All Things Considered

Most learners have been taught two things about Acol: that you should always show a suit if you can, and that if you open the bidding in a suit, you must have a REBID prepared. They have also been taught that a 1NT response to an opening one level bid shows 6-9 high card points,. All that considered, even those beginners who have not been taught anything more than that, should be able to stop in the correct contract on these very unexciting NS cards.

Board 7 from 17/04/2019
Dealer S All Vul


After two passes, North opens 1D. East passes and South bids 1NT. If the NS bidding is disciplined, North should know two things: firstly, South has 6-9 high card points; secondly, South does not have four cards in spades, hearts, or diamonds. Therefore, South has at least four clubs. Therefore North’s singleton king of clubs is nothing to be concerned about.

What many learners have not been taught is that when your partner bids NO TRUMPS, you no longer have an obligation to make a rebid. If you choose to make a rebid when partner responds in No Trumps, it is because you think there might be a better place to play. Should North think that a 2D contract will play better than 1NT? North’s diamonds are nothing to rave about and South does not have hearts, so to bid 2H would be a very poor choice just to show North’s second suit. In fact, as most of you will know by now, a bid of 2H here would be a REVERSE and show at least seventeen points. So, all things considered, including the need to keep the bidding as low as possible, as well as the score for a making contract, what should North do when South bids 1NT?

The answer should be obvious, PASS. Yet, just one South played this in 1NT, all the other contracts were 2D or even 3D by North. The South who played in 1NT made an overtrick and scored +120. Even the Norths who managed to make 3D scored only +110. What will YOU do next time you are North in a similar situation?

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