Competitive Bidding SUMMARY

This is a brief summary of bids and treatments you should use to be competitive in modern duplicate bridge.  See individual lessons for a more complete explanation.


Takeout Doubles: Shows an opening hand in search of an 8-card fit in any unbid major suit. Responder bids her hand all at once in one bid. With 0 to 7 HCP, make the cheapest bid in a major. With 8 – 9, jump one level. With 10 – 12 double jump and with 13+ bid game.  Without a 4+- card major, bid your longest minor or 1NT if you have stoppers in opener’s suit.

§Dbl – P – 4©] 13+ HCP with 4+ Hearts or
©Dbl – P – 1ª] 0 – 7 HCP with 4+ Spades.

[1§Dbl – P – 1NT] 6 - 7 HCP without a 4-card major, but with Clubs stopped.


Overcalls and Weak Raises in Competition.
  An overcall shows a decent suit in an 8 to 15 HCP hand.  The overcaller might not bid again. Responder should raise whenever possible, and all raises should be WEAK in competition. [1§1© – 1ª2©]  This 2© bid may be as weak as 3 HCP if it includes some distribution points and 4 trumps.   Try NOT to change suits when partner overcalls.


Cue bids for Limit Raises.  A cue bid of opponent’s suit shows a 10 to 12 point Limit Raise. [1§1© – 1ª2§ . . .] 2§ = Limit Raise of partner’s Hearts.


Action Overcall Double.  If overcaller is strong but can’t rebid her suit, which would show 6+ cards, and can’t bid NT or a new suit, she can Action Double at her 2nd bid, telling partner she has 12+ HCP or better.

[1§ – 1© – 1ª P    2ª Dbl – P – ???]  Responder can then prefer to Hearts with only two Heart cardss, pass for penalty, etc.


Action Double.  If opener is strong but can’t rebid her suit, showing 6+ cards, or bid another suit or NT, she can double at her 2nd bid, telling partner she has 15+ HCP. [1§ – 1© – 1ª 2©   Dbl – P –???]  Responder to the overcall can then evaluate the hand knowing opener has about 1NT strength but no 6-card suit and can’t raise responder’s suit or bid NT.


Unusual 2NT and Michaels. Overcalls that show two 5-card suits and 8 to 14 HCP. 2NT is usually a jump over one of a suit or a direct 2NT bid over 1NT. It shows the 2 lower unbid suits. [1©2NT . . .]. showing both Minors. Michaels is a direct cue bid of opponent’s suit opener and shows any unbid major(s) and a minor if opening was in a major, or both majors if the opening was in a minor. [1§2§ . . .]. Both majors.   [1©2© . . .]. Spades and a Minor.  2NT by 4th seat asks for the Michaels bidder’s minor suit.

Lebensohl 2NT. If partner doubles a weak two opening and responder is weak, she can sign off by bidding any suit at the 2-level or bidding by bidding 2NT, forcing doubler to bid 3§.  Responder then bids her suit or passes with Clubs. [2ªDbl – P – 2NT*   P – 3§ – P – 3¨…] Weak with Diamonds. 
ªDbl – P – 3© . . .]   10+  HCP and 4+ Hearts.  

[2©Dbl – P – 2ª  . . . weak with 4+ Spades. 



Support Doubles and New Minor Force. These 2 conventions search for a
3 – 5 fit in a major.  (3 cards in opener’s hand and 5 cards in responder’s.

§/¨ – P – 1©/ª – P    1 or 2NT – P – (2§/2¨)…]  A New Minor force, showing 5 card major and 10+ HCP. Responder asks opener for 3 card support.  Logically, it would be called the “Other Minor Force”, but it isn’t.

§/¨ – P – 1© – 1ª    Dbl…]  A Support Double. Opener shows exactly 3-card support for responder’s major suit (Hearts) Any other bid denies 3 card trump support. Opener tells, without being asked, that she has 3-card support.


[1§/¨ – P – 1ª – Dbl   Redbl…] A Support ReDouble, showing 3 card support, used in competition by 4th seat. Opener tells responder about her support without being asked.


Weak Jump Overcalls and Weak Jump Shifts. In modern bridge, jumps, either Jump Overcalls or Jump Shifts in competition are weak.  WJO’s and WJS’s show 6 card suits, 0 to 8 HCP and no outside Ace or King. 

§2ª …]  a Weak Jump Overcall    [1§ – Dbl – 2© …]  a Weak Jump Shift.