Power Bidding

How do you handle opening bids by opponents? East has a perfectly good opening bid of 1H. I am a great advocate of major oriented doubles, and hence a double of 1H should guarantee a four card spade suit.

Board 13 from Thursday 29/08/2019
Dealer N All Vul


Guarantee, that is, unless you are so strong that you expect partner to make a minimum response and you can then bid your own suit or find some other way to force the bidding.

There are a lot of ways the NS hands can be bid when East opens 1H. The best way is for South to start with a double. When West passes, North should bid TWO spades and not just 1S. That is because with major oriented doubles, North ‘knows’ that South has four spades, and North has a raise to 2S, as if South had OPENED the bidding with 1S. A bid of 1S would imply a hand that could be as weak as a zero count, because North, in effect, has been forced to bid. South, having forced North to bid, then has to make some allowances and bid accordingly. Were North to bid only 1S, South can do one of two things: raise to only THREE spades, or CUE BID 2H to show the extra strength and keep the bidding open. Does that make sense?

So, with these NS hands, the bidding should in fact be short and sweet: 1H from East, DOUBLE from South, TWO spades from North, 4S from South. Even a 4-3 fit should make game viable. The scientists will probably have more sophisticated ways to look at the possibility of a slam after North’s 2S bid, but let us just make things simple and leave it at that. Check whether a slam is on by clicking here.

Stop Press: The Thursday series has finished but a new much better series will begin in September with X-Clubs participation and reviews of hands from all sessions. The format will be advised soon.