Breakin’ the Rules: Preempting then Acting Again

Joshua Donn

Breakin’ the Rules: Joshua Donn discusses various situations where an expert might decide to deviate from the «normal» action and break the rules, for BridgeWinners

“Advanced players know the rules. Experts know when to break the rules.” – Anonymous

We have all heard bridge teachers state, often in unequivocal terms, that you should not act again after opening a weak two bid. It seems like sound advice based on the following simple logic: partner has a much better idea of your hand than you have of his hand. How can anyone argue with that?

Well I can, because the times, they are a-changing (in fact, they have long since a-changed.) Preempting has proven too effective a tactic to limit to the ‘traditional’ hands. So, in exchange for the gain of added frequency, we pay the price of decreased precision in describing our hand. And with the wider potential range of hands comes the need to act in competition with those hands at the extreme ends of shape, strength, and offense/defense ratio. Let’s take a look at the types of hands with which it might be profitable to take such traditionally unwelcome action.

Before we continue, a quick aside. Don’t be so concerned with the choice of opening preempt that the attempted point gets lost. Perhaps on a hand where I give a 2-level opening, you would have opened 3, or 1, or even not opened at all. That is fine, but in that case I ask you to either accept the alternate style, or make the smallest possible change to the hand that will allow you to feel fine about proceeding. Now, on we go.

Holding a Second Suit

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