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Putting together a Strong Club (Precision) - any insights into why and how these issues matter?

Hi, I'm looking at playing a Precision-based Strong Club system. From my various readings, I've noticed a few issues come up. Usually an answer is given but is without explanation as to why, or no mention of the issues involved. I was hoping to get some insight into the following issues to help me make my own decision on some of these things.

Please note I'm looking for relatively "mainstream" answers and hopefully answers that don't tax a partner's memory too much (I seem to have better memories than my partner in systems, regardless of the partner!)

1. Opening NT range: 13-15 or 14-16

Is there a reason why 14-16 is more encouraged these days? Is it because you can use 1 - 1x - 1NT to show 11-13 rather than 11-12 if you use 13-15? Is it related to keeping 16 point balanced hands out of the 1 opening. Is it something else?

2. Transfer responses to 1 opening bids (non-1 responses)

I've seen many variations on this. I've seen the following but there's probably more):

  • No transfers (obviously where it started from)
  • Transfers to the majors and NT - 1 -> 1, 1 -> 1NT, 2 -> 2, 1NT being a special NT rebid (showing majors) and 2 showing a long minor
  • Transfers to the majors and NT - 1 -> 1, 1 -> 1NT, 1NT -> 2
  • All transfers - 1 -> 1, 1 -> 1NT, 1NT -> 2, 2 -> 2

Any particular advantages/disadvantages of one over the other, or over any other variation not mentioned here?

3. Point range of 1NT response to 1 (either direct or via transfer)

I've seen both the 8-13 range (2NT being 14+) and the 8-10 range (with 2NT being 11-13 and 3NT being 14+). Any advantages with one over the other? Is it difficult to navigate through the wider 8-13 range (if so, how do you do it)? If you play the 8-10 range, how do you deal with the responses to 3NT?

4. 4441 hands from Opener (not responder - I've seen ways to deal with it as responder)

I've seen a couple of ways of dealing with it:

  • Ignore it and try to cope
  • Play 2 opening bid as a weak (11-15) 4441 and cope with the stronger ones via 1
  • Play 2 opening bid as a strong (16+) 4441 hand (4441) and cope with the weaker ones via 1
  • Play a multi-two diamond opening bid and include the strong 4441 hands in there and copy with the weaker ones via 1

Any suggested ways? I'm partial to the multi-two option (I can play it in Australia) but I'm open to all options.

5. 2 opening bids - including the 4 card major or not

I've seen suggestions to not include the 5-card and 4-card major option in the 2 opening bid. It seems useful to include the 5-4 hand in there. What are the reasons for not including it, and how do you bid those hands if you don't include it? Also do you open 2 with only 5 clubs with this bid?

6. Asking bids and all of the Greek letters - what is considered standard and when do you use it?

Just about every system has a series of asking bids and they all say they are unique! What is considered to be "standard". I've guessed some of the following sequences may be common but feel free to correct me:

  • "Gamma" bids (usually used after a transfer bid in a suit) - after the transfer, the next bid shows suit length.
  • Trump asking bids (usually used after a fit is established or a transfer accepted) - shows the quality and length of the trump suit
  • Suit asking bid (usually used after the other 2 asking bids) - shows the holding in the bid suit, to look for stoppers.

Is this a reasonable list of standards asking bids? If not, what is considered standard? Are there other standard ones missing?

Any thoughts on any of these issues would be appreciated - a summary of the related pros and cons is more than sufficient. I'm more than happy to be referred to links you have too.

 

Thanks,

Ian

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