Thursday, 3 April 2014

Reverse Bergen Major Suit Raises

This post is a teaser to get you to read/save the printable version at

This post follows from the previous one, on Bergen Hand Evaluation.  The sample table below (one of 4 tables in the document) shows the meanings of the responses to openers 1 heart. It is shown here slightly cropped, to stop it from being too small to read.
One of the interesting things that the table shows (see the shaded bids) is why Reverse Bergen, where the 3 club bit is stronger than the 3 diamond bid, has a more natural flow.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

High Quality LAD - Bergen Hand Evaluation

Printable ver =>  High_Qualtiy_LAD_a_Bergen_Hand_Evaluation_mnemonic.

Marty Bergen's book – Slam Bidding Made Easier – introduced a deeply clever Hand Evaluation methodology. I think of this approach as being the – Milton Work Count on steroids.

There is a fantastic tutorial on   Bergen Hand Evaluation   at   where this   'Bridge Movie'  can be played on line. 

Alternatively  you can download the bridge movie by clicking on the bold link above.  It can then be played on your computer with the free aaBridge Movie player from

Note – aaBridge is my work and I am proud of it.  However I am in no way associated with the hondobridge website.  But I did indeed write aaBridge in order that I could play, on my own computer, all of the many hundreds of fantastic bridge movies that can be found there.

I see this as a supplement to the above tutorial.  The clear explanations and examples contained in it are as good as it gets when it comes to describing how to calculate Bergen's  Starting, Dummy and Declarer  points.  One thing the bridge movie does not do is offer any advice as to how to memorise the Bergen Method. 

High Quality LAD   is my attempt at an answer.   (The best thing is, for you to start the tutorial and then return here once you are asked to do your own full calculations).

The image on the left is a  mind picture. Literally the picture I bring to mind when I calculate Bergen style.  You will have read some of the Bergen Hand Evaluation tutorial so you should already be familiar with the following –
Hcp – High Card Points.

Quality – 3 of  the top 5  (in 4+ card
          suits only)  +1 each suit.

Length –  5th, 6th ... card in any
          suit   +1 each card.

Adjust3 – Adjustment for too many
         Q & J's  ±often zero.  Can go
          up or down.

Dubious doubletons – Qx, Q, Jx, J,
       KJ, ...  -1 for each. Always
       goes down (or is zero). 

Once you know there is a fit (3+ cards in short trump hand) you can add values for the fit.  Dummy (short trumps) is the simple case –  you only add for  D  S  V  hence the dashes in that table.  For a Singleton you add, 2 pts if you have only 3 trumps and 3 pts with 4 or more.  With a Void, you add the number trumps as points.   Declarer (long trumps) gets to double dip with the trump suit +1 for the sixth and any subsequent trumps. +1 for any other 4+ card side suits. Just remember the pattern 6  4  0  2  4  and that dummy is the simple case.

Open Min
13 - 16
Resp Min
 6 - 9
17 - 19
33 +ctr
37 +ctr