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5332 hands into 1D

#1 User is offline   Shugart23 

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Posted 2024-April-17, 08:53

If partner and I decide to include 5M332 hands (with good 10 to 12 HCP) into our 1D bid, is this alertable ? eg "may contain a 5 card Major" ?
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#2 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

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Posted 2024-April-17, 09:44

Yes. Can be pre-alertable in some jurisdictions.
Even if your area's alert regulations are ambiguous for this issue, you should inform the opponents about it. Bridge is not a secret messages game, you should not be going out of your way to hide unusual agreements from the opponents, instead you should be bending in favor of making sure opponents are informed. If you would want to know if opps are doing this, you should let the opps know when you are doing it.

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#3 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2024-April-17, 10:44

In the ACBL, surprisingly, from my read of the Procedure, no. You'd have to Announce your "could be 2" 1 call, but that's it.

That is, provided you planned on always rebidding NT and not 1-1; 1 with the 5332 hand (which I assume you are). Otherwise you get into the Canape Alerting nonsense (which arguably applies to the "always bid your 4cM with balanced hands" people, but nobody does, and nobody should).

Of course, you have to Pre-Alert the 1 call (and the 1 call). There's no reason not to include this information in the Pre-Alert. "Our 1 is Artificial, Forcing, 16+ any hand. 1 could be 2 and could have up to 5 clubs. We consider all 5332s to be balanced, and will open 1, 'could be 2', with 10-12, and 1NT with 13-15."

Now, the Standard (1 4+ or 5=3=3=2, and 1 3+ or 4=4=3=2) players deciding to have that agreement? I'm uncomfortable about that, but to my read of the regs, nothing in that agreement is (pre-)Alertable.
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#4 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2024-April-17, 10:52

It's unusual. It will be clearly written, explained and highlighted on your convention card. The CC of course will be handed to your opponents when you/they sit down.
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#5 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2024-April-17, 14:51

 mycroft, on 2024-April-17, 10:44, said:

There's no reason not to include this information in the Pre-Alert. "Our 1 is Artificial, Forcing, 16+ any hand. 1 could be 2 and could have up to 5 clubs. We consider all 5332s to be balanced, and will open 1, 'could be 2', with 10-12, and 1NT with 13-15."


Had I ever encountered an opponent who said something similar I would never have become a TD :)
"Preparatory" (with a hermetic smirk) is the best disclosure one can obtain for a similar 1 in Turin.
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#6 User is online   johnu 

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Posted 2024-April-17, 18:18

I've never played this system, but my guess is that in the ACBL it is both pre-alertable, and alertable at the time the bid is made, just like if you are playing canape. That's what I do when playing Blue Team Club which employs canape.
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#7 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2024-April-18, 00:36

 jillybean, on 2024-April-17, 10:52, said:

It's unusual. It will be clearly written, explained and highlighted on your convention card. The CC of course will be handed to your opponents when you/they sit down.

ROFL! That would be nice, wouldn't it? B-)
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#8 User is offline   Shugart23 

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Posted 2024-April-19, 07:38

 mycroft, on 2024-April-17, 10:44, said:

In the ACBL, surprisingly, from my read of the Procedure, no. You'd have to Announce your "could be 2" 1 call, but that's it.

That is, provided you planned on always rebidding NT and not 1-1; 1 with the 5332 hand (which I assume you are). Otherwise you get into the Canape Alerting nonsense (which arguably applies to the "always bid your 4cM with balanced hands" people, but nobody does, and nobody should).

Of course, you have to Pre-Alert the 1 call (and the 1 call). There's no reason not to include this information in the Pre-Alert. "Our 1 is Artificial, Forcing, 16+ any hand. 1 could be 2 and could have up to 5 clubs. We consider all 5332s to be balanced, and will open 1, 'could be 2', with 10-12, and 1NT with 13-15."

Now, the Standard (1 4+ or 5=3=3=2, and 1 3+ or 4=4=3=2) players deciding to have that agreement? I'm uncomfortable about that, but to my read of the regs, nothing in that agreement is (pre-)Alertable.


Although I'd rather be playing a canape system, I am not; I am teaching my son a Precision system. Having said that, I'm mulling over the pros and cons of sticking the weak 5M332 hand into the 1D bid. The big advantage it seems to me is that if I open 1M, partner will know I either have extra Heart/Spade length or a 4+ card side suit ( or both). This seems to me to be a big plus. In addition, if on my second bid after opening 1D, I bid 1NT, partner will know that I have good 10-12 HCP and shape is restricted to 4432, 5332 or 4333 without having 4 card support for his Major. The disadvantage would seem to be that we may not find our 5-3 Major card fit, assuming I am 5M332 and open 1D. I don't know if anyone cares to comment on the preceding, but I would be interested in hearing thoughts.

I do have a question on your comment. If I open 1D and partner alerts it with " He may have a 5 card Major", I think the bidding could go 1D by me- 1H-by partner (or opponents?) - 1S by me. Agree ? Disagree ?

