To all intents and purposes bidding should be simple and straightforward. Basic bidding systems are still out there to accommodate players who are partnering each other for the first time. More sophisticated systems are later employed to accommodate ( within an established partnership ) each player's individual needs, preferences, style, and tactical objectives.
The bidding gadgets, conventions, measures, and counter-measures are there to provide a manageable framework to deal with every possible type of hand, enabling useful information about shape, distribution and strength to be easily exchanged. Sensible bidding should leave no room for vagueness or ambiguity. Bids should firstly be informative, understandable, precise and accurate, with regards to what messages you wish to send to partner. However, if in the process bids can scupper and/or fix the opponents, limiting their ability to bid their hands effectively, then two birds can be killed with one stone.
Nevertheless, all bids should be to an agreed system, reflecting a disciplined and honest approach to the game. This will help build up partnership understanding, mutual trust and respect. In short, descriptive bidding at its best is nothing more than solid and reliable bidding, where little or no damage occurs, and all tactical objectives have been met. There may well be alternative bidding routes that achieve the same goals, but isn't that the beauty of the game ?
But what....oh what....are the adjectives we have come to accept about our own flawed and imperfect bidding ? Even players at the top of their game may on occasions stray from the path of disciplined system bids. These unilateral deviations might well be explained as creative, swing-generating, temporising, deceptive, off-centre, improvised and unusual bids. Lesser mortals may be guilty of failing to bid with bidding hands, or committing the more common crimes of under-bidding and over-bidding. Then there are the horror bids, such as phantom sacrifices, plus those which are made out of turn, or deemed insufficient.
Finally, we need to look at the adjectives which have been used ( again and again ) to describe the failings and short-comings of the tens of thousands of players, who make rank bad bids every time they sit down to play bridge. Scathing comments such as :
- limp, lame
- hesitant, timid, cowardly, overly-cautious
- undisciplined, anti-system, filthy, naff, horrid, ludicrous, criminal
- wooden, pedestrian, comatose, conservative
- fatuous, frivolous, flippant, infantile, idiotic, inane
- crazy, insane, way out, outrageous
- futile, pointless
- wild, wayward, random, erratic, reckless, hit and miss
- over-ambitious, wretched, pushing it a bit
- illogical, inappropriate, nonsense, bone-headed
- impulsive, thoughtless
- vague, ambiguous, misleading, indecisive, clueless
So yes, descriptive bidding implies near perfect communication. But when communication in bidding breaks down, as it always does, no one ever uses the adjective " non descriptive ". Bridge players will always strive to find far more colourful, highly descriptive, ones instead.