally friendly and way more legible bidding boxes, the better.

Here in NZ we have this:

NZB Manual section 27.6 said:

All calls must be made in neat, legible, handwriting. Where there is any doubt
about what is written, Players should seek verbal clarification. A Player has
no redress if he/she has made a call based on his/her own misunderstanding
(Law 21A). However, if, in the opinion of the Director, a Player has made a
call as a result of an opponent’s illegible handwriting, Law 21B applies. The Director's decision is final.


where Law 21B is the "misinformation" law, which seems an odd choice, but I suppose it would allow West to change their call (something like, the decision to bid 4D was influenced by the fact West thought 4D was sufficient). Hopefully the Australian RA has something similar in their regulations.

Though, the one time I made an insufficient bid after the opponent's 3 looked like a 2 the director treated it as a standard insufficient bid... :/

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#3 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2017-December-03, 23:07

My first thought was that if the director thinks it looks like a 3H call, then it could be ruled as actually being 3H. Then North could simply change it as per Law 25A, allowing East to change their call without penalty.

However, the Australian regs (PDF) are almost verbatim the same as the NZ regs. So if the director decides it is unclear, then East gets to change their call - again without penalty. But the director is the one who has the final say about whether it is legible or not.
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#4 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-December-03, 23:46

It seems like the written bidding regulation is missing details about how to correct an unintended bid. Writing over the original bid seems like a poor way to do it, likely to result in an illegible bid. They should probably state that you should cross out the original and write the correction next to it.

#5 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2017-December-04, 03:57

I don't think it matters, but would you have allowed the change of call by N? Now you decided on practical grounds that it was 3 and let the auction continue without any restrictions, which was a perfectly reasonable decision.
It's none of my business, but what an unpractical way of auction this is. Bidding boxes are quite cheap, most bridge players have a set at home over here, and it's so much clearer to everyone.
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#6 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2017-December-04, 04:23

View Postsanst, on 2017-December-04, 03:57, said:

I don't think it matters, but would you have allowed the change of call by N? Now you decided on practical grounds that it was 3 and let the auction continue without any restrictions, which was a perfectly reasonable decision.
It's none of my business, but what an unpractical way of auction this is. Bidding boxes are quite cheap, most bridge players have a set at home over here, and it's so much clearer to everyone.


Bidding pads are not as bad as you imagine them to be. The one big advantage of bidding pads is that you have a permanent record of the auction, which can be very useful if there is a dispute or a director call. The issue of illegible calls rarely comes up at the table - I would probably ask for clarification once every couple of days at a tournament, and it is easily sorted out. The situation described by the OP, where the call looks different enough so that nobody even tries to clarify it, is very rare.

And yes, barmar is right that crossing it out and writing in a spare space would be a sensible way of correcting it. That happens a reasonable amount of the time in a situation like the one described, but it doesn't look like it is in the regulation.
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#7 User is online   blackshoe 

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Posted 2017-December-04, 15:24

I haven't read the Australian regs in a while, but it seems to me that "3" is not a bid, so it can be changed without causing legal problems. The problem here is not the change, but the legibility of the final result. I would advise players to erase anything they're changing or, if that's not possible or not legal, cross it out and write next to or above or below it.
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#8 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-December-05, 01:53

What happens to,the bidding pad after the auction is finished?

Also, does the bidding take longer since you don't know what the auction is until you have been passed the pad? Do you have to,crane your neck that see what partner has written so,you know,whether to alert?

And finally, is written bidding used at the Gold Coast Congress?
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
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#9 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2017-December-05, 02:17

View PostVampyr, on 2017-December-05, 01:53, said:

What happens to,the bidding pad after the auction is finished?

Also, does the bidding take longer since you don't know what the auction is until you have been passed the pad? Do you have to,crane your neck that see what partner has written so,you know,whether to alert?

And finally, is written bidding used at the Gold Coast Congress?


