3rd Chair Openings


Prepare To Pass

In Standard Bridge Bidding For The 21st Century, Max Hardy says that you should still have 10 HCPs to open light in 3rd seat, and that you should be prepared to pass any non-jump response by partner. This means having at least 3 cards in suits higher ranking than your own.

For example, Hardy says to pass with K6-Q973-KJ6-QT75 because: You would like a Club lead, but you are not prepared for a response of 1.

We have adopted these ideas for 3rd seat 1-level openings in BidBase.

Preempt Freely With A Minimum

Since your partner has already limited his hand by not opening, you don't have to worry much about missing game if you have a minimum opening bid or less.

Therefore, you can afford to preempt with hands which are STRONGER than normal in order to obstruct the opponents as much as possible.

For example, with 2-32-KQT2-KQJT32, you would usually open 1 in first seat, but in 3rd seat, it is correct to open 3.

In addition to jamming up the player who is likely to have the best hand, your bid is also lead directing for partner, since you would not make the bid without a good suit.

Responding To A 3rd Seat Opening

When you are a passed hand and partner opens 1 of a suit, you must stay aware that partner may be weak and prepared to pass any non-jump response by you. Even if you play that a 1N response is normally forcing, it is not forcing when you are a passed hand.

If partner opens a major, you can use a Drury 2C response to show support for his suit plus 10+ HCPs and to ask him to show if he made a weak opening bid.

If partner opens a minor in 3rd seat with a subminimum hand, he will pass a 1 or 1 response by you, so with a maximum (11-12 HCPs), you must jump to 2 or 2. With a flat 11-12 HCPs, jump to 2N.