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PERMITTED SYSTEMS AND CONVENTIONS AT BCL

At Bridge Club Live, we allow all bidding systems and conventions except those that are defined by the World Bridge Federation (WBF) as “Brown Sticker” or “HUMs”. HUM stands for “Highly Unusual Methods”! It may therefore be said that we allow systems to “WBF Category 3”.

This means that for the vast and huge majority of players, you are able to play all the conventions that you normally play at f2f (face to face) events. For example, if you are an EBU member and play EBU Level 4 conventions, that’s fine.

So, unless you play anything very, very unusual, you can skip the rest of this page, which is copied from the Systems Policy page on the WBF web site and defines the categories of various systems and conventions.

2.1 General

Average Hand A hand containing 10 high card points (Milton Work) with no distributional values
Weak high card strength below that of an average hand
Strong high card strength a king or more greater than that of an average hand
Natural A call or play that is not a convention ['special partnership understanding' as defined in Law 40B1(a)]
Length three cards or more
Shortage two cards or less
Long Match A match of 17 or more deals
Short Match A match of less than 17 deals


2.2 HUM Systems

For the purpose of this Policy, a Highly Unusual Method (HUM) means any System that exhibits one or more of the following features, as a matter of partnership agreement:

1. A Pass in the opening position shows at least the values generally accepted for an opening bid of one, even if there are alternative weak possibilities

2. By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level may be weaker than pass.

3. By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level may be made with values a king or more below average strength.

4. By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level shows either length or shortage in a specified suit.

5. By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level shows either length in one specified suit or length in another.

EXCEPTION: one of a minor in a strong club or strong diamond system


2.3 Classification of Systems

In order to facilitate recognition and handling, systems material will be identified by one or more of the following:

1. a WBF coloured sticker;

2. the appropriate name (hand printed or typed) colour;

3. a check mark on a system card next to the appropriate colour - in keeping with the following descriptions:

Green Natural
Blue Strong Club / Strong Diamond, where one club / one diamond is always strong
Red Artificial: this category includes all artificial systems that do not fall under the definition of Highly Unusual Methods (HUM) systems [see definition below], other than Strong Club / Strong Diamond systems (see 'Blue').
Examples would be a system where one club shows one of three types - a natural club suit, a balanced hand of a specific range, or a Strong Club opener; or a system in which the basic methods (other than the no trump range) vary according to position, vulnerability and the like; or a system that uses conventional 'weak' or 'multi-meaning' bids (with or without some weak option) in potentially contestable auctions, other than those described in the main part of the WBF Convention Booklet
Yellow Highly Unusual Methods ('HUM') as defined above.
Length three cards or more
Shortage two cards or less
Long Match A match of 17 or more deals
Short Match A match of less than 17 deals

 

2.4 Brown Sticker Conventions and Treatments

The following conventions or treatments are categorised as 'Brown Sticker':
a) Any opening bid of two clubs through three spades that:
  i) could be weak (may by agreement be made with values below average strength)
AND
  ii) does not promise at least four cards in a known suit.
    EXCEPTION: The bid always shows at least four cards in a known suit if it is weak. If the bid does not show a known four card suit it must show a hand a king or more over average strength. (Explanation: Where all the weak meanings show at least four cards in one known suit, and the strong meanings show a hand with a king or more above average strength, it is not a Brown Sticker Convention.)
    EXCEPTION: A two level opening bid in a minor showing a weak two in either major, whether with or without the option of strong hand types, as described in the WBF Conventions Booklet. Defensive measures are permitted for opponents as in 6 below.
b) An overcall of a natural opening bid of one of a suit that does not promise at least four cards in a known suit.
    EXCEPTION: A natural overcall in no trumps.
    EXCEPTION: any cue bid suit that shows a strong hand.
    EXCEPTION: a jump cue bid in opponent's known suit that asks partner to bid 3NT with a stopper in that suit.
c) Any 'weak' two-suited bids at the two or three level that may by agreement be made with three cards or fewer in one of the suits.
d) Psychic bids protected by system or required by system.
e) None of the foregoing restrictions pertain to conventional defences against strong, artificial opening bids or defences against 'Brown
Additional to the classification of systems in 2.3 above, any partnership using one or more 'Brown Sticker' conventions must indicate this alongside its system classification.

 

2.6 Random Openings

It is forbidden to open hands which, by agreement, may contain fewer than 8 high card points and for which no further definition is provided.