Lesson 6

Pre-emptive Openings

So, we're almost complete with our beginners opening convention.

The last things we will look at are "Pre-Emptive" openings. This is where we have a lot of one particular suit, but maybe not a lot of points.

Take a look at this hand as an example.

It's clearly an unbalanced hand and a tot up of the honours shows us we have 6 points. Not a lot of points and way behind our "12 point minimum" rule.

However, we do have a load of Diamonds. Seven of them. Also, when you have a lot of one suit, it's of course usual to have few of another. In this case, we have only 1 club. If we were to void that club early in the playing, we would be able to trump any clubs played, Also, if your partner had some diamonds too, then we could be in strong Diamond position. Plus we have a couple of decent cards in Spades

However, there is a good chance the opposition hold some clubs, as you certainly don't! In fact, it's likely your opponents have decent Hearts too...which means they may be eager to bid.

This is were a Pre-emptive bid comes into play.

In this instance we would bid 3 Diamonds.

That seems quite high considering we only have 6 points, but he purpose of a pre-emptive bid is to make it difficult for the opponents to accurately assess the strength of their own hands and communicate effectively with their partner.

By making a pre-emptive bid, you are putting pressure on the opponents to either make a higher-level bid or pass, which can result in their missing out on the opportunity to bid their own suit at a lower level.

Overall, the aim of a pre-emptive bid is to maximize the chances of winning the contract or forcing the opponents to bid at a higher level than they otherwise would have. However, the risk with a pre-emptive bid is that if the opponents have a strong hand in the bid suit or in another suit, they may be able to outbid the dealer, potentially resulting in a higher contract or even a game for the opponents.

So, let's add a new rule into our playing convention:

If you have between 5 and 10 points and at least 7 cards in a suit, open that suit at the 3 level.

There is a caveat with this rule -

Don't open a pre-empt Diamond or Club if you have a 4 Card Major.

The reason for this is that is gives your partner a chance to open the bidding - if they open with the Major you also hold then you'll be in game!

We can also open at the 4 level is we hold 8 cards

If you have between 5 and 10 points and at least 8 cards in a suit, open that suit at the 8 level.

You can see a summary of our completed convention including Pre-emptive bids here.

You can use the button below to practice with possible pre-emptive hands or move you can jump into practising with our full completed convention

Congratulations, this completes the beginners guide to bidding.

Once you've practiced this, why not move onto the Responding Training. Use the menu above to access this.