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FORCING AUCTION SEQUENCES
Recognition as to the forcing nature of any bidding sequence is just as vital in partnership communication and understanding as were the non-forcing bidding sequences presented in lesson 26. Many such forcing bidding sequences exist. All such sequences do not permit one or the other of the partners to drop the bidding. Such forcing bids by partner need to be recognized as either requiring at least one further bid from partner or else as being forcing to game. The following are examples of many such sequences which force the partnership and cannot be passed.
1. 4H Dbl. P ??? Any double of a pre‑emptive bid of 4H or below is for the purpose of a take‑out,
and is not for penalties. (Lesson 5). Partner may, of course, selectively choose to pass and, thereby, convert the take‑out to a penalty scenario. Devoid of this desire, however, partner must not pass, rather must bid. (See Lesson 26 #1)
2. 4S “4NT” P ??? Since a double of a pre‑emptive bid of 4S is for penalties (see Lesson 26 #1),
"4NT" is the conventional bid used to denote an intent of a take‑out double which is
a demand that partner bid his/her longest suit.
3. 1H P 1S P Responder is forcing to game. His/her 1S bid shows four Spades, so his
2H P 3S P 3S bid evidences six Spades. Responder could have chosen to bid 2S which
??? would have been a “drop dead” scenario. The opener must thus choose to either bid
4S having two Spades, or alternatively, 3NT. (See Lesson 26 #2)
4. 1D Dbl. P ??? This take‑out double is forcing upon player #4 since there was no intervening bid
by player #3. Responder to the double must bid with as few as 0 HCP's.
(Lesson 6, See Lesson 26 #3)
5. 1B P 2NT P Responder’s 2NT jump has shown 13‑15 HCP's and the partnership is forced to bid
??? until the game level is reached. (See Lesson 26 #4)
6. 1C P IH P The opening bidder guarantees a rebid if responder makes any response other than
??? a limiting bid of 1NT or 2 of opener’s suit. Any new suit mentioned evidences 6‑18
HCP's. Responder may indeed intend to force the bidding to game and therefore requires the opportunity to do so. Opener must rebid to guarantee this possibility. (See Lesson 26 #5)
7. 1H 1NT P 3S Responder to the 1NT (15‑17 HCP's) has jumped the bidding evidencing a desired
P ??? game for their partnership. He/she has shown five Spades and is looking for a 4S
bid if the 1NT bidder has three Spades in support, else 3NT. (See Lesson 26 #6)
8. 1H 1NT P 2H Bidding opener's suit, responder to the 1NT overcall is bidding Stayman showing a 4‑card Spade suit (implied). Any other suit would have been natural, including
Clubs. Partner is forced to bid either 2S with a matching 4‑card Spade suit, else
2NT with 15 HCP's or 3NT with 16‑17 HCP's.
9. INT P “5NT” P The “5NT” response to a 1NT opening bid is a slam force quantitative bid. It asks
the opener to bid 6NT with a minimum of 15 HCP's and to bid 7NT with a maximum opening of 16‑17 HCP's. (See Lesson 26 #7)
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10. 2H P “2NT” P A response of "2NT" over a pre‑emptive 2‑bid is forcing for one round asking
??? opener to bid any outside feature (An Ace or a King) or alternatively to bid 3 of
his/her opening suit without any outside feature (lesson #24). (See Lesson 26 #8)
11. 2H P 2S P Any suit bid over partner's pre‑emptive 2‑bid is forcing. (See Lesson 26 #8)
??? Opener may support responder's suit with 3-pieces, bid NT with 2-pieces, or go
back to his/her opening suit with 0-1 pieces of responder’s suit. (Lesson #24).
12. 1C 1H 1S 2C The only forcing response to an overcall is a cue‑bid of the first bid suit by the
P ??? opponents (Lesson #12). Such a cue‑bid is a confirmation of support for the
overcaller's suit and is an invitation to game if the overcaller has overcalled with an
equivalent opening 13 HCP's or better. If the responder, in this circumstance, had not wanted to invite to game he/she could just have responded 2H. and simply competed without having invited to game as such.
13. 1NT P “2D” P The "2D" Jacoby transfer promises five Hearts, and the jump to 3NT promises
2H P 3NT P game with at least 11 HCP's opposite the 1NT opening. The 1NT opener either
?? passes the 3NT with only two Hearts, or else corrects to 4H if holding a 3‑card or
4‑card support of Hearts (Lesson #25). (See Lesson 26 #12)
14. 1D 1S Dbl. P Any double after a suit overcall, opposite an suit bid by the opener, is a negative
?? double demanding a rebid by the opener (Lesson #5). It guarantees at least a 4‑card
suit in the other Major (if the overcall were one of the Majors), or a 4‑card suit in
both Majors (if the opening bid and the overcall suits were both Minors).
15. 1NT/2NT P “4C” P The “4C” response to a 1NT or a 2NT opening bid is Gerber and asks
?? for a response as to the number of Aces held by the opener (Lesson #8).
16. 3NT P “4C” P The "4C" response after a Gambling 3NT attempt asks partner to pass if Clubs
?? were opener's long minor suit or to correct to 4D if that were opener's suit.
Responder is escaping into opener's Minor suit at the 4-level since he/she does not
have both Major suits stopped to compliment opener's stated 7‑card self‑sufficient Minor suit headed by the
A-K-Q which was guaranteed by the gambling "3NT" original opening call.
