Some More Answers For You

The two questions I sent out came from the same deal, did you put 1 and 2 together? Of course I did change the vulnerability and NS orientation and also changed the C7 to the jack to make your answers more 'tempting', amazing what difference just one point makes. Here they are again:

You are South
1. Dealer N Nil Vul
The biding has been:


Your bid holding


2. Dealer South EW Vul
The bidding has been:


Your bid holding


Most people would not consider anything other than a pass on 1, even with the CJ instead of the 7 but I have a simple rule that I use in such low level bidding situations: if partner has opened 1C or 1D and there has been an overcall of 1S, IF I WOULD HAVE BID 1H WITHOUT INTERFERENCE, I DOUBLE. The double should specifically show exactly that, but if you have a 'free bid' of 2H (10+ HCP and 5+ hearts) available you bid 2H. I know some people play 2H in this sequence as NOT forcing, and some even play a jump to 3H as not forcing, but that can be much more problematic that my suggestion, do you not agree? Just make sure you discuss this one with your partner, it is not an uncommon situation.

Same thing when the bidding goes 1m-1H when we use the double to say we would have bid the OTHER MINOR, but of course we would need to have a few more points but less than a bid of that minor at the 2 level.

Now for No.2 where we have an aggressive EW pair to contend with. Many of the panelists would bid 5C but does that make sense when partner could have nothing? Others worry about the possible ambiguity of 4C (who on earth would play this as Gerber????). Others DOUBLE, which makes perfect sense, but for those who double afraid that partner will pass I have news for them: 3S doubled would have been down two and +500, you can't make that many tricks just because you have a ten card fit, at least not all the time. A double of 3S most people play for takeout but the higher the level the more the option of passing with a suitable hand should be considered, specially these days when there is so much uncontrolled aggression by opponents. Don't let them get away with it, please! Anyway, double must be the right move, even if partner is likely to be weak and bid 4H with only a four card suit. Do you now see where I'm heading? Go back to your earlier problem. If North had doubled the 1S overcall and East had bid 3S, this time South, despite only three hearts, could happily bid 4H because a) North is odds on to have at least five hearts or a decent four card heart suit and closer to 8 or so HCP. And of course if EW NOW have the gall to try for a vulnerable sacrifice, South has the perfect answer because now the double would be unequivocal.

Your comments and questions to are welcome, as always.