Club News Sheet – No. 225        25th Feb 2007


to news-sheet main page to Pattaya Bridge home page

Mon 19th    1st N-S     Ivy & Terry                        63%         2nd    Frere & Jean-Charles       62%

                  1st E-W    Agot & Asbjorn                 62%         2nd    Dave & Jo                        57%

Wed 21st    1st N-S     Ivy & Wolfgang                  67%         2nd    Hugh & Sally                    54%

                  1st E-W    Jan & Royd                        65%         2nd    John & Kenneth               58%  

Fri 23rd       1st N-S     Paul Sav.. & Ursula            63%         2nd    Gastone & Terry              57%

                  1st E-W    Asbjorn & Wolfgang          61%         2nd    Gerry & Tony                   54%


Bidding Quiz                           Standard American is assumed unless otherwise stated.


Hand A           Hand B           With Hand A LHO opens 1 and partner overcalls 1♠. RHO

passes, what do you bid?

2                   A73                     

K10872        A3                With Hand B RHO opens 1, what do you bid?

843               AKQ764

A752            Q4


Hand C           Hand D           With Hand C you open 1 and LHO doubles. Partner redoubles

and RHO passes. What do you do?

J                   KJ964

AJ953          65                 With Hand D LHO opens 1, partner overcalls 1 and RHO

Q62              9                   bids 2. What do you bid?

KJ108          97432


Hand E            Hand F            With Hand E RHO opens 1, what do you bid?


A7532          A842           

KQJ4           53                 With Hand F partner opens 1NT and RHO overcalls 2, what

53                 J863              do you bid?

A5                AJ5


Hand G           Hand H           With Hand G partner opens 1, what do you bid -1 or 2?


QJ96            8

K103            98753           With Hand H partner opens 1 and RHO overcalls 1. What

K                  KQJ7            do you do?

AK1094       Q86            


Hand J            Hand K           What do you open with Hand J?


J                   AQ986

AK876543   Q10953        A very tricky one here. With Hand K partner opens

Q52              K6                1NT and RHO overcalls 2NT (weak with the minors). What

Q                 2                                                do you bid?


Hand L            Hand M          With Hand L partner opens 1NT and RHO overcalls 2, what do you do?

9                   AK87                  

J8653           K872            With Hand M it’s love all. Partner opens 1 and RHO doubles.

J965              K107            (a)  What do you do?

965              Q5               (b)  Suppose you redouble and partner bids 2, what now?

Bidding Sequences Quiz        All of these sequences occurred this week


N     1      pass   pass   dbl     How strong is the double in the balancing seat?

P      1NT   pass   pass   dbl     (a)  How strong is the double in the balancing seat?

                                                (b)  Does it make any difference if the 1NT opening was weak?

Q     1      pass   3      pass   4NT is RKCB, how many keycards is 5?

4NT   dbl     5

R     1      pass   2     pass   You are playing 2/1 and so the 2 bid is game forcing. What 

3                                    does the 3 bid show?

S      1      pass   2     pass   You are playing 2/1 and so the 2 bid is game forcing. What 

4                                    does the 4 bid show?

T      1      3NT                       What is this 3NT bid?

U     1      dbl     redbl  pass   What is the 2 bid?


V     1NT   2      3                Is 3 natural and weak, natural and forcing, or a transfer to ’s?

W    1NT   2      2                Is 2 weak or forcing? How many ’s?

X     1NT   2      3                What is the 3 cuebid?

Y      1NT   2NT   3               2NT is the UNT, weak with both minors. What is 3?

Z      1NT   2NT   dbl               2NT is the UNT, weak with both minors. What is dbl?


I’ve run out of letters.



If you know of any more letters, my mobile number is 086 6089887

A few members (such as Sally, Hugh, Ursula, John B and a few others) have complimented me and Dave recently on how the club is run. A few others have simply complained and moaned about the ‘exorbitant’ amount of money that we make by charging 150 bht a head for members. I would just politely like to point out that we have to pay 120 bht a head to the hotel – so we are not actually raking it in – OK? I do not feel that I have to justify anything to the moaners, but it takes an awful lot of time to run the club/website/news-sheets etc. and the equipment (especially the cards, which wear out very quickly) are not cheap. If you think that you can do a better job at running a club, then please try – other(s) have had considerable financial help yet still fell at the first hurdle. It takes dedication and a lot of hard work.

