In this article we shall look at another way of judging whether your hand and partner fit well enough to bid low point-count games and slams. As with Splinters, this tool will be useful when seeking to evaluate unbalanced hands.
What is a Trial Bid?
A ‘Trial Bid’ is a length-showing bid which allows the partnership to assess whether holdings in a non-trump suit will positively affect the side’s trick-taking potential. A player making a trial bid will have at least three cards in the suit bid and his partner will be expected to evaluate his holding in this suit for the purposes of bidding towards game or slam. This can be contrasted with ‘Splinter’ bids (see February 2009) which help the partnership to judge whether short-suit holdings are going to work to its advantage.
How can a Trial Bid be recognised?
A trial bid is defined as the first bid in a new suit following suit agreement, e.g. 1 – 2 – 3. Unlike splinters, trial bids never involve a jump. Depending on the level at which you are bidding, a trial bid consults partner about the prospects of bidding game and/or slam. Thus, 1 – 2 – 3 is initially assumed to be a trial bid for game, but can be the first move towards slam, while 1 – 3 – 4 is a trial bid for slam, as the 4 bid has already committed the partnership to bidding game.
How does one evaluate holdings in the Trial Bid suit?
When responding to a trial bid…Click here to continue reading