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1D-1S; 2D-3H

#1 User is offline   Bende 

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Posted 2017-December-12, 08:13

In a natural system without many artificial bids, consider the sequence (opps silent) 1-1; 2-3. I have seen people arguing for two main meanings for the 3 bid.

2 would be natural and forcing and 3 is game forcing with 5-5. We need two bids to show hearts, since otherwise we will run into problems differentiating between 5-5 Ms invite and 5-5 Ms game force.

Since 2 would be natural and forcing, 3 should be a splinter bid in support of diamonds. This helps us find good diamond slams if the cards fit as well as chosing intelligently between 3NT and 5. If we have 5-5, we can start with bidding 2 and follow up with 3 to invite or choose some forcing bid (like 1-1; 2-2; 2NT-3) if we have a game forcing hand. The 5-5s sort themselves out.

What is considered standard here? Is a) some old standard and b) more modern?

#2 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2017-December-12, 09:45

In a completely natural system such as standard Acol, the sequence 1-1; 2-2 is non-forcing and you need to jump to 3 to create a force. Even I don't like this and most would treat 2 as forcing these days.

Given that 2 is forcing it seems pointless to have 3 showing a game force. Better options for 3 are:
- a splinter in support of diamonds
- showing extra shape - e.g. 5-5 in the majors

#3 User is offline   PostMortem 

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Posted 2017-December-13, 12:15

I think your interpretation is correct; it's older standard vs. modern standard.

The real question, then, is which way is better?

I think it depends on how skillfully you are able to bid with your partner in a truly natural style.

If you and partner are good bidders and truly understand the structure of standard natural methods - i.e., you on the same wavelength as far as style and treatments go - and your agreements are sophisticated and nuanced (e.g., 2H followed by 3H invitational, 3H followed by 4H or the 4th suit is natural and slammish, and bidding 4H immediately is simply a choice of major suit games), then you may do better using the older standard methods. The price of this is that it can be challenging to remember and the risk of a bidding accident seems higher.

I suspect the reasons why the Splinter interpretation has migrated into modern standard are that Splinter Bids (1) are easy to remember, (2) reduce the complexity of other auctions where responder has 3 or 4 card heart length, leading to fewer bidding misunderstandings, and (3) typically simplify game vs. slam decisions when holding true support. So, for players without true partnership bidding capability - for players who are not regular and frequent partners who have agreed to certain principles about bidding and formed specific agreements - the Splinter interpretation should work more effectively.

#4 User is offline   miamijd 

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Posted 2017-December-13, 15:27

Well, I would say a third method is more common in "Standard Expert American," if such a thing exists.

2H in this auction is often played as artificial (third suit forcing) with at least invitational strength and at least 5 spades. Otherwise, you have no good bid with (A) an invite with 5 spades that isn't suitable for a 2NT call; (B) a game force with 5 spades (3C here should be semi-natural); or © a game-forcing hand with diamond support that is not suitable for bidding NT. All of those hand types are very common.

If you play some form of Reverse Flannery responses (2H over 1d shows 5/4 in the majors or better with 5-8 or so and 2S shows specifically 5/4 in the majors with 9-11), then you limit the hands 2H shows somewhat, but if you don't, it can show a very wide variety of hands (those with 4+ H and those without). It's really an overstressed bid, but there is no good alternative.

Opener will generally bid as follows over 2H artificial:
2S - three spades min
2NT - 2- S; 3- H; some semblance of C and H stops; min
3C - generally 2- S 3-H 6D 4C min that doesn't want to play NT
3D - 2- S 3- H 6+D no club stop; min
3H - 2- S 4H any strength forcing (one of the weaknesses of the structure)
3S - 3 S max
3NT 2- S 3- H some semblance of C and H stops; max

That leaves us with the 5-5 invite, the 5-5 GF, and the splinter.

A lot of folks use the second-round jump to 3H to show the 5-5 invite, which generally works semi-OK. Bidding 2H artificial followed by 3H then shows the GF (you don't need to show 5-4, because partner will raise hearts with 4 and fewer than 3S). Other players use the second round jump as forcing and give up on the 5-5 invite unless opener's third bid is 2NT (they will bid 3H) or 3H (they will raise to 4). The logic here is that if opener bids 3C or 3D, he has a minimum, so you might as well get out in a minor partial, and if he bids 3S, you have an eight-fit in spades. I don't have a strong preference.

If you play 2H as artificial, you have to give up the 3H splinter bid. That's a very useful bid to have when it comes up, but (A) 1D 1S 2D heart splinter is a pretty rare auction and (B) there are other ways to handle it that although aren't as good, work out halfway decently most of the time.


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