Friday, August 19, 2005 4:50 PM

Bidding Game - Forcing Passes




          As every Bridge player knows or should know , forcing passes are “turned” on when it is obvious we “own the auction”. Even if you have pre-empted and partner has made strong bids before finally bidding game , forcing passes are turned on. What if you just jump to game say vul against not ? Does that turn on forcing passes ? No , because there is no excuse for laziness. If you have a strong hand , you would Q bid or otherwise take it slowly. Fast arrival by jumping to game is pre-emptive.


          BJ Trelford has come up with an idea that makes sense. If the opponents interfere nv with a toy when you are vulnerable ( terrorist vulnerability ) , sometimes it is best to jump to your vul game with a good hand. This is a tactical bid so they have no room to establish their fit for sacrificing. Quite often the unusual 2NT or Michaels bid is essentially a pre-empt. It is not sound Bridge to “pre-empt vrs a pre-empt” so bidding a game vul either as a passed hand or not should turn on forcing passes ! When you jump to game after a pre-empt it is usually to make,  so that bid  turns on forcing passes on any vulnerability. Should be no different over their pre-emptive toys !! This applies in this one vulnerability only. A jump to game on any other vulnerability is pre-emptive.


          BJ held this hand ♠QJ10xx KJx xxx ♣Ax , I opened 1 vul and LHO bid 2 . Opposite a vul opener you are going to game but what are the dangers of bidding 3 as a Q bid ? You leave 3NT open so they find they minor fit for a sacrifice ! Vul sacrifices vrs non vul opponents are so rare as to be discounted so why not make the 4 bid vul as strong ? This would turn on forcing passes in an auction where forcing passes need to be turned on because the opponents quite often bid on nothing after their toys have been introduced. Anyway Paula was on my right & bid 5 . If I thought forcing passes were in effect , I have a clear double so we pick up +500 . I passed , 5 was bid & went down for a huge swing when partner thought forcing passes were in effect due to the vulnerability.


          When the opponents interfere using their toys , it is very important for partnerships to have their forcing pass understandings “ironed out” . Lack of discipline & forcing pass structure is not a good mix. If you just bid for the sake of bidding , forcing passes can not work. Forcing passes assume your side are disciplined bidders. A bid has a meaning other than just re-enforcing the fact that you paid your card fees or a compulsion to disturb their auction J .