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What system do you recommend a novice should learn?

Poll: System for a novice to learn (45 member(s) have cast votes)

What system should a novice learn?

  1. Goren (3 votes [6.67%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 6.67%

  2. SAYC (13 votes [28.89%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 28.89%

  3. Standard American (not the Yellow Card) (5 votes [11.11%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 11.11%

  4. Acol (6 votes [13.33%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 13.33%

  5. 2/1 (9 votes [20.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 20.00%

  6. Precision (7 votes [15.56%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 15.56%

  7. Something else (2 votes [4.44%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.44%

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#21 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2013-June-28, 18:41

View PostStephen Tu, on 2013-June-28, 11:20, said:

I think he's saying that learning SA is not a prerequisite to learning 2/1, as your initial post suggests.

Precisely.

My father, in his later years, did not play bridge. If he had, he told me, he would play the system he knew — Culbertson. A few years ago, an expert partner of mine told me that he preferred SA to 2/1. HIs stated reason was that 2/1 restricted his judgment too much, but I suspect it was at least equally true that he was more comfortable with SA because he was more familiar with it.

I wonder what Berkowitz-Manley, or Meckwell, or Fantoni-Nunes, or Rosenkranz would suggest beginners learn? B-)
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#22 User is offline   plum_tree 

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Posted 2013-June-28, 22:56

View Postwank, on 2013-June-28, 07:47, said:

i think you have the wrong idea about the EBU thing. noone in england would know what was in/not in which version and i suspect most people have never heard of them. we don't have a culture of playing with random people at events, so we don't use standardised methods. this is just a teaching aid.
however, acol is the most natural system (no opening 3 card suits, etc) and as such, it's perfect for beginners.

This is just a teaching aid....
That is precisely the point. We have all sorts of bridge teachers, and inevitably they teach their own interpretation/methods of whatever system their students are learning. The EBU document has this Acol writeup on their website. If all teachers in England used the same source to teach from, beginners are started off on the same footing.
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#23 User is offline   Free 

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Posted 2013-June-30, 12:27

I'd teach them 2/1 GF. Many beginners have issues with determining if a bid is forcing or not. 2/1 is relatively simple in respect to this.
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#24 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2013-June-30, 13:45

View PostFree, on 2013-June-30, 12:27, said:

I'd teach them 2/1 GF. Many beginners have issues with determining if a bid is forcing or not. 2/1 is relatively simple in respect to this.


I agree with this, unless Acol is popular in the country where the beginner is learning to play; Acol is similarly free from ambiguity as to whether a bid is forcing.
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#25 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2013-July-01, 04:00

View PostVampyr, on 2013-June-30, 13:45, said:

I agree with this, unless Acol is popular in the country where the beginner is learning to play; Acol is similarly free from ambiguity as to whether a bid is forcing.

Not really. There are plenty of call that are forcing for some experienced Acol pairs, non-forcing for others, while of unknown forcing character for most club players. I am sure it could always be argued that a particular forcing character is canonic or optimal, but it is not easy to explain to beginners how they can figure out the forcing character of

1-2NT
3

1-2
2-3

1-2
2NT

1-2
2

1-2
2-3

1-2
1-2
2

1-2
3
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#26 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2013-July-01, 04:08

Any system is free from ambiguity if it is well enough defined, but no system is well enough defined by four letters.
... and I can prove it with my usual, flawless logic.
      George Carlin
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#27 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2013-July-01, 04:56

View Posthelene_t, on 2013-July-01, 04:00, said:

I am sure it could always be argued that a particular forcing character is canonic or optimal, but it is not easy to explain to beginners how they can figure out the forcing character of...


Yes, I see what you mean. All auctions but the first one could be dealt with using a few rules, eg after 2/1, the auction is forced to 2 of the opener's suit, but a jump or 4th-suit bid is GF; and of course the 2NT rebid will have a specific, known range. This is a lot to take in and is not entirely accurate.

2/1GF is a lot simpler. Of course, in England, beginners will have trouble finding peers who play the system, since those who have taken lessons will have learnt basic Acol.

And speaking of lessons, that is what I would recommend to the OP -- take a series of lessons, which will among other things allow you to become familiar with the system that beginners in your area play, and introduce you to potential partners.
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#28 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2013-July-01, 08:40

IMO the key to making bridge fun and interesting for new players is to make bidding as simple as possible and to concentrate on the card play. That's what made Charles Goren such a guru of the masses. The rules were simple to learn and follow - there was a lot of bashing, little finesse, in the bidding. But it quickly got you to playing the game, and that is the key issue.

As to forcing/non-forcing, it was pretty simple to play Goren's way: responder's jump shifts, jump raises and new suits were forcing; opener's jump shift or reverse was forcing. 2-bids were all forcing. You counted points, added them up, then bashed into some game or slam, depending on points, or passed in a partscore if the required points were not held in the combined hands.

