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Answer 38

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

North   East   South   West

  1 NT

Hand a)
♠ J 9
A 9 8 4 2
J 4 2
Q 5 2
Hand b)
♠  2
A 9 4 3 2
J 9 7
K 4 3 2
Hand c)
♠ - -
Q J 9 8 4 3
J 2
K 6 4 3 2


(c) is correct.
  • By going via the “Dustbin 1NT” to bid 2, South has shown (95%) six hearts and a weak hand (six or seven points); with a better hand, he’d bid 2 straight away. The 2 bid is not a suggestion in a two-way conversation, it is virtually a command for opener to pass. Hand (c) is the right answer.
  • With Hand (a), you were correct to bid 1NT, but should now give a preference back to 2 - bear in mind that partner has shown a five  - four  shape. Going back to 2, rather than leaving partner in 2, is best because (i) it gives partner a chance to bid on and (ii) a 5-2 fit () normally plays better than a 4-3  fit (). Don’t even think of bidding 2 - partner will pass holding a singleton heart and you certainly don’t want that.
  • With Hand (b), you also must not bid 2 over 2 - risking playing there facing a small singleton heart. You can hardly go back to 2 and Dustbin 1NT hands do not bid 2NT next time (that would show 10-12 points, which you cannot have). That leaves Pass – there’s nothing else.

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