†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† BIDDINGTIPS-KEEPING YOUR FOCUS.†††††††††††††††††



††††† Regardless of who is making a bid (ie, openers or contenders), the question is always "IS IT FORCING IF INTERVENING


††††† Of course if the opponent intervenes, then it is not forcing.

††††† Here are the rules:††

††††† 1.If playing PROTECTIVE 1C RESPONSES,

†††††††††† OPENER'S 1C bid is forcing unless responder has a bust hand with 5+ clubs.

†††††††††† RESPONDER'S 1Dbid is forcing, because it is artifiicial. (Refer to SAFE HARBOR BIDDING)

††††† 2.OPENER'S 2C opening bid is forcing, because it isartifical.

†††††††††† RESPONDER'SSTEP RESPONSE, CONTROL RESPONSE, or 2D WAITING is forcing, because it is artificial.

††††† 3.If playing 2D STRONG BALANCED, then OPENER'S 2D opening is forcing, because it is artificial.

†††††††††† Responder may PASS with 5+ diamonds & weak hand.

†††††††††† RESPONDER'S2H response to 2D opening is forcing, because it is artifiicial.

††††† 4.OPENER'S4NT opening may be forcing, because if it's agreed to be 5-5 in the minors.

††††† 5.CUE BIDSIN OPPONENT'S TARGETED SUITS are forcing, because they are artificial & usually indicate no values

††††††††††† in the opponent's suit.


††††† 7.RESPONDER'S2C DRURYRESPONSES(to 3rd seat opening of a major at the 1-level) are forcing, because Drury is

†††††††††† artificial.

†††† 8.RESPONDER'S 2C/3C STAYMAN and 4-WAY TRANSFERBIDS are forcing, because they are artificial.

††††† 9.RESPONDER'S SMOLEN BID is forcing, because it is a transfer to the other major.



†††††††††† However, if responder has previously passed, then a new suit by responder is NOT FORCING.

†††† 12.If playing INVERTED MINORS, an UNPASSED RESPONDER'S 2C (over opener's 1C opening)is forcing, unless

††††††††††† responder previously passed. (refer to INVERTED MINORS)

†††† 13.The CONTENDER'S TAKE-OUT DOUBLE below 2NT is forcing.

†††† 14.The CONTENDER'S MICHAELS CUE BID IN OPPONENT'S SUIT is forcing, because it is artificial.

†††† 15.The CONTENDER'S UNUSUAL 2 NO TRUMP BID is forcing, because it is artificial.

†††† 16.The CONTENDER'S 1NT TOP & BOTTOM OVERCALL is forcing, because it is artificial.


†††† 18.Any agreed upon artificial bid/convention that is agreed upon is more than likely forcing.





†† †††23. Opener JUMP SHIFTS if not playing COMPRESSED SYSTEM.

††††† 24. 4TH SUIT FORCING.


††††† 26. 1NT if playing 2-over-1.††††††



†††††††††††   †† †††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††    



†††††† 1.WHO IS IN CHARGE?

†††††††††† The CAPTAIN is the one who has the first knowledge regarding the combined strength & is the one to place the bid

††††††††††† & ask for aces. He is made captain by virtue of his partner giving a bid that limits his hand to within a3 point range.

††††††††††† The first one to bid NO-TRUMP at the 1, 2, or 3 level by either partner is a limited bid & makes the other partner captain.

††††††††††† If opener opens in no-trump, then he is not captain, but the responder is captain.

††††††††††† If opener opens in a suit, then he is not captain UNLESS RESPONDER'S FIRST BID IS IN NO-TRUMP OR A RAISE


††††††††††† Once you have limited your hand,do not bid again unless forced or invited by the captain.


†††††† 2. Count high card points, even if they are singleton honors.


     3.  STAY HONEST.

†††††††††††† Donít distort your points or shape & donít cloak you bids for fear of giving opponents information.

†††††††††††† With 5 clubs & 4 diamonds, do not open 1D. Open 1C instead.


