# BBO Discussion Forums: Negative free bids - BBO Discussion Forums

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## Negative free bids Pros and cons ?

### #1Chamaco

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Posted 2004-September-25, 04:29

Hi all.
I would like to have some feedback on Negative Free Bids (NFB).

Note for those who ignore what NFB are
For the record, for those who ignore what NFB are, it is a different system of treating 2/1 responses in competition.
E.g.
1-(2)-?

Now, using NFB, new suit at the 2 level is Non-forcing, typically with a semiconstructive hand (6-9 hcp), weaker than an oinvitational hand.
Holding a better hand (10+), responder would start with a double even oif he has a natural 5 card suit which would bid a 2/1 in standard systems.

Question 1
Robson/Segal in their book "Partnership bidding" say they hate NFB but do not enetr details.
Could you specify why do you like/dislike NFB ?

Question 2
(my viewpoint)
A friend of mine said that it is better to show directly your suit when u are weak rather than when you are strong and can afford rebidding later, because this is more disruptive againt opps.

However, it is also true the other way around:

1-(2)-?

AQT9x
Qxx
KJxx
x

If you start with a double and they raise to 5 clubs, it will be hard to show both the spades and diamond support.
In this case, not bidding your longer suit result in helping opps to preempt you.

Question 3
Right now I am using the following system of responses after interference.

1D/1H/1S-(int.)- ?

a) 1 level responses is natural
b ) 2 of opener suit = weak raise, non constructive
c) 1NT -> 2 under oper's suit = weak/strong transfer in new suit OR sound raise
d) bids higher that 2 of opener's suit are fitshowing jumps/splinters/preemptive direct raises; 2NT is a sound 4 card raise for the major opening.

This structure applies only after a double OR interference at the 1 level (through 1S).
With overcalls 1NT or higher it does not apply.

Obviously this means I do not need NFB after opps overcalling at thge 1 level.
But I was trying to understand whether it would be wise to try NFB when opps overcall at the 2-level, and transfer responses do not apply.

Thanks all !!
"Bridge is like dance: technique's important but what really matters is not to step on partner's feet !"
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### #2EricK

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Posted 2004-September-25, 05:23

I thought that NFBs only applied to disturbed bids. In other words, after

1 (2) , a 2 bid wouldn't be a NFB (if opps hadn't bid, you would still have to bid at the two level), whereas 2 would be a NFB (if opps hadn't bid, you could have bid at the one level)

Eric
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### #3the hog

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Posted 2004-September-25, 05:47

Question 1
Robson/Segal in their book "Partnership bidding" say they hate NFB but do not enetr details.
Could you specify why do you like/dislike NFB ?"

I may be wrong mauro, but I think they say they are "unconvinced" rather than that they hate it. I am neutral. I have played both methods and both have advantages and disadvantages. As I stated in a previous post, I think Rubensohl is best IN A PRACTICED PARTNERSHIP. I have done this and it works really well IF both sides know what is going on.
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### #4whereagles

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Posted 2004-September-25, 06:21

I once played a method similar to Rubenshol. Hog is right, it is superior but requires a seasoned partnership and lots of practice.

That being said, using natural bidding, it seems to me NFB is slightly better
1. When you play a weak NT structure
2. When the opening bid is limited (your case, I believe)

As for 1D (2C), don't worry if you can't figure out what's the best way to bid: you're certainly not alone. This is one of the most obstructive overcalls in bridge.
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### #5luke warm

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Posted 2004-September-25, 09:17

rubensohl makes my teeth hurt... i'd rather play nfb than not, it just makes sense to me... i don't play them like eric showed, disturbed bids only... i play a`la bergen, if the response is at the 2 or 3 level it's not forcing and shows (depending on level) between 6 and 11/12 points... all 1 and 4 bids are forcing

the double is alerted as 'normal negative double OR game force hand, usually in another suit'... the nfb is alerted also, as non-forcing
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### #6Chamaco

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Posted 2004-September-25, 09:42

Ty to all the contribution so far
Of course anything is helpful, but I think the replies has not been focusing on some keys issues such as :

1) Skipping Rubensohl and other more advanced approaches, let's stick to the analysis of natural or NFB approach and forget- for the time being - other approaches that may be perhaps more effective

2) WHY do you prefer NFB or the natural 2/1 in competition ?

