Inviting Game

        Game is usually not a primary concern in a competitive auction: since the opponents are competing, they probably hold enough points to set a game contract.
        However, you would occasionally like to invite game during a competitive auction. Since jump-bids are preemptive, this becomes quite a complicated proposition. Here is a general rule:

In a competitive auction, the following bids show strength:
        1.    A non-jump, new-suit bid at the 2-level or higher.
        2.    A bid of 2NT (requires a stopper).
        3.    A cuebid of an opponent's suit.
        4.    A redouble of an opponent's takeout double.


         New-Suit Bids.     A non-jump, new-suit bid athe the 2-level or higher shows at least invitational strength:

1 — (2) — 2:     Shows 5 hearts and at least 10 points.

In some situations, you may bid a suit you do not have to show strength:

If you have already found a fit, a new suit bid does not promise the suit!

For example:

1 — (2) — 2 — (3) — 3:     Shows 16+ points, and invites game in hearts.
            (does not promise any diamonds)

After the 3 bid above, responder should bid either 3 or 4, depending on his strength.


         Notrump Bids.     A bid of 2NT during a competitive auction shows enough HCP to invite 3NT. However, remember the following rule:

Any notrump bid promises a stopper in the opponents' suit.

For example:

1 — (1) — 2 — (2) — 2NT:     Shows 16-18 HCP and a spade stopper (inviting 3NT).


         Cuebids.     A cuebid of the opponents' suit is a game invitation:

1 — (2) — 2 — (Pass) — 3:     Shows 16+ points, and invites game in spades.

If your partner bid a major, a cuebid promises support:

1 — (2) — 3:     Shows 10+ points and spade support (inviting 4).

If your partner bid a minor, a cuebid only promises strength:

1 — (1) — 2:     Shows 10+ HCP (forcing).


         Redoubles.     A redouble of the opponents' takeout double shows at least 10 points.

        EXAMPLE:    Suppose your partner opens 1 and your opponents make a takeout double. If you hold:

Q54    K73    KQ854    86

then you should redouble, and then bid hearts. Remember: an immediate jump to 3 is preemptive.