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Answer #46

Three possible hands are given for South, but only one is consistent with their bidding. Which one? What would the others hands have bid differently? Both non-vulnerable.

North   East   South   West
1    Pass   3     

Hand a)
♠ 8 5 3 2
A Q J 5 2
♦ 2
J 4 2
Hand b)
♠ A K J
K 10 2
6 2
9 8 6 3 2
Hand c)
♠ K J 3 2
A J 2
 A 8 4
7 4 2


(a) is correct
  • Your 3 bid guarantees four+ spades (never three – in case partner has only four). It shows 10-12 points (adding for shortage: a singleton is worth about three extra points), or eight losing tricks. Adding three points for the singleton diamond, 
  • Hand (a) fits the bill. Using the Losing Trick Count, there are eight losing tricks. Perfect. Note that you should not respond 2 – because that would unnecessarily confuse the issue when you know you want spades to be trumps.
  • With Hand (b) you should respond 2, planning to jump to 3 (even 4 if partner shows a 5-4 shape).
  • With Hand (c) you are immediately worth 4, which you bid (unless playing the Jacoby 2NT – showing a game-forcing spade raise – in which case bid that). Note that with a balanced hand, the Losing Trick Count is inaccurate and should not be used. 
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