- 43 -

 

INERMEDIATE BRIDGE - BIDDING TIPS FOR TOPS

 

LESSON 20

 

WHEN THE OPPONENTS PREEMPT - TIPS 143-151

 

143.   Preempts with very light hands are the rage these days.   This is especially true of first seat 3-

          level 6-card suits and third seat non-vulnerable preempts.   Forewarned is forearmed.   As a

          result, be aggressive when considering bidding over a preemptive bid by the opponents.   Do so

          especially when holding a singleton or doubleton in their suit, even with as few as 12 HCP’s.   

          Assume partner holds between 4-8 HCP’s when considering your bid lest you be fearful of

          bidding.

 

                Examples:         East    South (You)

                          3H       ??

 

(a) AJXX  X  KJXX  KXXX  (Double.)

 (b) KXXX  XX  KQXX  AKX  (Double.)

 (c) QXX  XX  AJXX  AQXX  (Pass, you hold less than 16 HCP’s and only

                       three card support for the unbid Major.)

          (d) AJX  X  AKXX  KQXXX  (Double. You hold 17 HCP’s, disregard the

                         fact that you hold only three Spades.)

 

 

144.  A simple overcall over a preempt shows opening bid values.   A jump overcall  following a

        preempt is even stronger.    It  evidences at least a 15+ HCP count.

 

       Examples:         East    South (You)

                          3C      ??

 

(a) AQXXXX  AX  QJX  XX  (Bid 3S.)

 (b) AKJXXX  X  AQJX  XX  (Bid 4S.)

 

 

145. Never, never, never preempt over a preempt by the opponent.

 

              Example:          East    South (You)

                          3C      ??

 

KQXXXXX  XX  QX  XX  (Pass for the time being, if it be your side’s

                      hand, partner will balance.)

 

 

146.  If your RHO opens 3C or 3D, a cuebid of “4C” or “4D” respectively is a takeout for the Majors

        (Michael’s Cuebid).    It exhibits a 5-5 or 6-5 distribution with a hand that you would

         otherwise have opened.

 

       Examples:         East    South (You)

                          3D      ??

 

(a) KQXXX  AJXXXX  X  X  (Bid “4D”.)

(b) QJXXXX  KXXXX  X  X  (Pass, you will bid “4D” later if partner       

                          doubles.)

- 44 -

 

147.  If your RHO opens 3H, an overcall of 4H (Michael’s Cuebid) evidences a 5-5 or 6-5 distribution

         holding both Spades and an unspecified Minor suit as well as opening bid values.

 

       Example:          East    South (You)

                          3H      ??

 

           AJXXX  X  AKJXXX  X  (Bid “4H”, Partner will bid “4NT” to negate

                                 Spades and to ask for your Minor as an

                                 alternative choice of suits.)

 

 

148.  A “double” of an opening 4H preempt is takeout oriented.   The double must have at least three

        Spades.   An overcall of “4NT” is the “Unusual No Trump” bid asking for the Minors.

 

       Examples:         East     South (You)

                          4H       ??

 

(a) AX  KQX  AXXXX  QXX  (Pass, do not double, look at your Spades!)

 (b) AXX  X  KQXX  AKXXX  (Double.)

 (c) X  X  AJXXX  AQXXXX  (Overcall “4NT”, “Unusual” for the Minors.)

 

 

149.  A “double” of an opening 4S preempt is for penalties.   A “4NT” bid is the takeout overcall for

        this specific singular circumstance.

 

       Examples:         East     South (You)

                          4S       ??

 

(a) KX  AQX  KQXXX  AXX   Double for penalties.)

(b) X  AKXX  KJXX  AQXX   Bid “4NT”, a special takeout circumstance.)

 

 

150.  When partner doubles a game preempt, pass with most balanced hands and remove with

         distributional ones.

 

       Examples:         East     South (You)

                          4H       ??

 

(a) AXX  XXX  QJXX  QXX  (Pass, your hand is balanced and you have

                       defensive points.)

(b) AXX  XXX  QJXXXX  X  (Bid 5D, you have a distributional hand.)

 

 

151.   An overcall of 3NT following a 3-level preempt has the range of 16-22 HCP’s. 

 

       Examples:         East     South (You)

                          3S       ??

 

(a) AQ  QXX  AQJX  QXXX  (Bid 3NT.)

(b) AKJ  AXX  KQXX  AJX  (Bid 3NT.  How can partner differentiate 

                          the two, he/she cannot.)

 

 

 

- 45 -

 

INERMEDIATE BRIDGE - BIDDING TIPS FOR TOPS

 

LESSON 21

 

WHEN YOU ARE A PASSED HAND - TIPS 152-157

 

152.  A new suit response to an opening bid is not forcing.   Opener (3rd or 4th Position) 

         knows you had previously passed; that you, therefore, had fewer than 13 HCP’s; and       

         can, thusly, make an informed decision as to whether or not further bidding

         exploration is required.

 

       Example:     East (You)    West (Partner) 

                    Pass           1S            

                     2H            ??       (With fewer than 14 HCP’s, West

                                             can pass since game is unlikely.)

 

 

153.  A jump-shift by a previously passed partner evidences an “almost-opening-bid” with 

         primary support for partner’s opening suit.  It can be made with on any 4-card or

         longer suit.

                  Example:    South (You)   North

                              Pass          1C

                               ??

              

       You Hold:   (a) AKXXX  XXX  JXX  XX  (Bid 1S, a Jump to 2S would show    

                                             11-12 HCP’s)

(b) AKJX  X  XX  KXXXXX  (Bid 2S, evidencing 11-12 HCP’s.)

 

154.  The same type of hand; i.e., an “almost-opening-bid” with primary support for

         partner is evidenced when you, as a previously passed hand, make a cue-bid of  

         opener’s suit in response to partner’s overcall.    It shows support for partner’s

         overcall suit and primary support for partner’s suit as well.

 

       Example:    South (You)  West   North   East

                   Pass          1H     2C     Pass

                    ??

              

       You Hold:   KQ10  XXX  QXX  A10XX  (Bid “2H” to show an “almost-

                                           opening-hand” with Club support.)

 

155.  With a 4-4-4-1 or a 5-4-4-0 shape, a previously-passed hand should double for

         take-out even with as few as 9 HCP’s,  if the opponent’s suit is your singleton or void.

 

       Example:    South (You)  West   North   East

                   Pass         Pass    Pass    1H

                    ??

              

       You Hold:   (a)  KJXX  X  KXXX  KXXX  (Double for Take-out.)

(b)  KXXX  -  KXXXX  QXX  (Double for Take-out.)

(c)  KXXX  XX  KXXX  KXX  (Double for Take-out - Is close 

                           enough.)

(d) KXX  JXXX  AXXX  QX   (Pass - You have 4 Cards in the

                           the opponent’s suit.)

- 46 -

 

156.   A direct overcall, by a previously-passed hand, of  “1NT” after a Major suit opening 

         by the opponent’s is “unusual” for the Minors.     It is the same as a direct “2NT”        

         overcall by an non-passed hand. 

 

                                              You Hold:  X  X  QJXXXX  AQXXX 

 

       Example:    South  West(You) North  East

 

(a)       1S     ??                      (Bid “2NT” - Unusual for the Minors. A

                          1NT bid would have been natural; i.e., 

                          15-17 HCP’s.)

 

(b)                            Pass      Pass   Pass

          1S    ??      

                             (Bid “1NT” - Unusual for the Minors.)

 

     Do not confuse (b) above with a 4th-seat,”balancing” 1NT which evidences 

   a balanced hand with as few as 9-12 HCP’s done in desperation so as not to

   allow the hand to be passed out with the opponents getting the contract  

   cheaply.  

