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2/1 and rubber bridge

#1 User is offline   blindsey 

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Posted 2022-May-11, 18:51

I'm getting back into bridge after decades away (and retirement) and just starting to learn 2/1.

I saw this youtube video about rubber bridge (apparently there's still some interest!)

https://www.youtube....h?v=yCr5YGkWWK4

Although the discussion of bidding doesn't seem to be recorded, there are some bidding notes visible on the screen behind the speaker during part of the talk. It says that 2/1 is terrible when there's a part-score on and recommends SAYC in this situation.

Why SAYC? Isn't it enough to say "system off" just like when the opponents bid over one-of-a-major and 2-over-1 is now 10+ and 1 NT is no longer forcing? Or is that so close to SAYC it doesn't matter?
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#2 User is online   smerriman 

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Posted 2022-May-11, 19:26

The vast majority of BBO users who claim to play SAYC aren't actually playing it / have no idea what SAYC actually means.

Many incorrectly assume SAYC means what you have described, so the person who wrote those notes likely has too.

(There may be some interest in rubber bridge, but the fact it's not something BBO even supports - other than manually adding up the scores with friends - suggests it is a very small amount of interest only.)
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#3 User is offline   mw64ahw 

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Posted 2022-May-12, 01:59

I've always assumed that the difference between SAYC is that 2/1 GF is that the first is game invitational and the 2nd game forcing, but people can tend to use 2/1 loosely for either.

Depending on your structure I think that SAYC frees up the 2NT/3/3 bids after 1M-1NT-2Y to show weaker minor suit orientated hands which may make the part score whereas say 2NT would show the 11-12 hcp in 2/1GF. These are purely my assumptions and I stand to be corrected
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#4 User is online   smerriman 

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Posted 2022-May-12, 02:32

View Postmw64ahw, on 2022-May-12, 01:59, said:

I've always assumed that the difference between SAYC is that 2/1 GF is that the first is game invitational and the 2nd game forcing, but people can tend to use 2/1 loosely for either.

Yes, that is the common misconception. SAYC is actually a tightly defined system which specifies exactly which conventions you play (it specifically says that it has no choices).

For example, 1m - 2NT is forcing and shows 13-15, 1M - 2m - 2NT is forcing, and 4NT is plain Blackwood.

If you play 1m - 2NT as invitational, 1M - 2m - 2NT as non-forcing, or play RKCB, then you're not playing SAYC.
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#5 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2022-May-12, 02:39

When you have a partscore you should probably play bids that would normaly be game forcing as forcing-to-whatever-we-need-to-make-game.

But you are still interested in the slam bonus. So if you pass partner's 2 opening because you only need 90 points for game, partner may be disapointed when he makes 13 tricks.

2/1 may be poor in that situation but so is SAYC and every other modern system that has been developed for duplicate bridge. I suppose some system could be developed for partscores, but people tend to play very basic methods at rubber.

Vienna is probably good for Rubber bridge.
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#6 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2022-May-12, 02:45

View Postmw64ahw, on 2022-May-12, 01:59, said:

I've always assumed that the difference between SAYC is that 2/1 GF is that the first is game invitational and the 2nd game forcing, but people can tend to use 2/1 loosely for either.

Depending on your structure I think that SAYC frees up the 2NT/3/3 bids after 1M-1NT-2Y to show weaker minor suit orientated hands which may make the part score whereas say 2NT would show the 11-12 hcp in 2/1GF. These are purely my assumptions and I stand to be corrected

After
1-1NT
2-?
2NT is invitational while 3 could be weaker. In SAYC a direct 3 would be strong so 3 now would have a wide range, say 6-11 points, but I think the general advice is to try to bid something else with 6 or 11 points and narrow the 3 bid down to appr 8-9 points sorry as Smeririman points out, 1NT already limited you to 6-9 in SAYC. In 2/1 the delayed 3 bid may have a wide range but some 2/1 pairs have a limited natural direct 3 response so that the inference about the delayed 3 bid is a bit more precise.



The differences between 2/1 and SAYC are:
- In SAYC, a 2-level non-jump shift is auto-forcing while in 2/1 it is game forcing (or maybe forcing to 3NT in some older styles)
- SAYC is very well defined while 2/1 is just an umbrella term for hundreds of different systems
- SAYC is fairly simple: stayman, transfers, negative doubles, Jacoby 2NT, FSF, Blackwood, strong 2 and maybe a couple of other conventions I forgot about. 2/1 tends to come with more conventions (some kind of checkback after a 1NT rebid, for example) although it doesn't have to.
- People who claim to play 2/1 tend to actually play some sort of 2/1, while people who claim to play SAYC could be playing anything

This post has been edited by helene_t: 2022-May-12, 03:28

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#7 User is online   smerriman 

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Posted 2022-May-12, 03:13

View Posthelene_t, on 2022-May-12, 02:45, said:

After
1-1NT
2-?
In SAYC a direct 3 would be strong so 3 now would have a wide range, say 6-11 points

In SAYC 1NT is already 6-9 - if you had 10-11 with clubs, you would have bid 2.
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#8 User is offline   mw64ahw 

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Posted 2022-May-12, 03:20

View Postsmerriman, on 2022-May-12, 03:13, said:

In SAYC 1NT is already 6-9 - if you had 10-11 with clubs, you would have bid 2.

