The Extended Precision Bidding
System for the Game of Bridge

Welcome to an explanation of the Precision Bidding System.
This is a system based on a strong and forcing one club opening bid.

(However, like any aging system, the system described here has
been modified from the original, hopefully for the better.)

    -Roy Wilson
    BBO:  BudWilson

A bit of history...
In the late 1920's Harold Vanderbilt devised a strong club system which came to be known as the Vanderbilt Club.  A few years later it was surpassed by the Schenken Club, which became an alternate for the Standard American system used by most players in the U.S.  In Europe, the Neapolitan and Blue Team Club systems were the preferred forcing club methods.  All of these older systems were built around a strong one club opening and four card majors, although the Europeans tended to favor a canapé style of bidding, where their second bid suit was longer than the first one.  Strong club systems were never a popular choice, though, in either Europe or the United States.

In 1963 an improved system was developed by Mr. C.C. Wei with some help from Alan Truscott and several friends.  It became known as the Precision Club, and was used successfully by the Taiwan team for three consective years in 1967, 1968, and 1969 in the Far East Championships.  That team also reached the finals again in 1970.

C.C. Wei sponsored a number of top-level teams in the United States so he could popularize his Precision bidding system.  The system was so successful that it was adopted by some of the very best players in the United States, as well as many lesser players who wanted to step away from the standard methods.

in 1972 the Famed Italian Blue Team came out of retirement to enter the World Team Olympiad where the entire team used versions of Precision.  Giorgio Belladonna and Benito Garozzo, the top pair, had a modified version called Super Precision.  They won the event with an overwhelming lead.  Precision had arrived.

For over 20 years the two highest ranked players in US history, Jeff Meckstroth and Eric Rodwell, play their own heavily modified version of Precision.  The late Paul Soloway preferred his own form of the system.  Although Precision is a favorite with top players, most of the players in the American Contract Bridge League today are using either Max Hardy's version of Two-Over-One, or Mike Lawrence's slightly different version of that system.  In spite of Precision's success at the highest levels of play, strong club systems are still not very popular in the world.  (Players say... Too complicated!    It's not.  It's just different.)

What are the advantages or disadvantages?
Primarily the major strengths of any strong club system are:
  • Highly accurate in auctions where there is a possibility of slam.  This is because the bidding starts at the very lowest level of one club and provides better methods of exchanging information.
  • All opening bids other than one club have a narrower range of points than standard forms of bidding, making judgments easier in both constructive and competitive situations.

  • And the acknowledged weakness of any forcing club system is that good opponents are prone to bid aggressively with weak hands over a 1 opening so as to take away bidding room.
  • Another problem is the ambiguity caused by the opening bid of 1, which may be as short as a singleton.  Players who use a forcing club system find that perhaps as many as 40% of the hands are opened with this catch-all bid.  Unfortunately, the bid carries almost no information, other than to announce at 11-16 points.  (Well, it does imply there is no 5-card suit anywhere in the hand, but the bid simply does not convey much information.  My partners and I believe we have found an excellent set of agreements for responding to 1, which we call ROOD - Responding Over Our Diamond.)

Just for the record...
Critics of Precision question the wisdom of combining a strong club with 5-card majors.  If you require a 5-card suit to open either 1 or you will find that a large number of of hands must be opened with a 1 call, including an occasional hand with only a singleton diamond.  There's nothing wrong with 4-card major systems, and bidding them solves many of the opening bid problems with Precision.   (But 4-card majors are not popular with most players.)
    This is so absurd that I wish to go on record in stating that the Big Club cannot be played with any hope of success if you attempt to use it by bidding only 5-card majors.  That agreement causes more problems than it solves.
          Howard Schenken, "Howard Schenken's Big Club," Simon and Schuster, 1968

    My opinion on Precision is that combining five-card majors with a forcing club is like trying to mix oil and water,
    the combination causes serious structural defects."

          Bob Hamman in "Conversations with the Bridge Masters," Master Point Press, 1999

Although those were the opinions of experts long ago, almost all modern Precision players today are using 5-card majors.
However, there is a terrible burden on the 1 opening bid because of the popularity of 5-card majors.

Many of the bidding agreements described on this website are widely used by other players, but the system described here is not a "standard" form of Precision.  As with any bidding system or style after many years of playing, the agreements have become very diverse.  Most players have preferences and develop modifications which they believe improve on the basic structure.  I have included those which I found useful after years and years of my own playing, and also after discussing system bids with other Precision players.  Many of them have found diverse ways of describing certain hands which means there probably never was and never will be a standard.  Where possible, I will show you different methods and let you decide which you prefer.

The modified system described here is referred to as Extended Precision.
Precision is a wonderful system, but a lot of blood and tears have been shed because of the one diamond opening bid.  That bid may well be the worst call in the entire bridge world.  However, my partners and I have found what we believe to be a huge improvement to the responses to that gawd-awful bid.  We call it ROOD Responses Over Our Diamond.  This set of responsess can be adapted to any form of Precision.

There are easily a dozen websites where you can find different variations of Precision, but a great site for discussion in general is here:

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