Bergen Raises

Author: Larry Cohen
Date of publish: 06/13/2012
Level: Intermediate



This convention was first invented by my good friend, Marty Bergen, when we were bridge partners in the 1980's.

As first written and played, here were the responses to a 1-of-a-Major opening:


3?=6-10 in support and 4-card support

3?=11-12 in support (limit raise) and 4-card support
3-of-the-major (raise)=0-5 and 4-card support


There are many add-ons and revisions, some as follows:


Inversion revision (make sure you and your partner know if you are playing the original way or this way):

The 3? and 3? responses are reversed in meaning


Major Add-ons

A jump to 3-of-the other major has a special meaning (there are many ways out there--I suggest not bidding it)
3NT=13-15 balanced with 4-3-3-3 (I recommend this)

4-level=Many possibilities (In "Standard" it would just be a Splinter Bid). 


PH and Competition

It is crucial to have agreements regarding if this convention is used by a Passed Hand (I recommend not) or after a double or overcall (I recommend not). Some variations use the convention in all of these situations. 



Because of all the potential confusion (all 3 of the sections above), I don't recommend this convention (sorry, Marty). I actually like a jump to 3-of-a-lower suit to be natural and invitation.  So,  1?-3? shows something like: ?2
.   You must decide with your partner if you are playing Bergen Raises, how you are playing them, or a possible alternative.