Wednesday Play at The Hutt (10)

From Wednesday 10/03/21.
I need to get back to bidding once more, because what happened on Board 2 tells me that very little has been learnt about what bidding is all about.

I will repeat what I have said before: Bidding is a DISCUSSION between a partnership. The discussion can be as short or as long as needed to determine the BEST contract.

You also need to know what you require for GAME. A minimum of 25 COMBINED high card points. What do you need to bid to be in GAME? And what does the game SCORE?

When you are not vulnerable, as in this case, 3NT makes GAME. 3NT means taking NINE tricks. 4H or 4S is also GAME and that requires taking TEN tricks. 5C and 5D is also GAME but requires ELEVEN tricks. To convert it to actual scores, 3NT making 3 equals 400, 4H or 4S making 4 equals 420, and 5D or 5C making 5 equals 400. It therefore it makes sense that IF you have any alternative possibilites of making game, you should choose a MAJOR SUIT game or 3NT rather than a MINOR suit game. Everything depends on your combined cards of course and that is why you need to enter into a discussion with partner.

Let me show you board 2.
Dealer East NS Vul
___ West ___ East ___


When East opens the bidding with 1D, it should be obvious to West that they have game, but what is the BEST game? There is absolutely no reason for West to do anything other than bid 1H. EW are now in discussion mode. East has four hearts, so they have now found a FIT. It does not matter how big East’s hearts are, the fit of at least eight cards has now been established and East must support hearts. East’s diamonds and singleton club are such positive features that East should raise West’s 1H bid to 3H. West may well think about a SLAM now, but let’s just settle for game, IN HEARTS. As it happens, 4H would have made five for +450 whereas 5D would also have made 5 for +400. We need not talk about the fact that either 6D or 6NT can be made, but that is for expert declarers. Enough to be in 4H in this session and make five. That is because there were EIGHT EW pairs in 5D, two in 3D and not one
in 4H, which would have scored 100%.

I find this result so astonishing that I am in despair and at a loss of what to say, other than to suggest that those Wests who immediately raised diamonds need to rethink what bidding is all about. Bidding straight to 3, 4 or 5 diamonds is NOT what a bidding discussion is about. West knows they have points for game & a bid of 3D is 10-12 HCP and can be passed! As for a bid of 5D, the point count is there but ignoring the hearts is akin to hanging up the moment partner answers the phone!