to conventions this page was first written: 28-Feb-2009
  this page was last updated: 28-Feb-2009
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Helvic – a defence (wriggle) when your 1NT opening gets doubled.


Helvic is a defence for when your (usually weak) 1NT opening gets doubled for penalties.


Partner opens 1NT and RHO doubles, bids by responder are: -

2 = 's and 's  
2 = 's and 's  
2 = 's and 's  
2 = 's and 's * see Note 1

Opener then passes or corrects. Incidentally, if responder is 4333 type shape then he should bid the suit below his 4-carder. Opener should always correct if equal length in the two suits indicated. This is a problem if exactly 3334 of course, but then you can't always solve everything

pass = demands the partner redoubles.

After the automatic redouble then responder bids:

2 =
's and 's or 's and 's * See Note 1
2 = 's and s's
pass =

I have values and want to play in 1NT redoubled

redbl = I have a 5-card suit
  After responder redoubles (showing a 5-card suit) opener bids 2 which responder will pass or correct.

What do I think so far? Seems OK except that opener has no way of showing that he himself has a 5-card suit?


Now consider the auction 1NT – pass – pass – dbl – pass – pass -?


Responder has less options now:

  redouble = I have a 5-card suit, presumably a minor as I did not transfer
  two of a suit = that suit and the one above
  Note 1  

The original Helvic convention uses an immediate 2 to show 's and 's, but this has the disadvantage that you are up at the three level if opener prefers 's. So the ‘improvement' is to include this combination in the 2 bid after passing and opener's redouble.

  A simple but less satisfactory alternative to Helvic is the Stavely Wriggle.  
  Pattaya Bridge Club - www.pattayabridge.com
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