Quick Book - everything in summary

                                      

0. Basic strategy

1).

Bidding Objectives = “8 and 25”

The essential things you really need to know.

    

You and your partner should focus on getting to a "game" on every hand possible, so you can get the 400 to 600 points for victory. The penalty for failure is usually small.

  1. Check if your hand is balanced
  2. Find out if you have 25 points between you
  3. Do you have an 8-card match ?

With 25 and balanced, bid NT game.

With 25 and Major fit, bid Major game.

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Quiz

2).

Game in a "minor" is harder to get to

“9 and 28” - it's much rarer than 8 and 25

    

Bidding and making 5 is difficult

You'll need 28 points & some luck

Try to play in 3 No Trumps instead of a 5 of a minor ! The reward is the same.

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3).

33 points for a No Trump "Slam"

Don't ask for Aces and Kings unless you have them

    

33 points is not a guide - it's essential

Don't include points for voids and singletons

It's all about raw strength

37 for a Grand Slam

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4).

31 points for a suit slam

But it's only a guide. . . you need controls

Controls, Shape, Strength. CSS

    

31 points is a guide

Points for distribution all count

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5).

Importance of length (i.e. quantity)

Honours look nice, but each can only win once

    

As opener, bid your longest suits first.

4 cards is the minimum.

What counts is the number of trumps you have, more than how big they are. Your Aces & Kings will usually win whatever suit you chose as trumps.

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1. Hand evaluation

10).

Balanced or unbalanced hand ?

This is probably the first thing to assess about your hand.

    

What is balanced ?

Definition of balanced

  1. no voids or singletons
  2. max one doubleton

If no suit dominates, you can play in NT

  • wide range of stoppers
  • a long minor suit can be good

Less good for NT:

  • a VERY flat hand (4333 distribution)
  • a long strong Major suit
  • isolated high cards

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11).

How strong is your hand ?

High Cards

    

HCP

High Card Points

  1. Ace = 4
  2. King = 3
  3. Queen =2
  4. Jack =1

Less obvious: isolated high cards are half as valuable

  1. single King = 1.5
  2. Qx = 1
  3. Jxx = 0

value is restored if opposite strong partner suit.

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12).

Strength?

Distribution matters a lot

    

When to add:

  • Prior to suit agreement (or in No Trumps), you should add length points: one for each card over 4 in a long suit.
  • After suit agreement, you should add 5-3-1 shortage points instead of length points.

Shortage points

  1. Don't include until you have suit agreement.
  2. Need sufficient trumps to add 3 for a singleton
  3. Never add for NT

Length points

  1. >4 cards, 1 pt each
  2. Suits: "6 & 4: bid some more"

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13).

7-9-18 Losing Trick Count

How high to bid ?

    

The key numbers of losers are:

  • 7: opener
  • 9: responder, 1 level
  • and then 1 fewer as barriers are broken

Barriers are

  • 16+, opener
  • 10+, responder
  • 12+, responder

Take your total from 18.

Overcalling: loser count:

  • 7/8 & a 5-card suit
  • 6 & a 6-card suit - jump overcall

Isolated Queen=Extra half loser (unless supported by partner or a Jack)

  • AQ=0.5, not 0
  • Q9x=2.5, not 2

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14).

Hand Evaluation: Reversing, or crossing your barrier

Fundamental - Plan your rebid, before you open your big mouth on the opening bid

    

The suit first bid will always be the longest.

The 'barrier' is the same suit as the opening bid, but one level higher.

The opener can re-bid above barrier with

  • 16+ points
  • but must not jump-shift without 19

but below barrier if

  • 12-15 points

Barrier thoughts: opener's jump-shift should be kept in mind

Forcing? Yes. If, without a jump-bid, opener re-bids in a new suit & breaks the 'barrier'

  • with a 2-level bid: forcing for one round
  • at the 3-level: forcing to game

Responder's reverse is at 12 points, not 16.

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Quiz

15).

How to choose the first suit to bid

Length matters. But do think about your barrier.

    

Easy things

  1. Length before strength

Less obvious

  1. 55: highest first, always
  2. 44: lowest first, but
    • heart first if intending to rebid NT

And a warning when changing suit:

  1. Never break your barrier with <16
  2. Always break it with 16+

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Quiz

16).

Showing shape

Beyond beginner - really tell your partner your shape

    

Opener should tell partner what he has. But never break your barrier when you shouldn't. Otherwise:

  • 5-4: LS (Long-Short)
  • 6-4: LSL
  • 6-5: LSS

With equal length, use denomination to select

  • 5-5: HLL (High-Low)
  • 6-6: HLLL

The first of these, 5-5, shows the same pattern as 6-5, unless the long suit is the low ranking suit.

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17).

4441 Distribution. Oh dear

How on earth to bid ?

    

4441 - Suit below singleton, & not Spades

You've got a singleton and three 4-card suits...

Make sure you have a 2nd bid if partner replies in the singleton. If you don't - pass, then bid later maybe.

Partnership Choice 1. Open the suit below your singleton, not above (avoiding for example the problem of a 2diamond reply to your opening 1heart bid).

Choice 2. RBBM. Same as method one, but bid diamond if the singleton is in spade.

When overcalling, you can simply double (even if the enemy's suit is not your singleton).

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18).

The skip over principle

Fundamental - Skipping a bid = don't have it

    

Opener skips over a Major suit when re-bidding. Why ?

  • he doesn't have it !
  • provided the bid was available

Bypassing a NT re-bid means hand is not balanced

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19).

Rule of 20 Opening

Can you open with fewer than 12 points?

    

Count your HCPs = H

Add up the total number of cards in your longest two suits = T

If H + T = 20 or more, you can open with fewer than 12 HCPs

Note: Your HCP's need to be in the long suits, not the short ones

Or even less than 20! In the 3rd or 4th seat you can reduce the requirement from 20 to 18, if everyone else has passed

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19a).

Rule of 25, Opening 2

Can you open 2 of a suit with fewer than 20 points ?

    

Count your HCPs = H

Add up the total number of cards in your longest two suits = T

If H + T = 25 or more, you can open in 2 of a suit

  • provided your powerful cards are not wasted in your short suits

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19b).

Rule of 500

How high to bid ?

    

Preempting ?

If you could score more than 500 penalty points, stop.

 

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19c).

Law of total tricks

For experienced players only

    

To decide whether to compete or not, the total number of tricks to be made by each side = the total number of trumps held by each side.

You are protected by "security of distribution" in bidding for as many tricks as your side holds trumps. Conditions:

(1) the point-count difference < 17/23, max 15/25

(2) vulnerability: equal or favorable.

