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Answer #50

Three possible hands are given for South but only one is consistent with bidding. Which one? What should the other hands have bid? Neither side is vulnerable

North   East   South   West
1   Pass   1NT    

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


a) is correct.

  • Hand (a) only contains five points but tabling your hand as dummy to 1♠ is surely a poor idea. Yet so is responding 2, failing the Rule of 14 (points in hand plus no. of cards in the longest suit does not get to 14) because 2 is 100% forcing and you may well go overboard. Best is to scrape up the dustbin 1NT, borrowing a point. Who knows, partner may be about to rebid 2 or (better still) 2. If partner rebids 2♣, you’ll bid 2, which normally shows six cards. If partner rebids 2♠ (or, worse, 3♠), you beat a hasty exit (from the room as well as from the bidding). But it’s worth the risk.
  • With Hand (b), you are too strong for the 6-9 point 1NT and should respond 2, the cheaper of fours.
  • With Hand (c), you should prefer to raise to 2♠ with three-to-an-honour than bid the last resort dustbin 1NT.

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