Social Lesson #17, Competitive Bidding – Overcalls & Preempts

Hello Bridge Friends!

Love it or hate it, competitive Bridge bidding is the spice of life at the table. So once we have a solid grasp on the basics of non-competitive auctions, it’s time for us to step-up and delve into both the exciting and darker side of Bridge bidding.

And how about you?  Once your Right Hand Opponents has opened the auction, in the second seat are you ready to overcall a wide variety of hands with various strengths and suit lengths?  How many points: 12+, 8-9,  or perhaps only 6-7 High Card Points at the 1 level?  Does vulnerability matter and how about your distribution of honors – do you need good working honors in your long suit?  And if not at the 1 level (1D, 1H or 1S), do you need better working honors if you overcall at the 2 level if making a non-jump bid?  So if it’s a preemptive jump bid, now maybe?    We welcome you to tune in to our first in a series of episodes on competitive overcall bids, starting off with suit overcalls in the second seat – be it at the 1, 2 or 3 level.

Part 1 – Introduction to Overcalls for all audiences – click here to view 18 minutes of video
Free, Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 2 – 30 minutes of video

Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 3 – 17 minutes of video
Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 4 – 33 minutes of video
Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 5 – 32 minutes of video

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Advanced Lesson #16, Responder Rebids – #11-20 with Analysis, Commentary and Numerous Bridge Hands

We are back with more of our analysis, commentary and illustrative Bridge hands to bid and play in response to our survey questions regarding responder rebids!

As you will recall, responder rebids are based on a significant number of dependencies:
- Opener’s bid
- Responder’s first bid
- Opener’s rebid
- Possible interference bids

Not worry, as always BridgeHands is more than willing to take on the beast with insightful responses to the survey questions.

We will take a look at various forms of the Fourth Suit Forcing bid, jump suit 2 level opening bids in the fourth seat after three passes, passing and making a jump rebid after partner opens, Jacoby Transfers with opponent doubling or making interference bids, unusual rebids after partner makes a Stayman call and more.

All audiences – Part 1, hand 11 with two variations – 18 minutes
Free, Premium an ULTRA audiences – Part 2, hand 12 with five variations – 16 minutes
Premium and ULTRA Members – Part 3, hands 13-16 with six variations – 40 minutes
Premium and ULTRA Members – Part 4, hands 17-18 with 7 variations – 32 minutes
Premium and ULTRA Members – Part 5, hands 19-20 with 7 variations & recap of entire show – 45 minutes

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Social Lesson #16 – Bridge Partscore Contracts – Gaining Entries, Finesses, Unblocking, Endplays

Greetings Bridge Friends!

At long last, we conclude our series on Bridge promotion plays looking at partscore contracts and focusing our attention on gaining entries.  And while it might seem easy to make a contract when not playing for a game bonus, our opponents have other ideas – particularly when THEY have their fair share of honors.  In this lesson we begin with 10 hands, yet before the play is through, we expand the hand permutations and associated play to a whopping 35 hand variations.  So while sometimes a less than perfect line of play might turn out okay, be careful – on the next hand the opponents line of play may improve, our their card distribution might change and all is lost!

Part 1 – Entries and Promotion Play for all audiences – click here to view 23 minutes of video 
Free, Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 2 – 18 minutes of video

Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 3 – 19 minutes of video
Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 4 – 27 minutes of video
Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 5 – 28 minutes of video
Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 6 – 17 minutes of video

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Advanced #15: Rebids, Splinters, Jacoby 2 Notrump – Slow Shows, Fast Denies

In this 192 minute mega-episode we explore Splinter Bids, Jacoby 2 Notrump, cuebids, interference bids, defensive strategies and more.  BridgeHands provides commentary and illustrative Bridge hands to bid and play in response to our survey questions 12 through 21 with over 2 dozen hands regarding opener and responder rebids.  If you are looking to make more slams, especially when you and partner only have 25 or so High Card Points, you’ve come to the right place!

This lesson goes deep, very deep with a comprehensive discussion on how “Slow Shows – Fast Denies” bidding is both important for you and your partner to accurately bid your game and slam hands, as well as utilize obstructive tactics to minimize interference from the opponents.  Of course in some circumstances frisky opponents have a mind of their own.  But worry not Bridge friends, we will encounter some of these “messy” bidding scenarios in our lesson and provide you additional tactics to succinctly and elegantly counteract their obstructive bids.

All audiences – Part 1 – Benefits of Slow Shows-Fast Denies – 22 minutes
Free, Premium an ULTRA audiences – Part 2, Splinters, hands 9-9b 22 minutes
Free, Premium an ULTRA audiences – Part 2b, Splinters, hands 10-11b 22 minutes
Premium and ULTRA Members – Part 3, Jacoby 2 Notrump, hands 12-12b – 24 minute video
Premium and ULTRA Members – Part 4, hands 13a-14 – 26 minute video
Premium and ULTRA Members – Part 4b, hands 15a-16 – 15 minute video
Premium and ULTRA Members – Part 5, hands 17-19b – 33 minute video
Premium and ULTRA Members – Part 6, hands 20-22 – 29 minute video

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Social Lesson #15 – Bridge Suit Promotion Part II, Rule of 7, Hold Back, Endplay, Loser on Loser, Safety Plays, the Dangerous Opponent and more

Greetings Bridge Friends!

