What should I bid? (February 2016)

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What should I bid? (February 2016)

The best submission for February 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.

Nil Vul, playing weak 1NT, I was North holding:

AQJ9
AT9x
Qx
Kxx

The bidding:

West North East South
 1  1NT Pass
Pass ?

Is double here penalties or takeout?

If playing strong 1NT, replace Q with a small diamond, for same auction.

Hi Sid,

Without any agreements, by default doubling would be for penalties. For example, you might have a strong balanced hand with 19 points, or maybe you have a strong hand with a good long club suit and may be able to set up the club suit immediately in 1NTX. (Same situation if you play a strong NT.)

Having said that, there are some gadgets that you can play if you prefer X there not to be for penalties (and assuming you can remember the gadgets!).

The first one is, after an auction of 1minor-(1NT)-? most experts like to play 2C by responder as showing both majors (at least 5/4 either way). It is unlikely that you will win in a partscore in clubs (even if it was a 1C opening), and as the opponents can easily outbid you, it is more useful to use 2C there as showing both majors.

The second is, after an auction of 1x-(1NT)-Pass-(Pass)-? Some people play X by opener as a “3 suited takeout”. That is, opener could have any 3 suits. Say if the auction was 1D-(1NT)-Pass-(Pass)-X, opener may be 4=0=5=4, or maybe 1=4=4=4, etc. If the auction was 1H-(1NT)-Pass-(Pass)-X, opener might be 4=5=4=0, or maybe 0=5=4=4, etc. Of course, playing this way you will have to give up the penalty double. It is up to you and your partner’s preference as to whether the X should be for penalties or a “three suited takeout” as there’s no ‘superior’ method – just as long as you and your partner can remember!

Hope that helps,
Andy

Click here to ask Andy a new question.

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