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Good bad hands

Don’t despair when you pick up a bad hand. It could get better. Here’s what to look for:

  • a)    A fit with partner.
  • b)    Good shape eg a singleton
  • c)    Honours (those honours you have) in partner’s suits.

You are South and the bidding proceeds (North dealer):

North East South West


Here are two possible hands for you:

South (a) South (b)
 Q 3
 Q 7 3 2
 9 7 3 2
 8 5 3
 J 10 3
 K 3
 9 7 4 3
 8 4 3 2

With South (a), you have a heart fit and your two queens are in partner’s long suits – golden honours. Don’t pass, raise to 4.

With South (b), you now know for sure you have a spade fit and J10 are worth much more than one point. Plus your Kx is gold-dust. Don’t merely give a preference to 3 (which you’d do with small doubletons in both majors); jump to 4♠.

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