The Pre-emptive Raise | ♠AQ ♥T74 ♦AKJ62 ♣T75
February 15, 2017
Preventing Partner’s Mistakes
February 20, 2017

Don’t be a Result Merchant

It’s a time-honoured question. There are guidelines to help you decide whether or not to bid game, slam or just a partscore. Just because you made 12 tricks doesn’t mean you should have bid slam.

If you bid 3NT with 27 points between you, and go down because the cards are unfriendly, doesn’t mean it wasn’t a good game to bid.

It’s important not to be a results merchant! That is someone who always knows best once the result is known.

62 Comments

  1. Just because we made game, should we have bid it @tina?

    It’s a time-honoured question. There are guidelines to help you decide whether or not to bid game, slam or just a partscore. Just because you made 12 tricks doesn’t mean you should have bid slam.

    If you bid 3NT with 27 points between you, and go down because the cards are unfriendly, doesn’t mean it wasn’t a good game to bid.
    It’s important not to be a results merchant! That is someone who always knows best once the result is known.


    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 3 P P
    P

  2. Profile photo of unixman unixman says:

    Minor differance in the bidding for the same result making 10
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X P
    3 P P 3
    P P P

  3. Profile photo of carolecat carolecat says:

    Yep. Same thing (10). Guess I’m not a result merchant, but dang — it’d be nice to know. :/
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 P P 3
    P P P

  4. Profile photo of carolecat carolecat says:

    Yep. Same thing (10). Guess I’m not a result merchant, but dang — it’d be nice to know. :/
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 P P 3
    P P P

  5. Profile photo of baygon2014 baygon2014 says:

    managed to go one down in 3 spades. When dummy went down was kicking myself that we were not in 4 spades – from the bidding it seemed that we would have been close – 9 spades but we would have had fewer than 24 points so I did not take the risk. But careful play always makes 10 tricks – trump second club, play out the spades and then tackle diamonds – straight forward play – set up those diamonds for your extra tricks. But of course I played the hearts first – and so went down….simple rule if you are holding 8 of a suit tackle that first – odds are that you will make more tricks in that suit then the one where you are holding the bare 6 even if one of those is the ace! – Dunce’s cap for baygon!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 P P 3
    P P P

  6. Bid 4 spades & made
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 3 P 4
    P P P

  7. Profile photo of gjaqua gjaqua says:

    Funny game this bridge! First time I counted our losers, reckoned 16 at least between us, (gives 8 tricks ?), so didn’t bid 3S. Next time ignored losers count, bid 3S and made 10 tricks.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 P P 3
    P P P

  8. Profile photo of ennasarp ennasarp says:

    Bid 4 spades. Pulled trumps. Played heart Q and J from hand. Gave out one Club and 2 diamonds only. Kept 4.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 P P 4
    P P P

  9. Profile photo of rahamrick rahamrick says:

    Not sure what all the fuss is about. Bid & made.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 4
    P P P

  10. figured with 9 trumps between us I could give 3S a try. was lucky to make 10 tricks but it really wasn’t bidd
    able
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 P P 3
    P P P

  11. Profile photo of heatherte1 heatherte1 says:

    Hi, can you tell me why W bid 3C? I was thinking maybe they had 23 points. Turns out to be 8 points, long c suit.@tina

    Bidding System: 5 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 P P 3
    P P P

  12. Profile photo of billdrews billdrews says:

    Bidding wasn’t clearly indicated so decided to play safe and made 3S.Bill
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 P P 3
    P P P

  13. Profile photo of dlash dlash says:

    Still asleep when I first played this hand . Made 10 after waking up.%uD83D%uDE34
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 P P 3
    P P P

  14. Profile photo of sockstevens sockstevens says:

    For me 1SX is like 2S with extra bonus of any extra tricks, so passed. Made 10.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X P
    3 P P 3
    P P P

  15. Profile photo of normie616 normie616 says:

    i’ll settle for making 3S 2nd time around and be happy with that cheers normie sa
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 P P 3
    P P P

  16. Profile photo of valeriejoan valeriejoan says:

    I made three Spades, but I cannot see where people are getting that fourth trick from?