With unfavorable vulnerability, your side must have as many high cards as the opponents (or more).

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19d).

Rule of Protective bidding

Rule of 15. . ..where the 4th player bids after 2 passes.

    

In the 4th seat after 3 passes, open the bidding if:

  • HCP + no. of Spades = 15+

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2. Opening bids

20).

Plan of attack

    

Evaluate your hand.
Work out your losing trick count.
Choose the second suit you'd bid, including planning any "reverse".
Choose your first bid.

Now bid.

And listen to what your partner then tells you.

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21).

Balanced hand, 12+ points

You need to say "I'm balanced, and I have the following exact strength". 

    

Balanced - be precise

You must always tell your partner exactly how many points you've got when you open with a balanced hand.

With 12-14 points, you need a single bid - 1NT.

With 15-19 you need two bids. First bid your longest suit. With a choice of 2:

  • heart if you have them
  • otherwise cheapest suit

Then bid NT on your second bid, at a level to show exactly where you are in the 15-19 range.

With 20+ you usually open with 2 of something, & you need one or two bids depending on your strength:

method A

  • 2NT for 20-22,
  • 2club for 23+ then rebid NT at the right level

method B (some more advanced players use Benjamised Acol with weak twos)

  • 2NT for 20-22
  • 2diamond for 23+ then rebid NT at the right level

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22).

When to open with 2NT

Another very precise bid, usually

    

Open 2NT with

  • 20-22 HCP, &
  • balanced hand, &
  • no "problems"

Problem NT hands include:

  • no 5-card minor
  • honours not grouped
  • weak doubletons

With a 20 HCP hand that has problems, usually better to open 1 of longest suit and rebid NT.

Consider modifying standard Acol, to require 21+HCP for 2 NT opening.

With 23+ points open 2club then rebid NT at the right level

  • 23-24 2NT
  • 25+ 3NT

2NT opening can be passed by responder with <4 HCP, but with 4HCP you can Transfer or Stayman if appropriate.

2club is forcing to game, unless followed by a 2NT rebid (promising 23-24HCP) which can be passed.

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23).

Strong No Trump Opening

Acol players: useful when vulnerable.

    

A Strong NT opening

  • 15-17 HCP points
  • balanced hand

A Weak NT opening

  • 12-14
  • balanced

Acol is almost always weak, but can use both: a few players switch to Strong NT when vulnerable. American Standard uses Strong only.

Each has its advantages. Acol is highly preemptive.

Most people stick to what they know, and play the same system as their friends.

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25).

Unbalanced, 12+? Plan before you open

Think about your rebid, then open your mouth

    

Evaluate your hand carefully

Plan your second bid before you say anything.

  • Will you need to go through your barrier ?

With 12-19 points, you effectively start by saying “my longest suit is ‘x'

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26).

Unbalanced - Opening at the two level to force your partner to reply.

That way you won't accidentally miss a Game or a Slam. See reply.

    

Strong 2 openings: 8 tricks on your own?

When very strong, alert your partner immediately so she doesn't pass!

Opening 2 of a suit is a forcing bid. The denial is 2NT.

To open with a strong 2 you need to be able to make all the tricks on your own. You are promising

  • a good 6-card suit, or
  • a 5-4 with a good 5-card

and

  • 8 playing tricks

and

You can't open 2 with a 4441 distribution.

If you don't meet all the criteria, open 1 and jump later. Unless...

More advanced players use "Weak 2" openings

Also, on 23+ open 2club (or 2diamond).

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27).

Pre-emptive openings

Shut out your opponents when you are weak but long: damage limitation if you have 6 or 7 "tricks".

 

    

Open 3 of a suit only if

  1. 6-10 points
  2. 7-card suit
  3. your HCP not isolated
  4. 6 winners (7 if vulnerable)
  5. No 4-card heartorspade side-suit

Why? Stop your strong opponents' contract (but accept losing up to 3 tricks, or 2 if vulnerable).

Partner only raises if he can make up the expected loss.

8-card suit, & 1 more winner? Open 4.

In the 2nd seat, you must be stronger:

  • 2 of the top 3 honours (AKQ)

(because it's more likely your partner has the strong hand, you don't want to disrupt him, so your bid should be more informative than pre-emptive)

STRONG. With an 8-card 4-loser hand, you can use "Namyats", opening 2 steps lower than your Major. Partner will reply in your Major if no Slam interest.

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28).

Gambling 3NT

A cheeky minor pre-empt - promises AKQ

    

A cheeky game

  • Only bid this with 7+ card minor. And AKQ.
  • Responder only passes with 3 outside stoppers. Otherwise he'll bid 4club which opener corrects to diamond if needed.

Or a cheeky Slam

  • If responder has something good, bid 4diamondasking for a Major splinter. With 7222 opener replies NT.
  • If responder has 4 sure tricks, he bids 4NT to suggest Slam with an 8-card minor (4+8=12)

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3. Responder 1st bids

30).

Replying to weak 1NT opening, General principles

Capitalise on the precision !

    

Beginners essentials:

  • with 13+, get to game in a Major or NT
  • with 11-12, invite to game in same
  • with <11, game is out, so: pass or takeout

Beginners rarer stuff:

  • with 16+ you can think about minor game, but try for NT
  • with 19+ invite to slam
  • with 21+ balanced, NT slam is certain

Advanced is similar, but

  • use Stayman & Transfers to get to game more often, & for greater flexibility & accuracy
  • with 19+ balanced, invite to NT slam
  • with 17+ unbalanced, consider slam

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Quiz

31).

Weak reply to 1 weak NT

Weak ? So say nothing, most commonly.

    

With 8+ points, shut up

With < 8 points, use weakness takeout:

Opener will always pass, unless

If they double, you can wriggle

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32).

After 1NT, Getting out of double trouble

“We'd better wriggle out of this”

    

You have <8 points.

Partner bid 1NT, enemy doubled.

With a 5-card suit, 7-card fit is guaranteed for your team:

  • get into it, by re-doubling
  • partner will automatically bid 2 Clubs
  • you can then adjust this bid to 2 of the correct suit

With two 4-card suits, "wriggle" to find a 7-card fit

  • bid the lowest ranking of the 2 suits
  • if partner passes, he has 3 or more cards in this suit. Job done;
  • if partner's is a 2-card suit, he goes up the line,
  • if you've got 4 of this new one, Job done!
  • if you don't have 4 of them, then bid your next highest 4-card suit,
  • it must be a 7-card fit.

Always end up with a 7-card match at the 2 level. Sometimes 8 or 9-card.