This method is simply, quick, and fun, and it can be bid immediately by a rank beginner with a small crib sheet about the size of business card taped to the table - I would hate to try to put 2/1 on a business card.

Nuances of the game come later, after the hook is set deeply. :P
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#29 User is offline   Lovera 

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Posted 2014-September-28, 02:30

I suggest Stayman that i use (The complete Stayman sisteme in modern contract bidding) but i had to say : this book is not recent (1955) but the system is clear also for bidding in defence, is based on 5th major, is not complicated to understand, Stayman is the author of 1 NT (original version) that nowaday has a lot of variation, the system explain you a good method of evalutation of your hand (simply to learn) is then an homogeneous system that can serve like a point of starting to understand mechanics of natural bidding (i don't know if there is a more recent printing) for a novice before to study artificial systems (more complicated).
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#30 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2014-September-28, 03:37

And you necroed this thread just to make that absurdly silly suggestion? Wow.
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#31 User is offline   Lovera 

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Posted 2014-September-28, 10:15

View Postmgoetze, on 2014-September-28, 03:37, said:

And you necroed this thread just to make that absurdly silly suggestion? Wow.

The system is good and i don't want "necroed.." anything,bye.
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#32 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2014-September-28, 10:58

View PostLovera, on 2014-September-28, 10:15, said:

The system is good and i don't want "necroed.." anything,bye.

If a thread has been dead for more than a year it certainly counts as necromancy around these parts.
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#33 User is offline   akwoo 

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Posted 2014-September-28, 17:56

Beginners here claim to play Standard American but actually play 5-card major strong NT Acol: 1 2 2 (always) and 1 2 2 (mostly) are non forcing.

I think this is the simplest start for someone playing in North America. I think forcing 1N is too complicated for beginners, and while the nuances of what's forcing after a 2/1 bid in SA are complicated, they aren't so complicated in Acol. I'm happy to toss the limit raise and end up playing Goren with 5 card majors if that's what's desired.

I would recommend English Acol, except that beginners generally hate playing marginal 1N contracts, and I'm afraid a lot of beginners would never open 1N playing English Acol simply because they are scared of it. It's hard enough getting some beginners to open a 16 hcp balanced hand 1N when they are missing a stopper. Loss aversion is a big thing, and many players for psychological reasons behave as if -100 for down 2 is a lot worse than -110 for letting opps make 2 of a major.
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#34 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2014-September-28, 18:20

View Postakwoo, on 2014-September-28, 17:56, said:

Beginners here claim to play Standard American but actually play 5-card major strong NT Acol: 1 2 2 (always) and 1 2 2 (mostly) are non forcing.

I think this is the simplest start for someone playing in North America. I


You are probably right, but 2/1 should be forcing to two of the suit opened.
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#35 User is offline   akwoo 

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Posted 2014-September-28, 20:51

View PostVampyr, on 2014-September-28, 18:20, said:

You are probably right, but 2/1 should be forcing to two of the suit opened.


You are right, but:

1) It's hard enough to get beginners to understand reverses. Seeing 1 1 2 and 1 2 2 as fundamentally different is even harder.

2) Remember the aversion to playing 1N? This means beginners are going to make 2/1 bids on unbalanced 8 counts even though they know they shouldn't, because the thought of being left in 1N without stoppers induces panic, and they know they can't pass.
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#36 User is offline   Lovera 

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Posted 2014-September-29, 07:44

No, i don't think so (my opinion is that is better 1NT 16-18 than 12-14 weak NT and to remain in Stayman the author explain both (you choise what you prefer in according of your style of play). I think that "adversion" (let me say so) depends a beginner is more sure to play trump than NT(.. that required controlls in every suit ). For this aim i suggest "Total Bridge" by Bertrand Romanet on planning (so fear will be away), bye.
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#37 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2014-September-29, 08:08

Just changed my vote from Acol to Goren. Not so much because of the strong notrump but more because invitational jumps are probably not so good for beginners as they will have to bid fake suits (including but not limited to FSF) in order to force. Not sure how to progress from that, though. Obviously at some points they will need to learn some way to show invitational hands.
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#38 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2014-September-29, 09:54

Simple observation:

I recall seeing discussions about the transition from traditional Goren and Culbertson to 5 card majors based systems.

As I recall, the majority of the arguments in favor of 5 card majors focused on the relative simplicity of teaching these methods.

4 card majors required a lot more judgement.
5 card majors was rules based.
Novices benefit from rules. Over time, they may develop judgement.

Not sure if I agree, but thats what folks were saying way back when.
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#39 User is offline   StevenG 

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Posted 2014-September-29, 11:34

You need partners. If you're going to walk into a bridge club without a partner and play with a pickup, you have to play the local standard system.

It doesn't matter what you think is theoretically best, if your partner doesn't know it.
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#40 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2014-September-29, 12:57

My father alleged, at 80, that if he took up bridge again, he would play Culbertson, and no other system. :P
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