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Answer 31

Three possible hands are given for South, but only one is consistent with their three bids. Which one? What would the others hands have bid differently? Neither side is vulnerable.

North   East   South   West
  1   Pass    

Hand a)
♠ Q 10 5 2
K 7
Q J 6 3 2
 6 2
Hand b)
♠ 8 6 4 3 2
A J 2
K 8 2
 K 2
Hand c)
♠ 8 4 3 2
 6 2
K 8 6 5
 K J 5

  • (b) is correct.
    The 1NT bid after an overcall is still weak – 6-9 points (but normally nearer nine); however it is not truly a “dustbin” bid any longer, as you have to have a genuine wish to play in 1NT with a spade stopper(s).
  • Hand (a) is fine for 1NT – not strictly balanced but that’s no big deal.
  • Hand (c) can bid 2 - not 1NT for the lack of a spade stopper – it is fine to support from One to Two with just three cards (headed by a picture(s)).
  • Hand (b) is completely stymied by the 1 bid but you should be happy to pass. You have so many spades that it is nigh-on certain partner will bid again, holding very short spades and therefore unwilling to let the opponents play in a measly 1. Incidentally if partner reopens with a take-out double, the expert bid now is 2 - showing a  good hand with no clear direction that has thus far been stymied (which in practice means precisely what you’ve got – long weak spades).


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