## Distribution Types In Relay Bidding

© Copyright 2000, Jim Loy

We are all familiar with distribution "types" from natural bidding:

 1 Balanced Often shown by NT bids. 2 One-suiter Rebidding long suit. 3 Two-suiter Bidding both suits. 4 Three-suiter Often only two suits shown.

The definitions of these types may vary from system to system. Balanced may include a five-card major, for example. And three-suiters may have their own conventions (Precision's original 2D opening for example).

In relay systems (see Intro to Relays - A 2D Relay Stayman, which covers the balanced distribution type fairly well), we may want to add a fifth distribution type, the freak distributions. These are really long one and two-suiters. They may be handled fairly well in natural systems. They are often ignored in relay systems. You may have to lie, because there is no bid for a freak distribution. In relay systems, specifying the distribution type is often the first step in showing the exact distribution. Consider the bidding sequence 1C(r)-1H(p)-1S(r)-2S, taken from the Symmetric Relay. The bids marked (r) are relays. 1H(p) is positive response with 4+H (maybe longer other suit), and is game forcing. 2S shows a one-suiter with high shortage. So we have a one-suiter (hearts) with short spades. Further relay bidding will soon show the exact distribution.

Sometimes a bid may include more than one (sometimes diverse) distribution types. Moscito includes 1-4-4-4 and 4-1-4-4 with the one-suiters. So, when a Moscito bid shows a one-suiter, it really shows a one-suiter or 4441 with short major. The situation is clarified with subsequent bidding. Note that 4441 is a general shape with the short suit being unspecified, 1-4-4-4 is a specific distribution with short spades.

Depending upon the system and/or the situation, we may have actually shown a short suit early on (as a splinter, perhaps). We then go on to show the longer suits, perhaps numerically. In the Ice Relay, we may have shown 2-2 in the majors with no singletons or voids; and then show the minors with most likely distributions first:

1. 2-2-4-5
2. 2-2-5-4
3. 2-2-3-6
4. 2-2-6-3
5. 2-2-2-7
6. 2-2-7-2