Säffle Spade

In the game of contract bridge, Säffle Spade (or Säfflespader in Swedish) is a forcing pass system developed by Einar Bergh and Pontus Svinhufvud (Säffle is the name of a small city in Sweden, where they lived in the past). There are at least 3 different variants of the system: Super Säffle Spade (most advanced), Small Säffle Spade, and Small Happy Säffle Spade (simplest).

Opening bids PASS and 1: While the "opening bid" PASS is forcing one round, it does not promise a very strong hand. The basic idea is that all hands (except certain pre-emptive ones) with 8+hcp and 4+ are opened with PASS (may also contain a longer side-suit). While if you have 8+hcp and no suit, but 4+, you open 1 (may also contain a longer minor suit).

The general rationale behind this, is that when you open very low you want to have and show majors, so opponents cannot easily pre-empt against you. Another advantage is that when you have 8+hcp you often tell partner immediately which major suit(s) you do not have, and when he sees that your side cannot have any major-suit fit, if appropriate, he can quickly pre-empt with a minor-suit bid.

Opening bid 1 is used on all weak hands, 0-7hcp.

Opening bid 1 shows 8+hcp and an unbalanced hand with no major (or 22+hcp balanced with no major).

Opening bid 1 is "mini-NT" with 8-12hcp, while 1NT is 13-18hcp, and 2NT is 19-21 hcp—all denying 4+major.

Opening bids 2/2/2 show 4+cards in the suit bid plus a 5+card major side-suit.

Opening bid 2 shows any solid suit (AKQxxxx).

Higher openings are normal pre-empts.

External links

  • http://www.bridgefederation.se/landslag/obs/obs00-01/humsystem/lillasaffle.PDF The Small Säfflespader
  • http://www.syskon.nu/system/002_lgs_01.pdf (in Swedish) Lilla glada Säfflespadern

System is generally regarded as illegal as "pass" may not be used to indicate strength.

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