Am I the only one who finds the bidding-process in Contract Bridge confusing. It seems that every source of information contains contradictory information, the nature of which could be.
The version of the convention, to which improved variants have evolved, but which have not been universally adopted; e.g. Blackwood, Roman Blackwood, or RKB; though the improvement may bear the same name.
Under what circumstances a convention is applicable, e.g. one's position round the table, whether one has previously limited one's hand, perhaps by Passing, or whether one's partner has.
- The entry-barrier to the convention, which may be quoted in various combinations of:
The continuations after initiating the convention.
Responding to a conventional bid, after intervention.
When one should Announce or Alert.
The devil, it seems, is in the details, but even if one finds the details, they're not always intelligible. Since natural language is imprecise & often ambiguous, a verbal description of a convention either suffers from ambiguity or begins to resemble a legal document.
One could partially solve this by learning from just one authoritative source, e.g. EBU Orange-book, but this is no tutorial, & relates to a restricted subset of the common conventions. Those resources which are intended to be tutorial, perhaps for clarity, cherry-pick the common bidding-scenarios, typically omitting either the continuations, or the appropriate way to react after intervention by the opposition.
Alternatively one could just ignore the surrounding confusion, by privately agreeing every last excruciating detail with one's bridge-partner, but that invites a punch-up, & one can't guarantee always to play opposite a familiar face; especially after punching it.
My Big Idea
To express bidding as flow-charts. It may take time to familiarise yourself with the pictorial representation of many different concepts, & it may not suit everyone. Even if you can interpret them, you may disagree with choices I've made, but because of the nature of the beast, this is almost inevitable.
Though they contain a lot of the necessary information, they too are incomplete. I haven't found a clear way to express all possible bidding-scenarios, but in contrast to the verbal equivalent, the omission is more obvious.
This interpretation is, where possible, aggregated from multiple sources, in an attempt to reduce different views to some common core.
There are almost certainly areas which I've interpreted incorrectly, from any sane point-of-view, so suggestions would be gratefully received.