Psych, Psyche, or Psychic Bids explained
A psychic bid is a bid that is a gross misrepresentation of a hand either by strength and/or length of a suit. To make a wrong bid accidentally or to shade an opening bid by a couple of points, is not a psych. A psych is used to deliberately to mislead the opponents. The common psych bid is to open a suit you have none or one of and your system states that it is 4 or 5+, but it can be used any time during an auction. When on the receiving end of such a bid, a player can understandably feel aggrieved for being “done” by the opponent. Sometimes, however, the person psyching can fall flat on their face, because their partner gets excited and they race off to an unmakeable contract. This is the risk they take when making a psych.
Psychic bids are a part of bridge, but a player does not have the right to psych as frequently as he or she wishes, simply because they enjoy doing so. A series of tops and bottoms so earned by one pair, can unfairly affect the final results of an event. Therefore a player cannot disrupt a game with frequent and random psychs.
Continued or excessive use of psychic bids could also create a partnership understanding that the opposition are not aware of. Therefore, if a psych bid does become a partnership understanding, it ceases to be psychic and must be disclosed to the opposition on a system card. See Law 40. In other words, the partner of the person psyching, should not be any more aware of the deviation from the system, than the opponents.
So what is excessive psych bidding ? Generally speaking, in a tournament, if a partnership makes three or more psychic bids in any one session, this is deemed to be excessive and is not permitted. To measure this, when a player makes a Psych Bid, they must report it to the Director at the end of the session. This is so the number of Psych Bids by any one player can be monitored and action taken if required. It also means the opponent can check to see if the Psych Bid has been noted.
For club play at Tauranga, we like to think Psych Bids are rare, so we ask that if you are a player who enjoys the occasional psych, that you please do not make any more than one Psych per session. We also ask that you report your psych to the Director at the end of play. The Directors in turn will note this with our Club Administrator. We do not expect to have to take the matter any further, but if a player becomes a regular “psycher” (in particular with the same partner), we may have a “little chat” about it and ask you curtail this practice.
There are more details around psych bids in the NZB Manual in D29, if anyone wished to read about it. This manual is about to change, but I am sure the conditions for this bid will remain the same.
Posted: Thursday 18 February 2016