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Relay Major-Suit Game Try

In a Nutshell

A serious problem with long-suit or help-suit game tries is that information is revealed about the closed hand, which often aids the defense. Much better is for the declaring hand to make nondescript relay bids, and for the dummy to describe. The idea is that dummy will be seen anyway, so its revelation offers no help after the opening lead. Defense is far more difficult when the shape of the concealed hand is unknown.

A further advantage is that failure to relay, i.e., bidding a new suit at the three level, becomes a natural slam-try.

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Details

The following structure applies any time a major suit is raised from one to two. This can be a raise of a major-suit opening, a one-level response, a one-level rebid or a one-level overcall. It also applies after a Drury 2 C response, a 2 D rebid and a 2 M rebid by Drury bidder.

It also applies in competition provided there is no enemy bid after the raise to two.

West
1 M
?
1 X
2 M
North
any
(or)
any
P*
(etc.)
East
2 M

1 M
?
South
P*

any

*or Double







Call
Cheapest bid
2 NT over 2 H
3 M
3 other suit*

4 new suit
Meaning
relay; game or slam try
balanced; I
preemptive; no game interest
4+ cards; slam try; alternate strain is
 possible
splinter; slam try

*Note that a jump to 3 S is natural, not a splinter.

After the “cheapest bid” relay:

West
1 M
Rel
North
P
P
East
2 M
?
South
P






Call
2 NT
3 new suit
3 M
4 M
Raise relay
Meaning
secondary values* in spades
secondary values* in suit bid
minimum; scattered values
maximum; scattered values
maximum; 4-3-3-3 shape

*Typically at least 3 cards including the king or queen

When secondary values are shown, it is still unknown whether the raise was minimum or maximum. Continuations:

West
1 M
Rel
?
North
P
P
East
2 M
Val
South
P
P








Call
3 M*
Cheapest suit

3 NT
4 M
Other suit
Jump new suit
Meaning
turned off by values; NF
relay; asks if min or max (return to
 trump suit = min)
choice of games; NF
sign-off
control-bid; slam try
splinter; slam try

*If no relay is available below 3 of major, this is the only available invitation, so responder should continue to game if maximum.

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© 2013 Richard Pavlicek