What should I bid? (August 2015)

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What should I bid? (August 2015)

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

I was West holding:
x
ATxx
AJxx
Axxx

West North East South
 1  1  1 Pass
 ?

Playing weak 1NT, what is your rebid?
Some of my thoughts were:
-I can’t rebid 1NT since it would show 15-17pts, despite the heart stopper and partner having 5 spades.
-Rebidding 2 is risky, as 1NT may be best place.

Hi Sid,

I would rebid 2. Yes, 1NT would be 15-17, but not only that, you should have a balanced hand for that bid (unless you and partner have specifically agreed that it can have a singleton). Knowing that you have a balanced hand can be useful info for the later rounds of the bidding, for example, partner should be allowed to jump to 4 with six spades and enough points for game.

Rebidding 2 can be risky, sure, but any other bids would be far riskier – sometimes there is just no perfect solution and you have to find the least harmful lie 🙂 If you ever have to make a lie, you should lie about a minor suit than a major suit!

Regards,
Andy

Hi Andy,
Thanks for that. If I was balanced I’d open 1NT, so the main thing I know now is if I have an unbalanced hand with 12-14 points, we just have to fudge a little and hope standard players don’t do better in 1NT (Andy: Well, that’s assuming they can rebid 1NT with a singleton spade).

This ‘fudging’ however may be trickier if they overcall at 2-level, eg:

West
x
ATxx
AJxx
Axxx

 

West North East South
 1  2  2 Pass
 ?

If 2 is a Negative Free Bid, then I will probably pass and hope partner has six spades.
But let’s say if 2 is forcing, then what should I do? Do I rebid 3 with only four diamonds? Surely not 2NT since again that would show 15-17 points, and a 3 rebid would show a much stronger hand. How do you handle this problem?

Cheers, Sid

Hi Sid,

Unfortunately I am not very experienced with weak NT and have not come across the problem you just mentioned!

I’m not sure if this is right, but my instincts tell me that if the opponents overcall at the 2-level, and partner bids 2x, and assuming that’s forcing (5+suit with 10+ points), then opener’s 2NT rebid shouldn’t be restricted to just 15-17. If it was at the 1-level, then that’s no problem because opener can generally find another rebid. But if it’s at the 2-level, there may be lots of unbalanced shapes where it’s often best for opener to rebid 2NT with a minimum.

For example, your 1-4-4-4 hand, or maybe a 1-3-5-4 shape, or even a 1-4-5-3 hand such as x Kxxx KJxxx AJx — it feels like with that hand, 2NT would be more effective and more economic rebid than 3. If that’s the case, then whenever opener holds 15-17 balanced, either opener will have 3-card support and raise accordingly, or if not, then opener can cuebid opponent’s suit since with 15-17 opposite 10+, you have enough points for a game anyway.

Interestingly enough, if responder has only bid 2 in an auction such as 1-(1)-2-(Pass)-?
Here, it doesn’t make sense for opener’s 2NT to be a minimum because if opener does have 12-14 with a singleton club, say with a 4=3=5=1 shape, opener can still rebid 2, and if opener is 4=4=4=1, maybe opener is allowed to rebid 2?
So maybe, ultimately, the strength of opener’s 2NT rebid is dependent upon what suit responder has bid?

Definitely food for thought – sorry if I have given you a headache! Weak NT-ers do have it tough.

Regards,
Andy

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