I am, by the way, actively seeking a new venue. Whether we will continue at the Tropicana or move is uncertain at the moment but I have taken people’s opinions into account.




Be wary when the opponents play negative doubles            Board 12 from Friday 16th 

We start with a couple of hands from Friday 16th – I was too busy that weekend to include them in last week’s news sheet. N-S at Table A (so two weeks ago) ran into problem on this deal – who would you blame?


Dealer:             2                                                

West                K10872                                      West          North(A)    East          South

N-S vul            843                                             pass           pass           1            1

                        A752                                          pass (1)      2    (2)      pass         2    (3)

dbl   (4)      all pass

KJ974               N             5                          

J43                 W    E          A965                   

J109                    S              KQ765               

103                                    KQJ                    






(1)   With nice ’s sitting over the overcaller, West decided to go for the penalty by passing and later planning to pass partner’s automatic re-opening double.

(2)   What did you bid with this North hand A in this week’s quiz? This bid got N-S into trouble. A change of suit over partner’s overcall is generally played as constructive but non-forcing. I would not call this hand constructive. Since E-W play negative doubles you know that you will get another bid, so pass.

(3)   With partner freely bidding and a reasonable 6 card suit, South has no reason to suspect problems.

(4)   Happy to be doubling one level higher – it’s surprising how often this happens when you play negative doubles.


And what happened? 2 doubled went two down for 500 and a good score to E-W. I note that three other South’s reached 2 but were not doubled! Perhaps some considered KJ974 not good enough for a penalty? I was West and it was good enough for me even at the one level.

The bottom lines:

-         When you overcall and LHO passes, be wary if the opponents play negative doubles. LHO may well have a stack of your suit and be waiting to penalise you when opener re-opens with a double.

-         If LHO opens, partner overcalls and RHO passes, then suspect problems if you are short in partner’s suit and the opponents play negative doubles. Do not ‘rescue’ him now, but pass. When the re-opening double comes and this is passed round to you then that is the time to bid  - and partner knows that you have a weak mis-fitting hand and will not bid again.  

-         Play negative doubles. You do not miss penalties and it’s surprising how often you get then one level higher.

-         A change of suit over partner’s overcall is generally played as constructive but non-forcing.



Defending against a 1NT opening – part 1                 Board 13 from Friday 16th 

Don’t bid your hand twice - here N-S got into an expensive contract.


Dealer:             62                              

North               J4                                               West          North         East          South

both vul            107654                                       -                 pass           1NT (1)    2    (2)

                        J974                                           4    (3)      pass (4)      pass         4    (5)

dbl   (6)      pass (7)      pass         all pass

J54                    N             Q87                     

Q98632          W    E          AK5                    

AJ                       S              K832                  

52                                      K84                    






(1)   With this totally flat hand a downgrade to a 1 opener is to be preferred.

(2)   Multi Landy, showing 5 ’s and a minor suit. This is on the upper limit for the bid and double is an alternative.

(3)   3 is forcing, but with 6 ’s West simply bid game, quite reasonable.

(4)   Without the 4 bid North would have asked for the minor with 2NT. Pass is clear now.

(5)   With a super maximum for his initial bid, South decided to bid again. A super mistake…

(6)   especially with me as the next player. I know exactly what to do when by partner opens 1NT and RHO bids his hand a 2nd time (at the 4-level! and vulnerable!).

(7)   Obviously North was not expecting South to bid again, but he should try his best now and bid 4NT to play in partner’s minor. The 4-4 or 5-4 minor suit fit should play better than the 5-2 fit even though it is one level higher. But South’s 2nd bid makes it a poor score whatever.


And what happened? 4 doubled went two down for 500 and a near top to E-W. 4 would have gone down on the 6 lead. 3NT by East makes but that’s difficult to find with a 6-3 fit, especially with interference.

The bottom lines:

-         Don’t bid your hand twice. This is especially true when the opponents have opened with 1NT as you are very likely to get doubled for penalties.

-         If partner bids 2/ Cappelletti (or Multi Landy) and you have two cards in his major and 5-4 in the minors, then ask for his minor – especially if his / bid is doubled.

-         There are ˝ a dozen or so green pass cards in the bidding boxes – that’s because pass is very often the best bid.


Defending against a 1NT opening – part 2                 Board 10 from Friday 23rd

Don’t bid your hand twice – this time South at Table B bid twice and went for 1100. The amazing thing is that this South is the same player as South from the previous page, I guess he is sadistic and enjoys getting beaten up?


