Advanced Lesson 2 – Freebids in Competitive Auctions in Duplicate Bridge

Continuing our journey navigating competitive bids, we take another look at what can go right and wrong when bidding in the direct and balancing seat.   When use wisely, freebids help us show partner additional length or side-suit values, while balancing seat bids in the passout seat are all about hand-to-hand competitive bidding – mano-a-mano.  In this lesson we also compare and contrast allowing the competitors to win the auction in the event they overbid, making a seemingly odd Notrump balancing predicated on the opponents and partners bidding, underscoring the difference between a chunky 5 card suit with top honors versus a hand with spread honors and much more.

By the way, Premium and ULTRA members are welcome to enjoy both lesson segments as well as the Social Part 2 lesson on Major Suit Raises, one hand which also touching on competitive bidding and 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

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Happy Trails,



  1. the video is running slow the voice is faster than the video. what to do?

    • BridgeHands says:

      Hello Margie,
      Perhaps your computer is having problems keeping up with the High-Definition 1280 x 720 resolution, causing the video to lag behind the audio a bit. This could be attributable to a number of problems such as: older computer, insufficient random access memory (not disk memory), incorrect “codec” video driver, having too many simultaneous computer programs loaded, perhaps an issue with anti-virus settings, etc. Assuming you have a PC program running a Microsoft operating system, you might try simultaneously pressing Control-ALT-Delete keys. On the pop-up Windows Task Manager, press the “Performance” Tab. Now play the video lesson – if the CPU usage is running at 100 percent, that indicates something is bogging down your computer. You might get some help from a friend to have them determine if one of your other programs is causing the conflict – the tab “Processes” show all the other programs running along with the percentage of CPU required to run other programs (the 4th column from the right). Hopefully this provides you a start to isolate and resolve the problem.

      On some of our earlier episodes, we did encode lower resolution 800 x 450 resolution such as this one:

      Hopefully you can adjust your computer settings to enjoy our videos in HD resolution.

      Warm Regards,


  2. hcs1040 says:

    In one of the hand when West opens with 1 D, the north passes and East bids 1H. The South passes and West bids 1S. Again North passes and East passes 1S, I thought 1S bid by West was forcing for 1 round and East must bid again. Did I miss something? Please let me know.
    Harry .

  3. BridgeHands says:

    Hello Harry,
    While I wasn’t able to detect the hand that you cite as erroneous auction, indeed I must have misspoke if I mentioned West bid 1 Spade after partner East made that bid.
    On none of the hands East had 4 Spades, so East should not be responding in Spades (2 or more Spades) lacking a 4-4 Spade fit with partner. Here’s the Spade distribution for the hands:
    Spades: West East
    Hand 2a: 2 4
    Hand 2b: 2 4
    Hand 2c: 4 3
    Hand 2d: (none)
    Hand 2e: 4 3
    Hand 2d2: 4 3
    I hope this helps clear up any possible confusion!
    Warm Regards,

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