Interesting hand 11

There seems an abundance of hands around with 6-5 or 6-6 distribution

North opened 1and South responded 1NT. North rebid 3, and South bid 3NT

This is Northís hand: AKQJ98 5 A10765 3. Assuming that S has at most 1 card in spades, a stop in hearts and 6-9 pts is there any action now that North should take?


I was asked by a County player no less, what I would respond with the following two hands

2. You are South, and N opens 1NT

You hold KJ6 862543AQJ7 ?

3. Partner as N opens 1 and you hold

AQ74853742K64 ?

Interesting hand 11 replies

I've just had a rapid look at hand 11. I would certainly not leave 3NT as partner's 6-9 points may not contain an honour or indeed any value in Clubs.
Having already jumped to 3D, I would rebid diamonds so that partner knew that I was 5-5 or 6-5 and could then reassess own hand and give preference at game level to 4S or 5D. If, however, they did have 2 club honours they could bid 4NT.

Hand 2. I would bid an encouraging 2NT with a flat 11 points, hoping that partner is in the upper range of NT and can go to 3.
Hand 3. I would raise to 2S with 4 card support for spades and 9 losers.
I would have thought that 2 and 3 are fairly straightforward and can't imagine why they should cause the County Player such consternation. However, I may have it wrong...

On the first 3NT will be horrible. I would probably go 4S and give myself a ticking off for jumping to 3D without having done some more exploration first. Without a fit, it wasnít strong enough to do that. I wouldnít bid 4D to indicate the distribution, because with 2 small diamonds partner might leave it, and that would be even worse. In 4S unless you are very unlucky with the trump split youíll make 6 spades and the A clubs, and you have to hope that partner has something useful Ö and that the opposition donít double! Incidentally I wouldnít necessarily assume partner only had 1 spade, they might have two.

On 2, it depends on your partnership agreement. We would bid 2S with this showing 11-12 points and a balanced hand, and leave it to opener to decide.

On 3, just 2S. With only 9 HCP, 9 losers and no interesting features, itís not worth more. Or less!

I would bid 4 spades, with a 6 card suit of that strength. There might be a slam on partner should hold a diamond suit headed by the king, and an ace. 5 diamonds does not score as well as 4 spades so I would bid the spades

Hand 2: I would bid 2NT asking for maximum no trump opening of 14pts. Hand 3 is only worth a 2 spade response despite the 9 pts. I open 1 spade with a 5 card suit so a 3 spade response is not out of the question.

What actually happened

Partner passed!!! We played in 3NT, and were lucky to make it when the heart suit blocked. Bottom score because other pairs played in either 4 spades, or 5 diamonds (some mysteriously even managing 12 tricks)

My hand was 10 A97 Q987 K9852 so 11 tricks are available in spades, or in diamonds

Hand 2. Players are too quick to bid 2NT or its equivalent. With 12-14 pts. range for the 1NT opening, you have at best a combined total 25 points, with two wide open suits. Only a 52% chance of making 9 tricks (26 combined points gives you a 66% chance). If opener is minimum, then even 2NT may well fail. You are most unlikely to get a poor score by passing 1NT

Incidently last Friday my partner opened 1NT (12-15), and with 10pts like the above I passed, for him to go down by 1 trick (lot of discussion as to why I passed!!)

Hand 3. Despite holding 9 points, Itís a 9 loser hand. So 2 spades is the bid. However when most experienced players open 1 spade with a 5 card or longer spade suit, then one of openerís suit must be only 2 cards.(5-3-3-2, 5-4 3-1, 5-4-2-2), so its likely that 9 tricks will be made. Partner may go on using a trial bid, but only a trial bid in clubs is going to suggest a game in spades