teams find a fit, each new bid becomes a question: should we let
the opponents have the contract, or should we bid "just one
The most important rule for such decisions is as follows:
2 over 2. If you have an 8-card fit, you should always bid at the 2-level over the opponents. For example, suppose the bidding has been:
|(1) 1 (2) ?|
Your partner's 1 overcall promised a 5-card suit. Therefore, you should bid 2 with 3-card support.
3 over 2. You should always go the the 3-level with a 9-card fit. You should also go to the 3-level with an 8-card fit as long as the opponents also have a fit.
3 over 3. This is the most common competitive decision. Suppose the bidding has gone:
|(1) 1 (2) 2 (3) ?|
Should you pass or should you bid 3? The answer is:
4 over 3. Competing to the 4-level is usually a bad idea. You should only make such a bid if you and your partner have a 9 or 10-card fit.
If your opponents
have bid at the 4-level or higher, you should generally stop
bidding. In most situations, you should not
bid 4 over 4 or higher.
EXCEPTION: You may want to sacrifice over 4 or 4 if you have a 10-card fit. (In particular, bidding 4 over 4is often an excellent idea.) The opponents should then penalty double. They should not go to the 5-level under any normal circumstances.
A balance is a bid which must be made to prevent the opponents from taking the contract. For example, after the sequence:
|(1) Pass (2) Pass (Pass) ?|
The last person has a choice between passing (and hence letting the opponents play 2) and balancing.
The primary rules for balancing are as follows:
In general, a bid made while balancing promises significantly fewer points than a normal overcall. For example: