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Intermediate
Bidding Question

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In fourth seat following a preemptive (weak 2) opening bid in first  seat, what is minimum point count to bid 2 Notrump?
 

While some players mistakenly believe your strength requirements are always 3 points less in balancing seat ("borrow a King"), authoritative books and top players would disagree in your scenario. 

Since you are unilaterally contracting for 8 tricks when making a 2 Notrump bid in the above example, you should have the same strength that you needed in the direct seat: around 15 - 18 points.

Some may ask:

"Why not lighten the strength requirement 3 points here since we do so when making a double in the balancing seat?"

Good question!  Consider this - while the 2 Notrump overcaller has good values, they are sitting in the wrong seat.  Positionally, the Notrump balancer should be over (behind) the preemptor, not under (in front of) the preemptor.  Holding tenaces (broken honor sequences), the balancer is likely to become finessed if the RHO gets on lead, suffering a similar fate when dummy is on lead and declarer tries to develop tricks in the promised preemptive suit.

In summary, Mike Lawrence suggests 15 - 19 points in his book "The Complete Book on Balancing in Contract Bridge".  Similarly, Ron Andersen recommends 15 - 18 points in "Preempts From A to Z".
 

 


 

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