By Peter Rhead
More examples of when to use Bergen Raises
Today we look at more examples of when you and your partner might use Bergen Raises. With each of the following hands, you are the responder. Which hands might use Bergen Raises when partner and opponents bid as described? You have the agreement with your partner that you will play Reverse Bergen where Three Clubs is 10-12 points and Three Diamonds is 7-9 points. Each bid has at least four-card support for the opening One Spade or One Heart.
Case 1: Partner opens One Heart. With this responding hand of ten points (including two length points), you know that you may have a Heart game-going partnership and maybe more. Therefore you respond with Bergen Raises, Three Clubs. Partner immediately announces “Alert” and then completes the Bergen Raise, Three Hearts at his turn to bid. If his opening hand warrants going directly to game he bids Four Hearts. If you were at your maximum, twelve points, you may take his Three Heart bid to game, Four Hearts. He is the captain and must lead the partnership to a slam try if his hand warrants it.
Case 2: Partner opens One Spade. With this responding hand you have eight points including one length point and good support for partner’s opening Spades. You give this information to your partner by bidding the Bergen Raise Three Diamonds. If partner has enough strength with his Spade opening, he will go to game, Four Spades. Otherwise he will bid Three Spades and there he will play.
Case 3: Partner opens One Spade. You are very happy with his bid. With this responding hand, you have ten points. You know your partnership may have game-going strength. Therefore you bid the strong Bergen Raise, Three Clubs. Partner will bid Four Spades if your ten points is enough for the game score. Otherwise Three Spades is a good contract inviting you to go to Four Spades if at your maximum, twelve points – but not in this case!
For more complete information, check out “Bergen Raises” in Barbara Seagram’s 25 More Bridge Conventions You Should Know, page 21
Next Week: Takeout Doubles
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