The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

One nickel for each Blackwood abuse

I mentioned reading Danny Kleinman’s site … he’s mildly infamous for refusing to play Blackwood, which is one of the first conventions learned. (I learned Blackwood and Stayman on my first night of Bridge). Playing a random session on BBO with self-described Intermediates, I witnessed 3 abuses in 21 hands. (Blackwood with a void, Blackwood before figuring out which suit were trumps, and one random usage just to hear the answers). My slam was bid without invoking Blackwood, but seeing as how partner had abused the bidding earlier, did not turn out so well either.


Written by taogaming

December 21, 2009 at 9:14 pm

Posted in Bridge

3 Responses

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  1. Every time I read these Brige notes, I always think the following:

    Bridge is a partnership card game.
    Rule #1: No table talk!!
    Rule #2: Ok, really we are allowing you to table talk, but you must do it in the form of 37 different possible things you can say, and whichever one is said last has an impact on the game.

    So the game is all about inventing a system with which to table talk, under these constraints, learnign the system with your partner.

    This would seem so cool to me if you could involve deception. But then they get to rule #3: You have to tell your opponents what your system means and thus what is the meaning of all those things you are saying. It seems like it would be so much cooler if that was not the case.


    December 22, 2009 at 1:28 pm

  2. Well, there is _some_ room for deception, in the form of psyches…

    One of the players I play with doesn’t play Blackwood, and it’s rubbed off on me; I prefer 4NT as Blackwood only if that’s the only possible interpretation. (For instance – 1S – 4NT must be Blackwood.)

    Joe Huber

    December 22, 2009 at 4:51 pm

  3. Alex, that’s the exact problem I have with high-level Bridge. Why do you have to tell your opponents the system? Okay, I’m sure it would make the game hugely different, and probably would introduce a lot more luck, but it just seems like it’d be more fun.

    As it is, almost all of Brian’s stories about bad play really are about bad bids, and that part of the game just isn’t as interesting to me as the card play part.

    I like Bridge, I just can’t imagine getting enough into it to want to master the intricacies of complex bidding systems. Of course, this is also how I feel about Chess openings…I’m good until for about 8 moves, and then I just wing it.

    Lou W

    December 22, 2009 at 10:12 pm

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