    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 3 P P
    P

  17. Profile photo of valeriejoan valeriejoan says:

    Hmm, so I watched the video, then it was easy. Thank you,

    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 3 P P
    P

  18. Profile photo of fishy fishy says:

    Made 10 and crossed over to take the heart finesse twice did diamonds last
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 3 P P
    P

  19. Profile photo of terrypause terrypause says:

    got the 4 spades, but bid the 3, finessed a spade trick, which i am not sure was correct play. quite pleased though after a couple of bad results
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X P
    3 P P 3
    P P P

  20. Profile photo of up1tick up1tick says:

    I do not understand how the computer bid 3S for North in some hands, but not mine? North passed after the 3C bid, so South bid 3S but made 4S. It is likely that South would have bid 4S (if North bid at the 3S level) despite having only 6 points. South also had a doubleton in West’s suite.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 P P 3
    P P P

  21. Profile photo of five5five7 five5five7 says:

    Bit of a sweat when partner ups to 4S — Heart finesse after pulling trumps sets up making. Nice way to start the day.

    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 3 P 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  22. Profile photo of blondie58 blondie58 says:

    Making 3S…. well done to those making 4 🙂
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 P P 3
    P P P

  23. Profile photo of suzie suzie says:

    Very happy: bid 3S, made 4! Played my D loser, made Q good, then played H.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 P P 3
    P P P

  24. Profile photo of linda2009 linda2009 says:

    thank you ennasarp for the hint. able to make the 4S –
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 P P 4
    P P P

  25. Profile photo of benjiman benjiman says:

    My hand is 9/10 loser and so had no interest in game unless partner showed ultra strong hand. Did make ten tricks, of course.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 3 P P
    P

  26. Can’t score this hand as I missbid & had to start again. Rebid 3 spades & made 4.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 3 P P
    P

  27. Profile photo of wandad wandad says:

    the 2nd time I bid 4 which made. I just bid because the 2nd time I knew it was possible
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 P P 4
    P P P

  28. Profile photo of sadiesue sadiesue says:

    North did not take me to 3 spades. I would like to see a video on defending 3 clubes EW

    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 P P P

  29. Profile photo of sadiesue sadiesue says:

    Also how would south know to lead a heart to keep ew at 7 tricks?
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 P P P

  30. Profile photo of jeanne jeanne says:

    Down one first time and made the contract second time.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 3 P P
    P

  31. Profile photo of squarepeg61 squarepeg61 says:

    Made 10 tricks in 3S following @baygon2014’s advice.


    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 P P 3
    P P P

  32. Profile photo of hagleyjazz hagleyjazz says:

    Hi @up1tick The different bidding is probably because of the different settings. North can only rely on 3 spades from partner so sotps at the 2 level (8 trumps). With 4-card majors he knows partner will likely have 4 spades so carries onto 3 (9 trumps) (maybe 🙂

  33. Profile photo of twocents twocents says:

    Made game but stopped at 3S. Wouldn’t have gone to game with such a weak hand. One of those “you never know” hands!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 P P 3
    P P P

  34. Profile photo of rdp27 rdp27 says:

    Decided to play safe Bid 3S (9) as there was no clear bidding strength evident
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 P P 3
    P P P

  35. Profile photo of peter7723 peter7723 says:

    If E leads diamonds, N can only make 9 tricks – 5 spades, 3 hearts and one diamond.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  36. Profile photo of peter7723 peter7723 says:

    I do not know the ins and outs of the playing engine driving this, but a 3S bid attracted a club lead, so making 4, and a 4S bid attracted a diamond lead making 3.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  37. Profile photo of sallytaffy sallytaffy says:

    Bid and made 4s – first time. Surprise.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 3 P 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  38. Profile photo of MargM MargM says:

    Bid 3 S
    Making 9
    Mm
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 P P 3
    P P P

  39. Profile photo of ennasarp ennasarp says:

    Though keeping 4 spades is easy, cannot bid 4 spades eith only 7 points, unless partner bids it. With heart distribution, have to play high from hand until covered by king. You give only one club and 2 diamonds. With 9 spades, have to pull trumps first for safety.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X P
    3 P P 4
    P P P

