Bidding made Simple, bidding strategy, bidding techniques, Bridge Babies, Bridge made simple, Bridge tips, card game of bridge, Declarer Play, etiquette, learning to play bridge

Preemptive Opening Bids —— Take Out The Fear Factor

WHAT IS A “PREEMPTIVE BID”?
An opening bid at the 3 level of 3♣️, 3♦️, 3♥️, 3♠️
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO OPEN, IN A SUIT,  AT THE THREE LEVEL?

– a long, strong suit typically 7 cards in length – this bid is based on your trick-taking capacity not points!

IMPT. NOTE:
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:
Example:
♠️93

♥️4
♦️853
♣️KQJ10923
A Long, strong suit – “ THV “ = 9 PTS (less than opening PTS)
WHY PREEMPT?
– to get in the way of the opponents (OPPS)
– to get to play for your side
– to prevent the OPPS from reaching their best spot
– to describe your hand to partner,  who may be able to bid game
IT IS A BIT SCARY TO OPEN AT THE THREE LEVEL, SO WE USE
The Guideline of 500”
USING THIS GUIDELINE, WE ASSUME PARTNER WILL PROVIDE AT LEAST ONE TRICK!
 
First though you may need to know what “vulnerability “ means.
 
WHAT IS VULNERABILITY?
If you are playing “Chicago” or party bridge, you are vulnerable once you have “a game for your side”!  Vulnerability means you can get hurt badly if you are Vulnerable and they are not.  It’s ok not to make your preemptive bid,!  In fact, it can be good to go down to prevent the OPPS from making their vulnerable  game!!!
If you are playing “Duplicate” bridge, the vulnerability is “marked on the boards” for everyone to check out before the bidding starts.
USE THE GUIDELINE OF 500, FOR WHATEVER STYLE OF BRIDGE YOU ARE PLAYING!
Let’s find out how many tricks you can lose before , you get hurt badly!
Here is the guideline to use when deciding whether to preempt or not and how high to bid knowing you may not make it.
Unfavourable vulnerability
(You are vulnerable-OPPS not vulnerable)
bid for two tricks more than you have  (allowing one of those tricks from Partner)
GOOD – If you go down one doubled, they get 200 points
NOT GOOD – If you go down two tricks vulnerable-they get 500 pts
more than they would get if they bid and made a game not vulnerable
Equal Vulnerability  –
(Both sides not vulnerable or both sides are vulnerable, you don’t want to go down more than two tricks)
Bid for three tricks more than you have (one trick from Partner)
GOOD – If you go down two tricks, doubled & not vulnerable, the penalty is 300 points, less than the value of the OPPS non-vulnerable game.
–  IF you are both vulnerable, that would be 500 points, less than the value of their vulnerable game.
Favourable vulnerability
(OPPS vulnerable, you are not)- you can afford to be defeated up to three tricks if doubled -500 points which would be less than opp’s vulnerable game.
Bid for four tricks more than you have (allow one trick from partner)
“RESPONDING” TO PARTNER’S PREEMPTIVE BID
 
Focus on the combined trick-taking potential of the hands
With support:
– With enough tricks for game , bid game in partner’s suit
– With support (3+) and a weak hand a simple one level raise of partner’s suit keeps up the interference
No Support
– PASS with no support and less than 16 points
Your Suit
with a 5 card or longer suit and 16+ points, bid your suit!
****IT IS FORCING FOR OPENER FOR ONE ROUND IF IT IS BELOW A GAME LEVEL BID!
 
A No trump bid is also a possibility by Responder when Opener’s preemptive bid is in a minor suit!. Responder must have a fit in Opener’s suit and stoppers in the three remaining suits.  The reason Responder needs at least 3 card support is for entries to the board where opener’s Long suit lies.
Have fun, watch the vulnerability and take the fear factor out of your game!  Going down, depending on the vulnerability, can be good!

✍🏻

 

Bridge Babies, Bridge made simple, Bridge tips, card game of bridge, Declarer Play, etiquette, learning to play bridge

Tip of the Week-When to Give Count

When a suit is led by partner ATTITUDE SIGNALS are given first priority.  A count signal is clearly only given when attitude doesn’t apply.

