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, learning to play bridge

Happy New Year Bridge Post

SHOULD YOU OPEN LIGHT IN THIRD OR FOURTH POSITION WHEN OPPONENT (S) AND PARTNER HAVE PASSED

It is a good tactic to open light in 3rd position with as few as 10 high-card points when opponent and your partner have passed.

This is VERY IMPORTANT-
Since PARTNER is a PASSED HAND – a new suit response by partner is “NOT FORCING” !!!!!!  YOU (Light Opener) CAN PASS WITH A FIT!  Remember there is no game – partner was a passed hand and you do not have 12 high card points or more.

Vulnerability can be a consideration with borderline hands.  Tend to be more conservative if vulnerable and aggressive when not vulnerable.

SOME Magic……..
Adding the value of a king (3 POINTS) to your 10 HC PTS, along with the requirements shown below, can be used to judge whether to open light or pass. If you open in third seat, your partner (RESPONDER) MUST DEDUCT 3 POINTS, the value of a king, from their total hand value, before responding.

Requirements for OPENING LITE IN 3rd POSITION
– a GOOD SUIT & willingness TO PASS partner’s response
– good support for both majors

ADVANTAGES of opening lite in 3rd seat
– to make a partscore
– to suggest a lead
– to cause opponents to misjudge the situation

RESPONDING TO 3rd seat openings
HUGELY IMPORTANT, YOU, THE RESPONDER MUST MAKE A MENTAL NOTE THAT PARTNER IS OPENING IN THIRD SEAT AND MAY NOT HAVE OPENING POINTS -!!!!
–   With support for partner’s suit  (3+) cards support, deduct 3 points and raise opener’s suit IMMEDIATELY – no time to “fish around”
–   To bid a new suit – it should be a good suit of 5+ cards as you might end up playing there (remember partner can pass because you are already a PASSED HAND)

OPENING BORDERLINE HANDS IN FOURTH POSITION
Requirements
– use the “GUIDELINE OF 15”
Add high card points in your hand to the number of spades in your hand.  If it totals 15 or more consider opening, otherwise consider passing.

The reason we add the number of spades is , if we open in a lower ranking suit, the opponents can OVERCALL a higher suit and stay at the one level with few points.

EXAMPLE – OPENING IN FOURTH SEAT AFTER THREE PASSES
SPADES – J 10 9 8 7
HEARTS – A Q x x
DIAMONDS – K x
CLUBS –  8 4

ADVANTAGE
– to get a plus score

If the partnership frequently opens borderline hands in 3rd and 4th position consider learning Reverse Drury. After a bid of 1 ♥️ or 1♠️ in THIRD OR FOURTH POSITION , a response by partner of 2♣️ is artificial and asks partner whether the bid was sound or light.  Check this convention out on-line.  Karen Walker has an easy explanation of Reverse Drury.  This is not mandatory but helps to find out if partner had a legitimate opening hand in 3rd or 4th seat

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, Declarer Play, learning to play bridge

Stunning Declarer Play

Here’s the difference between a “decent” Declarer player and a “Jaw-dropping” Declarer Player!

The “stunning declarer player” uses A SIMPLE RULE OF 40 -makes it seem like they know where all the missing high cards are and it’s so easy to use this Rule.

4 aces=16
4 kings=12
4 queens=8
4 jacks=4
Total -40 HCP’S

Procedure

As soon as lead comes down, and you see Dummy, add your high card points (HCP) to Dummy’s HCP and when totalled, subtract from 40. (Once you get the number of points remaining ), review the bidding:

EXAMPLE:

Between you and dummy, you have 25 HCT’s and are South in a contract of 4 spades

40-25 = 15 HCP’S LEFT between the opponents,

NOW DISTRIBUTE THOSE POINTS BETWEEN YOUR OPPONENTS BASED ON THE FOLLOWING:

1. Did your left-hand opponent (LHO) West – overcall over your opening one spade bid?

Yes, she OVERCALLED and bid 2 diamonds – UMMM
To overcall at the 2 level she needs at least 5 diamonds and approx. 12points

How many points does that leave for your right-hand opponent (RHO) to have?????
Approximately 3points!!

