ROYAL STAC WEEK
What is it?
(It starts tomorrow!)
During ROYAL STAC week, March 20-26, ALL the games offered will award extra points. More exciting -- they will be awarding multi-colored points!
*25% of the awarded points will be black (normal)
*25% of the awarded points will be silver! (sectional)
*25% of the awarded points will be red! (regional)
25% will be GOLD!!! (national)
Make plans to play! We will also have an extra Saturday evening game this week where we will have an extra opportunity for these multi-colored points!
BASICS FOR NEWER PLAYERS
Because of our influx of beginner's, this section will now be part of our regular newsletter. Enjoy!
TO OPEN, OR NOT TO OPEN?
The "Rule of 20" is commonly used these days. Take your high card points, and add the length of your two longest suits -- if the answer comes to 20 or more, the hand is theoretically worth opening. So 11 HCP (high card points) and 5422 distribution comes to 20 -- the rule says to open it.
Some (including me) prefer the "Rule of 22" -- add your high card points, your suit length, and your "quick tricks". What are "quick tricks"? Some think of them as "guaranteed" tricks -- here is the chart:
AK = 2 quick tricks
AQ = 1.5 quick tricks
A = 1 quick trick
KQ = 1 quick trick
Kx = 0.5 quick tricks
All of these "rules" are just guidelines. Over the years, other methods have existed. None are "right", none are "wrong".
Next week: the Notrump Chart, and when to open NT with a five card major. :)
***** REMEMBER ******
Want to play “casual duplicate bridge” with fellow beginners?
Come on Thursdays at 1:00 - $5 per person - no director present
Play some hands and go over them to learn what we should have done, or what we did right! ((Hands are being pre-selected from lesson hands, so each hand has a theme! -- JB))
Lots of fun…and no pressure.
THE SANDWICH NOTRUMP
(and related bids)
The bidding has gone one of a suit on your left, pass by partner, and one of a suit on your right. We all know that a double is takeout for the other two suits. Perhaps 2NT also shows the other two suits. Perhaps cue-bids are Michaels, as well – showing the other two suits. And now we want to introduce 1NT as a “sandwich” NT showing the other two suits also? Do we need FIVE different bids to show the other two suits? Doesn’t that seem a bit silly and redundant?
Not necessarily, if we rework ALL of the bids into a comprehensive system. Here is my proposal:
After 1X (a minor) on your left, pass by partner, 1Y (usually a major) on your right, now it is your bid:
· 2X: Natural; this should be a good hand AND a good suit
· 2Y: Natural; this can be a good suit only and mildly preemptive in nature. (This is a decision of partnership style… some require a good hand as well.)
· DOUBLE: This is a standard takeout double for the other two suits, promising at least 4-4 and an opening hand. (Exception: If you are a passed hand, this will show 10-11 points – an “almost” opening hand.)
· 1NT: This is a takeout for the other two suits, promising at least 4-4 but not enough values for a “real” takeout double. With “only” 4-4 distribution, I suggest the following point-count guidelines: 8-11 by an unpassed hand, 7-9 by a passed hand. Points are used as a guideline ONLY. With 5-5 hands, feel free to get in there and scrap away. Realize that the biggest advantage of the sandwich notrump is NOT necessarily the potential to play the hand; the biggest advantage is that you steal the immensely valuable 1NT rebid from the opponents while still having a reasonable amount of safety yourself.
· 2NT: This is also a takeout for the other two suits, but with at least 5-5 and good playing strength with little or no defense.
(Note: When making any of the weaker bids, I suggest using the losing trick count to check your two and three-level safety factor at the existing vulnerability.)