Here we go again with more on promotion plays and another 24 challenging yet glorious hands to quench your declarer thirst to bring home that game, slam or even a grandslam contract.  As always, we start off by considering our objective.  In a suit contract we begin by counting our losers, while in a Notrump contract we count our winners – desperate to first win our tricks before the opponents promote THEIR suit.  Depending on factors like our quick tricks, running suits, shortage, leads, bids and the like, after long (or even short honor-bound) suit promotion, we begin by considering ruffing and finesse plays.  As in our prior lesson, we will start off seeing the consequence when the declarer makes a quick play without evaluating the best line of play to make their objective.  Then we will carefully cover the best line of play declarer to proudly bring home our contract.

Part 1 – Promotion play for all audiences – click here to view 29 minutes of video
Free, Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 2 – 34 minutes of video
Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 3 – 35 minutes of video
Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 4 – 41 minutes of video
Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 5 – 40 minutes of video

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Social Lesson #14 – Bridge Suit Promotion, Rule of 7, Hold Back, Endplay, Loser on Loser, Safety Plays, the Dangerous Opponent and more

Between promotion, ruffing and finesse plays, certainly promotion plays gain us the most tricks hand over hand.  And when promotion plays are used in connection other plays, we rack up even more tricks.   In this two-episode MEGA lesson (Lesson 14 and 15), we will cover a whopping 37+ hands.  And if that is not enough, for each hand we will take 2 (or more) attempts, first illustrating the problem when we do not use our arsenal of suit promotion options, second where we us e one of a handful of suit promotion techniques .

As expected, you will see the Rule of 7 come into play on a fair number of Notrump contracts.  However, over the series of 16 hands (plus several warm-up hands) in Lesson 14 Day 3, we will learn that like all so-called “rules,” it pays to carefully consider other factors before blindly playing hands by rote.  Ditto on holdback plays when the opponent s lead a side suit where we have a 5 or 6 card suit – while we worry that the opponents may soon ruff the suit, when holding Ace-third opposite 2 or 3 little, sometimes we ought to duck winning the first trick.

Regarding safety plays, we will reinforce the wisdom of playing unfavorable odds (like 4-1 opponent suit splits) when we need to make a critical contract.   Then there’s the spooky “dangerous opponent,” the situation when our house of cards would fall apart (figuratively) should we let a certain opponent on the lead.  The consequence will likely lead the opponents to trap our finessable honors, promote THEIR suit, or both!

Loser on loser plays make sense when giving up a losing trick will gain more than one trick elsewhere (including avoiding a dangerous opponent).

Part 1 – Promotion play for all audiences – click here to view 40 minutes of video

Free, Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 2 – 27 minutes of video

Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 3 – 32 minutes of video

Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 4 – 33 minutes of video

Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 5 – 30 minutes of video on how to make challenging slam contracts and other tricky plays

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Advanced Lesson #14, Responder Rebids – Survey Questions 1-10 with Analysis, Commentary and Numerous Bridge Hands

Okay, at long last we have produced our first segment of our analysis, commentary and illustrative Bridge hands to bid and play in response to our survey questions regarding responder rebids!

You would think bidding and responses might be challenging enough, let alone figuring out various permutations of responder rebids.  But wait, there’s more!  Yes, in this lessons we push our look and explore responder REBIDS after opener’s rebid!  Whew, that might be a tall order to fill but we will give it our best shot based, taking a look at hundreds of your survey responses and as if to prove the point, we will explore 20 hands to demonstrate various lines of bidding and play.

But fear not, in this segment we will limit our analysis to the first 10 of the 40 questions in the survey.

All audiences – Part 1 with four variations of the first hand – 24.5 minutes
Free, Premium an ULTRA audiences – Part 2, hand 2 – 19 minutes
Premium and ULTRA Members – Part 3, hands 3-5 – 38 minute video
Premium and ULTRA Members – Part 4a, hands 6-8 – 25 minute video
Premium and ULTRA Members – Part 4b, hands 9-10 – 19.5 minute video

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SURVEY for Advanced Lesson #14 – Rebids

Greetings Bridge Friends!

We will be producing Advanced Lesson #14, “Rebids, Part 1″ shortly  In the interim, we welcome your responses to the attached survey/questionnaire.  Good luck and happy hunting!

Click here to begin the slam bidding survey.

FYI – below is a copy of the survey questions and possible responses (click the above link to take the actual survey).

In our upcoming Advanced Video Lesson #14 in addition to our commentary including an assortment of hands to bid and play (with animation), we will share everyone’s consolidated survey results along with our feedback.

