BEGINNER'S BRIDGE

LESSON 1

 

‑ 1 ‑

 

 

INTRODUCTORY CONCEPTS ‑ VOCABULARY ‑ PLAYING GUIDELINES

 

 

Bridge is a partnership game in which each players is designated by his/her compass direction.  NORTH and SOUTH are PARTNERS playing against their OPPONENTS, EAST and WEST.  The bridge deck consists of 52 cards with four SUITS:  CLUBS,  DIAMONDS,  HEARTS, and  SPADES.   Clubs and Diamonds are termed MINOR SUITS, Hearts and Spades are termed MAJOR SUITS.    The cards in each suit are RANKED with the Ace being the highest, followed by the King, Queen, Jack, Ten ... then on down the line to the 2 (the lowest ranking card).   The suits are also ranked, these in alphabetical order: “C”lubs. "D”iamonds, "H”earts, and "Spades", with clubs being the suit of lowest rank and spades the highest.   The cards are SHUFFLED and the deck is then dealt by the DEALER, one card at a time, face down in a clock‑wise direction until each player has 13 cards; comprising his/her, HAND.

The game of bridge has two stages.   Firstly, there is the BIDDING stage, which, in an auction fashion, determines which partnership will undertake a final CONTRACT.   The bidding is begun by the dealer with each player in turn, in clock‑wise rotation, choosing to either BID, or to refrain from bidding by simply saying "PASS".  

Each BID or CALL consists of two parts; e.g.,   (1 Spade, 2‑Hearts, 3‑Diamonds, 4‑Clubs,                  5 No Trump, etc.).   The first part, the numerical portion, represents the number of tricks that partnership is committed to take over and above the first six tricks called BOOK.    For example, bidding  “1” of any denomination commits that team to taking seven  (6+1)  tricks;  bidding “3” of any denomination commits the team so bidding to taking nine  (6+3)  tricks; etc.    The highest level of bidding is, therefore, the seven level.    This commits a team to a total of thirteen (6+7)  tricks.

The second portion of any bid is the denomination; i.e., whether the contract is to be played in a TRUMP SUIT contract or in a NO TRUMP contract.   There are only five possible denominations ‑ Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, Spades, and No Trump.  "No Trump" ranks above spades.    As in an auction, each successive bid must be higher than the proceeding bid in either level or denomination, or both.   The auction proceeds until there are three successive passes.   The member of the partnership who first suggested the suit denomination of the final contract becomes the DECLARER.   The bidding phase is then concluded with the last declaration becoming the final contract.   The opponent to the left of declarer makes the OPENING LEAD by placing a single card, face up upon the table, and the play of the hand then begins.

The second stage of bridge is the PLAY of the cards in which one side played by the DECLARER tries to fulfill the agreed-upon CONTRACT,  while the other side ( the DEFENDERS) tries to defeat the specified contract.   Declarer's partner is called, the DUMMY.   Declarer plays the cards for both himself/herself and the Dummy.   Each player, in a clock-wise rotation, plays a card of the same suit.   The four cards played constitute a TRICK.    When the contract is played without a TRUMP SUIT, the player who contributes the highest‑ranking card of the same suit led wins the trick.   On many hands, however, one suit is designated, through the bidding, as "wild" or as the TRUMP suit.   A trump card of any denomination played beats any card in all the other three suits no matter their rank.   Since it is a partnership game, either partner playing the highest card wins the trick for his/her side.   One must always follow the suit which is being played, but if one does not have a card in the suit led, one may then play a card from any other suit.   This is called DISCARDING.    In a trump suit contract the following rules apply:

a. One must follow suit if one can do so. You may play a trump only if you have no cards in the suit led. This is called TRUMPING or RUFFING.

b. One does not have to trump if a card in the suit led is not available. One may alternatively discard.

c. If more than one player trumps a trick, the highest ranking trump wins the trick.

d.      The trump suit does not have to be led at any particular time. It is up to the discretion of each player when to lead a trump.

 

 

 

 

 

- 2 -

 

The partner who wins the previous trick leads the first card to each successive trick, and so on until all thirteen tricks are played out.   The teams count their tricks won or lost and it is thus determined whether the bid finally contacted for has been made or defeated.    A score is awarded to the victors. 

 

                                                                

          BIDDING OF THE HAND - THE AUCTION

 

CHOOSING TO BID:  Once a player arranges his/her cards into suits, he/she then determines the shape and the strength of his/her hand, so as to decide whether or not to open the bidding or, alternatively, to pass; and, if bidding, whether to commit to a Trump Suit Contract or to avoid naming a Trump Suit and to strive for a No Trump Contract, alternatively.    The dealer has this first opportunity to bid, and the bidding then proceeds in a clockwise rotation with each player receiving a chance to bid or to pass.   The relative strength of each hand is computed by each player based upon the:

 

THE 4‑3‑2‑1 POINT COUNT SYSTEM

 

 

                 HIGH‑CARD POINTS ‑ HCP'S                                            DISTRIBUTIONAL POINTS                      

 

ACE      = 4 POINTS                 Each DOUBLETON (Two Cards in a Suit)  = 1 Point        

KING    = 3 POINTS                 Each SINGLETON (One Card in a Suit)     =  2 Points                   

QUEEN = 2 POINTS                 Each VOID (No Cards in a Suit)                  =  3 Points

JACK     = 1 POINT                                  

 

Since it has been determined that a partnership needs approximately 26 Points or more in combined high‑card and distributional point strength to make a GAME  for which there is awarded a bonus,  any one member of either partnership is expected to have his/her one-half share (approximately 13 Points) in order to venture the first BID  or CALL.   When you and your partner have at least eight (8) combined cards in any suit, think of it as a GOLDEN FIT.   That is the suit that might well be named as the TRUMP SUIT.  In absence of a golden fit, since no one suit predominates, NO TRUMP contracts are usually best sought. 

Hands are considered UNBALANCED (favoring a suit contract) if they have one or more voids. one or more singletons, or two or more doubletons.   Hands are considered BALANCED (favoring a no trump contract) if they have no voids, no singletons, and not more than one doubleton.

 

A BALANCED HAND -    5-3‑3‑2       4‑4‑3‑2      4‑3‑3‑3

 

 

 

OPENING THE BIDDING

 

 

Requirements for opening the bidding ONE OF A SUIT:  = 13-15 Points   (Both HCP's and Distributional           points are counted since it be advantageous to have an absence of one or more side suits in any great abundance.)

a. With Any 5‑Card Suit or Longer    - Bid the Longest suit

b. With Two 5‑Card or 6‑Card Suits  - Bid the Higher Ranking Suit First

c. With No 5‑Card Suit                      - Bid the Longest (Preferred) Minor Suit

d. With Two 4‑Card Minor Suits        - Bid the Higher Ranking of the Two (Diamonds)

e. With No 4‑Card Minor Suit            - Bid the 3-Card Minor (Clubs or Diamonds) 

f.  With Two 3‑Card Minor Suits        - Bid the Lower Ranking Club Suit

 

Requirements for opening the bidding ONE NO TRUMP:  = 15-17 HCP’s (Only High Card Points are counted, never distributional points since it be disadvantageous not to have all suits to the greatest degree possible.)

 

 

 

 

BEGINNER'S BRIDGE                  

LESSON 2

                                                                    - 3 -

OBJECTIVES

 

       SCORING:  At the end of each hand, points are awarded based upon the final contract and whether or not the specified contract was indeed fulfilled.   Points can be earned in three ways:

 

          1. Trick score for fulfilling a contract. ‑ for each trick bid and made (in excess of book), the partnership is awarded points based upon the specific denomination of the final contract.

                  a. 20 points per trick in Clubs or Diamonds (Minor Suits)

      b. 30 points per trick in Hearts or Spades (Major Suits)

                c. 40 points for the first trick, and 30 points for each subsequent trick in No Trump

 

2.     Bonuses for fulfilling special contracts. ‑ An additional large bonus is awarded if the partnership bids and succeeds in making a contract worth 100 or more points.   Thus, 5 of any minor suit, 4 of any major suit, and 3 NT are all awarded these special game points if contracted for, and made.   Note: You do not get the game bonus if you do not bid the game contract, even if you take enough tricks.   Bonus slam points are also awarded for bidding and making any 6 contract  (SMALL SLAM),  and for bidding and making any 7 contract  (GRAND SLAM).