3) I'd love to have opinions also from those who dislike NFB

Thanks all!!
"Bridge is like dance: technique's important but what really matters is not to step on partner's feet !"
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### #7Flame

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Posted 2004-September-25, 09:54

Like The_ hog said they didnt really hate it, maybe just dont like it, also Eric rodwell in his interview to ETM, he said he doesnt like it with non narrow range opening. I currently play it, but i dont like your definiton of it being 6-9, i think playing 6-9 is wrong, you got to play it up to game, something like 7-11, else you will have serious problems with 10-11 hcp hands. Double and then suit must be GF.
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### #8inquiry

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Posted 2004-September-25, 09:57

1) I like the ability to bid even if i have a bad hand. bidding is fun, but more than that, it can suggest a lead, a save, a close game that is not biddable by most standard methods. These are big pluses.
2) I like that fact that without fit in first suit, a negative free bid gives me a fairly safe way to compete without causing hardship (good quality suit is a must with negative free bids...don't play it with K9xxx type suits).

1) I don't like doubling with strong one suiters and then having to show my suit later, maybe at a high level
2) I don't like playing jumpshift as invitational hand with suit bid too strong for negative free bid, but not strong enough for dbl then the suit... i prefer fit jumps.
3) I don't like overloading of the negative double to include weak hands no fit, strong hands balanced, strong hands unbalanced, and strong and fit and good side suit. That is too much work for the popr little double, and makes pentalty pass by parttner all but impossible.

I have/do play MFB. When I do, it is at a level of a 3D response or lower, and I generally play it only with precision partners, where openers hand is already limitted.

This is a beginner thread, so I will not go into it, but I find Misho's equality methods very freiendlly to my goals. Balanced hands have a bid (the transfer to the nexzt level minor can also be balanced instead), it retains fit jumps, it allows you to make a negative free bid type response (using a transfer), and get feedback from partner immediately (did he complete the transfer, if not what did he do), and to show your suit (with tranfer) and then bid on. All this at the very minor cost of giving up the traditional negative double

Questoin 2. You are correct. Bidding your suit, what ever it is, is an advantage to not bidding it, as your example shows.

Question 3. Was that a question?

Ben
--Ben--

### #9Chamaco

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Posted 2004-September-25, 09:59

Flame, on Sep 25 2004, 03:54 PM, said:

Like The_ hog said they didnt really hate it, maybe just dont like it, also Eric rodwell in his interview to ETM, he said he doesnt like it with non narrow range opening. I currently play it, but i dont like your definiton of it being 6-9, i think playing 6-9 is wrong, you got to play it up to game, something like 7-11, else you will have serious problems with 10-11 hcp hands. Double and then suit must be GF.

However, you did not mention why you prefer NFB to natural 2/1 forcing responses

I am not trying to get a poll of how many players like one or another approach, I am trying to understand WHY they do: the pros and cons
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### #10Chamaco

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Posted 2004-September-25, 10:07

inquiry, on Sep 25 2004, 03:57 PM, said:

Question 3. Was that a question?

LOL @ Ben !!
BTW tx a lot for the detailed responses to q1 and q2

Well, the "obscure" and verbose question 3 was:
"I was trying to understand whether it would be wise to try NFB when opps overcall at the 2-level, and transfer responses do not apply."

And I was asking opinions on whether NFB or natural 2/1 responses in this case would fit better with the scheme we adopted (let's forget about Rubensohl, Equality and ETM for now, my pard are already overloaded with bidding gadgets...), based on Robson/Segal scheme or if it is simply better to use straight Robson Segal.
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### #11Flame

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Posted 2004-September-25, 11:19

Chamaco, on Sep 25 2004, 10:59 AM, said:

However, you did not mention why you prefer NFB to natural 2/1 forcing responses

Who said i like it, i honestly dont know which is better, when i started my new partnership we decided to play polish club, at the polish system and NFB was part of the system manual, i also remembered reading rodwell saying its not good with normal opening so i thought maybe with polish its better, also my partner wanted to play it.
Now after playing it for a while i think the main benefit is the frequency if hands that fit the NFB which is much higher then those of GF. btw unlike Ben, we play it only at the 2 level, and 3 level are GF. It might be a good idea to play jumps as 1 suiter GF. when playing NFB.
NFB are better at mp then imp. at mp i think i can say they are better then PFB, at imp i dont know.
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### #12Chamaco

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Posted 2004-September-25, 11:35

Flame, on Sep 25 2004, 05:19 PM, said:

Chamaco, on Sep 25 2004, 10:59 AM, said:

However, you did not mention why you prefer NFB to natural 2/1 forcing responses

Now after playing it for a while i think the main benefit is the frequency if hands that fit the NFB which is much higher then those of GF.