The bidding pad stays in the centre of the table - it never moves during the auction. According to the regs, the dummy should turn it over or remove the top sheet after the third card has been played to the first trick, but most of the time it just stays visible to everyone. Here is a picture I found showing people using bidding pads. It is the white thing just next to the board in the table closest to the camera.

The auction doesn't take any longer than normal. People get used to them quickly. You can even use them with screens, where the tray holding the board holds the pads as well, although that's not so common.

I don't know whether the Gold Coast uses them. My best recollection is that it does, and someone else at the club thinks they do as well. I'll be reminded in a couple of months though. :)
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#10 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-December-05, 02:24

View Postsfi, on 2017-December-05, 02:17, said:

The bidding pad stays in the centre of the table - it never moves during the auction. According to the regs, the dummy should turn it over or remove the top sheet after the third card has been played to the first trick, but most of the time it just stays visible to everyone.


Wow that is totally illegal.

Quote


Here is a picture I found showing people using bidding pads. It is the white thing just next to the board in the table closest to the camera.


Well, I certainly couldn't read or write that far away, let alone sideways and upside down.

Quote


The auction doesn't take any longer than normal. People get used to them quickly. You can even use them with screens, where the tray holding the board holds the pads as well, although that's not so common.

I don't know whether the Gold Coast uses them. My best recollection is that it does, and someone else at the club thinks they do as well. I'll be reminded in a couple of months though. :)


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#11 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2017-December-05, 02:36

You're right, it is illegal. But it's more useful to attribute it to a certain laissez-faire attitude rather than any malice of intent. Nobody will complain if you hide the bidding after trick one.

They really are easier to use than you think. Don't knock it until you try it. Reading the bidding is no harder than reading the face of a card, and even upside-down it's easy enough to read. You alert by circling the bid, and anything that requires a post-alert (at the end of the auction) is shown via a little '+' next to the bid (although most people will just tell you and may even circle or underline it at that time to indicate which one wasn't natural) and then indicating what it was when you ask.

Don't forget to ask about cues (bid of a denomination they have bid OR shown), doubles, redoubles, anything above 3NT or a 2C response to 1NT.

The Gold Coast is a good tournament, bidding pads and all.
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#12 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2017-December-05, 03:36

View Postblackshoe, on 2017-December-04, 15:24, said:

I haven't read the Australian regs in a while, but it seems to me that "3" is not a bid, so it can be changed without causing legal problems. The problem here is not the change, but the legibility of the final result. I would advise players to erase anything they're changing or, if that's not possible or not legal, cross it out and write next to or above or below it.

So, during an oral auction there is nothing in the way of legal problems if a players says "Three, no four hearts?" Or, probably even worse, "Three ... eh, pass"? In my book that's UI, but seemingly not in yours. The same with boxes, I see UI if a player pulls a card slightly from one compartment, but then changes that for one from the other.
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#13 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2017-December-05, 03:42

View Postblackshoe, on 2017-December-04, 15:24, said:

I haven't read the Australian regs in a while, but it seems to me that "3" is not a bid, so it can be changed without causing legal problems.


It causes UI, but you can certainly change it.

This fits well with our bidding box regulations that say a call is made when it is "held face up, touching or nearly touching the table; or maintained in such a position as to indicate that the call has been made." I believe the regulation on when a call has been made is rather different than in other jurisdictions.
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#14 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-December-05, 04:14

View Postsanst, on 2017-December-05, 03:36, said:

So, during an oral auction there is nothing in the way of legal problems if a players says "Three, no four hearts?" Or, probably even worse, "Three ... eh, pass"? In my book that's UI, but seemingly not in yours. The same with boxes, I see UI if a player pulls a card slightly from one compartment, but then changes that for one from the other.


I guess Australians are not bothered by UI -- the self-alerts in written bidding are evidence enough of that.

I need to know about these "post-alerts"; can anyone help?
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#15 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-December-05, 04:18

View Postsfi, on 2017-December-05, 03:42, said:

It causes UI, but you can certainly change it.

This fits well with our bidding box regulations that say a call is made when it is "held face up, touching or nearly touching the table; or maintained in such a position as to indicate that the call has been made." I believe the regulation on when a call has been made is rather different than in other jurisdictions.


