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16

To best understand the answer to this question, it helps to understand the purpose of bidding and bidding systems. Bidding is an attempt by two partners to predict the number of tricks their combined hands can win in the play. The purpose of bidding is for each partnership to ascertain which contract, whether made or defeated and whether bid by them or by ...


12

I'm going to go for a "so simple it's possibly insulting" answer here. Hopefully it won't actually be taken amiss! Bridge is a complicated game. There's a lot to take in, and in many ways there is no end to the amount of obsessive fine-tuning you can do to your system. A beginning player who has just brought a fat Bridge tome and read bits and pieces of ...


9

A much more important reason is to allow the responder to describe their hand more fully. A 1NT opening bid describes both shape and point count and so it's usually up to responder to then set the contract - the 1NT opener will typically not bid again. However, responder with points for a 2NT raise and a five card major is in a quandary. Bidding 2NT may mean ...


9

I've always understood the general rule to be: open with a weaker hand than usual in third seat, but with a stronger hand than usual in fourth seat. As such, no, it seems like probably a bad idea to pre-empt in the fourth seat, for a couple of reasons. It seems to miss the point of pre-empting entirely. Usually, a pre-emptive bid is meant to deprive the ...


9

"It takes 26 points to make a game" is clearly a rule of thumb, not a hard rule. Anyone who has played more than a few hands of Bridge should be able to see that, sometimes, light hands combined with intelligent play make a contract; and, sometimes, a solid point count is brought down by a bad lie of cards or a clever defence. I don't think any of this is ...


8

When you open a five card major, you're not promising anything about the strength of your suit, you are simply telling your partner that you have five cards in that suit. Remember that you do not win tricks only on strength, you win them on length as well. Even if you open a raggedy five card suit, and end up playing in it after getting you're partner's ...


8

The short answer is - use whatever your partner and you are comfortable with using. The long answer is - the penalty double at the one or two levels rarely works out the way you think. Either their partner will switch to a different suit (where you may not want to double for penalties again), they will SOS redouble for takeout (again to a suit that you may ...


8

If you have 10+ spades in your hand, you will never let a contract die out in 3S now, would you? It really depends on the hand, but people play the following two conventions which might potentially be useful (of course, there might be others). Namyats. This is to distinguish hands which are too strong for just preempting 4S. You show stronger hands by ...


7

I agree with what dpmattingly says - clubs is a useful level to bid at when you are looking for a response from your partner. Spades is a useful level to bid at when you're trying to deny bidding room to your opponents. You don't need to deny bidding room to your opponents when you have a strong hand - they may be scared to leap in and earn a costly ...


7

2 Clubs is the most useful because it leaves the 2 level open for you to describe your hand. Your side has the preponderance of strength, and thus your side would benefit the most from the extra bidding space. Conversely, keeping 2 Spades preemptive prevents your opponents from starting to investigate their hands on the 2 level. If your opponents have a ...


7

The main reason to transfer is because the opening 1NT bidder is more likely to have tenances (AQ, KJ, etc.) in his hand than the responder. As a defender with dummy on your left, you can lead through them to score your partner's honors. If they were hidden, leads by you could very well wind up giving declarer free finesses. Yes, you wind up showing the ...


7

Blackwood is used for suit contracts, while Gerber is used for Notrump contracts. This was a necessary evil based on how Blackwood develops. Say we have established that we should be in Notrump, and I want to try for slam. If I bid 4NT Blackwood, and find out that we are missing 2 Aces, how can I sign off? 5NT would ask for Kings, and 6NT is obviously ...


7

Generally speaking, if you have only seven points as in the example hand, your opponents will have the preponderance of strength. Pre-empts are designed to eat up the bidding room that your opponents could otherwise use to zone in on the right contract. If, as it sometimes happens, your partner has the strength instead, the pre-empt is still good, as it ...


7

I think Precision is - with some caveats - an absolutely brilliant system, and one that everyone should try out at some point. I used to play Bridge with, not to put too fine a point on it, a group with players of various different levels of skill. Playing with standard systems, some of them would just not get it quite a lot of the time. Presented with ...


