Are these appropriate for B&CG?

While I'm enjoying the influx of questions and I recognize that the asker has tried a bit to generalize the question, they both seem like they could be closed as "Too localized"

Should we require the questions to be generalized so as to apply to more people? As asked, it seems very unlikely that another person will have the exact same question very soon.

3 Answers 3


I think as long as the takeaway can be generalized, then the questions are OK. I don't think questions should devolve into "How should I play this hand?" or "What should I bid here?" - those questions are certainly too generalized. However, these questions have been framed as "How does this concept work?", with a hand given as a place to start the discussion, which I think is acceptable.

Questions of this sort should really should be no different than a person on Stack Overflow asking how a function works in a certain language while provide a piece of code in the question as an actionable example.

  • Interesting analogy, thanks!
    – Pat Ludwig Mod
    Jun 14, 2011 at 15:45
  • Thanks from me also.
    – Tom Au
    Jun 14, 2011 at 16:18
  • 3
    -1: Disagree with: these questions have been framed as "How does this concept work".
    – Aryabhata
    Jun 14, 2011 at 18:17

These questions (as stated) really have no specific answer.

Consider the first question:

For one, important information about the bidding system you are playing, and the opponents are playing is completely missing. The scoring and vulnerability are also missing.

Even if the above information was specified, then giving a specific hand and asking if it is a takeout double or should partner pass it or not (without even giving partner's hand) is not really an objective question and is too localized.

If the question was rephrased as: opps playing blah, us playing blah, scoring blah etc in the sequence (1H) - Pass - (2H) - Double, is the Double for takeout? Then such questions might be ok (but still are borderline localized) and IMO actually bad questions as they show no prior research: this is just checking what the system defines it/you and your partner have agreed. If neither, then it is a gray area and has no real objective answer.

If all the question asked was if partner is a passed hand, will your double be takeout (without providing a specific sequence {based on the title of the question}), then it is either a "lookup your system" answer or cannot be answered objectively ("it depends").

Consider the second question:

(Note that system/scoring/vulnerability was also not provided)

If the question was just: "do you count points in opponents suit when making a takeout double?" The answer is "it depends" or "when the hand calls for it".

If OP is interested in a specific situation (giving a specific hand) then it is too localized.

This is not a my partner is nuts/assess the blame site. Questions which ask what one should/should not have done probably needs to be closed. I would recommend OP ask the questions here: http://www.bridgebase.com/forums/index.php

  • @arybhata: I would say that the bidding and scoring, system, are Standard American, unless otherwise noted or implied. In the first question, the implication is that partner should TAKE OUT the double unless she has "strong defense." I gave her heart holding, Axxx which doesn't qualify. With that holding, most authorities would say she should bid something, irregardless of what else was in the hand. In the second question, at least, I wrote "down 5" (vulnerable) and gave both hands. There's no "it depends."
    – Tom Au
    Jun 14, 2011 at 23:50
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    @Tom: 1) You should edit the question to mention the system, otherwise your question is meaningless. "Standard" American is not standard in rest of the world, you know... 2) If you are discussing a specific hand, then it is too localized. Otherwise, the answer is "it depends". In either case, it is not suited to this site. You seem to have entirely missed the point of this answer.
    – Aryabhata
    Jun 15, 2011 at 0:08

I prefer these questions for two reasons. (But will gladly accept fixes from you, since you've successfully fixed my questions before.)

First "It seems very unlikely that another person will have the exact same question very soon." Exactly! It leaves room for more questions without closing them for duplicates. This may allay the concerns of some that I'm asking "too many" questions and not "leaving room" for others.

Second, relatively few people will have EXACTLY the same problem as I. But many will have SIMILAR problems. In one case, a partner failed to take out a double when (probably) she should have, because she didn't fully understand the rules. Many players have had that experience with their partners. So let's clarify the rules and apply them to this situation. (And others.)

In the other case, a partner made a "technically" correct takeout double that failed because of a special feature (her strength in the opponent's suit). If I'm forced to bid over a takeout double, I expect "shape" and maximum support for the unbid suits. Basically, I felt that she violated the "unwritten rules" with only 9 HCP and only 10 cards OUTSIDE the opponents' suit. There are any number of other situations where the "book" says to make a certain bid, and common sense tells you that it's all wrong. Not limited to takeout doubles.

  • 3
    I think the point about someone else having the exact same question is that if no one else has the same question as you (finds themselves in the same situation as the one you describe in your question), no one else will get value out of the answers. Jun 15, 2011 at 15:54
  • @Dave: I reworded the questions to make theme clearer. The gist of one question was, "when can a partner pass a takeout double?" The circumstances were a bit unusual (partner claimed her earlier pass "qualified.") The last might not happen to another person, but the first might (partner had "good," but not "good enough" defense to pass) probably would. The second issue was, is it worth running the risks of a takeout double with a hand good for defense?
    – Tom Au
    Jun 15, 2011 at 16:22

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