13 December 2010

System cards

Being no stranger to playing unusual systems I've spent quite some time on writing out system cards and even more time explaining alerted bids. In some ways it's annoying because I spent all that time carefully editing the system card yet when a bid comes up many peoples first option is to ask. In other ways I understand it completely, asking is easier as you get only the information you want and nothing you don't; secondly lots of pairs don't carry systems so there's no alternative.

As we all know when there's a war that's not being won the first thing to try is escalation. So when playing Electric Ant a few weeks ago I put some thought into what might make someone read a system card and I decided to have a look at how other people deviate from normal.

Hand written on the back of a bidding slip, eminently disposable and easy. Not the sort of thing you can pre-submit to a tournament though. Even though my handwriting isn't awful it's still not as easy to read as typed text and so does little for me.

 I've seen lots of attempts like this:
It always takes me a few moments to realise it's a system and not an electronic birthday card from 1994. Plus colour printing and laminating is expensive and I'm going to lose these in rain-forest destroying quantities.

The problem with the above is that people get conditioned to a certain format. When in Australia if you don't use the ABF card everything takes just a little longer at every table you go to. In New Zealand the WBF card is becoming standard so it must be best to stick to that. Here's what I came up with, the system name is small because no-one will recognise it and the important bits are huge:

All the delightful details are on the inside but this is the front cover. It actually works, when we sat down we placed one facing each opponent and announced that we weren't playing anything they were familiar with. My partner would open, I'd alert and they'd say "Now what's that? Oh I see 12 - 14 with at least 5". Lovely.

No comments:

Post a Comment