May 10th, 2007


Bridge-Bidding Decision Making

So, one of the reasons that I rarely end up in an argument with harrock is that we have a ridiculously simple method for deciding on things (I know I've mentioned it to some people before, but in my new vague quest to talk about things other than book reviews, I thought I would talk about it...). Basically, it works the way bidding in bridge does.

An example, using the Classic Disagreement of "Where Should We Go For Dinner?" which seems to constantly plague society.

1: Want to go to Uno's for dinner?A mild suggestion, no strong preference. Call it one club.
2: I had pizza for lunch; something else would be good.You can't bid "not one club", you have to actually suggest something else.
2: I had pizza for lunch; how about Indian?It's not a much stronger preference, but it's a little bit of one. This might be one spade.
3: Or we could do Chinese, if you'd rather.This is still mucking around in sounding like "I don't really care" area, it's like bidding one diamond, and it's too late for that. You have to actually bid *higher*.
3: Oh! Hey, there's a new Chinese place at Fifth and Main I've been wanting to try. How about that?A legitimate overbid. Maybe it's two notrump.
Alternate 3: I was really looking forward to Uno's, actually. I've been thinking about pizza skins all day.Back to the original suit, but at three clubs or so now. I personally think it's better form to open with the three clubs to start with, but this is still an acceptable bid.
4: Okay.Pass. The last person to bid has made the decision.

The only real rule is that you can counter (not veto) the previous suggestion, but only if you care more. My mild whim doesn't overrule (can I use "trump" here in absolutely the *wrong* bridge context?) your fond desire - my mild whim doesn't even overrule your mild whim, if you bid first.

I suppose it doesn't have much automatic compromising built in, other than that each person is better off picking suggestions that the other person likes, so they'll be less likely to be outbid.
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