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All comments by Anthony Pettengell
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As does position.
Sept. 19
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I really don't like that style. I appreciate that Odvrodka (or whatever variant used) COULD be bid on any hand that is 18+ with 3+ trumps, but the auction can be unweildy when only 3 trumps and responder has 4 if opener is unbalanced. We only bid Odvrodka with 3 trumps if (semi)-balanced, or if suppressing the primary suit seems like a good idea. We're very unlikely to do that with 5+ in the other major.

I appreciated that you CAN still use 2 in those situations - and with your example hand you clearly would, because you want to know about key cards in spades - but we do NOT enforce it, and so the negative inference is not there.
Sept. 19
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I discussed the point about 3 with partner, as my gut reaction was 3 denied 3 spades, but we agreed that it didn't necessarily - a hand with a good 6+-card heart suit and 3 can bid 3 here not 3, so 3 doesn't deny 3 spades.

Irrespective I'm becoming even more firmer in my belief that 3 should show 5+ clubs, regardless of whether that's canapé or 5-5.
Sept. 19
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We don't currently have this agreement, but perhaps we should. I think I prefer 3 showing 5 clubs but not necessarily canapé, could also be 5-5, with 5=X=Y=4 clubs hands rebidding 2 then mentioning clubs later if relevant.
Sept. 15
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The balancing seat is definitely different for obvious reasons. The question for me is “is there a hand that would want to double for takeout now, that wouldn't have doubled for takeout earlier?”

That depends both on the strength/variance of your initial take-out doubles and the particular auction.
Sept. 13
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While you have 2N/2 for takeout to the minors, I still have x as take-out here. It's nice to have an ‘optional’ takeout that partner can pass, but the main reason is simplicity/system consistency.
Sept. 12
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Yes, correct. Much like in Precision or ‘standard’ (approach-forcing/2) openings, your 2/1 bids can optionally be GF/US standard/Acol-style, whatever you prefer, and if GF then optionally 1NT as a response can be forcing/semi-forcing. The choice is entirely independent from the general system being Polish.
Sept. 8
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Entirely distinct system choice to the Polish Club bit, sorry I should have specified. This partnership does not currently play 2/1 GF responses so 1NT is non-forcing. If I were playing 2/1 my preference would be for a semi-forcing NT that is passed by a minimum balanced hand.

So, a weak spade raise does not systemically go through 1NT. You are still welcome to bid it if you think best of course. 1NT then a spade preference would be assumed 2 cards by partner.
Sept. 8
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I'm not sure Richard/anyone is saying that *only* students/juniors are playing this in the UK! But I have seen it in higher frequency with those demographics.

I really quite like it, ideally adjusted for vulnerability - e.g. the last time I played it, a vulnerable 2 was a standard weak 2 6–9, 2/ was 10–13, both promising 6 cards. Non-vulnerable 2 was 0–7, 5-6 cards , 2/ was 8–11. I'm not suggesting this version is in any way optimal.
Sept. 6
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Changing the spade king to the queen *might* make the difference to me - and not because it's 1 HCP less, but because Qx/QT is significantly worse than Kx/KT a lot of the time. Still, I would nevertheless feel very uncomfortable at these colours, with the lovely suit and intermediates. I might actually make a poll for that variation.

This hand as is, however, is an automatic 1 for me, not even a question.
Sept. 6
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How? What problem does 8–11 have that 6–9 say doesn't, opposite an appropriately increased responding hand?
Sept. 6
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Sam's point is one I had never thought of or encountered until about a month ago when my current partner made it to me. I had always paused at trick one before playing if I needed to think about the hand, and never once thought of taking an inference from someone else doing so - declarer pauses then, so why not defenders? I had never once considered in 6ish years of bridge that you could keep the trick one card face up to make a pause without ‘moving on’ to trick two. It has made me wonder what else I might have missed on a fundamental level without realising it.