Partner's view of a "pass" from you:

  • you may have as many as 10 points, or
  • you are happy with a 1NT doubled bid, or
  • you have a 4333 hand with any points

. . worth a game-winning redouble?

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Quiz

33).

After weak 1NT: 11+ balanced

OK, so NT game could be on. Tell your partner

    

To raise in NT, you should have stoppers in 3 suits, especially if vulnerable

Beware any weak 2-card suits

11-12 points, NT game could be on, so invite

  • 11 HCP: 2spade
  • 12 HCP: 2NT
  • beginners: always 2NT

13+ points, NT game is on, so bid it

Better players use Stayman both with a 4-card Major and often for transferring to a minor. Makes the 2spade bid unambiguous.

(For some players, 2spade can mean either "transfer to a minor" or "11HCP balanced". For players using both meanings, after hearing 2spade, opener should bid

  • 2NT if weak
  • 3club if strong)

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34).

After 1NT, 11+ 4-card Major

Game might be there. Major or NT ? Use Stayman if you can.

    

Game could be on in a Major or NT. Tell partner with 2club Stayman.

If you don't use Stayman, decide if you are balanced or not, and then:

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35).

After 1NT, 11+ unbalanced

OK, so game could be on. Tell your partner

    

Use the precision of the opening 1NT to guide your partner. You'll always need 11+ HCP:

With a certain Major game, bid it

  • 6 cards
  • 13+ HCP

With one 5-card Major:

  • Transfer, or
  • beginners bid 2 or 3 of the suit

With a 5 or 6 card minor, head towards NT

  • 6-card, bid it and let opener choose
  • 5- card, bid NT

With great strength, bid 3 (not 4)

  • looking for suit slam
  • 17+ HCP
  • 5/6 cards
  • any suit
  • NB. has different meaning for beginners who don't use Transfers

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36).

Replying to 1NT with a very strong hand, 19+

Looking for Slam

    

If you are balanced, do you have enough between you for a Small Slam in NT? (33+ HCP)

Invite (4NT) or assert Small Slam (6NT),

  • 19-20 HCP: bid 4NT
  • 21-22 HCP: bid 6NT

OR invite (5NT) or assert Grand Slam (7NT)

  • 23-24 HCP: bid 5NT
  • 25+ HCP: bid 7NT

(Similar calculations apply when opener bids NT on his first re-bid).

If you are not balanced, a suit slam is very likely. Therefore describe your hand with a jump bid to one less than game (3 of the suit).

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37).

After a 2NT opening, it's easy - and it's NOT forcing

Exploit the precision. Transfers even more useful at the 2 level.

    

You know your partner's hand in considerable detail, so you can make some quick and bold decisions, ranging from pass to "game" to "Slam could be on".

You are not forced to reply. But any reply you make is forcing.

Thus a bid of 4 of a Major suit is limiting, 3 is for both weaker and stronger bids.

It's very much like replying to 1NT, but remember partner has 8 more HCP, and you have less bidding space.

Transfers are even more useful than usual !

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Quiz

40).

After 1 Suit, With fit

Tell your partner you've got 4 of his suit, and exactly how many points - and include shape.

    

"Fit". You like your partner's suit. He bid one of a suit; you've got 4+ cards in the same suit.

Since you have an 8-card match, tell your partner exactly what you've got, by support at various levels:

  • Bid 2 with 6-9 HCP
  • Bid 3 with 10-12 HCP
  • Bid 4 with 13+ HCP
  • With 16+ HCP, explore Slam

You can & should include Distribution Points (DP), because you have a fit.

Advanced players Use Jacoby 2NT and Splinters with game going support for a Major.

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41).

After 1 Suit, No fit, but alternative suit

Tell your partner you've got 5 or 4 of a new suit, and something about how many points.

    

Suggest a different 4+ card suit if you can't support your partner's opening suit:

  • with 6-15 points, bid at the lowest level available
  • only go to the 2 level if you have 10+ points
  • a 2 level Major bid requires 5 cards

Your change of suit forces opener to rebid - so you'll get another chance later to show if you're very strong.

But with 16 points, jump shift to new suit, provided you have 6 cards.

Plan ahead if you have 2 suits that you could bid: going through your 'responder's barrier' might promise 12+ points. Your barrier is in the same suit as your first bid, at one level higher.

Suit lengths also make a difference

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42).

After 1 Suit, no fit, no new suit, probably balanced

Tell your partner you're balanced, and something about how many points.

    

Generally, reply in NT, 'cos you're balanced. Use the right level.

NT replies are not forcing. With strong hands - do bid a new suit, to force your partner to keep bidding.

The 1NT reply can be a kind of "nothing bid", to keep the bidding going.

Beware of 1NT if you have singletons or voids, or weak doubletons.

You can support a Major opening with only 3-cards if you also have a doubleton.

If opponents have overcalled, experienced players can consider the alternative "negative double".

Beware the 2NT bid: For advanced players, the "Jacoby 2NT" reply to 1spade or heart shows 4-card support to game, with no shortages.

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Quiz

43).

After 1 Suit, 6 points, nothing to bid

But bid if at all possible. Don't miss a game.

    

Use the 1NT bid when you can't find a suit to bid at the one level.

The 1NT bid is a kind of "nothing bid", to keep the bidding going, in case your partner has a good hand and you can get to game.

But it also speaks loudly about what you don't have, from which your partner can deduce quite a lot.

Be careful about bidding 1NT if you have a hole in a Major, especially if you are vulnerable. In this case you can support partner's Major with

  • 3 cards instead of 4
  • only if you have a short suit (1 or 2)
  • 6-9 HCP only

If opponents have overcalled, experienced players can consider the wonderful alternative "negative double".

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Quiz

44).

After 1 Suit, Very strong

So "Slam" is likely, "Game" is certain. What fun !

    

With 16+ HCP, Slam on ! Better tell partner. But how?

You must select a bid which forces your partner to bid again.

Let your partner know how strong you are, but not necessarily on the first bid.

Only "jump shift" to a new suit when you have a single re-biddable 6-card suit, but

  • a 5-card will do if you have either 4-card support for partner, or a NT rebid.

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Quiz

45).

After 1 Suit, Weak freak

Preemptive raise to the 4 level, frustrate the enemy if you have 9 trumps

    

Long support for partner, but weak and unbalanced.

Go straight to game in a Major, instead of simply raising to 2:

  • 6-9 HCP
  • at least 9 trumps in total
  • unbalanced
  • (plus a singleton, to do it in a minor)

Shut out the opposition with a mere 18+ HCP.

For genuine 'strong' game-going responses in an agreed Major, use Jacoby 2NT or Splinter.

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Quiz

47).

