Main Lesson 3J by Richard Pavlicek
This lesson applies not only to preemptive opening bids but also to direct jump overcalls; for example, if your right-hand opponent opens with 1 and you jump to 3 . The requirements and responding methods are virtually identical.
No problem. Double!
Oh yeah? Redouble!
In that case I take back my double.
I recommend an aggressive use of preemptive bids. Dont wait for the classic hand; look for every opportunity. This strategy will make your bridge sessions less consistent; but there is no reward for consistency in duplicate bridge. A steady player who scores 55% every session will almost never win; while the player who alternates from 45% to 65% will win nearly half the time.
|Once you preempt do not bid again unless you are forced to do so by your partner.|
| K Q J 10 7 5 4|
8 3 2
Clearly you will win 6 tricks in your own hand if spades are trumps.
In other cases it requires a guess. The best procedure is to estimate how many tricks your honor cards will win, then:
|Add 1 additional trick for each card over 3 in any suit.|
A Q 8 7 6 4 2
Q 8 6 2
You have two honor holdings to consider. The A-Q is sure to win 1 trick and might win 2 so figure 1 1/2 tricks. The Q may be worthless or it may win a trick so figure 1/2 trick. Thats neat: 1 1/2 + 1/2 = 2 tricks. Add 4 more tricks for the heart length and 1 for the fourth diamond.
Q J 10 8 5 3
J 8 4 2
The Q-J-10 will win 1 trick; ignore the J. Add 3 more tricks for the diamond length and 1 for the fourth club.
| 9 5 2|
K 7 3
K J 9 7 6 5 2
It would be very unlucky if the K-J-9 all lost to the A-Q-10 so figure 1 trick. The K is more likely than not to provide a trick so take the optimistic view and count it. Add 4 more tricks for the club length.
|0 to 10 HCP although with 10 HCP you should prefer a one-bid if your hand qualifies.|
|At least a 6 card suit contrary to popular belief, a 7+ card suit is not required.|
|No side 4 card major Q-x-x-x or better note that this permits a weak 4 card major.|
|Overbid two tricks at unfavorable vulnerability (vul. vs. not).|
|Overbid three tricks at equal vulnerability.|
|Overbid four tricks at favorable vulnerability (not vul. vs. vul.).|
Lets determine the correct opening bid for Examples 1-4 at each vulnerability situation:
1. Open 2 (a weak two-bid) at unfavorable; open 3 at equal; open 4 at favorable.
2. Open 3 at unfavorable; open 4 at equal or favorable (never preempt past game in your suit).
3. Pass at unfavorable or equal; open 3 at favorable.
4. Pass at unfavorable; open 3 at equal; open 4 at favorable.
|When responding to a preempt, think in terms of the tricks you can provide, not point count.|
5. Both Vul
| A Q 9 6|
K Q 6 3
Q J 9 2
Partner shows 6 tricks and your hand should provide 2, maybe 3. Do not commit the folly of bidding 3 NT as you will be unable to use partners suit for lack of entries. If the vulnerability were unfavorable, I would take a chance and bid 4 .
6. None Vul
A K 10 5 3
A Q 8 2
Q 8 4
There is a good chance you can provide 4 tricks, enough for game opposite partners 6. Note that you do not need trump support to raise a preempt. If the vulnerability were favorable, I would pass 3 .
7. Any Vul
| K J 7 6 5|
A K 8 5 3
Q 3 2
Partners bid is not what you wanted to hear, but the situation is likely to get worse if you bid. The best chance for a good score is to hope your left-hand opponent bids.
|When passing a preempt with a good hand, do not give it away by huddling. If you pass in tempo there is a better chance your left-hand opponent will bid or double and get into trouble.|
8. Both Vul
| K 8 2|
9 5 3
A 10 6 4 3
Here you do not expect to make 4 , but the opponents almost surely have a game (probably 4 ). Partners 6 tricks and your 2 tricks will make 4 a profitable sacrifice even if doubled; and there is a chance you may steal the contract. The 4 raise would be correct at any vulnerability.
|A new suit response below game is forcing by an unpassed hand.|
9. None Vul
| A Q 7 5 4 3|
A 3 2
K 8 4
Your bid is forcing. Partner should raise to 4 with two or three trumps. Otherwise he will usually bid 4 , then you will raise to 5 since you expect to provide 5 tricks. If partner instead opened 3 , you should pass because there is no safety in the likely event partner has no spade fit.
10. Both Vul
| K Q J 9 6|
A K Q 9 8
With two strong suits this hand is worth bidding despite the potential misfit. If partner does not raise spades you will next bid 4 (nonforcing) to offer a choice.
11. None Vul
10 3 2
A K J 8 7 6
9 7 4
Here your bid is tactical. You are sure the opponents can make 4 and you intend to sacrifice in 5 . The advantage of 4 is that your partner will know what to lead if the opponents buy the contract.
|Do not bid 3 NT with a singleton or void in partners suit unless you expect to win 9 tricks alone.|
12. Any Vul
| A Q 3|
K J 9 6 2
Q J 4
You hope to run partners diamond suit; A-Q-x-x-x-x-x would be nice, though you may succeed opposite lesser holdings.
13. Any Vul
| A K 9 3|
A 10 2
9 7 2
A 8 3
You do not have a diamond stopper, but 3 NT is the best hope for game (especially at matchpoints). Even if partner has no help, the lead may not be a diamond or the opponents may cash only 4 tricks.
|A preempt at the level of game may contain more than 10 HCP if a slam is unlikely.|
|A preempt in fourth-seat (after three passes) should contain 8+ HCP; else pass the deal out.|
14. Any Vul
| 9 3|
A K Q 9 8 6 2
K 9 3
In first or second position you should open 1 , but a slam is extremely unlikely once partner has passed. The preempt may keep the opponents out of the auction.
© 2013 Richard Pavlicek