A short suit game try may occur after an auction begins 1 : 2 or 1 : 2. When opener holds game-invitational values (15-17 points), bidding a new suit at the cheapest level shows a singleton or void. It asks responder to bid game without wasted values in that suit.

Short suit game tries must be alerted under World Bridge Federation (and many other) tournament rules.

Examples of responder's possible holdings in the short suit:

Suit Holding Responder's action
xxx
Jxxx
Axxxx
Bid game
QJxx
KJxx
Bid game with a maximum
KQJx
AKxx
AKJx
Sign off in 3/


One disadvantage of short suit game tries is that they may indicate a safe opening lead for the opponents. Another danger is that the opponents may find a sacrifice. An opponent doubles with length and strength in the short suit, his partner finds himself holding 5 cards in the suit, and suddenly 5/ becomes an attractive obstruction.


Examples

OpenerResponder
KQTS53
HAKT53987
D6AKJT
CK953T876

Opener
1
3 (1)
Pass

Responder
2
3H (2)

  1. A SSGT in diamonds
  2. Signing off with wasted diamond strength


OpenerResponder
KJ3SQT2
HKQT632J94
DA32KJT
C57643

Opener
1
3 (1)
Pass

Responder
2
4H (2)

  1. A SSGT in clubs
  2. Bidding game with strength in the other suits


Other Considerations

After 1 : 2, a 3 may or may not be a short suit game try. This requires partnership discussion:

OpenerResponder
AJT62SKQ8
HAQ65KT73
D7J65
CA96532

Opener
1
3 (1)
Pass

Responder
2
4H (2)

  1. Natural and forcing with 15+ points
  2. Bidding the heart game with 4-card support

This sequence is natural because a 4-4 fit is often preferable to a 5-3 fit. These two hands play better with hearts as trumps, because the spades can be used to pitch club losers from dummy. Declarer can draw trumps in three rounds, run the spades, and then ruff a club in dummy for an overtrick. With spades as trumps, 10 tricks are the limit.

Note that this problem does not occur when the auction begins 1 : 2 and opener rebids 2. This is because responder should not be holding 4 spades and 3 hearts. With that distribution, he should initially reply 1, not 2. So there is no need for opener to look for a secondary 4-4 spade fit.

Lastly, the use of short suit game tries means that opener's 3/ rebids ask for help in the trump suit. In the following example, opener could make a 3 short-suit game try, but she isn't really interested heart or club support. Inquiring about responder's spades seems more useful.

OpenerResponder
T9876SAQ5
HAK5876
D3Q8764
CAKJ342

Opener
1
3 (1)

Responder
2
4 (2)

  1. Asking about trump quality
  2. Good trumps

As an alternative to short suit game tries, see help suit game tries.

See also

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