Dealer:             9763                                           Table A

East                  106                                             West(F)     North         East          South

both vul            Q10972                                      -                 -                 1NT (1)    2    (2)

                        42                                              2    (3)      pass           3    (4)    pass

4              all pass

A842                 N             K105                   

53                   W    E          KQJ9                   Table B

J863                    S              A54                     West(F)     North         East          South

AJ5                                    Q83                     -                 -                 1NT (1)    1    (2)

                        QJ                                              1    (3)      pass           2    (4)    3   (5)

A8742                                        dbl             3              dbl           all pass




Table A:     (1)  It’s totally flat (so knock off a point) but the good intermediates and honour sequence make this a reasonable 1NT opener.

(2)   Multi Landy, showing 5 ’s and a 4 or 5 card minor suit.

(3)   What did you bid with this West hand F in this week’s quiz? 2 here shows a weak hand with 5 or more ’s and is just competitive. With game forcing values and a four card major, a cue bid of the opponent’s suit (so 3 here) is game forcing Stayman.

(4)   I would pass (partner’s 2 bid should be simply competitive)

Table B:     (2)  An insufficient bid. Presumably he meant 2, Multi Landy?

(3)  West let it ride, in the assumption that 1 now only promised 4 ’s?

(4)  It’s muddy waters now and East decided to bid.

(5)  E-W have probably missed their easy 3NT game and may end up in a hopeless 4, but South decided to bid again and give them an outright top whatever.


And what happened? 3 doubled went four down and 1100 away.

The bottom lines:

-         Don’t bid your hand twice. This is especially true when the opponents have opened with 1NT as you are very likely to get doubled for penalties.

-         If you play 2/ as Cappelletti (or Multi Landy) then you have said your hand – if partner wants to know about your minor then he will ask.

-         If RHO overcalls over partner’s 1NT opening, then a cue bid of his suit is game forcing Stayman - so West B could actually bid 2 at (3) in their unusual auction.

-         If RHO makes an insufficient bid then you may allow the bid if you wish and carry on regardless.


Defending against a 1NT opening – part 3                 Board 19 from Friday 23rd

Another pair got into a mess when they had no agreement about what to do when their 1NT opening was overcalled, but this time they had a lucky outcome.


Dealer:             9                                                

South               J8653                                         West          North(L)    East          South

E-W vul           J965                                            -                 -                 -               1NT

                        965                                            2    (1)      3    (2)      3            3NT (3)

pass           pass           dbl           all pass

A108752           N             QJ64                   

K107              W    E          A                         

-                          S              Q8743                

Q1082                               K43                    






(1)   Natural I guess.

(2)   What did you bid with this North hand L in this week’s quiz? North meant this 3 as a transfer to ’s. That is not a standard treatment and I certainly do not recommend it. The only reasonable bidding scheme after your 1NT opening is interfered with is Lebensohl. North should bid 2NT (demanding 3 from opener) and then bid 3 - weak. A direct 3 or 3 bid here is natural (5+ cards) and forcing. Pass is a reasonable alternative of course, and is very sensible if you have no agreement such as Lebensohl.

(3)   South thought that North had a good hand with good long ’s – so he bid 3NT to protect his K.


And what happened? 3NT doubled cost 300, but that was slightly above average for N-S as E-W had an easy game.

The bottom lines:

-         Play Lebensohl.

-         Play Lebensohl.

-         Play Lebensohl.

-         Lebensohl is the most underrated convention out there.

-         Lebensohl is not for beginners, I have a booklet on it and it’s up on the web.


Defending against a 1NT opening – part 4                 Board 12 from Friday 23rd

I was asked about this one – what do you do when partner’s 1NT opening is overcalled with an unusual 2NT?


Dealer:             -                                                 ‘Expert’ Table

West                84                                               West          North         East(K)    South

N-S vul            Q10984                                      1NT (1)      2NT (2)      3    (3)    pass

                        AJ9854                                      3              pass           4            all pass


1072                  N             AQ986                

AKJ6             W    E          Q10953               

A753                  S              K6                      

K6                                     2                         






(1)   A marginal 1NT opener, but with a ten and points in the long suits it’s just about acceptable.

(2)   The Unusual No Trump (UNT). Weak and at least 5-5 in the minors. Excellent bid.

