Monday, July 29, 2013

Don’t Trump… Dump

Occasionally, the opponents lead a suit which you can easily trump in your hand, but if you do, one of two problems may occur. Either one opponent will overtrump you (and trumping high may only create another problem later when you need the high trump for pulling trump), or you don’t have enough trump to trump and still pull out all of their trump. The solution may be to dump a loser, instead of trumping - a.k.a. a loser on a loser play.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Your RHO Can Be Your Friend

Your right-hand-opponent (RHO) can bid just at the right time or just at the worst time for you. Here is the one true statement:

Whenever your RHO bids, you can pass because partner will automatically have another chance to bid.

This does not say you must pass or you should pass. You CAN pass.

How does this affect your bidding?

Monday, July 15, 2013

You open, LHO bids, Partner Passes (Continued….)

Bid a new 4-card suit

If your second suit is 4+ cards, and it ranks lower than your first suit, bid it on the two-level:

♠  A Q 10 9 7          You         LHO         Partner         RHO
 5 3                       1♠          2♣            Pass              Pass
 A K 8 5                2
♣  4 2              

You have a two-suited hand, and though you have a minimum point count, you should bid. Partner will be forced to take a preference between spades and diamonds.

Bid Notrump

Believe it or not, if the opener rebids 1 NT after his partner has passed, opener needs 18+ points! Contrast this with opener’s rebid of 1 NT if responder  bid: 12-14 points. We don’t fool around with NT.

♠  K Q J                You            LHO            Partner            RHO 
 A K Q              1              1♠                Pass                 Pass
 J 10 9 6            1 NT
♣  Q 10 9  

There are two explanations for this. First, it’s too dangerous to bid notrump opposite a partner with few or no points unless you have a strong hand - keep in mind, partner could have zero points.  And second, you would have opened 1 NT with 15 to 17 points, hence the 18+ point count.

Cue Bid

If you opened with 21  points, probably just shy of a 2♣ opening bid, you may choose as your rebid a cue bid - that is, bid the overcaller’s suit. This is a very strong takeout double to your partner.

♠ A                        You            LHO            Partner            RHO
A K J 9 8           1              1♠                Pass                 Pass
K Q J 2              2♠
♣ Q 10 6                
                             This announces b-i-i-i-i-i-i-g!

Here are some extra things to think about:

1. If your partner will not be forced to bid higher than the two-level, you can reopen with 13 points.
2. If you bid on the three-level or force partner to bid on the three-level, you need 17+ points.
3. Avoid reopening balanced hands unless you are strong.
4. If your RHO bids, be very careful. Your partner will have another chance to bid even if you pass, so don’t strain to make a bid.

© 2013 Roberta Salob

You open, LHO bids, Partner Passes

The bidding goes:         You            LHO          Partner         RHO
                                   1♠               2               Pass             Pass

You should make every effort to bid unless you have 13 to 16 points (minimum opener) and 3+ cards in the opponent’s suit.  

Don’t forget your partner may have a decent hand with as many as 9-10 points but was unable to bid after the overcall.

There are five different bids the opener can make:


If you opened and partner passed, you can double for takeout. You need support for the two unbid suits. Opener can double with a minimum point count - it does not show extra points.

♠  K 10 8                You          LHO          Partner        RHO
 A Q 8 6              1             2♣              Pass            Pass
 A 9 8 7 4             Dbl
♣  2           

You are showing support for hearts and spades.  Your partner must answer (unless his RHO bids) by bidding hearts, spades, NT or raising diamonds. 
Note: If partner is convinced their bid will go down, he may pass, converting the opener’s takeout double to a penalty double.

Rebid a 6-card suit

You may not rebid a 5-card suit, but 6 or more should be rebid:

♠  A K J 8 6 4         You           LHO        Partner        RHO
 6 4                      1♠             2             Pass             Pass
 9 5                       2♠
♣  K Q 5     

You have a good chance of making 2♠ or you may even push the opponents too high. If you had a stronger hand - let’s say another ace - you should jump to 3♠ to prod partner if he has some values.

Look for the next "Roberta's Blog" for three more options!

© 2013 Roberta Salob

Monday, July 1, 2013

Partner leads a spot card

Honor leads are easy to figure out - spot cards, that is the 2 thru 9, are ambiguous. The most common agreement is with three small cards, lead the lowest card.

•  Partner leads a high spot card

Almost always the lead of a high spot card (7, 8 or 9) is usually the start of a “high-low” signal: 

•  Partner leads a low spot card