If you have a powerhouse of a hand, you do a completely different way of bidding, which is a form of articifical bidding (conventional).  To show that you have 23 points of more you start the bidding at 2 CLUBS.  You may not have a club in your hand. You are only communicating points to your partner.

Your partner is forced to reply, and because you are so strong, he should keep bidding until you are in a game bid, at least. But if he has less than 8 points, he communicates this to you by another articifical bid  2 DIAMONDS, which means that he is denying that you will be able to make a slam bid.  Because it usually takes at least 31 combined points to make a slam, his 8 plus your 23 would make 31.  So you are telling your partner that s/he should be content to be in a game.

On the second round of bidding, the strong hand needs to declare his best suit, or no trump, but doesn't need to jump bid.  If the bidding has gone 2 Clubs, 2 Diamonds, then you can bid 2 or Hearts, Spades or No Trump, but must go to 3 if you want to have the contract be in Clubs or Diamonds. So for this example let us say you had the following hand:

Clubs                A,K,J,4
Diamonds          A,K,4
Hearts               Q,J,9,7
Spades              A,K,5

You have 24 points, so you were correct to start the bidding at 2 Clubs, but now you should indicate that you have a flat hand by bidding 2 No Trump.

Your partner has the following hand

Clubs                 Q,6,4,2,
Diamonds           J,7,3,2
Hearts                8,4,3
Spades               3,2

You have only 3 points, and you were forced to bid 2 Diamonds on the first round. Because you must now continue the bidding to game, your best bid is 3 No Trump which only shows that you have a flat hand and No Trump is as good as anything. Your partner will not go any higher in the bidding.

If you look at the two hands together, you can see the contract will win 4 club tricks, 2 spade tricks, 2 diamond tricks. These makes 8 tricks. The 9th trick might be won with a heart of possibly with the Jack of Diamonds. But the chances are that the contract will make.


Let's assume the same hand and opening bid as the one given above.

Clubs                A,K,J,4
Diamonds         A,K,4
Hearts               Q,J,9,7
Spades              A,K,5

So as before, with 24 points, you would open the bidding with 2 Clubs.

This time here is your partner's hand.

Clubs                 Q,6,4,2,
Diamonds           J,7,5,3,2
Hearts                A,K,3
Spades               3

This time you have sufficient points (more than 8) so you can make a positive bid. You would come back with 3 Diamonds, showing that you have a 5 cards diamond suit and at least 8 points.

This time, the possibility of a  making a slam is still tempting. So once the opening bidder has looked at his hand again, in the knowledge that he has enough points to make a slam, and his partner has a 5 cards Diamond suit, of which he has the Ace and King, he would want to find out more about his partner's hand to see if a slam was really viable.

To do this he can use another articificial convention called BLACKWOOD. This is where he bids 4 NO TRUMP, and because this bid is over the game level, his partner will interpret it as asking him(her) how many aces they have.

The replies are as follows:
No Aces, or all of them    5 clubs
1 Ace                              5 diamonds
2 Aces                             5 hearts
3 Aces                             5 spades

You have one Ace, so your reply to his bid of 4 No Trump would be 5 Diamonds.

If he wants to know how many Kings you have he would go through the same procedure, but starting with 5 No Trump, and your responses would be as above, but one level higher.

However, I think in this case, he will make the decision to bid 6 Diamonds, a small slam. If he is successful you will get an extra 500 point bonus if you are not vulnerable, and 750 points if you are vulnerable.

If you look at the 2 hands together again, you can see that there are 12 winning cards. You would win 13 tricks if the Queen of Diamonds falls.

If you want to look at a summary of what you have learned about bridge, click here. SUMMARY

If you wish to go on to the next set of lessons, click here. BRTAB2