Interesting hand 42

A pair of problem hands from a Friday evening session:

You are North, vulnerable against non-vulnerable when W the dealer opens 3. Its your bid with this great hand AKQ986 Q6 A9652 void . Well what do you bid?

The second hand sees you again as North, but this time partner as dealer opens 1NT (12-14 pts) you hold A8KQJ10854Q732 . What do you bid? 3NT may be a disaster if partner has three little cards in s, and unfortunately there does not appear to be a bid for a possible game hand with both minors.

Hand 42 replies

1.We discussed this and found it difficult. You are not strong enough to bid game yourself. But if you bid 3S then partner is quite likely to pass it, even though only a couple of well-placed cards would make an easy game. Double does force the bidding along without raising the level. But if you double then partner may reasonably expect you to have both majors and jump to game in hearts, which could be a disaster. We saw both arguments. You could argue that double doesn’t necessarily mean both majors, because with a strong hand and both majors you would probably cue bid 4C – “partner, please bid game in your best major”. But this hand is not really strong enough to force that. And anyway, at the table would partner think through all the implications of what you hadn’t bid? They’d be far more likely to just assume the double meant you had 3 or 4+ cards in each major.

2.The hand is a great example of the disruptive nature of a pre-empt. It seems to be a toss-up between quite likely missing game (or even a faint possibility of slam) versus inviting a disaster. On balance, I would have bid 3S and my partner would have doubled! So much for partnership understanding...

3.The second hand is a nightmare. After having paused so long that all the other players have nodded off, I would probably bid 3NT with my fingers crossed and an apology at the ready. No point in bidding 2NT, either the hearts are covered or they’re not. If they are, then 3NT may be quite easy. If they’re not then 2NT will probably be too many, so just go for the 3NT.

4.The first hand I think I would just bid 4 spades

The second hand I think we would be able to sort it out with Mark Sharples transfers as we play the full version - so my first enquiry would be about diamonds

5.On the first hand we would almost certainly bid 3 spades, we wouldn’t be keen on a double due to the weakness in hearts.

On the second hand we normally used 2 spade showing 11 points or a long minor, in this case we might bid 3 diamonds straight away, showing a 6 card suit, 11 + points but severe reservations about playing in no trumps, unless they have cover in all the other suits.

6.Hand 2. No method I know will avoid a pot on this layout. I will bid Stayman and over 2H bid 3NT, and over anything else bid 2NT hoping that the top high card holding with 3 or less hearts will improve the chance of a H stop or at least inhibit a H lead in view of my implied H holding if the game is accepted.

Hand 1 Hope I don`t often get this type of problem hand(.It will come up about once in 1500 deals so thats OK) .I will bid just bid 4S and hope theres not 12 or 13 tricks.

7.Hand 1 is a real problem. If I double partner is surely going to bid hearts, and if I bid 4 spades partner could well pass with a slam on! Perhaps double first then bid spades over partner’s bid might encourage partner. Should I bid 4 clubs , showing a very strong hand then next player is going to bid 5 clubs and now we might be too high, and partner might think it’s a heart contract we are after.

Hand 2. I am just going to pot 3NT and hope that partner has a partial stop in hearts. If we lose the first 5 tricks on a heart lead I will have my excuses ready.

8. I would double, as people realise after a pre-empt its for take out and then see what partner bids and make my decision then

2Hand 2.I would bid stayman and hopefully partner would bid hearts then I could go for 3NT if not make a decision on what they reply

 What happened

On hand 1 Partner bid 3 clubs, and this was overcalled 3S, and I bid 5C since we were at favourable vulnerabilty. This passed round and the overcaller bid 5S which became the contract. 13 tricks were made by not drawing trumps and ruffing 3 diamonds in dummy and returning to hand by ruffing 2 clubs. We got a bottom because nobody bid the slam, but the other declarers only made 12 tricks! Looking at the hands surely the slam should have been bid with 4 cards in the overcallers suit, and a singleton diamond, and 2 tricks in hearts?

Hand 2 some players player in 3 diamonds , and only a couple took a pot at 3NT which made, lucky that opener had a heart stop.

The Hands

Hand 1

Pairs event

Board 11
West Deals
N-S Vul
A K Q 9 8 6
Q 6
A 9 6 5 2
J 4
Q J 10
A Q 7 6 5 4 3
4 3
10 8 7 3
K 8 7 3
K 10 9
J 10 7 5
A K 9 5 2
J 8 2

Hand 2


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