Interesting Hand 29

You are playing East when you pick up this hand AK43AK10853248. The dealer is North, nobody vulnerable. N opens 1NT (12-14pts) and it is your turn. What do you bid?


1.I think that this type of hand fits quite well with a variety of defences against weak 1NT, such as Reverse Cappalleti, Various forms of Landy, Crowhurst etc. It can be bid in the hope of finding partner with Spades. Otherwise, as you would expect, I would punt 4H and hope to find partner with some help, working on the basis that if partner doesn’t have much then the opposition are likely to make 1NT or a minor suit contract and I am unlikely to go down more than 2 tricks.

2.4 hearts immediately.However you could play 2 nts which old fashioned acol would show a two suiter then over responders reply bid 4 hearts which shows strong single suiter

3. Bid4 hearts! Seeking a spade contract with such devises like Astro may work but would you want to play in a 4-3 contract say when you have a 7 card heart suit?

5. Interesting one!

We use a 2C Landy and although this is not a perfect hand for it, I would probably use it here. Landy promises both majors and though your hand has a strong heart preference, spades would also be a possibility. You have 7 hearts and opener presumably has 2+, so there are only 4 max left between the other two hands. I don’t know what the odds are, but the chances of partner having support for your hearts are slim. However, bidding Landy forces partner to bid so you will get another opportunity to describe your hand. So I would bid 2C, and over response 2D I would jump to 3H which I would hope partner understands as invitational, showing a strong hand and heart preference, but still with 4+ in each major. Over 2H I would bid an invitational 3H. Over 2S I would probably pass. Over an (unlikely) 2NT I would go straight to 4H.

The alternative is to overcall in the hearts – but this will miss the possible spade fit, and also there’s a question as to what level to bid at. For us, overcalling 1NT at the two level would be a good 5+ suit and maybe 9+HCP – so would partner understand a 3 level as a genuinely strong overcall or as a pre-empt? I wouldn’t overcall at the 4 level.

6.Whatever you do, even though this is a 4 loser hand I think there’s a good chance of ending up in the wrong contract, probably being too high in hearts. But sometimes that’s life!

7.I have looked at the hand: I have four losers, that is all, so 3 hearts should be fine and if partner has some points/hearts, they might raise to 4 hearts .

8.I would open W/E bidding with 3 hearts and see what partner does, 4 hearts may go down if partner has nothing but probably only by one trick so it may be worth a second bid at 4h, if opposition bid 3Nt but they probably would not though, as have few heart stoppers. If partner has points as well maybe a slam might be on

9. I would bid 4H and expect to make it about 60% to 70% of the time.Much too dangerous to offer partner a choice of the majors since most of the time he will hold 0-2 Hearts and so will be giving preference to Spades without 4 too often, and the hand won`t play too well in a Moyseian fit.

10.Playing reverse Capiletti I would bid 2C showing the majors and if, as expected, partner bids 2S bid stop 4H to show hearts better than spades and giving partner choice between 4H and 4S.

If we take N for 13HCP and E has 14HCP there are 13 more out there and on face value E can make 8 tricks (6H + 2S) so I think that the options are:

(1), Double: (E doesn't have 16HCP but...). The problem is that NS may have a good fit in clubs and diamonds and if either N or S has Qxx of hearts then 1NT will make easily, but if the Hearts are split 2,2,2 then 3 off doubled is a good score. (E would be on lead). - Risky-

(2) 4H: and at love all going two off doubled is better than NS making 3NT. It also stops S bidding 2 or 3NT. - Less Risky-

(3) Is there a slam on. The problem is where are W's HCP's if he\she has any?E bids 2C showing at least 4x4 in the majors. W is likely to bid 2D so what next, 4H? I think E bidding 2C is the best option as it gives S a chance to respond to N.

If S bids 2 or 3NT then we know where the points are and E should bid 3H over a 2NT response (as I think that 3H could make because W is likely to have 2-3HCP), or 4H over a 3NT response (should only go 2 off as W is likely to have 0HCP but worth the sacrifice even if doubled).

If S passes then W could have the missing points so in response to 2D from W, E could then rebid STOP 3H showing 6-7 good hearts, (4 spades from the 2C bid) and game values.

If E simply goes to 4H then that is the contract but E could bid 4NT and potentially find a slam?

I think E should bid 2C (Landy or Capaletti).



What happened

The hand was played 10 times, with 8 pairs playing in 2 hearts and 2 pairs in 4 H. Putting the hands into Bridge Solver shows that 11 tricks can be made in spades but only 10 in hearts. The problem is that if you choose to use a convention like ASTRO you risk playing in a 4-3 fit instead of your 7 card heart suit. So biting the bullet and bidding 4H is the practical solution.

The actual hands

North Deals
None Vul
Q 2
J 9 7 6
K 3 2
A Q 5 2
J 10 9 6
A 7 6 5
J 10 9 7 3
A K 4 3
A K 10 8 5 3 2
8 7 5
Q 4
Q J 10 9 8
K 6 4