Posts

Bridge made simple

Balancing

Thanksgiving weekend is over and I didn’t balance the amount on my plate very well.  We were blessed to share thanksgiving dinner with family on Sunday and close friends on Monday so “balancing” came to mind this morning.  I will go nowhere near a scale this week for sure.

I DECIDED I needed a nice clean work area and while my tea was steeping, I started  my bridge lesson on -you guessed it –

“Balancing in Bridge”!

 Have you ever heard that word before in reference to bridge?  If not you’re in for a pleasant surprise!

5D1E43D2-8F5C-49BC-A6EB-C388EE1D7682.jpeg

You sit down at the bridge table and dealer (N) opens 1 diamond, E passes, (S) your right-hand opponent passes —you are now in 3rd seat after two passes with fewer than 12 high-card points —I bet if you have never heard of “Balancing” – you would automatically pass and comment “I’ve got nothing.”

After today you will have a new strategy—

Get ready to balance!

2FBE2174-33C0-4DC2-8119-2E968D362875

Opening light in 3rd seat after two passes, with fewer than 12 high-card points, is common practice.

As noted above,

N opens 1 diamond

E passes

S passes

You (W) are in the passout seat: – if you pass North is playing 1 diamond

So this is what to do:

(1) add the value of a KING (3 points) to your hand

(2). Now, with THIS NEW HAND VALUE what would you do if in the direct seat over North’s opening bid with this new hand value?

 

YOU WOULD USE the USUAL options after an opponent on your right OPENS THE BIDDING which are to:

—double FOR TAKEOUT BY YOUR PARTNER

—overcall with a good 5 card or longer suit

—bid no trump as a balancing no trump  (a balanced hand and stoppers in opener’s suit – not necessarily the usual 15-18 as we have added the value of a king to get to that point count)  HERE COMES THE TRICKY PART —

JUST SAYING —It didn’t take long for my work area to lose it’s symmetry-

F47540D0-F1D4-47F2-88D5-3925BA83752F.jpeg

 

WHAT DOES YOUR PARTNER DO??

PARTNER OF BALANCER:

1. DEDUCT 3 POINTS FROM THE VALUE OF THEIR HAND AND BIDS AS FOLLOWS:

0-10 POINTS MAKES THE CHEAPEST BID AVAILABLE

11-14 JUMPS A LEVEL

15+ POINTS —CUEBIDS THE OPPONENTS OPENING SUIT (IN THIS CASE DIAMONDS) – TO SHOW A GAME GOING HAND

that’s it on Balancing — now are you wondering what to do in 4th seat after two passes—

4th SEAT OPENINGS

USE THE RULE OF 15

ADD YOUR HIGH-CARD POINTS TO THE NUMBER OF SPADES YOU HOLD AND IF It COMES TO 15 OR MORE BID – IF NOT, PASS —

IT’S REALLY JUST THAT SIMPLE ..

If you enjoy these posts could I ask you to press “LIKE” at the top of my Facebook Page under the main picture for my site.  Then when I make a post you will get a message in your e-mail.  Also, you can make COMMENTS and I can REPLY.  I would love to hear what subjects you would be interested in learning.

Cheers

 

Bridge made simple, Bridge tips, learning to play bridge, Takeout double

When in Pain – Double!

HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN TO DOUBLE FOR TAKEOUT?

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

Or435401D5-0FAD-413A-B638-6748E7A8FA5E

Since you are “IN PAIN” — DOUBLE!

YOU NEED:

1.  Support for the unbid suits (two 4 card suits AND at least a 3 card suit for the third suit))

2.  Opening points (high card points plus dummy points in opponent’s suit –

ADD:
5 for a void;
3 for singleton;
and 1 for doubleton – add dummy points to high card points for total hand value

then DOUBLE FOR TAKEOUT!!!!!!!

 You are asking your partner to:
GO SHOPPING AND PICK A SUIT AND WHILE DOING SO TO SHOW A POINT COUNT—AS REMEMBER, YOU ARE FORCING YOUR PARTNER TO BID EVEN WITH ZERO POINTS!

 

ADVANCER (YOUR PARTNER’S NEW DESIGNATION — is not the responder –

If the opponent (RESPONDER) on Your left passes, the double is FORCING even with ZERO POINTS YOU MUST BID ———-YES, you don’t want to leave opponents doubled in a one level bid as they will no doubt make it!

