# BBO Discussion Forums: what is a 3 suited hand ? - BBO Discussion Forums

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## what is a 3 suited hand ?

### #1Shugart23

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Posted 2016-January-19, 07:05

Another question as I convert my bidding system to canapé....

If in 3rd seat, I open 2C and partner alerts that this as a 3 suited hand and also explains that my distribution includes the possibility of being any 4432 or 5431 distribution, would this be GCC legal ?
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### #2fromageGB

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Posted 2016-January-19, 07:58

If a 4432 is 3-suited, then I think this is a bit meaningless. I'm happy with 5431, so it's not the minimum length in each suit that counts, but at least with that you have the possibility of ruffs to assist the 3 card suit contract. But I am not a GCC expert.
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### #3Shugart23

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Posted 2016-January-19, 08:03

it's more of a pre-emptive tactic, if legal....especially if 2344 or 3244, white against red and weak......(our 16 plus hands are opened 1C_
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### #4Zelandakh

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Posted 2016-January-19, 08:03

There are 2 common definitions around. One is a hand with 4 cards in each of three suits, hence 4441 or 5440, and the other is length (3+) in each of three suits and shortage (0-1) in the fourth. Since a Precision 2 opening is allowed, we can surmise that the ACBL use the latter definition. In other words, I suspect your opening would fail on the 4432 hands because these would be considered balanced rather than three-suiters.
(-: Zel :-)

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### #5barmar

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Posted 2016-January-19, 10:01

GCC uses the term "three-suiter", but doesn't provide a definition, so I think we have to assume it means what most bridge players expect it to mean. And I think Zel's 2 definitions cover that ground pretty well. Most players would be very surprised if the 3-suiter could include a doubleton.

### #6nige1

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Posted 2016-January-19, 10:28

Many jurisdictions define a 3-card suit as biddable. In many systems, over partner's 1 opener, you have to bid 2 on a 3-card suit.
e.g. x x x A K x x x x x A K x). In some systems e.g. SAYC, you often open a 3-card suit. I'm told that the ACBL define a 1 opener, with a doubleton , as natural ! Presumably. in such a Humpty-Dumpty context, 4333, 5332, and 4432 are 3-suiters. Perhaps, any hand without a singleton or void can be called a 4-suiter!.
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### #7barmar

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Posted 2016-January-19, 10:38

There's nothing in the GCC that says that "three-suiter" means "contains at least 3 biddable suits". That's why I contend that it means what most people think it means, not some contrived definition some pair might come up with to justify an illegal agreement.

### #8kenrexford

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Posted 2016-January-19, 11:50

When answering this question, I think perhaps a parallel might be considered.

If RHO opens 1H and you double with AJxx-xx-AJxx-Q10x, would this be considered a three-suited takeout? If you held, instead, AJxx-xx-AJxx-AQx, would you double as a 3-suited takeout or overcall 1NT as a balanced hand?

If you would double in both situations, intending this as a 3-suited call, why would 2C as a 3-suited opening be deemed not definitionally correct? 1NT can be opened on rare occasion with 4441 (AJxx-AJxx-K-Q10xx), because it looks balanced and because of range. Why not 2C in the converse situation?
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### #9mgoetze

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Posted 2016-January-19, 13:11

barmar, on 2016-January-19, 10:38, said:

That's why I contend that it means what most people think it means

Actually, words in the GCC mean whatever the director wants them to mean, regardless of what anyone thinks.
"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"
-- Bertrand Russell
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### #10mike777

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Posted 2016-January-19, 13:14

In the Encyclopedia of Bridge(both 6th and 7th editions) a three suited hand is defined as 4441 or 4405.

It seems misleading at best and unethical at worse to create your own definition. Semantics matter.

For what its worth when I was taught Canape systems, way back when, the definition was 4441 or 4405 so this is a definition even for Canape systems for decades and decades.

4432=balanced
5431=two suited

It may be a more fuller explanation to say 2c is artificial and includes 3 suited, many two suited and balanced hands and it is mostly a preemptive tactic. I guess this means you deny a one suited hand.

I do not know if it is GCC legal but I really do not see how it could be.

Revised General Convention Chart

Posted On: May 19, 2015
http://www.acbl.org/...nvention-chart/

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http://web2.acbl.org...ntion-Chart.pdf

TWO CLUBS ARTIFICIAL OPENING BID indicating one of:
a) a strong hand.
b) a three-suiter with a minimum of 10 HCP.
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### #11kenrexford

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Posted 2016-January-19, 16:15

mike777, on 2016-January-19, 13:14, said:

In the Encyclopedia of Bridge(both 6th and 7th editions) a three suited hand is defined as 4441 or 4405.