Thank you all
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#9 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2024-April-19, 09:58

This is very "don't take my word for it, I'm just reading the same docs you are", but I think if you put 5332s (I guess, specifically to your question 5=2=3=3s) into your 1 call, *and* you aren't going to treat them as "balanced hands" and rebid NT, now you have another disclosure issue (which I think you could work around by "following" the canape alert: "that shows a suit routinely longer than the suit opened". Yes, I know that means that 1m-1x-1M by half the field should be Alerted because they could be 4=3=3=3 (or 4=4=3=2 for 1-1-1), but we all know this means "canape". But still, you could Alert 1-1; 1 as "could be 5 spades if 5=2=3=3 and 10-12 as well as 5 spades-6 diamonds".

Taking my directing hat off for a minute, I think that if you do both of these things, you are setting yourself up for an unresolvable ambiguity problem (which can be avoided with, say, 3/2NT response to XYNT/Checkback Stayman being 5332. I'm not sure I like that either, but something is necessary).
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#10 User is offline   Shugart23 

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Posted 2024-April-19, 11:42

 mycroft, on 2024-April-19, 09:58, said:

This is very "don't take my word for it, I'm just reading the same docs you are", but I think if you put 5332s (I guess, specifically to your question 5=2=3=3s) into your 1 call, *and* you aren't going to treat them as "balanced hands" and rebid NT, now you have another disclosure issue (which I think you could work around by "following" the canape alert: "that shows a suit routinely longer than the suit opened". Yes, I know that means that 1m-1x-1M by half the field should be Alerted because they could be 4=3=3=3 (or 4=4=3=2 for 1-1-1), but we all know this means "canape". But still, you could Alert 1-1; 1 as "could be 5 spades if 5=2=3=3 and 10-12 as well as 5 spades-6 diamonds".

Taking my directing hat off for a minute, I think that if you do both of these things, you are setting yourself up for an unresolvable ambiguity problem (which can be avoided with, say, 3/2NT response to XYNT/Checkback Stayman being 5332. I'm not sure I like that either, but something is necessary).


With the weak Spade hand (5332 shape) I'm inclined to just bid 1NT, in the situation where it goes 1D by me, 1H by partner ---? It keeps things 'neater'. Other than perhaps a pre-alert at the beginning and having the CC marked, I'm not sure if there's any reason to alert the 1D bid each time it comes up. since I'm not going to bid the Major unless partner names it first or doubles in the pass-out seat telling me to bid something. Or do you think it would be better to alert it anyway, since about half our bids are alterable anyway (it seems)? guess it can't do any harm
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#11 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2024-April-19, 14:19

You have to Announce every time ("could be 2"). Of course, if asked, "10-15, 2+. Could have longer clubs, could be 10-12 with 5M332".

I do not believe you have to Alert it - but since you also have to Pre-Alert Forcing (1) or not-Natural (1, quasi-Natural) calls, no reason not to add the bit about 5M332.
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#12 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2024-April-19, 17:19

I see they've added an example to the alert regulation. If you play that your minimum "balanced" Precision 1 might include a singleton A, K, or Q, where you intend to rebid 1NT (or 2 over 2minor), you announce "could be one".
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#13 User is online   johnu 

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Posted 2024-April-19, 19:17

Like the ACBL convention charts, the Alert procedures could use some clarifications.

The alert procedures say

Artificial Bids
Alert all Artificial bids except as listed below. Alert any Quasi-Natural bid that is not Announced.

and under natural bids:

Natural Bids
Alert the Natural bids listed below.
Opening Bids
4. A Natural Opening suit bid where a second suit bid later in the auction would routinely be
longer than the opened suit.

Seems very poorly written, since opening a 3 card minor and then either bidding or raising a major suit with 4 cards is not considered alertable by anybody I know. Seems this is directed at canape bidding where a 4 card suit may be bid before a 5+ card suit. If bidding a 4 card suit before a 5+ card suit is alertable, then bidding a 2 or 3 card suit before a 5 card suit should be alertable.
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#14 User is offline   Shugart23 

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Posted 2024-April-20, 07:06

 johnu, on 2024-April-19, 19:17, said:

Like the ACBL convention charts, the Alert procedures could use some clarifications.

The alert procedures say

Artificial Bids
Alert all Artificial bids except as listed below. Alert any Quasi-Natural bid that is not Announced.

and under natural bids:

Natural Bids
Alert the Natural bids listed below.
Opening Bids
4. A Natural Opening suit bid where a second suit bid later in the auction would routinely be
longer than the opened suit.

Seems very poorly written, since opening a 3 card minor and then either bidding or raising a major suit with 4 cards is not considered alertable by anybody I know. Seems this is directed at canape bidding where a 4 card suit may be bid before a 5+ card suit. If bidding a 4 card suit before a 5+ card suit is alertable, then bidding a 2 or 3 card suit before a 5 card suit should be alertable.