2 Suit opening, Strong 2s

You have to reply. With 8 points things are looking good, so reply positively.

    

With 8 points, things are looking very good, so give a positive and natural response (game is certain, and Slam could be on)

  • support with 3 cards, and include distribution if you do
  • with 2 tricks, raise to Major game (weak)
  • with stronger hand raise to 3 (an Ace required)
  • only change suit with a good 5-card suit
  • with interest in NT, avoid bidding 2NT - see below
  • all these are forcing to game

With <8 HCP, a slam seems very unlikely, and a game is not certain, so give a negative response (2NT, or 2diamond after a 2club opening), and see what partner says next.

Remember that more advanced players use "Weak 2" openings, which have a different meaning.

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Quiz

48).

After Weak 2 opening

If the enemy say nothing, then pass (unless you can see a game is on).

    

Mess up the enemy's bidding when you are weak but long

6-10 points
Good 6 card Major
(Good = KQ+, or QJT+)
Nobody else has bid

Partner will usually pass, unless he has points for game (16+ bid 2NT), or can further mess up the opponents.

When opener does have to rebid, after a 2NT artificial reply from partner, he must clarify his level of weakness

  • use 3 clubdiamondheartspade, in order, to show increasing P/T strength
  • P=points, T=trump honours
  • use 3NT to show AKQ in trumps

Don't do it if you have a 2nd 4-card Major

  • You are strong !
  • "6 & 4, bid some more"

 

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Quiz

49).

Responding to a preempt

Nearly always pass - unless you can make up the difference

    

Nearly always pass, but

Are you vulnerable ?

  • Yes: raise with 3 winning tricks
  • No: raise with 4 winning tricks

Was partner in 2nd seat ?

  • Yes: Bid 3NT with 1/3 top trumps and stoppers in all other suits

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4. Openers rebid

50).

Openers rebid. Unbalanced, The general idea

Early planning essential !

    

You should have thought about this earlier!

Now's the time to refine what you've told partner

  • 12-15 HCP, or
  • 16-18 HCP, or
  • 19-20 HCP

. . . and whether you have a 2nd suit.

You are obliged to rebid if your partner bid a new suit.

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Quiz

51).

Openers rebid. Unbalanced, You are weak

Keep describing your hand. Always bid if forced.

    

If partner bid a new suit, you must rebid.

With < 16 HCP, your main choices are:

  • rebid your first suit at the lowest level
  • support partner's new Major suit with 4-cards, sometimes 3
  • bid a new suit at the lowest level

Don't break your barrier!

The main way to tell your partner if you have more than 16 HCP is to break your barrier! So don't. Yes, you need to have thought about your rebid at the time you made your first bid.

A single raise by you to one short of game, after partner supports your suit, has 2 different meanings:

  • majors: 1heart-2heart-3heart = invitation to game
  • minors: 1club-3club-4club = slam interest, forcing, please cue bid

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Quiz

52).

Openers rebid. Unbalanced, You are strong

You've got 16-20 HCP. Time to make it clear to your partner.

    

With 16+ HCP, your main choices are:

  • jump rebid your first suit with 6-cards
  • jump support partner's new suit with 4-cards
  • jump bid a new suit with 4-cards
  • break barrier with a new suit, 4 cards

Take into account the level of your partner's 1st bid; 1-level bids need more strength from you.

Respect your barrier, unless you want to mislead your partner. Yes, you need to have thought about your rebid at the time you made your first bid.

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Quiz

53).

Unbalanced Openers rebid. Partner bid 1NT

Game in Spades most unlikely! NT ?

    

If you are balanced-ish, leave it in NT

  • 3NT if you have 19 HCP
  • 2NT with 16-19 ("inviting")
  • pass with 15 or fewer

If you are unbalanced, a part score from a minor match at a low level is the most likely outcome, but a game can sometimes be found in Hearts or NT.

Don't leave it in 1NT if very unbalanced.

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Quiz

54).

Openers rebid. Unbalanced, Delayed support

3-5? Delay your 3-card support if responder bids spadeheart

    

Don't miss a 3-5 major fit, when responder proposes a major suit.

If not sure partner's 1st suit = 5-card:

  • assume it was, but give delayed support
  • partner will go back to the suit if it was a 5-card major

3 responder situations:

  1. 5-5, 4-4
  2. 5-4
  3. other, e.g. 5-3-3-2,

Case 1 it's usually clear. Responder will bid 5-card suits down the line, and 4-card suits up the line,

Case 2 it's clear sometimes. With 5-4 he bids length first. If the 5-card suit is higher denomination, no problem.. But if the 5-card suit is hearts, and the 4 card is spades, it will sound like a 4-card suit in hearts.

Case 2 it's not clear. Responder is v. unlikely to repeat a 5-card suit, preferring to, e.g. rebid NT, or support one of your suits.

As opener, if 5 might be there, but it's not definite, your responses are these

  • 4-card = immediate support always
  • 3-card = delayed support (5 might be possible)
  • 2-card = double delay (6 might be possible)

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Quiz

55).

Openers rebid. Balanced

You'd got all this worked out already

    

If you have 15-19 HCP, or 23+ HCP:

  • tell you partner that you are balanced, by bidding NT at the right level
  • 1NT = 15-16 but not invitational
  • 2NT = invitational
  • 19: 3NT
  • 23-24: 2NT
  • 25+: 3NT

Otherwise do your sums, or use

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

5. Responder rebids

60).

Responder rebids. The general idea

Work it out in your head

    

Reflect on everything you've learned:

  • what your partner has told you in his 2 bids (e.g. a 5-card first suit)
  • the combined shape of your hands
  • your combined strength
  • the enemy's strength

Then act:

  • show your preference if partner has bid 2 suits
  • only rebid your suit if it's long (6-cards) and strong
  • use "4th Suit Forcing" if it's still not clear (10 HCP at the 2-level, 13+ for higher)
  • "invite" if game could be on, end the bidding ASAP if not
  • bid NT at the one level if there's no fit

If game or slam could be on, keep the bidding going, using things like

If you can see that game is obvious, and in what denomination, make a closing bid at that level.

If the opposition are interfering, calculate the cost of any sacrifice on their part, or yours

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

61).

Responder rebids. Choice of two suits

Did you think ahead ?

    

Responder has two biddable suits. Which first ?

  • bid longest suit if suits are of different length
  • bid "up the line" with two 4-card suits
  • bid "down the line" with two 5-card or 6-card suits.

"Up the line" means starting with the lowest denomination (club) and working up to the highest (spade). Do not show preference for Majors.

The idea is to help your partner find the longest trump match, so stick to this method.

Don't "reverse" by mistake, showing 12+ HCP, if you don't have 12+.

