Beginners essentials

beginners rarer stuff:


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Bridge Venue

Example Deal

«  0630  »

Responder 1st bids. After 1NT

630. Responses to 1NT - beginners
HCP points combined strength your bid
<11 game impossible either pass, or bid at 2 level with 5-card suit to get out of NT if poor distribution.
11-12 23-26, game might be possible invite at level one less than game, in Major or NT
13+ 25+ to 27+, game values Major suit: bid at 4 level with a 6-card, at 3 level if 5-card
16+ 28+ to 30+ minor game is on, but NT might be better
19+ 31+ slam likely
Add to your customised cribsheet

Capitalise on the precision !

You already know very precisely what your partner has, since he has defined it so narrowly with his 1 No Trump opening. There are many situations you can now use this fact to get to game more readily.

Summary of the logic
With less than 11 points, your combined strength is weak (12-24), so game is not possible, therefore either pass or get out of 1NT if No Trumps is inappropriate by bidding your 5+ card suit.

(No Trumps is "inappropiate" if you have a very unbalanced hand, for example with a singleton/void, or a very weak doubleton. You see, it means that the opposition are very likely to take you to pieces in that weak suit, so you'd be much better off having some trumps to get out of trouble).

With 11+ points, either invite partner to game, or put into game yourself:
If you have 11-12 points, recognise that 25 is possible, 23 is certain, and therefore "invite" partner towards game in some way (in a Major if you have a 5-card Major, or in No Trumps if you are balanced).
If you have 13+, then recognise that 25 is now certain, so you should directly "choose" game in a Major or NT.

However, if you long suit is a minor, you'll need more poinst to get to game, since a bid at the 5-level is needed for game. So you'll need 13+ to invite toward a minor suit game. But remember No Trumps is preferable, since a 3-level bid gets you to game, so steer towards No Trumps.

With 16+, although you can put directly into game in a minor, again it might be better to choose NT.

With 19+ points, your combined strength is very very strong. This is rare, but fun, see slam bidding.

From the above, you can see that logic can be totally re-devised, even if you've left this crib sheet behind.


Incidentally, if you prefer a strong 1NT opening, generally meaning 15-17 HCP, that too is a precise bid. You just need to adjust the meaning of the replies by 3 points.



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