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Social Lesson #13 – Bridge Safety Play, Endplay, Spot Cards and more…

Okay, now that we are getting the hang of suit promotion, finesses and ruffing as the declarer, let’s turn our attention at some new tricks to develop extra tricks at the table.   Yet before we begin counting our proverbial chickens before the eggs have hatched, in many situations its more important to ensure we will make our auction than risking an unfortunate suit distribution by the opponents that might cause us to lose the contract.  Enter the Safety Play where we are willing to give up an overtrick to the opponents in order to safely fulfill our contract.  For instance in a 3 Notrump contract with no outside entries to the dummy that contains a 5-3-3-2 long minor suit headed by the Ace and King and 3 little in declarers hand, opener should duck one trick in dummy and THEN later win the two top honors to make four total tricks (assuming the opponents hold the likely 3-2 suit distribution).   And how about a similar situation when declarer holds 3 in the minor suit and opener holds a 6 card suit headed by the Ace-King-Queen – now what?  True, the opponents 4-1 suit split is only a 28 percent chance, but wouldn’t you normally want to make the contract more than three-quarters of the time?

As we have discussed in our prior Polling You lesson # 52-54, the Endplay can is a great alternative to making a “brute force” finesse play in certain circumstances.  The most classic form of the endplay is when the declarer has a combined major trump suit length of 9 cards, 4-2 or 4-3 in two side suits, and a 3-3 “mirrored” declarer-dummy suit length fit in a third suit that contains an Ace-Queen combination.  In this situation, rather than risking the 50-50 percent finesse attempt, the declarer is wise to “strip down” the 4-3 and 4-2 side suit before allowing the Left Hand Opponent to gain the lead.  That way the LHO is stuck for a lead, either finessing self or partner in the waiting Ace-Queen side suit, or leading a suit that dummy will ruff and the declarer pitching a side suit loser in their own hand.

Lastly, we will look at several situations where either the declarer or the dummy (or both) can potentially gain a critical trick with a side suit 10 or less.  After all, promotion is a beautiful thing, even if it is no more than a side suit in Bridge!   So let’s check out our bidding play of Bridge hands here at BridgeHands with over 15 hand variations and 100 minutes animated card play with commentary.

Visitors are welcome to view the 28 minute, Part 1 series of our video lesson with a handful of subtle variations that will influence our card play.   Our Premium and ULTRA members are welcome to enjoy the entire four-part lesson segments.   Additionally, be sure to check out the hundreds of hours of videos in our archive by clicking “Index to Videos” on the navigation above or simply click this link.

Part 1 – Declarer play for all audiences – click here to view 28 minutes of video

Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 2 – 27 minutes of video

Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 3 – 21 minutes of video

Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 4 – 25 minutes of video on how to make challenging slam contracts

Happy Trails,

BridgeHands

Advanced Lesson #13, 2/1 Slam Bidding, Jacoby 2 Notrump, Splinter Bids, Cuebids and more

Greeting Bridge Friends,

Finally, it’s time to step up to the table and take our best shot at bidding and making a slam contract.  Whether you play the 2/1 system, Standard American or something else, in this lesson we will cover many of the popular slam methods and conventions to propel your partnership to bid and make the coveted 12 trick contract – or more!  In addition to cuebidding controls, we will explore Blackwood and Gerber conventions including 14-30 and 03-14 Roman Keycard Blackwood, the Jacoby 2 Notrump mild slam asking sequence, splinter bids and even discuss Exclusion Blackwood, Blackwood responses with voids, the three possible meanings of a 5 level major suit raise (depending on the context) and more.   And that’s just the beginning!  Here at BridgeHands you’ll have the opportunity to play over 15 Bridge Hands that will go beyond finesses and promotion plays, including lead-directing plays, squeeze plays, analyzing inferences, etc.

So with over 2 hours and 40 minutes of animated video material, you won’t want to miss this lesson, discuss partnership agreements you may have missed, and consider adopting some of our BridgeHands recommendations.  And as always, we have a plethora of  additional Bridge hands here at BridgeHands – we welcome you to view our online archive with hundreds of hours of Bridge videos are always available here:

Index to Videos” on the navigation above or simply click this link.

All audiences – Part 1, Bidding Theory – 29 minutes

Free, Premium an ULTRA audiences – Part 2, Review 15 Question Survey Results – 38 minutes

Premium and ULTRA Members – Part 3 – Serious 3 Notrump, Cuebidding Controls – 36 minute video

Premium and ULTRA Members – Part 4, Jacoby 2 Notrump, Blackwood and more – 22 minute video

Premium and ULTRA Members – Part 5a, Splinter Bids, Blackwood and more – 24 minute video

Premium and ULTRA Members – Part 5b, Splinter Bids, Blackwood and more – 17 minute video

Premium and ULTRA Members – download PowerPoint slides

We hope you enjoy the show!

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Happy Trails,

BridgeHands