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ACBL Tech File
Psyches

 

This document is provided courtesy of the
American Contract Bridge League

2990 Airways Blvd. S Memphis TN 381163847
9013325586
S Fax 9013987754

     NOTE: to view the latest revision of the handbook,
download the latest version of ACBLScore

                                                       PSYCH.033 (PAGE 1)  

                                                       __________________  

     PSYCHES

     BARRING PSYCHIC ARTIFICIAL OPENING BIDS

     All psychic openings of artificial bids are prohibited at ACBL

     sanctioned events.  (Board of Directors - 3/78)

     Effective November 1, 1992 this also applies to the SuperChart.

                                        (Board of Directors - Summer 1992) 

 

     Opening an artificial and forcing bid without an "abundance" of high

     card values is acceptable under the following circumstance: IF, IN THE

     VIEW OF THE BIDDER, THERE IS A REASONABLE CHANCE FOR GAME IN

     HAND WITH LITTLE HELP FROM PARTNER.

 

     The following hands would qualify:

     1.   S  AKQJ109765       or   2.   S  AKQ1098

          H  754                        H  J109876

          D  2                          D  4

          C  ---                        C  ---

 

     These hands may be accepted as artificial 2 club openers IF THE

     OPENING BIDDER THINKS THEY ARE REASONABLE.  On the first hand opener

     needs only one trick from partner.  On the second hand, two small

     spades and a heart honor probably would be enough to produce game.

 

     What is NOT acceptable is the use of a strong, artificial, forcing two

     holding the following hand:   S  6

                                   H  2

                                   D  QJ109876542

                                   C  5

     There would be good reason for a director to conclude that the opening

     bidder's prime motive is to confuse the opponents rather than to reach

     the right contract constructively,  It is clear that opener is

     psyching what is ordinarily a well defined bid in an attempt to

     intimidate the opponents.  This is exactly what the rule is intended

     to prevent.

 

     If a pair thinks that Examples 1 and 2 are two club openers, then

     their convention card should have some notation about playing strength

     in the appropriate place.  Also, if a pair marks their card with HCP

     limits for their two club openers, they should note if it only refers

     to balanced hands.  (Directions - April 1992)

 

     CONTROLLED PSYCHS

     This item is defined on the "ACBL Limited Conventions" chart:

     Psychic controls (bids designed to determine whether partner has

     psyched or to clarify the nature of the psyche) are not allowed.

     Having bids available (jump shifts in K-S which allow opener to make a

     rebid which by agreement exposes a psyche cannot be allowed.

                                               (Directions - January 1992) 

     Effective November 1, 1992 the following applies to the SuperChart

     also.  (Board of Directors - Summer 1992)

 

     FRIVOLOUS PSYCHIC BIDDING

     Any psychic action apparently inspired of malicious mischief or lack

     of will to win may be interpreted as frivolous.


 

 

                                                       PSYCH.033 (PAGE 2)  

                                                       __________________  

     EXCESSIVE PSYCHIC BIDDING

     When three or more psychic initial actions by members of a

     partnership, in any one session, have come to the attention of the

     director, the director should investigate the possibility that

     excessive psyching is taking place.

 

     RISK-FREE PSYCHES

     Psychic controls are not permitted. If a pair is using methods that

     enable them to make risk-free psyches, they are in essence playing

     psychic controls. For example, in playing a 10-12 NT, many pairs have

     the understanding or the agreement that the NT opener may not bid

     again (except in forcing or invitational situations). If the pair were

     to psyche a non-forcing or invitational response, the agreement would

     be a psychic control. For example, 1NT-Pass-2Hearts-3Clubs, if the

     opener is prohibited from bidding 3 hearts with a maximum and a fit,

     then a risk-free environment is created. To pass without the

     interference would not be a problem as there is still risk involved

     (your partner could have a maximum real 2 heart bid), but to pass in

     competition gives your partner room to maneuver with the knowledge

     that you will not interfere.

 

     Since psychic controls are illegal, when a player does psyche one of

     these responses, the pair is playing an illegal agreement. WE should

     lean heavily toward issuing a procedural penalty or adjustment for the

     pair's illegal use of this agreement as a psychic control.

 

     Another example is a 2 spade response to a weak 2 heart or 2 diamond

     bid that opener is not permitted to raise. This becomes a psychic

     control when the 2 spade bid is a psychic. While it would be legal to

     have the agreement that a 2NT rebid shows spade support, the agreement

     would be illegal (a psychic control) if responder were to psyche the 2

     spade response.

 

     Therefore, a legal agreement that creates a risk-free psychic

     environment (that is an environment where the psycher knows his

     partner is under control - this does not include hands where we know

     because of our particular hand that we have an answer to most things

     that our partner can do to us) becomes illegal if the pair psyches.

                                                 (Office Policy - 08/1995) 

 

     UNSPORTSMANLIKE PSYCHIC BIDDING

     A psychic action apparently designed to give the opponents an abnormal

     opportunity to win a good score; or unnatural or atypical psychics

     against pairs or teams in contention, may be classed as

     unsportsmanlike psychics.  When a player takes an action that appears

     to be based on an accurate "hunch" that his partner's earlier call was

     psychic, although that psychic was not clearly exposed by the

     opponents' calls or by legal psychic control, (Note: psychic controls

     are currently disallowed) then the Tournament Director and committee

     should consider such action to be presumptive evidence of an improper

     partnership understanding (even if implicit). Unless this presumption

     is refuted by the psyching partnership, a match point penalty should

     be assessed. Repeated infractions may lead to disciplinary action.

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