In 1st seat, you have:
You're too weak for 2♦,
you say? Well, a weak 2 is a weak 2.
You don't open 2♦
if you have a 4 card major, you say? Gee, when are
you going to bid ?
If you wait for all the conditions they told you about (2 top honours,
not even 3 cards in a major, etc.) you will wait a long time.
A little secret here: all those teachers (but mostly those who are
not), they tell you "Don't do this," and "Don't do that," "Wait for
this" and "Wait for that." In the end, they don't want you to
bid, especially when they play against you.
As I said, a weak 2 is a weak 2, and more so in 1st position.
2NT is the only forcing bid after a weak 2. A new suit
jump is non forcing, simply saying I would prefer to play in my
suit. It is, IMO, the only way to play.
Let's say Partner opens 2♥
and I have:
and I have to pass because 2♠ is forcing? Not for me, thank
A jump in a major at 3rd level is highly invitational. So 2NT
is the only force. Opener has to show what he has.
Here are the options:
3♣ : good hand with at least one 3-card major
3♦ : all
bad (even with a 3 card or 4 card M)
3♥ : good hand, 4
3♠ : good hand, 4 hearts
3NT : no M, max with good diamonds
If you bid 3♣, saying good hand with at least one 3 card M, responder
bids 3♦ to ask.
3♥ : 3 spades
3♠ : 3 hearts
3NT : 3 in both M
All above is from Marty Bergen. We have been playing that for
20 years at least. Easy, fun to play, as are most of Bergen's
WOW! Your hand just got much, much better. 4
points, you say? I don't think so.
So you bid 4♠? Are you asking me? I will say: NO‼!
Think. How can you tell partner you like his spades VERY
MUCH? Is there some information you can give him about your
hand? How can I know this info will help him, you
ask? The fact you know or you don't know is not the
point. The point is: tell partner something he doesn't know
about your hand, something that might help him. Yeah, right,
you say, like we will go to slam with my BIG 4 points Do you
know partner's hand? NO. So what do you bid?
It is a new bid I just invented yesterday, so it is not surprising you
don't know anything about it. Where did I find it?
In the department called Imagination
(In French, "Imagination" is called: La folle du logis.
Well, actually, this bid exists, but it is the first time it will be
used this way. What is it?
Make a splinter! What? Yes, splinter. I
know, I know, they told you a splinter is a double jump. Then
you grew up and you learned that it can sometimes be a single jump,
when obvious. Now, with this hand, you don't even have to
WHAT? You want me to believe I can splinter without jumping?
Yes, bid 4♥‼!
What can 4♥ be in
this sequence? Certainly not a suit. It is a
control bid, saying I don't have 2 quick losers in that suit.
As we don't open a weak 2 with 2 aces, 4♥
has to be shortness, showing ace of diamonds by inference.
You don't play inference either, you say? Well…
What can we call this splinter without a jump? I created the
Splinter. We already have "Invisible cue-bids"
in bridge, so why not "Invisible Splinter"?
And I don't think you have to alert this. How can we alert
something invisible?? If opponents ask what is 4♥, answer Splinter and
watch the look on their face...
Check this out:
They lead the Ace of hearts, you put dummy down and see partner shake
head. Is he disappointed? Mad at you?
After one round of trumps (Jack falling), he ruffs his 3 losers in
dummy and claims, still shaking his head. Cold slam with 22
"What's the matter?" you ask.
"Bridge is a wonderful game," he says, "and you are the most wonderful
Always try to help partner, never be sloppy or negligent or in a
hurry. Think‼! Take your time, use your
imagination. Sometimes you will become the gift from the gods
of bridge: a good partner.
(On a trump lead, it's another story!)