Consider that Precision players will bid 1D when they have opening count and 5 Clubs, say 2245 distribution. Application of the rule seems to suggest that all Precision players should be alerting their 1D bid , if this rule applies to the situation that we have been discussing with the weak 5M332 hand.

I agree the rule isn't really clear and I am not trying to keep something hidden form the opponents with my question. I think I will pose this question back to the ACBL
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#15 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2024-April-20, 09:01

I believe the intent is in the word "routinely". As in, "if we have two suits, we systemically bid the shorter one first", rather than "5 card majors require us to do some odd bids with shape, but they could easily be 4M6m too."

In my previous Precision partnership (but this was in the previous Alert rules as well, including the vague "potentially unexpected" language), we would Alert 1-1M; 2 as "natural, does not encourage a preference" or "natural, clubs usually longer than diamonds" (depending on the opponents expected ability to understand). I'm not sure that's valid now (although the language *allows for* an Alert of a Natural bid that is not explicitly marked Alertable ("but don't Alert a call stated as Not Alerted")).

I still think the Pre-Alert (with sufficient detail) and the required Announcement of 1 should be sufficient. But I'm familiar with Precision, so I may be biased.
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#16 User is offline   Shugart23 

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Posted 2024-April-20, 09:58

 mycroft, on 2024-April-20, 09:01, said:

I believe the intent is in the word "routinely". As in, "if we have two suits, we systemically bid the shorter one first", rather than "5 card majors require us to do some odd bids with shape, but they could easily be 4M6m too."

In my previous Precision partnership (but this was in the previous Alert rules as well, including the vague "potentially unexpected" language), we would Alert 1-1M; 2 as "natural, does not encourage a preference" or "natural, clubs usually longer than diamonds" (depending on the opponents expected ability to understand). I'm not sure that's valid now (although the language *allows for* an Alert of a Natural bid that is not explicitly marked Alertable ("but don't Alert a call stated as Not Alerted")).

I still think the Pre-Alert (with sufficient detail) and the required Announcement of 1 should be sufficient. But I'm familiar with Precision, so I may be biased.


I agree with you but have posed the question to ACBL, just to hear what they say. (If I could be short in Diamonds, then I could be long somewhere else.)
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#17 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2024-April-20, 14:29

"Alert any Quasi-Natural bid that is not Announced."

A Precision 1 opening is both Quasi-Natural and Announced. So it should not also be alerted.
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#18 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2024-April-20, 15:27

 mycroft, on 2024-April-20, 09:01, said:

In my previous Precision partnership (but this was in the previous Alert rules as well, including the vague "potentially unexpected" language), we would Alert 1-1M; 2 as "natural, does not encourage a preference" or "natural, clubs usually longer than diamonds" (depending on the opponents expected ability to understand). I'm not sure that's valid now (although the language *allows for* an Alert of a Natural bid that is not explicitly marked Alertable ("but don't Alert a call stated as Not Alerted")).

I still think the Pre-Alert (with sufficient detail) and the required Announcement of 1 should be sufficient. But I'm familiar with Precision, so I may be biased.


I am unfamiliar with Precision (even if less so than the vast majority of players where I play), so I may be biased. I find it weird not so much that these openings are announced rather than alerted (if they are frequent and predictable where you play then that's fine, this fits with the logic of announcements) but that the announcements themselves require further explanation to make sense (which IMO contradicts the logic of announcements, there will always be a compromise between concision and precision but they should be sufficiently precise to require no further explanation more often than not).

Not that alerts or even a well compiled system card are the ideal answer either. The sorely missed nige1 would have advocated pointing to one box on a page of clear explanations of the most frequent tricky openings and sequences.
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#19 User is online   johnu 

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Posted 2024-April-21, 01:49

 blackshoe, on 2024-April-20, 14:29, said:

"Alert any Quasi-Natural bid that is not Announced."

A Precision 1 opening is both Quasi-Natural and Announced. So it should not also be alerted.

There are limited options for announcements. If there is something alertable and something that should be announced about a bid, then making an alert seems correct, while announcing and not alerting whatever is alertable seems a violation of the alert procedures.
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#20 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2024-April-21, 10:04

Remember, an Announcement is (explicitly, now) a type of Alert. If your Alert includes something that is not solely Announceable, then you say "Alert" rather than the appropriate Announcement, which would be insufficient.

Hence, 1 1+, passable, is "could be 1". 1, 1+, but Forcing (because you're playing some weird Fantunes variant) is Alerted.

Is this something that is Alertable separate from "could be only 2 diamonds, but we can pass it?" My opinion is in this thread. Would you be wrong to Alert it? Probably not, but it seems excessive given that you could say it in your Pre-Alert instead (and it's such a rare hand), and just go with the required "could be 2". Is it required? Not from my reading.

The issue with Alerting is that you will be asked - especially because with a minimal Pre-Alert (1 is Precision, 1 is 10-15, 2+) and they will assume it's something REALLY STRANGE because I mean, what could it be? Oh, rarely you'll have 5cM in a flat minimum hand, because you treat all 5332s as balanced. Uh - good to know, I guess?
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