(3)   What did you bid with this East hand K in this week’s quiz? It’s impossible to bid sensibly without some sort of agreement, I have written up a few pages on the defence to the UNT – ‘Unusual over Unusual’. One standard treatment is to cue bid the opponent’s suits to show good hands. Our experts have the agreement that when the UNT is over a 1NT opening then the 3 cue bid is Stayman with invitational values and the 3 cue bid is game forcing Stayman.


And what happened? Three pairs found the good 4, making or making +1. But three pairs ended up in the inferior 4 with two going down and the other just making.

The bottom lines:

-     Play ‘Unusual over Unusual’ – cuebid to show a good hand.


Defending against a 1NT opening – part 5         Board 16 from Wednesday 21st 


Regular partnerships really should have their defence to 1NT sorted out, here we have a 5th cock-up this week alone. I recommend Multi Landy.


Dealer:             Q8754                                       

West                Q53                                            West          North         East          South

E-W vul           AK54                                         pass           pass (1)      1NT (2)    2   (3)

                        9                                                pass           2              all pass


2                        N             KJ103                 

J1084             W    E          K976                   

QJ92                   S              1086                   

8652                                  AQ                      






(1)   I would open this hand with 1. It has the points in the long suits, conforms with the rule of 20 and has an easy rebid (2 over 1NT/2 and 3 over 2).

(2)   This pair play a weak No Trump, so 12-14.

(3)   Meant as natural, but alerted and explained as both majors.


And what happened? Placing South with honours, East led the 6 and this cost a trick. I was call over. My opinions are: -

.     Fairly regular partnerships or experience pairs really should have something as basic as the defence to a 1NT opening agreed.

.     The lead cost a trick. East said that he would not have led a without the inference from the bidding that South held ’s.

.     I decided to give E-W an extra trick, the reason being that anybody can have a bidding misunderstanding, but when you are the declaring side you should inform the opponents before the opening lead. Had South informed East (after the bidding had finished but before the opening lead) that his 2 bid was natural then there would have been no problem.

.     North actually made 10 tricks (well done on the layout) and so he was awarded +140 which was slightly above average for N-S. Three N-S’s bid and made game and three went down in 4.


The bottom lines:

-     If your partner has given an incorrect explanation of your bid then you should inform the opponents when the bidding has finished and before the opening lead if you are dummy or declarer. If you are defending you can say nothing until play is finished.

-     The strict rules are different if the explanation is correct but the bid not. But at this club the above is also true if you have made an incorrect bid and partner has given the correct explanation, i.e. inform the opponents if you are the declaring side.

-     N-S should be in game with these N-S cards but the evil situation makes 4 poor contract – unlucky for those that bid it and went down.

-     With the nice suit I think that 3NT is the best contract for N-S to bid. The bidding could have gone: 1 - 2 - 2 - 2 (4th suit) - 2NT - 3NT; with East silent.

Jump overcalls are weak                                                               Board 4 from Monday 19th 


What did you bid with Hand B in this week’s quiz? I was asked about the hand and said that you cannot overcall 3 as that is weak, I added that you should double and then bid ’s next go. When I got home I realised that I actually found another (probably better) bid at the table. I was North at table B.


Dealer:             A73                                            Table A

West                A3                                              West          North(B)    East          South

both vul            AKQ764                                    1              3    (1)      pass         pass

                        Q4                                             4    (2)      all pass


KQJ1086          N             54                         Table B

KQ742           W    E          1085                     West          North(B)    East          South

-                          S              109832                1              3NT (1)      pass         pass

A8                                      J96                       pass (3)






Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this North B in this week’s quiz? 3 is generally played as a weak overcall, so with a strong hand you have to double first. Now I have repeatedly stated in the news sheets that a double should be playable in the other 3 suits, especially unbid majors(s). But I always add “unless very strong”. So double , and then bid ’s over partner’s response. This negates the implication that you have ’s and shows a strong hand with ’s

(2)   I’m not sure exactly what West bid, but they reached 4♥.

Table B:     (1)  Everything I say at (1) above is true, but at the table I actually bid 3NT. Now this is not because I am a hog, but because with a long solid minor and a stop in the suit bid it is usually a very good bid.

(3)  West had a long think and eventually passed. It’s not so easy at the 4-level when North has advertised a strong hand but I would still bid 4, especially if you understand that the 3NT bid (sequence T) shows a good long minor.


