Ted's Bridge World Dante's Infernal

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 suit-preference early 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 method — 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?

Go Back