The Rule of 22

Some seventy years ago, Culbertson and Goren vied for the position as the leading authority on the game. The former believed in valuing hands using honour tricks, while the latter believed in the 4-3-2-1 point count.  We all know, from how we value our hands today, who won that battle.

Even so, honour tricks did not die completely. A close relation, the quick trick, came to the fore. In Acol, a key benchmark for an artificial 2. opening is five quick tricks in a powerful game going hand.

Quick tricks are slightly less generous (and simpler!) than honour tricks. The scale for quick tricks is as follows:

2 quick tricks: A-K in a suit
1.5 quick tricks: A-Q in a suit
1 quick trick: A or K-Q in a suit
0.5 quick tricks: K in a suit

Quick tricks, by their nature, tend to be of use whatever the trump suit is. They make tricks if the opponents pick the trump suit and are useful in dummy.

They also reflect the fact that honours in combination are worth more than scattered honours and that the 4-3-2-1
count tends to undervalue aces and overvalue jacks.  Click here to continue reading

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