 

     Using the Point Count System: the following special contracts can USUALLY be achieved if the partnership has a combined total of HCP's and distributional points:

 

a.       26 Points = Game          b.    33 Points = Small Slam           c.    37 Points = Grand Slam

 

3, Penalties for defeating the opponent's contract. ‑ If you do not make your bid or declared contract, your opponents receive points for defeating you.  The penalty for GOING DOWN  in your contract depends upon the number of tricks by which your contract is defeated, as well as whether or not your team is specified as being VULNERABLE or NOT VULNERABLE.

 

 

      GUIDELINES FOR PLAY:   The play of the hand, both from the declarer's and the defender's point of view is an exciting part of the game and poses numerous challenges as to which card to play on each trick.  A few guidelines are as follows:

 

1. THE OPENING LEAD: ‑ The play starts with the player to the left of declarer making a lead.  When leading against a no trump contract it is usually best to lead your longest suit, since long suits can be a good source of tricks.  When choosing a card to lead, one leads the top card if you have three or more touching high cards, (Ex. QJ10 or KQJ), or fourth best from your longest suit (Ex. K9832 or A10963).   When leading against a suit contract one might also lead the top of a sequence as just explained or else one may choose to take advantage of your trumps by leading a short suit of one (singleton) or two (doubleton) cards.  You are hoping that, when the suit is led again, you will be able to win the trick by ruffing.   When leading from a doubleton, lead the higher card first (Ex. 82 or 43).

 

2. SUBSEQUENT LEADS: ‑ The winner of the previous trick leads to the next one.  If defending, it is often a good idea to return the suit that your partner led originally.

 

3. SECOND‑HAND PLAY: ‑ If the opponent on your right has led a card, and if not certain what to otherwise play, the generally accepted wisdom is to play a low card (second hand low).

 

4.     THIRD‑HAND PLAY: ‑ If partner has led a card, you will contribute the third card to the trick.  If it does not look as if partner's card will win the trick, it is usually advisable in third hand position to play a high card in an attempt to win the trick (third hand high).

 

                                                                                                                                           

 

 

- 4 -

 

HAND VALUATION: ‑ The exchange of information between partners via bidding shows the combined valuation of the partnership as to both HCP's coupled with distributional points.   The points in the combined partnership hands suggested as being needed in order to likely take enough tricks to make a game contract are as follows:

 

1.      5 Clubs or 5‑Diamonds (Minor Suits): 29 points (HCP’s + Distributional)

2.      4‑Hearts or 4‑Spades (Major Suits): 26 points (HCP’s + Distributional)

3.      3‑NT: 26 points (HCP’s only)

 

THE GOLDEN FIT: ‑ There are two parts to making a bid; i.e., the level and the denomination..   We have already discussed that the level is generally determined by the combined strength of the partnership. The determination as to whether the hand should be played in a suit contract or conversely in No Trump, however, is based upon the presence or absence of the GOLDEN FIT; i.e. whether or not the partnership has a combined majority of at least 8 cards in any one suit.   If not, then No Trump is probably the best location as to the denomination of the final contract.

 

THE ROLES OF THE PARTNERS: ‑ You and your partner, working together, via the bidding, attempt to discover the relative combined strengths as to HCP's, distribution and relative presence or absence of a suit fit, so as to determine the level, denomination, and whether or not a game or slam bonus contract can be attempted.

 

1.     THE OPENER: ‑ Each player has a role to play. The partner who opens the bidding gets the first opportunity to provide information to the partnership. The opening bid thus starts to paint a picture of his/her hand for partner.

 

2.     THE RESPONDER ‑ The partner of the opening bidder is called the Responder.   As responder, and having the advantage of having heard the opening partner describe his/her hand, he/she can thus takes the responsibility of guiding the partnership to the best contract as to both level and denomination.  Remember, the level is decided by the combined strengths of the partnership; and the denomination is determined by the presence or absence of a golden fit; i.e., 8 cards or more in any of the four suits.   The partnership can thus determine whether the team belongs in a part score,  in game, or in slam through communication via the bidding process.

 

 

REQUIREMENTS FOR OPENING THE BIDDING 1 NO TRUMP

 

1.      15‑17 HCP's (Note: distributional points are not counted when considering a no trump contract.) In No Trump contracts  it is not considered advantageous to have a doubleton, singleton, or a void, because shortness can never be trumped as it could be in a suit contract.

 

2. An evenly balanced hand; i.e. either a 4‑3‑3‑3, 4‑4‑3‑2, or a 5‑3‑3‑2 distribution (Note: There are no voids, no singletons, and never more than one doubleton. Also, the 5‑card suit in the latter example is always a minor suit, never a major suit.)

 

HANDS QUALIFYING FOR 1 NT  OPENING           HANDS NOT QUALIFY FOR 1 NT OPENING

 

      J109          Q987          J73                                            J109          AQ87         J                AK985   A9

      A76           KJ              AQ9                                          A76           KJ             A1093        K87       A10

      K872         AJ62          KJ1085                                      9872          AJ62         KQ1085     K95       KQ963

      AKJ           KQJ           A9                                             AKJ          KQJ          AQ7            A6         K1095

                    

- 5 -

 

 

REQUIREMENTS FOR OPENING THE BIDDING 1 OF A SUIT

 

1.       A combined HCP count and Distributional point count equal to 13 Points or more.

 

2.       One of the following suit holdings:

a.      With a 5-card or longer suit holding:

(1)  Bid the longest suit

(2)  Bid the higher ranking of any two 5-card or 6-card suits

                 b.    With no 5-card or longer suit holding:

(3)  Bid the longest (preferred) Minor suit (whether 3 cards or 4 cards)

(4)  Bid the higher ranking of two 4-card Minor suits

Bid the lower ranking (Clubs) of two 3-card Minor suit holding

 

 

 

PLAYER NOMENCLATURE AND GENERAL BIDDER REQUIREMENTS

 

 

 

OPENER

 

At least 12‑13 Points with a 5‑Card suit (May Open)

14 HCP's with a 5 Card Major or Longest Minor Suit (Must Open)

 

 

 

 


         RESPONDER TO THE OVERCALLER                                         

  

                      OVERCALLER


         

                        (1)   At least 8 or more HCP’s                                                                        May bid if:

(2)     At least 3-card support for partner or                                   (1)   At least a 5-card suit or better

     alternatively, a good 5-card suit of your own                          (2)   At least 8 HCP’s at the 1-level

                                                                                                                                    or 10 HCP’s at the 2-level

                                                                                                             Both requirements must be satisfied or must pass  

 

 

 

RESPONDER TO THE OPENER

 

 

Must respond with 6 HCP’s or more

(1)     Should support Partner’s Major suit if feasible

(2)     Must Bid “Up the Ladder” and Never Bypass a 4-card Major suit

(3)     Must have four or more cards to mention a new suit ( at least 11 HCP’s necessary if forced to the 2-level)

(4)     Bid 1 NT in lieu of any of the above (Default bid option)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                BEGINNER'S BRIDGE                   - 6 -                                       

LESSON 3

 

RESPONSES TO 1NT OPENING BIDS

 

 

The opening bidder, having opened 1NT, has fully described his/her hand; i.e., one having 15‑17 HCP's, evenly balanced distribution, and the likely absence of any 5-card Major suit holding.   Responder, knowing more about opener's hand than opener knows about responder's,  takes control, acts as the captain of the team,  and steers the partnership into the best contract as to both level and denomination.