While I'm now endeavouring to change my own habits, I still wouldn't take an inference from someone else pausing before playing at trick one.
Sept. 5
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12 theoretical tricks are likely opposite the described vulnerable 2N, but so are 2 losers off the top/before we can take 12. There isn't going to be a way to establish partner's holding below 5m, and this is matchpoints. 5 without hesitation.
Aug. 29
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Unless 1 were artificial (which from your other article we know isn't true) then I would distinguish 2/3 from 2/3 here.

Without other agreements (and I do NOT suggest this is optimal - but your first poll says ‘without discussion’), I would guess 2 forcing, 3 NF invitational, 2 NF to-play, 3 NF invitational. Alternatively (e.g. if you wanted 2m/3m to be uniform between clubs and diamonds) then option 2. Having defined 2m as natural, 2 to-play without clarifying major length.

Having 2 as forcing assists with invitational balanced hands with exactly 4 hearts and no spade stop - i.e. hands that would want to bid 2 were that bid not GF.

I'm not a regular at support doubles though so it's possible I've missed some nuance.
Aug. 26
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How I play it currently it can include the ‘semi-balanced’ distributions of 5422 or 6322, though I will also sometimes open those hands as balanced depending on texture, and bearing in mind the awkward rebid from opening 2=2=(5-4) and 2=2=6=3 1.

The related question of course is what do you want your 1N rebid to be when opening 1? There are many options. Mine is currently defined in my convention card as: 1–1/: 1N = 4144 (after 1); or 1444/1453 (after 1); or semi-balanced (e.g. 5422, 6322). I in no way advocate that as optimal however, it's a matter of style. One solid option is to have it deny a 5th diamond, using it for hands with more clubs than diamonds and (41)44 hands; others might have it promise the 5th club, or alternatively switch and have 2 rebid promise the 5th club and 1N used otherwise. Personally I think it's great to put the 1=4=4=4 hands there after 1, whatever else you do, to avoid an ugly 2 bid on that hand.
Aug. 7
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1. I agree with others in that it's not that much of a problem, but it's easy to make it a split range and that is theoretically better. 2N there is currently 18–20 or 24–26 for me, with 21-23 going in a multi 2.

2. This isn't specific to Polish and it's entirely up to you. Standard Polish does include this in 1. I like having 1 unbalanced so open 1 with those hands, others prefer otherwise.

3. As already mentioned by Rainer, your second negative is Pass. Opener can force with 2. It's worth noting that the 3 rebid after 1-1 should show 6+ diamonds. Hands with a 4+ card major bid the major first as a canapé sequence. I put 5+/5+ minor hands into the 2N opener (5-10 or 17+ split range), but you can put them elsewhere. Strong hands with exactly 5 diamonds and 4 clubs unbalanced are awkward - the typical place is the 3 rebid.

The range of your 1 opener can (and probably should?) be slightly wider than your 1M openers, which alleviates this somewhat. It's a rare problem anyway.
Aug. 7
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I similarly have not grokked the US terminology. It depends on context of course - if the structure of US games is being discussed then go ahead, but if out of context we get a ‘Flight A player…’ reference, I have no clue what that means in terms of estimated skill level. I've selected the regional bias option, but more in terms of *assumed knowledge* of regional information in a post/context which is not region-specific. I also fully acknowledge that many people using the terminology probably can't give a universal alternative. I'd much rather have the region-specific information that I have to Google/guess at, than no information at all.

I'm surprised at the relatively high rate of displeasure at idiosyncratic bidding agreements used in polls. You're free to abstain/comment if you don't like the methods, but everyone should be able to use a poll for “what do I do here?” (/UI purposes etc) whatever system they're using. I'm more likely to be frustrated at polls for a lack of any system information than for weird system choices.

Edit: clarification/typo
July 21
Anthony Pettengell edited this comment July 21
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How many cards do you have in that third side suit? The more cards in it the more we have to worry about a bad split causing ruffs instead of entries.
July 21
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Thanks for the comment. I'll email you something over re system.
July 11
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I played with a 99-year old lady multiple times before moving away from Nottingham. She played around 4 times a week. She's approaching her 100th birthday this summer and is, as far as I'm aware, still playing regularly. Marvellous person.
June 25
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