                        You Hold:  AXX  KJX  QXXX  QXX 

 

       Example:    South   West   North   East

                                           P

(a)       1H      P              P               ??    (Bid 1NT - Balancing, natural.  

                                    A Balancing “2NT” would have

                                    been “Unusual” for the Minors.)

      SUMMARY:

 

(a) Opening Bids:                    1NT = Natural, 15-17 HCP’s

       ??                            2NT = Natural, 21-22 HCP’s

 

(b) Direct Overcalls:                1NT = Natural, 15-17 HCP’s

     1B  ??                         “2NT”= “Unusual” (5-5)

 

(c) Balancing Position:              1NT = Natural, 9-12 HCP’s

     1B   P   P   ??                “2NT”= “Unusual”

 

(d) By a Previously-Passed Hand

    in the Direct Position:         “1NT”= “Unusual” for the Minors

       P   P   P  1B                 2NT = non-existent

      ???

 

(e) By a Previously-Passed Hand      1NT = Natural, 6-10  HCP’s

    when partner has Opened.         2NT = Natural, 11-12 HCP’s,            

       P   P  1B  P                                 balanced and                  

      ???                                         denies a singleton

     

(f) Following a weak 2-Bid by        2NT = Natural, 15-17 HCP’s

    the opponents.

       2B  ???

 

 

 

 

- 47 -

   

 

157.  After an intervening overcall over your partner’s opening bid, assuming you to be a

         previously-passed hand, the cue-bid substitutes for a limit raise 11-12 HCP’s, the

         simple raise is natural, and the jump raise becomes pre-emptive.

 

        Example:    South (You)  West   North   East

                    Pass         Pass    1H      2C

                     ??

              

       You Hold:   (a)  XX  AQXX  KJXX  JXX  (Bid “3C” - a cue-bid to show

                                              a limit raise, 11-12 HCP’s in

                                              support of Hearts.)

(b)  XX  AQXX  XXXX  JXX  (Bid 2H, natural.)

(c)  X  KXXXX  QXX

(d) X  XXX  (Bid 3H - Pre-emptive.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- 48 -

 

INERMEDIATE BRIDGE - BIDDING TIPS FOR TOPS

 

LESSON 22

 

AFTER PARTNER OPENS 1NT - TIPS 158-164

 

 

158. Do not use the Stayman Convention with a 4-3-3-3 or a 3-4-3-3 distribution.            These 

        hands usually play better in No Trump due to the balanced nature of both partners.

 

        Example:    South (Partner)  West    North (You)  

                     1NT             Pass     ??           

                                    

       You Hold:   (a)  KXXX  AXX  KXX  QXX  (Bid 3NT, not “2C”)

(b)  AXX  QJXX  QXX  XXX  (Bid 2NT, not “2C”)

 

 

 

159. In order to invoke Stayman, (See exception: # 160 to follow) responder needs at least 8 

  HCP’s.    If one fails to connect with the sought-after Major suit, and responder is

  forced to retreat to 2NT, opener will take you for invitational strength and may launch

  into 3NT with a 16-17 HCP count.

 

        Example:    South (Partner)  West    North (You)  

                     1NT             Pass     ??          

                                    

       You Hold:   (a)  AXXX  QXXX  XX  XXX  (Pass, Responder is not strong    

                                              enough to launch into a Stayman

                                              sequence.  If opener,

                                              hypothetically, responds “2D” to

                                              a “2C” Stayman bid; then what?)

(b)  AQXX  KXXX  XX  XXX  (Bid “2C”, If partner responds       

                           “2D” rebid 2NT (Invitational)

                           without being ashamed of your

                           dummy hand.)

 

 

 

160. With a 3-suited hand short in Clubs, one can use Stayman  even with as few as 0 

        HCP’s, for under these circumstances, responder is prepared to pass any response 

        opener makes, even “2D”.

 

        Example:    South (Partner)  West    North (You)  

                     1NT             Pass     ??           

                                    

       You Hold:   (a)  QXXX  JXXX  XXXXX ---  (Bid “2C”, then pass any     

                                                response opener offers.)

(b)  QXXX  --  XXXXX  XXXX  (Must Pass.)

 

 

 

 

 

- 49 -

 

161.  If you are not using transfer responses to no trump opening bids, reconsider.  It is 

         very important that the stronger hand becomes declarer so as (1) to conceal the  

         stronger hand, and (2) so that lead comes up toward, not through, the stronger hand.

          

        Example:    South (Partner)  West    North (You)  

                     1NT             Pass     ??          

                                    

     You Hold:   (a) XX  QXXXX  KXX  XXX  (Bid “2D”, then Pass openers 2H.)

(b) KQXXXX  QXX  AXX  X  (Bid “2H”, then 4S over opener’s 2S.)

(c) XX  AKXXXX  XX  QXX  (Bid “2D”, then 3H over opener’s 2H

                          inviting game.)

(d) AX  AXXXX  XX  KXXX  (Bid “2D”, then 3NT (check-back) over

                          opener’s 2H. Opener will pass     

                          holding 2H, and correct to 4H  

                          holding 3 or 4 Hearts.)

 

 

162. With game values, and a 6-4 or 4-6 Major suit holding, bid Stayman first looking for 4-

        card support for responder’s 4-card suit.   If no fit is found for the 4-card Major, jump

        to game in the 6-card Major suit.  Remember, opener must have at least two of the 6-card

        Major.

 

        Example:    South (Partner)  West    North (You)  

                     1NT             Pass     ??          

 

     You Hold:   (a) AKXX AXXXXX  XX  X  (Bid “2C”, Over opener’s “2D” bid 4H.

                                          Over opener’s 2S bid 4S.)

 

 

 

163. With game values, and a 5-4 or 4-5 Major suit holding, bid Stayman first looking for

        the 4-card support for responder’s 4-card suit.  If no fit is found for the 4-card Major,

        jump to 3 of the 5-card other Major.  Opener must go the 3NT holding only two of the

        second Major, or 4 of the second Major holding 3 or 4.

 

         Example:    South (Partner)  West    North (You)  

                      1NT             Pass     ??          

                                    

     You Hold:   (a) AKXX  AXXXX  XXX  X  (Bid “2C”, Over opener’s “2D” bid 3H.

                                           Opener bids either 3NT or 4H.)

 

 

164. Do not run from a 1NT doubled with a balanced hand.  Stick it out; fourth hand might 

        run.  Only attempt to save opener holding a 5-card or longer suit.

 

        Example:    South (Partner)  West    North (You)  

                     1NT             Dbl.     ??          

                                    

     You Hold:   (a) JXXX  XX  XXXX  JXX  (Pass. You will not be playing the

                                           hand, opener will.)

(b) JXXX  XX  XXXXX  XX  (Run to 2D, opener will bless you.)

 

 

-50 -

 

INERMEDIATE BRIDGE - BIDDING TIPS FOR TOPS

 

LESSON 23

 

WHEN YOU MAKE A NEGATIVE DOUBLE - TIPS 165-178

 

 

 

165.  Only the Responder to an opening bid by partner can make a negative double, and it

         must be at his/her first opportunity, made immediately subsequent to an intervening 

         overcall other  than an overcall of 1NT.

 

           Examples:   South  West  North  East    

                             

a)         1C     1H    Dbl.  (A negative double, evidencing support;

                               i.e.,4 pieces or at least tolerance for

                               Spades as well as Diamonds (Probably).)

b)         1D     1S    Dbl.  (A negative double, evidencing support,

                               or at least tolerance for Hearts as       

                               well as Clubs. North is lacking either     

                                       the HCP’s to go to the 2-level, 5

                                       pieces of Hearts, or both.)

c)         1H     1S    Dbl.  (A negative double, evidencing support,

                                       for the Minors but lacking either the

                                       necessary HCP’s, or length of suit, or    

                                       both in order to bid 2C or 2D.)

d)         1B     1NT   Dbl.  (A penalty double, not negative, since

                               it follows a 1NT overcall.)

