Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Randy Thompson
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The BBO ACBL club games online may keep them afloat. I am playing in one today. Our club (Duke City Bridge Club) had 30 pairs yesterday. They are trying to do a flight b game but haven't been able to get 5 tables so far.
11 hours ago
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A second issue is whether more than a handful of folks actually show up if it is not cancelled. I doubt if my partner and I will be going until there is a vaccine. Almost all of our usual attendees are in the age bracket where risks are high and many of those also have some underlying health condition or another that would boost the risk even higher either for us or for loved ones back home. Hard to imagine a worse environment for spread of this virus than a bridge tournament – unless maybe it's a bridge cruise.
12 hours ago
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My preempts are sometimes dreadful, but my pard usually just passes and prays Bridgetta has blessed me with an uncharacteristically good preempt) if he is inclined to rescue. Bids are forcing – he has what he has and if he rebids his suit we are done (e.g., 3-3, 4-4). If partner passes and it goes double, pass, pass back to him, NOW he can rescue – but not with a redouble, but with a bid of his own good long suit. All redoubles above 2N are to play (because opener never runs other than to 4 of his suit).
23 hours ago
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I used to play a style where this was a pass. Now, in all my partnerships, it is an automatic opener. Trying to convince partner you have 14 support points for his major after starting with a pass is something I'd prefer to leave to others. 6 Losing Tricks – a good opener by that measure. 2 Quick Tricks – all the defense any pard should hope for in an opener. 14 support points for either major (or for clubs if pard has 4+).
April 1
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Mixed raise is a constructive 4-card raise with support points that are less than your requirement for a limit raise. In a partnership where a limit raise shows 10-11 support points, it should be 7-9; if your limit raise shows 11-12 support points it should be 8-10. This isn't rocket science; it's just a way to have something in between a preemptive raise and a limit raise.
April 1
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I play it as a mixed raise in clubs with one 2/1 partner, where our inverted raises to 2m are limit+

In another 2/1 partnership, where inverted raises are GF, jump shift in om is the way to handle a limit raise and we have no mixed raise.

In my partnership where 1 openers are always distributional hands (out of range flat hands open 1 with 2+ clubs), we think it is useful to use 2 over the ambiguous 1 as a limit raise in both minors and 2N as a weak raise in both minors or a strong raise in both minors. This works well in our context where the out of range flat hands are either 14-18 or 15-19 depending on the range for 1N in that seat/vulnerability. Not sure if it works as well where 1N is 15-17, as I have never thought about it there.
March 31
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Should be forcing to 3N or 4m the way I would play it.
Opener is supposed to have a good club suit so we seldom need to rescue him.
OTOH, we may often want to offer diamonds as an alternative to 3N or 5C.
If you have nada but 7 diamonds, you can rebid 4D and be left to play it there.
It's playable to have any of your three options as the agreement, but you and pard need to play the same one! :)
March 29
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Lynn: Fair enough – if you ONLY bid over 3N as a slam try then having some methods might help. Technically, we play Stayman, Jacoby, Minor Stayman, Quantitative invite, but we never have used any other than the quantitative invite and even then partner never knows what he has shown as he might have 16-22 for his bid or seven solid and a stop in their suit. If he has a “tricks” 3N, he should probably now bid his suit over 5N. :)
March 25
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I didn't do a long enough Sim for math types to be “confident,” but my quick and dirty result was that 1 openers are a flat 11-13 approximately 62% of the time. 100,000 deals might move that a couple of per cent one way or the other, but my days of market research polls taught me that even a small sample gets you into the right order of magnitude (if you didn't bias the sample). Just input 11-15 HCP; no 5-card major or 6-card club suit unless a 6+ diamond suit, exclude 14-15 flat and exclude 13 flat with a decent 5-card suit; add in 10 HCP hands with a decent 6-card diamond suit or a distributional hand with 5+ diamonds and 4 spades, and you should get close to the universe of 1 openers. Given that you are forced to do some guessing in competitive auctions after a 1 opener, starting with the assumption that pard has 12 flat seems to hold up a decent percentage of the time. If they bid diamonds naturally, partner is even more likely to hold 11-13 flat and his club suit is very likely to be longer than his diamonds.

A good quick summary of initial bids, responses and rebids can be found by locating Greco-Hampson's WBF convention card online.
March 24
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You need a lot of RAM to play R-M. Almost no one has it. Meck Lite, however isn't all that hard to get down.
March 24
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Five Weeks to Winning Bridge – the bidding is dated but not that far from SAYC

Play of the hand at Bridge (Watson)– starts with an ace beats a king (and a king beats a queen and so on) but goes as far as you need to go (w/o skipping steps) until you reach a national level of play.

