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How do you explore for slam?

#1 User is offline   PaulJHad 

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Posted 2020-November-05, 14:34

The problem here is that as responder I can see we are close to slam, but not quite there. Any response to Opener's 1H bid is of course a limit bid that can be Passed.
Can anyone offer me some advice how one should progress to at least explore slam with this hand? (Playing 2/1GF)

Slam try?
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#2 User is offline   smerriman 

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Posted 2020-November-05, 14:45

View PostPaulJHad, on 2020-November-05, 14:34, said:

Any response to Opener's 1H bid is of course a limit bid that can be Passed.

Quite the opposite - a new suit response to opener's 1 bid is unlimited and forcing.

Over 2, you can start with 2 (fourth suit forcing). South has nothing further to say, and will rebid 2, after which you can show your heart support with 3.

After that, it depends on your methods. For me South will bid a non-serious 3NT, denying any extras, and North will sign off in 4.
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#3 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2020-November-05, 15:10

Learn about Fourth Suit Forcing, which is a nearly universal convention for the vast majority of experienced duplicate players.

It makes these hands very easy.

1H. 1S
2C


Now, 2D, the 4th suit, is artificial, and (as most commonly played) creates a game force. A minority of players use it as artificial and forcing, but allows the auction to die below game in some limited situations. However, I will assume that it creates a force to game, which is not only m6 preference but, more importantly, the most common approach, if used by an unpassed hand.

Over 2D, opener makes the most convenient, cheapest descriptive bid. Here, opener can’t support spades, shouldn’t bid notrump with nothing in diamonds (remember that 2D is artificial, so it doesn’t even hint at a stopper or any length), nor should opener rebid clubs, which would show 5 card length. So 2H is a stall.

One way to look at what 2D means is to think of it as responder saying : we’re going to game, maybe more, but I’ll tell you why I think that with my next bid’

Looking at it this way shows why opener needs to make the cheapest natural bid: to preserve bidding space to allow responder to show why he’s forcing to game, or looking for slam, at a cheaper level.

So

1H. 1S
2C. 2D
2H. 3H

With a weaker hand, but still strong enough to force to game in hearts, responder could simply bid 4H over 2C ((really a minimum) or bid 2D then jump to 4H (very little more than a game force)

But with this hand, where he has real slam interest but is far too weak to insist on slam, he bids 3H. This says that he has some slam interest, and maybe even very strong interest.

Opener has about th3 worst hand he can have for a slam, so he can bid 4H, rejecting slam tries.

Some players use another conventional gadget in slam interest auctions: either serious or non-serious 3N (similar but different conventions). I would not recommend this to an intermediate player, but I don’t want to ignore it.

Personally, depending on my partnership requirements for an opening bid, I’d simply bid 4H even if playing one of those gadgets.

Responder has only moderate slam interest, so should respect the 4H sign off

Hope that helps
'one of the great markers of the advance of human kindness is the howls you will hear from the Men of God' Johann Hari
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#4 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

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Posted 2020-November-05, 15:57

Also worth noting is that 1h-1s is a quite difficult auction for this hand strength with standard methods. The actual auction is not so bad, as you have 2d 4th suit at low level, but if it starts 1h-1s-2d or 1h-1s-2h or 1h-1s-2s (can be 3 cd raise), it will be quite awkward, as most people won't have a forcing 3H available or fancy transfer scheme available. Then you have to futz around with some artificial 3c or whatever and you often won't be able to get in a unambiguous forcing 3H call.

Thus, playing 2/1 GF, holding GF and 3cd heart support, there are a fair # of people who prefer starting with 2d (or even 2c!, if 2d is played as 5+ cds and 2c is artificial showing either clubs or balanced). You can still find spades if partner bids 2s, otherwise you are pretty much guaranteed ability to show GF and fit at 3 level, then your cue bidding agreements should take over and south can show a min and North might make a try then give up at 4H.
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#5 User is offline   fromageGB 

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Posted 2020-November-06, 06:43

All good points. If you agree to play a multiway 2 response (as Stephen pointed out) it really helps. You may have a partnership agreement that over 2 opener will bid 2 to let you clarify your hand easily. Now 2 can show a GF with 4 spades in a balanced hand, and from there you have no problem. You can use 1 followed by 3NT (or 4 with support like this, or 4SF as mentioned) to show the 13-15 hand, and now the sequence 1 2!, 2! 2 therefore shows 16+. All you need do now when partner rebids 3 is bid 3 and leave it up to him.

Over 1, similarly 2 then 2 will show a GF with 4 hearts, but this is merely any 13+ if you play a non-forcing NT. If you play a forcing NT then a balanced hand or one with 4 other-major-hearts can start with 1NT and rebid 3NT (if no heart fit is found) to show a hand in the range 13-15, and going via the 2 route and rebidding 2 other-major or 2NT therefore shows 16+. (or agree the range splits according to partnership taste).

Rebidding 3 is of course the normal 13+ GF with clubs, and you lose a level of bidding there, comparatively, but proponents think that this is more than recouped by the additional information given by the other sequences.
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#6 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2020-November-06, 09:35

It's interesting to note that even with the minimum opener and minimal slam invite, slam is not good but not terrible and can but won't be made even with the bad trump break. Exchange J for J with the same shapes and it's almost worth bidding.

Mike covers most of what needs saying, I'm not sure if 4SF being GF for most is an American thing, it's much more mixed here, we certainly play it forcing for one round only.
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#7 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2020-November-06, 09:38

It's a (North) American thing. 4SF F1R exists, but you'd be surprised to see it, and shocked to be asked to play it, IME.
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#8 User is offline   Douglas43 

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Posted 2020-November-06, 12:06

To add to Cyberyeti's post, I think many Brits play 4SF at the two level might be only an 11/12 count and responder can pass a minimum rebid, but if responder bids again, that shows a stronger hand and creates a game force.

Practice does vary though, some play it as GF throughout.


The extract from mikeh's post below would match my understanding in the UK and the 3H bid would be strong and forcing with clear slam interest:

1H. 1S<br style="color: rgb(28, 40, 55); font-size: 13px; background-color: rgb(248, 248, 248);">2C. 2D<br style="color: rgb(28, 40, 55); font-size: 13px; background-color: rgb(248, 248, 248);">2H. 3H<br style="color: rgb(28, 40, 55); font-size: 13px; background-color: rgb(248, 248, 248);"><br style="color: rgb(28, 40, 55); font-size: 13px; background-color: rgb(248, 248, 248);">With a weaker hand, but still strong enough to force to game in hearts, responder could simply bid 4H over 2C ((really a minimum) or bid 2D then jump to 4H (very little more than a game force)
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