I play in a bridge "round robin" using Chicago scoring, with three other people. Call them, A, B, and C, with three different styles. A will open, say one spade with as few as ten high card points (HCP) and a 6-4 or 5-5 distribution, or 11 hcp and a 5-4 distribution using the "rule of 20." (The sum of hcp and length in the top two suits needs ot equal 20.)

B bids "Standard American."

C will never open with less than 13 hcp, sometimes passing with them, and needing 14.

Suppose I have 6 points as a responder. I will sometimes pass with A, unless I have something extra, like a fourth trump or a good sequence (KQ, or QJT), but bid with B. With C, I may shade my points down to 5 with "something extra."

In a tournament, when paired with A or C, I should disclose our unusual bidding practices, right?

But suppose I do this in a round robin when I will be partnered with A for four hands, B for four hands, and C for four hands, etc. Is this objectionable?

2 Answers 2


It is legitimate, as long you disclose the known tendencies to the opponents.

If you don't, it is similar to having undisclosed agreements.

  • In a tournament, I'd have to disclose. In a round robin, I'm assuming that A, B, and C "know, or ought to know" each others' tendencies.
    – Tom Au
    Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 13:57
  • 2
    @TomAu: "Know or ought to know" is not good enough reason to not disclose when relevant.
    – Aryabhata
    Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 15:55
  • Do you mean that I should disclose each person's tendencies to them? Or my reactions to them?
    – Tom Au
    Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 14:58
  • @TomAu: I believe convention cards allow disclosure for some tendencies (like light openings, preempt style). If opponents ask, you have to reveal. If they don't ask, you might get away with it, a sad state of affairs.
    – Aryabhata
    Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 1:00
  • I was referring to a situation in a club where three different people have different tendencies, I adjust my bids (within a point or two) to those tendencies, without telling my partner. That is, I don't tell A that I know he opens light, so I have an extra point when he responds, or C that I know he opens heavy, so I'll raise him with five points instead of six.
    – Tom Au
    Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 1:06

On a practical note, When you adjust your bidding to compensate for your partner, you'll tend to encourage them to adopt an even more aggressive or conservative stance in their bidding over time, so in the long-term there's wisdom in bidding 'standard' and helping them see the downside from their 'non-standard' bidding! Although this is obviously difficult for playing with partners once-in-a-blue-moon in matches.

What is not OK, is for you to bid different opening or response ranges to your partner, to the extent that you are playing a different convention card depending on who is opener and who is responder. I think this would be the main issue here, if you excessively field partners style and they possibly field for your normal style.

Naturally there is a degree of latitude for personal playing style, and I'd say the specific examples you gave broadly fitted within the normal range of 'shape adjustments'. However when you systematically make strength adjustments a specific part of your bidding agreements, then you really ought to hold 3 separate convention cards for the different partners, and on one note the style as light openings in the summary box, and on another note full openings/light responses, for full disclosure.

Common sense is a good guide-line, but its perfectly ok for you to play different convention cards with different partners within a match, although you and partner must be playing the same convention card at any particular time, and obviously with no hidden agreements!

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