There has been a recent flurry of questions trying to discuss the merits of bidding systems in bridge (some well known, some home cooked).

IMO, these kinds of questions are too broad with no definite answer and are not suited for this forum.

Given that those haven't been closed yet, I am wondering if others think the same (of course, the site is still in Beta, and I can't see the close votes yet).

Here are some examples:

Why Do People Use "Precision" Bidding in Bridge?

Are there "established" systems where "Five Card Majors" isn't a strict rule? (this might seem on-topic, but IMO, this has no real answer too, and it looks like the author is really looking for arguments supporting his home cooked system)

  • 1
    There is only one close vote outstanding at the moment. Folks with sub 500 rep should use a moderator flag if they feel a question should be closed. Anyone can comment to improve a question as well. Downvoting can also be done.
    – Pat Ludwig Mod
    Commented Jun 6, 2011 at 22:12
  • @Pat: I am aware of that, but given the traffic to this site (and its Beta stage), I was thinking maybe the community is ok with making some allowances (in which case, I would not want to flag for closing).
    – Aryabhata
    Commented Jun 6, 2011 at 22:23
  • 1
    @Aryabhatta - I'm proponent of the Broken Window theory. IE - Lowering the quality now will attract more of the same. I'd rather grow low and slow if necessary.
    – Pat Ludwig Mod
    Commented Jun 6, 2011 at 22:43
  • @Pat: Fair enough...
    – Aryabhata
    Commented Jun 7, 2011 at 17:32
  • I would say this: I have seen several people's reputations climb by answering my questions. (And I have doled out a number of acceptances.) The other issue is, why am I making such a splash on the site? Because that's what I do in "real life." You'll soon miss me when I'm gone.
    – Tom Au
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 17:14
  • @Tom: It isn't about any one person. This is about the kind of content one expects on a stackexchange site. Discussing merits/demerits of a bidding system is too open ended. And asking open ended/broad/ questions is specifically against the rules of this site.
    – Aryabhata
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 17:37
  • @aryabhatta: Ok, maybe I should stay away from the philosophical questions. But I believe that questions like when and why do people use Blackwood instead of Gerber are "inbounds." I'm also getting a "crash course" on what "flies," and what doesn't.
    – Tom Au
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 18:07
  • @Tom: FWIW, I agree with some of the questions (like blackwood vs gerber) and even upvoted those. It is always heartening to see people showing interest in bridge!
    – Aryabhata
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 18:29
  • 1) I added my personal experience (observation) to (mys answer of) the 5 card major question. My opponent was pleased to see AKQ over 97542. Knowing him, he'd be displeased with 853. 2) It has an objective answer (upgrade to Qxxxx or better). These are two criteria of a "good subjective" question.
    – Tom Au
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 20:52

1 Answer 1


I think it would probably be better for there to be some specific hook to the question.

e.g. "So, what do you all think about Precision?" is quite bad.

But "I don't understand why 1C is a strong bid in Precision - shouldn't low bids represent low point counts, and higher bids represent higher point counts?" begins to represent a valid question.

Basically, I feel that there should be a genuine "issue" that the question-asker is having, rather than just "hey, let's talk about aspect X of game Y". But a genuine issue that just so happens to turn into an interesting and wide-randing discussion should not be discouraged...

  • In the question, I said: "I was taught that "higher bids mean higher points." Precision blatantly violates this rule." Or should I have put this in the title?
    – Tom Au
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 17:09
  • @Tom: Probably. I was kind of defending that question, because while the title sounds very generic, what you were actually asking was the unpacked version of the question. It is quite hard to fit a complex question compactly into a short title though! Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 17:20

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