†††††† 4.ENJOY THE TRIP.

††††††††††† If you have the tickets, enjoy the trip. Dont rush to judgement. In other words, if you have the points, then take your time in

††††††††††† arriving at a contract, unless you fear a sacrafice bid from the opponents. The more you & your partner can exhange info,

††††††††††† the better.Dont pre-empt your partner's bidding. Yet at the sametime,if you find an immediate fit with partner, then try

††††††††††† not to tip your hand's weakness off to the opponents by showing outside strength unless it isnecessary in seeking out a

††††††††††† no-trump contract.


†††† 5. ††Do everything you can to forestall passing up a 3NT contract.Do not take up bidding room unnecessarily.


†††6.Deferred vs Immediate Bids.

††††††††††† There are some standards in the opening system that call for an immediate confirmation of partner's bid. One of these

†††††††††† conventions is the INVERTED MINOR RESPONSE. Another is the principle of FAST ARRIVAL wherein one partner will

††††††† ††††immediately support the other partner's major if he has suffcient support. However, in these two cases, it may not always

††††††††††† be in the best interest of the partnership to make such immediate bids,because they may overshoot a better suit in

†††††††† †††jumping to the conclusion. Therefore, in some cases I will DEFER the expected immediate response

††††††††††† for the purpose of double checking(ie, CHECKING BACK) the rest of the fit.

†††† ††††††DEFERRED/CHECK-BACK bids may defer the immediate raise of an otherwise compatible suit for the purpose of

††††††††††† assuring there is not a better fit. An example would be where opener has 3C-1D-5H-4S & responder has 1C-4D-3H-5S.

††††††††††† Opener bids 1H, but responderdoes not support immediately,

††††††††††† instead making a check-back bid, because they may have a better fit in spades. The same might be true if the bidding to

††††††††††† a 1NT opening goes 1NT -> 2C -> 2H -> 2S,where responder has a 5-cardspade suit even though he has a 4-card heart

††††††††††† suit. If opener has four spades as well, they could be better off in spades. The DEFERRED HEART RAISE is to allow for a

†††††††††††† check-back for spade fit. Example: 1C ->1H -> 1S. Even though opener has 4 hearts, responder mayhave 5spades if

†††††††††††† playingUNTHROTTLED SHELTERED COMPANION responses.


††††††††††† The question of which is the better fit a 4-4 or a 5-4 is an ongoing debate.

††††††††††† I must emphasize that you are better off in the 4-4 fit"IF" you have all your tops, because you must have first round trump

††††††††††† control & be able to pull trumps

†††††††††† before opponents can trump in on your 5-4 suit. Take for example the following partner holdings.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Clubs†† Diamonds††† Hearts††† Spades††

††††††††††††† Partner #1 has††††††† A2†††††††† A2†††††††††† AKQJT††† AKQJ

††††††††††††† Partner #2 has†††††††† xx†††††††† xxx†††††††††† xxxx††††† xxxx†††††††††††††

†††††††††† This hand will normally make a small slam in spades. Not true if hearts are trump.


††††††††††† But much more work needs to be done to provide assurance of having all of your high cards in a 4-4 fit, before choosing it

††††††††††† over a 5-4 fit. Here's a possible solution to the dilemma. Let's suppose you have found that you have a 4-4 fit in one suit &

††††††††††† a 5-4 fit in another suit. The question is do you have your tops in the 4-4 fit? Perhaps it might be possible to employ the 4th

††††††††††† SUIT FORCING principle to communicate the presence or absenceof high cards in the 4-card suit. But this is only

††††††††††conjecture atthis point.


††† ††7All jumps shifts by responder/respondent should be weak, unless responding to a take-out double.



††††††††††† How important is it that you BOTH tell each other your points?IT'S NOT!Once one ofyou have made a limited bid,

††††††††††† thereby describing your point range to within a 3 point spread, there is no need for the other partner to come back &

††††††††††† describe his point range.Somebody has to be first to evaluate meshed values & take charge offinal contract destination.

