Let’s say your partner opens 1 heart. What do you want to bid with this hand: 2 KT976 Q9875 93

This hand is known as a “weak freak.” The characteristics of such a hand are: five or more cards in support of opener’s major, few high cards (no more than 7), and other distribution such as a singleton or a void.

The best bid with a weak freak is a raise directly to game. With the hand above, bid 4 hearts. OMG, you say, no way can I bid 4 hearts!

But this bid serves two purposes.

With good-fitting distributional hands, game could make on fewer than the required 25 to 26 points. Partner might actually make 4 hearts.

If not, going down won’t be so bad because it’s very likely that the opponents can make something – maybe even game. The jump raise to 4 hearts is preemptive, which makes communication difficult for your opponents.

The weak freak raise is part of standard bidding, but one about which many players are not aware.

The bid is consistent with “the law,” which tells you to bid to the level of the number of trump you and partner have between you. In the case of the weak freak, you and partner have 10 trump, so you can safely bid to the 4 level.

You can make a weak freak raise after partner opens 1 heart or 1 spade or after partner overcalls in any suit.

Do not make a weak freak raise if your hand has more than 7 points, if you do not have 10 trumps between you, your hand is balanced, and if your opponents have preempted.

Try a few. Which hands would you raise partner’s 1 heart bid to 4 hearts?

  1. 5 QT943 Q8652 92
  2. 3 KJ986 AQ762 93
  3. 87 QJ765 Q98 986
  4. 4 J97653 Q9876 9

Calling all social bridge players: The Lowcountry Bridge Connection is considering conducting a Hilton Head Island Social Bridge championship game on Feb. 10 at the Marriott and will do so if a sufficient number of four-person teams express interest. Email lowcountry bridgeconnection@gmail.com with questions or expressions of interest.

Kathie Walsh is a certified ABTA teacher at Hilton Head Island Bridge Club. kbwalsh@roadrunner.com