OPENING LEADS AGAINST SUIT CONTRACTS
CHOOSING WHICH CARD TO LEAD
Lead the top card from a DOUBLETON
OPENING LEADS AGAINST SUIT CONTRACTS
CHOOSING WHICH CARD TO LEAD
Lead the top card from a DOUBLETON
When the opponent on your right opens the bidding in a suit , you can do one of three things:
1. Overcall with a 5 card or longer suit and 8+ points at the one level or 12 or more points and a 5 card or longer suit at the 2 level
2. Bid no trump with a stopper in opponents suit and 15-18 points
ADVANCER (YOUR PARTNER’S NEW DESIGNATION — is not the responder –
WITH THE OPPONENT’s suit well stopped consider no trump as your partner has support for the other three suits.
2. SHOW YOUR POINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
-0-8 bid your suit at cheapest level available
– 9-11 points – jump a level
13 or more – jump to game in a major – jump to 4 level in a minor and invite
when you have strength in the opponent’s suit, bid no trump
REBIDS BY TAKEOUT DOUBLER
– the doubler needs to show whether he has a medium or maximum hand
With a minimum opening hand (12-15) – if partner shows 0-8 points you should PASS
With a medium opening hand (16-18) – RAISE ONE LEVEL to invite partner to go to game if at the top of the range
With a maximum opening bid (19-21) JUMP A LEVEL
PART 3 OF 5 – PRIMARY LINES OF DEFENSE
3. REMAIN PASSIVE WHEN YOUR TRICKS ARE SAFE
Last blog was about GOING ACTIVE –
Some conditions dictate the opposite approach which is remaining passive. When these conditions exist, the main idea is to relax and not grab your winners, not “break a new suit” for declarer or otherwise take him off the guess. You just sit back and wait for your tricks!
6 CONDITIONS FOR REMAINING PASSIVE
1. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF A STRONG SIDE SUIT FOR DECLARER
2. DECLARER IS VERY STRONG AND DUMMY IS WEAK
3. THERE IS A BAD SPLIT IN KEY SUITS
4. THERE IS NO REAL SUIT TO LEAD AGAINST NO TRUMP
5. WHEN DEFENDING 6NT AND GRAND SLAMS
6. THE DUMMY IS FLAT AND WEAK
The basic condition for going passive is the absence of any outside source of tricks on which declarer can get rid of her losers.
How do you figure that out?
– From the bidding
– From your cards
– ‘Later’ from dummy’s cards YOU SEE that
– (a) no side suit exists
– (B) if a side suit exists, it is breaking badly
– (C) there is no entry to the side suit
SO LEAD A SUIT THAT DOESN”T GIVE DECLARER A FREE TRICK
UNDER THESE CONDITIONS, THE GOOD DEFENDER MAKES A PASSIVE LEAD
AND SITS BACK WAITING FOR HIS TRICKS!!!!!
THE GOOD DEFENDER WILL SIMPLY RETURN DECLARER’S LEADS OR OTHERWISE ENDPLAY HIM AT EVERY TURN.
AGAINST NO TRUMP CONTRACTS, RAGGED FOUR CARD SUITS ARE USUALLY NOT HELPFUL FOR ATTACK WITH POSSIBLE EXCEPTION OF AN UNBID MAJOR!!!! INSTEAD, GOOD DEFENDERS TRY TO FIND PARTNER’S SUIT OR MAKE A PASSIVE LEAD.
YOUR OBJECTIVE IS TO MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR DECLARER TO DRAW TRUMPS AND SAFELY CASH HER SIDE SUIT TRICKS!
This is a great way for you and partner to have more fun at the bridge table! Get together and learn when to redouble!
Here are three different times to use a redouble –
1) TO SHOW GENERAL STRENGTH OVER INTERFERENCE (DOUBLING) BY OPPONENT
This is the most common type of redouble used by RESPONDER. It’s typically used after partner opens the bidding and your right-hand opponent (RHO) makes a TAKEOUT DOUBLE?
If you, the RESPONDER , REDOUBLE in this auction, YOU promise 10+ “high-card points” and sends a “This is our hand” message to your partner, the OPENER, because you know, between both hands, your side has the majority of the 40 high-card points. It suggests that you have good defensive strength in unbid suits and that you may want to double the opponents’ final contract for PENALTY, as you believe you can defeat their contract.
THIS FORCES the opponents to bid, and after they do, THEY HAVE FALLEN INTO YOUR TRAP – THINK,!!!! YOU AND OPENER HAVE ASCERTAINED THAT THE OPPONENTS ARE INTERFERING IN YOUR AUCTION. A DOUBLE NOW by you or partner is their punishment —-DOUBLE for PENALTY!
A REDOUBLE isn’t recommended with just “any” 10 points. It’s important to consider how you’ll continue showing your hand AFTER the opponents run to a suit. This type of redouble works best when your hand is suitable for one of three rebid strategies:
A – You hope to DOUBLE the opponents’ runout. Along with your 10+ points, you’ll usually have shortness in partner’s opening suit and strong holdings at least two unbid suits. This option is most attractive when the opponents are vulnerable and you’re not.
B -You plan to rebid notrump (or steer partner toward notrump). This will be your plan if you have 10+ points and fairly balanced distribution in the unbid suits. You may choose to bid notrump rather than eventually make a penalty double if your holdings are not powerful enough to double the opponents’ contract, especially if the opponents are “not vulnerable”.
******Make careful note of OPPS DOUBLE – OPP was showing support for the three unbid suits, so, if either one of you get to play the hand, you know where the cards are and a rough estimate of points in that opponent’s hand especially for “finessing”!