††††††††††† Usually, it is NOT the partner who first limits their hand who takes charge as boss.††

††††††††††† As responder to opener's 1-level suit opening, realize he needs a second bid to limit his hand, so don't pre-empt him from

††††††††††† doing so. And asresponder,realize that your partner has the keys to the car, but you have the gas peddle. If you are

††††††††††† unpassed, then everytime you show asuit, you are forcing another round of bidding.



††††††††††† If you think about it, there is something unique about transcending from one bid level to the next higher bid level.

††††††††††† The no-trump bid representsa kind of "THRESHOLD" to be broken. Therefore, I came up with the concept of

†††††††††† "THRESHOLD BIDS", wherein if a bidder makes a bid in a new suit beyond the next threshold, then he must have

††††††††††† more points to do so.

††††††††††† a. If responder shows a new suit above the 1NT THRESHOLD or FORCES OPENER TO BID AT THE 2-LEVEL, then he

†††††††††††††††† must have 10+ points.

††††††††††† b. If opener shows a new suit above the 2NT THRESHOLD after opening 1 in a suit, then he must have 16-18 points.

††††††††††† c.Contender should not simple overcall with less than 10 points.

†††††††††††††††† If contender has 16 or more points, then he should DOUBLE.


†††† 10. What's the BEST TRUMP SUIT?

††        If in a trump suit, you generally want to be in the suit where you have the greatest number of cards between you & your

††††††††††† partner for the purposesof BAD SPLIT CONTROL.And for the purposes of bad split control, it is better to have at least

††††††††††† as many of the trump in one hand as there are outin the opponent's combined hands. That being said, there are other

††††††††††† considerations that play against this idea, such as TRANSPORTATION & thepossible benefits of an EVENLY MATCH

††††††††††† TRUMP SUIT (ie, the 4-4 fit or 5-5 fit). Take for example one hand being RADICALLY 2-SUITED 8-5 , with

††††††††††† his partner having 2-5, yielding an 8-2 fit & a 5-5 fit. Which is the better trump suit, the 8-2 or the 5-5? The issue of bad

††††††††††† split control is not relevantwith either, because both have at least as many trump in one hand as the opponent's have

††††††††††† in total. Therefore, it is better to be in the 5-5 fit to obtainbetter transportation & to reap the potential rewards

††††††††††† of OFFSET-CROSS-TRUMPING. Now from the above hand take away 1 card from each partner's 5-card suit & remove

††††††††††† the 2-card support for the 8-card suit, resulting in an 8-0 vs 4-4 match-up. Now which is the better suit to be trump, the

††††††††††† 8-0 fit or the 4-4 fit? Clearly the 8-0 fit maintains bad split control, but the 4-4 fit does not with the opponents having 5

††††††††††† cards between them all of which could be in one hand. On the other hand, the 4-4 fit offers possible transportation &

††††††††††† good split benefits.  So how do we choose?

††††††††††† The answer is as follows.

          If there is TOTAL HIGH CARD CONTROL of the 4-4 fit, then there is little chance ofthe opponents trumping in on the

††††††††††† 8-card suit, thus making it better to be in the 4-4 fit. But in the absence of high card control, it is better to be in the 8-card

††††††††††† suit. The same holds true in determining which is better between  a 4-4 fit or a 5-4 fit, with the 4-4 fit being  better if you

††††††††††† have the top 3 high cards  between you. Otherwise, you are better in the 5-4 fit.

   ††       When considering the 4-4 fit, the TRICK IS TO BE ABLE TO IDENTIFY IN THE BIDDING WHETHER YOU HAVE

††††††††††† TOTAL HIGH CARD CONTROL & unfortunately there is usually not enough bidding room to do this .



††††††††††† In bidding, you tend to show an absence of 4+ cards & throttle any suit you skip over. In other words, if your skip a

††††††††††† suit, then you have "BEAT IT DOWN" or "THROTTLED" it.††††††††

††††††††††† There are exceptions, particularly in the bidding sequenceafter a 1C opening.


