None vulnerable

None vulnerable

Reviewing a strong major raise

Play Bridge: Tips and tricks for bridge players new to experienced.

Major Raise Review: We play five-card majors, meaning that opening with a major shows five cards in that major and more than 12 points and less than 22. Partner needs six points, usually, to respond. If this player has three spades, he know they have a golden fit and they will play in spades. A bid of two spades shows six to nine points (counting distribution with a known fit), and a bid of three spades shows a limit raise of 10 to 12 points.

Strong Major Raise: However, what does one do with a hand better than a limit raise with three or more card support? If one does not play Jacoby 2NT and plays 2NT natural over a major as 10 to 12 points with two spades, one must bid a new suit at the two-level and then jump to game in the major.

The bidding: South opens his 14 points in his six-card major, spades. North shows the hand described above by bidding two hearts. Two hearts over one spade usually shows five cards unless one knows the trump suit will be spades. Two of a minor over one spade only show four cards. Any new suit at the two-level by responder shows 10 or more points. A jump to four spades shows spade support and an opening hand.

South rebids three clubs. South is not too thrilled by the heart bid with only two hearts, and North is not too thrilled by the club bid with only two clubs. Neither one can know these suits are headed by the ace and king which makes a big difference.

Slam cannot be bid here, but next week, we will see how Jacoby two notrump gets the identical two hands to a makeable slam.

The Lead: West has a natural lead in an unbid suit of the queen of diamonds.

The play: South wins the opening lead and sees that he can get a short trump hand ruff. He cashes two rounds of clubs. He ruffs a club which gets over-ruffed. He wins the diamond continuation with a ruff and ruffs his last club with the king of trump. He then draws two rounds of trump and claims four spades plus two for +480.

Note:-Declarer wants to trump in the short-trump hand and avoid long-trump hand ruffs. The defense want to make declarer ruff in the long trump hand so he loses control, and they also want to ruff in the defensive short trump hand. Things become more difficult if East over-ruffed dummy with a singleton trump. Because declarer ruffed the fourth club with the king, he will now lose a trick to the jack third and make only five spades.

-All the bridge columns may be viewed at http://watsongallery.ca.