C – You plan to raise partner’s opening bid suit. –A redouble followed by a minimum raise of partner’s suit shows invitational values (11-12 support points) and moderate trump support (3 cards if partner opened a major, 4+ cards if he opened a minor).
Partner RHO You LHO
1H DBL RDBL 1S
Pass Pass 2H
Partner can pass 2H if he has a dead-minimum opener.
2). SOS REDOUBLE – H E L P!!!!!!! RESCUE ME PARTNER OVER OPPONENTS DOUBLE AT A LOW LEVEL OF BIDDING
This REDOUBLE is made after the opponents make a penalty of your contract, but it sends the opposite message. Also called an “SOS redouble“, it tells partner that this contract will be a disaster and he should run to another suit. You must have length in all unbid suits to use this redouble.
This meaning applies only if the auction is at a low level and you (the RESPONDER) haven’t shown support for partner’s suit. It has to be obvious to RESPONDER that you could be extremely short in his suit or, if the opponents have doubled YOUR OPENING BID, that you have reason to be worried about the length and quality of YOUR suit.
Suppose you open 1C with ♠AQ8 ♥K864 ♦1054 ♣A92, your left-hand opponent (LHO) makes a TAKEOUT DOUBLE and the auction goes Pass(RESPONDER) – Pass (RHO)back to you, the OPENER. You know your right-hand opponent (RHO) has long, strong clubs because he “converted” his partner’s takeout double to penalty by PASSING!!!
A bid of Redouble by you asks RESPONDER to rescue you by bidding their longest suit. YOU DO NOT CARE HOW FEW POINTS RESPONDER HAS -just need a suit fit of an acceptable 7 trump or MORE.
3). WHEN OPP DOUBLES YOUR CONTRACT AND YOU ARE SURE YOU CAN MAKE THE CONTRACT
This redouble is made after an opponent makes a penalty double of your contract. If you are sure the opponent made a mistake, you can use the call of Redouble to increase your score if you make the contract. If you go down, however, your redouble increases the penalty.
This type of redouble is very rare and should be used cautiously. Even if you’re sure you can make your contract, a redouble keeps the auction open and gives the opponents another chance to bid. It may scare them into running back to a bid of their suit.
– a long, strong suit typically 7 cards in length – this bid is based on your trick-taking capacity not points!
Count high card points (HCPS) and length points (add points for each card over four in a suit ) if it totals 13 or more points -your total hand value (THV) open THE BID AT THE ONE LEVEL! Do Not Preempt in first seat, or in second seat if the dealer passed.
example – ♣️ AKQJxxx – adds up to 10 HCPS + 3 points for each card over four in that suit = 13 points even before we add in the other suits, open 1♣️ *DO NOT OPEN THIS 3 ♣️! – open 1 ♣️ – Partner (P) needs to know you have an opening hand. You can rebid your suit later!
The following hand is a typical for a preemptive bid:
TIP OF THE WEEK:
Overcalls – bidding competitively has become very commonplace at the bridge table, but one should use some common sense. If you are making a SIMPLE OVERCALL (opponent opens one ♦️and you overcall one ❤️ be sure to make it useful.
I like to use the 2 out of 3 guideline.
There are three reasons to overcall:
#1 – you have points and want to compete,
#2 you want to interfere with the opponent’s auction (1D opener and 1H overcall is NOT* interference) and
#3 if partner is on lead you want to guide them to a good lead. An effective overcall will cover TWO of these top THREE reasons!
* Next blog, I will explain what INTERFERENCE is in my main post.
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DEFENCE – SIGNALLING
In my earlier blogs, I introduced showing “attitude” . As a reminder, when partner is on lead and leads from their suit, if they lead a low card, we play to win the trick and later lead back partner’s suit. If partner plays a high card, and we have an honour, we play as high as we can afford (6+) to say “YES”WE LOVE THAT SUIT PLEASE CONTINUE PLAYING IT or we play a LOW card that says “NO” please SWITCH TO ANOTHER SUIT:
If attitude is ruled out , we give “count”. High followed a low card shows an even number of cards in the suit. Low followed by a higher card indicates an uneven number of cards.
For an in-depth explanation see my previous blogs on the bridge guru site under Tips and Tricks.
Once we rule out attitude and count, there are times when we need to find a way to tell partner which suit to switch too.
This is called showing “SUIT PREFERENCE”.
Here is one example when SUIT PREFERENCE would be used.
The opponents are playing a contract of 4 Hearts ♥️
Partner leads the Ace of Diamonds ♦️
DUMMY goes down and there is a SINGLETON diamond ♦️ on board –
Do you or partner now care that partner has the KING of ♦️?
Answer : NO – ATTITUDE DOES NOT MATTER
Do you or partner need to know how many diamonds your partner has?
ANSWER: NO – COUNT IS RULED OUT
YOU NOW HAVE A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO TELL YOUR PARTNER TO SWITCH TO ANOTHER SUIT!!!!
Let’s rule out Declarer’s HEART SUIT
Let’s rule out the DIAMOND SUIT
NOW WE HAVE TWO SUITS LEFT — CLUBS AND SPADES
YOU MUST PLAY A DIAMOND , RIGHT???
If you play a low diamond, YOU ARE REQUESTING A CLUB LEAD
if you play a high diamond, YOU ARE REQUESTING A SPADE LEAD
IMPORTANT : Your Partner Who led MUST PAY ATTENTION TO THE CARD YOU PUT DOWN ON THEIR ACE OF DIAMONDS to get the message!
ALSO, once you and partner agree to show attitude, count and suit preference, it will always be “ON” as part of your signalling.
NOW, there are a few other times you get to use SUIT PREFERENCE and my next blog will pursue Suit Preference. For now start using Suit Preference when Partner leads his Ace and there is a void or Singleton on the board!!!!
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Happy Defence !