District 13 - ACBL
Mathe Asking Bids

Mathe asking bids

After a limit raise in a major suit, Mathe asking bids (from the 5th edition of The Official Encyclopedia of Bridge) enable the opener to ask the responder for the location of side suit shortness (if the limit raise promises shortness) or for both location and whether responder has shortness (if shortness not promised).

The following notes assume that you are playing weak notrumps and mini-splinters, and indicate how the responder can ask opener after an auction that starts with 1 of a minor, 1 of a major, 3 of the major (inviting game). If you do not play mini-splinters or weak NT, then you may need to make some adjustments to the cutoffs for mini/max.

Four Auctions and Two Hand Patterns

  1. 1C pass 1H pass
    3H pass...
  2. 1C pass 1S pass
    3S pass...
  3. 1D pass 1H pass
    3H pass...
  4. 1D pass 1S pass
    3S pass...

Strength of opener is around 14 to bad 17, assuming weak notrumps and mini-splinters. Question: Controls a factor? It's your choice.

Hand Patterns include 5-card minor and 4-card support with 2-2 inside suits or short suit(4441/5440/5431). 4432 hand patterns with 4-card support must raise to 2 or bid game.

Next step by Responder in above auctions asks for hand pattern and/or strength.

  1. Opener rebids his Minor with 5422 minimum
  2. Opener rebids Responder's Major with 5422 maximum
  3. Opener rebids in off suit to show shortness in that suit
    Except in Auctions where Responder's first suit is Hearts...Then 3N would show short spades

auction opener opponent responder opponent
A 1 C pass 1 H pass
3 H pass 3 S (asking) pass
3N=Short Spades,4C=5422 mini, 4D=Short Diamonds, 4H=5422 max
B 1 C pass 1 S pass
3 S pass 3N (asking) pass
4C= 5422 mini, 4D= Short Diamonds, 4H=Short Hearts, 4S=5422 max
C 1 D pass 1 H pass
3 H pass 3 S (asking) pass
3N=Short Spades, 4C=Short Clubs, 4D=5422 mini, 4H=5422 max
D 1 D pass 1 S pass
3 S pass 3N (asking) pass
4C=Short Clubs, 4D=5422 mini, 4H=Short Hearts, 4S=5422 max