What should I bid? (June 2018)


What should I bid? (June 2018)

The best submission for June came from Maura Rhodes. She wins a voucher of $30 funded by TBIB, toward any purchase made at the Bridge Shop or Paul Lavings Bridge Books.

EW Vul
N Dealer
J 10
Q J 10 8 7 5 3
10 3
9 7
K 5
K 9 4
A Q 9 2
K 8 6 2
[ 9 ] A 7 6 3 2
K 8 5 4
A 10 4
  Q 9 8 4
A 6
J 7 6
Q J 5 3


West North East South
  3 Pass 4

West didn’t know what to do after 3 was raised to 4. Doubling was not an option as that would be penalty.
What do you advise, please, Andy?

Hi Maura,

A very good tip here is that when the opponents open 3 and raised to 4 (or 1-4 or 2-4), doubles should be played as takeout. Whilst it’s true that there may be hands where you would like to double for penalty, those hands are usually very rare, and you would more often hold a “take out” type of hand, thus, being able to double for takeout is more important.

In any case, West should not be doubling 4 here (with a doubleton spade) even if that was understood as takeout, since East can easily bid 4!

My recommendation would be for East to make the takeout double of 3! Yes, it is pretty scary to double for takeout at the 3-level with only 11 HCP, but East has a singleton heart, and the 11 HCP consists of two aces and a king (as opposed to a king and several queens and jacks). It is a bit aggressive, but as they say, it’s dangerous to pass, but also dangerous to bid!

Once East doubles, if South raises to 4, West can now double, which is “responsive” – meaning he has some points, but with no clear direction. As East has a minimum, he should just pass out the double and ‘take the money’. You may miss out on a 5-3 spade fit, but there may not be enough strength, or suits might be breaking badly, and this points to defence.

Note that in any case, South should not be raising to 4, as the hand is too balanced and with only two card support.

Hope that helps,


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