Surely a player of your bridge skills is familiar with most or all of the following tips you are about to read. But is your partner?

Tips 1-10 are bidding tips.

1. When partner bids two suits and you have an equal number of cards in each suit, take partner back to the first suit even if it means increasing the level. Just do it!
You hold: A x x x  K 10 x  J x x  x x x
Partner You
1        1
2        ?
Bid 3. Raising hearts (see next tip) or passing partner’s reverse, a one-round force, puts you back in kindergarten.

2. A direct raise of a second suit promises four card support (in blood).
You hold: x x  A 10 x  A 10 x  K 10 x x x
Partner You
1        2
2       ?
Rebid 2NT showing 11-12 high-card points. Don’t even thinking of raising hearts with only three.

Eddie Kantar
Eddie Kantar

3. With two five-card suits: open with the higher ranking suit, respond in the higher ranking suit, and overcall in the higher ranking suit. Do not worry about which is the stronger suit.
You hold: J 10 x x x  A K Q x x  K x
Open 1, not 1. Respond 1to an opening 1bid and overcall 1if the opening bid to your right is 1.

4. When the bid to your right is strong, a jump by you is weak; when the bid to your right is weak, a jump by you is strong.
If partner opens 1and RHO doubles, a jump to 2by you is weak. If RHO opens 2(weak), a jump to 3by you is strong.

5. After you open 1or 1and partner responds 1NT denying support for your major, don’t rebid your major unless you have a six-card suit.

6. When holding three four card suits and a singleton, open the bidding 1unless your singleton is in diamonds! If it is, open 1. You should have at least 12 HCP to open the bidding with this distribution.
You hold: A K x x  K J x x  J 10 x x  x Open 1.

7. A takeout double by a passed hand shows 9-11 HCP with shortness in the opener’s suit. If the opponents have bid two suits, the double promises at least four-card support for both unbids.
You hold: A J x x  x x  K J 10 x x  x x
South (you) West North East
Pass            1     Pass 1
Dbl.
You show both unbid suits with your double. A 2overcall might lose a spade fit.

8. A good idea when playing Blackwood is to count the king of the agreed suit as an ace! This is called ‘Key Card Blackwood’ or ‘Five Ace Blackwood’. When using this convention do not contract for slam unless you have at least four of the five ‘aces’.

9. When responding to a takeout double, jump the bidding in your long suit with 9-11 ‘revalued’ points. An unbid five-card suit is worth 1 extra point and an unbid six-card suit is worth three extra points. Do not count points for jacks and queens in suits they have bid.
You hold: A Q 10 x  K x x  x x  10 x x x
West North East South (you)
1      Dbl.  Pass  ?
Jump to 2. Do not bid 1which shows 0-8 points. Also, your jump is not forcing.

10. When responding to a takeout double with 12+ HCP, cuebid the opponent’s suit to show a strong hand and then bid your suit(s) later. After you cuebid, any new suit bid by you is forcing.
You hold: K Q x x  A J x x  Q x x  x x
West North East South (you)
1    Dbl.   Pass  ?
Bid 2to show a big hand (12+HCP). You and partner then bid four-card suits up the line until you connect in a 4-4 major-suit fit. If partner bids 2, bid 2; if partner
bids 2, raise to 4. The one who knows, goes.