Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Dave Kresh
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ATB
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We simplify things - a direct cuebid (by either player) shows a singleton or void with 3+ side suit support. A repeat cuebid shows a void. So West is looking at 3 working covers and pushes to at least 5.

For us, clearly defining the cuebid as takeout seems to be an improvement over an ambiguous force. Partner is not tortured.
Nov. 18
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Problems with preempts never end, but we have reduced them by playing a direct cuebid as a strong takeout. It shows a singleton/void in their suit, 3+card support each side suit, and 0-4 losers.

Here East counts 3 covers and jumps to 6 over the 4 cue bid.

This cuebid comes up surprisingly often, improving our slam bidding in competitive auctions.
Nov. 18
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I read my parents “According to Hoyle” book on card games as a child (circa 1965). For poker it recommended the strategy of bluffing early on to set up more contributions on your good hands later. I never played for serious stakes, but this simple advice stood me well in many small games. I think the same is true for bridge.
Oct. 23
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We have a simple 4N rule. If we have bid major(s), 4N is RKCB in the last bid major. If no major has been bid, 4N is natural invitational. This fits well with Minorwood.

This rule isn't always optimal but it's clear. Partner knows what's going on, and doesn't make those awkward pauses while working out all the real and imagined possibilities.
Oct. 22
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We do Reverse Lebensohl here, so any new suit over the double is NF; advancer's 2N is GF. We give up playing 2N, but that's not much of a disadvantage.

Currently, our direct 2N is 2+ places to play. It's working pretty well. if I would make any change, it would be a Raptor-like 2N showing 4 spades and a minor.
Oct. 12
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We play a double as 15+ 3+cards in their suit. This covers the natural NT overcall, and leaves open the penalty double option.
Oct. 12
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Ronald, your first 4 advantages would also apply over after weak 2 bids. What do you think?
Oct. 12
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If you walk the dog, you scoop up the results ;-).
Oct. 5
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I wasn't suggesting passing 2, but rather bidding 3 showing a singleton or void.
Sept. 28
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1) We play 3 of a suit as NF. 2N asks for better minor. Could be competitive (pass 3m), invitational (raise 3m), or GF (jump raise to 5m). 3 after 3m is the rare GF with 5 hearts.

2) We like penalty. But the Phillip Martin approach mentioned above by Jeff is a fine one. IMO, the two approaches are mirror-images of each other with equivalent tradeoffs.
Sept. 27
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I have no opinion when undiscussed, but I think 1N should show 3 covers in a regular partnership. If 1 heart cover, I want to be in 5m; if 2 then 4m. If 3 shows shortness then partner's answer can clarify how many covers are wasted.
Sept. 26
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Our generic default cuebid for advancer/responder shows a singleton/void in their suit and 3+ honor covers. A slightly more defined limit raise+.
Sept. 23
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Yes, Richard, thanks for the correction. I often forget the proper terminology since our responses and advances are very similar.
Sept. 22
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Sure, since you rarely risk being hooked on your own lure ;-).

But first, check the Loch for penalty-double dinosaurs.
Sept. 21
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I see takeout/penalty as theoretical mirror-images - basically equivalent. In practice, the weaker bids become, the more penalty doubles are suggested. Also, the less penalty doubles are used by your opponents, the more weaker overcalls are suggested for you.

IMO, the current pendulum swing to weak bids and overcalls has gone far enough to use more penalty doubles. If you do, 3N by advancer can be your “takeout” double, however you define that. You keep both takeout and penalty capabilities. You give up responder being able to place the contract in exactly 3N. But we prefer to try for 7+ tricks defending 3 than 9-11 tricks in 3NT when we are both balanced. Particularly against better opponents who are more likely to be overcalling light.
Sept. 21
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Our 2+level qbids show a singleton or void in the bid suit, 0-4 losers, and 3+3+3+ in the side suits. This comes up often enough to be quite useful.

After East's 3, West bids 5 with 2 covers and 5 diamonds. With only 2 losers instead of 4, East has an easy raise to 7D or 7H.

If South inserts a 4 bid over our 3, our auction is unchanged.

This is a far less complicated method for reaching solid slams in competitive auctions.
Sept. 20
Dave Kresh edited this comment Sept. 21
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I think a good maxim is: “Free advice is worth every penny paid for it”.

Especially when I give it. (so you can take this suggestion at face value ;-) ).

In a more perfect world, we all would take constructive criticism well. I'll let you know when I get there.
Sept. 6
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And similarly for responder's shortness.
Aug. 31
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Richard, if I check the box for light 3rd-seat openings, how low can I go in HCP before my bid becomes a psych or an illegal bid?
Aug. 30
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Yes. All the world is sad and drury, everywhere I go…;-).
Aug. 29
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