North south vulnerable

North south vulnerable

The strategy to forcing a pass

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

Valuable Principles:

1.   When the opponents have taken a partnership out of game, a pass, made when partner still has a bid, is forcing. Partner must double or bid.  A double made when partner still has a bid usually shows a minimum with at least one trick in opponent’s suit. A bid of one’s suit when partner still has a bid shows extra values and possibly shortness in opponent’s suit.

Raising a partnership’s suit, when partner can still bid is called bidding ahead of partner and shows something extra.

Opponent’s should never play undoubled when they take the partnership out of game.

2.   When opponents compete, jumps to game do not show a lot of values while a cuebid shows 10+ or better and support.

The bidding: South with 12 high card points, opens one heart. West makes a weak jump overcall in spades. North has values and a heart raise so he cuebids spades. East has four-card support in spades, three of opponent’s suit (so partner is short) and a stiff club. Too bad the stiff is a king, but everything can’t be perfect. South, with his minimum and no spade tricks, passes. This is a forcing pass and partner chooses five hearts over a double.

The contract: Five hearts by South

The opening lead: The king of spades

The play: East overtakes the king of spades and plays the king of diamonds. Declarer wins the ace, draws trump, ruffs a spade and plays the ace of clubs. Missing the ten, declarer has no finesse in clubs. The king falls under the ace and declarer loses a diamond. The ten of diamonds is the resting place for the losing club. Declarer loses a spade and a diamond, making the contract.

The result: Five hearts making for +650.


-With an eight-card fit, three touching honours are needed if the opponent can cover one.

-4 spades is likely down two for 300. At -500, 5 spades is a good sacrifice.