Friday, October 17, 2008

Two Over One vs. Precision

I'm often asked, "what's better-- Precision or Two Over One?"

Well, there are good and bad parts of both, but in my opinion, Precision (or some other Big Club system) works better when the opponents stay out of the auction (or only come in at low levels), and Two Over One works better when the opponents bid a lot.

I have a suspicion that Standard American is stronger than 2/1 in very, very established partnerships, but 2/1 is certainly better for a partnership that plays 100 or fewer sessions per year together.

So I guess in a perfect world I'd play a Big Club when the opponents are vulnerable and 2/1 (or Standard) when they're not.

Stay tuned -- I'll be posting some of my favorite defenses to a Big Club, including:
  • Mathe
  • Wonder
  • IDAK
  • Suction
  • Inverted Suction
  • Inverted Psycho-Suction
...and any more that I can think of.


Kevin said...

Do you have much experience yet playing against the Polish Club system?

Noble said...

You forgot regular Psycho Suction?

RoboJenny said...

My personal opinion is that learning cardplay and defense is more important than learning several bidding systems. Only after mastering cardplay to an A level should one mess around with various bidding systems. Meanwhile, a simple system should be used where you're unlikely to forget something just to get you to a contract where you have a chance at doing well with the field. With a long-lasting partnership though, more complicated conventions and systems can be discussed, but learning systems is something I would want to do with a partner, and not as a priority to my own bridge learning.

Having said that, I think everyone (at the very least every young person) goes through a phase of playing around with wacky systems and conventions. Honestly, I think the best one to play out of the "weird" conventions from a learning standpoint is Phantom Club. It forces you to think through various bidding in competition situations even though you're not in competition. It makes you really think about what ranges of bids as advancer and overcaller should be. I think the weird systems also work better in the Flight C, so players should get this phase out of their system while they're still in Flight C, and once they become Flight B, move away from it and go back to something more standard (or rather, expert standard).

McKenzie said...

I certainly agree with Jenny on all of her points. Declarer play and defense are the cornerstones of the game at all levels below expert. It is good to get some system experimenting done early in your bridge life... it gives you exposure to a lot of different situations.

To Kevin --- I don't have much experience playing against the Polish Club, but I do have lots of experience playing it myself! One of my favorite partners, Harvey, along with a few friends of his, came up with a very Polish-style club that we've been playing for years. It's tons of fun, and quite powerful when applied correctly.

Noble said...

I agree with most of what Jenny said. Most nonstandard bidding methods are not theoretically better or worse than standard ones by a noticeable margin, so it actually hurts your game to focus on them (when you could be focusing on cardplay). Moreover there are a few that are much worse than Standard (Mini Roman for instance).

Having said that there are a few conventions which are way better than standard, not widely played in non-A flights, and can be played without much discussion. Three examples that immediately come to mind are support doubles, 2-way NMF, and 2-way splinters.

Unknown said...

Not so sure about playing strong club systems, however it pays to learn them, so you know what to do when they come up. ;)
And recently they seem to be comong up more and more at regionals.

warren said...

I also strongly agree with Jenny, with regards to cardplay over bidding.

Your comment on Standard American is very interesting. I bet there are a few people out there who would burn you at the stake for those kinds of thoughts. :)

Shaz said...

I find Polish Club a lot of fun to play. I'm curious as to what your variation is.