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LaFetra Bridge Club

THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF BRIDGE
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FOR STANDARD AMERICAN YELLOW CARD CLICK HERE

IF YOU JUST NEED A REFRESHER OR ARE NEW TO BRIDGE GO TO THE LINKS PAGE AND CLICK ON THE AMERICAN CONTRACT BRIDGE LEAGUE HOMEPAGE AND DOWNLOAD - LEARN TO PLAY BRIDGE 1 & 2 - THESE ARE FREE PROGRAMS FROM THE ACBL (ThE programs were written by Fred Gitelman origionaly from Toronto, Canada but now living in Las Vegas - Fred is the President of Bridge Base and one of the best Bridge Programers around - See his link on the links page)

 
A BASIC GUIDE TO
STANDARD AMERICAN BIDDING:

HOW TO VALUE YOUR HAND:

HIGH CARD POINT COUNT

Ace = 4 King = 3 Queen = 2 Jack = 1

DISTRIBUTION COUNT

1 point for each card over four in all suits (even at no trump - remember NT hands are balanced so at most 1 point will be added in NT)

QUICK TRICKS

AK = 2; AQ = 1 1/2; A = 1; KQ = 1; Kx = 1/2

SUIT RANK HIGH TO LOW:

No-trump ranks above all suits
then in this order
major suits: spades, hearts;
minor suits: diamonds, clubs

REQUIREMENTS FOR
PARTSCORES-GAMES-SLAMS

A good trump suit has a 8+ cards in the two hands

First look for a major suit (spades or hearts)

If you have no major suit trump fit look for no-trump.

If you cant bid in a major suit or no-trump, kicking and screaming you can allow yourself to play in a minor suit (diamonds or clubs)

A part score is any final contract less then game

A major suit game (4H, 4S) usually takes about 25 or 26 points

A minor-suit game (5C, 5D) usually takes about 28 or 29 points

A no-trump game (3NT) usually takes about 25 or 26 points

A small slam (any 6 bid) usually takes about 33 points

A grand slam (any 7 bid) usually takes about 37 points

NOTE: Distributional (unbalanced) hands may take considerably less points

OPENING THE BIDDING

SUIT OPENINGS

You normaly open your longest suit

Opener is the first player to make a call other than pass

If an opponent bids a suit or NT after your side opens - He is called Overcaller (or Balancer).

If he doubles he is called Doubler

Opener's Partner is called Responder

Overcaller's, Ballancer's or Doubler's Partner is called Advancer

+ Means: or more

Open some 11 point hands

Open most 12 point hands

Open any hand with 14 High Card Points

Open any hand with 3 Quick tricks

To open in a major suit (hearts or spades) requires 5+ cards

To open in a minor suit (clubs or diamonds) requires 3+ cards

With 2, five card suits open the higher ranking

With 2 four card minors open diamonds (does not qualify for a major suit opening)

With 2 three card minors open clubs (does not qualify for a major suit opening)

Opening 1H or 1S shows 13 - 21 points and a 5+ card suit

Opening 1C or 1D shows 13 - 21 points and a 3+ card suit

Opening 2C shows a very strong hand of 22+ points if balanced  and the hand may have  less points if it's unbalanced

Opening with a bid of 2D/H/S shows 5 - 9 HCPs and a 6 card suit - The suit should be no less than QJ9XXX (some partnerships use these bids as strong, same as 2C)

3 of a suit shows 5 - 9 HCPs and a 7 card suit - The suit should be no less than QJ9XXXX

4 of a suit shows 5 - 9 HCPs and an 8 card suit - The suit should be no less than QJ9XXXXX

NO TRUMP OPENINGS

1NT shows exactly (no more no less) 15 - 17 points (15 point hands must be all high cards)

2NT shows exactly 20 - 21 points

No trump openings have no void, no singleton and at most one doubleton

Hands that qualify for an opening in no trump and/or a suit are best opened in No trump

RE-VALUATION:

SHORT SUIT COUNT

Void = 3 Singleton = 2 Doubleton = 1

As opener or responder as soon as you know there is a fit with your partner (before you bid) add your short suit count to your high card and long suit count and that is your total count

Do not count points for short suits until you have found a trump fit (8+ cards between the two hands.