 

e)         1H     1S    Pass   2S

           3H     3S    Dbl.       (Is for penalties. It is not a  

                                    negative double for it does not          

                                    come immediately subsequent to the         

                                    first overcall.  It is a delayed

                                    double, clearly for penalties.)

 

 

 

166.  Bidding a negative Double followed by a follow-up rebid of a Minor suit evidences

         6-pieces in addition to the 4-card implied Major.

 

       You Hold:   XXX  AXXX  KXXXXX –-

 

                            South  West  North  East

                             1C     1S    Dbl.    P

                             2C    Pass    2D

 

       The 2D bid shows diamond length and a hand not strong enough to have responded 2D.  It also evidences 4-Hearts. Think of a negative double followed by a suit as if partner were trying to put the brakes on the bidding.

 

 

 

 

 

- 51 -

 

167.  Negative Doubles with four-card suits promise a minimum of 6 HCP’s, but are 

         unlimited in their maximum HCP value. 

 

          You Hold:   XX  AXXX  AKXX  QXX    

 

                            South  West  North(You)  East

                             1C     1S      Dbl.

 

168.  When both Minors have been bid at the one-level, a negative double promises four 

         cards in each of the unbid Majors or five Hearts and four Spades with 6-9 HCP’s. 

 

                            South  West  North(You)  East

                             1C     1D      ???

 

     You hold:   a) AJXX  KQXX  XX  AXX  (Double. You have 4-cards in each

                                          unbid Major suit.)

b) AJXX  KXX  XXX  XXX  (Bid 1S. Over 1C, 1D, you are allowed

                         to overcall with 1H or 1S with only    

                         four pieces.)

c) AJXXX  KQXX  XX  XX  (Bid 1S.  Do not bid a negative

                         double with a 5-card Spade suit at 

                         the 1-level.)

d) AQXX  XXXXX  XX  JX  (Use the negative double.  If you   

                         respond 1H, you may lose a Spade fit

                         if the fourth hand bids.)

 

169.  When both Minors have been mentioned at the two or three level, a negative double 

         shows either both unbid Majors, or 4-card support for one of the Majors plus primary   

         support for opener’s suit.  Reread this tip!!

 

                            South  West  North(You)  East

                             1D     2C      ???

 

     You hold:   a) AQXX  KXXX  XX  XXX  (Double. A Perfect opportunity.)

b) JXXX  XX  AKXXX  XX  (Double. If partner bids Hearts,  

                      return to Diamonds.)

c) QXXX  XX  XXXX  AQX  (Pass.  You have no place to go if

                         partner bids 2H.  A return to 

                         partner’s Minor must show at least a

                         4-card support.)

 

170.  When counting points in preparation for a negative double, do not include Jacks and

         Queens in the opponent’s suit, unless you are intending to rebid NT, or are a

         masochist.

 

                            South  West  North(You)  East

                             1D     1S     ???

 

     You hold:   a) QX  KXXX  JXX  XXXX  (Pass, your hand devoid of      

                                          consideration of the Spade Queen is

                                          too weak to bid a negative double.)

b) QX  AXXX  KXX  XXXX  (Double, hand is strong enough.)

c) AQX  QXXX  XX  QXXX  (Double, You can rebid NT later if

                         opener does not bid Hearts.)

- 52 -

 

171.  A  5-card Major suit can be shown at the 2-level by bidding the suit outright with 10+

        HCP’s, and using the negative double with 7-9 HCP’s.

 

                                                      South  West  North(You)  East

                             1D     1S     ???

 

     You hold:   a) XX  AKXXX  KXX  XXX  (Bid 2H, you are just strong enough.)

b) XXX  AQXXX  QX  XXX  (Double and hope to bid Hearts at the  2-level, denying the strength for a direct 2H response.)

 

172.  A negative double followed by a new suit is not forcing.  In order to create a force, 

         cuebid.

                            South  West  North  East

                             1C     1S    Dbl.    P

                             2C    Pass   ???

 

 

      You Hold:   a)  XXX  AXXX  KXXXXX –-  (Bid 2D, not forcing, shows a hand

                                             too weak to have responded a

                                             2D bid directly.)

b)  AKJX  KQXX  XX  XXX   (Bid “3C” to create a force to

                           game.)

 

173.  A negative double followed by a raise of partner’s second suit is not forcing.

                           

                            South  West  North  East

                             1C     1S    Dbl.    P

                             2H   Pass    ???

 

      You Hold:   a)  AX  AJXX  KXXX  XXX  (Raise to 3H, invitational with 8-

                                            losers.)

b)  AX  AJXX  AKXX  XXX  (Raise to 4H. “The one who knows,

                          goes”.)

 

174.  A negative double followed by a 2NT rebid is invitational showing 10-12 HCP’s.

 

                            South  West  North  East

                             1C     1S    Dbl.   2S

                            Pass   Pass   ???

 

     You Hold:   a)  AJX  QJXX  AX  XXXX  (Bid 2NT, invitational)

b)  AJX  QJXX  AQ  XXXX  (Bid 3NT, “He who knows, goes”.)

 

175.  If, after you make a negative double, your LHO raises your RHO, and the bidding

         comes back to you, a repeat double is for takeout, showing extra values (10+ HCP’s).

 

                                                      South  West  North  East

                             1C     1S    Dbl.   2S

                            Pass   Pass   ???

 

     You Hold:   a)  AQXX  XXX  KJXX  XX  (Double again to show partner you

                                           have extra values and it is your        

                                  side’s hand with the majority of the HCP’s.)

          - 53 -

 

176.  When most of your strength is in the opponent’s suit, avoid a negative double.  It is

         very misleading.  Either bid NT or pass.  Reread this tip!!

 

                            South  West  North  East

                             1C     1S    ???  

 

     You Hold:   a) XXXX  AQXX  JX  JXX   (Respond 1NT, showing 8-10 HCP’s 

                                           with at least one stopper in the

                                           opponent’s overcall suit.)

b) XXXX  KQJX  XX  XXX   (Pass.  It would be fool hardy to

                          double with this hand, even though

                          you have four Spades. It would also 

                          be a blunder to bid 1NT, your hand

                          is not strong enough.  Patience is 

                          a great virtue, even in bridge.)

 

 

177.  If you pass a 1-level overcall and partner reopens with a take-out double, any bid you

         make shows less than it would have shown in the direct-action position.

 

                            South  West  North  East

                             1C     1H   Pass   Pass  

                             Dbl.  Pass   ???

 

     You Hold:   a)  XXX  AJXX  XXX  XXX  (Bid 1NT. Shows 5-7 HCP’s with a

                                           stopper in the opponent’s overcall

                                           suit.)

b)  XXXX  AJX  XX  XXX   (Bid 1S, Shows 4-Spades with fewer  

                          points than would have been 

                          necessary to have invoked a    

                          negative double previously.)

c)  XX  XXXXX  XXX  XXX  (Toss a coin and bid 2C or 2D, your

                          hand has no stoppers in Hearts and    

                          so you cannot bid 1NT.)

 

 

178.  When playing negative doubles, you, of course, cannot make an immediate penalty

         double; opener will not be capable of discerning the difference and must legitimately

         construe your bid as a negative double.  With a strong 5- or 6-card holding in the

         opponent’s overcall suit, do not gasp, just pass in tempo in order to be ethical.

    

                           South  West  North  East

                            1D     2C    ???

 

       You Hold:   a)  XXX  QXX  X  AKXXX  (Pass.  Hopefully partner will

                                            reopen the bidding with a take-out 

                                            double which you will pass

                                            converting it to a penalty

                                            situation.  Notice you satisfy the

                                            Rules of 10 & 12.)

