Swiss raises are artificial 4
raises of a 1
opening bid. According to the Encyclopedia of Bridge, they show a game-forcing 13-15 HCP
with 4+ card support.1
The meanings of 4/
vary - below are some playable treatments. In each style, 4
shows a better hand than 4.
In this approach, clubs and diamonds show different levels of trump strength:
- 4 shows 4 trumps with at least two of the top three honors, OR 5 trumps with the ace or king.
- 4 shows lesser trump strength.
Using this method, clubs and diamonds distinguish the quality of controls:
- 4 shows 3 controls (i.e. 3 aces OR 2 aces + the trump king)
- 4 shows fewer controls.
Instead of 13-15 HCP
, the raises may be distinguished by points. The following approach is outlined in Bill Root and Richard Pavlicek's "Modern Bridge Conventions".2
This treatment was part of the Aces Scientific system, played by the former 1960s and 1970s Aces teams in the U.S.:
- 4 shows 14-16 HCP, balanced, with 4+ card support.
- 4 shows 12-14 HCP, balanced, with 4+ card support.
However, Aces founder Ira Corn originally defined the point ranges more narrowly 3
- 4 shows 15-16 HCP, balanced, with 4+ card support.
- 4 shows 13-14 HCP, balanced, with 4+ card support.
Swiss raises are on if 4
are jump bids.
The following is from Victor Mollo's pantheon of delightful bridge players that include the Hideous Hog and the Rueful Rabbit.4
It features a bidding accident rather than a success, but is worth sharing for entertainment value. Note that in this deal, Swiss is intended to show a singleton, not a balanced hand.
Manley, Brent (Ed.). (2011). The Official ACBL Encyclopedia of Bridge.
Root, B. and Pavlicek, R. (1995). Modern Bridge Conventions.
Corn, Ira G. (1970, December 1). Bridge
. The Evening News, p. 3B.
Jacoby, O. and Jacoby, J. (1967, September 22). Win at Bridge
. Indiana Evening Gazette, p. 18.