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I have long been hoping that the STOP card would be banned. I was recently exhilarated to find that the ACBL has, in its wisdom, done just that. Playing bridge on the SS"Queen Mary 2" I enquired why it was missing from the bidding box and was told the good news. It was due to general misuse.
I have often found, here in Britain, partners happily misusing the Stop Card and have wondered why we have a STOP card at all except to bring to the attention of those not paying proper attention to the bidding that a JUMP bid has been made and that the jump bid is not a mistake.
So we get, for example, 1 Club, Stop 3 Clubs, Stop 4 Clubs ( meaning this is not a natural raise but Gerber-Asking For Aces). Call the director - he consults the Bridge Bible - " No penalty - Carry on".
Another example: 1 Spade, STOP 2 Hearts (meaning I have 6 hearts)!!! Call the director. No penalty for misuse! Carry on! No requirement to rebid or correct it to the correct jump bid of "3 Hearts".
Enough of the misuse! Throw out the STOP cards, ban the verbal "STOP", world-wide, and make PAYING ATTENTION to the Bidding an essential part of the wonderful game.
RICHARDW: You would like the Stop Card banned, as is the case in North America - and apparently aboard the Queen Mary 2. The ACBL have only removed the requirement to use the Stop Card, not the requirement to follow the Stop Procedure. It is still a requirement for a player to pause (for around 10 seconds) after a skip-level bid, even in America - they just don't have a Stop Card to remind them. I wish the ACBL well in this requirement, since most players do not pause after a skip-level bid even when their partner does wave the red Stop Card.
On one level, I have some sympathy with you wanting to get rid of the card. It is rarely used properly and many club players do not understand the reason for it's use.
I haven't come across the sort of abuse that you describe - such as waving the stop card to indicate a Gerber bid! But I do experience regularly the problem of Unauthorised Information being transmitted through failure to maintain a consistent tempo and failure to pause after a skip-level bid. Maybe your first auction fizzles out in three clubs: 1C, Pass, 3C, Pass, Pass, ? Do you make a protective bid after this auction has died? It would be a brave bid to protect at the three-level when you seemingly couldn't bid over 1C - but some might do so at favourable vulnerability.
How do you feel if (a) partner passed instantly over 3C and (b) partner paused in apparent thought over 3C? If partner has given Unauthorised Information through a long pause then bidding would surely be more attractive and hence unethical. The stop procedure is in place avoid these ethical dilemmas. Partner should pause, whether he has interest in competing or not.
So, you might get your wish to abolish the Stop Card, but I doubt that the regulators will remove the requirement to Stop after a skip bid.
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