WBF Systems Policy 2000
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WBF Systems Policy 2000

(Adopted December 1994; amended October 1996 and January 2000)


Contents Contents:



Section 2.1


Average Handa hand containing one card of each rank
Weakhigh card strength below that of an average hand
Strong high card strength a king or more greater than that of an average hand
Natural a call or play that is not a convention (as defined in the Laws)
Lengththree cards or more
Shortage two cards or less
Long Matcha match of 17 or more deals
Short Matcha match of less than 17 deals

For the purpose of this Policy, a Highly Unusual Method (HUM) means any System that exhibits one or more of the following features, as a matter of partnership agreement:

  1. A Pass in the opening position may have the values generally accepted for an opening bid of one, and the player who passes may hold values a queen or more above the strength of an average hand (an average hand contains 10 HCP).
  2. By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level may be weaker than pass.
  3. By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level may be made with values a king or more below average strength.
  4. By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level shows (a) either length or shortage in a specified suit or (b) either length in one suit or length in another.



Section 2.2

Classification of Systems

In order to facilitate recognition and handling, systems material will be identified by one or more of the following:

  1. a WBF coloured sticker;
  2. the appropriate name (hand printed or typed) colour;
  3. a check mark on a convention card next to the appropriate colour - in keeping with the following descriptions:

Strong Club/Strong Diamond, where one club/one diamond is always strong

Artificial: this category includes all artificial systems that do not fall under the definition of Highly Unusual Methods (HUM) systems [see definition below], other than Strong Club/Strong Diamond systems (see 'Blue').

Examples would be a system where one club shows one of three types - a natural club suit, a balanced hand of a specific range, or a Strong Club opener; or a system in which the basic methods (other than the no trump range) vary according to position, vulnerability and the like; or a system that uses conventional 'weak' or 'multi-meaning' bids (with or without some weak option) in potentially contestable auctions, other than those described in the main part of the WBF Convention Booklet

Highly Unusual Methods ('HUM') as defined above.



Section 2.3

Brown Sticker Conventions and Treatments

The following conventions or treatments are categorised as 'Brown Sticker':

  1. Any opening bid of two clubs through three spades that:
    1. could be weak (may by agreement be made with values below average strength) AND
    2. does not promise at least four cards in a known suit.

      EXCEPTION: The bid always shows at least four cards in a known suit if it is weak. If the bid does not show a known four card suit it must show a hand a king or more over average strength. (Explanation: Where all the weak meanings show at least four cards in one known suit, and the strong meanings show a hand with a king or more above average strength, it is not a Brown Sticker Convention.)

      EXCEPTION: A two level opening bid in a minor showing a weak two in either major, whether with or without the option of strong hand types, as described in the WBF Conventions Booklet.

  2. An overcall of a natural opening bid of one of a suit that does not promise at least four cards in a known suit.

    EXCEPTION: A natural overcall in no trumps.

  3. Any 'weak' two-suited bids at the two or three level that may by agreement be made with three cards or fewer in one of the suits.

  4. Psychic bids protected by system or required by system.

  5. None of the foregoing restrictions pertain to conventional defences against strong, artificial opening bids or defences against 'Brown Sticker' or HUM conventions.

Additional to the classification of systems in 2.2 above, any partnership using one or more 'Brown Sticker' conventions must indicate this alongside its system classification.



Section 2.4

Encrypted Signals

Additional to the restrictions on bidding methods and conventions above, players may not use signalling methods by which the message or messages conveyed by the signals are hidden from the declarer because of some key available only to the defenders (i.e. encrypted signals are not allowed).

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