Hand of the Month 3

Dealer opens 1NT (12-14pts) and you hold this hand J764 AKQJ9876void 8

Do you Pass, bid s or double? Your LHO holdsK8243KJ4Q10953. What action would you as opener's partner now take to the three possible actions on your right.

Fourth player is likely to be passing throughout. Supposing that you held the long diamond hand instead of your partner (your side's hands swopped), what action might you take if the opener's partner passed , or bid hearts?

Remember you can only see your own hand

Interesting hand 3 replies

1. Why pass? To bid s might be 'correct' but to what level? Partner could have points for game, though unlikely. I'd double, being on lead to almost guarantee 8+ tricks if LHO passes. Partner, assuming I have 16 HCPs, might be encouraged to respond if LHO overcalls, giving more info. but probably ending up in part-game diamonds.

2. Pass - Pass; 2 - 2; Double - Pass (cautious) or might even re-double, having balance of points :-) Could bid hearts but I'd rather stick to 1 level, expecting all hands to be fairly balanced.

3. (a) Cannot double (partner on lead). Bid 2; (b) Bid 3 

I would double the 1 No-trump expecting to make 8 tricks, and if this was rescued then I would bid my diamond suit. Sitting in the next seat, I would leave 1 no-trump doubled in expecting to at least make it ! At teams I might bid differently in case there was a freak hand , so would bid 2 hearts

Finally if the long diamond suit was in last position I would definitely not double, unless I could kick partner under the table to lead a diamond!. So whatever happened I would bid 3 diamonds. 3NT might make if we got a diamond or spade lead, but thatís not likely!

On the interesting hand, if I were holding the diamonds in second seat, I would be inclined to pass to see whether his partner bid a suit or not. It would be a marvellous defence hand if it got the opening lead in no trumps. If openers partner went to 2 hearts, I would then overcall in the diamonds - probably 4 diamonds in the hope that partner could support with either some diamonds or high honours. Doubling the 1 NT opening would just allow them to escape into a suit, and partner would not be able to bid my suit anyway.

As openers partner I would bid 2 hearts as a weak takeout with a 5 card suit and a doubleton and not enough points to go to game. In 4th seat it would not be a good hand for defence in NT as I would probably never get the lead. Neither would it be useful against hearts. So I would certainly bid the diamonds against NT or hearts. It has made me think more carefully about bidding depending which position I am in

I've had a quick glance at hand 3 but haven't got it up on the screen. I think that I would pass, as a double would be taken out by LHO or partner and a game in diamonds is improbable. The best chance, I think, is to leave it and hope that it is passed out and to defeat 1NT by taking the first 8 tricks. Obviously if it isn't passed out then the option of bidding diamonds is still there. As opener's partner, holding nine points and with a five card suit I would bid hearts, either directly or by transfer according to the system employed. I would do this over a pass, certainly over a double and definitely over a diamond bid as we would still hold the balance of points.

What happened at the table

1NT was doubled and passed out for a penalty (down three), 500pts! The opener's partner would with this hand often leave the double in, expecting to make it. At pairs this is OK, but at Chicago or teams, you do not want to risk a big penalty. Since neither Stayman or transfers apply after the double, because you want to rescue in any suit, bid 2. Then the final contract is likely to be 3, 3 or 4

Holding 8 cards in s in 4th position, doubling the 1NT is not an option, so bid 3 even over a take-out by third player of 2, (even via a transfer of bid in s )