03 November 2010

Bidding over preempts

In the club match point pairs session I played last night I had several opportunities to bid over pre-empts. Many of those decisions were clear cut passes and if they were all like that there wouldn't be a story. On the first one that wasn't everyone is vul and I'm in second seat looking at a 3 opening with this:

A K Q J 8 2
K 9 5
K T 4

Your bid?
I thought 3 was the normal bid on this hand. If it gets doubled I'm probably down a trick, partner will raise with most hands we're making game on. Most of the room bid 4 which incited their partner to bid 5 over the making 5 which gets doubled. Double dummy spades makes a measly 8 tricks but 5x -1 was the most common result. We left them in 5 making for no matchpoints.

I'm hopeful that the next hand is at least a little contentious, still all vulnerable but this time in fourth seat after 4H pass pass you hold:

A K Q T 5 3
A 9 7 6 4
J 6

Now what are you going to do?
Don't just read on. I'll wait. Come up with something then when you're done add it to the comments below.

There's a lot of playing strength in the hand, give the opener an 8 count and your expectation from partner is 9 highs. The main problem is to make 6 you're going to need help in both minors not just one and even both might not be enough for example opposite xx  Jxxx  KTx  AQxx you've little hope. While I was thinking this the thought crept into my head that it might be right to double, what if partners points were arranged more like this x KJxx Jxx Axxxx, now we might have 6 tricks against 4 and get +800 vs +620. I dismissed this as too hopeful, there's lots of hands where partner will pass that we'll get only 500 or partner will bid 5 and we'll go down in 5. Having successfully talked myself out of everything I bid a quiet 4, that ran to RHO who bid 5. Well the double option wasn't right was it but now I know partner doesn't have much in hearts so I competed to 5 all pass.

Here's the full hand, I'll have to thank West for leading a diamond making the rudimentary end play so obvious that even I saw it. Draw trumps, ruff two hearts, ace of clubs, exit in diamonds, 11 tricks. All the match points, most pairs went down or chose to double 5.

J 8 6 2
J 5
8 5 2
A 9 8 7
K Q T 9 7 6 3 2
9 7
A 8 4
T 3
K Q 5 4 3 2
A K Q T 5 3
A 9 7 6 4
J 6

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