The Most Popular Illegal Convention
"An illegal convention that is widely used?" you ask.
"How could that be?" For the answer, you need look no
further than the everyday
goings-on at Dante's Infernal.
Many partnerships have adopted specialized defensive carding methods such as
"Odd-Even", which enable them to communicate
with some latitude in their choice of plays. There are, however, countless less
sophisticated pairs who indicate suit-preference simply by a discard in the
preferred suit, irrespective of the size of the card played. At the
table, a query of these defenders' carding methods invariably begets a response
including the term "Standard"; yet it is not.
A Standard first discard denotes
attitude — that is,
a high card is encouraging and a low one is discouraging regarding the suit of the
discard. The fact that this non-standard method never is marked on the
convention card renders it a private understanding, which is illegal;
and explaining the method incorrectly also is illegal.
The irony of the situation is in the fact that this cherished
being compelled to play a card in the desired suit — is heinously
flawed. Heaven knows where these players got the idea; it certainly wasn't
from any worthwhile instructor or textbook.
Whereas many of the offenders have no illicit intent, neither have they ever
demonstrated to me a willingness to make any adjustments or even acknowledge the
impropriety of their actions; yet a correction is simple. under
"Defensive Carding", check the "Except" box,
and enter something such as "first discard is in preferred
suit". Be prepared to explain the method
that is, with no misguided reference to "Standard".
I estimate that more than half the players at Dante's Infernal employ this undisclosed and illegal method. Are you one of them?