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Quite a few questions recently (this is an example) ask about the merits of a specific bridge bid, but don't specify what system is being played.

The problem is that bidding is nowhere near universal enough to meet SO standards. Different clubs have different default systems (Standard American is not universal even in the USA, and practically unheard of elsewhere); different books have different definitions of the system; different pairs have different understandings of the book. There was originally a 'natural' meaning for each bid; but even if if still exists (doubtful), it doesn't cover any bid about which a question is likely to be asked. For example, a take-out double is clearly a conventional bid; when to make it depends on what your system prescribes. As one commenter on the example said, 'You think it's a textbook bid to make: I think it's a textbook bid to avoid. We may be using different textbooks'.

Would it be helpful to replace the 'bidding' tag with a set of sub-tags, (perhaps 'bidding standard-american', 'bidding acol', 'bidding precision' and 'bidding non-conventional')?

Or should we discourage this sort of question entirely? They may be too localised to be of value to future enquirers; the point-count for a specific bid will be affected by what point-count is required/permitted for other bids, which may mean the question requires a book-length answer; and they do by their nature require discussion and advice, rather than the clear objective answer SO sites usually look for.

(I don't mean to sound pompous, still less to criticize TomAu; but I think the point should be discussed.)

  • Related: meta.boardgames.stackexchange.com/questions/476/…. I tried to argue that they are not suitable for this site and tried to comment on such questions which appear, but seems like the community still encourages such questions so I have given up commenting and have resorted to trying to answer. I do like the idea of the tags, so +1. – Aryabhata Aug 23 '12 at 15:04
  • Of course, the tag [bidding-standard-american] might still mean different things to different people. But I suppose it makes sense to have it mean "a variant of standard american". – Aryabhata Aug 23 '12 at 15:11
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This sounds like something that could be addressed on the Bridge tag description itself.

If there isn't near a common agreement about what the tags would mean I think it would only tend to confuse new members.

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