Breakin’ the Rules:  Joshua Donn discusses various situations where an expert might decide to deviate from the  «normal» action and break the rules, for [button link=»» size=»small» window=»yes»]BridgeWinners[/button]

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

Slam bidding is one of the most exciting parts of the game. Not only are lots of points on the line, but slams also lead to swings because the other table frequently plays at a different level. Slam bidding is also interesting as an area that gives you a lot of freedom in the auction. Since your side invariably holds most of the strength in slam auctions, you will typically have several options of how to proceed.

Perhaps surprisingly, there is also a measure of inherent safety in tactically mis-describing your hand on the way to slam. If you cue-bid a suit with no control, there is obvious danger in the sense that you might reach slam with an uncontrolled suit, but you knew that when you risked the bid. At least there is no danger of reaching the wrong strain or level. Contrast that with far riskier psychic bids, such as an immediate response in a short major on a bad hand.

Following are some of my favorite deceptive strategies in slam bidding that I think are underutilized. A common theme will be weighing the risk of the chosen action against the information provided by a different auction. I will then diverge and use the opportunity to express some thoughts about a common slam bidding convention – Last Train.

Jumping to Slam

I have long believed that the most underused slam bidding technique is…

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