It seems misleading at best and unethical at worse to create your own definition. Semantics matter.

For what its worth when I was taught Canape systems, way back when, the definition was 4441 or 4405 so this is a definition even for Canape systems for decades and decades.

4432=balanced
5431=two suited

It may be a more fuller explanation to say 2c is artificial and includes 3 suited, many two suited and balanced hands and it is mostly a preemptive tactic. I guess this means you deny a one suited hand.

I do not know if it is GCC legal but I really do not see how it could be.

Revised General Convention Chart

Posted On: May 19, 2015
http://www.acbl.org/...nvention-chart/

-------------
http://web2.acbl.org...ntion-Chart.pdf

TWO CLUBS ARTIFICIAL OPENING BID indicating one of:
a) a strong hand.
b) a three-suiter with a minimum of 10 HCP.

I suppose that Precision is therefore not GCC legal, since with Precision a 2 opening could be 5431 and hence a two-suited hand?

You seem to be missing the point of the question. In the (extremely well thought out, even brilliant) canapé system Shugart33 plays, the 2 opening does, in fact, show 4441 or 5440. However, the question concerns the GCC viability of a light, white-on-red fudge in 3rd seat with, say, 10-12 HCP. You know game is not likely on, so you decide to jack up the auction to the two-level, assuming that your stiff is probably their fit. So, you make a gamble. 5431's seem fair game, because Precision allows for 5431. 5530 is a tad messy, but then 3055 or 0355 for a 2 opening might be better than 2NT for the minors if you are a chicken. The big (and only) question is whether the occasional 4432 looks like three-suited enough to merit a 2 opening. Judgment is not the question; people are allowed to find such a move silly and low-gain; others might disagree. The question is whether it would be GCC legal.

The reason it would need to be GCC legal is frequency and disclosure. Obviously, if you whipped out a 2 opening with 4432 on any given Friday evening, this would be a tactical deviation. However, (1) repeated tactical deviations can create an agreement, and (2) a deviation cannot be used as a means of circumventing the GCC. Thus, what Shugart33 wants to know is whether the 2 call with 4432 is sufficiently allowed within the definition to be used more than once in his third-seat, white-on-red gut-feeling lifetime, or whether he might whip that out three or four appropriate times without running afoul of the swarm of TD's, and whether he can appropriately alert the opponents to this rare indiscretion as a possibility.

"Gibberish in, gibberish out. A trial judge, three sets of lawyers, and now three appellate judges cannot agree on what this law means. And we ask police officers, prosecutors, defense lawyers, and citizens to enforce or abide by it? The legislature continues to write unreadable statutes. Gibberish should not be enforced as law."

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### #12kenrexford

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Posted 2016-January-19, 16:24

Oh, and by the way, while the term "three-suiter" is never defined on the GCC, the term "three suit" is defined as:at least three cards in each of the three suits.

The definition is included in describing what is allowed as a 1NT overcall as a three suit takeout call. Now, I would hardly find 4333 to be "three suit" if I consider my 4-card suit the odd-man-out suit, but by GCC definition it is included within the definition of three suit meaning. Thus, it is hardly accurate to claim that the GCC is obviously endorsing only 5440 or 4441 in the face of this, IMO.

"Gibberish in, gibberish out. A trial judge, three sets of lawyers, and now three appellate judges cannot agree on what this law means. And we ask police officers, prosecutors, defense lawyers, and citizens to enforce or abide by it? The legislature continues to write unreadable statutes. Gibberish should not be enforced as law."

-P.J. Painter.
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### #13mike777

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Posted 2016-January-19, 16:28

It would seem 2d with an agreed 5431 would not be 3 suited by definition. Again semantics matter.

Now if you want to change the definition that is generally agreed upon, fair enough but so far I do not see a convincing argument made for that. I don't see posters are claiming that 5431 is generally agreed upon as 3 suited and NOT two suited. If they have such evidence...let us see it please.

Again I presented evidence on how it is generally accepted over decades.

If you have evidence that the definition is accepted otherwise by the GCC or other please present it. I think all of us are open to new evidence of a new definition.

If 5431 is no longer a two suited hand and 4432 is no longer a balanced hand..ok...
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### #14kenrexford

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Posted 2016-January-19, 16:52

mike777, on 2016-January-19, 16:28, said:

It would seem 2d with an agreed 5431 would not be 3 suited by definition. Again semantics matter.

