By Peter Rhead
The “LAW” of total tricks
In the past weeks we have looked at Super Accept as a way to let your partner know you have a good Spade or Heart fit after you open 1NT.
Super Accept is a by-product of the LAW but today we are talking about suit contracts. The LAW basically follows the premise that you can bid a suit successfully to the combined level of trump that you and your partner share even when one partner is weak. You may not make your suit contract but your score may be better than if you allowed your opponents to make their contract. With a combined nine trump you likely make one more trick than normal. With ten trump, two extra tricks, etc.
Guideline One: Your opening or that of your partner is one of any suit.
Guideline Two: Responder is weak (0-9 points). If the opening named suit is a major suit, weak responder jumps one step with four card support, two steps with five and three steps with six card support. For a named minor suit, weak responder needs six, seven or eight card support in each case to jump to three, four or five. The reason is you can open a minor with just three cards whereas opening a major guarantees five cards in the named suit.
Guideline Three: Only a weak responder follows the LAW. If responder has ten or more points, he bids normally without jumping. Otherwise your partnership may miss game or slam. Jumps following the LAW are preemptive.
For more information, read To Bid or Not to Bid (The LAW of Total Tricks) by Larry Cohen.
Next Week: Examples of when you and your partner might use The LAW of Total Tricks.
If you wish to promote an activity in your Bridge group or ask a Bridge question, send the information to [email protected] and I will try to include it in this column.
Remember, as we all fight COVID-19 with social isolation, if you want your Bridge fix, online competition is available for all skill levels. From the ACBL Bridge website, you can hook up either to play live people or to play robots. Either way you test or consolidate various Bridge skills. At ACBL.org just click on “Play Bridge” and follow the prompts for various choices.
Looking for more bridge tips? You’ll find them here.
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