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Bridge & other card games/Responding to partner's pre-empt

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Question
QUESTION: If one's partner makes a pre-empt bid of 2-3-or 4, what features, or other considerations, should responder think about when analyzing his/her hand before responding [or not responding]to that pre-empt?

ANSWER: Hi,

Here is a website that might be of help.

http://www.rpbridge.net/3j00.htm

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: My understanding of pre-empts:
  1.initially it's NOT a forcing bid
  2. partner can respond with less than 6 points depending on various factors

Is this correct?

Answer
Hi,

A preempt is definitely not forcing. The bidder has shown a weak one suited hand. Most of the time partner should and will pass since he will have no desire to raise the level of bidding opposite a weak partner and it is not really productive to show a suit of his own unless he has a good 6 card major suit and a strong 15 or better point hand.

However, partner should definitely respond (or even jump) with a weak hand provided that he has a good fit for partner...4 card support or better...plus a distributional hand with a singleton or void in an outside suit. Part of the rationle behind preempting is the obstruct the auction for the opponents and make it difficult for them to get to their best contract, while being careful not to risk incurring a large penalty yourself. If your side has a 10 card or more fit then the opponents have a trump fit of their own someplace else and if you and your partner are both weak then the opponents have the majority of the strength. In this case the opponents can most likely make a game or even a slam. By responding you obstruct the auction even more, giving the opponents less room to find their best suit and their best level. By having a good fit for partner and a distributional hand, you make it less likely that you will lose too many tricks and suffer a large penalty even if you both have weak hands.

If partner opens 3S and you have Axxx(spades), x, xxxxx, xxx you should bid 4S or even jump to 5S even though you have only 4 points. You probably will not go down more than 1 or 2 while the opponents can almost certainly make a game and quite likely a slam. Make them guess what to do at the 5 or the 6 level.

Bridge & other card games

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I can answer questions on bidding and on cardplay with the caveat that the former may necessarily involve some subjectivity. I have been playing tournament bridge for over 20 years and I have won several regional tournaments.

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