Seven Notrump

In which some people who play bridge blog about it.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The 18-21 Problem

How do you bid a hand with 18-21 high-card points? Under the strong-twos bidding system I learned from bridge-guru Alexa, one should jump-shift with a holding of 18-21 points: i.e., open one of a suit and then rebid with a jump (whee!) when the bidding comes around again.

The problem I find with this is that partner (and everyone else) often passes my opening, giving me no chance to show that strength by jump-shifting (jumping shift?), and leaving me in a 1-level contract with a powerful hand. For example:

♠ A 9 2
♥ 5 3 2
♦ J 10 7 6
♣ 9 7 5
♠ K 8 3
♥ J 9 8
♦ K 9 4 2
♣ 10 6 4
♠ J 10 7 4
♥ 10 7
♦ A Q 5
♣ Q 8 3 2
♠ Q 6 5
♥ A K Q 6 4
♦ 8 3
♣ A K J

Sitting South I deal and open 1H, everyone passes, and there's no way to find the game contract we ought to be in.

A year or two ago I was sick of being passed. I therefore proposed a modification of the system wherein I can open 2 of a suit, thus forcing a response from my partner, if I have 18 good points. (Opening two of a suit was previously reserved for an even higher point count, and thus I almost never saw such an opening in action.)

My amateur modification seems to do more good than harm, but forcing a weak partner to talk isn't always beneficial to the contract. I wonder if there's a happy medium or a better workaround. Or heck, the other day I got stuck in 1D with 16 points -- maybe I ought to lower the barrier even further.


  At Thursday, July 13, 2006 10:54:00 PM, Anonymous shirley said:

paul is retarded, but he likes diagrams and gesturing with his hands.

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