And what happened? 3NT did not make as the unlucky break meant that the ’s did not run. It went one down for 100 away but still scored above average as most E-W’s were making major suit games or partscores. I note that I was the only declarer in 3NT!

The bottom lines:

-         When you double a major you are usually playable in the other major.

-         The exceptions are when you pull partner’s response into your own suit (showing a strong single suited hand) or when you pull his response into NoTrumps (showing a balanced hand with a stop and too strong for a 1NT overcall, so 19-21).

-         If you have a long solid (or hopefully solid!) minor and a stop in the suit opened you can overcall 3NT.

When partner redoubles                                      Board 1 from Monday 19th 

I was also asked about this deal (Table A). South thought that North should not bid over his redouble and North said that South should not look for slam as North has shown a weak hand.

Who was correct? Answer at the bottom of the page.


Dealer:             J                                                 Table A

North               AJ953                                        West          North(C)    East          South(M)

Love all            Q62                                            -                 1              dbl   (1)    redbl  (2)

                        KJ108                                        pass (3)      2   (4)      pass         4NT   (5)

pass           5              all pass

6532                  N             Q1094                 

64                   W    E          Q10                      Table B

J83                      S              A954                   West          North(C)    East          South

9732                                  A64                      -                 1              dbl   (1)    4     (2)






Table A:     (1)  A take-out double is playable in the other three suits (with the emphasis on unbid majors) unless very strong. This double is fine.

(2)  What did you bid with this South hand M(a) in this week’s quiz? Redouble is 9+ points and often looking for the penalty with a mis-fit for partner. But with a hand this strong it may well be best to go for the penalty and redouble is fine.

(3)   Without the redouble West would bid 1. Pass is correct now as a free bid of 1 would show some values (about 6-9).

(4)   What did you bid with this North hand C in this week’s quiz? You should pull partner’s redouble with a very shapely hand that is unsuitable for defence. For me this is not shapely enough nor unsuitable enough and I would pass. Partner is the captain in these redouble sequences.

(5)   What did you bid with this South hand M(b) in this week’s quiz? Partner’s 2 bid shows a mis-fit there and it also shows a weak shapely hand, so 4NT is too optimistic and 4 is correct. Partner is very unlikely to have bid 2 if he has the necessary two aces.

Table B:     (2)  This South took the simple route to the best spot.


And what happened? 5 went one down when declarer played the doubler for shortage in ’s. Most players made 4+1 – “8 ever, 9 never”. The bottom lines:

-         I was also asked if ‘8 ever 9 never’ was the correct play after a take-out double. The answer is – yes and no! It depends upon the opposition! I was in 4 at Table B and made 11 tricks when I played for the drop – why? Because I knew my opponents! If your opponent doubles ‘with opening values’ then you should play the doubler for the Q. If somebody like myself or Lewis had doubled then we are more likely to have a singleton than Qx and a finesse against doubler’s partner is more reasonable. But I too would double with this East hand as it is indeed playable in the other three suits (with the emphasis on ’s). It’s possible to double with a shapely 10, but 12 is much more likely and I think that playing for the drop is best.

-     Answer to “Who was correct at Table A” at the top of the page?  - They both were.

Respond with the 4 card major or the 5 card minor?  Board 3 from Monday 19th 

This deal also generated some discussion after the Monday session.


Dealer:             QJ96                                          Table A

South               K103                                          West          North(G)    East          South

E-W vul           K                                                -                 -                 -               1

                        AK1094                                     pass           1    (1)      pass         2

pass           4              all pass

107                    N             542                      

QJ64              W    E          A97                      Table B

109864                S              Q52                     West          North(G)    East          South

76                                      QJ53                    -                 -                 -               1

                        AK83                                         pass           2   (1)      pass         2NT (2)

852                                             pass           3    (3)      pass         4    (4)

AJ72                                          pass           pass (5)      pass



Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this North hand G in this week’s quiz? It depends upon your partnership understanding and most will respond 1♠.

Table B:     (1)  I actually bid as North at Table A, but if playing with a very experienced player I would bid 2♣.

(2)   2is the alternative if you do not play the reverse as showing extras (or 5 ’s) after a two level response.

(3)   Now West has bid out his shape, this 3 bid is forcing.

(4)   South simply agrees ’s.

(5)   And North has no slam ambitions opposite a minimal opener.


