Kokish game tries are similar to trial bids. They come after partner has raised 1 of a Major to 2 of a Major, so:

  • 1 – 2 and 1♠ – 2♠

So 2♠ would be a kokish game try when the hearts have been raised and 2NT would be a kokish game try when the spades have been raised.

Responder now bids there lowest suit they are happy to accept a game try in…by either having help in that suit because they have a shortage or they have good values in that suit. So Qxx would not be considered that good in the suit where KJxx would be a good holding.

If responder cannot help in any suit they simply bid the major at the 3 level.

If opener doesn’t like the response e.g. 3♣ they can then bid 3 or 3 and ask for help in the bid suit.

You can also play a direct raise asks for help in the trump suit…but most people play that as a pre-emptive raise.

  • 1 – 2 – 3 and 1♠ – 2♠ – 3♠

The advantage of this system over normal long suit trial bids is if your partner shows no help you haven’t divulged where your weakness is.