Survey, Helping Hand Bids in 42 Tournaments

Webmaster's Notes:
In March 2008, I queried some seasoned tournament players for a consensus on the definition of "show bidding." This is the definition that was generally agreed on: "Show-bidding is the prearranged practice of using a bid to indicate specific dominos in or characteristics of the bidder's hand to the bidder's partner." That same year, 80% of 104 polled players believed that show bids were not fair play. (13% believed they were fair play.)

(Reference to old N42PA rules removed 22 Sep 2016)

84% of 115 polled players in 2008 believed that the 30 bid was an acceptable way to indicate a generic helping hand for their partner. (Generic helping hand bids don't indicate specific information about the bidder's hand.)

59% of 49 polled players in 2012 accepted generic helping hand bids in the 32-34 range as fair play. (If the 30 or 31 bid is taken, then the second bidder can bid in that range to indicate he/she has a helping hand for his/her partner to bid higher.)

Some players go one step further and indicate generic helping hands with bids in the 37-39 range. (This can happen when the first bid is 35 or 36, and the second bidder wants to indicate a generic helping hand for his/her partner.)

Bids in the 32-34 and 37-39 ranges are outside the usual set points for most traditional bids. The risk in generic helping hand bids in these ranges is that the bidder's partner might pass, and the bidder has to make the bid (or be set) if an opponent does not overbid him/her. (Some players say they win more hands than they lose by using these bidding tactics.)

So, here's the survey. What do you think is fair play? Thanks for participating.   -PP

Survey For Tournament Players
(Polling started 17 July 2016, ended 31 July 2016)

Which of the following most represents your views on generic helping hand bids in 42 tournaments?
Only the 30 bid is fair play.
The 30 bid and 32-34 bids are fair play.
30, 32-34, and 37-39 bids are fair play.
None of the above are fair play.
I do not play in 42 tournaments.

18 Sep 2016 Addendum:

The new N42PA tournament rules include the following statement: "... bids meaning specific information will not be tolerated." (The example cited is a show bid.)   - PP


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