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

62).

Responder rebids. Responders reverse

Hey partner ! I've got game going points

    

Use only when responding to opener's repeat of the same suit, or when he switches to NT on his second bid.

Rebid above the barrier with:

  • 12+ HC Points

The 'barrier' is at the same suit as responder's first bid, but one level higher.

Usually forcing to game.

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

6. Basic Convention

80).

Basic Convention. Stayman

Finding an 8-card Major match and getting to game

    

Bid 2club to find 8-card Major

. . .after 1NT opening, with 4-card Major & 11+ points.

Opener then reveals his 4-card Major count:

  1. none, bid 2diamond
  2. at least 1 in heart, bid 2heart
  3. only one in spade, bid 2spade

Responder then either:

  1. confirms any 8-card match, 3heartorspade=inviting, 4heartspade=game, or
  2. denies any match with 2 or 3NT.

Opener finally:

  1. with 14HCP, converts invitation to game, &
  2. with two 4-card Majors, converts a NT to the major

Other uses:

  1. weakness takeout transfer to 2 of anything but club
  2. weakness takeout to 3club
  3. with 2 Majors both any length 4+
  4. after 2NT

Don't use if you have

  1. a single 5-card Major
  2. singleton or void, except club

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

81).

Basic Convention. Transfer to a Major suit

After a NT opening, I've bid one suit lower than the one I meant. A technique for solving 4 serious problems at once (and creating a tiny one).

    

After 1 NT opening, you need a 5-card Major to transfer, either for weakness or for strength

Bid one suit lower than you mean:

  1. with heart, bid 2diamond
  2. with spade, bid 2heart

opener will then accept, by blindly bidding what you meant.

Responder's rebids:

1. Weak: pass

2. Invitational:

  1. with 5 cards, bid 2NT
  2. with 6 cards, bid 3heartspade

3. Game forcing:

  1. with 5 cards, bid 3NT
  2. with 6 cards, bid 4heartspade
  3. with 2 long Majors, transfer to the longer, then bid the shorter.

For a minor, club or diamond, you must have 6 to transfer. Different systems:

  • use Stayman then, if needed, correct opener's response to 3club or 3diamond
  • bid 2spade. Opener blindly bids 3club, and you adjust to 3diamondif needed

"Super accept" at a higher level with all 3 of:

  1. 3 card
  2. maximum 14
  3. a doubleton

"Super accept extra" in a different Major, to show also have 4-card 2nd Major

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

82).

Basic Convention. Transfer after 2NT

After a 2NT opening, you still need a 5-card Major to transfer

    

After 2NT opening, you still need 5-card Major to transfer

Bid one less than you mean:

  1. with heart, bid 3diamond
  2. with spade, bid 3heart

and opener will accept by blindly bidding what you meant.

Responder's rebids:

1 Weak (0-4): pass

2 Game (5-10):

  1. with 5, bid 3NT
  2. with 6, bid 4heartspade, or a Texas Transfer

3 Possible Slam (11+):

  1. with 5, bid something different
  2. with 6, bid something different

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

7. Slam bidding

90).

Slam bidding. Spotting the chance

Look out for signs of 30HCP between you

    

33+ HCP for NT slam. Brute strength needed

30 HCP for suit slam, including shape points. Ruffing important

HCP and LTC assessment is not enough. Need to check for controls

  • Blackwood
  • Cue bidding
  • Splinters

Re-evaluate your suits in the light of partner's bids

Try to avoid going straight to 4 of a Major if a slam is on: it's weak

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

91).

Slam bidding. Blackwood

Hey partner, Suit Slam on! How many Aces have you got?

    

There are 5 key cards. A & K of trumps are equally important.

  • 5club=0 or 4
  • 5diamond=1 or 5
  • 5heart=2
  • 5spade=3

Only use if suit agreed, & you know what you'll do with the answer.

Avoid Blackwood if

  • -ve responses go too high
  • voids (use cue bidding)
  • weak side suits (ditto)

Slam is off if:

  1. 2 Key cards missing
  2. Any missing (Grand Slam)

5NT is only to find out which King for GS

4NT is not always Blackwood

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

92).

Slam bidding. No-trump slam

If 33HCP could be there, let's get precise

    

It can be sheer HCP strength and precision bidding, hence the name "quantitative bidding"

  • 37 for NT Grand Slam
  • 33 for NT Small Slam

If from the bidding so far you can see that 33 is

  • certain: bid 6NT
  • possible: bid 4NT

If from the bidding so far you can see that 37 is

  • certain: bid 7NT
  • possible: bid 5NT

Bid on what probability ?

  • 75% for Grand
  • 50% for small

4NT is not asking for Aces in NT. Use Gerber 4club.

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

93).

Hey partner, NT Slam on! How many Aces have you got?

    

Ask for Aces. Only after NT openings & rebids

Bid 4club

Reply

  • 4diamond=0 or 4,
  • 4heart=1,
  • 4spade=2
  • 4NT=3

Gerber is used in conjunction with Blackwood, not instead.

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

94).

Extra Slam techniques

Ever noticed that some people can get to Slam more often than you?

    

Ever noticed that some people can get to Slam more often than you? Are they just born risk takers?

When you're familiar with Blackwood & Quantitative bidding, learn:

Also useful:

Or the rare but quite simple

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

8. Interfering bids

100).

Overcalls, the basic idea

Wrecking opponent's bid, & even triumphing yourselves

    

It's an interfering bid, aim is to obstruct stronger enemy, and get foot in the door.
Be more cautious when vulnerable.

Go to the limit fast if it's competitive. If enemy drop out, go slowly, use LTC.

Must have 5 or more cards for a suit overcall. An exception is Landy 2club over weak 1NT.

Cards and Points for higher level overcalls:

6c & LTC=6: Jump
7c & <10p: preempt 3
8c & <10p: preempt 4

5c & 18p: double & rebid the suit
6c & 16p: double & rebid the suit

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

101).

Overcalls, in a suit, over a suit

Wrecking opponent's bid, & even triumphing yourselves

    

It's an interfering bid, aim is to obstruct stronger enemy, and get foot in the door.

Must have 5-card suit, BUT pass SQuaT, if weaker hand

  • Suit "cards plus honours" must at least equal the number of tricks bid for
  • e.g. 5+3=8, so OK to bid at 2-level
  • Hand: 10HCP to overcall 2, or 8HCP if 1

Response level:

  • Go fast to the limit of the fit if it's competitive.
  • If enemy drop out, go slowly, use LTC. More cautious if vulnerable.
  • 2-level overcall assume 7-loser partner. For 1-level assume 8 losers.
  • Use UCB if strong

Responder with no fit

  • 5+ good suit: change suit
  • 16+ HCP: jump/game in own suit
  • stoppers in enemy suit: bid NT, bidding 3/2/1 according to HCP=25/23/less
  • pass otherwise, <10

Overcaller's rebid

  • adjust limits of fit in light of new trump length

 

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

102).