12. Bidding Up-The-Line.

††††† ††††With the use of the 1D PROTECTIVE bidding over a 1C opening, bidding up-the-line at the 1-level is replaced by

†††††††††† POSITIVE MAJOR RESPONSESand SAFE HARBOR bidding.Therefore, bidding up- the-line at the 1-level starts with

††††††††††† the 1H (not 1D) response over a 1C or 1Dopening. At higher levels, the concept of bidding up-the-line still holds true.


††††† 13. The only forcing bids opener has at his disposal are: 2C opening, 2D opening, & ace asking bids.

††††††††††† Upon partner agreement, opener jump shifts may be forcing. But opener simply showing a new suit is not forcing.

††††† 14.Unless your partner has already passed,do not open with a preemptif you have four or more cards in amajor.

††††††††††††† Remember that SPADESis the BOSS SUIT. It is not so critical to preempt in spades, but that does not mean

††††††††††††† don't do it. In responding to preemptive openings, count QUICK TRICKS, not points.

††††† 15.The only seat that should open the bidding with a weaker than normal hand is the third position. Pierson points arising

†††††††††††† from 4+ spades may be used to upgrade the point count. There is littlepoint to 4th seat openinglight, unless there are

†††††††††††† some unusual circumstances. Responder must realize partner may be opening light in 3rd seat, so he should deduct

†††††††††††† 1 point from his hand in responding, unless playing DRURY.

††††† 16. If you have opened 1NT or 2NT, then do not bid again unless partner forces you to do so or invites you to game.


      17. Try to play your partner's hand as well as your own &  imagine the best suit to  be in.


††††† 18.A 2H bid over partner;s 1S opening promises 5 hearts with 10+ points.


††††† 19.If you have not allowed your partner to first limit his hand, then there is no such thing as a close-out bid.


  20.  In the face of a misfit, donít rescue the bid by introducing a new suit unless it's self-sufficient  of 7+ cards, otherwise

††††††††††† "pass",bid in no-trump or bid inone of partner's suits.. 

  21.  Do not go to sleep with a bad hand & leave partner stuck in an artificial bid or his 2nd bid suit unless you have more

†††††††††††† cards in that suit as opposed tohis first bid suit.

       †††  At game level suit contracts, attempt to assure that you have a minimum of 8 trump between you.

    †††††††† At less than game level suit contracts, attempt to assure that you have a minimum  of 7 trump between you.  

†††††††††††† When faced with a choice between a 4-3 fit & a 5-2 fit, go for the 5-2 fit.


††††† 22.Dont bid your opponent's suit unless you dont have it.


††††† 23.If your partner has another bid, then a "PASS" can bethe better part of valor. 


††††† 24.If your partner has bid 3NT, then you better have a darn good reason for bidding again. An exception would be where

†††††††††††† yourpartner is relying uponyou having a good quality suit of your own, where you hold AK or AQ. If you dont have a

†††††††††††† goodquality suit, then you are justified in pulling the 3NT bid.


†††† 25. TheOne & Three Let it Beprincipal for defensive bidding. When to compete& when not to compete.

††††††††††† If opponents are at 1 level only, one of them may have not kept bidding opened. Donít open the door for them.

††††††††††† If opponents are at 3 level, they might have game but chickened out. Donít force them to game.

†† †††††††††If opponents are at 2 level, try to force them to 3 level .

††††††††††  ONE & THREE, LET IT BE. BUT IT WILL NEVER DO TO LET THEM HAVE IT FOR TWO. Donít give your opponent's an

††††††††††† opportunity to find game,†† but force them to the highest partial possible.


††††† 26.A good policy is for all DOUBLES of contracts below 2NT to be for TAKE-OUT.

†††††††††††† Doubles of 2NT and above can be COOPERATIVE.


†††27If the opponent's have made a bid that you donít think they can make, but they appear to have an alternate choice, then

†††††††††††† do not double for penalties.