SUIT RESPONSES

AFTER PARTNERS 1 OF A SUIT OPENING

You must respond with 6+ point

The first thing you should do if possible is support your partners Major suit if you have the right count

Single raise of a major shows 3+ trumps and 6 to a bad 10 points

Single raise of a minor shows 4+ trumps and 6 to a bad 10 points and denies a 4+ card major

Double raise of a major (1H - 3H) shows 4+ trump & a good 10 to 12 total points

Double raise of a minor (1D - 3D) shows 4+ trumps & 13 - 16 total points and denies a 4+ card major

Jump to game in a major suit (1S - 4S) shows 5 - 9 HCPs, a void or singleton and 5+ trumps

1 of a new suit (1D - 1H ) shows 4+ cards , 6+ points (called a one over one)

2 of a lower ranking suit shows 4+ cards (except 2H over 1S shows 5+ H) and 10+ points (called a two over one

Usually respond in your longest suit if not supporting partner

Do Not bid at the 2 level in a new suit with less then 10 good points

Respond up the line with 2 or more four card suits on any hand worth 2 bids

Respond in your 4 card major [skip the minor of 4 or even 5 cards if your hand is a mini (6 to a bad 10 points)

A mini is worth only 1 bid unless forced to bid again by partner or making a simple preference bid

Respond in the higher suit with 2 five card or six card suits (regardless of strength in the suit)

Bid 1NT with less then 10 points, no support for partner and no higher ranking suit of 4+ cards that can be bid at the one level

2 of a higher ranking suit then partners, i.e. 1D 2H (a jump shift) shows a strong hand, Exactly 17 - 19 points (No more No less) and support for partner or a very good suit of your own.

Some partnerships play a Jump Shift as weak (5-9 HCP's and a 6 card suit, the same as a weak 2 opening bid

A jump to 2NT over openers 1H/S shows 13+ points, 4+ of Opener's major and no singleton or void - a game force in Opener's major suit (Called Jacoby 2NT)

A jump to 3NT over openers 1H/S shows 13 - 15 HCPs, the other 3 suits stopped and a balanced hand, denies a 4+ card higher ranking major or a 5+ card lower ranking major - also denies 3+ of Opener's major

A jump to 2NT over 1 of a minor shows 13 - 15 HCP's the other 3 suit stoped and denies a 4+ card major suit

A jump to 3NT over 1 of a minor shows 16 - 18 HCP's the other 3 suit stoped and denies a 4+ card major suit

AFTER OPENERS 2 CLUBS GAME FORCING BID

2D is a waiting bid & asks opener to describe her hand

Any suit bid by responder other then 2D shows a good 5+ card suit At least an Ace & King in the hand or its equivalent as a mimimum (KQXXX KXX XX XXX)KQXXX or AJTXX is the mimimum holding in your 5 card suit

NO TRUMP RESPONSES

AFTER PARTNERS 1NT OPENING

Bid 2C (artificial called Stayman) with a 4 (not longer) card major and 8+ points (regardless of length of ANY other suit

You must have exactly four cards in one of your major suits - you may have another suit of 5 or even 6 cards)

Bid 2D (a Jacoby Transfer Bid) and partner must rebid 2H (The 2D bid shows 5+ Hearts and does not say anything about your Diamonds)

With 5 of a Major and 4 of the other Major use Stayman not Jacoby Transfer

Bid 2H (a Jacoby Transfer Bid) and partner must rebid 2S (The 2H bid shows 5+ Spades and does not say anything about your Hearts)

2NT invites game in No Trump and denies a 4+ card major suit (8 - 9 or a very bad 10 points)

3NT is a signoff (10 - 15 points) and denies a 4+ card major suit

4NT invites a small slam (16 - 17 points) and denies a 4+ card major suit

5NT invites a grand slam (20 - 21 points) and denies a 4+ card major suit. Opener must bid 6NT with a minimum and 7NT with a maximum

6NT is a signoff (18 - 19 points) and denies a 4+ card major suit

7NT (22+ points) and denies a 4+ card major suit

AFTER PARTNERS 2NT OPENING

Bid 3C (artificial called Stayman) with a 4 card major and 4+ points (regardless of the length of any other suit)

Bid 3D (a Jacoby Transfer Bid) and partner must rebid 3H This shows 5+ Hearts and does not promise anything in Diamonds

Remember with a 5 and a 4 card major use Stayman not Jacoby Transfer

Bid 3H (a Jacoby Transfer Bid) and partner must rebid 3S This shows 5+ Spades and does not promise anything in Hearts

3NT is a signoff (5 - 11 points)and denies a 4+ card major suit

4NT invites a small slam (12 points) and denies a 4+ card major suit

5NT invites a grand slam (16 points) and denies a 4+ card major suit. Opener must bid 6NT with a minimum and 7NT with a maximum

6NT is a signoff (13 - 15 points) and denies a 4+ card major suit

7NT (17+ points)and denies a 4+ card major suit

MORE ON JACOBY TRANSFERS

After an opening bid of 1NT a response of 2D (shows 5+ Hearts) and requires Opener to rebid 2H (Responders 5+ card suit)

