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Bergen Raises - A strategic system of responses to partner's major suit opening bid showing 3 or 4-card trump support, providing both a constructive and preemptive basis.

Also see: Better Bidding With Bergen: Volume 1 - Uncontested Auctions  (pg 38)

Note: Most play that Bergen Raises are "off" after a passed hand, opening in third or fourth seat (see Drury) or when opponents interfere with bidding.  A minority of players have reversed the meanings between 3 Clubs and Diamonds (called Reverse Bergen).  Also see BROMAD

Bergen Raises accommodate numerous variations, requiring detailed partnership agreements:

  Distribution
Points
Trump Bid Response

       Using Constructive Raise treatment, use 1 and 2.

1. 5-7 3

1N (forcing), then single raise in major

2. 8-10 3

2H/S (Constructive, typically 2.5 - 3 cover cards)

       Using Non-constructive Raises, use #3.

3. 6-9 3

2H/S Single raise

4. 10-12 3

1N (forcing), then Jump to 3 in major

5. 13+ 4+

2N Use Jacoby Transfer bid

6. 7-10 4

3C (Note: Some exchange the meaning of 3C/3D)

7. 10-12 4

3D (Note: Some exchange the meaning of 3C/3D)

8. 2-5 4

3H/S jump to 3 in major (preemptive)
See #11 below for opposite major jumps (concealed splinter)

9. 13-15 3

3N jump with stopper.  The conventional variation uses 3N to show 3 trump with a flat 4-3-3-3 hand and honors spread among all suits.  Opener can then make a choice of game.

10. 2-5 5+

4H/S jump to 4 in major w/favorable Vulnerability (preemptive)

11. 9-12 4+

Traditional, non-Bergen treatment (used by many players)
4C/D/H
splinter in short suit (singleton/void)

However, Marty Bergen's original treatment is to use a generalized "ambiguous splinter" (concealed splinter) bid of 3 in the opposite major bid by Opener - with slam interest. See #12 -14

12. 9-12 4+

3H or 3S (opposite major). With slam interest, Opener can then make a artificial suit bid one suit step above Responder's concealed splinter suit bid to discover responder's short suit or make other appropriate bids:

1H - 3S; 3N - ? 4C=Clubs, 4D=Diamonds, 4H=Spades
1S - 3H; 3S - ?  3N=Clubs, 4C=Diamonds, 4D=Hearts

13. 9-12 2-3

4C is a "Swiss Raise" when playing ambiguous splinters.  4C describes a hand better than a Bergen 3N response, thus 4C show 16+ points.  This treatment is seldom included by most Bergen Raise players.

14. 9-12 5+

4D describes a hand stronger than jumping to 4H/S (2-5), equivalent similar to a 3C (7-10) Bergen raise with 5 or more trump.  This treatment is seldom included by most Bergen Raise players.

Examples:

 


 



 

  
  Q J 2
7 6
J 10 3 2
Q 7 5 3
 

1S - (P) - ?

Holding 6 HCP plus 1 distribution point for the Heart doubleton, first bid 1N (forcing) planning to rebid 2S on next bid.  Directly bidding 2S would show 8-10 points - a constructive raise.


 
 


 



 

  
  Q J 2
7 6
K 10 9 2
K 7 5 3
 

1S - (P) - ?

Holding 9 HCP plus 1 distribution point for the Heart doubleton, bid 2S (alertable if playing constructive raises, showing 3 cover cards here - 2 Kings and trump Queen)


 
 


 



 

  
  Q J 9 2
6 5
K J 10 2
9 7 5
 

1S - (P) - ?

Holding 7 HCP with 4 Spades, bid 3C.


 
 


 



 

  
  K J 9 2
6 5
K Q J 2
9 7 5
 

1S - (P) - ?

Holding 10 HCP with 4 Spades, bid 3D.

 


 

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