†† ††28 If your partner has doubled the opponent's low level bid (,ie not game)in a suit contract, then you better not pass unless

††††††††††youknow you can set them.


††††† 29If your partner doubles the opponent's game contract for penalties, the weaker you hand is, the more incentive there is

†††††††††††† for you to bid.If you have GOOD REASON(and I mean GOOD), then you can pull partner's double. But be ready to

†††††††††††† run from your partner if you are wrong.


††††† 30.If the opponent's have doubled your contract and you think you can make it, then do not redouble, because they might

††††††††††††† think twice and pull the bid.Instead, use the REDOUBLE to communicate with partner. A low level redouble

††††††††††††† typically tells partner you have 10+ points but no fit for his suit. A high level redouble can be used as an

†††††† †††††††SOS REDOUBLE which tells partner to bid another suit, because you have no support for the last suit he bid.



††††††††††† There are times when you can deprive the opponents of points (in score)by bidding over them even though you know you

††††††††††† wont make your contract. The trick is to know whether or not the opponents would make their contract if you

††††††††††† let them have the final bid.If you determinethat they will make their contract & that you wont loose as many points

††††††††††† by going down in your own contract, then it is reasonable to make a sacrifice bid.The basic idea is to allow the opponents

†††††††††††† the points they would have received in bonuses, but deny them the points they would have receivedhad they gotten &

†††††††††††† made their contract.


††††††††††††† In considering a sacrafice, WAIT UNTIL THE OPPONENTS GET TO THEIR GAME BID BEFORE

††††††††††††† CHIMING IN. Do not unnecessarily force them into game by repeated bidding.††


†††††† ††††††To make an objective determination, you must know the consequences of the relative vulnerabilities.

†††††††††††† A "Favorable" vulnerability is the opponents are vulnerable & you are not.

†††††††††††† An " Equal"vulnerability is you are both vulnerable, or you are both not vulnerable.

†††††††††††† An "Unfavorable" vulnerability is you are vulnerable & they are not.


††††††††††††† You must alsoknow whatbonuses they will get if they're permitted the contract.††††††††††††††††

†††††††††††††† A Game Contract is worth†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

†††††††††††††††††††††† not vul†††††† 300 pts+BLS†††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

†††††††††††††††††††††† vul†††††††††††† 500 pts+ BLS††††††††††††††††††††††††††† .††††††††††††††

††††††††††††††† A Baby Slam Contract is worth†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

††††† ††††††††††††††††not vul††††††† 300 + 500 + BLS†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††† vul††††††††††††† 500 + 750 + BLS††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††††††† A Grand Slam Contract is worth†††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††† notVul††††† 300 + 1000 + BLS†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††† vul†††††††††††† 500+ 1500 + BLS

, where BLS = Bid Level Score,ie, the portion of the total score

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† attributed to taking the number of tricks specified in the final contract.


††††††††††† Finally, you must know what your penalties will be & assuming they will double your sacrafice bid.

†††††††††††† The formulas aretypically:

†††††††††††††††††††† if not vulnerable ,thenUnderTrick Penalty =# of undertricksx200- 100.

†††††††††††††††††††† If vulnerable, then undertrick penalty = # of undertricks†† X††† 300†††† -†† 100.†††††


††††††††††† Base on this information,


††††††††††††††† The guidelines for making a sacrifice bid when the opponents have bid game are:

††††††††††††††††† -When vulnerability is unfavorable, you can go down 1 as opposed to letting them make a game.

††††††††††††††††† -When vulnerability is equal, you can go down 2 as opposed to letting them make game.

††††††††††††††††† -When vulnerability is favorable, you can go down 3 as opposed to letting them make game.


†††††††††††††† The guidelines for making a sacrifice bid when the opponents have bid small slam are:

†††††††††††††††††† -When vulnerability is unfavorable, you can go down 3.

††††††††††††††††† -When vulnerability is equal, you can go down 4.

††††††††††††††††† -When vulnerability is favorable, you can go down 5.


