These notes were used in an Improvers Lesson on Bidding to Game at the Manly Leagues Bridge Club. The lesson covered general principles of responding with a strong hand.
A strong responding hand includes all hands with 11 high card points (HCP) or more, and distributional hands with 9 HCP or more. They are at least in the Game Invitation range even when partner has a minimum opening hand (12-15 HCP).
Such hands need to either show their full strength or make a forcing bid so that they can bid again.
With a fit with partner's major suit opening, add in shortage points and show the responding hand's strength:
- Jump to the 3 level with 10-12 total points (TP) - a "limit bid"
- Bid a "Jacoby" 2NT with 7 or less losers (often 13+ TP) if you play these
- Bid a game forcing splinter bid with a side suit shortage if you play these
- Bid straight to game to show 13+ TP if you do not play Jacoby 2NT or play this jump bid as pre-emptive
- Otherwise bid a new suit and show the major suit fit on your second bid
- Bid the longest suit first
- With 5-5 or 6-6 patterns bid the higher ranking suit first
- With 4 card suits, bid them up-the-line (cheapest ranking first)
- With a fit in partner's major bid the appropriate level as before (note some intermediate/advanced partnerships use these bids (eg 1S - (2C) - 3S) as pre-emptive and bid the opponent's suit (eg 1S - (2C) - 3C)as a constructive raise for partner's suit)
- Only bid NT with stopper(s) in opponent's suit (again 2NT as invitational 11-12 HCP, 3NT as showing 13-15 HCP).
- New suit at the 2 level (not a jump) would generally (though not always) be showing 5 cards - and is generally played as forcing
- Double becomes a general purpose forcing response for other hands without a fit in partner's major (though would generally show 4 cards in any unbid major) - and needs to be followed by a second bid that best describes the responder's strength and shape
- A jump bid in a new suit would often be used to show a singleton or void in the suit bid as well as agreeing partner's suit (for those who play splinters)
- Bidding the opponent's suit shows a stronger hand and generally asks partner to show any stopper in the opponent's suit by bidding NT as well as sometimes being the precursor to showing slam interest
- You hold QJ92 KQ43 Q3 QJ8 and partner opens 1C (and rebids 1S if you bid 1H)
- You hold KQ62 QJ43 A4 J73 and partner opens 1C (and rebids 2H if you bid 1H)
- You hold KT64 A52 K7 A862 and partner opens 1H
- You hold KQ9763 43 J3 AQ3 and partner opens 1D (and rebids 2C if you bid 1S)
- You hold KQ74 KQJ2 953 86 and partner opens 1D (and then rebids 2C, 3C)
- You hold K754 AQ86 KJ8 83 and partner opens 1C (and repeats C after your bids)
- You hold T94 KQJ832 A842 - and partner opens 1C (and repeats C after your bids)
- You hold AJ2 9 QJ6 AKT953 and partner opens 1H (and rebids 4H)
- You open 1S with AKJT7 AK7 6 Q964 and partner responds 2C