 

     

 

 

  - 54 -

 

INERMEDIATE BRIDGE - BIDDING TIPS FOR TOPS

 

LESSON 24

 

REBIDDING AFTER PARTNER MAKES A NEGATIVE DOUBLE - TIPS 179-186

 

 

 

179.  After responder makes a negative double following a 1H overcall of a Minor suit  

         opening bid, opener should rebid as if the responding partner had responded 1 S on a

         4-card suit with at least a 6 HCP count.  Responder could, of course, have additional

         values but, if he/she does, opener will assuredly hear from responder accordingly.

         

 

                           South (You)   West  North  East

                            1C            1H    Dbl.  Pass

                           ????

                         

     You Hold:   a) AXXX  KXX  XX  AJXX (Bid 1S, the weakest possible rebid

                                         showing 12-14 support points; i.e., a

                                         losing trick count of 7 or 8.)

b) AXXX  XX  XX  AKQXX (Bid 2S, showing 15-18 support HCP’s;

                        i.e., a losing trick count of 6.)

c) AQXX  XX  AX  AKXXX (Bid 4S, showing an equivalent 20

                        point hand in support of Spades;

                        i.e., a losing trick count of 5.)

d) XX  AQX  JXX  AJXXX (Bid 1NT, showing a minimum 12-14 

                        point count without Spade support.)

e) XXX  AQX  KXX  AKQX (Bid 2NT, showing an 18-19 HCP hand   

                        without Spade support.)

f) X  AXX  AKJX  KQXXX (Bid 2D, a reverse.)

g) XX  QX  QXX  AKQXXX (Bid 2C, the same as you would have

                        over a 1S response.)

 

 

 

180.  After responder makes a negative double following a 1S overcall of a Minor suit  

         opening bid, opener should rebid as if the responding partner had responded 1H on a

         4-card suit.

 

                           South (You)   West  North  East

                            1D            1S    Dbl.  Pass

                           ????

 

     You Hold:   a) KJX  XX  KQXXX  AXX (Bid 1NT.)

b) KJX  XX  AKXXX  AKX (Bid 2NT.)

c) XX  XXXX  AKXX  AJX (Bid 2H. [8 Losers].)

d) XX  AKXX  AKXXX  XX (Bid 3H, [6 Losers].)

e) AX  AQXX  AKXXX  JX (Bid 4H, [5 Losers].)

f) X  XX  AKXXX  AQXXX (Bid 2C, [No fit has yet been

                        ascertained].)

 

 

 

- 55 -

 

181.  After responder makes a negative double following a 1D overcall, evidencing at least  

         four cards in each of the Majors (or at least four of one Major and tolerance [three of

         the other Major suit], jump bids by the opener are invitational.

 

 

                           South (You)   West  North  East

                            1C            1D    Dbl.  Pass

                           ????

 

 

     You Hold:   a) AXXX  XX  XXX  AKJX (Bid 1S, showing 12-14 HCP’s and a 7-8

                                         loser minimum opening bid with Spade

                                         support.)

b) X  AQXX  XXX  AKXXX (Bid 2H, showing 15-16 HCP’s or its

                        equivalent; i.e., a 6 loser holding

                        in support of Hearts.)

c) AKQX  XX  XX  AKJXX (Bid 4S, showing 19-20 support points;

                        i.e., a 5 loser holding in support of

                        Spades.)

 

 

 

182.  After responder makes a negative double following a 2-level overcall, the meaning of

         the opener’s rebids vary dramatically:  2NT shows a 14-16 HCP count; 3NT shows a

         17-19 HCP count; Non-jump bids show minimums; jumps are invitational, and a cue-

         bid is a game force.  In this manner, Responder can then, more easily, become the captain

         and placing the final contract.

 

                           South (You)   West  North  East

                            1S            2D    Dbl.  Pass

                           ????

 

 

     You Hold:   a) AQXXX  XX  KXX  AXX (Rebid 2S, hand is not strong enough

                                         to rebid 2NT.)

b) AQXXX  XX  AQX  KXX (Rebid 2NT - Hand is ideal for such.)

c) AJXXX  AXX  QXX  QX (Rebid 2H! You are not strong enough

                                         to rebid 2NT, and it is safer to     

                                         rebid 2H, a suit partner must have,

                                         rather than 2S, a suit partner 

                                         assuredly does not have.)

d) AKXXX  AQXX  XX  XX (Rebid 3H, invitational showing a

                        better than minimum 6-loser opening

                        bid in support of Hearts.)

e) AKXXX  AQXX  XX  AX (Rebid 4H, your hand is too strong to

                        simply invite to game, go for it!)

f) AKJXXXX  X  X  KQXX (Rebid 4S, You are just too strong to

                        simply invite by bidding 3S, and you

                        have a suit quality of 10.)

g) AKJXX  XX  AKX  QJX (Rebid 3NT.)

h) AKXXX  AXX  X  AKXX (Rebid “3D”, a game forcing cue-bid.)

 

 

 

- 56 -

 

183.  You should pass a 1- or 2-level negative double (converting it to penalties) if you have

          both length (at least 5-cards) and good intermediates in the opponent’s overcall suit.

 

                           South (You)   West  North  East

                            1H            2C    Dbl.  Pass

                           ????

 

     You Hold:   a) AX  KQXXX  X  KQXXX (Pass converting to penalties, you

                                         should only be so lucky.)

b) AJ  KQXXX  XX  AXXX (Bid 2NT, Your Clubs are not long

                        enough nor strong enough to pass.)

c) AXX  AXXXX  X  KQJ10 (Pass, Even though you only have four

                        Clubs, suits with 100 honors are

                        usually treated as one card longer

                        than they actually are.)

 

184.  The higher the level of the negative double, the less strength you need in the

         opponent’s suit to reasonably pass thereby converting the double to penalties.   With

         a balanced hand and three cards in the opponent’s overcall suit, a 3-level negative     

         double can be passed.        South (You)   West  North  East

                            1S            3D    Dbl.  Pass

                           ????

 

     You Hold:   a) AKXXX  XX  AXX  K10X (Pass, Partner is presumably short in

                                          Spades, making your hand attractive

                                          defensively.)

b) AKXXX  QJX  XXX  KX  (Rebid 3H!  Partner does not promise

                         5 Hearts but has at least four

                         pieces.  It is too risky to pass,

                         your Diamond are not strong enough. 

                         Your options are either 3H or 3S. 

                         Nobody ever said playing negative

                         doubles was going to solve all

                         problems all of the time!)

 

185.  BIG TIP !!!  Assume you have opened the bidding, your left hand opponent overcalls,

         and there are then two passes back to you.   If you are short in the opponent’s suit (a

         void, singleton, or a small doubleton), there is a good chance that partner may be

         lurking over there with a penalty double but be unable to do so for, indeed, it will

         have been construed as a negative double instead.

                Ask yourself the following question: “If partner had made a penalty double of

         this overcall, would I have passed?” If the answer is yes, reopen with a takeout double

         which partner may well convert to penalties.  If the answer is no, bid something else.

 

                                                    South (You)   West  North  East

                            1D            1H   Pass   Pass

                           ????

 

     You Hold:   a) AXXX  X  QJXX  KQXX (Double. You would have passed a

                                         penalty double by partner.)

b) KQX  XX  AXXX  KQXX (Double, same reason.)

c) X  X  AQXXXX  KQXXX (Rebid 2C! You would not have passed a

                        penalty double by partner.)

- 57 -

 

186.  In a similar vein, assume you open the bidding, your LHO overcalls, and again there

         are two successive passes back to you.  Unlike Tip # 185, you have length, not

         shortness, in overcaller’s suit (three or more pieces or possible even a strong

         doubleton).  It is, therefore safe to assume that partner was unlikely to have wanted a

         penalty double, and is, therefore, very weak (less than 6 HCP’s).   

