Do the math and you will find game more often.
This week’s tip is this:
When you make your first call, be sure you already know how many high card points you need your partner to show you in order for you to bid game.
So, every time you pick up your hand, develop a habit that all successful bidders have in their mind before they make their first call.
How to develop this habit? – Well for a start – practice simple subtraction – 25 minus my points equals how many I need partner to have. Practice with our pairs matching quiz.
Each correct number pairing will equal 25. Each incorrect pairing will not.
We have started to train the mind. So now let’s practice.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
We hold a balanced hand with 13 high card points and partner opens the bidding – at what level should we play this deal?
ANSWER: 25 – 13 = 12 = Partner has opened = 12 HCP = PLAY in GAME
We hold a hand with 12 points and 6 hearts. Partner responds 2H which shows 6-9 points and 4 hearts.
ANSWER: 25 – 12 = 13 <> Partner’s 6-9 so please PLAY in a PART SCORE
When you need partner to have a certain point count, but s/he has not showed you that yet, what should you do to find bid?
ANSWER: Make a helpful bid and to encourage partner to look again – and reassess his/her hand – or tell you more about how many points s/he has.
Ready to try another quiz?
Here goes – You have the option to PASS, ASK MORE aka INVITE, BID GAME
Now have a look at these auctions to further understand the tip’s value for smooth bidding decisions.
Above: West has 11 HCP. 25-11 = partner needs 14. And has already passed – so no chance of game. So W knows to stop in a part-score before East even bids. This West was in third seat. After two passes some players will open with only 11 high cards points if they hold spades. East might have responded 1NT and should have playing 4 card major openings.
Below: West has 15 HCP. 25-15 = partner needs 10HCP for game. Now East opens =12+ HCP = GAME will be bid. West does not yet know whether it will be in hearts, spades, NT, clubs or diamonds. So bids the longest suit and waits for East’s second bid to decide. East gives some very exciting information – not only does East have 12HCP, but actually s/he has 16 or more. This is very good news for West who says right then – not only do we have sufficient values to bid to game – but we our combined values give us the necessary high card points to bid to SLAM (12 tricks). If you click Next below you can follow declarer’s play to make 13 tricks. But also think about the play if South had led a spade.