Now that you know where the remaining HCP’S are, as declarer, plan to lead Low cards from your hand and if LHO plays Low, Finesse the suit in DUMMY, knowing RHO (East) doesn’t have much.

TRY to finesse dummy, as if YOU lead from “dummy” TOWARD YOUR hand, LHO will win YOUR HIGH cards. TRY to KEEP LHO to lead away from her high cards.

NEXT EXAMPLE-
DID THE RIGHT – HAND OPP (RHO) double for takeout?

EXAMPLE:
YOU South OPENED 1 spade
LHO passed
Your partner (N) raised to 3 spades
RHO doubled for take-out
You bid 4spades

All pass

Ok, what do we know?

LHO did not overcall or double
RHO ‘s DOUBLE SHOWS SHE IS SHORT IN YOUR TRUMP SUIT SO LHO WILL HAVE THE MAJORITY OF YOUR TRUMP SUIT.

THE RHO will have at least four hearts and tolerance for both minor suits and points to make up an opening hand counting her short suit (spades) – she counts dummy points as you will pick the suit and her hand will go down as dummy.

Declarer in south now knows the HCP’S that are missing are in LHO’S hot, little hand!

SO, as South in 4spades, LEAD LOW FROM THE DUMMY every chance you get AND FINESSE INTO LHO’S HAND. Dummy and you HAVE RHO SQUEEZED BETWEEN Those two HANDS!

ANOTHER EXAMPLE
We are still 4 spades. By south

Did opponent penalty double our 4 spade bid? If so, they probably have 4 or 5 of your trump and their partner has shown points during the auction either by opening, overcalling or using the takeout double.

— review the bidding and place the 40 high card points (HCPs) around the table to aid in making your plan.

“P” is for PAUSE

WHY?

1. Look at the lead! — USE THE RULE OF FORTY!!!!

This is the beginning of my blog on Declarer Play. More to come next week.
Fill in your e-mail and you will get a reminder when the next blog is posted.

Our tip this week is a DEFENSE TIP – WHEN TO GIVE COUNT?

♏️✍🏻

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”!

♏️✍🏻
Declarer Play

Finesse Drop Test—It Is Soooo Easy

Let’s look at Finessing!

What is a finesse?

You lead a low card from your hand and have the Ace and Queen in Dummy
Your left hand opponent plays low
DO you play the Queen?
YES,  because you hope and pray left hand opponent HAS the KING!

KNOW HOW ? – THINK TWICE

Finesses lose 50% of the time
Works best when you know which opponent has the majority of HCP’s you are missing!
How would you ever know that?  —- check my next blog!  I’ll teach you the Guideline of 40!

FINESSE DROP TEST
– use to decide whether to finesse or “go for the drop”

1.  Identify the critical missing honor
2.  Calculate the number of cards the Opp’s hold in that suit
3.  Imagine the cards divide as evenly as possible
– with an odd number of missing cards, picture the critical honor in the hand of the Opp with the longer holding ( we are assuming you have the ace and king and are missing the Queen)
4.  With that in mind, ask yourself will it fall if you play from the top (ace, then king) If so, go for the drop, if not, finesse!!!

Example (ex – you have 8 trump , missing the queen )
Opp’s have 5 -should split as evenly as possible – one opponent has 3 cards in that suit and the other partner has two cards. If you play your ace and King the Opp with 3 cards will still have the queen -SOOOOOO finesse

Example – you have 9 cards in the suit missing the queen – Opp’s have 4 cards – split will be as even as possible so they each will have 2 cards – play your ace and King and the queen should fall ( in a perfect world😘 )

I always knew you had great finesse.
♏️🔮