Bridge & other card games/Bridge


Opener       O       Responder       O
13 pts.          10 pts.
1 H        Pass        1 S         Pass
1 N/T      Pass        2 C         Pass
2 N/T      Pass        3 N/T       Pass

1 C        Pass        1 D         Pass
1 H        Pass        2 N/T       Pass
3 N/T      Pass        Pass        Pass

Do you consider the point count above insufficient to bid for game?

In addition, do you consider a N/T response to an opening bid of 1 H to be one meaning there is 6 points but nothing to bid above the opening one and its only purpose is to allow opener to bid again?  In consequence, should opener go back to original bid and increase by one with the idea it is less risky than passing?  This assumes, of course, opener cannot increase the bid normally.

Thank you.

Stewart Fluney


To bid a notrump game the partnership should have a combined total of at least 25 high card points. 23 points is insufficient. In the first auction, the opener shows a minimum range opening hand of 12-14 points when he rebids 1NT. Responder with only 10 points should now realize that there is not enough points to bid game. The 2C bid in Standard bidding shows 10 points or less and is not forcing or invitational. It should show a hand with 5 spades and 5 clubs. If responder had a less unbalanced hand with 10 points he should just pass 1NT.

Over 2C, opener should bid 2S with 3 card support or pass 2C with 3 card club support. 2NT is ill advised since responder could have as few as 5 or 6 points in which case trying to take 8 tricks in notrump would be extremely difficult. If opener has neither 3 card spade support nor 3 card club support but instead has 4 diamonds he should try to make the best of a bad situation by correcting to 2S or passing 2C...playing in a 5-2 trump fit. In all cases, though, opener should try to end the auction at the 2 level. Given that opener did bid 2NT, unless he discovered an extra king in his hand (unlikely) he still has the same minimum 12-14 points that he had earlier in the auction. There is no excuse for responder to bid 3NT.

In the second auction, responder's rebid of 2NT is usually played as an invitational hand of 11-12 points. With 10 points, responder should rebid 1NT and opener should pass.

A 1NT response to 1H shows 6-9 or a balanced 10 points without 3 card heart support or a 4 card spade suit. It's purpose is to convey that information. It could be almost any other type of hand, however. It could have, for example, a 7 card club or diamond suit. Since it is not strong enough to respond at the 2 level the only other choice is to respond 1NT. Opener should not go back to hearts unless he started with 6 hearts since it is possible that responder could have a singleton or a void in hearts.

Many advanced players use a bidding system in which a 1NT response to 1H or 1S is actually forcing and makes opener bid again. That, however, is not a part of the Standard American bidding system.  

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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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