Excellent post, Trash Can! The subject of Conventions was addressed in one of my Spades Columns several years ago. The game of Spades is not quite at the same level of organization and number of "live" events, as is the game of Bridge. And I do not see this happening for many years. Someday, perhaps.....Yes, I concur that pairs who utilize Conventions have a strong advantage over pairs which do not use these applications.
Let's take the so called "Big 5" bid for example. The "Big 5", created by Roger Dinino and Herm Carney back in the mid 90's, is an agreement to use the bid of 5 in first or second seat to promise possession of the Ace and/or King of Spades, and 4 - 6 tricks. This can be very reassuring to your partner who is contemplating a Nil bid with the King or Queen of Spades (not both -LOL! ) in his hand, and no other vulnerable suits. A lot of players might be afraid to bid Nil with the K or Q singleton, K x x, Q x x, K x, or Q x of Spades, especially at the beginning of a game. (Note - the "x" is a spot card lower than the seven.) However, if the prospective Nil bidder's partner has promised the key high Spade in his/ her hand, the Nil bid in this situation becomes automatic.
Now the fur will fly, if the Nil bidder's Spade King is covered with partners Ace, or the Spade Queen is covered with the Ace or King. You might hear the cry of "Cheater", or how did you know he had the A of K of Spades for the cover? And, even if partner does not have Nil, it is always nice to know that his partner has a key high Spade! What to do? Should the "Big 5" bidder, pause and say -"Alert - I have the Ace or King of Spades in my hand, and I am encouraging partner to bid Nil (!!!!) Really now? That might be construed as Table Talk! And how about Nil Reverse signals, Rusinow leads, MUD, Suit preference signals, etc.? After all, those are private agreements. But what can we do about it? Any thoughts????
Last edited by Joe Andrews
on Fri Feb 10, 2006 12:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.