          In order to reopen the bidding with length in the opponent’s suit, you must

         have extra values, either high card or distributional, else you must pass.

 

                           South (You)   West  North  East

                            1D            1H   Pass   Pass

                           ????

 

     You Hold:   a) AXX  QJX  AKXXX  XX (Pass, nothing held by you) plus

                                         nothing (held by partner) equals

                                         nothing.)

b) AXXX  QJXX  AKJX  X (Pass, partner was not able to make a

                        negative double or support your     

                        Diamonds, so where are you going – 

                        Nowhere!! - Just Pass!!!)

c) KQXX  AXX  AKJXXX - (Rebid 1S, You cannot give up on this

                        hand, you are too strong.)

d) AXX  QJX  AKXX  AJX (Rebid 1NT. A reopening bid on 1NT

                        evidences a stronger hand than would

                        have been evidenced by an original

                        1NT opening bid; i.e., namely, 18-19

                        HCP’s.)

         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- 58 -

 

INERMEDIATE BRIDGE - BIDDING TIPS FOR TOPS

 

LESSON 25

 

WHEN YOU DOUBLE AN OPPONENT’S BID - TIPS 187-194

 

 

187.  A Double of an Artificial bid is usually to invite the lead of that suit by partner.  (The  

         most common circumstances are as in (a) Subsequent to a Jacoby transfer bid and (b)

         subsequent to a response to Blackwood or Gerber Conventions, (c) subsequent to a

         Stayman “2C” bid.  Other circumstances include cue-bids, Splinter bids, Drury and Fourth     

         Suit Forcing Bids.)  

 

                You(East) Hold:     XXX  AKJ10X   KX  XX

 

                            South  West  North  East

                   (a)       1NT    P    “2H”   Dbl.

                           

(b)       1S     P     3S     P

         “4NT”   P    “5H”   Dbl.

 

You(East) Hold:     XX  AXX  XX  KJ10XXX

 

                            South  West  North  East

                   (c)       1NT    P    “2C”   Dbl.

 

 

188.  Conversely to #187, failure to double a Blackwood response, warns partner should 

         he/she be on lead, that you have no interest in that suit being led.

 

        You(East) Hold:     XX  JXXX  XXXX  KQJ

 

            South  West  North  East

             1H     P     3H     P

            “4NT”   P    “5C”   ???  (Seize the opportunity to double.

                                      This will insure a Club lead against an         

                                      eventual Spade contract. Passing 5C in    

                                      this situation is a bridge blunder.)

 

 

189.  Do not double an artificial bid if you are likely to be on lead unless you suffer from 

   amnesia. 

                You(West) Hold:     XX  KQJX  XXX  XXXX

 

                         South  West  North  East

                          1S     P     3S     P

                      “4C”    P    “4D”    P

                      “4H”   ???             (Do not double for a Heart    

                                                 lead, you will be on lead and

                                                 can lead Hearts yourself.)

 

 

- 59 -

 

190.   After you double a low-level artificial bid and then later bid a new suit, you show a

          2-suited hand requesting partner to take a choice.

                                                    

                You(East) Hold:     X  AJXXX  XX  KQJXX

 

            South  West  North  East

             1NT    P    “2H”   Dbl.

             2S     P     P      3C (The double shows long Hearts, and the   

                                     Club bid shows long Clubs. Voila, you    

                                     have shown your hand exactly.

 

 

 

191.   The double of the opponent’s final contract of 3NT asks for a specific lead depending 

          upon the bidding to that point.   It is important to learn the various leads to each of 

          several particular circumstances, for if the doubler does not intend for the specific 

          message that such a double implies, then the would-be-doubler must not double in 

          the first place; i.e., wanting a different lead than the implied, the would-be-doubler       

          must then refrain from doubling hoping that by chance his/her wishes will be

          otherwise fulfilled and that the contract will be set absent a penalty double. Such

          doubles vary as to their significance varying upon the bidding leading to the final NT 

          contract.

 

 

A.    If no suits have been bid by either team, partner’s double of 3NT announces the possession of some solid suit, usually a Major.

 

           You(South) hold:   QXXX  XX  QXXXX  XX

 

           East   South(You)  West  North

            1NT    Pass        3NT   Dbl.   (Partner has a solid suit.

           Pass    Pass       Pass           It cannot be Spades or 

                                             Diamonds, so it must be  

             Hearts or Clubs.  With a blind choice between a Major and  

             a Minor, lead the Major. In this hypothetical example,

             lead Hearts.)

            

 

B.    When neither you nor your partner have bid, but multiple suits have been bid 

      by the opponents, lead dummy’s first bid suit.

   

      You(South) hold:   XX  QXXX  QJXXX  XX

 

           East   South(You)  West  North

                           1H    Pass        1S        Pass

            1NT    Pass       2NT   Pass

            3NT    Pass       Pass   Dbl.  (Do not try to be a genius,

                                            this is a “no brainer”,

             lead Spades as requested by partner.)

 

 

- 60 -

 

C.    If you have not overcalled, and partner has overcalled, lead doubler’s suit.

 

      You(South) hold:   JXXX  X  XX  QJ10XXX

 

           East   South(You)  West  North

                           1S    Pass        2D         2H

            2NT    Pass       3NT    Dbl.  (Lead your singleton Heart.     

                                            The lead of the otherwise

             normal Queen of Clubs would be a slap in partner’s face.)

 

 

D.    If you have overcalled at the 1-level and doubler passes throughout; later doubling the opponent’s  3NT contract:

 

 (1) If the doubler had the chance but failed to exercise the opportunity to    

      support your overcall suit at the 2-level, the double requests a diversion       

      from the normal lead of the overcall suit and, instead, requests the lead of 

      dummy’s first bid suit.

 

          East   South(You)  West  North

                       1C      1H         1S        Pass

          1NT    Pass        2NT   Pass

          3NT    Pass        Pass   Dbl.  (Requests a Spade lead and  

                                        not that of the overcall suit.)

 

(2) If the doubler had no opportunity to support your suit at the two level, 

     then the double requests you lead your overcall suit.

 

          East   South(You)  West  North

                       1C      1H         3C        Pass

          3NT    Pass        Pass   Dbl.  (Requests the lead of the   

                                        overcall suit since the doubler    

                                        had no opportunity to support 

                                     your overcall suit at the 2-level.)

 

 

 

 

E.     If partner opens a Heart or a Spade and later doubles a 3NT contract, lead an unbid Minor suit!  Here’s why: the normal lead is to lead partner’s Major suit.  If partner feels the hand will be defeated with the normal lead, partner passes thereby encouraging the normal would-be lead.  The double is to divert  you from the normal lead.  Partner has a two-suiter and wants you to find the second suit.

 

        You(South) hold:   XX  JXXXX  XX  QXXX

 

                      North   East   South(You)   West

           1S     1NT     Pass        3NT

           Dbl.   Pass    Pass        Pass (Partner wants a minor suit. 

                                            From your hand it looks as

                                if Partner wants the Diamond suit led.)

 

- 61 -

 

F.     If partner opens a Club or a Diamond and later doubles a 3NT contract, the 

      converse is true.   There is a strong presumption to assume that partner’s Minor 

      suit opening is either short and/or weak after the opponents get to a 3NT

      contract.  The double here reassures you that it is not.  Lead partner’s Minor.

 

          North   East   South(You)   West

           1C     Dbl.    Pass         2H

           Pass   2NT     Pass        3NT

           Dbl.   Pass    Pass        Pass   (Lead a Club, any Club.)

 

 

G.    If everybody bid, consider suicide or relocation of your abode.  Then lead  

      dummy’s first bid suit if it was bid at the 1-level, if dummy’s first bid suit was at 

      the 2-level, then lead partner’s suit.