I think (please anyone correct me if wrong) that "standard bidding", even among 2/1 GF players, is that 2/1 in competition is only invitational+, and is forcing only to 2NT or 3 of opener/responder's suit.

Using 2/1 in competition as inv+ rather than strictly GF increases the frequency,
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### #13Flame

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Posted 2004-September-25, 13:19

Chamaco, on Sep 25 2004, 12:35 PM, said:

Using 2/1 in competition as inv+ rather than strictly GF increases the frequency,

I think it doesnt, cant say i tested it, but in my expirence 7-11 come more often then 10+ after both players before you have already bid.
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### #14Fluffy

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Posted 2004-September-26, 06:33

The worst thing about NFB is having a strong 2-suiter: you are forced to double and next came an imposibble bidding problem at the 3/4 level.

I´ve played and continue playing both with different partners, I am more confident about natural strong bids tahn NFB, althou NFB has its advantages sometimes (but not many).
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### #15luke warm

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Posted 2004-September-26, 08:46

re: fluffy's point about "...NFB has its advantages sometimes (but not many)."

i've never seen an actual study showing this, or its converse... however, i have seen anecdotal 'evidences' from various players and this seems to imply the opposite of fluffy's view... p'ships that employ the nfb swear they make bidding easier...

if you think about it, in a 'normal' 2/1 competitive sequence, a response at the 2 level is not forcing, so in a sense this is an nfb... the big difference is in the level to which nfb's are played and the bids used when a game force exists

as for fluffy's 2 suited scenerio, yeah that's a big problem.. however, there are bids available to show that.. 2nt and the cuebid, unless used for something else, for example... 2nt can show limit+ in pard's suit, the cue can show 2 suited game force... bidding a suit and then, if the auction allows, bidding the other can show slightly less than a game force, and the double can be used for normal neg double or one suited game force
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### #16Flame

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Posted 2004-September-26, 09:04

luke warm, on Sep 26 2004, 09:46 AM, said:

if you think about it, in a 'normal' 2/1 competitive sequence, a response at the 2 level is not forcing, so in a sense this is an nfb... the big difference is in the level to which nfb's are played and the bids used when a game force exists

Can you explain this, what do you mean by normal 2/1 competition ?
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### #17Chamaco

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Posted 2004-September-26, 09:27

luke warm, on Sep 26 2004, 02:46 PM, said:

as for fluffy's 2 suited scenerio, yeah that's a big problem.. however, there are bids available to show that.. 2nt and the cuebid, unless used for something else, for example... 2nt can show limit+ in pard's suit, the cue can show 2 suited game force...

Especially for 1M opener, both 2NT and the cuebid are generally overloaded.
E.g. Robson/Segal recommend 2NT as 4 card high card & high ODR raise and cuebid as low ODR high card raise.

So basically, it seems to me that using these gadgets for GF hands gives up some fit bids which are very valuable in competition;
OR
if these GF gadgets are not used, the double becomes extremely nebulous and subject to preemption.
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### #18Flame

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Posted 2004-September-26, 09:43

maybe you double and then cue bid to show a GF 2 suiter.
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### #19keylime

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Posted 2004-September-26, 11:26

I use Rubensohl currently, but used to use NFB's, strictly at the two level. Found that for most players not familiar with the treatment they would get themselves confounded in the auction by making a double and then not having the machinery to have the needed follow-ups.

Playing a limited bid system, NFB's really help (especially over a conv. diamond opening - big props). You're able to get in, get out, and get a lead directional bid. As Ben alluded to though, suit quality is a must - and you must be willing on the odd occasion to be able to sit for it doubled (it happens here quite a lot).

Clarifying what a negative double's follow-ups are is quite important. I tend to not play a cue raise as LR or better - strictly GF. Sets a forcing pass situation for our side immediately. Also, discuss what 2NT is in the auction. Is it natural, is it a raise (constructive, LR, balanced?), is it a takeout? That will help out in the long run.
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### #20Vampyr

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Posted 2013-July-13, 14:15

inquiry, on 2004-September-25, 09:57, said:

This is a beginner thread, so I will not go into it, but I find Misho's equality methods very friendly to my goals. Balanced hands have a bid (the transfer to the nexzt level minor can also be balanced instead), it retains fit jumps, it allows you to make a negative free bid type response (using a transfer), and get feedback from partner immediately (did he complete the transfer, if not what did he do), and to show your suit (with tranfer) and then bid on. All this at the very minor cost of giving up the traditional negative double

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