Overcalls, in a suit, over 1NT

I've got an Opening hand, and a 6-card suit (or a 5-4)

    

You have to bid at the two level.

The requirements on Length and Strength are more stringent:

  • an opening hand, 7-losers
  • 6-card suit, or a 5-4

Bid 3club (not 2club) to show clubs, if you use Landy

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

103).

Overcalls, in NT, over a suit

I've got a Strong No Trump hand, with a good stop in opponents' suit

    

You can overcall in 1NT without a 5-card suit.

But you do need a strong hand, 15-18HCP, with stoppers in opener's suit. Ideally balanced.

You & partner should decide beforehand if you intend to use Stayman & Transfers after a 1NT overcall (I would).

2NT overcalls have a very specific and totally different meaning.

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

104).

Overcalls, Double then bid a suit

Strong hand, 16+

    

Double six ! You need

  • 6 cards
  • 5/6 points
  • Same as a weak-2 opening

Respond

  • pass, usually
  • 2NT if interested in game

Careful! Some people still jump overcall for stronger hands

  • opening hand 11-15 HCP, 6 losers

Other bids

  • With a 5-card suit, use a simple overcall.
  • With 16-19 HCP, you'd double, then bid the 6-card suit.
  • In the old days: with 20+, cue bid opponent's suit, but this bid is now more usually reserved for a Michael's Cue bid.

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

105).

    

With 16+ HCP, " double" then bid the 6-card suit on the re-bid. The re-bid makes it clear you are not doubling for takeout.

You'll need 18+ if you only have a 5-card suit.

Old method for Very strong hands: cue bid

Old meaning: with 20+, cue bid opponent's suit, a simple point count.

New meaning of cue bid: I've got 1 or 2 5-card Majors, 8-15HCP.

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

106).

    

Very strong:

Old meaning: with 20+, cue bid opponent's suit, a simple point count.

New meaning: I've got two 5-card suits, at least one is a Major, 8-15HCP. So, not used for very strong hands any more.

See Michael's cue bid

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

107).

    

Opponents look weak, and the bidding is about to end.Two players have passed the opening suit bid. You're in the 4th seat.

You can "borrow" a King

After a suit opening, unbalanced

  • with 8+ HCP
  • "double" if you are weak in the opponents suit. Partner probably has some strength, and we should be in there
  • partner will pass for penalties, or bid his own suit

After a suit opening, balanced

  • with 12+ HCP
  • bid 1NT. Partner will reply as if to a standard weak 1NT opening

After a NT opening

  • with 12+ HCP
  • "double" if you are balanced. Partner probably has some strength, and we should be in there
  • partner will pass for penalties, or take you out if too weak

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

108).

    

Remember, they are weak, and trying to steal your contract, so be aggressive.

To overcall a Preemptive opening bid at the 3 level you only need:

  • 12+ HCP
  • a 6-card suit, or a v. strong 5+

If you are very strong (say 5-losers, 6-card suit):

  • double (it's forcing), and then
  • rebid your own suit next time

Overcalling in NT is harder after a weak-3 preemptive opening than after a weak-2.

To double (for takeout!) at the three level, & forcing a possible 4-level response, you need

  • shortness in opener's suit
  • 4441 ideally
  • 6-loser hand

In the pass-out seat, be more aggressive

  • borrow a king

Do not double for penalties 1st time round

Responding to the overcall:

  • do not suggest your own suit after a suit overcall: a new suit is a cuebid showing interest in a Slam

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

109).

    

Check your bid is a double jump, if you want to preemptively overcall.

A single jump overcall has a different meaning.

E.g. to preempt in diamond after

  • 1club, bid 3diamond
  • 1spade, bid 4diamond

You'll need an extra trick and extra card to preempt 4, of course.

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

110).

    

if you can choose either

double for takeout is better:

  • stronger
  • promising 3 suits
  • keeps the bidding lower.

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

111).

    

Your partner's 1NT opening was overcalled. Pass with 4-card Major? Aargh!

Lebensohl is a way of keeping systems open, now Stayman is off. Just cue bid the enemy suit instead of bidding 2club.

  • 2spadeheartdiamond=natural
  • 3spadeheartdiamond=natural, forcing to game
  • 2 cue bid enemy = like Stayman, no enemy stopper
  • 3 NT=to play, no enemy stopper
  • 2NT=relay, auto reply 3club, then. . .. . .
  • 3 suit<enemy=to play
  • 3 suit> enemy=inviting
  • 3 cue bid enemy, as above with stopper
  • 3 NT, as above with stopper

"Like Stayman" means asking for a 4-card Major.

(Another option after enemy interference is to double, in this case for penalties).

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

9. Doubles

120).

After 1 Suit, Very strong

So "Slam" is likely, "Game" is certain. What fun !

    

With 16+ HCP, you should double RHO's weak 1NT opening.

This is serious stuff. It's a real double, for penalties.

Your partner will almost always pass with a sly smile. The exception is if partner has 9+ HCP and the vulnerability is favourable.

When vulnerable, before doubling, do you have a strong lead and entries ? A flat hand might be poor.

After a penalty double of a NT bid, subsequent doubles are all for penalties. Eg. 1NT - doubled - 2spade - doubled.

18+ needed after strong NT opening.

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

121).

    

A very useful overcall. Bid 3 suits, all at once!

Just "double for takeout" if:

  • you have an opening hand
  • 4441 distribution or similar (14 points inc. shortage)
  • the short suit is the one just bid by opponents
  • ideally, your strength is spread across the other 3 suits

Partner must include shape points, knowing you have a fit, and either

  • bid their longest suit, preferring Majors, or
  • invite, by jumping (with 10-11 points inc. shape)

or partner should:

  • cue-bid enemy suit, if has an opening hand
  • convert to a real double, if she has good enemy suit
  • bid NT, if she has enemy suit stoppers, & 7-9 pts

With two good suits to bid at once, there are other choices of overcalls:

The negative double can be useful when the enemy has overcalled.

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

122).

    

4-cards in the unbid Majors.

"Partner, I would have responded 1heart if opponents hadn't overcalled 1spade"

Allows you to keep bidding when opponents have messed it up !

The "negative" double promises:

  • at least a 4-card Major
  • normal responding strength

With a 5-card suit, don't double, bid the suit

If you are strong

  • show this later
  • a 5-card suit: don't double, bid the suit

If the suits bid so far are both Majors

  • implies two 4-card minors.