 

Level: The responder (Partner of the 1NT Opening Bidder) knowing the HCP count of the opener's hand   

            (15‑17) determines the level to which the partnership should commit; i.e., Accepting of a Part‑score 

            (Game not Possible), Invitation to Game (Game feasible but not absolute), Game (Game a certainty), 

             Slam (Bonus Levels above and beyond game).   His/her basis for the decision is the combined Point      

             count of the partnership as it relates to the 26 Point Count plateaus which usually produces game 

             and/or Small or Grand Slams.

 

Denomination:  If a Golden Fit  (An 8‑card or better combined suit holding) can be found, the hand usually 

                          plays best there rather than in No Trump regardless of which of the above-listed levels is  

                          chosen.   Likewise, here too, the responder acts as the ultimate captain of the team

                          favoring one direction or another with respect to the ultimate denomination chosen. 

 

1. PART‑SCORE SITUATION:    0‑8 HCP’s Points   (Less than a combined 26 HCP in NT, or 26 Point Count including Distribution in a suit Contract).  The combined partnership values in this situation lie 25 points or less.   Game is not usually achievable.   If responder has no more than four cards in any given suit, there is virtually no chance of a Golden fit.   If responder has a five‑ suit, a Golden fit is likely.   Since there is no room for an exploratory bid, you assume there is a Golden Fit.   Even if the opener is found to have a doubleton in the chosen suit, the partnership will still have a majority of the trump suit (5 + 2 = 7).   If responder has a six‑card (or better) suit, he/she is certain of a Golden Fit since Opener has promised a balanced hand with no fewer than two cards in any suit.   Thus:

 

In Summary, When Responding To A 1NT Opening Bid With 0‑8 HCP’s Points:

 

 

a) Bid 2D, 2H or 2S with a five‑card or longer suit  (Exception: 2C is reserved for a special

purpose; i.e. The Stayman Convention and has nothing to do with the Club Suit).  Therefore. with 5‑Clubs in responders hand the contract is better left in NT.

 

b)       Bid 3C with a six‑card or better Club Suit

 

c)       Otherwise pass

 

 

                                                                                EXAMPLES

 

   J8752 (2S)        J53            Q62             Q6              2

   Q102              Q7432 (2H)     87              J4              A6

   J76               K98            J98432 (2D)     J653            1098

   9                 104            97              109762 (Pass)   J987432 (3C)                                                    

          

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                           - 7 -

 

 

2. INVITATIONAL SITUATION:    9‑10 HCP’s Points   (A combined 26 HCP in NT, or 26 Point Count including Distribution in a suit Contract). About one‑half the time the partnership has 26 or more combined points.  Responder requires additional information.   Specifically, he/she is desirous of knowing whether opener has specifically  15, 16, or 17 HCP's.

 

          LEVEL:   A 2NT response is used to ask opener to tell responder more about his/her hand.   With 15 HCP's opener can pass and the partnership will stay safely in a part‑score 2NT.   With 16‑17 HCP's opener is asked to bid 3NT and the partnership will play in game.

 

          DENOMINATION:    If there is a Golden Fit in Clubs or Diamonds (Minor Suits), even if a combined 26 Point total is present, responder will choose to remain in NT.   If there is a Golden Fit in Hearts or Spades, however, responder would like to play in a major suit in game.   Responder requires more information as to both

opener's strength and major suit holdings.   This is where the Stayman Convention is applied. (FOR NOW, A RAISE TO 2NT WILL SHOW ANY HAND WITH 9‑10 POINTS)

 

In Summary When Responding To A 1NT Opening Bid With 9‑10 HCP’s Points:

 

 

a)       Bid 2NT  (For Now until Stayman Convention is presented)

 

 

EXAMPLES

 

             K87              Q8                            K85

            A3               A109                          Q76

            J987             J3                            J9843

            J1098            Q98653 (Ignore Golden Fit)    A7

 

 

 

3. GAME SITUATION:    11‑15 HCP’s Points ‑ (A combined partnership holding of at least 26 Points but fewer than 33 Points such that game is probable but slam not likely.   Even if Opener has a minimum of 15 HCP's there are enough combined points for game.   Responder needs only to choose whether to play in 4H 4S or 3NT (Rarely 5C or 5D).

 

          DENOMINATION: ‑ Responder's first choice is to play in a major suit game if there is a Golden Fit. If not,  3NT is the alternate choice.

          If you, as responder, have a six‑card or longer major suit, you know for sure there is a Golden Fit and in that case you can bid 4H or 4S directly.

          If you have a five‑card major suit, you know there will be a Golden Fit unless opener has only two cards in the suit.   Unlike the situation when you had 0‑8 points and merely had to assume there was a Golden Fit, here you have some room to explore on the way to the game contract.  You can bid 3H or 3S which asks opener to bid game in either the specified major suit (if 3 or 4 cards are held) or alternatively to bid 3NT.

          If only a four card major is held, opener must also have a 4‑card compatible holding in the specified suit for there to be a Golden Fit.   Once again, bidding room is available since a game contract is assured.   The Stayman Convention must be used. (WILL BE DESCRIBED LATER)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                         - 8 -

 

In Summary, When Responding To a 1NT Opening Bid With 11-15 HCP’s Points

 

 

a)       Bid 4H or 4S with a 6-card or longer Major Suit.

 

b)       Bid 3H or 3S with a 5-card Major Suit

 

c)       Bid 3NT otherwise

 

 

EXAMPLES

 

 

  AK9754 (4S)   10 (3NT)    J86           AQJ8 (3NT)   A9 (3NT)

  Q76           KQ          AJ962 (3H)    J109         K76    

  K9            AJ864       KQ3           Q984         QJ9854 (Ignore Golden Fit)             

  87            KJ53        Q7            AJ           J2

 

REBIDS BY OPENTNG 1NT BIDDER

 

Any bid by the responder to the opening lNT bidder caries one of three possible messages:

 

(1)   A SIGN ‑ OFF   bid telling opener to bid no further. The opener is expected to pass as a result of the responder, as captain, having so made the decision. Opener thus passes when responder bids:

                         (a) Pass (Where the original lNT bid becomes the contract

                         (b) A Part‑score sign‑off of 2D, 2H, 2S or 3C

(c)   A game sign‑off bid of 3NT, 4H, 4S or (5C, 5D Rarely)

 

(2)   An INVITATIONAL  bid telling opener to pass with a minimum (15 HCP's) or to proceed to game with a maximum of 16‑17 HCP's.   The responder has thus asked for a further clarification of opener's strength. The only current invitational response is

(a)   2NT

 

(3)   A FORCING  bid telling opener he/she must bid again.   As of now the only forcing bids ask the opener to bid four of the mentioned major with 3 or 4 supporting cards in the suit mentioned, or to correct to 3NT if only two cards are held in the mentioned Major Suit.   Opener may not pass since responder has made a forcing bid.   Such forcing bids are:

(a) 3H or 3S

 

EXAMPLE:   Suppose as opener you hold:       If responder bids 2S, you pass on your rebid.  Even though 

                                                                         you have attractive spades, you cannot bid more because      

        KQ62                                                        partner has made a sign‑off bid and expects you to pass. It

        AK7                                                          responder bids 2NT, you would accept the invitation and bid

        K93                                                          3NT with your 17  point maximum holding,  You would have

        Q96                                                          declined the invitation had you only 15 HCP's. If responder

                                                                          bids 3H he/she is making a forcing bid and you must bid again.   Since you have three hearts, bid game in hearts (4H).   If you had alternatively held only two hearts you would have corrected the forcing bid of 3 Hearts to 3NT.