17. IH 2C P P Opening partner has made a re‑opening double usually meant as a take-out double.
Dbl. P ?? Responding partner must either pass, thereby converting it to a penalty double, or
else bid his/her longest suit if penalties are not possible.
18. 1NT P “2C” P Responder has game-going values plus a 4‑card Spade suit and a 5‑card Heart
“2D” P 3H P suit. Opener must either correct to 3NT having only 2‑Hearts or 4H holding
?? three or more Hearts (Lesson #17).
19. “2C” P ”2D” P The “2C” strong, artificial and forcing 2‑bid is always forcing upon the responder
2S P ?? until the bidding reaches at least 2NT or 3 of a suit. The first negative "2D" bid by
the responder evidences 0‑7 HCP's. Even if the responder has the lower limit of this 0‑7 HCP range; i.e., 0‑4 HCP's, he/she must bid once more. The correct second negative would be "2NT" (Lesson #22).
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20. ID P 2S P The opening bidder is obligated to respond to any call given by the responder with
?? the exception of the limited responses of either 1NT or else a raise by one level of
opener's suit, 2D in this instance; or if the forth hand chooses to overcall thereby relieving opener of this obligation. In this instance, however, not only does this rule apply such that the
opener must bid again, but we have here a jump shift by the responder evidencing 19 HCP’s or more which
shows the likelihood of slam in this hand (Lesson #18).
21. INT “2D” P ?? This is a Capeletti Convention overcall over the opening 1NT opening bid. All
such Capeletti bids are artificial and require action by the partner, in this instance
a choice of Major suits; i.e., 2H or 2S. (See Lesson #23)
22. 1H P 3H P When the opponents have taken an obvious sacrifice, a so‑called "Pass" by
4H 4S "P" P partner is deemed a "FORCTNG PASS" and obligates partner to either bid on
?? (to "5H" in this instance) or to "Double" for penalties.
23. 1H P 2C P The opening bidder has shown at least 16 Points by virtue of his/her reverse bid.
2S P ?? Responder, on the other hand, has shown at least 11 HCP’s by virtue of his/her
having originally responded at the 2‑level. The partnership is, thus, irrevocably forced to continue the bidding until game is finally reached in a mutually-agreeable contract.
24. 1H P 1NT P The opening bidder has shown at least 19 Points by virtue of his/her jump-shift.
3C P ?? The responder, in addition, has shown 6‑10 HCP's with the original 1NT call.
The partnership is, thus, committed to game with at least 26 HCP’s having been evidenced, and the bidding must continue by both partners until game is reached (Lesson #18).
25. 1C P 1H P Any new suit mentioned by responder is forcing upon the opener. The opener must,
1S P 2D P therefore, bid once more. He/she could bid 2H with three pieces, or could rebid
??? Clubs with five pieces, could rebid Spades if holding six Clubs and five Spades, or
2NT in the absence of any of the previously-mentioned possibilities; but under no circumstance, is opener allowed to pass this new suit call by responder.
26. 1H P “4D” P A double jump by responder to an opening one of a suit bid is called a
?? “SPLITNTER” bid. It shows support for partner's opening suit, 13‑15 HCP's
(Game) and a singleton or void in the bid suit; i.e., first or second round control of the suit mentioned. Opener may sign-off at game in the agreed-upon suit or else attempt to bid on to a possible slam with this additional information.
27. 1D P 2H P A jump shift (19 HCP's) opposite an opening bid is forcing to a probable likely
??? slam. (Lesson #18)
28. 1H P “4NT” P This is an obvious Blackwood Convention call obligating opener to answer as to
?? the number of Aces held by opener. This request by responder may not be passed.
29. 1C P 1H P The bidding is forced in this sequence not only by virtue of the new suit bid by the
2C P 2S P responder, but additionally by the fact that the responder has reversed. In this
??? instance, the bidding is forced to game when responder reverses opposite an
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30. 1D 1S Dbl. P This double is a negative double and unless player #4 bids, opener is obligated
??? to take another bid.
31. 1H P 2H “2NT” The "2NT" overcall is a so‑called “UNUSUAL NO TRUMP” bid. It denotes
P ?? a double Minor suit holding of at least a 5‑5 length or longer. Partner must
choose between Clubs or Diamonds as long as there is no intervening bid which would automatically relieve him/her of this obligation.
32. 1H P 3H P Any new suit presented by the Blackwood invoking partner at the 5‑level asks
“4NT” P “5D” P the responder to bid 5NT. It is the escape mechanism used in the Blackwood
“5S” P ??? Convention system enabling the partnership to return to a No Trump contract
when the slam attempt is aborted and a No Trump final contract is desired. (See Lesson #8)
33. P P 1H/1S P If the partnership agrees to play the Drury Convention (Lesson #4), the third‑hand
“2C” P ?? Major suit opener must answer the artificial “2C” bid with "2D" if the hand was a
sub‑minimum third-hand position opening hand, or else 2H/2S if holding a full 13 Point or more opener.
34. 1S P 2H P Once a suit has been established, (Hearts in this instance), the bid of any new suit is
3H P 4D P mention of the cheapest Ace (Cue-bidding) to be continued, in kind, by the partner.
??? This is an example of an alternate Ace‑asking device other than the Gerber or
Blackwood Conventions and is usually used when the Ace-asking partner has a void or a worthless doubleton holding thereby diminishing the value of the Gerber and Blackwood Ace-asking conventions since the answer received would, in most instances be useless relative to the void or worthless doubleton held by the inquiring partner.