chair one opened 1 spade I was chair two and said 3 clubs, saying , I have 7 clubs and a outside ace and not 13 pts to open? She says I would have to open 4 clubs for it to mean that, Who's right, of course SHE insisted she has played for 50 years and I'm wrong. Help!

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    Without saying what bidding conventions you were using, questions like this are nearly impossible to answer. – bwarner Feb 19 '15 at 13:49
  • just party bridge – Nettie Feb 19 '15 at 19:32

You can bid whatever you like, as long as it is within convention agreed between you and your partner, and when the opposition ask your partner (not you) they can say what the bid means.

When you have a weak hand and a 7-long suit, bidding at the 3 level (i.e. jumping two bids) is called a pre-empt. The point of a pre-empt is to take away the bidding space your opponents would use to find their best contract; while making a bid that (if it becomes a doubled contract) you would not lose too many points over. ("Too many" being defined as more than your opponents would have got if you'd never bid and they'd made a contract themselves).

In the convention I play, 3c (i.e. jumping one club bid) would mean a strong hand. 4c would be a pre-empt (i.e. a weak hand). BUT in order to bid 4c over 1s you'd need a stronger hand than needed to bid 3c, as if the contract is doubled you're one trick further off the contract.

Without knowing how many picture cards you have (especially in clubs), I can't answer for certain, but I think your best bid would probably have been to pass.

  • Thank you, it was a weak hand, guess I was wrong on the bid, she went to 3 spades and got it anyway, LOL – Nettie Feb 19 '15 at 19:33
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    The value of a pre-empt as first to speak is that the opponents then have to take a leap of faith that they haven't got a bad misfit - if they have, they will only find out at the 3- or 4-level. That may shut them up. Once RHO has opened 1S, LHO has a lot more information... so not only does the OP need more strength for the 4c pre-empt, the upside is weaker too. – Julia Hayward Feb 20 '15 at 13:15

Given the outside ace, and assuming clubs something like KJTxxxx or AJTxxxx, I would make a simple 2C overcall. This suggests clubs as a contract, and implies some defence and a desired club lead from partner. You can always rebid clubs next turn to show additional length.

Beginners always want to show length right away and pre-empt with hands completely unsuitable for pre-empts - for example hands with outside aces or with too few points in the bid suit. Just the fact that your partner bid and made 3S suggest to me that both you and your partner have much to learn about when not to pre-empt.

P. S. - the correlation between years of bridge played and quality of play is a very weak one - but for the record I taught myself the rules and simple bidding at age 8, and have played tournament bridge successfully for over 40 years now.

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