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                - 9 -

 

SUMMARY OF RESPONSES TO A 1NT OPENING BID

 

 

 

After your partner has opened the bidding with 1 NT, place your hand into 3 categories:

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

0‑8 HCP's        Bid 2D, 2H or 2S with a 5‑card or longer suit ( “2C” reserved for the Stayman Convention)

                        Otherwise pass

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

9‑10 HCP's    Bid 2NT (“2C” Stayman Convention used to uncover an 4‑4 Major Suit fit)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

11‑15 HCP's       Bid 4H or 4S with a 6‑card or longer major split (Rarely 5C or 5D with 6‑cards)                       

                          Bid 3H or 3S with a 5‑card Major Suit

                         Otherwise bid 3 NT (“2C” Stayman used to uncover an 4-4 Major Suit fit)

 

 

 

 

THE BIDDING MESSAGES IN RESPONSE TO A 1NT OPENING BID ARE:

 

 

Signoff:          Pass

                      2D, 2H, 2S, 3C

                      3NT, 4H, 4S

                      5C, 5D (Rarely Used)

 

 

Invitational:    2NT

 

                      

Forcing:         3H, 3S

                       “2C” (The artificial Stayman Convention used to explore for a 4-4 Major Suit fit) 

 

 

 

REBIDS BY THE OPENING 1NT BINDER

 

 

 

 After responder's signoff:                                  Pass

 

 

After responder's invitational 2NT:                  Pass with 15 HCP' s

                                                                           Bid 3 NT with 16‑ 17 HCP ' s

 

 

After responder's forcing bid of 3H or 3S:       Bid four of the Major with three or four of the Major Suit

                                                                           Bid 3 NT with only two cards in the Major Suit

 

 

 

 

 

- 10 -

BEGINNER'S BRIDGE

 

LESSON 4

 

OPENING THE BIDDING WITH ONE (1) OF A SUIT

 

 

 

REQUIREMENTS:

 

a.   With less than 13 Points HCP's + Distribution) = Pass

b.   With 13‑21 Points:

(l) With a 5‑card or longer suit:

(a) Bid the longest suit (Length over strength)

(b) Bid the higher ranking of two 5‑card or 6‑card suits

(2) With no 5‑card or longer Major suit: (Never open a 4‑card major suit)

(a)   Bid the longer minor suit (Clubs or Diamonds) if one be discernibly longer

(b)   Bid the higher ranking of two 4‑card, 5-card, or 6-card minor suits

(c)  Bid the lower ranking (Clubs) if holding two 3‑card minor suits

 

 

GENERAL APPROACH OF RESPONSES TO OPENING SUIT BIDS:   In NT bidding, as we have seen in lesson #3, opener has painted a relatively clear picture of his/her hand and responder thus becomes the captain deciding the level and denomination of the final contract; i.e., whether to sign‑off, invite to game, or go directly to game levels.   Thus in NT bidding, most of responder’s bids are sign‑offs.   When the opening bid is one of a suit, however, the opener has not yet given as well-defined a picture of opener’s hand.    He/she could have anywhere from 13‑21 points (or more), and the hand could be balanced or unbalanced.   Before deciding the best place to play the contract, responder, therefore, needs further information from the opener.   Most of responder’s bids, thus, are forcing, and opener guarantees a rebid so as to give a more specific description of his hand such that responder can then captain the team as to both the level and denomination of the final contract.   Responses to an opening bid of one of a suit can be grouped into one of four categories according to point value:

 

1. 0‑5 Points

2. 6‑10 Points

3. 11‑12 Points

4. 13 or more Points

 

 

RESPONSES TO AN OPENING BID OF ONE (1) OF A SUIT

 

1.      0‑5 HCP's = PASS ‑ There is no likelihood of a game since opener has, in almost all circumstances, fewer than 21 HCP’s.   Unlike NP bidding, in suit bidding, there is no sign‑off bid after an opening bid of one of a suit when a new suit is bid by responder.   Such a bid is forcing.    Said differently, opener guarantees a rebid if responder says almost anything other than the limited bid of two of opener’s suit or 1NT.   Thus, even with a long suit, responder must pass with 0‑ 5 points.       In these circumstances the responder does not wish to prod the opener to rebid anything since the bidding may get too high by virtue of opener's guarantee to rebid given any positive bid by responder.    Thus, with 0‑5 Points after an opening bid of 1H, responder must PASS with a holding such as shown here.

 

                                     K8642                                             

                                 543                                                                   

                                 865

                                 76

- 11 -

 

 

2.      6‑10 Points: ‑ Game is possible if opener has more than a minimum holding.  The main priority is to

      uncover a major suit golden fit if one exists.   A suit contract (even in a minor suit) is better than no

      trump when there is a golden fit.   The decision as to what to bid differs slightly as to whether one is

      responding to either (a.) a major or (b.) a minor suit opening one bid.

 

     A. RESPONDING TO A MAJOR SUIT: (with 6‑10 Points)

 

                    (1) Raise to the cheapest level, the two‑level with a 3‑card or more support .(TOP PRIORITY)

 A golden fit has been found.   If the opener has a minimum hand, he/she can PASS.  With

         additional strength opener can bid again.

                                             XX                            XXXX

                    QJX     1H  P  2H    (or)     A        1S  P  2S

                                                             10XX                          JXX

                    KXXXX                         QXXXX

 

 

(2) Bid a new 4 or more‑card suit at the one‑level (Requires 11 Points or more to bid a new suit  

  at the two‑level).  Thus if partner has opened the bidding with 1 H, the only suit that can be   

  bid at the one 1 level is Spades.  The response of 1 S is forcing and the opener must bid again.

                             NOTE: If the opener had opened 1 Spade, you can never bid a new suit at the one‑level.

                                       JXXX

                   QX               1H   P   1S                 

                   AXXXX  (Cannot Support Hearts)

                                                               XX

 

                  (3) Bid 1NT (only alternative allowable bid in absence of (1) or (2) above.   (Says nothing about

                            any of the other suits, only a 6‑10 point holding and absence of (1) or (2) above.

 

                AXX                           JX

     XX     1H  P  1NT             KXXXX    IS  P  1NT

                     KQXX (Denies Heart Support      XX     (Cannot Bid 2H for  

            XXXX   and 4 Spades)          AXXXX    Do Not Have    

                                                          11 HCP’s)

 

         

            B.  RESPONDING TO A MINOR SUIT: (With 6‑10 Points)

 

           (1) Bid a new 4‑card or better suit at the one‑level ("UP THE LADDER") ‑ (TOP

          PRIORITY.    Is important for opener was precluded from opening his/her 4‑card major.

 

             1C P 1D    (or)    1C P 1H    (or)    1D P 1S (Denies 4 Hearts)

 

           Partner opens 1 Club:  You hold:

 

               KXXXX   (1S)                  X                 KXXX

        KXXX                QXXXX  (1H)               AXXX   (1H)

                               XX                  AQXXX              XX

               XX                  XX                 XXX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- 12 -

 

 

     (2)  Raise to the two‑level with a 5‑card or better support (Opener could have as little as three in

          the minor and so five are needed by responder to insure a golden fit if a minimum 3‑card 

          holding is held by the opener.   Doing such Denies a 4‑card major.

 

                                      EX:     1C   P   2C       (or )         ID   P   2D

   

                             Partner bids 1 Diamond:    You hold:     What is your response?

 

                   XX

                   KQX

                   JXXXX   (2D)

                   KXX

 

 

           (3)  Bid 1 No Trump.  Such a bid Denies 4‑card or better major suit holding.)

 

     EX.  Partner opens 1 Diamond: You hold:

 

                                    AXX

                                     QXX (1NT)

                                    QX

          JXXXX

 

 

 

 

3.      11‑12 Points: ‑ With 11 or 12 points, responder knows that the partnership has a cumulative total       

 (24 or 25; i.e. 13+11 or 13+12) very near that needed for game (26). Responders first priority is to  

 support opener's major suit opening, or to look for a major suit if partner opens a minor.   Responder  

 can bid a new suit even at the two‑level, if necessary.

 

          A.   RESPONDING TO A MAJOR SUIT: (With 11‑12 Points)

 

          (1)   Raise to the three‑level with three or more card support.

