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NON-FORCING AUCTION SEQUENCES
Recognition as to the non‑forcing nature of any sequence of bidding is vital in partnership communication and understanding. Many bidding sequences exist which permit one or the other of the partners to drop the bidding. Before passing in such a non‑forcing auction sequence, however, a player should be satisfied that a game contract is unlikely. He/she should also be sure that there not be a safer superior part‑score. The following are examples of many such sequences which do not force the partnership into further bidding:
1. 4S Dbl. P ?? Any double of a pre‑emptive bid at a level of 4S or above is for penalties (lesson #5)
and is, therefore, not a take‑out double. (See Lesson 27 #1, #2)
2. 1H P 1S P The opening Heart bidder has limited his hand to 13‑15 HCP's and has denoted a
2H P 2S P holding of six Hearts. The Spade responder, knowing same, has opted to over-ride
?? the Hearts speculating that his Spades are the better spot. The 2S bid is a "drop-
dead" demand. (See Lesson 27 #3)
3. 1S Dbl. 2S ?? Responder to the take-out double would normally have been forced to bid if the 2S
bidder had not made a bid other than a Pass, even with as few as 0 HCP’s. In this
situation, however, where subsequent to the Double, there was an intervening bid, doubler’s partner is no
longer under such a mandatory obligation. If he/she does now bid freely over the 2S bid, he/she is taking
what is referred to as a “Free-Bid” and is showing at least 6HCP’s. (See Lesson 27 #4)
4. 1D P 1NT P The "INT" response to an opening bid of one of any suit limits the responder to 6-10
?? HCP's. Under these circumstances the opener, who would otherwise be under the
obligation to make a rebid, may pass if he/she computes that no game is possible.
(See Lesson 27 #5)
5. 1C P 1H 1S The opener is normally obligated to present a rebid if responder bids any bid
?? evidencing 6‑18 HCP’s; i.e., anything other than a "1NT" or a simple raise in
opener’s suit, both of which would evidence a limited 6‑10 HCP’s. Here, however, since player #4 has interjected an overcall, the opener, if having only a minimum of 13‑15 HCP's may elect to pass since player #3 has an opportunity to rebid should he/she so choose made possible by the 1S call by player #4. If, however, the opener does elect to rebid, under these circumstances, he/she is showing a “Free-Bid” which evidences at least 16 HCP's. (See Lesson 27 #6)
6. 1H 1NT P 2S The responder to the 1NT overcall (15‑17 HCP's) has computed that game
P ?? is not feasible and has, therefore, placed the contract. (lesson 21 #2) Player #4
may have as few as 0 HCP's. His/her 2S bid is, therefore, a "drop dead" bid.
(See Lesson 27 #7, #8)
7. 1NT P 4NT P Over a 1NT opening, a "4NT" response is a quantitative bid asking partner to “Pass”
?? with a minimum 15 HCP's, and to bid "6NT" with a maximum 16‑17 HCP's
(Lesson #1). (See Lesson 27 #9)
8. 2H P 3H P A raise of a pre‑emptive bid is not invitational. It is, rather, a furtherance of the
?? pre‑empt. It is not forcing (Lesson #3). (See Lesson 27 #10, #11)
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9. 1C 1H 1S 2D Any new suit bid by responder to an overcall is not forcing (lesson #12).
P ?? It is merely a competitive bid and a denial of support for the original overcall.
The only forcing bid that responder to an overcall can make is a cue-bid of the first
bid suit by the opponents. (See Lesson 27 #12)
10. 1H P INT P The NT bidder has limited his hand to 6‑10 HCP's and the opener shows a limited
2D P ?? minimum of 13‑15 points by bidding a new lower-ranking suit at the cheapest
level. Game is not likely and so opener is simply asking responder to choose
either Diamonds by passing or else to correct to 2H if Hearts are preferred.
11. 1NT P “2C” P The NT opener, in response to the "2C" Stayman search has denied a 4-card
“2D” P 2H/2S P Major by virtue of the "2D" bid. The responder is then placing a sign-off
?? "drop dead" bid of 2H or 2S with what must be a maximum of 8 HCP's (No
game feasible, and either a 4‑card Spade/5‑card Heart suit in the first instance, or a 4‑card Heart/5‑card Spade suit in the second instance.)
