What should I bid? (September 2020)


What should I bid? (September 2020)

The best submission for September came from Brian Thorp. He wins a voucher of $30 funded by TBIB, toward any purchase made at the Bridge Shop or Paul Lavings Bridgegear.


I was South , North dealt, both Vul

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

One off and bad result.

Playing Standard with a completely new partner. I think my 2 bid was bad, especially as we were vulnerable and playing with a new partner. However, how strong do you think I ought to be to bid in this spot, Vul and NV?

And with a regular partner, what strength do you recommend we agree on for such a bid, again Vul and NV. Is there merit in a wide-ranging 3-8 NV?

Hi Brian,

Because of the 1NT overcall, with any decent hand you would start by making a penalty double. Thus, if you bid a suit, it is not forcing and it doesn’t really promise too much. Since you were Vul, and your suit was headed by the jack, it is probably a bit too weak to be bidding 2.

However, say you had xx, xxx, xx, QJT8xx, this is probably still a tad too weak for a vulnerable 2 bid (no shape), but if you were not Vul, I would say it should be an automatic 2 bid. If the shape was 1-3-3-6 with QJTxxx of clubs, then I would not blame my partner if he decided to bid 2 even vulnerable!

It is true that a vulnerable bid can have up to about 7-8HCP, but it should not guarantee it. For instance, if you had a 7-card club suit KJxxxxx and nothing else, this would be an automatic 2 bid too at vulnerable.

I’m not sure what “strength” to recommend, as it all comes down to the suit quality, vulnerability, and of course the distribution of the hand.

Hope that helps,


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