 

          East   South(You)  West  North

                       1C      1H         1S        2D

          2NT    Pass        3NT   Dbl.

          Pass   Pass        Pass       (Partner wants a Spade Lead)

 

          East   South(You)  West  North

                       1H      1S         2C       2D

          2NT    Pass        3NT   Dbl.

          Pass   Pass        Pass       (Partner wants a Diamond Lead)

 

 

 

192.  The double of a voluntarily bid suit slam, as opposed to a sacrifice, is similar to a 

         double of 3NT; it asks for an unusual lead.  If partner thinks the normal lead will

         defeat the slam, partner simply does not double.  The two most common reasons to 

         double a slam are:

 

A.    The presence of a void, particularly after a preempt.

 

         You(South) hold:   XX  XX  XXXXXX  QJ10

 

          North   East   South(You)   West

           4H      4S    Pass         4NT

           Pass    5H    Pass         6S

           Dbl.   Pass    Pass        Pass   (Partner probably has a 

                                            Diamond Void.  Lead a 

      Diamond. Those who guessed a Club Queen should re-read this tip.)

 

B.    When a void seems remote, another possibility is that partner has an AK or AQ in 

      dummy’s first bid suit.  It is important to work out which of either A. or B. is the

      more likely, if you do not, you most likely will never hear the end of it.

 

 

 

 

- 62 -

 

193.  Trying to figure out which suit to lead versus a doubled slam is akin to trying to 

         figure out who the killer is in a movie mystery.  In the movies it is the butler; at the

         bridge table it is usually the last suit you would have thought about leading.

 

194.  The double of a No-Trump slam asks for the lead of dummy’s first bid suit.  If you 

         desire another lead to set the contract do not double.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- 63 -

 

INERMEDIATE BRIDGE - BIDDING TIPS FOR TOPS

 

LESSON 26

 

CUE-BIDS - TIPS 195-203

 

 

195.  Cuebids come in all shapes and sizes, denominations and bidding levels.  They can:

a)     Show a Control For Slam Purposes

b)     Show a Two-Suited Hand (Michaels)

c)     Show a Strong Raise (Limit Raise or Better)

d)     Create a Force to Game or For One More Round

e)     Ask For a Stopper

f)       Show a Stopper

g)     Create a Long-Suit or Short-Suit Game Try

 

 

196.  After a Major Suit Agreement at the 3-level or higher, new suits are slam-oriented

         cuebids showing a control (Ace or void) in the bid suit.

 

              Examples:       Opener    Responder

                         1D         1H

                         3H        “4C”   (A slam-oriented cuebid (a) because

                                           there has been a Major suit

                                           agreement at the 3-level.)

                         1D         1S

                         4S        “5D”   (A slam-oriented cuebid (a) because

                                           there has been a Major suit

                                           agreement above the 3-level.)

                         1S         2S

                        “3C”              (A Long-Suit Game Try (g).) because      

                                 is a Major suit agreement below the 3-level.)

 

 

 

197.  After a Minor Suit Agreement at the 4-level or higher, new suits are slam-oriented

         cuebids showing a control (Ace or void) in the bid suit.

 

       Example:        Opener    Responder

                         1D         4D

                        “4H”              (A slam-oriented cuebid (a) because

                                           there has been a Minor suit

                                           agreement at the 4-level.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- 64 -

 

198.  After a Minor Suit Agreement at the 2- or 3-level, new suits are considered efforts to 

         get to 3NT and are asking for a stopper in the bid cuebid suit.

        

 

       Example:        Opener    Responder

                         1C         1D

                         3D        “3H”   (A 3NT attempt (e) asking for and

                                           seeking a Stopper in Hearts. It is     

          not a slam-oriented try showing a stopper for is below the 4-level.)

 

 

199.  A cuebid in response to a Major suit opening, guarantees primary support and

         evidences a limit raise (11-12 HCP’s [8-Losers] or more [or fewer]). It is inviting to 

         game in the agreed-upon suit.

 

        You Hold:  AKXX  XX  KJXX  QXX

 

           North   East   South(You)  West

            1S      2H      ???              (Bid “3H” (c) showing primary    

                                Spade support with at least 11 HCP’s or more.)

 

 

200. A cuebid in response to a Minor suit opening, guarantees primary support and

         evidences a limit raise (11-12 HCP’s [8-Losers] or more [or fewer]). It is inviting to 

         game in  3NT.

 

        You Hold:  AXX  XX  KJX  KJ10XX

 

           North   East   South(You)  West

            1C     1H      ???              (Bid “2H” (c) showing primary    

                                Club support with at least 11 HCP’s or more.)

 

201.  A cuebid followed by a new suit is 100% forcing to game.   No, make that 1000%.

 

        You Hold:  A  XX  AXXXXX  KQXX

 

           North   East   South    West(You)

            1H     Dbl.     2H     “3H”   

            Pass    3S     Pass     4D  (The 4D bid preceded by a cuebid is 

                                         forcing (d).)

 

202.  After you, partner, and one opponent have bid and there has been a Minor suit 

         agreement, a cuebid in the opponent’s suit asks partner to bid No Trump with a

         stopper in the cuebid suit

 

               You Hold:  AJX  A10X  XX  KQ10XX

 

           South(You)   West   North   East

            1C           1D     3C     Pass   

            ???                              (Bid “3D” (e). You would like to

                                              play in 3NT if partner has a 

                              Diamond Stopper.  A good partner will have one!)

- 65 -

 

203.  If the opponents have bid two suits (as opposed to one suit as in Tip # 202), a cuebid in

         one of their suits shows a stopper and asks partner to bid NT with the alternate suit     

         stopped.

 

        You Hold:  AXX  AX  XX  AKJXXX

 

           South(You)   West   North   East

            1C           1S     2C      2D   

            ???                              (Bid “2S” (f). It shows a Spade

                                          stopper, and at the same time asks

                                partner to bid NT holding a Diamond stopper.)

 

202-203 Revisited and Summarized.  When the opponents have bid one suit, a cuebid asks.  When the opponents have bid two suits, a cuebid tells.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- 66 -

 

INERMEDIATE BRIDGE - BIDDING TIPS FOR TOPS

 

LESSON 27

 

EVALUATING YOUR HAND - TIPS 204-216

 

204.  Do not be a slave to point count.   There are other, sometimes more important, 

         considerations.

 

205.  Downgrade Jacks and Queens in suits bid by your opponents, unless partner makes a

         natural NT bid.  Avoid making any encouraging bids with too much strength in the 

         opponent’s suit(s).    Partner will almost assuredly think you have too much strength 

         outside and bid too much.

                                                           You hold:  KJX  QJXX  XXX  XXX

 

(a) North  East  South(You) 

     1S     2D    ???             (Raise to 2S, your Heart strength

                                 could be worth something.)

 

(b) 1S     2H    ???              (Pass, your Heart strength is 

                                   valueless on offense.)

 

206.  Downgrade honor cards in suits that have been bid to your left.

                      

               You hold:   KJXXX  AQX  KJX  XX

 

             South(You)  West  North  East

              1S          2H    2S    Pass

             Pass         3D   Pass   Pass

              ???                           (Pass quickly! Your hand lost some

                                     of its value when West bid 2H. What little

                          was left went down the drain when West then bid 3D.)

 

207.  Downgrade hands that have length in suits bid by the opponents, particularly your    

         left-hand opponent. 

                        You hold:   AQXXX  AJXXX  KX  X

 

             South(You)  West  North  East

              1S          2H    2S    Pass

              ???                          (Pass.  Of what value is your

                           length and strength in Hearts?  If West had not bid 

                          Hearts your hand would have been worth another bid.)

 

208.  Intermediate spot cards and hands which have all its strength isolated within two

         long suits are more valuable than without same.