 

                                    EX. Partner opens 1 Spade:  You hold:     XXXX  (3S)                                

                                                           AX

                                                          KXXX

                                                            AXX

 

 

                     (2)   Bid a new suit in absence of support for partner.   Note:   Partner must rebid.

 

    EX. Partner opens 1 Spade:  You hold:

 

XX

AKXXX   (2H)

XXX

KQX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- 13 -

 

 

B.    RESPONDING TO A MINOR SUIT: (With 11‑12 Points) ‑ If the opener bids a minor suit, 

      responder's priority is still to look for a major suit fit.  (Remember, the opener may have one or two 

      4‑card concealed major suits.)   Therefore, whether or not responder has support for opener's minor 

      suit, he/she will first bid a 4‑card or longer major suit rather than raising opener's minor.   The

      support for the minor can be shown later, if necessary.

 

                      (1) Bid a new suit. Partner has opened 1 Diamond:   You hold:

 

   

           KXXX (1S)

           QX

           AKXX

           QXX

 

(2)   Raise to the three‑level with five or more support for the minor bid by opener              Opener bids 1Club:   You hold:

 

XX

XXX AQX

KQXXX (3C)

 

4.      13 or More Points: ‑ With 13 or more points, responder is assured that the partnership has enough 

      combined points for game.   As captain, responder must make sure the partnership does not stop below the

      game level.   If responder bids below the game level, he/she must evidence the available game by making a

      forcing bid.

 

 

     A.   RESPONDING TO A MAJOR SUIT: (With 13 or more Points)

 

 

(1)   With a balanced hand and no support, bid 2NT.   Partner has opened 1Heart:   You hold:

 

KXX     (2NT)

QX

AKXX

QXXX

 

 

(2)   With an unbalanced hand and no support bid any longest suit.   Note, opener may not pass    

      and responder, as captain, will take appropriate game action on his/her second bid.   Opener has 

      bid  1 Spade:  You hold:

                                    X

KX

AK10XXX      (2D)

KJXX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- 14 -

 

 

 

 

(3)   With support:  Having more than enough combined partnership points for game, but too many to 

      raise to the three‑level (Would show only 11‑12), and not wanting to raise to the four level which

      would not leave the partnership much room to explore for slam, if it be feasible, responder just

      bids a new suit giving opener the opportunity to further describe his hand   Responder can show 

      the major suit support by jumping to game at his/her next opportunity.   Opener has bid I Spade: 

      You hold:

KJXX

                                       XX

                                       AQXX (2D)

AJX

 

B.    RESPONDING TO A MINOR SUIT: (With 13 or more Points) ‑ Once again it is responder's first 

      priority to bid a new suit, a major one if possible, looking for a Golden Fit.

 

 

             (1)  Bid a new suit.  Opener has bid 1Club:   You hold:                                AJXX (IS)

                   Responder can support opener's minor, but looking for                   AX         

                   a Golden Fit in a major takes priority                                            XX

                                                                                                                        KQXXX

 

 

              (2)  Jump to 2NT with a balanced hand.   Partner has opened I Diamond:   You hold:

 

                    AJ10               With no new suit to bid and not enough Diamonds to     

                                 KJX   (2NT)                    raise opener's minor, responder bids 2NT This is a 

                     QXXX               forcing bid, and opener may not pass.

                     KXX                               

 

 

               

**********               

 

 

            

                                                                        

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- 15 -

 

BEGINNER'S BRIDGE

 

LESSON 4

 

 

SUMMARY OF RESPONSES TO OPENING BIDS OF ONE OF A SUIT

 

 

 

        O ‑ 5  Points             Pass

 

 

    6 - 10 Points      Responding to a major suit

                                          

                             Raise to the two level with three or more card support

                                                Bid a new suit at the one level ( 4 Cards or more in length)

                                                 Bid1NT

                                                                     

                                    Responding to a minor suit

                                                                                       

                                                 Bid a new suit at the one level (Up the ladder, 4 or more cards)

                                                Raise to the two level with five‑card support         

                                                 Bid 1NT

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________

 

ll - 12 Points      Responding to a major suit

                                                                                                                                   

                                         Raise to the three level with a three‑card or longer support

                                         Bid a new suit

 

                           Responding to a minor suit

 

                                         Bid a new suit (Up the ladder, Retards or better)

                                         Raise to the three level with a five‑card or longer support

 

________________________________________________________________________________________

 

        13 or more Points    Responding to a major suit

 

                                                  Jump to 2NT with a balanced hand and no trump support

                                                  Bid a new suit (Even if support for opener's suit is present)

 

                                         Responding to a minor suit

 

                                                      Bid a new suit ( Up the ladder even if minor suit support held )

                                                        Jump to 2NT with a balanced hand and no 4‑card major

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

- 15a -

 

BEGINNER'S BRIDGE

 

LESSON 4

 

 

SUMMARY OF RESPONSES TO OPENING BIDS OF ONE OF A SUIT

 

 

General Principles:   When responding to an opening bid of one of a suit (1C, 1D, 1H or 1S), 

                                   the responder is under the following general obligations:

           

a. With 0-5  High Card Points        =  Pass

b. With 6-18 High Card Points        =  Must Bid

c. With 19 or More High Card Points  =  Must Make a Jump Shift


          
 Once responder has decided that a bid is to be made other than a pass, the responder then places his hand into one of two categories; i.e. (1) with trump support, and (2) without trump support.

 

1.     With Trump Support:  With a sufficient holding; i.e., three (3) of a Major, or five (5) of  a Minor, responder is considered to have the necessary complementary pieces of the suit first named by opener such that responder can demonstrate the presence of a “Golden Fit” by supporting opener in the following manner, dependent upon the number of high card points (HCP’s)  held:

 

a. 6-10 Points   = Raise partner to two of his suit

b. 11-12 Points  = Raise partner to three of his suit

c. 13-18 Points  = Bid a new suit and then support partner

d. 19 Points or more = Jump shift and then support partner

 

                   The exception to this would be if opener has opened a Minor suit and responder holds a

             4-card or greater Major holding in addition to his Minor suit complementary holding.      

             In this instance responder would first mention his Major suit holding (“Up the Ladder”)

             in order to explore whether they also be a Major suit Golden Fit.   Remember, opener

             could well have a 4-card Major suit or even two 4-card Major suit holdings and have

             been unable to mention same due to the restriction of needing a 5-card Major suit holding

             in order to have it qualify for an opening bid in the respective Major suit.

 

2.     Without Trump Support:  Without trump support; i.e., less than that needed to be capable of signifying a golden fit, responder is governed by the following maxims:

 

a. Can bid any new suit provided it have at least four or

   more pieces and responder has 6 or more HCP’s at the 1-

   level and 11 or more HCP’s at the 2-level.

b. Responder is to bid “Up the Ladder”.

c. Must respond with 6 or more HCP’s even if a 1NT default bid is necessary to satisfy the obligation to bid.

d. May not go to the 2-level unless holding 11 or more HCP’s. (Need 5-card heart suit to bid 2H over 1S.)

e. Bid 2NT with 13 or more HCP’s and no as-yet-unmentioned 4-card Major suit holding.

 

 

 

 

- 15b -

 

BEGINNER'S BRIDGE

 

LESSON 4

 

 

Responses To Opening Bids of One of a Suit

 

 

0-5 HCP’s                                 • Pass

 

             _________________________________________________________________________

 

      

6-10 HCP’s                  Responding to a major suit

 

                                   • Raise to the two level with three‑card or longer support.

                                   • Bid a new suit at the one level (Up the Ladder).

                                   • Bid l NT (Default bid without regard for Distribution).

 

                                    Responding to a minor suit

 

                                   • Bid a new suit at the one level (Up the Ladder).

                                   • Raise to the two level with five‑card support (If no Major).

                                   • Bid l NT (Default bid without regard for Distribution).

 

_________________________________________________________________________

 

11‑12 HCP’S               Responding to a major suit

 

                  • Raise to the three level with three‑card or longer support.

