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Conventions: OBAR BIDS

Source: bridge hands

OBAR BIDS – Acronym for Opponents Bid And Raise – Balance In Direct Seat.  Popularized by Larry Cohen in «To Bid Or Not To Bid: The Law of Total Tricks«. Conceptually, when one side discovers a trump fit at the 2 level trump (beneath 2 Spades), the other side should consider entering the auction – even bidding without substantive values in direct seat.  While many might make a bid in the balancing/passout seat («borrowing partner’s King»), making a freebid in direct seat is typically viewed as showing additional values – no so playing OBAR BIDS.

Criteria to consider when making an OBAR BIDS:

1. Sensitive to Vulnerability  – caution when unfavorable «Red versus White»
2. Shortage in OBAR suit
3. Reasonable length in higher ranking suit
4. Working values – honors in higher ranking and side suits
5. Quality of hand – controls, primary honors, intermediate values, sequences, etc


P – (1) – P – (2);
                                  A reasonable bid holding:

 K Q J 8 2                     Nice sequence, working values, and good lead direction
 5 3
 J 10 5
 9 6 4


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