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Bidding Pre-emptively

by Di Brooks

West opens 1D, playing Standard American. Both sides are non vulnerable. North jumps to 3S. East passes, South sits and considers his holding, then passes.

South's Hand-


This partnership agreement is that a jump overcall is equal to an opening pre-empt. South has nothing to add to the auction. North will not hold 3 Aces, nor should he hold 2 Aces as his hand can be considered too strong for a weak pre-empt. This worthwhile philosophy is useful to remember when replying to an opening Weak 2 or Pre-emptive 3. Opener will not have two or three Aces and therefore no first round control of two or three suits.

The four hands were;-

West Deals
None Vul
K Q J 9 7 6 2
10 2
A 9 7
10 8
Q 7
K J 7 6 3
K Q J 4
A 5 4
10 4 3 2
A 8 5
6 5 3
A K J 9 8 6
Q 9 4
10 8 2

When the game of bridge was first put into place, points weren't counted. Opening one of a suit was based on Aces and Kings, so a hand with two Aces and one King was considered fit for an opening bid of one of a suit - then came the 4,3,2,1 point count for honours. A point was deducted for an Aceless hand, making a twelve count decreased to an eleven count.

I like to check my losers and the vulnerability before I open the bidding. With a poor 11 count and vulnerable, I am happy to pass in first or second position and will need a good holding in spades to bid, especially if I am minimum, (Spades being pre-emptive in their own field) in third seat.

Too many players open with a poor holding, vulnerable and end up giving the opponents a top board when the contract goes down by two tricks. Assessing your losers gives you a good idea whether it is worthwhile making an opening bid. After all, once partner makes a bid, you can support their suit or make another bid and partner will know that you hold a poor hand and not to get too excited unless they hold the 'goods' themselves.

Happy bridging

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