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SEVEN SINS in the auction

People often ask me how to improve.


I have a question for them.  How long do you want to remain a beginner/intermediate ?


You can use the experts' experience to correct some frequent bidding mistakes, whatever your style or bidding system.


Here are 7 very common mistakes in the auction, and the easy way to adjust.


ONE)  PASSING instead of raising partner

        Just today AKxxx xx xx 10xxx  bidding went 1 2 DBL the person with this hand passed

       It continued 2 P P now 3 P P 3 P P P   Not only were the spades lost, if this player had bid 2 or 3 the opponents would not have been able to             compete (the diamond suit was Q10xxx opposite AJ8


TWO) PASSING when you could give a lead directing bid or double

       In third seat, non-vulnerable, open these good 4 card suits.

       Double the artificial bids with strong four card holdings.  Steve Weinstein says we should use more lead directing bids, and my experiments with his idea concur. bid bid bid.  Dont lazily raise 2 X to 3 with AKxx  bid 3 !  give a lead director whenever you can.


THREE)  PASSING then bidding/raising.

      If you are going to raie partner or take a marginal bid, do it AS FAST AS possible.  Time is of the essence.  Don't give your opponents room to judge how well their hands fit then back in with a sacrifice (except if you're walking the dog...)


--- Before you think I HATE passing (you're right), a few other ones...

FOUR) DOUBLING four of a minor (4/4) for penalties.

       maybe they can make 5 or 6  or maybe they belong in 3 notrump.  Now I treat a double of 4 of a minor by the opposition as Blackwood.  No more -910


FIVE)  BIDDING a weak suit rather than making a take out double

     5431 patterns make very good take out doubles (except if 5 card major and 3 card major).  When you open they overcall P P to you, strain to reopen with a take out double.  do not rebid a moth-eaten suit.


SIX) BIDDING  2-3 suits with a flat hand

   4333 and 4432 hands should bid notrump.  so open 1nt if in range or rebid 1NT if you don't have 4 card support for partner.  Occasionally you may raise on 3 if you feel like it, but do not rebid a suit and then give preference ( that shows 5431 and 15-17 pts).  show the BALANCED nature of the hand.


SEVEN) BIDDING with a singleton in your partner'S preempt.

     the contract may be bad, but do NOT try to improve it, pass before the doubling starts.



AND THE CURE to the ailments, GARANTEED to up your game a level or two (and trust me opponents will notice)



ONE )    Stretch to raise partner at all costs, and as soon as you can

TWO)    Open and overcall STRONG four card suits, and double artificial bids with them

THREE)   Raise as HIGH as you dare RIGHT NOW

FOUR)    Never double 4 of a minor for buisness.  If your partner does, ALWAYS pull it. Write it on CC so no UI situation can arise

FIVE)     Try to make lighter/more frequent take-out doubles.  Your partners will like to play more hands in better fits

SIX)      Rebid 1 or 2NT with flat hands.  Don't fool around.  When you bid suits, have shape to boot.

SEVEN) PASS smoothly when your partner preempts in your short suit.  If they balance AXE-TIME !


Apply these and you will get better results, better partners and become almost an expert (just need to count ...)

Just DO NOT DO IT against me, please !


Normand Houle

Noodle on OKB/BBO


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