Responder may pass with a weak hand

Bid Game in Hearts with 6+ Hearts

Bid 2NT (Shows 5 Hearts exactly) to invite game in either NT or Hearts - Opener may Pass - Correct to 3H and Responder will Pass - Bid game in NT (with only 2 Hearts) - Bid game in Hearts with 3+ Hearts

Responder may bid game in NT (shows 5 Hearts exactly) Opener may correct to 4H with 3+ Hearts

Responder may bid 3 Hearts (Shows 6+ Hearts and an invitational hand - Opener may pass or bid game in Hearts

After an opening bid of 1NT a response of 2H (shows 5+ Spades) and requires Opener to rebid 2S (Responders 5+ card suit)

Responder may pass with a weak hand - Bid Game in Spadess with 6+ Spades - Bid 2NT to invite game in either NT or Spades - Opener may Pass - Correct to 3S and Responder will Pass - Bid game in NT (with only 2 Spades) - Bid game in Spades with 3+ Spades

Responder may bid game in NT (shows 5 Spades exactly) Opener may correct to 4S with 3+ Spades

Responder may bid 3 Spades (Shows 6+ Spades and an invitational hand - Opener may pass or bid 4 Spades

After an opening bid of 1NT a response of 2S (shows 5+ Clubs or Diamonds - and a weak hand) and requires Opener to rebid 3C - Responders will Pass or correct to 3 Diamonds and Opener will pass

LIMIT BIDS & CAPTAINCY

Any bid that limits the hand in points is a limit bid

The PARTNER of the limit bidder is the CAPTAIN The CAPTAIN determines the final contract

Opening NT bids limit the hand in both point count and shape

A NT responses limits the hand as to point count (not shape)

Single raise of a suit (1H - 2H) limits the hands point count (6 to a bad 10)

Double raise of a Major suit (1S - 3S) limits the hands point count (10 to 12 CALLED A LIMIT RAISE)

Rebidding a suit that has been bid before limits the hand in value [1D - 1H; 2D (shows 12 - to a bad 16) or 1D - 1H; 3H (shows a good 16 to 18 points)]

REBIDS BY OPENER

12 to a bad 16 points make a minimum rebid. Rebid a new suit at the 1 level or at the 2 level in a lower ranking suit then your opening suit. Raise Partners suit (sometimes with only 3). Rebid your own suit (shows six). Rebid 1 Notrump or 2 Notrump if it is not a jump

With a good 16+ to 18 points make a jump rebid in your suit or partner's suit or bid 2 of a higher ranking suit then the one you opened (1D-1S; 2H) This is called a reverse (a reverse is a 1 round force)

With 19+ points make a jump shift or a reverse

A reverse is bidding a new suit at the 2 level in a suit higher ranking then your first bid suit

When you reverse your 1st suit is ALWAYS longer then your 2nd suit

A simple rebid of your suit (1D - 1H; 2D) shows 12 - 16 points, and a 6+ card suit

A jump rebid of your suit (1D - 1H; 3D) 16 - 18 points, 6+ card suit

A jump shift (1D - 1H; 2S) 19+ points, 4+ cards in the 2nd suit

A single raise of partners suit (1D - 1H; 2H) 12 -16 points, 4+ cards in partners suit (this can be made with 3 good trumps over a major response Q9X when you have no better bid)

A double raise of partners suit (1D - 1H; 3H) 17 or 18 points, 4+ cards in partners suit

A jump raise to game (1H - 1S; 4S)shows a good 19+ points, 4+ trumps

A jump rebid in NT (1D - 1H; 2NT) 18 - 19 points, other suits stopped, no major 4+ card suit

TAKE OUT DOUBLE

Double for takeout after the opponent opens the bidding when you have an opening bid of your own 11+ HCP's and support for the other 3 suits (1S - X shows support for H, D & C)

OVERCALLS

AFTER YOUR OPPONENT OPENS

With 8+ points and a good 5 card suit overcall (one of a suit) at the 1 level

With 10+ points and a good 6 (sometimes 5) card suit overcall at the 2 level in a lower ranking suit

Overcall 1NT with an opening 1NT hand

A jump overcall (1D - 2S) shows a weak hand (same as an opening weak 2 bid; 5 - 9 HCPs with a 6 card suit)

BALANCING IN THE PASSOUT SEAT

When you bid in the pass out seat you are called the balancer

1D - P - P - ? Borrow a King from partner and bid accordingly - (you should bid if you have any excuse to do so - with good shape 7 or 8 HCP's is enough) (Length in the openers suit is a reason not to balance)

A 1NT bid in the ballancing seat shows 11 - 14 points, a balanced hand and at least one stopper in the opponet's suit

Partner of balancer recognizes partner may be weak and bids accordingly (he knows partner has already bid 3 of his points)