THIS IS THE TWO PART RESPONSE BY ADVANCER:

1. GO SHOPPING AND PICK THE SUIT 
give preference to a major suit – hearts or spades – 4 card support –

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

If the responder (opp. On your left ) bids over the double – if you have less than 5 points you can pass as the double is taken out.  Listen up! – With 6+ you should bid.

As ADVANCER
WITH AN OPENING POINT HAND YOURSELF YOU CAN CUEBID THE OPPONENT’s opening suit to get more info about the DOUBLER’S hand.  A CUEBID BY ADVANCER IS FORCING !!!!!

 

IMG_0065

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

BIG DOUBLE
You do not have to have all the unbid suits but you must be able to bid your 5 card or longer suit if advancer picks a suit you do not have support for.
With 17+ points as doubler, after partner picks the suit and shows points, you bid your 5 card or longer suit to show “the BIG DOUBLE” —-

ADVANCER THEN KNOWS HER PARTNER (the doubler) has 17+ points and a 5 card or longer suit – she can still pass with support (at least 2 card support ) but should consider the total points between both hands and where is the best place to play.

Please visit my new Facebook Page wwwMargieGrams.  You don’t have to have a facebook page as it is a public Page.  Hit the “LIKE” under my photo if you love it!
Bridge made simple

Thinking Duplicate Bridge; Two Pictou County gals, Olive and Lynne take the Leap

OK, we were scared–at first! We knew we were venturing into new bridge territory. We realized it’s ok to be a little afraid because you can’t be brave or courageous without a little fear. As adult learners, it takes ambition as well as courage to delve into the unknown.

So we have a few tips we have learned on this marvellous venture that have proven golden, well “silver” for us so far, if you are counting ACBL points.

Tip #1: Choose your bridge partner with care. If you don’t share common goals and values, you could be heading for a rocky bridge divorce. In our case, we both love the game. We determined we both wanted to improve our skills and we carved out regular times to make that happen. The most important part of a good bridge relationship is respect and kindness every step of the way. Never point out your partner’s mistakes and she will never point out yours. If it is evident there is a storm brewing, discuss future strategies in private. Fortunately for us, respect and kindness comes easy

img_2245-1

 

Tip #2: Breathe and laugh! Remember, it is only a game. Enjoy your time with your partner and fellow players. Have some fun and remember to laugh at yourself. When you become frustrated, and you will, remember Tip #1.

Tip #3: You are not going to make every contract. You are going to go down, some days more than others. A kind veteran of the game told us many times “If you never go down you are obviously not bidding as often as you should.” Even experts go down, miss slams and screw up in general. Move on! It happens! Some of our best learning comes from our mistakes.

Tip #4: Persevere–play as often as you can. Read bridge books, Like and Follow http://www.thebridgeguru.com, play Bridge Base On-Line and listen to expert players who kindly offer suggestions to improve your game. The veterans of the game truly enjoy seeing new faces at the bridge club. Some expert players may agree to mentor you–don’t hesitate to ask.

Tip #5: Don’t high five at the table when you make that impossible contract –save your triumphs for a private moment so your opponents can save face.

Our experience has been, the more we play, the more comfortable we get and hence the more we want to play! That’s how we realized it’s not that scary after all!

Bridge made simple

Gerber Convention (Baby Steps) and Quantitativei

First you need to understand Quantitative:

After Partner’s OPENING 1 No Trump bid – 4 NO TRUMP by responder

– shows a balanced hand by responder; and

– invites Opener to raise to 6 no trump with top of range 15-17

SO GO TO 6 NO TRUMP (SMALL SLAM) WITH 17 POINTS

or Pass with low end of range

If Responder KNOWS THERE IS 33 POINTS BETWEEN THE TWO HANDS AND KNOWS NO TRUMP IS WHERE TO PLAY, RESPONDER BIDS 6 NT, JUST DO IT!!!

Partner opens 2 NT – SHOWING 20-21 POINTS & Balance

– 4 NT BID BY RESPONDER SAYS GO TO SMALL SLAM WITH TOP OF RANGE

SO GO WITH 21 POINTS!

OPENER opens 2 CLUBS – RESPONDER bids 2 DIAMONDS

OPENER REBIDS 2 NT opener’s range is 22-24 and BALANCED HAND

– 4 NT BID BY RESPONDER SAYS GO TO SMALL SLAM WITH TOP OF RANGE

– SO GO WITH 24 POINTS!

