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Precision's Unusual Positive is well named













Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery

This is in response to your question: In the recent book "Precision Today" many transfers and relays have been suggested. In practical terms how often does one get strong 4441 hands?

First let me say I'm sure you will enjoy this fine book - David Berkowitz and Brent Manley did a great job providing a good balance between detail and clarity - BridgeHands has summarized Precision notes along with other Systems.

As you may know, 4 card hand distribution probability is:







Since the Precision 1C opener has a minimum of 16 HCP and responder has 8+ HCP to make an Unusual Positive response, the partnership has game values, a frequency of about 13 percent (25 percent for either side, half that for one side).  So when we multiply the percentages together, we can appreciate why the method is called Unusual - quite a descriptive term from a frequency of occurrence when we have to wait a few hundred hands to use the treatment!

Your second question was: When is it advisable to use the relay:

1C - 1D;
1H - 1S;

Originally, Eric Kokish created the 2H relay for those play standard methods (opener's strong 2C bid):

2C - 2D;
2H - 2S;

Nice gadgets often get adopted in other methods by clever Bridge players.  Sure enough, the (Jackson) relay you describe performs a similar function.   Like Eric's method, opener's 1H relay forces 1S.  While this sacrifices natural bidding at the 1 level, it's a small loss considered the gain.   Using normal Precision methods, opener must rebid 2N to show a 20-21 point hand.  Not so using the relay structure - here's opener's rebid after responder's forced 1S rebid promises 20-21 points (a direct 1N rebid after 1C - 1D still shows 16-19 points).  

This approach allows responder to Pass at a low 1N level with a complete bust.   This also frees up the 2N  opening bid - some play this opening similar to the Unusual Notrump - weak two suited minor hand (near opening hand when Vulnerable, weaker when Non-Vulnerable).  Oh, by the way, the partnership must remember when opener actually has a Heart suit, after responder's 1S relay, opener's 2H rebid shows opener's real intention was to show the Heart suit - belatedly using the relay.  Like all conventions, the cost is some memory work - no pain, no gain!



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