Now if you want to change the definition that is generally agreed upon, fair enough but so far I do not see a convincing argument made for that. I don't see posters are claiming that 5431 is generally agreed upon as 3 suited and NOT two suited. If they have such evidence...let us see it please.

Again I presented evidence on how it is generally accepted over decades.

If you have evidence that the definition is accepted otherwise by the GCC or other please present it. I think all of us are open to new evidence of a new definition.

If 5431 is no longer a two suited hand and 4432 is no longer a balanced hand..ok...

I did.

I presented that 3415/4315 is accepted as three-suited in the Precision context, and has been for many decades.

I presented the GCC itself in defining "three suit" takeout as 3+ in all three suits.

You presented the Encyclopedia of Bridge, which obviously is in conflict with the actual Precision system as played by many for decades, as well as the GCC itself. You also presented a correct explanation of canapé bidding in one (or more) systems that use a three-suited opening, but a singular systemic approach is hardly governing as to "generally understood" meanings when the approaches involved are fairly non-mainstream already.

"Gibberish in, gibberish out. A trial judge, three sets of lawyers, and now three appellate judges cannot agree on what this law means. And we ask police officers, prosecutors, defense lawyers, and citizens to enforce or abide by it? The legislature continues to write unreadable statutes. Gibberish should not be enforced as law."

-P.J. Painter.
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### #15mike777

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Posted 2016-January-19, 16:58

kenrexford, on 2016-January-19, 16:52, said:

I did.

I presented that 3415/4315 is accepted as three-suited in the Precision context, and has been for many decades.

I presented the GCC itself in defining "three suit" takeout as 3+ in all three suits.

You presented the Encyclopedia of Bridge, which obviously is in conflict with the actual Precision system as played by many for decades, as well as the GCC itself. You also presented a correct explanation of canapé bidding in one (or more) systems that use a three-suited opening, but a singular systemic approach is hardly governing as to "generally understood" meanings when the approaches involved are fairly non-mainstream already.

Actually I see no evidence..I see you make a claim but I don't see evidence backing up your claim. IN fact you do not even make the claim that 5431 is NOT two suited.

Again there may very well be evidence out there and I am open to seeing it. I can tell you that having played Precision red book from the seventies that was NOT how it was defined. However if 5431 is allowed per GCC as 3 suited I would agree that it would be allowed for 2c.

I just give you the definition by the Official Encyclopedia of Bridge from the ACBL over decades. It is also stated in at least one Canape book that was GCC legal for its time from the early 1980's. the definitions in the book were peer reviewed by Alan Truscott, Bob Klein and Mark Perlmutter.
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### #16mike777

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Posted 2016-January-19, 17:33

I see the OP asking 2 main questions.

1) is 5431 and 4432 a 3 suited hand...I showed evidence it is not.
2) is it GCC legal to play 2clbs to show any 5431 or 4432. I don't know..It would be nice to hear from some current ACBL directors on that question. I was last a director in the early seventies.
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### #17kenrexford

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Posted 2016-January-19, 20:13

mike777, on 2016-January-19, 16:58, said:

Actually I see no evidence..I see you make a claim but I don't see evidence backing up your claim. IN fact you do not even make the claim that 5431 is NOT two suited.

Again there may very well be evidence out there and I am open to seeing it. I can tell you that having played Precision red book from the seventies that was NOT how it was defined. However if 5431 is allowed per GCC as 3 suited I would agree that it would be allowed for 2c.

I just give you the definition by the Official Encyclopedia of Bridge from the ACBL over decades. It is also stated in at least one Canape book that was GCC legal for its time from the early 1980's. the definitions in the book were peer reviewed by Alan Truscott, Bob Klein and Mark Perlmutter.

I am not going to my local bridge library to pull out old books on Precision. Not that important to me. If you or anyone reading this insanity wants to find a reference, try Google. There are lots of sites discussing old school Precision and the 4315/3415 option. I, frankly, would be ashamed to not know this, and arguing a lack of proof is about as sad as demanding proof that people used to play 4NT as asking just for Aces.

The other proof that you seem to ignore is the GCC definition itself, which I cut and pasted to not make any mistakes or typos. I am not providing a link, as that also would be subject to objection under the best evidence rule, as the link might not be deemed an original. But, for those willing to accept relaxed evidentiary rules, Google provides a link to the ACBL web page, where the GCC can be found.