 

      You hold:    (a) K43  A2  J532  J876     Hand (b) is worth more than (a)

(b) K10X  A2  J10XX  J987

 

(c) KXXXX  QX  KJ10X  QX    Hand (d) is worth more than (c)

(d) AKXXX  XX  KJ1OX  XX

 

- 67 -

 

209.  When faced with borderline decisions, let the strength of the intermediate cards in 

          the long suit be your determining factor.  Reread this one!!!!

 

          You hold:   (a) AXXXXX  KXX  KQ  QX

                      (b) AQJ10XX  AKX  XXX  X

 

             South(You)  West  North  East   (With (a) bid a conservative 2S,

              1S         Pass   2D    Pass    with (b) bid an aggressive 3S.)

             ???

 

210.  Any two honor cards held in one suit are better than if distributed in two different

         suits.

               (a) AKQ  XXX  XXX  KQXX     Hand (a) is worth more than (b)

(b) AXX  KXX  KXX  KJXX

 

211.  With a 5-5 or 6-5 distribution, bid aggressively if your honor strength is concentrated

          in your long suits.  Be careful if it is not.

 

          You hold:   (a) AQ10XXX  KQXXX  XX  --  (Hand (a) is infinitely more

(b) QXXXXX  QXXXX  AK  ---   powerful than (b) ).

 

212.  When partner shows a two-suited hand, upgrade your honor cards in partner’s long

         suits as well as any Aces in his/her short suits.  Alternatively, downgrade secondary

         honors in partner’s short suits. 

                                                                  You hold:   (a) QX  QXX  AXXXX  AXX

                                               (b) XX  QX  KQXXX  KQXX

    

        North   East   South(You)  West  (With (a), your hand is enormous with

         1S     Pass     2D        Pass   opener having shown a 6-5 in the 

    2H     Pass     2NT       Pass   Major suits.  Slam is likely.  With

    3H     Pass     ???              (b), sign off at 3NT, your hand is

                                     worth much less than (a).

 

213.  Think in terms of tricks, not points, when holding an independent suit (a suit that 

         can easily play opposite a singleton).

 

          You hold:   KQJXXXX  AKX  XX  X

 

             South(You)  West  North  East   (You have an independent suit.

              1S         Pass   1NT   Pass    Count tricks, not points.  You

                          ????                have close to nine tricks in

                                              your own hand - leap to 4 

                                       Spades. Bidding 3S is beneath contempt.)

 

214.  Be patient when evaluating hands with singletons or voids.  If your shortness is

         partner’s length, your hand loses value.  If you have support plus shortness, your hand      

         increases in value.  Patience!!!!!     You hold:   AXXX  X  KJXX  XXXX

 

        (What is this hand worth?  The truth of the matter is that you

         cannot yet tell until you hear the bidding.  If partner bids

         Spades, your hand is worth 11 points.  If partner bids Hearts,

         you have an 8 point holding.)

- 68 -

 

215.  After you, as opener,  receive support and you have a known 8-card fit, use the

         “Rule of Seven” to re-evaluate your hand in order to determine just how much it has

         improved.  { Add the length of your two longest suits and subtract seven from that

         total. Additionally, if you have a side singleton, add one extra point; with a side void,

         add two extra points }.

                                  South(You)  West  North  East    

                                   1S         Pass   2S    Pass

                                  ????

 

       You hold:  (a) AQXXX  KQXX  AX  XX  (Hand increases by two points; 

                                            subtract 7 from 9, and is now

                                            worth 19. Rebid 4S.)

                  (b) AQXXX  KQXX  AJX  X  (Hand increases by three extra

                                            points; because it has a

                                            singleton, as well. It is now worth

                                            20 points. Rebid 4S.)

(c) AQXXX  KQXXX  XXX  - (Hand increases by five points,

                          because it has a void as well and

                          is now worth 19 points. Rebid 4S.)

 

 

216.  When you are assured of a 9-card trump fit or longer, use the “Rule of Six”.  Same as

         the above, but this time subtract six from your two longest suits instead.

 

                                  South(You)  West  North  East    

                                   1S         Pass   2S    Pass

                                  ????

 

       You hold:  AQXXXX  KX  AXXX  X  (Hand increases by five points; 

                                        subtract 6 from 10, add one more for

                                        the singleton and the hand is now worth 

                                        21 Points. Rebid 4S.)

                                           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- 69 -

 

INERMEDIATE BRIDGE - BIDDING TIPS FOR TOPS

 

LESSON 28

 

COMPETETIVE AUCTIONS - TIPS 217-229

 

217.  When the bid to your right is strong, a jump by you is weak, and when the bid to

          your right is weak, a jump by you is strong.

 

              Examples:       East   South(You)

a)  1NT     3D      (1NT is strong, so yours is weak.)

b)  1H      2S      (1H is strong, so yours is again weak.)

c)  3H      4S      (3H is weak, so yours is strong.)

 

   North   East   South(You)

d)  1C     Dbl.    2D    (The double is strong, so yours is weak.)

  

 

218.  Anytime you are in a game-forcing auction and your RHO intervenes, a pass by you is 

         forcing. 

 

                Examples:   South(You)  West  North  East

                             1C         Pass   2H     2S

                            “Pass”                         (The 2H bid is game 

                                               force and Slam invitational, so

                                            your pass is forcing. Maybe partner          

                     will have a better idea of what to do than you, for once.)

 

219.  Anytime you are in a game-forcing auction and your RHO bids, a double is for

         penalties.

 

      You hold:  AKXXX  KQX  X  QXXX    South(You)  West  North  East

                                         1S          2H    3D     4H

                                        ????

 

      Double.  Even though a pass by you would have been forcing, (Tip #218),

      your hand is better suited for defense with strength in the opponents

      suit and shortness in partner’s.)

 

220.  A raise in competition does  not evidence more than a raise made without competition,

         it simply denies a hopeless hand.

 

      a)   South(You)  West  North  East

            1S         Pass   2S    Pass

                                          (North does not show a stronger hand

b)    1S          2H    2S    Pass   in b than in a.)

 

 

221.  When there is little chance of your getting doubled, bid close games even vulnerable    

          against not.  Opponents tend to sacrifice, so you might as well reap the profits.

 

 

- 70 -

 

 

222.  Good players are loathe to make a low level penalty double without trump tricks for 

         fear of doubling you into game.   This means you can take liberties in low level 

         competition auctions with a strong trump suit.

 

 

223.  When there is competition to your right which robs you of your anticipated rebid, pass

         with a minimum.  Partner still has a chance to bid again.

 

You hold:  XX  AKXXX  XX  KQXX

 

                 South(You)  West  North  East

            1H         Pass   1S     2D

           ????                          (Pass. If East had not bid you

                                  had been prepared to rebid 2C. However,        you require extra strength to rebid 3C, a new suit at the 3-level. 

No need to rebid Hearts, partner already knows about that suit.)

 

 

224.  Be aggressive in the early stages of the auction.  If you are overly conservative, the

         bidding has a way of getting out of hand.  Waiting in the bushes is for poker players

         and hunters, not for bridge players.

 

 

225.  After partner opens and the second hand, your RHO, overcalls 1NT, double with 9

         HCP’s or more, you have the opponents outgunned.

 

 You hold:  AJX  XX  KJXXX  XXX

 

              North  East  South(You)  West  (Double, Do not bid 2D.)

         1H    1NT    ???

 

 

226.  After partner opens and the second hand, your RHO, overcalls 1NT, bidding a new 

         suit, jumping in a new suit, or jumping in partner’s suit all show weak distributional

         hands.   Your failure to double, as in Tip #225, warns partner that you are bidding on

         distribution as opposed to strength.

 

              North  East  South(You)  West 

         1H    1NT    ???

 

        You hold:  (a)  XX  XX  QJ10XXX  KXX  (Bid 2D, weak, not forcing.)

