Preempts - A Wrap Up
Tips: The Preempting Side
(1) Suit quality is vital - two of the top three, or three of the top five honours (♠KQ10762 or ♠QJ10752)
(2) Vulnerability is important - the best time is when your side is not vulnerable and their side is vulnerable i.e. not vul/vul (be wild!) the worst case is the opposite; your side vulnerable, their side not vulnerable i.e. vu/not vul (don't be wild)
(3) With favourable vulnerability and in third seat (i.e. p p to you) think about opening with one card fewer than the books suggest
(i.e. five cards for a weak two-bid) p p ♠KQ1094 ♥ 6 ♦J1064 ♣1093 open 2♠. The next hand is sure to be strong
(4) The level you open will show how many cards you hold in that suit, i.e. 2♥ = six cards, 3♥ = seven cards, 4♥ = eight cards
(5) The point count for preempting must be less than an opening one-bid; 6-9, never 10,11 high card points, as that should have been opened at the one-level.
(6) A preempt should really be one suit only, and not have honours in other suits. (e.g. ♠KQJ10942 ♥ 6 ♦64 ♣1093, not ♠K86432 ♥ K6 ♦Q1064 ♣10)
(7) Partner will raise your preempt with a fit (three + trumps), and points are less important. Even if you don't make the contract, the other side could have made one of their own.
(8) If your partner has a good hand and their own five+card suit, they will bid that, and it's forcing for the preempter to bid again.
Tips: The Other Side
(1) Bid over a preempt if you can. An opening hand (13+) is needed in direct seat. (2♥ and you are next)
(2) Less than an opening hand (10+) is needed in the balancing seat if the bidding goes 2♥ p p to you
(3) The preempt has actually helped you to play the hand because you know a lot about the preempt
(4) Play the preempting hand to have values in one suit only, and not honours in their short suits
(5) Play the preempting hand to be short in other suits, and therefore the other opponent will usually have points and be the dangerous opponent.
(6) Remember that their preempt gave you new clues about shape that would not have been there had they passed.
(7) Do not preempt over their preempt. If you jump, it's strong (very strong...16+ e.g. 2♠ by them, 4♥ by you ♠107 ♥AKJ1086 ♦AK8 ♣K43)
(8) Double over their preempt with the correct shape and an opening hand, i.e. shortage in their suit 13+ in direct seat. Remember their preempt forced the bidding to a higher level, so you are forcing partner to bid at what might be a high level.
Test your knowledge
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