                  • Bid a new suit.

 

       Responding to a minor suit

                  • Bid a new suit (Especially if a major).

                  • Raise to the three level with five‑card or longer support.

 

_________________________________________________________________________

 

13 or more HCP’s       Responding to a major suit

 

                 • Jump to 2 NT with a balanced hand.

                 • Bid a new suit.

 

      Responding to a minor suit

 

                 • Bid a new suit (Especially if a major)

                 • Jump to 2 NT with a balanced hand.

 

 

 

- 16 -

 

BEGINNER'S BRIDGE

 

LESSON 5

 

 

REBIDS BY THE OPENING BIDDER

 

 

GENERAL THOUGHTS:   Opener's first bid, if it be one of any suit (1C, 1D, 1H, or 1S), paints a broad indeterminate picture both as to distributional pattern; i.e., balanced or unbalanced, as well as  strength, which can fall anywhere between 13 and 21+ points.   Responder's bids, likewise, may vary as to both strength and distribution.   Responder's bids can range between 6‑18 HCP's.   With fewer points responder would have passed, and with 19 or more points responder would have made a jump shift evidencing slam probability.  As long as neither player, opener or responder, has limited his/her hand, the other must keep the bidding open by rebidding.   When finally one of the two has limited his/her hand, the other of the two becomes the Captain thereby taking the responsibility of placing the contract, or at the very least, making a game forcing bid.   Until that point takes place, both members of the team continue to describe their holdings to the other.  There must never be two Captains.  Thus, the player to take control is the first to know more of his/her partner's hand then the partner knows about his.

 

As discussed previously, the only limited bids (evidencing 6‑10 HCP's) responder can make which do not require opener to rebid are: (1) a raise of opener's suit one‑level, or (2) a response of 1 No Trump.   Because any other response by responder evidences as much as 18 points, game is always presumed possible until proven otherwise.   Thus, responder may be depending upon a rebid by the opener to further describe opener's hand both as to count and distribution so that responder can best place the contract as to both suit and level. Therefore, the opening bidder must make a rebid to any response made by responder unless it be a limited bid of two of opener's suit or 1NT.    The more points opener has for the opening bid, the higher he/she can go when rebidding but in every instance opener is obligated to fully describe and further identify the quality and type of hand held.

 

The opening bidder places the hand into one of three categories according to point count:

 

a.      Minimum Hand  ‑ 13‑15 HCP's

b.      Medium Hand    ‑ 16‑18 HCP's

c.      Maximum Hand ‑ 19 or More HCP's

 

 

               The opening bidder puts the hand into one of two categories according to the shape of his/her holding:

 

                         a. Balanced ‑ A hand containing no voids, no singletons, or not more than one doubleton.

     With a balanced hand it would seem that opener should rebid NT.   However, knowing that responder is

     interested in uncovering any Golden fits in order to decide the denomination of the final contract, opener  

     will bid a new suit of at least four cards at the one level if possible as an alternative to rebidding NT. 

     Otherwise, if no second suit is available, opener will rebid NT and let responder Captain from there.

                         b. Unbalanced ‑ A hand containing a void, a singleton, or more than one doubleton.

    With an unbalanced hand, if a Golden fit has not yet been found, opener will show a second suit of four or  

    more cards if one exists and if it can be shown without getting the partnership too high a bidding level.  

    Otherwise, opener will rebid his/her suit.

 

 

 

- 17 -

 

 

 

The opening bidder thus becomes the describer.   An opening bid of one of a suit is made with so many different kinds of hands as to shape and count that responder needs more information before making any decisions.   Opener is, thus, obligated, in all situations other than when responder has made a limited response, to rebid so as to evidence both the strength and the distribution of opener’s holding.   Thus, unless responder has made a limited bid of  1 No Trump or a raise of one level of opener's suit ( both bids evidencing a rigid and limited 6-10 HCP count), the opener is NEVER in the position to pass on his/her second opportunity to bid (the rebid).    The only exception to this would be if there were to have been an overcalled response by the RHO (Right-hand opponent) to the opening bidder, the said overcall of whom would guarantee the responder to opener the availability of an opportunity to bid once more.    In this single instance a Pass by the opener would be permissible and would likewise represent a minimum opening count.

 

 Alternatively, opener might show a larger than minimum opening hand by jumping a level in his/her opening suit or that of responder, a reverse bid to a higher ranking second suit.   These bids would evidence a 16-18 HCP count; i.e., a stronger than minimum opening hand.   A jump to 2NT would evidence an 18-19 HCP count, and an even stronger rebid by opener by means of a jump shift to a new suit would exhibit a holding of at least 19 HCP’s.

 

       In all of these instances responder can then be in a position to Captain the team, sign-off the bidding, invite, or even force to game.   The information that opener disseminates through his/her rebid in response to responder’s other than minimum original response provided the responder with the necessary information to then Captain the team to the proper contract denomination and level.

 

       If responder wants still more information from the opening bidder responder can continue to force opener to rebid by responding in an as-yet-unmentioned new suit.   ANY NEW SUIT BID BY RESPONDER IS FORCING FOR ONE MORE ROUND.     Under these circumstances, responder's hand is no longer limited to 6‑10 points.   Holding more than 10 HCP’s he/she has taken control of the bidding and is forcing the bidding by pursuing an even further description of opener's hand.   Opener is obliged to comply awaiting responder’s decision to sign-off, invitation to game, or force to game, small or even grand slam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- 18 -

 

 

 

POINT SPREAD REBIDS BY OPENING BIDDER

 

 

 

BALANCED HANDS

 

 

0‑11 HCP's ‑ Pass

 

12‑14 HCP's ‑ Bid One of a Suit and Rebid 1NT (Ex. lD/lNT)

 

15‑17 HCP's ‑ Bid 1NT

 

18‑19 HCP's ‑ Bid One of a Suit and Rebid 2NT (Ex. 1D/2NT)

  20 HCP’s   - Bid One of a Suit Planning to Rebid 3NT if Partner Responds

 

21‑22 HCP's ‑ Bid 2NT

 

23‑24 HCP's ‑ Bid "2C' and Rebid 2NT

 

25‑27 HCP's ‑ Bid "2C" and Rebid 3NT

 

 

 

UNBALANCED HANDS

 

 

0‑11 Points (Sub‑Minimum) ‑ Pass

 

12‑15 Points (Minimum) ‑ Bid One of a Suit and Rebid     (a) Two of Your Suit (Ex. 1D/2D)

                                                                                (b) Two of Partner's Suit (1D/2B)

                                                                                (c) 1 NT

                                                                                (d) Second Suit at One Level (Ex. lD/lS)

                                                       (Non‑Reverse)   (e) Second lower-ranking Suit at the Two Level

                                                                                               (Ex. lD/2C)

                                                                                (f)  Pass if intervening overcall by opener’s RHO

 

16‑18 Points (Moderate) ‑ Bid One of a Suit and Rebid      (a) Three of Your Suit (Ex. 1D/3D)

                                                                                 (b) Three of Partner's Suit (Ex. 1D/3H)

                                                                (Reverse)   (c) Second higher-ranking Suit at the Two Level

                                                                                               (Ex. 1C/2D)

 

19 + Points (Maximum) ‑ Bid One of a Suit and Jump Into a Second Suit (Ex. lD/3C)

 

22 + Points (Maximum) ‑ Open "2C' (Strong, Artificial, and Forcing)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- 19 -

 

BEGINNER S BRIDGE

LESSON 5

 

REBIDS BY THE OPENING BIDDER

SUMMARY

 

OPENER'S REBID AFTER RESPONDER BIDS 1 NO TRUMP

1.    With Minimum Hand (13‑15 Points):

          a. Pass with a balanced hand.

  b. Bid a second suit of four cards or longer if it is lower ranking than the original suit.

   c. Rebid the original suit at the two level.