And what happened? Amazingly results were all over the place. 4 seems obvious however you choose to bid it but only 5 out of 12 pairs found it. The three in slam all went down.

The bottom lines:

-         If partner opens and you have a game forcing hand with a 4 card major and a good 5+ card minor then you have two options. I prefer to ‘deny’ the 4-card major by bidding the minor first and then reversing into the major. This shows the strength and shape and as I like to play 2/1 this is game forcing.

-         The bidding the minor first is more accurate as if you respond in the major and then bid the minor, over say a 1NT rebid, then that promises only 4 cards in the minor and implies a 5 card major.

-         Others, like Hans, will always bid the 4 card major. It really is a matter of style/partnership agreement and with an unfamiliar or inexperienced partner I too would bid the 4 card major.


Obey the Law                                                       Board 18 from Monday 19th 


North has a strong hand and South a mere 4 points, so who should have pushed on to 4?


Dealer:             A7532                                       

East                  KQJ4                                         West          North(E)    East(H)    South(D)

N-S vul            53                                               -                 -                 pass         pass

                        A5                                              1              1    (1)      2  (2)      2    (3)

3              pass (4)      pass         pass (5)

Q10                   N             8                          

A10                W    E          98753                  

A108642            S              KQJ7                  

KJ10                                  Q86                    






(1)   What did you bid with this North hand E in this week’s quiz? I prefer the simple overcall (and maybe bid ’s later) with a 5 card major. Double is a poor choice with just two ’s and the hand is too strong for a Michaels cue bid in my style.

(2)   What did you bid with this East hand H in this week’s quiz? I prefer a negative double, showing 6+ points and 4 or more ’s. This has come up a few times in recent news-sheets. When partner opens with a minor and RHO overcalls 1, then with 5 ’s and insufficient values for a forcing 2 bid, bid a negative double.

(3)   What did you bid with this South hand D in this week’s quiz? With a useful singleton I would bid 4 - obey the Law. And you should make the same 4 bid had East doubled.

(4)   North has a nice hand but I do not think that he should bid again - 3 would imply 6 ’s and this hand has defensive values

(5)   Now that South knows that E-W are limited (and so partner has a good hand) he should certainly bid 4 ’s. But I would have bid it last go anyway.


And what happened? 3 made +1 for a total bottom to N-S. But it looks like my continual mutterings about the Law have had an effect as at every other table N-S played in 4 making or else pushed the opponents into 5 going one down.

The bottom lines:

-         Obey the Law.

-         If partner overcalls and you have 5 card support, then bid to the four level – especially with a singleton in the opponent’s suit.


A bidding mix-up – part 1                                        Board 8 from Wednesday 21st 

Regular partnerships and experienced players really should know about DOPI and ROPI.


Dealer:             4                                                

West                KQJ75                                       West          North         East          South

Love all            KQJ543                                      1              2    (1)      dbl   (2)    pass

                        3                                                3              dbl             3            pass

4NT (3)      dbl             5   (4)    pass

AKQJ5              N             10932                   5    (5)      dbl (6)        pass (7)    pass

6                     W    E          A983                    pass (8)      pass

A10962              S              8                         

KQ                                    AJ86                   






(1)   I prefer 2 (to be followed by a reverse into 2) or else Michaels - this hand is good enough for 2, Michaels, followed by a bid.

(2)   East is a bid stuck here. 3 is weak in their system and so he temporized with a negative double.

(3)   RKCB for ’s

(4)   What was your answer to the similar sequence Q in this week’s quiz? When RHO doubles your partner’s Blackwood bid then ROPI applies. 5 is the 3rd step and so shows 2 key cards without the Q.

(5)   Unfortunately West said that he did not notice the double???

(6)   But North came to the rescue to ensure that E-W got a reasonable score despite missing the slam.

(7)   Maybe East, with his super maximum and good trumps, should have redoubled?

(8)   Maybe West, with his super maximum and good trumps, should have redoubled?


And what happened? Double-dummy there are 13 tricks by either ruffing two ’s high or by a squeeze on West after the K lead. But with the actual bidding declarer had no reason to suppose that North had 6 ’s and he sensibly ruffed the second round of ’s low but got over-ruffed. He thus scored just one overtrick for an average result.

The bottom lines:

-         DOPI and ROPI should be standard for experienced players.


A bidding mix-up – part 2                                    Board 9 from Wednesday 21st 

The beauty of 2/1 is that there is no need to leap about!