LOL this hopeless regulation was obviously created by lazily copying from the laws the definition of a played card.

I guess written bidding is better than the potential to remove several cards from the bidding box before deciding on a final call.
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#16 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2017-December-05, 05:24

View PostVampyr, on 2017-December-05, 04:14, said:

I guess Australians are not bothered by UI -- the self-alerts in written bidding are evidence enough of that.


It's just a different type of UI. If you make a bid that is self-alerting (for instance, a double), then partner doesn't get any UI from you alerting it or not. The opponents ask more frequently, so there is more UI there. But it's handled the same way as anywhere else.

Quote

I need to know about these "post-alerts"; can anyone help?


Sure. Any time you make a self-alerting bid, which is:
  • Any double or redouble
  • Any cue of the denomination shown or bid by the opponents
  • Any call above 3NT, apart from an opening bid
  • A 2C response to an opening 1NT in an uncontested auction

If you wind up as the declaring side, you need to point out the non-standard call before the opening lead.

There are also pre-alerts, where you let the opponents know your basic system and anything that might be valuable to prepare a defence. Typical things are:
  • Transfer responses to 1C
  • Polish-style 1C opening
  • Two-suited jump overcalls
  • Transfers in competition, including doubles and redoubles
  • "Strange" Brown-sticker two-level openings, frequently without anchor suits

The last one is so common that opponents often forget to tell you. Be prepared with a general defence - there is no requirement for the opponents to give you one.

We also announce:
  • An opening 1C (examples are "3+" if it's natural with 3 or more; "strong - 16+" for Precision or similar; "unusual" for other meanings)
  • Range of an opening 1NT


Finally, there is no concept of a skip-bid warning, nor any expectation that you hesitate after a jump in the bidding. It was brought in for about 5 minutes a decade ago and quickly tossed aside.
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#17 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2017-December-05, 05:31

View PostVampyr, on 2017-December-05, 04:18, said:

LOL this hopeless regulation was obviously created by lazily copying from the laws the definition of a played card.


I don't know where it comes from, but amazingly enough people still manage to play bridge without tripping over their own feet.
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#18 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-December-05, 05:47

Self-alerting means you don't alert?
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#19 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-December-05, 05:51

View Postsfi, on 2017-December-05, 05:24, said:

It's just a different type of UI. If you make a bid that is self-alerting (for instance, a double), then partner doesn't get any UI from you alerting it or not. The opponents ask more frequently, so there is more UI there. But it's handled the same way as anywhere else.



Sure. Any time you make a self-alerting bid, which is:
  • Any double or redouble
  • Any cue of the denomination shown or bid by the opponents
  • Any call above 3NT, apart from an opening bid
  • A 2C response to an opening 1NT in an uncontested auction

If you wind up as the declaring side, you need to point out the non-standard call before the opening lead.

There are also pre-alerts, where you let the opponents know your basic system and anything that might be valuable to prepare a defence. Typical things are:
  • Transfer responses to 1C
  • Polish-style 1C opening
  • Two-suited jump overcalls
  • Transfers in competition, including doubles and redoubles
  • "Strange" Brown-sticker two-level openings, frequently without anchor suits

The last one is so common that opponents often forget to tell you. Be prepared with a general defence - there is no requirement for the opponents to give you one.

We also announce:
  • An opening 1C (examples are "3+" if it's natural with 3 or more; "strong - 16+" for Precision or similar; "unusual" for other meanings)
  • Range of an opening 1NT


Finally, there is no concept of a skip-bid warning, nor any expectation that you hesitate after a jump in the bidding. It was brought in for about 5 minutes a decade ago and quickly tossed aside.


So you can take any amount of time and will never be ruled against?
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
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#20 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2017-December-05, 06:12

View PostVampyr, on 2017-December-05, 05:51, said:

So you can take any amount of time and will never be ruled against?


No - there is no expectation that you be allowed to take any extra time. So a 10-second delay could easily be determined to be a break in tempo.
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