2.    With a Medium Hand (16‑18 Points):

a.      Bid a second suit of four cards or longer, even if it be higher‑ranking than the original suit  

                     (REVERSE).

   b. Rebid the original suit at the three level.

3.    With a Maximum Hand (19‑21 Points):

   a. Bid 3 NT with a balanced hand

   b. Bid a second suit of four cards or longer, jumping a level  (JUMP SHIFT)

   c. Rebid the original suit, jumping to game.

 

OPENER’S REBID AFTER RESPONDER BIDS 2NT

1.    With a balanced hand raise to 3 NT.

2.    With an unbalanced hand, bid a second suit of four cards or longer or rebid the original suit.

 

OPENER'S REBID AFTER RESPONDER RAISES OPENER'S MAJOR SUIT TO THE TWO LEVEL

1.      With a Minimum Hand (13‑15 Points) = Pass

2.      With a Medium Hand (16‑18 Points) = Raise to the three level

3.      With a Maximum Hand (19‑21 Points) =  Jump raise to the four level (Game).

 

OPENER'S REBID AFTER RESPONDER RAISES OPENER'S MINOR SUIT TO THE TWO LEVEL

1.      With a Minimum Hand (13‑15 Points) = Pass

2.      With a Medium Hand (16‑18 Points) = Raise to the three level

3.      With a Maximum Hand (19‑21 Points) =  Jump to 3NT (Game).

 

 OPENER’S REBID AFTER RESPONDER RAISES OPENER'S SUIT TO THE THREE LEVEL

1.      With a Minimum Hand (13‑15 Points) = Pass

2.      With 15 or more Points = Bid Game.

 

OPENER'S REBID AFTER RESPONDER BIDS A NEW SUIT

1.    With a Minimum Hand (13‑15 Points):

a. Raise partner's major to the cheapest level with four card support.

b. Rebid the original suit at the cheapest level.

c. Bid NT with a balanced hand at the cheapest available level.

d. Bid a second suit of four cards or longer if it can be bid at the one level.  A lower ranking suit than 

    the original can be bid at the two level.

2.    With a Medium Hand (16‑18 Points):

     a. Raise partner's major, jumping one level, with four card support.

     b. Rebid the original suit, jumping one level.

      c. Bid a second suit of four cards or longer, even if it is higher ranking than the original suit and must  

          be bid at the two level (REVERSE).

3.    With a Maximum Hand (19‑21 Points):

a.       Raise partner's major, jumping to game, with a four card support

b.       Bid a second suit of four cards or longer, jumping one level (JUMP SHIFT) if it is lower ranking than the original suit.

             c. Bid 3 NT with a balance hand.

d.       Rebid the original suit, jumping to game.

 

- 20 -

 

BEGINNER S BRIDGE

LESSON 6

 

REBIDS BY THE RESPONDER

 

 

By the time opener has rebid, responder should have a reasonably good picture of the strength and shape of opener's hand.   Opener has begun the communication by opening the bidding with IB.  Responder (unless having made a limiting bid of 2B or 1NT)  has made an initial bid requiring opener to further describe his/her hand.   Opener will then evidence a Minimum hand (13‑15), an intermediate hand (16‑18), or a very strong hand (19+).   Responder has thus heard two bids from opener and is thus ready to consider the level and denomination of the final contract.

 

 

To do this, responder must categorize his/her hand according to its strength based upon point count:

 

Minimum Hand         6‑10 points

 

Medium Hand          11‑12 points

 

Maximum Hand         13 or more points

 

 

 

Responder may thus combine his/her own point count with that described by opener and thus decide whether the partnership belongs in a part score or in a game contract.   Responder, thus, becomes the captain of the team since at this juncture, responder knows more about opener’s hand than opener knows about responder’s.  In either case a Golden fit, once found, becomes the denomination of the final contract, should it be either in an assured game, an invitation‑to‑game scenario, or simply in a part score contact.   Alternatively, if no Golden fit is available, a No Trump contact is usually sought.

 

 

As responder you are likely to be the Captain of the partnership, piecing the pieces of the puzzle together in order to come up with a solution thus deciding "What Level?", and "What Denomination?"; i.e., "Game, Invitational to Game, Part score?"; and finally, whether in a suit contract if a "Golden Fit or No Trump?". Responder may know that the partnership belongs in game, but may still require more information in order to determine the appropriate denomination.   In this latter case, responder will make a forcing bid, asking for a further description of opener's holding.

 

 

Responder may, on his/her second response, thus issue a signoff bid (opener is expected to pass), an invitational bid (opener is expected to pass if at the bottom of his/her range already shown or to bid further if at the top of the range), or a forcing bid (which demands opener to bid once more).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- 21 -

 

BEGINNER S BRIDGE

LESSON 6

 

REBIDS BY THE RESPONDER

 

 

   Opener’s Range            Responder’s Range           Final Level              Responder’s Options

 

 

        13 - 15                               6 - 10                          Part Score                 * Pass

     (Minimum)                                                                                               *  1 No Trump

                                                                                                                     * 2-Level of a suit

                                                                                                                    already mentioned

 

        16 - 18                               6 - 8                            Part Score                *  Pass

      (Medium)                                                                                                *  Cheapest Bid of a  suit    

                                                                                                                            already mentioned

                                                  9 - 10                              Game                    *  Bid a Golden Game

                                                                                                            * Bid a new suit (Forcing)

                   

        19 - 21                               6- 10                               Game                    *  Pass

    (Maximum)                                                                                                * Bid a Golden Game

                                                                                                                      * Bid a New Suit (Forcing)

 

 

        13 - 15                              11 - 12                          Part Score                * Bid 2NT

     (Minimum)                                                                or Game                   * Make a 3-Level Bid

                                                                                                                            in a suit already mentioned

                                                                                     

        16 - 18                               11 - 12                           Game                    *  Bid a Golden Game

      (Medium)                                                                                                *  Bid a New Suit (Forcing)                                        

                   

        19 - 21                               11 - 12                           Game                    *  Bid a Golden Game

    (Maximum)                                                                                                * Pass in Game

                                                                                                                      * Bid a New Suit (Forcing)

                                                                                                                      * Possibly Seek Slam

 

 

 

        13 - 15                             13 or More                        Game                    * Bid a Golden Game

     (Minimum)                                                                                                * Bid a New Suit at the 3-Level

                                                                                    

        16 - 18                             13 or More                        Game                    *  Bid a Golden Game

      (Medium)                                                                   or Slam                  *  Bid a New Suit (Forcing)                                        

                    

        19 - 21                             13 or More                         Slam                    *  Bid a Slam 

     (Maximum)

                                                                        

 

 

 

 

- 22 -

 

BEGINNER S BRIDGE

LESSON 7

 

OVERCALLS AND RESPONSES

 

 

Competitive bidding between opponents is all part of the game of bridge.  This interchange of information between the partnerships may consume levels of bidding otherwise needed by the opponents and, thus, their subsequent action.  There are both advantages and disadvantages to competitive bidding.  They include:

Advantages of Competitive Bidding

 

 

1.      Despite the opponents having opened, your partnership may have the predominant point count and enough combined strength within the partnership to make a part score, or even a game.

2.      Even if your side doesn't have the strength for game, you still may be able to interfere with your opponent's exchange of information thus making it difficult or even impossible for them to arrive at their best contract.

3.      If your opponents do play the contract, the information imparted from your competitive bidding may   

      assist your side in defense including the best opening lead.

 

Disadvantages of Competitive Bidding

 

1.      If you are bidding singularly to interfere with the opponents, and inadvertently bidding beyond your sides capacity, you might end up playing a contract you cannot possibly make.

2.      At the same time you are giving your partner information about your hand, you are also giving information to you opponents as well, thereby assisting them in making their specified contract.

 

THE OVERCALL    This is the simplest form of a competitive auction.   It occurs subsequent to the

                                     opponents opening the bidding.  It can be made at the l‑level, the 2‑level, or even

                                     higher.  It can be made in a suit or in No Trump.