Opener rebids as if the enemy had not interfered, and knowing the suit length

  • "Partner, I bid x, knowing what your bid would have been".

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

123).

    

4-cards in the unbid Majors.

"Partner, I would have responded 1heart if opponents hadn't overcalled 1spade"

Allows you to keep bidding when opponents have messed it up !

The "negative" double promises:

  • at least a 4-card Major
  • normal responding strength

With a 5-card suit, don't double, bid the suit

If you are strong

  • show this later
  • a 5-card suit: don't double, bid the suit

If the suits bid so far are both Majors

  • implies two 4-card minors.

Opener rebids as if the enemy had not interfered, and knowing the suit length

  • "Partner, I bid x, knowing what your bid would have been".

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

124).

    

I don't care for your suit ! But. . .

  • I've got some points
  • not enough for a 2-level bid
  • ..and they could be in trouble with their 1NT.

Please either bid another suit, or if you're strong leave it as a double for penalties.

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

125).

    

It's for penalties, but not forcing to game

  • decent hand
  • 4-card suit in enemy's suit
  • or v.v. good 3-card

You know your partner has 12-14 balanced, and at least 2 of enemy suit. We can't get to game, but we can double them. With your comined 20-24 HCP and good trumps sitting on theirs, is the enemy really going to make 8 tricks ?

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

126).

    

Quiz

127).

    

4-cards in the unbid suits partner. . ..

If Opponents Bid And Raise (OBAR), and your partner overcalled, then you can double to show the unbid suits.

Very similar to a negative double.

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

129).

    

Generally think twice about doubling for penalties

  • rewards often low
  • gives information to enemy
  • risks can be high

Double when 90% certain they'll go down 2 if

  • they've overcalled
  • they've sacrified
  • they've bungled

Doubling is never for penalties after

  • 1/2-level suit bids
  • weak 2/3 openings

Doubling is always for penalties after

  • a NT bid
  • any subsequent bid

Doubling is for lead direction after

  • cue bid

 

 

spadeheartdiamondclub


Quiz

130).

    

"Partner, I've got 3 cards in your suit".

By doubling the RHO overall, you the opener can distinguish between 3 and 4-level support for partner's suit.

  • "doubled" - 3 cards
  • with 4-card support, just bid it
  • re-double to convey the same idea if there's been an intervening double for takeout.

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

131).

    

Tell your partner what to lead

Double the enemy's control finding cue bid or Blackwood response. Partner will lead it to you if he was awake.

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

132).

    

When the bidding space has run out in a competitive auction, a Maximal double allows you to keep bidding with clarity, without having to cede the auction to the enemy.

It allows you to distinguish between two otherwise confusable meanings in your communication with partner:

  • Invite to game in our suit (double)
  • Sign off, please stop bidding (suit bid)

The meaning of a double is different, of course, if partner has not been competing.

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

133).

    

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

134).

    

Partner, you decide on this one. I have no preference.

You can only pass on your forced bid if the opposition have bid directly before you.

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

135).

    

Opener, rebid a "double" everyone partner passes an overcall if

  • you are short in enemy suit

There is a chance you can get them down.

Partner will correct if appropriate.

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

10. Advanced Convention

150).

"Jacoby 2NT"

Responder! Don't waste your bidding space if a Major Game is on after partner opens 1 spade or heart.

    

Responder is saying "Major game is certain, no singletons or voids, is Slam on?" So Opener must now:

  1. show a "splinter": bid 3 in new suit, or
  2. deny a "splinter": bid anything else

Responder will assess the value to his hand of opener's splinter, hoping to find it opposite his weak suit.

When denying a splinter, opener can specify strength and support:

  1. 12-13: sign-off, Game in Major
  2. 14-15: 3NT
  3. 16-19: 3 in the major
  4. 16-19 with 2nd suit: 4 in new suit

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

151).

"Spinter bid"

Double jump shift ??!!
I like your Major, & I've got a nice singleton too.

    

Responder is saying "Major game is certain, I have 11-13 HCP, and a weak singleton / void. Is Slam on?"

So Opener should now either:

  1. explore Slam if the splinter is opposite either his rubbish or best of all his Ace + rubbish
  2. deny slam interest if opposite a strong suit

Responder can try again if he has a void:

  • E.g 1heart-4club-4heart-5club

Responder can splinter on the second round of bidding with 3-card support if opener shows 5-cards in trumps:

  • E.g 1heart-2diamond-2heart-4club

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

152).

Beginners should use Strong 2s, and respond accordingly.

    

Mess up the enemy's bidding when you are weak but long

6-10 points
Good 6 card Major
(Good = KQ+, or QJT+)
Nobody else has bid

Partner will usually pass, unless he has points for game (16+ bid 2NT), or can further mess up the opponents.

When opener does have to rebid, after a 2NT artificial reply from partner, he must clarify his level of weakness

  • use 3 clubdiamondheartspade, in order, to show increasing P/T strength
  • P=points, T=trump honours
  • use 3NT to show AKQ in trumps

Don't do it if you have a 2nd 4-card Major

  • You are strong !
  • "6 & 4, bid some more"

 

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

153).

    

Your opponents are weak, and have tried to mess things up for you, 'cos they fear you will make a good contract. So overcall them if you can.
There are three options

  1. Double for Take-out (opening points, short in enemy's suit)
  2. Suit Overcall: 12 points at the 3 level (or 6 at the 2 level), & a 6-card suit (or v. good 5-card suit)
  3. 2NT Overcall: 16-19 points balanced-ish with a stop in enemy's suit.

Don't double for penalties if you are good in their suit! You'll confuse your partner & end up in trouble. Penalties can come later.

Stayman and Transfers: recommend you use after 2NT.

"Borrow a king" in the 4th passout seat (balancing).

Not so different from defending a weak 3 opening.

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

154).

    

With 17/18 & Major fit, partner with 6-9 will bid major game if he

  • has control in your side suit after one loser, or
  • ditto after 2-losers if he's on max HCP

Your side suit has one top honour & 2+ other losing cards.

Explanation After the 1spade-2spade you bid a second suit, e.g. 1spade-2spade-3diamond. You have extra values > 16 points guaranteed with a 3spade bid, & need help in diamond.

"Help" = control the suit after one loser, or max 2 losers if on max. 9 HCP. A void, singleton or doubleton plus a four card trump suit is good, or an A or Kx or Qxx are also a great help.

Counter try
With no help, "counter try" in another suit, at the 3-level only.