HIGH-LOW

HOW DO you tell partner how many cards you have in a suit?  You give a count signal by playing a high-low to show an even number of cards and Low-high to show an uneven number of cards.  The count signal doesn’t tell partner exactly how many you hold.   High- Low could be two, four, six.  Partner needs to count the number of the cards they have and turn to count the number in dummy to figure it out.  An odd number could be three, five or seven.

A typical situation arises when DECLARER is running a Long suit.  There is no reason to show attitude.  This is where it is crucial to show partner COUNT.  IF THE LONG SUIT DECLARER WANTS TO RUN IS IN DUMMY, your partner may have the ace in that suit and want to hold it up until declarer has played the last card in that suit she has in her hand so she can’t get back to dummy to run the remainder of them.   This is where team work shines.

North
DUMMY
♦️KQJ104

South
DECLARER
♦️765

You are east!

♦️9 3

When the diamond suit is played the first time ——

You (East) would  play the 9

West, your partner has three diamonds to the ACE, he knows now you have two diamonds, board has five, declarer must have three diamonds.  He will hold up his ace until the third round.  If you did not signal, he may play his ace on the second round. Declarer would still have a diamond left to get back to DUMMY and run the rest of the diamonds!!!

When partner leads a suit she has bid during the auction, if you have only two cards in her suit YOU MUST PLAY HIGH, THEN LOW.  PARTNER WILL REALIZE WHEN IT GOES AROUND THE SECOND TIME THAT YOU ARE OUT OF THAT SUIT.

SAY PARTNER LEADS THE ACE OF HER SUIT AND YOU HAVE TWO CARDS
THE QUEEN AND A SMALL CARD
PLAY THE QUEEN ON PARTNER’s ACE
PARTNER WILL THEN PLAY THE KING AND YOU PLAY A LITTLE ONE
THEN PARTNER WILL PLAY A LOW CARD TO GIVE YOU A RUFF!!!

You and partner have taken the first 3 tricks.

Next week, I will show you how, in this situation, for your partner to let you know what suit to return once you get your ruff.  That means if you return the suit she is requesting, she can win her Ace in an outside suit, then return the suit you are out of for you to get another ruff.

What fun!!!!!

♏️✍🏻

Bridge Babies, Bridge made simple, Bridge tips, card game of bridge, etiquette, learning to play bridge

Not For The Faint of Heart

I thought I’d share with you some simple etiquette and tell you how I started teaching bridge.  I had a friend who, evidently, was in desperate need of a fourth for her weekly bridge game.  My husband and I used to play auction forty-five with her and her husband.  She called me, out of the blue one evening, and asked me to spare in her bridge group.  Since I didn’t have a clue about bridge, she suggested I arrive 15 minutes early and she would tell me how to play.

Confidently, I rang the doorbell and she began to give me instructions, interrupted by a few runs to the kitchen to check on tea and coffee.   I was sitting there thinking “this is not going to be good people”.   When I voiced my concerns, she told me to fake it as she didn’t want to let them know I had never played before.   Well, guess what, within five minutes, they were all looking at me very, very strangely.   This was one of those times in my life, I was praying for the rapture!

A few years later, in the early seventies, my husband learned to play bridge on his lunch hour and he was instantly addicted. He decided to invite a couple for dinner and after we would play a few hands.  When he saw the look of horror on my face he said he would give me a lesson!   Well, there are people who can teach and people who should never teach and he fell in the latter category.  I learn visually and I need to start at the beginning!!!!!!   He started at the end and had the patience of a gnat. I feel sure my first two experiences led me to another “ah ha” moment – copious amounts of wine would see me through an evening of bridge.

Ok, instead of becoming a bridge alcoholic, I decided to teach myself how to play the game, would you believe I am still learning!  I am the type of person, If I discover something great, I cannot wait to share it with everyone I know.  Finding the book, “The Joy of Bridge” at Value Village was one of those moments.  There were RULES that no one ever shared with me aka you need points to bid and your partner is not your enemy – it’s a partnership!  Wow, my eagerness to learn and share started in the early nineties and continues to this day.

