Tips for responding to a preemptive bid
Check the vulnerability and the seat partner is in.
Picture something like KQ10xxxx in partnerís hand for a non vulnerable three level preempt.
Perhaps an extra king or ace, vulnerable.
Expect normal preempts in first or second seat consistent with the vulnerability.
Third seat preempts are suspect and not to be tampered with.
Fourth seat preempts show light opening bid strength. In the minors they show powerful suits and are invitational to three NT.
With trump support, raise with both weak and strong hands!
Donít worry about getting doubled. Itís not about going down a couple of tricks.
Itís about what they can make if you give them room to explore. Every level you take away from them is like a dagger in the heart.
Raise a 2♥ opening to 4♥ with:† ♠7 ♥A652 ♦KJ853 ♣985
Donít run from a preempt because you have a singleton or void in partnerís suit. In case of a misfit, only bid on with a powerful hand. Changing suit below the game level is forcing. A change of suit with a weak misfitting hand is a death wish bid.
You hold: ♠KJ54 ♥void ♦AJ876 ♣K1053
If partner opens 3♥ pass! No death wishes please!
Do not respond 3NT to a three level preempt without a fit for partnerís suit or a running suit of your own. Except in fourth seat, preempts are destructive, not constructive, bids. †If you want partner to preempt, donít hang the poor guy (or girl) by looking for non-existent strength. Assume partner opens 3♦ and you hold:
♠KQ87 ♥AQ54 ♦5 ♣KJ87
No way will you make 3NT opposite a normal 3♦ opening bid.
Picture something like ♠xx ♥10x ♦AQ10xxxx ♣xx and ask yourself how happy you will be playing 3NT.† Pass quickly. However if partner opens 3♣, raise to 5♣.
You hold ♠AJ8 ♥A1054 ♦AJ3 ♣984
If partner opens 3♦, this is the kind of hand that tries 3NT.
You have seven (likely) diamond tricks plus two side aces for nine big tricks. What about clubs? First they have to lead the suit. Second they have to be able to take more than four tricks in the suit. Third, if you are afraid to take an occasional risk, switch to another game; bridge is not for you.
Raising a preempt to game is a two-edged sword. You may be furthering the preempt, or you may be bidding to make with a strong hand. This is why the preemptor does not take sacrifices. Partner may be frothing at the mouth to double or may simply be content to have pushed them too high.
Responder knows the nature of the preemptorís hand. The preemptor doesnít know the nature of responderís hand. Amen