Minor agreement, new suit=stopper
If suit agreement is in a minor not a Major, then a new suit asserts a stopper, and is asking partner to bid 3NT if can fill the outstanding gap.

spadeheartdiamondclub


spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

160).

    

Suppose 3 suits have been bid, and you are still not certain which suit you should be in

  • if you have the 4th suit yourself, you can bid No Trumps.
  • if you don't have it, ask your partner if he has it (just bid it)

If your partner does have it, he will bid NT.

If he doesn't have it

  • he will try to bid your first suit,
  • he'll only rebid his own suits if he is longer than promised (starting with the 2nd suit),
  • he can raise the 4th suit if strong.

Level

  • When game is not certain, force at the 2-level. You need 10+ HCP.
  • When game is certain, force at any level, and keep bidding.

2nd use: Getting to game in a minor
Beware: responder's re-bid of 3-in-a-minor can be passed. So with a strong minor hand, use 4th Suit Forcing followed by a bid of 3-in-a-minor, to get to game in the minor. If that fails, revert to game in NT.

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

161).

    

You really need 6 cards.

Simplest method, after 1NT:

  • bid 2spade; opener relays 3club
  • pass if club was your goal
  • convert to diamond if goal

But this fights with precision balanced reply to 1NT

  • bid 2NT with exactly 12 HCP
  • bid 2spade with exactly 11 HCP

So either use a hybrid. . ...

  • bid 2NT with exactly 12 HCP
  • bid 2spade with exactly 11 HCP balanced, or with 6-card minor
  • opener rebids 2NT with 12HCP, or 3club with 14, leaving partner to choose between passing and the minor suit (or putting it back to NT in the latter case)

Or best of all:

  • use Stayman, and rebid the minor if needed

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

162).

    

After RHO INT opening, with two 4-card suits:

  • bid lowest denomination
  • 6+ HCP
  • very disruptive

Overcall in spade promises 5-card suit, 10 HCP

"DONT" needs partnership agreement!

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

163).

    

With 17/18 & Major fit, partner with 6-9 will bid major game if he

  • has control in your side suit after one loser, or
  • ditto after 2-losers if he's on max HCP

Your side suit has one top honour & 2+ other losing cards.

Explanation After the 1spade-2spade you bid a second suit, e.g. 1spade-2spade-3diamond. You have extra values > 16 points guaranteed with a 3spade bid, & need help in diamond.

"Help" = control the suit after one loser, or max 2 losers if on max. 9 HCP. A void, singleton or doubleton plus a four card trump suit is good, or an A or Kx or Qxx are also a great help.

Counter try
With no help, "counter try" in another suit, at the 3-level only.

Minor agreement, new suit=stopper
If suit agreement is in a minor not a Major, then a new suit asserts a stopper, and is asking partner to bid 3NT if can fill the outstanding gap.

spadeheartdiamondclub


spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

166).

    

Suit agreed ?

Grand Slam almost certain ?

No need for Blackwood ?

Bit 5NT to ask for top trumps:

Reply in the agreed suit:

  • 6 with 1/3 of top trumps
  • 7 with 2 of them

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

167).

    

The 5 keycards are the 4 Aces + King of Trumps.

Got 2 keycards? Find Q !

  • 5club=0 or 3
  • 5diamond=1 or 4
  • 5heart=2 or 5 (no queen)
  • 5spade=ditto (+ queen)

More questions:

  • trumps=no more questions
  • trumps+1 = have you got the Queen ?
  • 5NT=which King you got ?
  • -ve replies: use trumps

Junior can bid on after "NMQ" if he had 3/4 Keycards

  • as if senior bid "trumps+1"

Even more questions

  • any more Kings ?(bid the suit, reply in trumps=-ve)
  • anything useful (bid the suit, having not asked 5NT King question)

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

168).

But which Aces do you have?

    

Controls for slams are:

  • 1st round = Ace / void
  • 2nd round = King / singleton

Only show slam controls after suit agreement. How?

  • Bid lowest side suit you control (bidding higher than 3 of an agreed Major/3NT)
  • omitting a suit denies control of it
  • bid Trumps when you have no controls

Partner then does same

Use cue-bidding when you have

  • weak side suits, or
  • void suits, or
  • insufficient for a 4NT Blackwood enquiry.
  • Or if Blackwood won't work, eg. in club

Can't use with NT contracts!

After cue bidding has started, all side suit bids are cue bids.

After 1st round controls have all had a chance to be shown, can repeat with 2nd round controls

Bidding Trumps means "enough".

Bidding NT means

  • either same as Blackwood, if 4 or 5NT
  • or rarely (& only if agreed), "control of Trumps"

Other more modern versions exist which show on the first cue-bid below 4NT: either 1st or 2nd round control, with equal probability.

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

170).

    

"My overcall says I've got two 5-card suits".

2NT (unusual !): I've got 2 good minor suits, or the missing minor + a random Major (call enemy's suit to enquire which one)

2 of the enemy's suit: I've got 2 good Major suits, or the missing Major + a random minor (call 2NT to ask me which one) 

Your rebid clarifies if weak or strong (8-15HCP).

Response: It's forcing unless there's an intervening bid: choose best of the two, jumping to encourage; bid opener's suit to force to game; or 3NT if strong and stopped in the other 2 suits.

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

171).

    

Quiz

172).

    

Enemy called 1NT, but you have an opening hand with 2 long Majors?

Call 2club ("Landy")

Your HCP strength MUST be in the Majors. Also

  • 6 losers (7 if not vuln)
  • 5-5 or 5-4 suit length
  • (4-4 not usually good enough)

Your partner must know that 3club is the standard Club overcall!

Response (even with zero HCP):

  • ALWAYS respond (unless 7club)
  • Longer Major, according to fit, LTC & HCP
  • 2diamond if same length, to ask partner for longest Major

Rarer responses:

  • 2diamond if 10-12 HCP
  • 2NT if 13+ and no 4-card Major

Other overcalls of 1NT that go well with Landy

  • 2diamond/heart/spade = natural 6-card suit
    • ditto, good 5-card in last seat
  • 3club = natural club overcall
  • Double = for penalties = 15 or 16 to 18

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz

173).

    

Find out if your partner's overcall was weak or strong when

  • you have 3-card support, &
  • a strong hand

That way, you might get a game.

Your bid of the enemy suit forces partner to tell you more. And it mucks up the enemy if your partner was weak.

Responses if strong:

  • switch to second suit if 54xx
  • bid NT with no second suit and an enemy stopper
  • jump in own suit

If weak:

  • revert to own suit at lowest level

It's called "unassuming" because it says nothing about where your strength lies.

spadeheartdiamondclub

Quiz


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