04 February 2011

It's a bidders game

But what if everyone's bidding? Whose game is it then? Generally the last person to make a guess loses, here's a hand:

Q J 8 6 5 4 2
T 8 7
You're third in chair at nil vul and you're playing for IMPs rather than matchpoints. You watch the following auction:
North East You West
1 X 1 4
Pass Pass ?

How many points do you think you have between the two hands? We're told that 4 over 4 is right almost always, is there any reason to expect something else here? There's some chance that both games make and there's a good chance that both games fail; if that's the concern 4 is the bid. I thought it was a pretty clear action; any voices of dissent? What about when East doubles? Doubt creeping into anyone's mind?

Vul: Nil
Dealer: N
6 4 2
A K Q J 9 5 4
A 8 2
A 9
T 9 7 5 3
Q J T 7 5
K T 7 3
A Q 8
3 2
K 9 6 4
Q J 8 6 5 4 2
T 8 7
Turns out both 4 and 4 fail, the former only if North gets a spade ruff but the later can't avoid three trumps and a heart. I'm sure you've noticed though that none of that matters when you're losing a stack of IMPs to 5. West has taken a wild action here but in doing so ensured that he's not last to guess.


  1. Did North say if he considered removing 4S to 5D?

  2. HBJ replying : North in my view has eight solid tricks in diamonds, and should not let 4H stand. He/she must double for penalties or next best pull it to 5D. South should never bid 4S given East's double that could be well based on a spade holding. But 4H doubled could be very profitable.
    A fabulous underlead of a the telling diamond 9 to partner's 10 ( I've seen it done many times ) gets its reward. A super low spade back ruffed. The club Ace followed by a club ruff. A second spade ruff and a second club ruff. 3 off all marvellous stuff.

  3. North paused for some time over 4♠ and again after the double; there was definitely thought. I'm not totally convinced 5♦ is correct but it works magic here.
    The double could be 34 in the majors rather than 43 in which case 4♠ would be more comfortable.