Sunday, March 27, 2005 5:05 PM

Hand Evaluation – Game Bidding




            Bidding a vul game against non vul opponents normally turn on forcing passes. I say normally but there are exceptions. If you leap to the game when you have had a chance to make a stronger bid , forcing passes are not turned on & neither is D.S.I.P. theory. Old fashioned captaincy is applicable instead . The game bidder runs the show so his double is penalty. We consider that there is no real element of competition in these auctions as we just leapt to game.  I had an auction recently which shows this concept dramatically . My partner vul against non vul opponents open 1 with ♠QJ QJ10x AKxxxx ♣x so I responded 1. RHO doubles with partner leaping to 4 . They bid 4 so I pass. Is my pass forcing? No ,  because the way we got to the vul game does not show any defensive strength. 5 vul only goes one down so is this the famous vul sacrifice vrs a non vul game. Not a chance , as the non vul opponents are cold for 7♠ on this hand !! Partner exercised his captaincy rights & wisely passed.


            Bidding games pre-emptively no matter what the vulnerability , do not turn on forcing passes. You must have made a strength showing bid earlier which makes the forcing pass situation obvious. Do not get lazy with your Q bidding or introducing a new suit when you have a very strong hand. Leaping to game with strong hands will give partner the wrong impression of your hand if the opponents bid again. Think forcing pass theory when the opponents are lurking. Same with overcalls or weak twos . Do not just jump to game with strong hands . Indicate some strength first to turn on forcing passes. If you do not , partner will always assume you are the captain of this auction so will not join the party.


            1♠-2-P-?     xx Axx KQxx ♣KQxx  do not get lazy & just bid 4. Laziness & forcing pass theory is not a good mix. Q bid 1st to turn on forcing passes . Do not forget that either opponent can bid again so put partner in the picture for forcing pass purposes. Leaping to game with big hands are for Kangaroos not Bridge players. If partner opens a weak 2 , they double or overcall at the two level , 2NT or redouble should be bid to turn on forcing passes rather than leaping to game. If they enter the auction , you can use forcing passes as a tool. Its not that you bid game ,  its how you bid game that turns on forcing passes. When forcing passes are turned on , even your partner who has opened a weak two or otherwise pre-empted is invited to the party. He has a responsibility in forcing pass auctions also. Do not forget , D.S.I.P. theory is not involved in these jump to game auctions . The game bidder is simply captain of the auction. This lack of D.S.I.P  theory allows for tactical bids by the game bidder. The limited hand can make an action double though nv vrs vul.


            Bidding Cues turn on forcing passes. Always remember that , so do not leap to game with huge hands even if the opponents are not in the auction. They may back in later so you wish you had a forcing pass tool at your disposal !! If you do leap to game with a good hand , you are in charge. D.S.I.P. theory does not apply for you if your side just leaps to game. D.S.I.P. theory applies for the other side though , if they are wise enough to play competitive doubles J.