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Beginner Corner
The Six Point Rule

(This, and articles like it can be found at 

The reason why you must always respond to partner’s One-of-a-Suit Opener with six+ points is that partner can have 19 points. 19 + 6 = 25: game (well, 3NT, 4 & 4 - 5/5 require nearer 28, 29 and should generally be avoided).

However if the opponent sitting on your right bids, you no longer have to bid with six-seven-odd points, for partner now has another bid.

Exercise: Partner, South, opens 1 What would you do as North if West passes?
Hand A Hand B Hand C
♠ J 7 4 2
 7 4
 A 9 5 2
 J 5 2
♠ 9 7 3
 K 6
 J 7 4 3 2
 K 5 2
♠  4 3 2 
♥ 7
♦ K J 7 4 3 2
 Q 7 3
A). Respond 1, showing four+ spades and six+ points.
B). Respond 1NT, the “Dustbin One Notrump”, showing 6-9 points in a hand that cannot bid anything else ie not four spades and not the strength to respond in a new suit at the two-level [**use the Rule of 14: respond in a new suit at the two-level when your points added to the number of cards in your long suit reaches 14].
C). Respond 1NT. This does not show a desire to play in 1NT (as you see) merely a hand that has to bid (six+ pts) with no other bid.

However say West bids 1, the auction going 1 from partner, 1 on your right. Does that change things?

You bet they’e different! When West bids, the pressure is taken off you, as partner now has another bid. Your 1NT bid remains as nominally 6-9, although in practice nearer nine than six, but you are actually expressing the opinion that you want to play 1NT. It is not some nebulous dustbin bid any longer.

A). Pass. If you bid 1NT, you are saying you wish to play that contract. Do you really want to do that with this barren six-count? I don’t really think so.
B). Pass. To bid 1NT after an overcall guarantees a stopper in the overcalled suit. You do not have the vestige of a spade stopper.
C). Pass. Not 1NT as you have no spade stopper, nor a real desire to play in 1NT. And not 2 as you fail the Rule of 14 (see ** above).
Tips for Intermediates
Common Bidding Mistakes
(This, and articles like it can be found at
Good news! Opener has supported your change-of-suit response. This means that trumps have been agreed and it is purely a question of level. By showing the strength of his hand with his supporting bid, that issue too is almost resolved. 

Assuming you (responder) are unbalanced, use the Losing Trick Count (LTC). Follow these steps: 
  1. Ask yourself how many Losing Tricks (LTs) opener has taken you for. A one-over-one responder will be put with nine LTs; a two-over-one responder will be put with eight LTs. 
  2. Count up your LTs.* 
  3. For each LT you are better than advertised, bid up a level.
*Calculate LTs as follows: Assume the ace takes the first round of a suit; the king the second; the queen the third. How many of those do you lack, up to the number of cards held?

Exercise: the auction has begun 1 -2 -3 .  What next with:
Hand A Hand B Hand C
♠ 8 5
 K J 6 4 3 
 J 8 6 4
 A 7
♠ 5
 A 9 6 4 3 2
 K Q 4 3
 Q 9
♠ 6 3
♥ A Q 7 6 3 2
♦ A Q 6
 A 3
  • A) Pass. Eight Losing Tricks (AK, AQ, AKQ, K) as advertised.
  • B) 4 , Six Losing Tricks. (KQ, A, AK) Two better - but silly to bid 5 ♥ (no man's land). Play Safe and bid 4 ♥ (this weeks mistake).
  • C) 6. Five Losing Tricks (AK, K, K, K)
North Deals
E-W Vul
A J 9 7 6
K 8 7 5
8 7 4
8 4
J 10
10 8 6
A K 10 5 3 2
W   E
K Q 10 3 2
J 9 7 5 2
J 6
A 9 6 4 3 2
K Q 4 3
Q 9
West North East South
  1  Pass 2 
Pass 3  Pass 5 1
Pass Pass Pass  
  1. Mistake. When the LTC tells you to bid 5/, you should bid 4/. What’s the point in bidding Five? None.

What happened
West led A, East encouraging with J (“throw high means aye”), and West followed with K and 10. East trumped with Q and, although declarer could overtump with A, West’s J10 was promoted into a trick. Down one.

West North East South
  1  Pass 2 
Pass 3  Pass 4 
Pass Pass Pass  

What should have happened
As above - but in 4 ♥. Game made.

If you remember just one thing...
When the Losing Trick Count tells you to bid 5 ♥/, settle safely for 4 /.

