05 January 2011

A bidding problem

Here's your hand:
A 8 5 3
K J T 5
6 5 4 3
Seems pretty normal but lets pretend for a moment that when your partner opens 1 it will be a good opening; only the very best 11 counts and 5332 with a poor suit gets opened a weak 1NT. If you play openings that could be lighter maybe make it KQT5 of hearts. I suggest that regardless of the vulnerability or the form of scoring you want to be in game on this hand. Here are the bids available to you (ignoring the silly options):

2  Aiming for a delayed game raise maybe?
Partner is going to be unimpressed by the suit.
2Another attempt at a the delayed game raise.
These tend to show better hands though right?
That heart suit is not a good source of tricks!
3Jacoby 13+, 3+ spade support FG
3Bergen style 10 - 12, 3+ spade support
3Bergen style 6 - 9, 4+ spade support
3Pre-emptive 0 - 5, 4 spade support
4Pre-emptive 0 - 5, 5 spade support

Realistically 3 and 4 but you can vote on the rest. If you've got a philosophy, view on life that explains your answer or just want to tell me I'm playing a stupid system please comment!


  1. This seems like a standard limit raise to me. In the system I play (2/1) I would bid 3S and respect partner's decision whether to go to game (most of the time he will unless with a real dog). If you are playing 3D only guarantees 3 trumps, then I can see bidding that and going to 4S over partner's bid to show this hand (but I don't like it). I don't think it is strong enough to splinter.

  2. If we're going to show x-number of HCP then raise partner's bid to game, which I think is a sound strategy with this hand, why not show the correct value of x.

    3H followed by raising 3S to 4S (if need be) must show 6-9 HCP, but the desire to play game opposite an opener. Perfect.

    Jacoby is a huge overbid, 2C is a severe distortion (and will often lead P to make the wrong decisions based on their honour card placement) and 2H should categorically show 5.

    I guess we might feel a little bit nervous in the auction 1S-3H-4S about missing a slam, but seems like the price that is best to pay.

    Ideal for mini-splinters: 1S-3D*-3S-4S
    where 3D shows invite+ with Diamond shortage and 4S shows a non-serious raise to game (cue first with a good hand). Keeps slam in the picture when partner is strong.