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Answer 41

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
  Pass   1 NT

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


a) is correct.
  • The 1NT response is a “dustbin” bid, a last resort. Prefer a sensible alternative. With Hand (a) you have no better alternative, as a two-over-one response shows a hand that satisfies the Rule of 14: the points in the hand plus the no. of cards in the longest suit getting to 14 - Hand (a) gets to 12. Note that the 1NT response does not show a balanced hand, a desire to play in notrumps.
  • With Hand (b) you should bid 1 - never bypass a four-card major to respond 1NT. 
  • With Hand (c), you are better making the three-card raise to 2, admissible without the fourth trump (although preferably you’d have a picture).
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