Opener OPENS 1 DIAMOND – Responder bids a suit at the one level

OPENER REBIDS 2 NT – opener’s range is 18-19 AND BALANCED

– 4NT BID BY RESPONDER SAYS GO TO SMALL SLAM WITH TOP OF RANGE

SO GO WITH 18 POINTS

Opener opens 2 CLUBS – RESPONDER BIDS 2 DIAMONDS

OPENER REBIDS 3 NT – opener’s range is 25-27 & BALANCED HAND

4 NT BID BY RESPONDER SAYS GO WITH TOP OF RANGE

SO GO WITH 27 POINTS

NOW, TIME TO INTRODUCE GERBER CONVENTION:

GERBER can be used to discover how many aces/kings the partnership holds when partner’s no trump is a natural bid –

REPLIES TO GERBER 4 ♣️

4♦️ zero or all 4

4♥️ one ace

4♠️ two aces

4 NT  three aces

IF ALL 4 ACES – 5♣️ asks for KINGS

5 ♦️ zero

5 ♥️ one

5🖤two

5 NT three

6 ♣️ four kings

Bridge made simple

Summer days

 

 

BLACKWOOD CONVENTION:

AFTER a trump suit has been agreed upon by the partners a bid of 4 NT is the Blackwood Convention asking partner how many ACES?

RESPONSES TO BLACKWOOD:

4 NT – ASKS:

ANSWERS:

5 CLUBS – NONE OR ALL FOUR

5 DIAMONDS – ONE ACE

5 HEARTS – TWO ACES

5 SPADES – THREE ACES

IF THE PARTNERSHIP HOLDS ALL 4 ACES, THEN A BID OF 5 NT ASKS FOR KINGS? DO NOT ASK FOR KINGS IF YOU ARE MISSING AN ACE!

5 NT – ASKS:

ANSWERS:

6 CLUBS – NO KINGS

6 DIAMONDS – ONE KING

6 HEARTS – TW0 KINGS

6 SPADES – THREE KINGS

6 NO TRUMP – FOUR KINGS

RESPONDING TO BLACKWOOD WITH A VOID:

– with no aces, respond 5 clubs, AS USUAL, (DO NOT SHOW VOID)

– WITH ONE ACE AND A USEFUL VOID, JUMP TO THE “six” level in the void suit! If it ranks lower on the ladder than the agreed trump suit!

If it ranks higher on the ladder than the agreed trump suit – bid SIX OF THE TRUMP SUIT!

HOW TO BAIL OUT IF YOU ASK FOR ACES BY BIDDING 4 NT AND NEED TO STOP!!!!

ANY BID OF A NEW SUIT AT THE FIVE LEVEL BY YOU WHICH CAN’T BE MEANT AS A TRUMP SUIT ASKS PARTNER TO BID 5 NO TRUMP!

 

Bridge made simple

Bidding at its Simplest

HANDLING STRONG TWO CLUB OPENERS IN THE SIMPLEST WAY POSSIBLE

Opener – bids 2 clubs – shows 22 or more points and is 100 PER CENT FORCING TO GAME with two exceptions (see end of recap)

Responder bids 2 diamonds “automatically” – this is the waiting bid ‘ says nothing about points or suits and is FORCING –

Responder is the CAPTAIN in this auction and is responsible to investigate slam with more than 8 points (IF A FIT FOR OPENER’S SUIT PLEASE ADD DUMMY POINTS TO YOUR HIGH CARD POINTS) once the first consideration is found which is——WHERE TO PLAY — second part is— HOW HIGH – GAME OR SLAM?

AFTER RESPONDER bids 2 diamonds, opener either bids a 5 card or longer suit if she has one; if not with a balanced hand rebids no trump as follows:

22-24 pts – bids 2 no trump
25-27 pts – bids 3 nt
28-30 pts – bids 4 nt

Once opener rebids no trump, all systems are on – Stayman convention, transfers, gerber
If opener bids a suit and you (the responder) have three card support add DUMMY POINTS, the only question is game or slam!

No support for opener’s suit, you may bid your 5 card or longer suit or bid no trump with a balanced hand.

With 25 pts between both hands —-you should be in game in a major or no trump

With a minor suit, bid game in no trump or five of minor (need 29 pts for both hands to be in game in minor —-( if you rule out no trump)

If 33 plus points ——-get to slam in major, or minor or no trump.

Remember do not show four card suits, unless your partner has used Stayman asking for a four card suit.

Do not pass until at least game is reached ( you only need 3 points to be in game – add dummy points).————-

HERE IS WHEN YOU CAN PASS:

1- partner has rebid two nt and you have 0-2 points

2- you have bid your five card suit and partner has raised and you have 0-2 pts

3. Opener has shown a 5 card major , then Rebid the suit to show six of the major and you have 0-1 point – don’t forget you can add “DUMMY POINTS” –( 5 pts for a void, 3 for a singleton and 1 for a doubleton and 2 card support—if still 0-2 points pass)

Bridge made simple

THE RULE OF FORTY

So simple, so easy

There are 40 high cards points HCPS) in the deck !

