A Starting Point: The Bidding Messages

Eric Rodwell is known for his highly developed skills in creating integrated bidding systems at world class levels. He also used his technical expertise to co-author the bestselling JOY OF BRIDGE with Audrey Grant and David Lindop. Even though bidding styles change, the foundation laid out in this book is still relevant. The introduction of marathon bids set the stage for Two-Over-One, a popular adaptation to standard bidding.

A bidding system should keep both partners comfortable and confident that they understand the information being
exchanged during the bidding conversation. Knowing when you have to bid again and when you can pass, is an important part of being at ease.

In the JOY OF BRIDGE, in addition to sign-off, invitational and forcing bids, we introduced the marathon bid, a bid that was forcing to game. The message sent by this bid gets us in the right position to understand what is referred to as a 2/1 (two-overone) game force.  Another idea introduced in the JOY OF BRIDGE that is also relevant to our discussion is that one player, usually the responder, is the captain and decides HOW HIGH and WHERE to place the contract.

A review of the JOY OF BRIDGE bidding messages is a good starting place for a discussion of 2/1.

The Bidding Messages: Each bid made during the bidding conversation sends a message to partner. As in any conversation, it is important to have the message understood. Each bid carries one of four possible meanings:

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