Donís tips:  Never bid twice when pre-empting

It is not too uncommon for members at our club to raise their own pre-emptsÖ a big no-no or not know when to raise partnerís pre-empt.

Say for example you get dealt 8 pts and seven hearts e.g. KJxxxxx and donít know whether to bid 2 or 3when sitting vulnerable.  The rule:  make the best bid the first time and never bid again.

Definition of pre-empts:  a one suited defensive bid at the 2 or 3 level that has less than opening values or a bid at the 4 level or 5 of a minor that lacks outside defense.  This also applies to two suited bids like a jump to 2NT showing 5-5 in the two lower unbid suits.

Some rules to consider when pre-empting:

  1. Do not have outside defense.  A good idea is to guarantee no outside (in the non pre-empting suit(s)) A or K when preempting at the 3 level or higher
  2. Do not bid again unless partner forces a bid e.g. with a cue bid
  3. Do not have more than 10 or a bad 11 points
  4. Have a holding that without anything much from partner will likely go down three tricks white against red, two tricks on equal vulnerability and 1 trick when you are red vs white.

Sticking with the above discipline will:

  1. Allow partner to make a calculated decision on whether to bid later or not
  2. Give your partnership valuable information when on defense
  3. Build trust between you and your regular partner

Here is an example:

You hold




♣ Jxx

The bidding goes

N         E          S          You

            3        P          P         

3♠        P          P          ?

What do you do?

Send me your answer at or see me at the club  with your  logic and i will respond