Duplicate bridge results and tip: Finding slams, part one

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By Val Rhead

Accurate bidding is essential when trying to reach a slam, or in avoiding slams that are not viable. As Bridge is a partnership game, both partners must communicate accurately to discover what the combined assets of the partnership are.  Each partner must bid carefully according to their partnership agreement, and each partner must carefully decipher the meaning of her partner’s bid.  The partnership agreement is crucial.  This can be difficult if you play with several different partners and you have different agreements with each one.  But, if your bidding is hit or miss, you’ll rarely be successful in bidding slams.

Limiting your hand as soon as possible is necessary.  Sometimes, you have a balanced or semi-balanced hand with 15 to 17 points, and will open One No Trump.  With 20 or 21 points, you will open Two No Trump.  These bids limit your hand immediately.  Your partner can add her points to yours.  You don’t know the possible total point count, but your partner does.  If the total is around 33 points the partnership is in slam territory and she can begin exploring.

If you open a hand with One Heart, your partner will only know that you have from 12 to 21 points. If your partner replies, One No Trump or Two Hearts, she has limited her hand to 6-9 points.  You are then the captain because you know the approximate worth of the partnership.  If your partner replies with a new suit such as One Spade, she has not limited her hand and has forced you to bid again.

Now you can often limit your hand on your second bid.  After your partner’s One Spade bid, you can rebid, Two Hearts, Two Spades or One No Trump to show a minimum opening hand (12-14 points).  If however you bid a Jump Shift to another suit (18-21 points) or a jump in No Trump (18-19 points) or a jump in your suit or partner’s suit or bid a new suit (all 15-17 points), these bids show a stronger hand.  Your partner will add her points to the value of your hand and know whether a slam may be available.  At this point, she will make a forcing bid and begin exploring to find a fit.

Once she finds a fit, she may start a cue bidding sequence to show first round control of certain suits, or ask for Aces.  We’ll talk more about those in a later column.  The most important point is that one member of the partnership must limit their hand so that the other partner knows whether they have the resources for a possible slam.

Entire books have been written about slam bidding.  We will continue with more details next week.

If you wish to promote an activity in your bridge group or ask a bridge question, send the information to [email protected] and I will try to include it in this column.

TOURNAMENT TRAIL:  Silver Masterpoints, North Bay Sectional
April 20-22, 2018 at the North Bay Elks Club, 325 Elks Lane
Pairs Friday 1 & 7pm and Saturday 10:30am & 3pm; Sunday Swiss 10am
To confirm the details, read the information flyer:  Click on “Tournaments” at http://acbl.org  ,your opportunity for fun and to earn silver points.
Stratification based on average:
Open A = 1500+, B = 500-1500, C = 0-500, also 299 game and 0-50 newcomer game

HUNTSVILLE DUPLICATE BRIDGE CLUB

Please NOTE new time 7pm: Games are now on EVENING PLAY for the Summer, Tuesday 7:00pm Trinity United Church 33 Main Street.  Please arrive 15 minutes before game time.  For partners and information call Liz Graham (705) 789-7187

The following winners are for Tuesday, Apr 10 with 7 pairs playing a Howell movement.  1. Betty Fagin and Brian Brocklehurst; 2. Jim Smith and Ralph Mitchell; 3. Yvonne Cox and Helen Pearson; 4. Val Rhead and Gail Lederer

MUSKOKA DUPLICATE BRIDGE CLUB (Bracebridge)

Games for the Bracebridge Club are Mondays 7pm, Knox Presbyterian Church, 120 Taylor Road.  Please arrive 15 minutes before game time.  For information or partnerships, call Brian at 705-645-5340 [email protected]

The following winners are from Monday, Apr 9 with 15 pairs playing a Howell movement. 1. Liz Barnes and David Bryce; 2. Val Rhead and Joanne Garvey; 3. Yvonne Cox and Helen Pearson; 4. Joyce Payne and Malcolm Payne; 5. Gail Lederer and Hazel Bowes; 6. Gerry Flaherty and Ralph Hair; 7/8. Betty Fagin and Brian Brocklehurst; 7/8. Frank Vagnoni and Gerry Lawrence

Looking for more bridge tips? You’ll find them here.

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