 

Requirements For a Suit Bid

 

1. A 5‑Card or longer suit (Regardless of Major or Minor Suit)

2. 8+ HCP's or more at the 1‑level and 10+ HCP's or more at the 

      2‑level

   3. A "suit quality" that approximates the bid contemplated.

 4. An increased quality of suit and/or points if vulnerable.

5. If a choice of suits to overcall is present bid the 

      higher‑ranking first

 

Requirements For 1NT Overcall

 

    1. 15‑17 HCP's (That is Equivalent to a 1NT opening hand)

        2. An Evenly Balanced Hand (No Voids, Singletons, & at most l

            Doubleton)

3. At least one STOPPER in the opponent's bid suit; i.e.,  

      strength &/or length in the suit bid by opener.

 

RESPONDING TO AN OVERCALL    When the overcall is made in a suit, and since the overcaller promises at least a 5‑card suit, the responder to the overcaller needs only 3‑card support in order to raise.       If the overcall is a 1NT overcall, and is effectively the same as an opening 1NT with the added feature of a guaranteed stopper in the opponent's suit, and the responses here are the same as to a l NT opening bid.

 

- 23 -

 

BEGINNER S BRIDGE

LESSON 7

 

OVERCALLS AND RESPONSES

 

SUMMARY

 

Overcalls:

 

     When the opponents open the bidding, one may compete by overcalling, assuming your hand meets the requirements as before‑hand listed.   When your partner has overcalled, you may pass, bid a new suit, or bid No Trump.

 

 

RESPONSES TO AN OVERCALL OF A SUIT- BID:

 

 

WTTH A MINIMUM HAND (6‑10 POTNTS)

 

a. Raise partner's suit one level with a 3‑card or longer support.

b. Bid a new suit of at least 5‑cards or more (But only at the one level).

c. Bid 1NT with some strength in the opponent's suit (At Least 8 HCP’s).

 

WTTH A MEDIUM HAND (11‑12 POINTS)

 

 

a. Jump in partner's suit with at least a 3‑card support.

b. Bid a new suit (even if at the 2‑level).

c. Bid 2‑NT with strength in the opponent's suit and a reasonably balanced

   hand.

 

WITH A MAXIMUM HAND (13 OR MORE POINTS)

 

 

    a. Cue Bid opener's suit if support for partner is present.

    b. Bid a new suit of your own.

c. Possibly bid 3‑NT if hand is balanced and some strength in the opponent's 

   suit present.

 

 

 

RESPONSES TO AN OVERCALL OF A 1NT OVERCALL:

 

          a. 0‑8 HCP's ‑ Pass or bid 2D, 2H, or 2S with a 5‑card or longer suit.

 

     b. 9‑10 HCP's ‑ Bid 2NT inviting to 3 if pan er has a maximum of 16‑17

                     HCP's.

 

c. 11 to 15 HCP's ‑ (1) Bid 4H or 4S with a 6‑card or longer Major suit.

(2) Bid 3H or 3S with a 5‑card suit (Game forcing).

(3) Bid 3NT otherwise (Ignore a long Minor suit).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- 24 -

 

 

 

BEGINNER’S BRIDGE

LESSON 8

 

TAKE OUT DOUBLES AND RESPONSES TO THEM

 

 

Definition: ‑ One use of the "DOUBLE" in bridge is for penalties in order to punish the opponents when they have bid more than you believe they can reasonably make,   This type of double is called a  PENALTY DOUBLE”.   If your opponents are defeated, the penalties are increased, and conversely, if the doubled contract is made, additional bonus scores are awarded for making the contract.   You can only double your opponent's contract.   If you don't think your partner can make the contract, keep it to yourself.   You may "double" for penalties only when it is your turn to call.    Lastly, a penalty double, or any other double, for that matter, does not end the auction   The other players still have an opportunity to call.   Only after three consecutive passes does the bidding end and the final contract remain doubled.   If additional bidding occurs, the double no longer remains in effect.

 

A second use for the "Double" is as a request for partner to bid.   It asks partner to bid a suit ‑ other than the one already bid by the opponents.   This type of double is called a "TAKEOUT DOUBLE.   One cannot say "I'd like to make a penalty double", or I'm making a takeout double, go ahead and bid partner".   The only word allowed to be said is "DOUBLE'.   Thus, it is important to understand the guidelines that exist in order to differentiate the takeout double from the penalty double or any other, for that matter.

 

 

Guidelines and Requirements For The Takeout Double:

 

a. The "double" is made by either member of the opposing team that previously    

   opened the bidding.

           Example: (1H Dbl.) or (1S P P Dbl.) or (P 1S Dbl.) or (1NT P P Dbl.)

 

b. The partner of the one who doubles must not have previously bid, else the Double is for penalties.

           Example: (lH P 3H Dbl,) or ( 2H Dbl,)   [ 1H 1S 4H Dbl. = Penalty )

 

c. The takeout double Guarantees an equivalent or better hand than the 

   opponents evidenced by their opening bid.  It is like opening the bidding 

   for your side after the opponents have already opened.   Note: A takeout

   double evidences greater strength than a simple overcall at the 1 or 2

   level.

         Example: (1D Dbl. = 13 HCP's or more) (1NT Dbl.= 15‑17 HCP's or more)

 

d. The takeout double is usually used at bidding levels below game. Above  

   game levels a double is usually for penalties.

      Example: (1S P 3S Dbl. = (Takeout))  vs.   (4S Dbl. = (Penalty))

 

e. The takeout Doubler should ideally have support (or tolerance) for the 

   unbid suits, especially for the other major suit if over the opponent’s  

   Major opening, and for both Major suits if the opponents have opened a 

   Minor Suit opening.

 

          Example:     KJXX              AKXX               KQXX

                       QXXX (1D Dbl.)    XX   (1H Dbl.)     QXX   1NT Dbl.

                       X                 AKXX               AJXX

                       AKXX               JXX                AX

 

 

 

 

- 25 -

 

 

 

Responding to a Takeout Double

 

       If the partner to the takeout double were to hypothetically pass, this would convert the intended takeout double to penalties.   If partner does not wish this to happen, he/she must bid, even with as few as O HCP's. Responder's first choice is usually a Major suit since it will produce a higher trick score than would a Minor suit, but the highest priority should be to pick the longest suit such that the partnership is playing in the best Golden fit possible.

 

 

RESPONSES BY TAKEOUT DOUBLER’S PARTNER

 

 

 

 

1.   With 0‑9 HCP's (Minimum Hand)

 

      * Bid a 4‑card or longer unbid Major suit at the cheapest level

      * Bid a 4‑card or longer unbid Minor suit at the cheapest level

      * Bid 1 NT (Guarantees at least one stopper in opponent's bid suit)

       * Bid a 3‑card unbid suit if necessary, but under no conditions Pass  

             unless willing to convert the double to penalties.

 

 

2. With 10‑12 HCP's (Medium Hand)

 

       * Jump in a 4‑card or longer unbid Major suit

       * Jump in a 4‑card or longer unbid Minor suit

       * Jump to 2 NT (Guarantees at least one stopper in opponent's bid suit)

 

 

 

3. With 13 or more HCP's (Maximum Hand)

 

       * Jump to game in a 4‑card or longer Major suit

       * Jump to 3NT (Guarantees at least one stopper in opponent's bid suit)

 

 

 

 

REBIDS BY THE TAKEOUT DOUBLER

 

 

1. With 13‑15 HCP's (Minimum Hand)

 

      * Pass whether partner bids at cheapest or jumped level

 

2. With 16‑18 HCP's (Medium Hand)

 

      * Raise one level if partner bids at cheapest level

      * Bid a Golden game if partner jumps a level evidencing 10 or more HCP's

 

3. With 19‑21 HCP's (Maximum Hand)

 

      * Jump raise if partner bids at the cheapest level

      * Bid a Golden game if partner jumps a level.