06 November 2011

Strong club dilemma

If you open a strong club it's likely that your opponents will gleefully jump in the way. It's a soft target. More so if they can break your relay or shift it up a few steps so you're in less familiar territory.

This is such a problem that it's often argued that all the advantages of playing a strong club come when you don't have one. The benefits of tightly limited openings in the other suits outweigh the shortcomings of the strong club.

With that in mind Keith, a director at my club, came to me this week with a dilemma. Say you hold 17 highs. Your partner is dealer but before they get a chance to act, RHO passes.

Your options are to, A) accept the pass out of rotation and open your strong club, or, B) cancel the pass and let partner open.

What do you think?


  1. rather depends how those points work. the odds of finding partner with a reasonable pointcount are good now. so: concentrated strength / length open yourself, spread muck, let partner in first.

  2. This is easy accept the pass and open your strong club. You do play PDI over their interference?

  3. @jon: Can you imagine 17 balanced and seeing partner open 4D?

    @Larry: what is this PDI? Penalty Double Immediately? Philippine Daily Inquirer?

    I've come to the conclusion on this one that the people who say "the advantage is when you don't have a strong club" mean just that. We have a strong club so this is a bad hand for us.

    I say open it 1C because the system is better than over the mangy pre-empt partner is about to ruin your night with.