What should I bid? (November 2017)


What should I bid? (November 2017)

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

Hi Andy
I would like to ask you about a board that was played in a recent event. We sat EW playing 2 over 1, EW vul with East dealer.

West East


West North East South
1 Pass
1 Pass 2 Pass
3 Pass 4 Pass
4 Pass 5 Pass
Pass X All Pass

Q1: What does the 3 bid mean in the above auction? Someone said after opener’s reverse, 3 is natural. Does this sound right?

Q2: How many spades should West have for this bidding? It feels to me like it shows 4 spades and 5 diamonds. Should East bid 3 over 3? Would the 3 bid show 3-card support?

Q3: West bid 4 to show 3-card heart support. Should West have bid 4 instead to clarify 5 spades? East didn’t want to pass 4 to play in the 4-3 fit, as the longer trump hand would be forced to lose trump control if the opponents lead diamonds. Should East bid 4 instead?

Thank you!


Hi Eileen,

After opener’s reverse, it is common to play a convention called “Blackout”, whereby bidding the cheapest of 2NT/4th suit is artificial and shows a very weak hand. Bidding anything else would be natural and game-forcing. So after 1-1-2, 2NT would be the cheapest bid (of 2NT/4th suit), and that would show any weak hand. Having said that, bidding 3 would still be considered as “4th suit forcing” in the sense that you have enough for game, but can’t bid anything else (i.e. a balanced hand with no club support nor a diamond stopper). For example, if responder had AQxx Kxx xxxx xx, responder can’t really bid anything else but 3.
In another auction, say, 1-1-2, now 2 would be the cheapest bid, so that would be the “blackout” bid.

In your auction where it went 1-1-2-3; at this point I would expect responder having a maximum of four spades since he could have rebid 2 with 5+.

If my auction started with 1-1-2, my auction would continue with 2-3-3NT-Pass (though responder might think about passing 3 given the club void!).

Having said that, I think East’s hand isn’t strong enough to reverse with only 14 HCP (singleton J, club suit isn’t that great), so my auction would probably be 1-1-2-Pass!

Hope that helps,

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