Bridge & other card games/Bridge


May I have your advice on the following:

1. I understand an opening bid of 2 Clubs (22 points) is a Demand bid to partner and cannot be passed.  If partner has no points nor sufficient suit to bid, the response is 2 Diamonds.  Do you agree?

2.  I understand a response to an opening bid of 1 NT can be 'Pass' if responder has 0-7 points and no 5-card suit.  Would it be better to bid 2 Diamonds as a response and thereby give opener another bid?  My experience has been it's very difficult sometimes to make 1 NT and I wonder if a suit re-bid by opener would be better.

3.  When is a Quantitative Bid used in a Slam Bid and why does it differ from 4 Clubs or 4 No Trump as a lead-up to bidding 'Slam'?

Thanks very much.

Stewart Fluney


1. You are correct that partner must respond to a 2C opening bid. Most of the time he will respond 2D. This is a "waiting bid" allowing opener to further describe his hand. The rationale behind this is that opener is usually the one who has the important distinctive feature, either a long strong suit or else a specific notrump range, and it is important to reveal this as early as possible. Responder usually just has a weak collection of garbage. If, however, responder does have something important to show...usually a five card or longer suit with at least 2 of the top 3 honors, especially a major...then responder may bid that suit instead of 2D.

2.It is definitely not a good idea to respond to 1NT by bidding 2D with a balanced 0-7 points. First of all, 2D is needed as a transfer bid to hearts. Secondly, the 1NT opener is likely to have a balanced hand with no long suit. If responder also has a balanced hand then your side may very well have no suit fit at all. The best you might have is a 4-3 fit and now the bidding is at a higher level. Even if you do happen to find an eight card trump fit, you will now be at the three level (if it is a minor suit) and with 0-7 points that should not be much fun. Furthermore, if you have 5 or more points, 1NT will probably make or come pretty close.

A possibility you might consider is if you have a weak hand with at least 5 diamonds and at least 3 cards in each major would be to bid 2C Stayman and pass any response. You will be playing in at least a 4-3 major suit fit or else at least a 5-2 diamond fit. There is no guarantee, though, that these contracts would fare any better than 1NT.

3. Consider cases where partner opens 1NT or 2NT, or after he opens one of a suit and shows a specific point range by rebidding 1NT or 2NT. In these specific situations, a jump to 4NT would not be Blackwood -- it's a natural raise of notrump that invites partner to bid 6NT if he's at the top of his point range. Partner can pass 4NT if he has a minimum notrump opener or rebid. In these situations use the Gerber convention to ask for aces.

In general, 4NT asks for aces if a trump suit has been agreed upon. Alternatively, if the opener has opened or rebid notrump showing a specific point range then 4NT is a quantitative bid and 4C Gerber asks for aces.  

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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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