I do, however, confess that my memory of the past, my ability to read the English language as somewhat included in parts of the GCC, and my conclusions have not been peer reviewed, not do I have any list of experts I have never heard of to provide as qualifications for my reading and research skills and conclusions. However, I have obtained the esteemed rank of life master of the ACBL, which obviously makes me an accepted authority on expert bridge, from ehat I hear.
"Gibberish in, gibberish out. A trial judge, three sets of lawyers, and now three appellate judges cannot agree on what this law means. And we ask police officers, prosecutors, defense lawyers, and citizens to enforce or abide by it? The legislature continues to write unreadable statutes. Gibberish should not be enforced as law."

-P.J. Painter.
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### #18Shugart23

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Posted 2016-January-19, 20:17

Here is what I think I think

...The GCC says opening a minor suit is natural if it has 3 cards and a Major suit is natural if it has 4 cards in the definition section.....Thus I think a 4432 or 4423 hand is by definition a 3 suited natural bid...I think by the same definition 5431 hands are 3 suited , provided the 3 card suit is not a Major.....I think I think that these distributions are , at a minimum, included as 3 suited hands and allowed....Perhaps any 5431 hand can be construed to be a 3 suited hand
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### #19BillHiggin

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Posted 2016-January-19, 22:16

Shugart23, on 2016-January-19, 20:17, said:

Here is what I think I think

...The GCC says opening a minor suit is natural if it has 3 cards and a Major suit is natural if it has 4 cards in the definition section.....Thus I think a 4432 or 4423 hand is by definition a 3 suited natural bid...I think by the same definition 5431 hands are 3 suited , provided the 3 card suit is not a Major.....I think I think that these distributions are , at a minimum, included as 3 suited hands and allowed....Perhaps any 5431 hand can be construed to be a 3 suited hand

You of course may think whatever you think you think. I can relate one comparable incident from a long time ago (so might not be all that relevant)
Playing in a regional open pairs my RHO opened 1 precision club. We were playing a defense where non-jump overcalls showed the suit bid and the next higher. My hand was 4333 shape with 4 diamonds and nothing but spot cards. I decided that this looked like a red two suiter and bid 1D (not very preemptive, but then my hand was a little short on playing strength). After 2 passes, opener balanced with 1H and that ended the auction. Dummy tabled about 7HCP and 4 hearts to the Q10. After cashing the HA, declarer confidently led a small heart to the 10 and was shocked when that lost to partner's jack. The director was summoned immediately. He ruled that the table result stands, but commanded me to "never again psych an artificial bid".

I doubt that that particular director (who was DIC at a regional recently) will buy your thinking.
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### #20kenrexford

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Posted 2016-January-20, 05:14

BillHiggin, on 2016-January-19, 22:16, said:

You of course may think whatever you think you think. I can relate one comparable incident from a long time ago (so might not be all that relevant)
Playing in a regional open pairs my RHO opened 1 precision club. We were playing a defense where non-jump overcalls showed the suit bid and the next higher. My hand was 4333 shape with 4 diamonds and nothing but spot cards. I decided that this looked like a red two suiter and bid 1D (not very preemptive, but then my hand was a little short on playing strength). After 2 passes, opener balanced with 1H and that ended the auction. Dummy tabled about 7HCP and 4 hearts to the Q10. After cashing the HA, declarer confidently led a small heart to the 10 and was shocked when that lost to partner's jack. The director was summoned immediately. He ruled that the table result stands, but commanded me to "never again psych an artificial bid".

I doubt that that particular director (who was DIC at a regional recently) will buy your thinking.

I think there is a wild difference between treating 4432 as 3-suited, which is only one odd 4441, and 4333 as two-suited, which is about teo off from 5422.

I also agree with Shugart that 4432 or 4423 seem clear examples by logic, the fact that Precision historically allows 3415/4315 seems to suggest that the major can be 3 if one of the duits, such that perhaps 4342/4324/3442/3424 should also be OK.

Of course, all of these twraks are silliness. The ACBL probably needs to defone the terms better, yet again. IMO, anything within 1 card of 4441 seems right, which includes 5440, 5431, and 4432.
"Gibberish in, gibberish out. A trial judge, three sets of lawyers, and now three appellate judges cannot agree on what this law means. And we ask police officers, prosecutors, defense lawyers, and citizens to enforce or abide by it? The legislature continues to write unreadable statutes. Gibberish should not be enforced as law."

-P.J. Painter.
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