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Bidding Principles - Poll

Thanks for your feedback to my "Bidding Principles" post of 10/31/15. From your comments,  I have distilled the following 10 general bidding principles (in alphabetical order):

1. COMPLEMENTARITY - Use conventions and bid structure that work well together, and systems that work well with your partner. Fit conventions to consistent style (aggressive, scientific, disciplined, complex, simple, etc.). Prefer more widely accepted systems (e.g. 2/1, or regional favorites) to less common ones. 

2. CONCEALMENT - Prefer bids that give less useful information to opponents.  A principle behind "bash bidding", wide-ranging bids, very weak openings and preempts. Prefer less use of definition, more of judgment. Emphasize flexibility and adaptability.

3. DISTRIBUTION - Describe distributional features (length & shortness) as quickly as possible. A principle behind natural suit bids/rebids and NT calls, transfers, splinters, and short suit game/slam tries.

4. EFFICIENCY - Maximize the number of defined systemic calls. A principle behind many relay and transfer systems. Use artificial forcing bids (lower steps) combined with specifically defined higher steps.

5. FREQUENCY - Prefer common uses of bids to uncommon. Related principle: Balance system bids to be as close to equally frequent as possible.

6. HONOR LOCATION - Identify location and number of key high cards. A principle behind high-level cuebids, Blackwood(s), stopper showing and asking, lead directing, and help suit bids.

7. NATURALNESS - Prefer natural to artificial calls. Related principle: "Keep It Simple". Limit the use of conventions, relays, and asking bids.

8. RELATIVE STRENGTH - Bid slowly with strong hands, rapidly with weak. A principle behind preempts, approach-forcing, fast-arrival, weak NT and forcing 1 systems.

9. SITUATIONAL PRACTICALITY - Identify situational patterns and develop methods on a case-by-case basis. Prefer specific tactical bids to more general approaches. Modify bidding based on vulnerability, seat, right-siding, state of match, quality of partner and opposition.

10. SPECIFICITY - Use narrow ranges (HCP and/or distribution) for as many bids as possible. A principle behind many NF NT bids (openings, invites, signoffs), disciplined preempts, step responses, scientific bidding, relays, transfers, and asking bid responses. 

 I believe that all these principles have merit, but prioritizing them is important in choosing or designing a bidding system, or for finding compatible partners.  

Which bidding principle would you rate as most-important? Feel free to add your comments as to co-favorites, runner(s)-up, and write in candidates. 




Honor Location
Relative Strength
Situational Practicality
None of the above

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