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Säffle Spade

Read main articles: Contract bridge, Bidding system, Bridge convention and Glossary of contract bridge terms

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


Opening bids of Pass and 1

While the opening bid of Pass is forcing for one round, it does not promise a very strong hand. The basic idea is that all hands (except certain pre-emptive ones) with 8 or more high card points (HCP) and 4+ are opened with a Pass (may also contain a longer side-suit). If one has 8 or more HCP and no suit, but 4 or more , one opens 1 (may also contain a longer minor suit).

The general rationale is that when you open very low you want to have and show the major suits, so opponents cannot easily pre-empt against you. Another advantage is that when you have 8 or more 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.

Other opening bids in the system

The system is generally regarded as illegal as a "Pass" opening may not be used to indicate strength.