†††††††††††††† The guidelines for making a sacrifice bid when the opponents have bid grand slam are:

††††††††††††††††† -When vulnerability is unfavorable, you can go down 4.

††††††††††††††††† -When vulnerability is equal, you can go down 7.

††††††††††††††††† -When vulnerability is favorable, you can go down 8.





††††† With respect to both existing system versions, I found there were misconceptions, holes, inefficiencies & more that need to be

††††† weeded out. Having given Max Hardy's 2-Over-1 responses a fair & lengthy try, I've concluded that it is uneconomical &

††††† sacrifices/contorts too much for what it purports to gain, producing a lot of excess clutter/baggage. As a result, I have tried to††††††††

††††† de-emphasize several ideas expressed in 2-Over-1, as well as correct some inefficient practices in the original classical

††††† system. Some of these unproductive concepts/practicesare:

††    1. The use of opener jump shifts to show up to 21 points. Instead, I have put them in the 16-18point range, thereby reducing

†††††††††† the likelihood of under-bidding a 16-18 point handsuch as one containing 5 hearts & 4 clubs. 

 ††   2. The rigid requirements for a take-out double, especially of 1-level bids where it is cheaper to compete.   

 ††   3. Some of the more recent conventions that have cropped up for the purpose of identifying5-3 fits in the majors, such as

††††††††† New Minor Forcing.While it is all well & good to be in a 4-level major contract having a 5-3 fit in trump, many times you will

††††††††† do better to be in no- trump with such a hand.

  ††† 4. The premise that clear communications gives the opponents information. Who would you rather keep in the dark, your

†††††††††† partner or the opponents?

 ††   5.The idea that the strong hand must always be the declarer & hidden from view. There are times when the weak hand will

†††††††††† have say a king-x in the opponent's suit & is in a better position to absorb the opening lead.

††††† 6. The premise that a REVERSE bid is always strong, particularly when it is in reply to a forcing response.

†††††††††† After opening 1D, a 2H opener second bid aftera 2C responder forcing bid is cheaper than a 2NT bid.

 ††   7. The use of 1NT Forcing responses over a major opening which can force the bidding beyond the partnership's means.

  ††† 8. The use of artificial bids that accomplish little if anything other than taking up bidding room while giving up flexibility, such as

†††††††††† Bergen Raises.    

††††† 9. The use of control count in responding to 2C openings where aces are worth 2 & kings are worth 1. There could be a

†††††††††† benefitto responding withcontrols, butwhy clutter your mind with evaluation systems having varying point count

†††††††††† assignments?†† A simplerreplacement is to deductjacks & stand-alone queens from your regular Goren High Card

†††††††††† Count & adjust your responses accordingly.

†††† 10. The counting & inclusion of "key control cards"in respondingto ace asking bids, such as in Roman Key Card, where a

††††††††††† king is worth an ace.

†††††††††† Such inclusion makes it far more difficult to decide whether one should go on to the 6-level.Here's an example. You have

†††††††††† two aces & ask partnerfor "key cards". He responds with one key cards. Is it an ace or a king.Duhh.††††††

†††† 11. The opener starting with a suit bid at the 1-level & then jumping to 2NT to show a balanced hand of 18-19 points.

††††††††††† I call this a "SLIVER BID".

††††††††††† With such a convention, it is impossible to transfer opener so he can be assured of playing the hand.

†††† 12. The idea that the 4th bid seat must bid over a 1st seat opening that has been passed, because he is suppose to protect

††††††††††† 2nd seat's hand. It is far better that the contender sitting behind the opener make every effort to bid, since he is less at

†††††††††††† risk.

†††† 13. The idea that responder must bid 2NT over opener's 1-level bid in a suit to show a strong hand & force opener to bid &/or

††††††††††† the idea that allresponder (not respondent) jump shifts are forcing. Many older players who haven't played recently will

††††††††††† employ this very costly bidding practice, not knowing that opener may have the keys to the car, but he has the gas peddle

††††††††††† with unpassed new suit forcing.