26 August 2011

4 over 4 is right

As the old saying goes the five level is for the opponents. Now why did someone feel the need to state this so explicitly? It could be due to a partner who had a bad case of Justonemoreitis but it could be a hint that the four level belongs to us.
A 7 6 5 2
9 6
Q 6 5 2
A 9

What a hand! What a suit. RHO opens 2 weak and you're bidding 2 are you? I'm not. Say you pass and 4, pass, pass comes back to you. How about now?

I struggle with this at the table but 4 is right. Simple counting tells us that when they have a big fit so do we. In a 2 - 4 auction they are likely to have a big fit and even if they have just 8 hearts we're still about 7 to 1 to have a fit ourselves.

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

It's right because compared to the 5 level you're a trick ahead. If the hand is theirs they have to take a full 7 tricks at even vulnerability to make a serious dent in your imps. That makes it attractive before you count your chances to make 4 or to push them to a failing 5 contract.

A long time ago I was introduced to what was called the "Tuffnell Rule" from then local but now expat expert Graeme. The Tuffnell Rule states that whenever your opponents open 4 and you hold five spades you should bid 4. Doesn't always work but it's almost always right.

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