23 November 2011

It doesn't work for me

My brother, a fellow bridge player, has a theory.

When he has 5 or more spades and his opposition bid 4 he's been bidding 4 over the top. I'm not quite sure on his rules but it doesn't sound like vulnerability is that much of a concern.

Since he's been claiming successes of about 9 times out of 10 I've been trying it out. Sounds like lots of fun. Only, it doesn't work for me.

Vul: EW
Dealer: South
Q J 6 4
Q J T 6 4 2
T 9 8 7 4 3 2
K T 8 7 3
J 6 5
A T 9 3
9 6 4
K 8 3
K 8 7 5 2
A 5 2
A 9 5

Now admittedly unfavourable probably isn't the time to go trying new competitive bidding theories but what a hand! If any time was right to bid four over four it's now right? If my bro can do it on any ol' five carder surely a 7-5 will work for me.

Turns out no. Even at equal vul this is a bad sacrifice; unfavourable it's a disaster.

But. I have an admission. It wasn't all doom and gloom. A poor decision by opponents to bid 1 more combined with less than dazzling play delivered +50. That was worth a round 10 IMPs where it should have cost 9.

Am I doing it right?


  1. There is no such bid as a sacrifice at unfavourable vulnerability!

  2. When your brother bids 4S, he gets the Queen of hearts lead and then it's hard to go down more than one (loose 2 diamonds and two trumps).

  3. When I got the Queen of hearts lead into 4SX, I won and played a diamond from dummy at trick 1. South hopped up with the DA on the first round, north dropping the DQ, and south smoothly continued a low diamond... Your guess...?

  4. @Paul
    It was more one of those "no downside" bids. I was expecting outcomes
    a) -500 against 420-480 (-2)
    b) -200 against 4H making, (+7)
    c) +620 or +790 (+bundles)
    d) -450 (par)
    c) +50 when 5H fails (+10)
    e) (dreaded) -500 when 4H goes down.

    Agreed, on a heart lead you're looking fancy.

    People normally hop to protect AQ. It's not that and South can't possibly know you have 5 (looking for a ruff) I'd sit and think for a long time =) helpful?