STOP

                                   

By Harold Schogger

 

Whenever there is any sort of jump in the auction whether somebody opens with a weak three or a strong Two or somebody raises partner two or three levels, before they make the bid they have to produce the STOP SIGN before making the bid and the next player is supposed to STOP for 10 SECONDS. But why do they have to stop for 10 seconds. Is it just for fun or is there some MORE INTERESTING REASON ?

On our first scenario, South opens 3© and West the next player goes into the tank (thinks for a long time maybe 8/9 seconds) and then Passes. North Passes and now over to partner, East. Why did partner think for a while and then Pass – he must have had something to think about, I think I will venture, a bid knowing partner has some values.

 

 

 

 

A 6 5 3 2

 

 

 

 

 

A 9

 

 

 

 

 

Q 9 6 2

 

 

 

 

 

10 6

 

 

 

K 8 4

 

 

Q J 9

 

J

 

 

6 4 3  

 

K 4

 

 

A 10 8 7

 

Q J 8 5 4 3 2

 

 

A K 7

 

 

 

10 7

 

 

 

 

 

K Q 10 8 7 5 2

 

 

 

 

 

J 5 3

 

 

 

 

 

9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scenario 1                                   Scenario 2                                                                             Scenario 3

W

N

E

S

 

W

N

E

S

 

W

N

E

S

 

 

 

3©

 

 

 

 

3©

 

 

 

 

3©

NO

NO

DBL

NO

 

NO

NO

NO

 

 

4§

NO

5§

 

5§

NO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is this correct ?                         or Is this correct ?                                                          or is this correct ?

 (West thought long time)         (West Passed very quickly)                                           (West bid)              

 

 

 

 

 

In our second scenario again the bidding goes 3© by South but this time West Passes in less then 1 second. When it gets to East this time he has noted his partner’s quick as a flash No Bid and realises partner has very little. If that is the case, with my hand I don’t think I will risk bidding. and just Pass.

 

The third scenario is not a problem. West bid passing information to everybody at the table and East acted on this.

 

 So in both scenarios West passed but in the first scenario East took his chances and arrived at a lovely 5§ contract, and in the second example East merely let NS get on with it.

 

In the first instance East took advantage of the long Pause before Passing and in the second example East took advantage of the speedy Pass. This is known as extraneous information and East is not entitled to act on this sort of information.

 

Therefore, to protect everybody, after the Pre-empt, both Wests have to seriously wait 10 seconds before they make the Pass.. Now East is none the wiser as to which hand West holds, whether it’s a  pathetic two count or a potential 9/10 points.

 

 

Sometimes you might think more than 10 seconds, so now you have to try and make a bid rather than a Pass. If you now Pass and it transpires that your partner makes a dubious bid because of your long hesitation then again its all about extraneous information being Passed to partner after long hesitations.

 

 

 

 

Now the main reason I wrote this article was for the following hand played against me by experienced club players who did not know the ramifications of the Stop rule, when the bidding went

           E          S       W       N        

           NO      1©     1ª  DBL

 (stop) 4ª     5©

In a flash South bid 5© which again is extraneous information being Passed to North. What South is saying “I was really good for my opening bid and have no defence to Spades”. Indirectly he is saying go 6© if you can. If he had Stopped and then bid 5©, partner will never know if he is just managing to compete further with a good hand or not. At the time North Passed and  12 tricks were easily made. Had North bid 6 then my partner and I would have the right to have the score adjusted because South’s fast 5© could easily have swayed North to bid a sixth Heart.

 

 

 

Dealer East

8

 

 

 

 

Both Vul

A Q 7

 

 

 

 

 

A K 10 6

 

 

 

 

 

J 10 9 7 2

 

 

 

A K Q 7 5

 

 

10 9 4 3 2

 

10 3 2

 

 

 

Q J 5 2

 

 

9 4 3

 

3

 

 

K 8 6 5 4

 

 

 

J 6

 

 

 

 

 

K J 9 8 6 5 4

 

 

 

 

 

8 7

 

 

 

 

 

A Q

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

W

N

E

S

 

 

NO

1©

1ª

DBL

4ª

   5© ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(NB On this hand if North does bid 5© with or without the 10 second stop  I think North should in fact go 6).  

 

So what do I want you, the reader, to gain from this article ?

 

  1. The STOP rule is a very good rule and protects everybody and should be adhered by one and all in all Jump bids of any description
  2. If you do think a long time then try and make some sort of bid rather than Passing as it takes the pressure off partner for making bids with extraneous information.
  3. If you do think for a Long time or Pass quickly after a Stop bid has been made by the opposition be gracious when the director is called to the table. The director is being called to the table to protect everybody. Nobody is being accused of cheating and  all will be given a fair adjusted score if the needs be.
  4. If you are an experienced player familiar with the Stop Rule and all its nuances, next time you call the director when somebody hasn’t bothered to Stop make sure you do so in a dignified  way. Because many inexperienced and not so inexperienced players might not have read this article  or be up to speed (forgive the pun).