Help Suit Game Try bridge convention

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This is an offensive convention designed to find a fit for Game even though one of the two partners professes to have only minimal values.  A “Help Suit Game Try” bid asks a partner for help with a weak suit to see if there is a chance to go for Game. It is a useful way of determining if a Game is possible after you have opened with a One bid in a major suit and your partner has replied with a simple weak raise, for example, 1 /2 . If the opening hand has some extra values, many beginners would go to 3 , meaning: “I have something extra beyond just a minimum opening, partner — if you’re at the top of your range, too (meaning more like 9 points instead of a mere 6) maybe we can go for Game.” But that’s a very inexact way of determining if Game is possible. Whether you can make Game or not likely depends on what will happen in a side suit. So under the “Help Suit Game Try” strategy, you bid the suit that you need help in. If your partner has some help there, he/she will raise you to Game in the original trump suit. If he/she does, not, he/she will rebid the original trump suit at the 3 level and that’s where you should stop.

For example, if you hold

A K J 8 4
K 10 9 3
K 8
9 7


And you have opened 1 and your partner has responded 2 , you should now bid 3 indicating that’s a suit in which you have some holes. If partner has something to plug those holes with, partner should raise to 4 . If partner does not, he should give a “drop-dead” bid of 3 .

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

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