Zar Points by Zar Petkov Part 6

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So do you have to be aggressive or conservative in bridge? I hope you know the answer to that question – it’s both

By Zar Petkov
On 11 February, 2014 At 7:44

Category : Advanced @en, Hand Evaluation, Zar Points @en

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Zar Petkov
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Never miss a game again – Zar Points Bidding  Source: BridgeGuys Read Part 5

The Aggression

So do you have to be aggressive or conservative in bridge? I hope you know the answer to that question – it’s both. Karen McCallum said once “I’ve never passed a hand with a void in my life”, and when you think about it, a hand with a void already has at least 14 Zars from the S2 and L2 components (as opposed to the only 8 points that a flat 4-3-3-3 hand would give you – a minimum of 6 points difference). Put a couple of Aces for another 12 Zars (2 times 4 HCP plus 2 CT) and you have a hand with 8 HCP but with 26 Zars!!! Opening hand with 8 “standard” points!

Here is an example of the “Two opening hands make a game” rule in the old-fashioned HCP style and the
Zar-style. First – the common question “to game or not to game” with 24 HCP, with standard bidding (Std) and Zar
Points (Zar):

Std: Este tiene 12-puntos con 5 buenas cartas de espadas, Oeste tiene 4-cartas de apoyo y 12 PH, ambos tienen apertura, pero no hay chances de cumplir 4 o 3NT (la defensa tarde o temprano va a cambiar a diamante). Zar: Este tiene 12+3+3+8 = 26 puntos (apertura) mientras que Oeste tiene 12+1+2+8=23, no tiene apertura aun con la corrección +1 para la Q. 49 Zars, cuando se necesitan 52 para game.

Now, the above mentioned “Karen-style” approach to the “to open or not to open” question, again Std vs. Zar:



Std: Este tiene 8-puntos y Oeste 9 PH, nadie tiene un palo mas largo de 5 cartas, casi todos deben admitir que pasarían con ambas manos. Zar: Este tiene 8+4+9+5 = 26 Zars, Oeste tiene 9+2+10+5=26 Zars, ambos tienen manos con apertura, y dos manos con apertura juegan game. El resultado 4 tendidos.

I am sure you have already noticed that if you switch the and in EITHER hand (but not both :- ) it’s a GRAND! A GRAND SLAM that you would simply have as an ALL-PASS board!

Wouldn’t that be a shame even for Bob Hamman (arguably the most experienced bridge player on Earth) with his 3% on bidding – if only he’d have an ALL-PASS board here, though… I am sure he wouldn’t and that’s simply because his 3% are NOT your 3%! Now you have the tool to come closer to Bob’s 3%.

Looks strange, but … only if you are still judging and evaluating the hands based on HCP and “vague feel” about things like shape, controls, distribution, offensive power, suit-support, etc. – all of which come into account with the Zar Points evaluation system. You only have to be able to count to 26 and confidently open the bidding.

To finish the “aggressive opening” subject, we just have to show what REAL AGGRESSIVE actually is. Some readers have already noticed the hand in the beginning of the article suggesting opening with 7 HCP. This sounds kind of crazy, I hear you mumbling.

Let’s explore this avenue a bit, though – is this the limit? Here are several hands that will provide the answer to that:




PH = 7   PH = 6
Zar Points= 7 + 3 + 6 + 11 = 27   Zar Points=6 + 2 + 6+ 12 = 26




PH = 5   PH = 4
Zar Points= 5 + 1 + 7 + 13=26   Zar Points= 4 + 2 + 7 + 13 = 26

Wow … an opening hand with 4 HCP ???? Well … you probably like “calmer” hands, like 4-4-3-2 with 8 HCP that anyone in the world (me including 😆 ) will pass:


PH = 8

 Do you see where I am heading? Front of…


PH = 4
Zar Points= 5 + 1 + 7 + 13=26

It’s a GRAND my friend, if trumps drop 1:1. Do you play bridge? 😉

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