Bridge Corner- Lesson 1 (Opening Bids at the one level)


 Lesson 1: – Introduction to 4 card Acol and Opening bids at the 1 level

Suggested Reading (remember they are not Bibles)

  1. Bridge for complete Beginners – Paul Mendelson
  2. Bridge Winning ways to play your cards – Paul Mendelson
  3. Andrew Robson’s Essential Bridge Flipper

Facts: –

  1. Matches etc are lost by mistakes, not brilliances
  2. There is no such thing as a perfect bidding system – there will be hands your system will get wrong
  3. There are no “right answers”. It is up to the partnership to agree what the right answers are (both doing the same thing)
  4. Bidding is more important than the play of the cards. If you bid sensible contracts you do not have to be a    genius at playing the hands.
  5. Bridge is a partnership. You have to cope positively with a   partner and develop a system to suit both members of the partnership.

Bridge bidding system (covered by these lessons): –

Acol is the bridge bidding system that is “standard in British tournament play and widely used in other parts of the world”. It is basically a natural system using four card majors and, most commonly, a weak no-trump.

Facts: –

  1. There are 52 cards in a pack
  2. There are 4 suits which are ranked upwards – Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts and Spades
  3. No-trumps (NT) is ranked above Spades and is a limit bid
  4. The minor suits are Clubs ()and Diamonds ()
  5. The Major suits are Hearts () and Spades ()
  6. We will be playing the 4 card Acol system using weak NT (12-14 pts)
  7. There are 40 High Card Points (HCPs) in a pack
  8. Ace = 4pts, King = 3pts, Queen = 2pts, Jack = 1pts
  9. Balanced Hand – roughly the same number of cards in each suit (4,3,3,3 or 4,4,3,2 or 5,3,3,2)
  10. Distributional or an unbalanced hand where you have 1 (6 cards) or 2 suits (9+ cards across the 2 suits) that are much longer than the others. This will result in shortage in at least 1 of the remaining suits (e.g. 1 or a void)
  11. A distributional hand one should look at the loser count e.g. for every A, K or Q you are missing in the suit(s) that are bid is a lost trick; 1 card in a suit is only 1 loser,etc…
  12. In a distributional hand add 1pt for each 5 or 6 card suit and 2pts for each subsequent card and 2pt for a singleton and 3pts for a void
  13. A 4,4,4,1 distribution – pass with 12pts and bid best suit where possible below the singleton if you have 13+pts

Opening 1 of a Suit: – (agreed with Partner)

  • count – 12 – 19 HCPs
  • Must have 4 cards headed by an honour or any 5 cards or longer suit
  • Must be able to make a rebidg. rebid suit – must be promising 5 or more cards headed by at least 2 honours or bid a second suit which should have at least 4 cards headed by an honour (always bid the 5 card suit first if there is one in the hand first) or be able to make a rebid in NT

 Opening 1NT

  • 12-14pts HCPs ideally divided evenly across the 4 suits (this is often not realistic)
  • Balanced hand
  • Limit bid
  • No rebid unless partner responds that forces you to bid

What are the Opening Bids?

Hand Bid Ax KQJxxx Qxx xx Axxx AKxx Qxx Jx AKQx Qxx x AQJxx xx Axxxx KQx Axx Axx KQx AJxx Qxx Qxx Axxx KQx xxxx Qx AJxxx KQxxx x Qxxx x KJxx AKxx Kx KQxx QJxxx Ax AQxxx Kxx xxx Ax

Upper Bann U3A Bridge Lessons