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Tag: spades

Namyats

Namyats (Stayman backwards) is a bidding convention to describe hands with long majors between 7 and 9 Playing tricks.

The opening bids are between 4♣ and 4♠.

Let’s look at the meaning of these bids:-

  • 4♣ – 8 or 9 Playing tricks with 7+Hearts
  • 4 – 8 or 9 Playing tricks with 7+Spades
  • 4 – 7 or 8 Playing tricks with 7+Hearts
  • 4♠ – 7 or 8 Playing tricks with 7+Spades

I really like this very simple system for a couple of reasons.

Firstly I never like opening a natural pre-empt of 4♣/ because i’m worried I might be missing 3NT…so for me the 4♣/ opening bids never existed as opening bids. Now I have a good use for them with the Namyats convention.

Secondly so many times my partner had 8 hearts/spades in their hand and opened 4/♠ and then we missed an easy slam because they were stronger than I expected them to be…or I bid slam and went off because the converse was true.

Example hands would be:-

  1. ♠ – AKJ107654 – Q7 – 6 ♣ – 95
  2. ♠ – 4 – AK1098743 – A6 ♣ – 42
  3. ♠ – AQJ107654 – 87 – K2 ♣ – 6
  4. ♠ – AJ1097654 – Q7 – AK ♣ – 7
  5. ♠ – 54 – AKQJ876 – AQJ ♣ – 3
  6. ♠ – KQJ107654 – K7 – 6 ♣ – 42
  7. ♠ – A4 – KQJ109876 – 6 ♣ – 32
  8. ♠ – KQJ107654 – 72 – KQ ♣ – 2

So with the weaker hand (7-8) playing tricks you would open 4or 4♠ (hands 1,3,6,7,8) and the stronger hand with (8-9) playing tricks you would open 4♣ or 4 (hands 2,4,5).

Responding

Most of the time you are just going to pass a 4 of a major opening bid or put partners 4 of a minor into the correct major.

If you bid 4 over 4♣ you are investigating slam in Hearts.
If you bid 4 over 4 you are investigating slam in Spades.

You have two choices going forward:

  • Italian cue bids or use RKCB to investigate if slam is on.
  • bid the suit you have 2 losers in – an anti-cuebid

Competition

Over an artificial minor opening, opponents can double which would be lead directing…or possibly the start of a way of showing a two-suited hand.

Over a double system can be kept on…so a re-double would imply interest in slam and possible a cue bid in that suit or the higher ranking suit and a bid of the next suit up would imply slam interest still and could show no minor ace.

For example

NorthEastSouthMeaning
4♣DoublePassMaybe ace of spades or two aces?
RedoubleControl in Clubs…heart interest
4Control in Diamonds…heart interest
4No Slam Interest
4♠Natural or ace of spades? Two aces? a void?
4NTRKCB for Hearts

As you can tell by this…I’m making this up as I go! Again the most important aspect of bridge is that you and your partner should have a comprehensive understanding of what the bids mean after you’ve opened 4♣.

This is the great thing about bridge…if you love the game these are the precise topics that people will talk for hours about 🙂

Bergen Raises

There are many different types that people play Bergen raises…

Classic Bergen raises

After an opening bid of 1 Major (5 card suit) the responses are:

  • 3M – 2-6 points 4 card support
  • 3 – 10-12 points and 4 card support
  • 3♣ – 7-9 points and a 4 card raise

And that is it…in its simplest form!

To show 10-12 points and a 3 card raise you would have to bid something like 2 of a minor and then support by jumping to 3 or 4 of the Major. Alternatively if you are playing 2/1 you can bid a forcing 1NT and again jump to 3 of the Major to show that hand.

More complex Bergen Raises

So again after opening a five card major this time the responses can be:-

  • 4X = Void in that suit. Cannot show void in spades if hearts opened
  • 3NT = balanced 3334 shape with 3 card support for the major (13-15pts)
  • (3M) = 4 card suit 0-6 points
  • 1 – 2♠ = Undisclosed splinter, 4 card support 10-12 points
  • 1♠ – 3 = Undisclosed splinter, 4 card support 10-12 points
  • 1♠ – 3 = 4 card support 7-9 points
  • 1 – 3 = 4 card support 7-9 points
  • 1♠ – 3♣ = 4 card support 10-12 point
  • 1 – 3♣ = 4 card support 10-12 point
  • 1M – 2M = 3 card support 6-9 points

Competitive Auctions

Opener has been Doubled

A common sequence is 1M followed by the opposition doubling for take out.

If you wish you can keep Bergen raises on after a double…make sure you agree this with your partner.

There has been an overcall

Suppose the bidding goes 1 – 2♣ (overcall) – ?

Double – The other 2 suits
2 – Natural and forcing
2 – 3 card support weak
2♠ – Natural and forcing
2NT – Good 4 Card Raise
3♣ – A cue bid shows a 3 card raise
3 – A fit show – showing a good 5 card suit and 4 card support
3 – 3 card support weak
3♠ – A fit show – showing a good 5 card suit and 4 card support

What to do with 3 card support?

With 10-12 points and 3 card support – bid a forcing 1NT assuming you are playing 2/1 and rebid 3 of the major.

Alternatively bid 2♣ or 2 and then bid 3 / ♠.

After Undisclosed Splinter

After the undisclosed splinter you bid 2NT / 3NT to ask where the singleton is. Responder just bids the suit it is in or bids hearts to show a splinter in the major or the other major if you’ve agreed hearts.

Other Versions of Bergen

There are other versions of Bergen raises where you can show good 3 card raises straight away….useful if you aren’t playing 2/1 but then you cannot show undisclosed splinter bids as well if you play that particular system.

Also the downside of Bergen raises is you can give the opponents a chance to double your artificial bids to pinpoint a lead.

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