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
- (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
With 10-12 points and 3 card support – bid a forcing 1NT assuming you are playing 2/1 and rebid 3 of the major.
After the undisclosed splinter you bid 3NT to ask where the singleton is. Responder just bids the suit it is in or bids 4 hearts to show a splinter in the major or the other major if you’ve agreed hearts.
There are other versions of bergen raises where you can show good 3 card raises….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.