  40. Profile photo of superman superman says:

    After playing 5 times, the 2 in 3 spades made 10 (club lead), but when in spades game bid the lead was also a diamond and it seems to me impossible to get 10 ?!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 P P 3
    P P P

  41. Profile photo of shiningstar shiningstar says:

    4S making 10 tricks
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 P P 4
    P P P

  42. Profile photo of jenjenw47 jenjenw47 says:

    I bid to 4s and had no trouble making game. I’m a beginner with most practice being on BBO..it’s a points game and I had 4 trumps which gave us 9.. a good fit
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 P P 4
    P P P

  43. Profile photo of katerina katerina says:

    Bid and made 3 spades, but will try again for 4 spades!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 P P 3
    P P P

  44. Profile photo of olly2000 olly2000 says:

    Why should anybody bid 4 spades on this hand – 3 spades is maximum with 19p distribution. 4 spades only wing because the diamonds and hearts is sitting perfect.

    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 P P 3
    P P P

  45. Profile photo of daisydealer daisydealer says:

    4 S bid & made

    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 3 P 4
    P P P

  46. Profile photo of impatti impatti says:

    Something is dreadfully wrong with this computer. S bid 3S but the following scores state that S bid clubs. NOT!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 P P 3
    P P P

  47. Profile photo of sbc9155263 sbc9155263 says:

    Shows me in 3c in results, making 7, but I was in 3s making 10. .????
    .weird!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 P P 3
    P P P

  48. Profile photo of rocky25 rocky25 says:

    Rocky25 Sez
    Where does Sky Bridge Club get me bidding 3CL???
    I bid 3SPDS, making 4SPDS for 170..
    Jeeeesh
    Rocky25
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 P P 3
    P P P

  49. Profile photo of powerofpawn powerofpawn says:

    Bid to 3S, made 9. Played the hearts instead of diamonds.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 P P 3
    P P P

  50. Profile photo of nevillet nevillet says:

    We made it..

    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 4
    P P P

  51. Profile photo of chini chini says:

    Bid 3S, LOTT, made 10. Can’t see why anyone would bid 4 with 7 points when partner passed?
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 P P 3
    P P P

  52. Profile photo of chini chini says:

    Bid 3S, LOTT, made 10. Can’t see why anyone would bid 4 with 7 points when partner passed?
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 P P 3
    P P P

  53. Bid 4S as follows -N- 1S, EX,me- 2D, W-3C, N-3D, S- 3S, N- 4S. My 2D bid followed by N-3D essentially forced N into 4S. I had intended 3S as a sign-off. 4S makes whether you play H or D first. 1 club and 2 Diamond losers. However, I take the point that we should NOT be in game on available points. I was too weak for 2D – a bid I would normally only bid at the end of a bad session.

  54. Profile photo of davstevens davstevens says:

    I play that a jump raise after a double is preemptive, so I bid 3S, but my partner apparently did not and bid 4S. East led the AK and a small diamond, ruffed, and West cashed the AC for down one when the Heart finesse worked.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  55. Profile photo of solubrius solubrius says:

    5 card majors got to 4spades, fniessed to a hearts made game
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 3 P 4
    P P P

  56. Profile photo of delta delta says:

    Opponent’s 4 tricks of the top. LOTT
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  57. Profile photo of delta delta says:

    Diamond lead four tricks off the top, make 9 DAK RUFF CA
    Club lead make ten.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 1N
    3 P P 3
    P P P

  58. Profile photo of cacho cacho says:

    bid 3 sp and made it
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X P
    3 P P 3
    P P P

  59. Profile photo of hlabreche hlabreche says:

    I told my partner I was 6-9 with support…I figure he is only competing at 3S…I had nothing extra to offer….so passed. Made 3S.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 3 P P
    P

  60. Profile photo of hlabreche hlabreche says:

    I told my partner I was 6-9 with support…I figure he is only competing at 3S…I had nothing extra to offer….so passed. Made 3S.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 3 P P
    P

  61. Profile photo of holley holley says:

    Not enough HCP to push to 4S. Be foolish to risk it even though game was there this particular time. Partner needed tobe the risktaker and go 4S after I showed my fit and low points.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 X 2
    3 3 P P
    P

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