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
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!