Those have always been my starter recommendations for beginners.
March 23
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We tend to pass or raise NT. Having methods tempts partner to do something profoundly stupid like taking us from a making game to one that goes down. Partner might easily have a stiff in a major and his bid of 3N could be 7 tricks in the other minor and a king in their suit and a side major ace. Might it also be 20+ HCP? Yes. Partner didn't double 3m for some reason; honor his choice of strain and let him be right now and then.
March 23
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I learned SFP from notes that preceded the book, then bought the SFP book. Today's Precision is light years better than what I gave up in disgust back in the 1970's, It is far more durable in competition and the 2 and 2 bids are vastly improved over the original versions.

Helpful Hint: Do bidding practice with 1 openers because at the table that sometimes feels like all you are ever dealt! When you or your pard opens 1 Meckwell Lite style, SOMEone is often in trouble – more often them but now and then us. The more experience you get in these guessing auctions, they better at them you'll get and the better will be your results. The fancy auctions get the write ups but those ambiguous 1 openers that pop up like kudzu are where imps and matchpoints most often swing. BTW, open 1 on three straight hands of a Swiss match and your opponents will start getting super tense as you bounce happily in your chair. :)
March 23
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On my Desk Top version it is “My BBO.”
On my IPhone version it is “Account.”
March 23
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Go to
My Bridge
Click on Convention Cards
Create a convention card for each and save them with the appropriate pard's BBO ID included where it says partner.
Once you have linked those cards to specific partners, BBO does the rest and will post the one you want when you are playing with those two pards.
March 23
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I can't relate to this bidding. East and South must be playing another game. And West's pass of 2S is also extremely conservative. I think an auction of 1-2-3-4, 5-?? is closer to what the hands suggest. The bidding decisions then get tougher. 5?-Dbl-5- all P seems reasonable. What was the auction at the other table?
March 21
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Mike: There are a few basics that really matter, but are really simple:

1. You self alert and explain your alert in the little box that pops up in the bidding screen. Your partner CANNOT see this alert or explanation. Announce using the alert process if your pard would have been required to announce at the table.

2. Learn to claim – you hit the claim button and when the claim screen pops up you can claim LESS than all the tricks if you want, using the less button to reduce the # of tricks claimed from all to whatever you want. There is a space for explaining your claim but if you have to use that, it's a waste of time – just play on until no explanation is needed.

3. You can chat to opponents only (there is a button) or you can ask a question in private of one opponent by clicking his/her name.
4. Between rounds you can click on partner's name and talk to pard in private.
March 19
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Playing Rusinow has its own issues now and then, but it sure helps with the AK or just the A issue. We only lead Rusinow against suits, only at T1, never in partner's suit (need some time to work out what does and doesn't establish a suit as partner's suit) and never in trumps. But, if we lead an unsupported A vs a suit contract partner assumes that we are either trying to give or get a ruff. If he has shortness, he gives count (in tempo, so that stiffs aren't different than doubletons or tripletons); if he has length, he plays hi or low as suit preference so that pard knows how to get to him for the ruff (now or after he continues and then wins his trump control) and plays middle to say “no way to get here!” If pard has led an unsupported A for some other reason, he has to be able to live with those signaling agreements. We all say we don't lead unsupported aces – until we do. My second choice on leads from AK is the unpopular K from both AK or KQ. But no pard will agree to that, so I wind up playing A from AK with pards who cannot accept a radical change to Rusinow.
March 16
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I have two different methods depending on partners:

1) 3 is Minor Stayman or start of minor-minor two-suited slam try
(bid 4 of short major over a 3N response to show 5+ in each minor or bid 4m to show 4 of m and 5+ of om). 4m response to 3 fixes trumps and usual meanings then attach (kickback, cues, 4N is cue of kickback suit, etc.)
4X is a one-suited slam try in the corresponding suit of the other rank (4=Hts, 4=Spds, 4=Clubs; 4= diamonds.)
Regular Stayman and then Smolen over 3.
Transer to 3 then rebid of 3 shows 5-5 with either no slam interest or lots of slam interest. Mild slam interest is shown by transfer to 3 and rebid of 4.

2) 3 is relay to 3N, either to play with no 3-card major (play Puppet in this partnership), or else the start of a both-minor slam try (with bids as above) and 3N is a relay to 4 with a minor one-suiter of any strength (pass or 4 is then weak, 4 or 4 are slam tries in corresponding minor; and 4N and 5 are transfers to 5m is to play – this way opener plays all contracts other than 4. 4 is Gerber, 4 and 4 are Texas (no slam interest or lots of slam interest, while Jacoby then 4M shows mild slam interest). You suck wind on hands with 5-4 in the majors but 4-5 can transfer to 3 then rebid 3.

Not sure which I prefer. A long sim had them virtually identical in imps results. Not having puppet is the biggest loser for (1) and not having Smolen for 5-4 hands is the biggest loser on (2).
March 12
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So no caddies or directors then…..:)
March 12
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