What should I bid? (October 2023)


What should I bid? (October 2023)

The best submission for October came from Tomoko Nakamatsu. She wins a voucher of $30, funded by TBIB, toward any purchase made at Paul Lavings Bridgegear or The Bridge Shop.

Nil Vul
E Dealer
A 10 9 8 7 6 2
A K 9
Q 10 6 5 3
10 7
7 6 5 4 2
[ 14 ] 9 8 7 2
K 5 3
Q J 6 4
10 8
  A 4
Q 4
A K 8 5 3 2
Q J 3

West North East South
    Pass 1
1 2 2 3
Pass 4 Pass Pass

Hi Lauren

I was North and didn’t know how to proceed after my partner’s 3 to look for a slam.
We play 3 over the 3 as non-forcing. Her 3 can be 16+ or just long diamonds, competing over the opponents’ annoying overcall. I needed either K or Q of H for 6 or good 16 hcp for 6NT from my partner. Should I bid 3? Then South would bit 3NT with this hand, and I’ll be stuck. Should I bid 4, hoping South to bid 4?



Hi Tomoko,

It’s often tricky bidding slams when the two hands have equal HCP strength, because neither partner quite has enough to take charge on their own.

Firstly, it’s great that you have an agreement about how you play bids after a 3-minor rebid. However, I would strongly recommend changing that agreement and playing all of responder’s rebids as forcing. My ‘What Should I Bid?’ predecessor, Andy Hung, convinced me of this 10+ years ago and it’s so helpful. With the weak, non-forcing hands, passing 3m is often the best option anyway, but when you have game forcing hands but aren’t sure which game (or slam) to play, it’s invaluable to have a forcing bid! Also, this auction is slightly different – as responder has already bid at the 2-level showing 10+ points I think 3 being forcing is logical, as the only hands where you don’t want to play game are ones where opener probably shouldn’t have rebid 3 😊.

On to the problem you had at the table… My choice would be 3 followed by 4. When there are multiple ways to show the ‘same’ type of hand, I find it useful to rank them from weakest to strongest. In this case, 3 (non-forcing) would be weakest, 4 would be next, and 3 then 4 would be a step above that. I would consider that as a mild slam try type of hand, with a long heart suit that doesn’t require a fit from partner at the game level.

This hand fits that description perfectly, especially with 4 of your points in the suit the opponents bid and raised (thus we would usually not expect partner to have the ace!) and a singleton in partner’s long, probably strong, suit.

After 3 – 3NT – 4 it would be up to partner whether they make a move. I think this hand is worth it; but with no control in clubs they could either figure you have one (since you’re showing a good hand and it would be pretty hard for you not to have one) or cuebid 4, allowing you to ask for keycards, find the queen of trumps, and bid 6.

Happy slamming!


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