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
accurately — 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?