We made up a booklet for all the beginners we were teaching at our local church bridge group. When you try to put it into a web page, this is the format you end up with. If you want a copy of the nice little one page fold up pamphlet, e-mail us your snail-mail address and we'll send you one.
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Suggested Bidding Guide for
Point Count : Aces = 4 K = 3 Q = 2 J = 1
Void = 3 Singleton = 2 Doubleton = 1 (Do not count these in No Trump)
Points needed for game:
Major suit (Spades or Hearts) = 26
Minor suit (Diamonds or Clubs) = 29
Small Slam = 33 Grand Slam = 37
First - Count the points in your hand and look at the distribution. If you have:
less than 10 points, but have 7 or more cards in one suit, see PRE-EMPT.
If you have:
less than 13 points and fewer than 7 of one suit, PASS!!!
13 point hands may be opened.
14 - 15 point hands should be opened.
Do Not Open a 4 - Card Major Suit!!!!!! (Open with 1 of your best minor suit intending to bid the
major on the next round) **** Not everybody plays this way - check with your partner.****
16 - 18 (not counting voids, singletons and doubletons) and a balanced hand bid: 1 No Trump.
16 - 18 with a long suit (5 or more cards) open 1 of the suit.
21 - 25 and a long suit, bid 2 of that suit. (21 pts should have 7 cards, 23 pts = 6 cards, 25 pts = 5 cards).
With a balanced hand and
22 - 24 (not counting voids, etc.) Bid 2 No Trump
25 - 27 (not counting voids, etc.) Bid 3 No Trump
Do not Pre-empt with more than 10 points - With a 7 card suit and less than 10 points, open 3 of the suit.
Responses to partner's opening of 1 of a suit:
With a balanced hand:
6 - 10 points - bid 1 No Trump
13 - 15 points - bid 2 No Trump
16 - 18 points - bid 3 No Trump
With an unbalanced hand:
Raise partner's suit bid to the 2 level with 7 - 10 points and good trump support.
Raise to the 3 level with 13 - 16 points and good trump support.
Raise to the 4 level with no more than 9 points and at least 5 trumps.
Jump a level and bid a new suit with 19 or more points.
You may show a new suit with 10 or more points and a good suit.
(Always try to show a 4 card major when you can)
Responses to partner's opening of 1 No Trump
(do not count points for voids, etc.)
8 - 9 points - raise to 2 no trump.
10 - 14 points - raise to 3 no trump.
15 - 16 points - raise to 4 no trump.
17 - 18 points - raise to 6 no trump
21 points - raise to 7 no trump
Responses to partner's opening of 2 of a suit:
With 6 points or less bid 2 no trump (negative).
With 7 or more points, give any positive response.
Responses to partner's opening of 2 No Trump:
4 - 8 points - raise to 3 no trump.
9 - 10 points - raise to 4 no trump.
11 - 12 points - raise to 6 no trump.
15 points - raise to 7 no trump.
Re-bids by the opener (after partner's response)
If you opened 1 of a suit:
With 13 - 16 points (minimum hand)
Pass 1 no trump response
If response is 1 of a suit you may:
Re-bid your opening suit
Bid 1 no trump
Bid a new suit at the 1 level
Raise partner's suit 1 level
With 16 - 19 points (Good hand)
After any response by partner you can:
Jump in opening suit bid (shows 6 in that suit).
Jump in partner's suit (must have at least 4).
Bid 2 No Trump over partner's 1 level response.
Raise partner's 2 over 1 response to the 3 level.
With 19 - 21 points (Slam Zone)
Jump to game in partner's major suit response ( must have at least 4).
Jump to game in own suit (6 to 7 card suit).
Jump in no trump over partner's 1 level response.
With 22 and up
Jump shift to a new suit forcing to game and suggesting slam.
If you opened One No Trump:
You should pass if -
Partner responds 2 no trump and you only have 16 points.
Partner responds 2 diamonds, 2 hearts, or 2 spades and you don't have a good fit.
(with 18 pts. And a good fit you could raise partner's suit to 3 level)
Partner responds 3 no trump, 4 hearts, or 4 spades.
The following bids demand a response:
Any 2 level opening (Response of 2 no trump shows 6 or less points).
After a 1 no trump opening, partner responds 2 clubs (Stayman Convention).
Any jump shift by either partner.
After a suit is agreed, a 4 no trump bid by either partner (Blackwood).
Once a suit is agreed, any new suit bid must not be passed.
When the opener makes a minimum re-bid -
Showing 13 to 15 points, the responder should add his points to the opener and end the bidding at a safe level.
When the opener makes a jump re-bid (same suit) -
His values are equal to about 19 points. Responder should go to game with 7 points and with 13 - 15, should be interested in slam.
When opener makes a jump shift -
He has about 22 points. Responder is forced to at least game, and with 10 points should make a slam try.
When responder jumps a level -
He has about opening count. Opener should decide if slam is possible.
Remember, the magic number for slam is 33 points.
Just add your points together. With less than 33 points, slam is not a good idea.
With opening count, a double of the opponent's bid asks partner to bid their best suit.
A double of 1 no trump shows 16 points and is usually made for penalties, but partner should use their own judgement. If their hand has little defensive value but contains a long suit, it is better to show the suit by bidding it. However, if the hand has 6 or 7 points, you should pass.
Once the opponents have opened the bidding, any bid your side makes is an overcall and does not necessarily mean the same as an opening bid. Overcalls are based on holding a good suit, rather than specific points or quick tricks. They also indicate your partner's opening lead.
To overcall with 1 no trump, you must have 16 points and opponent's suit well stopped.
Used as a response to partner's opening of 1 no trump. The object is to get partner to be the first bidder of the major suit so that if it becomes trump, he will be playing the contract and the high point hand won't be exposed in dummy.
After partner bids 1 no trump:
With 8 or more points and at least one 4 card major a bid of 2 clubs asks partner to show a four
card major suit. If he has one, he bids it. If he has no 4 card major, he responds 2 diamonds which
you must correct to 2 no trump.
This convention is used to find out how many aces and kings the partnership holds before committing to slam. Warning: Be sure trump has been agreed before using this convention.
After the trump suit has been agreed, either partner may bid 4 no trump which asks for aces.
Bid 5 clubs with all or none of the aces.
Bid 5 diamonds with 1 ace.
Bid 5 hearts with 2 aces.
Bid 5 spades with 3 aces.
If the team has all four aces, they can now find out how many kings they have by bidding 5 no
trump. Responses are the same as above but one level higher.
To sign off, the "asker" bids the agreed suit.
Any bid of a new suit (not the agreed suit) by the "asker" requires you to correct to no trump at the same level.
After the opening lead, the following signals are legal and useful in certain situations. One
problem is that the other team can also read the signals.
Encouraging card - Whenever following suit or discarding, the play of a high card is a "come-on" to your
Discouraging card - Playing a low card is exactly the opposite to above.
Suit Preference - When you are about to give your partner a ruff, and you want to tell him which suit to
return, a low card asks for a switch to the lower ranking side suit (not trump) and a high card asks
for a switch to the higher ranking side suit.
Rule of Eleven
Against a no trump contract, when the card led is the fourth from the longest and strongest, subtract the value of the card from 11. The difference is the number of cards higher than the card led HELD IN THE OTHER THREE HANDS. Count the number in your hand and the number in dummy. Now you know how many above the lead are in the other opponent's hand.
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