Join Bridge Winners
BART (modified)

BART is employed after 1 -p - 1NT- p - 2 (where 1NT is forcing or semi-forcing). In BART 2 is artificial and asks partner to bid 2 unless partner has a hand that would bid over a 2 signoff.  BART sacrifices the ability to bid 2 weak, but allows a partnership to distinguish, between, a weak and strong 2 preference, a weak hand with just hearts or a hand with hearts that also has other places to play, and it also allows responder to show 4 card club support with out going past 2NT.

The original version of BART switched the meanings of 2 and 2, but this version allows you to show more hand types and is just as easy if not easier to remember.

1 -1NT-2

  • 2             BART - either to play 2, or various other hands.
  • 2             5 hearts and another place to play (such as a doubleton spade, 4 clubs, 5 diamonds, 1543, etc.)
  • 2             Either very weak with 3+ spades or up to 8 HCP with doubleton spade.
  • 2NT           10+ - 12 (with 10 HCP and 2 spades, you can also bid 2; 10 HCP and a stiff spade may need to bid 2NT). Should deny 4s.
  • 3             Courtesy raise with 5+s.
  • 3             FJS for clubs. NOT FORCING but highly encouraging. 4 not forcing. Other non-game bids forcing, including 4.
  • 3             FJS for clubs, as above.
  • 3             3-card limit raise.

 

1 -1NT-2 -2

  • 2             All minimum hands. Opener only breaks with a hand good enough to bid over a natural signoff.
  • 2             Artificial, shows minimum strength up to about bad 16 but would raise a natural 2 signoff, eg. Axxxx QJx x AKxx.
  • 2N              Extras, 5224 or 5134.
  • 3             Extras, 5-5.
  • 3             Extras, 5044.
  • 3             Extras, 5314.
  • 3             Extras, 6-4.

 

1 -1NT-2 -2

  • 2              Usually stiff or void in hearts though can be small doubleton. Nonforcing ask for the other place to play.
  • 3             Invitational raise with 3 card support likely (but maybe KQ xx in red suits) .
  • Others         Same as over 2.

1 -1NT-2 -2 -2

  • Pass            You play this, even with short hearts.
  • 2              Normal preference but on the good end, about good 8 to bad 10.
  • 2N              10 to bad 12, natural invite but promises exactly 4 clubs. If opener pulls to 3 that is to play, other bids are forcing.
  • 3             Invitational raise, 5+ s.
  • 3             Weak with diamonds, to play here.
  • 3             2-6 in the majors, invitational (1 - 3 is ostensibly 1-6 in the majors if you play downward invitational jump shifts).
  • 3             Balanced limit raise, will pass if you bid 3NT.

Now, it may seem like quite a lot to digest all at once. The easy way to remember the difference between bidding something directly and going through 2 is that going through always shows something extra. For example after 1N-2-2-2: 2 is stronger than bidding directly, 2N shows 4 clubs, and 3 also has more values then bidding directly.

 

If you do choose to play BART, your partnership should bid 2 on a doubleton instead of a 3 Card suit.  This allows you to take fuller advantage of your gadget and responder also knows that opener’s 2 bid promises 4.

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