12. 1NT P “2D” P Responder has a 5‑card heart suit (By virtue of his Jacoby “2D”transfer) and has
2H P 2NT P 9‑10 HCP's by virtue of his 2NT rebid. Opener will either (a) Pass with only two
?? hearts and a minimum 15 HCP's, or bid 3NT with a maximum 16‑17 HCP's;
else go to 3H if he/she has a 3‑card heart. support for responder's five Hearts
with 15 HCP's or bid 4H with 3‑card support and a maximum of 16‑17 HCP's (Lesson #25)
(See Lesson 27 #13)
13. 1H 1NT Dbl. P Any Double over a direct 1NT overcall is for penalties and requires a Pass from
?? Partner. It is never a negative double requiring a response. (Lesson #5)
(See Lesson 27 #14)
14. 1H P 2H P A single level raise of partner's opening suit bid guarantees both support and a
?? limited 6‑10 HCP's. As in (#4.) above, if opener has a minimum 13‑15 HCP
opening hand, game is not probable and so opener may pass.
15 1S P 2S P Responder initially evidenced 6-10 HCP’s. He/she may pass this invitation to
3S P ?? game with only 6‑7 HCP's but must accept the invitation and will correct to 4S if
holding a maximum of 8‑10 HCP's.
16. 1D P 1S P Opener has limited his/her hand to a 13‑15 HCP minimum opening and if
2D P ?? Responder is willing to accept the suit and if no game is probable he/she may pass.
17. 1C P 1H P Opener has limited his/her hand to a 13‑15 HCP minimum opening and has
2H P ?? accepted responder's suit. If responder feels no game be feasible, he/she may pass.
18. 1NT P 2NT P Responder has invited opener to bid 3NT if 16‑17 HCP's are held by opener. If,
?? however, opener has a minimum (15 HCP's) he/she passes the invitation
19. 1NT P “2C” P Responder has invoked Stayman and has found a favorable response of Hearts.
2H P 3H P The 3H bid is now an invitation to the 4 level. If the opener has a maximum of
16‑17 HCP's he/she bids 4H. If, alternatively, he/she holds only 15 HCP's,
he/she passes (lesson #17).
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20. 1H P 4H P The 4H bid is a pre‑emptive bid usually made with at least a 5‑card support for
?? partner’s opening suit along with about 8‑10 HCP's. Opener must pass unless
there is a potential slam.
21. 1H P 3NT P Responder shows a 16‑18 HCP hand without support for opener's suit. Unless
?? opener feels there is slam in the hand, or chooses to correct to 4H without counting
upon any Heart support from partner, opener will pass.
22. “2C” P “2D” P Responder has bid both a first ("2D") negative (0‑7 HCP's) and a second
2H P “2NT” P ("2NT") negative (0‑4 HCP's) which opener may choose to pass. (Lesson #22)
23. 1H P 1NT P Opener has evidenced a 16‑18 HCP's with a 6-card Heart holding. If responder has
3H P ?? lower limit (6‑7 HCP's) of his original 6‑10 1NT response, game is not likely and so
responder may pass.
24. P P 1H P The 1S bidder has previously passed showing less than an opening bid. The 1S
1S P ?? bidder has also denied support for Hearts. If the original 1H bidder has merely a
minimum 13 Point or less opening hand there is not likely to be game and so he/she
may accept the 1S contract.
25. P P 1C P The 2NT responder, being a previously passed hand, shows no 4‑card
2NT P ?? Major and 11‑12 HCP's. The 1C opener possibly having a sub‑minimum
opening hand, and realizing game is, thus, not likely, may pass. If he/she has a full
opening count he/she has the option to then proceed to 3NT.
26. 1D P 3NT P The "4C” bid immediately following a NT bid is Gerber asking for Aces. A “4NT”
“4C” P “4H” P bid by the Gerber‑invoking partner is a sign‑off NT escape having determined that
4NT slam is not feasible (Lesson #8).
27. “2C” P “2D” P Opener has shown 22‑23 HCP's and an evenly balanced hand. (See Lesson 1)
2NT P ?? If responder has 0‑3 HCP's game is not likely and so responder may pass.
28. 1D P 1NT P The 1NT responder has already evidenced 6‑10 HCP’s. The opener, by virtue of
2D P 3C P the rebid of Diamonds at the 2‑level has shown a minimum 13‑15 HCP hand.
Game is not feasible, the NT bidder has no tolerance for the Diamond suit, is
probably void in same, and is escaping to his/her 6‑card Club suit. Opener must pass.
29. 1NT P “2H” P In this bidding scenario, the responder has game values and a 5-5 distribution in the
2S P 4H P Majors along with game-going values. Knowing the 1NT opener to have at least
?? three, if not four, of one of the Majors, the 1NT bidder is given the choice of
passing 4H or correcting to 4S if he/she so chooses as the preferred game contract.
30. 1NT P “2C” P Responder has game values plus a 4‑card suit in one Major and a 6‑card suit in the
“2D” P 4H/4S P other. Having failed to find a 4‑card Major suit in opener’s hand, Responder bids
?? four of the 6-card Major suit knowing that the opener has at least two of them.
Partner who opened 1NT must pass the 4H or 4S choice of the responder.