7

If that's the system you've agreed with partner - that the only valid responses to 2C are 2D or 2NT - then it's fair enough to raise an eyebrow if they start improvising. Personally, and bear in mind that I don't play Standard American myself, but a pretty loose take on Acol: I don't understand why you would want to restrict responses so strictly. Fair ...


7

I've never heard of that method. I don't think it's very common, nor do I think it's sensible. A more common and better variant is to not count both distribution and high card points for a suit unless the honor is an A (for a singleton or doubleton) or a K (for a doubleton). Thus, QJ doubleton would be worth 3 points but not 4. The rationale for the rule ...


7

If the diamond quality is vastly better than the clubs, then open 1D planning on rebidding clubs; otherwise open 1C. If the club quality is vastly better than the diamonds, then open 1C and plan on rebidding 1NT if partner responds 1H; the club suit can be expected to run in such a situation, and so how much trouble can you get into in 1NT. Remember that ...


7

You bid it like you’d bid any other minimum balanced hand with no five-card major. Open one of a minor. Rebid NT, raise partner’s major, or pass partner’s 1NT as appropriate. Which minor you open is a matter of partnership agreement. The usual agreement in the US is that 1D can be on three with this shape, but there are some who prefer to have 1D always be ...


6

The main thrust behind the precision 1C is that it keeps the rest of the one level open for descriptive bids. Their argument is that the standard bids used to show strength (jump raises and so forth) take up too much room in the bidding, room that could be used by you and your partner to hone in on exact strength, distribution, etc. The downside to this is ...


6

As I previously commented, your question is worth breaking in to two parts: 1) How do you bid long suits? 2) Why do bridge players so often suggest that beginning to intermediate players put off learning to bid certain types of hands.? I thought this second question to be so good that I separately asked and answered it here: Why are beginning to ...


6

This is in part a matter of style, but I would happily make a takeout double with that hand. In my experience (which I think agrees with prevailing expert opinion), it is better to be aggressive in competitive bidding at low levels, and get more cautious when the bidding reaches the 3 level. Advantages to bidding: You have the opportunity to find a ...


6

What North and South did is not a take out double, but a conventional response to a strong club opening. One of the most important things to do facing a strong club is to intervene, making it more difficult for the opposing side to reach the optimum contract. You don't want you opponents to relay themselves into a hard to bid (grand)slam that no one else ...


6

I can't speak for most experts, but I can speak for myself. I never downgrade a balanced 15-count. I occasionally upgrade a balanced 14-count, and I know several good players who do it more frequently (and announce "a good 14-17" when their partners open). Likewise, I never downgrade an 18-count into a 1NT opener, but occasionally upgrade a 17-count into a ...


6

An opening bid of 3 spades shows a somewhat weak hand with 7 spades. A hand like AKJxxxx Ax xx Qx would certainly never open 3S. Partner's hand in first or second seat is worth a 1S opening in my book; it's certainly better than any balanced 12-count. In third seat I might open 3S, since game is unlikely (partner is a passed hand) and LHO might have a good ...


5

In "standard" american (or typical variants of 2/1) it is normal to play 2H in the sequence: (1H) - X - (P) - 2H, as a close to game forcing hand (opposite a minimum takeout double) or better. There might be variants which different partnerships play, but it is almost never a natural bid. 2H should not be to play, as it makes no sense to play in 2H there. ...


5

Always Play The Nine The great and not a little anarchic British player Zia Mahmood - and correct me if any of this is wrong, as I'm recounting it from hazy memories - was once saddled with a partner who wasn't the greatest. After trying and failing to get her to understand the basics of leads and so forth, he finally gave up, and invented a new system. ...


5

Despite the disapproval precision players receive at club level, many top pairs in north America, Europe and Asia play modified precision systems or multi-way club systems. In bermuda bawl 2009, 2 out of 6 American pairs played precision, and 10 out of 18 European pairs chose either precision or multi-way club systems. They must have seen some merits. This ...


5

Your response of "With 7 points?" makes me think you have some misconceptions about the hands the you ought to preempt on. (As an aside, I am really curious: What do you preempt on?). One normally preempts on highly offensive hands, which when played in any suit other than your long suit will offer very little defense. The position also is relevant, as in ...



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