Asking for a feature in bridge

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Asking for a feature in bridge is is one way to shift from an expected defensive role (when you or your partner have opened the auction with a weak 2 bid) to offense.

There’s a rule of thumb that if your partner opens with a weak 2 and you have opening points scattered through the other suits (you don’t have to have much in the trump suit), now it’s time to shift from defense (just trying to steal the bid) to offense. So you just raise your partner to Game in the suit that he or she bid. But that’s not a very exact method to determine if Game is possible. There are other more precise systems to determine whether you can play in any Game or even take a shot at 3 No-Trump.

One common method to find a possible Game contract after a weak 2 opening is for the partner of the weak 2 opener (who has around opening-point strength) to bid 2 No-Trump, which means asking for a feature.

The person who opened with the weak 2 then bids at the three level in any suit where he or she has a stopper — that may be the one card the responder needs to know about to be able to bid 3 No-Trump. You don’t have to have a real biddable suit to indicate the feature. An Ace — or a King with protection — may be enough. If you don’t have an additional feature in addition to your long suit, just repeat your suit, bidding it at the 3 level.

Under the captaincy principle – meaning that the responder to the opener is in charge of determining the final contract – the responder then determines the final contract based o n the information received in the second bid.

Return to the Bridge Burglar’s Guide to Bridge Bidding Conventions

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