For instance, most players today bid five card majors, because that's (probably) the best way to get to a major suit game of ten tricks.

But suppose my team has a part score of 40. That means that two of a major or three of a minor will give us game. Under those circumstances, does it make sense to say that a one level bid implies four of a suit, major or minor? Because I no longer see the need for a five card major, and likewise, don't see the need for a "convenient" three card minor. Instead, every bid could be "gamegoing."

Likewise, I prefer strong no trumps. But could a weak 1NT (12-14 hcps) be better if we need to go only to the two level to complete the game?

Are there any systems or experts that advocate modifying one's bids in these, or similar fashions, with a part score?

1 Answer 1


Against weaker players than yourselves, the opposite is more likely to pay off. Traditionally, strong rubber bridge players deliberately sandbag with a part score, inviting the opponents to save against the game bid and then doubling for penalties. One or two such penalties easily replaces the (possibly) lost rubber bonus, and any others are bonus.

A side benefit is that aggressive slams are not bid, so any slams actually bid are high odds. This is also sound strategy with a partscore.

Against stronger players than yourselves, just bid your normal cards. Strong opponents will quickly note if you are stretching with a partscore, and get their doubling boots on to collect a pound of your flesh.

In the unusual circumstance that you are playing opponents exactly as strong as you, it probably doesn't matter as they will be making the same sorts of strategic mistakes that you are, and it will all be a wash.

If you want to improve as a bridge player, start counting the cards (more thoroughly, more smoothly, more naturally than you already are) instead of looking for silly bidding tricks. This will strengthen the game of both you and partner, without subjecting partner to possible ethical dilemmas about whether or not this is a circumstance in which the two of you have agreed to bid light, or heavy, or normal. It also reduces partner's memory load, which is always beneficial regardless of one's level.

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