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Answer 57

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

North   East   South   West

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

(a) is correct.
  • The question is whether or not to pass out the deal. There is a useful guideline here – the Rule of 15. Because the deal is likely to be a part-score and the spade suit often wins the part score, the Rule of 15 tells you to open in 4th chair when the number of spades in your hand added to your point-count reaches 15. 
  • Hand a) is the correct answer – pass out the deal, despite holding 12 points for fear you will lose the part-score to spades (or indeed hearts). 
  • Open 1 with Hand b), satisfying the Rule of 15 – with a nice 2 rebid planned.
  • Hand c) fails the Rule of 15 and I would not open 1¨ for fear of being outbid in the majors. However, my lovely diamonds tell me to open 3, not a normal weak pre-empt (you’d pass with that) but this sort of hand with seven diamonds, trying to steal the pot.

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