In practice I prefer a slight overlap so 6-10 (or even a touch lower with an Ace) with 10/11+ being the 2/1
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#9 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2022-May-12, 03:25

View Postsmerriman, on 2022-May-12, 03:13, said:

In SAYC 1NT is already 6-9 - if you had 10-11 with clubs, you would have bid 2.

Oh yes sorry, you are right of course.
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#10 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2022-May-12, 11:01

As others have said, SAYC is a specific version of Standard American, built by committee to be "not what anybody wants to play, what most experienced tournament players could play" in the early 1970s for the purposes of running a "single card" event.

Now, SAYC to most people means "not 2/1" - so some form of SA. Which means it's a) a waste of two characters, b) misleading, and c) unhelpful, because SA could be any number of things (of course, so can 2/1).

Most tournament systems - including SAYC - are designed for duplicate, where there are no "legs". If we have game-forcing values, we will use the 2 and 3 level to determine where and how high. With a 40 leg, there's no difference between 2 and 4, so that space is no longer "irrelevant, can be used for other purposes"; in fact, voluntarily going beyond 2 spade-fit is traditionally (and reasonably) a slam try.

2/1 is even more tied to "no reason to be able to stop in 2 with game values" than standard (and gives up 1NT by responder, which may be a "bad score" but with a 60 leg is all you need). How much of a priority that is over "learning a flat system and a leg system" and "reducing slam tool availability in favour of 2-level 'games' " is a question, one you will have to work out.

Another - much bigger, frankly - issue with "rubber system" is its cutaround nature; you can't guarantee to be playing with a partner whose system you've learned. You basically have to play the system the room does, because that's what the room knows how to play. Remember, a bad system both partners know well will beat a good system partner gets wrong. And since rubber almost always equals "for money", those mistakes cost dinner, not embarrassment. Minimize the reasons other players don't want to cut you as a partner, even if it's "I am going to make mistakes, and partner will blame me" - that will cause them to make even more mistakes. Note: some rooms mandate the system you play.
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#11 User is offline   blindsey 

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Posted 2022-May-13, 04:43

View Postmycroft, on 2022-May-12, 11:01, said:

Another - much bigger, frankly - issue with "rubber system" is its cutaround nature; you can't guarantee to be playing with a partner whose system you've learned. You basically have to play the system the room does, because that's what the room knows how to play. Remember, a bad system both partners know well will beat a good system partner gets wrong. And since rubber almost always equals "for money", those mistakes cost dinner, not embarrassment. Minimize the reasons other players don't want to cut you as a partner, even if it's "I am going to make mistakes, and partner will blame me" - that will cause them to make even more mistakes. Note: some rooms mandate the system you play.


I get the impression that the teacher in the video was introducing rubber bridge to tournament players who all knew 2/1 - and maybe only 2/1 (at least very well, apparently they had some familiarity with SAYC, or at least SA). Not an unlikely scenario these days.

As far as being the weak player in a cutaround for money - wouldn't the other players be happy to take his money, playing against him one time out of three and against him two times out of three? Remember the money game in Jamaica in Sontag's "Bridge Bum" (before Sontag got into the game)?
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#12 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2022-May-13, 09:33

Ah, that makes a lot of sense, thank you. "Rubber for duplicate players" does sound like an interesting topic, especially considering the esteem "kitchen bridge" is held in by many. I know I would be a poor rubber player for the level I play at, and that could help me get better (of course, the big reason is "I don't play [anything] for money".)

I wasn't really talking about "the weak player", but "the decent player who forces me out of my comfort zone and blames me for their losses when it goes wrong." Which, granted, you still get to play against 2 rounds of three, but if one of those rounds is against "the player who *can* play [outsider's] system, and it actually is better (at least with no legs) than what we play", boom, all that advantage is lost.

Plus, never underestimate the power of "they're doing something different, I don't like it" (replace "I don't like it" with any number of quotes from entitled old establishment). One gets it all the time from tournament duplicate players, and the rubber players (TGR 100/100 and the like excepted) are the type who don't play duplicate because "of all the weird stuff they play" already. That's the kind of thing that gets you disinvited from entire rooms, not just "we'd rather play with our people, thanks" tables.

As an example, I'll trade you for Sontag's "bridge scam" story (note that the scam and the bust relied on the scammers pooling their money, so it wasn't "two against", it was "three with". When Sontag came in, it was "two out of three rubbers were a wash, no matter the result") Sontag's "Power Precision" story about getting to 7, having bid clubs 4 times (with a void? been 15 years since I've read it) and never bidding hearts until contract placed. "Cheating system, more like."
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#13 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2022-May-22, 01:52

This thread sums up, to me, what is wrong with Bridge and the Modern World

To paraphrase a probably totally irrelevant saying, its not the system but how you use it

Sadly I feel that nobody is taught to use their brains and critical faculties at all in anything - EDIT correction. I feel they have thinking taught out of them

Seriously. If you are playing rubber bridge you would hope that everyone understands that you don't need to take unnecessary risks but dont miss good opportunities
However I assume good players play that way in duplicate - maybe with different judgement criteria

Would you be done for psyching if you pass prematurely

But along with most other people I occasionally play a tiny subset of SAYC - SA

I miss rubber bridge though and sitting round tables with packs of cards
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