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Answer #64

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

Hand a)
♠ 2
A Q J 3
A K 10 6 2
K 6 3
Hand b)
♠ 6 2
A Q J 4 2
K J 2
A Q 2
Hand c)
♠ A Q J
A J 3
A K 9 2
Q 8 2
(a) is correct.
  • Both your doubles are for takeout, the second essentially saying, “Partner, West’s 2 bid let you off the hook, but now I’m forcing you to speak.” 
  • Hand (a) is perfect – and note it’s much better to make the two doubles than bid the five-card minor at either opportunity – you have a three-suited hand.
  • With Hand (b), you’re better off bidding 2 over 1, to show your good five-card major; if the bidding then proceeds 2-P-P to you, you should reopen with a take-out double. 
  • Hand (c) is a hand too strong to bid 1NT over 1 (you could have bid 2NT over 1, but that is more usefully played as Unusual, showing 5-5 in the two lowest unbid suits). You were therefore correct to double the first time, but should bid 2NT the second time, showing a hand too strong to have bid 1NT over 1 ie about 19-21 points.

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