Interesting Hand 17

I am again indebted to John Howes for this hand

Pairs at WGC on Monday, I picked up AK6 A64 AK972 43 and opened 1D

What would you rebid after a response of 1H?

John has asked first the "experts" and received very different replies. Then took the travellers and collected the final contracts. He also anaylysed the possible contracts

Sowhat would you bid?


""Very difficult, every bid has a downside. The alternatives are 1S may be passed. I don't like it but it should be considered as it might lead to a NT contract. 3/4H which is probably the value bid, but could be disastrous, if partner is relatively strong with only 4 hearts and good clubs. 3C which is my choice but could be wrong if partner is 4/4 clubs &hearts and strong. My ultimate aim is 4H which must have a chance even on a 4/3 fit. How to get there is the problem."

A difficult hand. My choice would be 3C, I need to show my strength, even though I do not have 5-4 in diamonds and clubs. If partner has a spade stop we might play in 3NT, and if partner has 5 cards in hearts, then surely 4 hearts must have a chance

I suppose 2S is possible partner wont raise unless he has four of them and 4S might play okay in a 4-3 fit. And hell bid no-trumps with a club stop, so that works nicely. Put me down for 2S but I might easily bid 2NT at the table and hope for the best. I suppose the opening leader might choose a spade lead after 1D-1H-2NT ... quite likely if he is 4-4 in spades/clubs.

Without a decent fit with partner, this hand isn't as strong as the point count suggests. I might bid 1S to see what partner re-bids (leaving room), hoping for heart or no-trump contract. If partner supports S or D (assuming a weak opening) or 2C (4th suit forcing) then I'd bid H to show 3H. If partner re-bids H I'd jump to 4H. If partner bids 1NT (implying C stopper but no fit) I'd raise to 3NT, fingers crossed.

Difficult! 2NT would show the point count but risks there not being a club stop.
3 diamonds would aptly describe the hand and wouldn't preclude partner from repeating hearts in which case I would raise to game. However, it would be too high for them to show clubs.
Another factor is that partner hasn't limited their hand so I could be thinking of a slam in addition to a game so need to keep the bidding open.
A bid of 1 or 2 spades would show partner my spade stop with a view to NT, but a big drawback is that it could be misinterpreted.
After all that I'm still not sure. If I was feeling bold and things had been going well I would bid 2NT despite the lack of club stop and know that at least a slam wouldn't be missed if it was on. If I hadn't done well hitherto I would settle for a safe but unadventurous 3 diamonds.

Horrible one!

2D is to weak. NT is not really possible with such a weak club doubleton. 3H shows your strength, but suggests you have 4 hearts. I would consider 3H, but probably Id bid 1S. Its a lie but anything you bid will be a lie here, and it has the advantage of being forcing yet keeps the level down whilst youre exploring. Of course you are hoping that partner has either five hearts giving a heart fit, or can give some club cover so you can play in NT. Hopefully their next bid will reveal this, or they will bid 4th suit forcing in which case you can show your 3 card heart support.

3D. If the response was 3H or 3S then 4H, if it was 3NT then 4D and I might be tempted to try for 5D as clubs are pants. How far off am I?

2NT. You have to take chances that partner has some good cards in clubs.

As far as hand 17 is concerned I'm afraid my response is not that exciting. It seems to me that you are looking for game in either 3NT or 4H but it's not easy to find out whether partner has a club stop in the first case or 5 hearts in the second. I would just bid 2NT showing my points and shape. If partner has 5 hearts perhaps he can muster a 3H bid.

The No Fear Bridge website had a similar hand and their recommendation was re-bid 2NT

John's comments

Everyone I canvassed saw problems with the hand, not all analysed the options in so much depth.

I acquired 7 opinions and, adding my own, the 8 results were, in ascending order 1S(1),2S(1),2NT(2),3C(2) 3D(2).

The responding hand turned out to be xxx KJT8x Tx Axx, and a sensible auction can I believe get to the par 4H on all choices.

In spite of this, the Welwyn Worthies produced a traveller, with these results;

4H(1),4H-1(5) 4H-3(1) and funnies (one each) 1NT+5,1NT+3, 3D+1and (best, but still scored 7/20) 2C-1

Deep Finesse says 4H is makeable (Both red suits breaking to a singleton made it too much for most including my partner)

DF says 3NT on this deal fails , which suggests that one or two Welwyn pairs should come over to the HH teaching sessions for some tuition in defence!!

Analysis shows that opposite a 5-7 count with 4 hearts 2NT is 70% but 3NT only 25%. Opposite an 8 count 3NT is 60%