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Points Schmoints - CHAPTER 4 -

© Marty Bergen


Order Points Schmoints here   Other Bergen books
Index   TOC

Prior Chapter:
CHAPTER 3  - NOT FOR EXPERTS ONLY                                          17

Note: Only summaries are included below -
see book for details

Sometimes the Fourth Suit is the Best Bid                                               25

Beware the Misfit                                                                                      28

Don't Be Shy, Tell Me What You Prefer                                                  31

A Unique, Crucial Exception                                                                      32

Sometimes the Fourth Suit is the Best Bid


You are pleased to pick up this nice hand and even happier when your partner opens 1. RHO passes and you respond 1. LHO also passes and partner rebids 1. Here is a review (with the opponents passing), allowing you to stall for time.

Partner       You

1            1

1            ???

1.    Should you bid 2NT? No. You would be promising at least one stopper in clubs. Why?  When three suits have been bid, it is likely that the opponents will lead the unbid suit. If the defenders have an indicated lead, declarer must be prepared for it. It would be rash to jump in notrump without a club stopper.

2.    Should you bid 3?  This would be the choice of some players. Does it appeal to you? I hate it! A jump rebid in your own suit promises six of them. A suit like KQJ109 would be a reasonable exception, but Q9754, no way.

3.    Should you bid 3?  This bid has similar drawbacks; playing 4 with seven trumps will rarely be correct. Now what?

Note: Some experienced players would treat responder's second-round     jump as invitational. Discuss this with your partner.


Beware the Misfit

“Sometimes the bulls win. Sometimes the bears win. But the hogs never win.”

                                                                     Wall Street Adage



When you sense a misfit, stop bidding ASAP.



Don't Be Shy, Tell Me What You Prefer

Sitting South, you are dealt the following mediocre hand:


          North         East            South
—              1
             P                1
P                2              P                ???


What is your call? 

1.    Should you pass?  Do not panic, passing 2 is not the answer. Four-two fits are not the solution, even when you are stuck.

2.    Should you bid 2?  No, a new suit by an unpassed responder is forcing. The last thing you want with this weak, misfitting hand is to force partner to do more bidding.

3.    Should you bid 2?  No way. You should not rebid an unsupported five-card suit. Once partner bids hearts and clubs, he is likely to hold a singleton spade. 2 takes you from the frying pan into the fire.

4.    Should you bid 2NT?  No, 2NT invites partner to bid 3NT if he has more than a minimum opening bid. You would need about 11 HCP for an invitational 2NT bid.


A Unique, Crucial Exception

“It is a miracle to me that, in all the literature of bridge, there is not a single chapter on ‘how to pass.’”

      Ely Culbertson, outstanding pre-Goren bridge personality

A new suit by responder is 100% forcing as long as he is an unpassed hand and the auction is not competitive. Understanding this is crucial to harmonious partnership bidding. The only exception occurs after opener rebids 1NT


CHAPTER 5 - THE BATTLE OF THE SEXES                                       33


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