Below I will touch on etiquette and share a few things I’ve learned since I started playing duplicate in the late 90’s.

1.  The most important part of the game is not the score at the end, it is the camaraderie, kindness and respect we show our partner and our opponents;

When your partner lays down the dummy, you have two choices :

A) thank you partner, lovely (this is if you are in shock and horror)
B) thank you partner, lovely, lovely (you like it)

One of the Director’s, whom I admire, started every game with the following:
“Your partner did not get up this morning planning to ruin your day; if your partner makes a mistake and you point it out in front of the entire table, your partner will lose face and will not be able to absorb what you are saying .   If it was something about the hand and your partnership agreement, wait until you are in the car and gently inquire on the way home if there was a misunderstanding as to what you both had agreed upon.  If it was a simple mistake, no need to mention it as partner already knows and there is nothing to be gained by pointing it out.  Having said that, remember that you, too, will also make mistakes and be very uncomfortable if it is pointed out and brought up again and again.

2.  When you move to a new table,  stop discussing the last hand and greet your opponents in a congenial manner.   When you are the host table, stop discussing the previous hand and greet the new opponents.  This is simple, common courtesy.

3.  The Director is your friend.  The Director’s job is to sort out errors in an equitable manner.  The Director is not there to scold anyone but to help restore good faith, keep the playing field fair to all and continue the game amicably.

4.  Bidding out of turn, bidding at the wrong level, leading out of turn and reneging are the most common mistakes.   The Director should definitely be called to advise the possible choices you have to rectify the situation.  In this instance, please do not try to be nice and sort it out among yourselves.  This is in fairness to the rest of the field.

5.  Tempo is hugely important in the bidding and play of the cards.  You are allowed ten seconds to bid and ten seconds to play a card.  If you take much longer, it can be misconstrued that you are giving your Partner information that you have points but are not sure how to compete.

6.  Facial expressions, rolling of eyes, heavy sighs, flopping back in your seat, beseeching the heavens – not acceptable – need I say more.

7.  If you come to the club for the first time and the Director announces to the members that you are brand new,  they are reminding the seasoned players how nerve-wracking that can be and to be pleasant.  Once you become a regular player, please do not remind the other members that you are new.  It actually gives them the advantage and it is also demeaning to your partner, who may feel you both are now sitting ducks!  Just because you are new to the game, doesn’t necessarily mean the other players are smarter than you, they just have put in more time!!!

8.  One note, for beginning players, if the opponents at your table are arguing or being rude to each other, please call the Director.   There is zero tolerance for unseemly behavior.  All you need do is tell the Director “that the opponents are ruining your enjoyment of the game”.  This is not tattling.  This is keeping the game enjoyable for everyone in the room.  I actually had to do this at a tournament with a married couple who nastily blamed each other on every hand for what went wrong.  I was playing with my husband as well and finally, we were so uncomfortable, I told them I had had enough and if they didn’t stop, I would be calling the Director.  That was the end of their bickering.

9.  A bridge divorce!   Sometimes, especially when you are beginning the game, you might end up with a partner, who is a terrific person and friend, but find out later you are not compatible at the bridge table.   There is absolutely no shame in deciding you would like to experiment by playing with various partners until you find someone who clicks with your specific bridge style.  To avoid this situation, start out playing with a variety of partners and make no commitment until you have a partner who has the same goals as you.   I would play with this person, on a part-time basis, and definitely discuss with a possible new partner the following.  This is just an example of what I would want to know:
– do they want to learn and grow their game and more importantly will they commit to set aside time to do this;
– would they be agreeable to playing in tournaments locally;
– would they like to try to travel to “away” tournaments;
– how often do they want to play;

The most important thing to remember is “this is a game and it should be fun”.  In the end, it ‘s all about the wonderful relationships you make and the joy of learning.

Learning new things as we age is the key to successful aging.

I leave you with this thought “never stop learning”!

♏️✍🏻