What should I bid? (April 2015)


What should I bid? (April 2015)

The best submission for April came from Ian McCance. He wins a voucher of $30 funded by TBIB, toward any purchase made at the Bridge Shop or Paul Lavings Bridge Books.

Dealer S, Vul NS, playing SAYC more or less, you are South and hold:


West North East South
Pass 1 Pass ?

Hi Ian,

You’ve certainly touched upon one of those difficult hand shapes to show, that is, whether we should rebid the minor or to raise the major with 3-card support with a minimal opener (and also what about an invitational opener).

On this hand, I don’t think I would view it as invitational strength (yet) given the singleton J, so my choice would be either 2 or 2. If my three-card major support was fairly bad, I would prefer to rebid my minor as it would be more descriptive. However, if both of the suit qualities are relatively even, I think raising responder’s major is best as it allows you find more games (e.g. If responder has an unbalanced hand with 9-10 points and a 5-card heart suit, he would be looking towards a game over a 2 raise, and would often pass over a 2 rebid).

Our problem would be more painful if our hand was slightly stronger, say, if the Q were the K. In that case, you would have a choice of poisons to pick; (a) Jump rebid 3 (which may miss out on a 4 game if responder has an unbalanced hand with five hearts and ~6-8 points), (b) raise to 3 (major flaw being a trump short), or (c) risk a 2 rebid hoping to be able to make a further rebid in hearts (with the flaw being that responder may think you have real clubs, or that he might pass out 2!)

There is one neat little convention you might like to know about, although it is specifically just for 1-1 and 1-1 auctions, that is, play a 1 rebid by opener to be 100% forcing, and this will allow you to utilise a 2 jump-shift to show “15+ points with 6+minor and 3-card heart support” (as the traditional 2 jump-shift is no longer needed to be natural game forcing with the 1 rebid being forcing). This allows you to handle the awkward 6minor-3major hands with 15+ points. The disadvantage of course is that it is yet another gadget that you and your partner will have to remember!
Using the same thinking, you can do something similar over 1-1 and 1-1 auctions too, and that is, use the 3 jump-rebid by opener to show the 6-3 hands, BUT, because the 3 rebid bypasses the safe contract of 3-minor, the strength needed therefore should be 18+ points (or maybe have it as 16+ pts and play responder’s 3 rebid to be the only non-forcing rebid so you can get out low?).

Anyway, hope I’ve stirred up some ideas – handling these 6-3 hands aren’t that easy.


Thanks, Andy
I felt at the time that 2 was inadequate, and so it proved.
Responder held
and game was on.

Hard to reach.

Oh well, but it’s not an every day occurrence where your opponents pass throughout with ten combined spades!

Click here to ask Andy a new question.

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