An original method for showing distribution with the first bid, devised by Mr. Harold Winthrop Bissell of New York, United States, and published officially in the year 1936. It attracted favorable attention from Mr. Benjamin Jay Becker, Mr. Louis Watson and Mr. Edward Hymes, and anticipated some modern European Systems, such as Roman and Relay.

Note: some publications write the surname with only one " l ", or Harold Winthrop Bissel.

Publication

The Bissell System: The Distributional Method Of Contract Bidding, 1936, Publisher: Columbia University Press, New York, New York, United States, LC: 36033702

Note: The author also published a Summary of the Bissell System of Contract Bidding, which he personally described as being prepared solely for pre-publication testing purposes. This pre-publication was published privately by the author by his printing company called the Bissell Shorthand Company, Inc., through which he also published his work titled Bissell Shorthand. He published this summary in the year 1925. ASIN: B000WGN1I0.

Note: The Library of Congress also lists the 1st Edition of Bissell Shorthand, year 1922, and attaches the code LCCN: 22009394. This publication was published privately by the author by his printing company called the Bissell Shorthand Company, Inc.

Note: The Library of Congress only lists the 2nd Edition of Bissell Shorthand, year 1925, and attaches the code LCCN: 26000541. This publication was published privately by the author by his printing company called the Bissell Shorthand Company, Inc.

Note: The Library of Congress also lists the title Bissell Shorthand: The Modern System, published by the incorporated Bissell Shorthand Company, New York, United States, dated c1926. LCCN: unk81011349

Note: The OCLC WorldCat lists the publication Summary of the Bissell System of Contract Bidding, date (19--), (location of publisher not identified), OCLC: 78367519. This publication carries the notice that this summary is Prepared solely for pre-publication testing purposes.

     
     

Principles of the Valuation Concept

The valuation of the distribution was taking into account the strength of the combined honors as well as the length of the suit. The honor cards were valued as 3, 2, and 1 point respectively if there were 0, 1, or 2 higher honors missing in the same suit. The result was added to the distributional points, such as 1 point for any 4th card in any suit, and 4 points for any 5th card in any suit, etc.

The total holds a direct relation to the playing strength of a hand, and becomes an indicator for the power of the holding. The assumption is that 3 Bissel Points equal 1 trick and that 1 trick equals 3 Bissel Points. The winners are calculated by dividing the Bissel Points by the value of 3, and losers are calculated by subtracting the winners from the value of 12

An example is: 14 Bissel Points divided by the value 3 which equals 4.666, which when substracted from the value of 12 equals 7.333 losers.

Following is a scale for Bissel Points.

Holding Bissel Points
A 3
AK 6
AKQ 9
AKQJ 12
AKQ10 11
AKQJ10 15
AQJ10 9
K 2
Q 1
AJ10 5
5432 1
65432 5
765432 7
Q65432 9
AKQJ1098765432 40
AKQ - AKQ - AKQ- AKQJ 40

Opening Bids of Bissell Conventional System

As early as the year 1936 Harold Winthrop Bissell of New York, United States, had a developed bidding system based on his Bissell Points, which he brought to publication. This bidding system was based on an original method for showing distribution. The following outline presents the opening bids.

Opener Meaning
1 : This opening bid is an artificial, forcing bid based mainly on a two-suited holding.
1 : This opening bid is an artificial, forcing bid based either on a three-suited holding or a strong, balanced holding. Continuations clarify the opening bid.
1 : Promises at least a 5-card Heart suit with a range between 12-16 high card points.
1 : Promises at least a 5-card Spade suit with a range between 12-16 high card points.
1 NT: Promises a balanced distribution with a range between 13-17 high card points.
2 : Promises a strong opening in Clubs, more than normal values. Considered to be non-forcing.
2 : Promises a strong opening in Diamonds, more than normal values. Considered to be non-forcing.
2 : Promises a strong opening in Hearts, more than normal values. Considered to be non-forcing.
2 : Promises a strong opening in Spades, more than normal values. Considered to be non-forcing.

 

 

If you wish to include this feature, or any other feature, of the game of bridge in your partnership agreement, then please make certain that the concept is understood by both partners. Be aware whether or not the feature is alertable or not and whether an announcement should or must be made. Check with the governing body and/or the bridge district and/or the bridge unit prior to the game to establish the guidelines applied. Please include the particular feature on your convention card in order that your opponents are also aware of this feature during the bidding process, since this information must be made known to them according to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. We do not always include the procedure regarding Alerts and/or Announcements, since these regulations are changed and revised during time by the governing body. It is our intention only to present the information as concisely and as accurately as possible.

 


     
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