The HHI Bridge blog is dedicated to teaching the game of bridge. Each post focuses on one deal and one explanation (bidding, play of the hand, etc.).
left column ↓ deals, news & events
right column → pages, topics & link

Monday, October 27, 2014

0015 - A Baby Grand

Minor Suit Slams #001 - Bidding minor suit slams is not the same process as bidding major suit slams - there are bidding space considerations. When bidding minor suit slams, often valuable bidding space is consumed exploring for major suit fits or notrump contracts before agreeing on minor suits. When bidding major suit slams systems are designed to find fits right away allowing bidding space to find secondary fits, bid out shape or bid controls. Finally, typical control responses to 4 NT use lower rank suit responses of 5  or 5  artificially where in minor suit slams responses often put the contract at slam level before controls can be established. Bidding space is a luxury not often afforded to bidding minor suit slams.

This deal (rotated for presentation) was originally played as Board 8 Monday night October 27, 2014 / The Common Game (TCG).  So how should this deal be bid?

Friday, October 24, 2014

0014 - Knowing When to Bid

When to Bid #001 – Knowing when to bid and when to pass may not be the most exciting bridge skill, but it is an important element of the game. The standard 1-level response to 1  with 6+ hcp should be a guideline not a rule. Responder might hold a hand such as  J53  QJ53  Q3  J753 with 7 hcp, and will surely respond 1  with a hand that may never win a trick.

North opens 1 , East passes ... with 5 hcp, what is South's call?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Fast Results - TCG

The Okatie Creek DBC (Sun City Hilton Head) is now running The Common Game (TCG) on Mondays and Saturdays.  TCG will send out Fast Results via email for these games. 

TCG automatically emails results to players whose emails are registered with ACBL.  If your email is not registered with ACBL you can enroll in Fast Results by emailing your ACBL # (typed in the subject line) to: .  There doesn't need to be anything in the body of the email.  Just an email sent from your email address with your ACBL no in the subject line.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

0013 - Everything You Need to Know

Preemptive Bid #001 – An opening preemptive bid is a high level bid (3-level or higher) made with length in a suit (usually 7+ cards), limited high-card strength (not enough for an opening bid) and limited defensive strength (maybe no outside ace). Partnerships usually have an agreement on bidding disciplined preempts vs. undisciplined preempts and/or preemptive guidelines such as the Rule of 234.

This deal was played September 25, 2014 / Hilton Head BC mentor/mentee game.

When East opens the bidding with a preemptive 3♣, how should North/South bid/play this hand?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

0012 - Forgoing a Trump Finesse

Safety Play #001 – The term safety play is usually used to refer to the line of play that guarantees making the contract against any lie of defenders cards, but may sometimes refer to the line of play that gives the best chance of making the contract.

This deal (rotated) was played September 18, 2014 / Hilton Head BC.

This deal was analyzed by the GIB bridge software (used on BBO) and the contract of 5  was set, down one (-1). Is it possible to find a line of play to make 5  against any lie of defender's cards (the safety play)?

West's opening lead T1 is the  A and when East plays the  8 (suit preference) shifts to  6 ... before playing to diamonds, declarer (South) can count enough tricks (1-spade ruff + 4-hearts + 2-diamonds + 4-clubs = 11 tricks) if hearts are limited to just 1-loser.

Where T2 is won should be based on how declarer plans the play of hearts. So how should hearts be played? 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

HHI Bridge blog vs. HHI Bridge (Facebook) page

Earlier this year I decided to spend less time on administrative and governance activities of bridge and re-focus on studying, teaching, coaching, writing, and playing bridge, the technical activities of bridge.  As a result, I have been testing formats of two websites: this blogger website HHI Bridge blog ( and a Facebook social media page also called HHI Bridge ( each with the identifier "hhibridge". 

The blog has proven to be far more robust and lends itself more towards technical bridge writing - not only my observation, but unanimous among the feedback received from readers.   The Facebook page, as might be expected, lends itself to easier posting of newsy stuff such as notices of events, etc.  My plan going forward is to use both... The HHI Bridge blog will be a technical bridge page and the HHI Bridge page on Facebook will be a bridge media page ... I will try to link to two pages as best I can.  Thanks to everyone during this testing period, I hope you will continue to follow the format of your choosing.  And as always, feedback is welcome.

Fred Ferguson (fergusfe)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

0011 - Aunt Mary's 7♥

Goulash (bridge) #001 – In the bridge world deals like this are often called Goulash bridge where the suits are more unevenly distributed among the players, creating wild deals.

Polly Thomason from Okatie Creek DBC gave me this deal from her neighbor's Aunt Mary ... the challenge is making 7 East's hand was not disclosed.

With the opening lead of the  K, how should this deal be played to make 7 ?