– 4 aces -16points

– 4 kings – 12 points

– 4 queens 8

– 4 jacks 4

TOTAL 40 POINTS

AS THE BIDDING EVOLVES:

ADD YOUR HCP’S POINTS TO THE NUMBER OF POINTS INDICATED DURING THE BIDDING , FOR EXAMPLE

NORTH (N) OPENS 1 N0 TRUMP – 15-17 POINTS

EAST (E) – PARTNER PASSES

S (SOUTH) – BIDS 3 NO TRUMP – SHOWING 10+ POINTS

W (WEST) – YOU! – PASS – HAVE 6 POINTS

YOUR PARTNER (P) IS EAST – HOW MANY APPROXIMATE POINTS DOES EAST (P) HAVE?

THE ANSWER WOULD BE APPROXIMATELY 8 POINTS –

HOW DOES THAT HELP ON DEFENSE? – WHEN DUMMY COMES DOWN YOU WILL SEE EXACTLY HOW MANY POINTS SOUTH HAD – IF 12 POINTS IN DUMMY – DEDUCT 2 PTS FROM YOUR ESTIMATE OF EAST’S HAND! THIS HELPS DEFENSE TO DETERMINE HOW TO DEFEND. IF YOU SET UP YOUR SUIT YOU MAY NEED PARTNER TO WIN AT LEAST ONE TRICK TO LEAD BACK TO YOUR HAND.

THIS EXAMPLE WOULD NOT HELP DECLARER HAS BOTH E AND W PASSED.

ANOTHER EXAMPLE:

N OPENS 1 SPADE (12-21 PTS)

E(P) BIDS 2 DIAMONDS (12= OVERCALLED AT THE TWO LEVEL AND A GOOD 5 CARD+ SUIT WITH 2 OF THE TOP 3 HONOURS)

S BIDS 2 SPADES (6-10)* COUNTING DUMMY POINTS, ( POINTS -VOIDS/SINGLETONS/DOUBLETONS) – SHOWS A “SIMPLE RAISE

*W – YOU -PASS – HAVE 3 DIAMONDS BUT LESS THAN 10 POINTS SO CANNOT BID AT THE 3 LEVEL

ALL PASS

—————————————————————

2ND RND OF BIDDING:

N – PASSES – NOW SHOWING A MINIMUM OPENER 12-15 POINTS

E – BIDS A NEW SUIT OF 3 CLUBS

S PASSES

W?????

? EAST(P) IS SHOWING A TWO-SUITED HAND – MOST LIKLY 5 /6 DIAMONDS AND 5 CLUBS – AND IS ASKING YOU (W) – TO PICK EITHER SUIT – WITH THE 3 CARD DIAMOND SUIT AND 6-10 POINTS I WOULD CHOOSE NOW TO BID 3 DIAMONDS!

TWO-SUITED HANDS ARE VALUABLE WHEN YOU GET TO PLAY THERE AND SHOW SHORTNESS IN THE TWO REMAINING SUITS. IF P HAS 6 DIAMONDS AND 5 CLUBS THAT IS 11 CARDS – ONLY TWO LEFT BETWEEN THE MAJORS!

 

ANOTHER EXAMPLE

N 1 HEART (12+

E 1 SPADE – OVERCALL AT 1 LEVEL – (8+ UP TO MAX 16 POINTS)

S 2 HEARTS – 6-10 PTS

W 2 SPADES – 6-10)

WONDERFUL, A BIDDING WAR? MAYBE

IF NORTH IS A MINIMUM HAND, NORTH SHOULD PASS. IF NORTH IS 15+, RAISE TO 3 HEARTS

IF NORTH BIDS 3 HEARTS , WEST SHOULD PASS WITH A HAND THAT DOES NOT HAVE OPENING POINTS!

REMEMBER – THESE BIDDING WARS ARE ALL ABOUT VULNERABILITY! IF NOT “VUL” AND OPP’S ARE “VUL ” – YOU CAN RISK IT! BE CAREFUL IF YOU PUSH THEM TO GAME VULNERABLE ——-YOU BETTER MAKE SURE YOU DEFEAT THEIR CONTRACT!

 

ENJOY OUTDOOR BRIDGE THIS SUMMER!