Column of the Month - for the more  Experienced

(This, and articles like it can be found at

This was a big-swing board from the 39th annual Lords-Commons match, held at the Palace of Westminster and sponsored jointly by Stephen Perry and Lord Kalms, won by the Commons.
Aggregate Teams 
East Deals
Both Vul
A K Q 10 9
10 4
7 5
A 10 8 4
8 5 3
K J 8 7 2
Q 9 7 5 2
W   E
J 7 6 4
A Q 9
Q 10 3
K J 6
6 5 3
A K J 9 8 6 4 2
Table One
West North East South
    1 N Pass1
2 2 2  3  5 
Pass Pass Pass  
  1. Reasonable Shot. Perhaps the opponents will remain in notrumps and South can unleash eight running diamonds (should the  Q drop).
  2. Transfer to hearts.
Table Two
West North East South
    1 N 5 1
Pass 6 2 Pass Pass
  1. No softly-softly tactics for Table Two's South. Arguably 4  is the right pre-emptive level given that South is vulnerable and the suit has a hole in it. Buth there is no doubt that 5 could bring home the bacon.
  2. Hoping that partner either has hearts covered, or for a non-heart lead.
At Table One West led a heart v 5 , his partner having supported his transfer bid. East won the ace, cashed the queen, then very brightly led a third heart (little point in leading a black suit and you will see - every point in leading a third heart).

Declarer ruffed in dummy and hoping for the three remaining trumps to split 2-1, led to his ace. West discarding was a fatal blow and he could only concede a diamond to East's queen. 5  one down.

Things were rather different at Table Two where the pugnacious North-South had bid 6 . With a blind lead, West reasonably selected a club.

Declarer won dummy's ace and led a diamond to the ace. West discarding was but a minor inconvenience (unlike at Table One) because dummy still had a trump with which to take the second-round marked finesse against East's queen.

Declarer crossed to the ace-king-queen of spades, discarding two hearts, then led a second trump to the (ten and) jack. The king felled East's queen and just one heart was lost at the end. 12 tricks and 6  made. The slam succeeded whilst game failed.

Should declarer have taken a first round finesse at Table One? Probably. It is just possible East has 12-14 points (for his 1 NT opener) with West holding the queen of diamonds (singleton as East has to have at least two). Unlikely though.

Books, Flippers and Arrow Packs
ARBC Diary ARBC Flippers Bridge Lesson Booklets
At the Club
Our Autumn Term Course Timetable has been finalised. Please click herefor a copy of the timetable or here to view and book our courses.
Duplicate Pairs Tactics
Aimed at the experienced duplicate player. This course runs over four days (12th-15th January 2016 10.30-15.30 with lunch included). And takes place at the Brompton Oratory.
You can view full details and book here.
Free Beginning Bridge Taster Sesssion. It is aimed at those that have never played Bridge but would like to try it out. Please encourage your non Bridge playing friends to come along on one of, 9th September (am+eve), 21st & 22nd September (eve). Full details can be found here  
 Children's Bridge on the 21st, 22nd & 23rd of December we are holding our Children's Bridge sessions. Please click here for further details
ARBC Holidays
We run a selection of holidays including in the coming year: 
  • Malta
  • Skiing
    • Austria
    • Italy
  • Jersey
  • Lake Garda
  • Millstream -Bosham
Andrew's Bridge Lessons Series
Beginning Bridge
Bidding as Opener
Declaring Notrump Contracts


Last updated : 14th Aug 2015 11:05 BST
Best Behaviour at the Bridge Table
Bridge is an extremely enjoyable game. Courteous behaviour is an exceptionally important part of that enjoyment.

This guide serves as a brief reminder of how to behave at the bridge table. We are sure that all players naturally follow this code of conduct but there are times when concentration and pressure can take their toll and it is for these situations that we issue this as a reminder.

  • ·  Greet others in a friendly manner prior to start of play on each round.

  • ·  Be a good “host” or “guest” at the table.

  • ·  Make your convention card readily available to your opponents and fill it

    out completely.

  • ·  Make bridge enjoyable for yourself, partner and opponents.

  • ·  Give credit when opponents make a good bid or play.

  • ·  Take care of your personal grooming.

  • ·  Ensure that your mobile phone is turned off.

  • ·  Enjoy the company as well as the game.

    Remember that it is rude to criticise your partner or opponents in public, to be less than polite at the table, to gloat over good results or object to a call for the tournament director or to dispute or argue about a director’s ruling.

    As in all games that our governed by rules and regulations, bad behaviour will be penalized ....

    If a player at the table behaves in an unacceptable manner, the director should be called immediately. Annoying behaviour, embarrassing remarks, or any other conduct which might interfere with the enjoyment of the game is specifically prohibited by Law 74A. Law 91A gives the director the authority to assess disciplinary penalties. This can include immediate disciplinary board penalties, and if a future violation is incurred at the same event, disqualification from future competition in that event. Any further violations may result in a disciplinary hearing where player(s) future participation in tournaments will be considered.

    English Bridge Union August 2006 

Last updated : 25th Oct 2013 19:05 BST