Social Lesson 2 – Open in Major, Responder Invites Game

Continuing our journey navigating major suit raises, this time the opener begins bidding 1 Heart or 1 Spade promising at least a 5 card suit.  On a good day Responder will support the suit and perhaps even make an invitation 3 level raise with 10-12 distributional suit.  On other days, Responder will not have 3+card support and rummage up another bid.  Still, not all is lost and Opener may rebid the major suit with a 6 card suit.   But that’s just the start – tune in to our video for 43 minutes of enlightening and entertaining instruction at BridgeHands!

Premium and ULTRA members are welcome to enjoy both lesson segments as well as the Advanced Part 2 lesson on Freebids.  Better yet, 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.

Click here to view Teaser – Hand 1 of 6

Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view entire 43 minute video

In this lesson we will learn to appreciate the value of dummy side suit shortage points, useful for declarer to make extra tricks by ruffing losers in the dummy.  And when those pesky opponents immediately pull trump and deplete the dummy’s trump, we’ll go to the proverbial “Plan B,” giving it the good old college try and take our luck at promoting the dummy’s side suit.

Even if you understand the basics, be sure to check out our topics on how counting can influence which way to take a finesse, suit quality, losing trick count, cover cards and more.
We hope you enjoy the show!

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Happy Trails,



  1. ddascher says:

    In this hand the concept of playing low when holding the Ace when a singleton is led from dummy is discussed. In the first hand the defender (East) plays low. In the second hand he plays the Ace. Your discussion implies that it was a better choice to play the Ace. However, you did not mention that in the second hand, the defender had the QUEEN of the suit also. (Note: In fact you said all hands were the same as in hand 1) This is very important in the decision to play the Ace because now the declarer cannot make a mistake with his play … either the King or the Jack will win.

    I am not saying the defender should have played low on hand 1 but there is some argument for making that play because it may induce declarer to lose the Jack to the Queen and retain the Ace for later use.

    • BridgeHands says:
      Hello ddascher,
      Yes and generally its a difficult decision whenever a defender chooses to play “second hand high” – especially when the dummy has a singleton. On important criteria that we didn’t mention in the video is for the second seat player to ask this question:
      What will the Declarer do next?
      And what information does the second seat player have when making this decision?
      1. Obviously, the useful honors and suit distribution of their hand.
      2. Ditto for the dummy hand, including trump length, short side suits (in trump contract), threatening long side suit (promotion play) and marked finesses (tenaces where you do not have the intervening honor).
      3. The declarer and partner’s bidding
      4. Partners lead and signals
      5. The declarer’ line of play
      In the case of our hand, at trick two East should look carefully at the dummy’s cards (Spades are trump):
      xxx x Axx Qxxxx
      Looking at East’s holding:
      Axx Axxxx xx xx
      Here it is clear that the declarer plans to get in a few dummy ruffs in the Heart suit. So East should carefully consider flying up with the Heart Ace, play the Spade Ace and another trump. This reduces the dummy to a singleton, negating declarer South from enjoying repeated ruffs. And East should know that South will have 3+ Hearts since East has five Hearts and the dummy only has one.
      Thank you for pointing out the difference on the second hand where the defender holds the Queen.
      Happy trails, Michael

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