(b)  X  XX  KQJ10XXX  XXX  (Bid 3D, weak and pre-emptive.)

(c)   X  J10XX  KXXXX  XXX  (Bid 3H, weak and pre-emptive.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- 71 -

 

227.  Become familiar with the distinction between the following two sequences.  They are 

         vastly different in strength portrayal.

 

           (a)   South(You)  West  North  East  (Opener shows 13-14 HCP’s,

            1D         Pass   1H     1S    denies support for Hearts,

            1NT                            and evidences at least one

                                           Spade stopper.)

 

           (b)   South(You)  West  North  East  (Opener shows 18-19 HCP’s,

            1D          1S   Pass   Pass   and a hand too strong to have 

            1NT                            opened 1NT originally.)

 

228.  Similarly, examine the following two sequences, they are vastly different. There are 2NT

         rebids, and then again, there are 2NT rebids.

 

           (a)   South(You)  West  North  East  (Partner’s response was at the

            1H          2C    2S    Pass   2-level in a higher ranking

            2NT                            suit.  Your 2NT rebid shows a

                                           minimum 12-14HCP range.)

 

           (b)   South(You)  West  North  East  (Here opener voluntarily bid

            1D          1H    1S     2H    2NT after partner’s 1-level 

            2NT                            response. Opener could have

                                           passed.  This 2NT bid,         

                  therefore, shows 18-19 HCP just as if East had passed.)

 

229.  A delayed double by a second hand when responder is unlimited and the opponents

         have not found a fit, is for penalties.  A delayed double after the opponents have found

          a fit, is for takeout, not penalties.

 

  You hold:  X  AK10XX  KJX  A10XX

 

   a)  East  South(You)  West  North

             1H    Pass        1S    Pass  (Penalties, Responder is unlimited

             2H    Dbl.                     and the opponents have not found a 

                                            fit.)

 

   b) East  South(You)  West  North

             1H    Pass        1S    Pass  (Penalties, Responder is unlimited

             1NT   Dbl.                     and the opponents have not found a 

                                            fit.)

 

   c) East  South(You)  West  North

             1H    Pass        1S    Pass  (Take-out - Responder is unlimited,

             2S    Dbl.                     and the opponents have found a 

                                            fit.  Doubler is showing opening

                                            values.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  - 72 -

 

INERMEDIATE BRIDGE - BIDDING TIPS FOR TOPS

 

LESSON 29

 

WHEN AN OPENING BID IS PASSED AROUND TO YOU - TIPS 230-237

 

 

230.  In the protective, “balancing”, seat, one is allowed to overcall with two points less    

         than the direct seat; i.e., simple overcalls can be made with as few as 7 HCP’s, and

         can even be made with a 4-card suit.  Go for it !!!

 

                        Example      West  North  East  South(You)

                          1D    Pass   Pass   ???

 

       You hold:  a) QXX  AJXXX  XX  XXX  (Bid 1H)  (Note: both of these hands

                  b) QJXX  X  XXXX  AXXX  (Bid 1S)   would not qualify for an

                          overcall in North’s seat.)

 

 

231.  In the protective, “balancing” seat, one is allowed to  reopen the bidding with a

         balancing NT with as few as 10-14 HCP’s.

 

            Example      West  North  East  South(You)

                          1C    Pass   Pass   ???

 

       You hold:  a) AXX  QJX  QXXX  AXX  (Bid 1NT)

b) KXXX  XXX  AX  KXXX  (Bid 1NT)

 

 

 

232.  In the protective, “balancing” seat, one is allowed to invoke a take-out double with as 

         few as 9 HCP’s. 

 

            Example      West  North  East  South(You)

                          1H    Pass   Pass   ???

 

       You hold:   AXXX  X  KXXX  QXXX  (Double.)

 

 

 

233. There is no such animal as the “unusual” NT in the balancing seat (see exception).   

        With a balanced hand and 15-18 HCP’s, double and then bid NT, with 19-20 HCP’s     

         bid 2NT immediately, and with 21-22 HCP’s double and then jump in NT.

 

            Example      West  North  East  South(You)

                          1S    Pass   Pass   ???

 

       You hold:   a)  KJX  AXX  AJX  KJXX  (Double, and then Bid 2NT.)

b)  AKX  KX  AQXX  AXXX  (Bid 2NT.)

c)  AKX  KXX AQXX  AQXX  (Double, then jump in NT.)

 

 

 

     - 73 -

 

      Exception:   A jump to 2NT by a passed hand in the balancing seat is unusual and   

                               shows a two-suiter in the two lower ranking unbid suits.

 

                           West  North  East  South(You)

 Examples:       a)                             Pass

                            1S   Pass   Pass    ????

 

       You hold:   X  XX  AJXXX  KQXXX  (Bid “2NT”, Is unusual for South had

                                         previously  passed and shows Clubs and

                                         Diamonds.)

 

                            West  North  East  South(You)

                 b)                             Pass

                            1D   Pass   Pass    ????

 

        You hold:  XX  AXXXX  X  KJXXX  (Bid “2NT” Is unusual for the two lower

                                         unbid suits.)

 

 

 

234.  Reopening with a cuebid (“Michaels”) shows a 2-suited hand.  Over 1C or 1D it shows

         the Majors; over 1H or 1S, it shows the other Major plus an unspecified Minor.      

         (Partner bids 2NT to discover which Minor if the alternate Major is unacceptable.)       

         The distribution is 5-5 or longer, and the range is 7-11 HCP’s.  With stronger hands,

         bid both suits, the higher-ranking first.)

 

            Examples:   a)   West  North  East  South(You)

                             1C    Pass   Pass  “2C”(Majors)

 

                        b)   West  North  East  South(You)

                             1H   Pass   Pass  “2H”(Spades plus a Minor)

 

 

235.  When a 1C opening bid is passed around to you in forth position, check your Club

   length.  If you have Club length, chances are partner is weak, opener probably has a

   balanced hand with 18-19 HCP’s and is longing to get back into the auction.  Best to

   pass.  If you have Club shortness, partner may yet have a good hand, possibly with

   Clubs.  Best to reopen with a double.

 

            Example      West  North  East  South(You)

                          1C    Pass   Pass   ???

 

       You hold:   a)  QX  XXX  KJXX  AJXX  (Pass. Given your Club length, 

                                             partner is probably short in Clubs

                                             and must be quite weak not to be

                                             able to make a peep at the one  

                                             level.)

b)  QXX  AXXX  KJXX  XX  (Double.  Your Club shortness

                          indicates partner may yet have a

                          good hand.)

 

 

 

- 74 -

 

236.  When a Minor suit opening bid is passed to you, be careful about reopening with a

         singleton in either Major suit, particularly Spades.  The next thing you know, the

         opponents will find their fit.

 

            Example      West  North  East  South(You)

                          1D    Pass   Pass   ???

 

       You hold:   X AJXX  KJXX  XXXX  (Where are your Spades?  I’ll let 

                                        you in on a big secret; partner      

                                        doesn’t have them.  Pass !!!)

 

 

237.  And now, the best for last:  The jump cuebid.  The jump cuebid shows a solid suit      

        (Usually a Minor) and asks partner to bid No Trump with a stopper in the opponent’s 

          suit.

 

            Example      West  North  East  South(You)

                          1S    Pass   Pass   ???

 

       You hold:  a)  XX  KX  AKQXXXX  AX  (Bid “3S”.  A good partner

                                            will have a Spade stopper. 

                                            If not, you will play in 4D.)

 

b) KX  XX  AX  AKQXXXXX  (Bid 3NT.  No this is not a

                          misprint.  You are GAMBLING. 

                          Sometimes you have to. 

                          Anyway, it’s fun … when it

                          works!  If they run the

                          Hearts, blame me, you will

                          anyway !!!)