Sometimes referred to colloquially, and depending on the geographical region, as the 14 Spade Guide or Rule of 14, but see other Rules of 14 listed on the web page, which present different concepts. The 14 Spade Guide operates and is executed only in one specific auction / bidding situation. The necessary elements are that the player in question:

1. is the fourth player to bid or call following three passes,
2. holds 11-13 high card points,
3. holds any suit but Spades,
4. is unable to open 1 No Trump because of shape and/or high card points.

The player in Fourth Seat may get a poor result if the auction is not opened, but if the player in Fourth Seat does bid, then, as a consequence, the defenders may find their Spade fit and the result is a bad score on the board.

Principle of the Guideline

The criterion for opening following three consecutive passes is adding the number of high card points held to the number of Spades held by the player in Fourth Seat gives a value of 14 or higher.

Therefore: Number of High Card Points + Number of Spades = 14 Spade Guide.

Several examples should clarify this concept:

Example 1

74
Q75
AJ976
K85

The holding contains 10 high card points, added to the number of Spades = 2. The total equals twelve. According to the 14 Spade Guide the player in the Fourth Seat should pass. The reasoning is that the mathematical probability that the defenders discover their possible Spade fit is much higher than 50%, thereby decreasing the probability that the auction will result in a more positive score for the opener.

Example 2:

9
AKQ7
Q876
J965

Again, the holding contains 12 high card points, added to the number of Spades = 1. The total equals thirteen. Again, according to the 14 Spade Guide the player in the Fourth Seat should not open but rather pass.

Example 3:

A4
J1087
87
AQJ97

The holding contains 12 high card points, added to the number of Spades = 2. The total equals fourteen. The player in Fourth Seat should open the auction with 1 Club. This is a classic example of when to base the decision to open the auction on the concept of the 14 Spade Guide.

Example 4:

543
K873
KQJ5
K8

The holding contains 12 high card points, added to the number of Spades = 2. The total equals fourteen. The player in Fourth Seat, following three passes, should open the auction with: either 1 No Trump, 1 Diamond, or 1 Heart, depending on the partnership agreement, bidding system, or style.

 

 

If you wish to include this feature, or any other feature, of the game of bridge in your partnership agreement, then please make certain that the concept is understood by both partners. Be aware whether or not the feature is alertable or not and whether an announcement should or must be made. Check with the governing body and/or the bridge district and/or the bridge unit prior to the game to establish the guidelines applied. Please include the particular feature on your convention card in order that your opponents are also aware of this feature during the bidding process, since this information must be made known to them according to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. We do not always include the procedure regarding Alerts and/or Announcements, since these regulations are changed and revised during time by the governing body. It is our intention only to present the information as concisely and as accurately as possible.

 


     
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