Lesson 8

Detailed Responses to 1 of Suit

So, we've created some basic rules in our convention for responding to 1 of a suit, but of course, this is Bridge, so we're going to play with those rules to ensure we actually get into the best contract we can.

Let's start by talking about Clubs. Personally, I have nothing against Clubs as a suit, I think it's as good as the other 3. However, from a Bridge perspective our friend the Club is the weakest of the suits and a Club contract tends to be one that you would avoid. Diamonds are better, but if we've a chance to get into a Heart or Spade contract then we should take it.

With this mind we're going to tweak our responses to 1 which is what our partner has opened with here.

A tally of our points gives us 8 points. In our previous rule we would by in the 1NT response area. However, we have good length in Diamonds and interestingly, 4 Hearts. 1NT is a bit of a fall back bid and here we would be better bidding our longest suit.

So, 2 right? Well, no. Not in this case. Remember, we would rather be in a Heart or Spade contract, so if you have 4 Hearts or 4 Spades, bid these in preference to a longer Diamond suit. So our tweaked rule for 1 becomes this

With 6-9 points and no support in Clubs, bid your longest suit at the 1 Level, but if you have 4 Hearts or Spades, bid these rather than a long Diamond suit.

But let us add a couple more points into the hand

We now have 11 points and in this instance we are going to merge our two Club responses (10-15 and 16+ point with no support) into one simpler rule.

If you have 10+ point and no support, bid your longest suit.

So, in this case we bid 1. So that's our club rules tweaked.

Looking back at our reasoning for tweaking the 6-9 range for clubs, we could also look at tweaking that rule for Diamonds and Hearts. How about:

If 6-9 points and Diamonds bid and we have no support and longest is Club, then bid 1NT, unless you have 4 Hearts or Spades, in which case bid those at 1.

If 6-9 points and Hearts bid and we have no support and longest is Club or Diamonds, then bid 1NT, unless you have 4 Spades, in which case bid 1S.

Basically, we are pushing our bidding more to the Hearts and Spade suits, rather than the Diamonds or Clubs and if we don't have Major suits then we fall back to the 1NT contract.

Speaking of our no-trump contracts, let's look at this hand where our partner has opened 1.

We have 17 points but alas, with only 2 Hearts we can't support, so based on our existing rule this would be a response of 3NT. However, when playing in Hearts or Diamonds it's probably best to simply bid our longest suit at the 2 level.

So, 16+ points and no support for Hearts or Diamonds then bid your longest at the 2 level. If Spades, respond with 3NT.