Main     Bidding Guide 2Z02 by Richard Pavlicek    

Introduction

This book is a summary of standard bidding rules, based on a system of “five-card majors” and weak two-bids. It is designed for the intermediate or better player who understands the basics of the game. It is not for beginners.

The book is ideal as a quick reference, especially during practice games among friends. The various tables offer a clear, concise description of most of the bids you will need to know.

The Pavlicek Methods

It’s a fact of life that no two bridge players bid alike. This is just as true among experts as it is among average players — indeed, it is one of the factors that keeps the game exciting. Therefore, in certain areas it was necessary to follow one school or another. I present the methods which I feel are best for the great majority of players, opting for simplicity whenever practical in order to minimize the chances of a misunderstanding. My decisions are based on over 25 years of teaching the game of bridge.

How To Use the Bidding Tables

Find the proper table (refer to the Contents page if necessary) and begin at the top. The options are listed in order of priority so the first option that fits your hand is almost always correct.

In the rare case that none of the options applies: If your hand is too weak, pass. If your hand is too strong, see the Slam Bidding section. Else choose the option that most nearly applies.

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Example Bidding Sequence

At the top of most bidding tables you will see an incomplete bidding sequence ended with a question mark (?). This shows one possible situation (usually not the only one) for which the table applies. The question mark indicates the position at which your selected call would occur.

Point Count

Point-count requirements for various bids are stated in either of two ways: The abbreviation “HCP” means that only high-card points may be counted. The word “points” means that HCP and all appropriate additional points should be counted. See the Point Count section for a complete summary of my methods to evaluate a bridge hand.

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FINS Are Not Just for Fish!

If you want to swim at the bridge table, you better have your FINS — or at least understand what I’m talking about. Every bid in bridge can be described as one of the following:

Forcing
Partner must bid again.
Invitational
Partner is urged to bid again if his strength is not minimum.
Nonforcing
Partner may bid again only if his strength or distribution warrants.
Sign-off
Partner must pass.

To the right of each bid in each bidding table you will see a letter F, I, N or S. This information will help you to understand how the remainder of the bidding should proceed.

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© 2013 Richard Pavlicek