Dealer:             843                                            

North               QJ                                              West          North         East(J)      South

E-W vul           AKJ10                                        -                 pass           1    (1)    pass

                        5432                                          2   (2)      pass           4    (3)    pass

4    (4)      pass           pass (5)    pass

A962                 N             J                           pass

-                     W    E          AK876543          

87                       S              Q52                    

AKJ9876                           Q                        






(1)   What did you open with this East hand J in this week’s quiz? 4 seems pretty clear to me, and if playing Namyats then I would still open 4 as it’s not good enough for 4.

(2)   Clearly the best bid – with the intention of bidding the ’s next go. Playing 2/1, as this pair do, this 2 bid is game forcing.

(3)   What was you answer to bidding sequence S? As far as I am concerned this bid does not have any sensible meaning. East intended it as ‘I want to play in 4’ - but if that is so then he should simply have opened 4!

(4)   West has shown just 4 ’s and so this pass is suicidal (4-1 fits do not generally play that well), but it’s too high anyway.


And what happened? Most E-W pairs played in 4 making exactly.

The bottom lines:

-         With a reasonable hand and an 8 card major – open 4 /.


Bidding Sequences Quiz answers


N     1      pass   pass   dbl     A double in the balancing seat can be as few as about 8 points.

P      1NT   pass   pass   dbl     (a)  15-18

                                                (b)  No, it’s still 15-18 when LHO opens a weak No trump.

Q     1      pass   3      pass   5 is ROPI, so the 3rd step and 2 key cards without the trump

4NT   dbl     5               queen

R     1      pass   2     pass   The jump to 3 in a game forcing sequence shows a solid self-

3                                    sufficient suit, setting trumps.

S      1      pass   2     pass   4 here is undefined and totally meaningless when playing 2/1.


T      1      3NT                       3NT here is usually a long solid minor with a stop in the suit bid.

U     1      dbl     redbl  pass   The 2 bid shows a very weak distributional hand.


V     1NT   2      3                3 is natural and forcing

W    1NT   2      2                2 is just competitive with 5+ ’s.

X     1NT   2      3                The 3 cuebid is game forcing Stayman showing exactly 4 ’s. If you play Lebensohl then it also denies a stop.

Y      1NT   2NT   3               There are various possibilities; I recommend that the 3 and 3 cue bids are both Stayman; 3 invitational and 3 game forcing.

Z      1NT   2NT   dbl               A double of a UNT in any situation is best used as showing a decent hand that can penalize the overcaller in at least one of his suits.


Doubling in the pass-out seat.

A note about sequences N and P, 1something – pass – pass – dbl. The double in the pass-out seat is totally different when the opening is 1 of a suit or 1NT. If the opening is one of a suit then RHO has less than 6 points, partner usually has values, and it’s safe to balance with as few as 8 points. But if the opening is 1NT then RHO may well have about 7 points (or 10 playing a weak NoTrump) and you are very likely to get clobbered if you double without your full 15+ points. And also note that to double 1NT in the pass-out seat is also dangerous because partner is very likely to lead the wrong suit and also the strong hand is sitting over you. In fact, a double of a strong NoTrump for penalties is so rarely a good idea (especially in 4th seat) that Marty Bergen came up with the DONT convention so that it does not even exist!

I don’t like to play DONT, but there is a good case for playing Multi Landy (or Cappelletti) in the direct seat and DONT in the 4th seat – the point being that partner may convert a DONT 4th seat double (single suited hand) into penalties with a suitable hand and that a penalty double in 4th seat is extremely rare.

Bidding Quiz Answers


Hand A:    Pass. A 2 bid over partner’s overcall  would be constructive. I would not want to encourage partner with this ill-fitting heap – indeed, RHO may well have a penalty stack sitting over him (he did).

Hand B:    You cannot overcall 3 as most play that as weak, so you should double and then bid ’s over partner’s response. Double and bid a suit shows a strong single suited hand. That is the accepted way of bidding a good hand, but with a stop and a (hopefully) running minor I actually overcalled 3NT with the hand – I think that’s better than the above approach.

Hand C:    Pass. A 2 bid here shows a very weak shapely hand with little defensive values. This hand is not that bad nor shapely enough.

Hand D:    4, The LAW – especially with a singleton in their suit. Points Smoints.

Hand E:    1. When 5-4 (or 4-5) in the majors it’s best to bid the 5 card major rather than double – and you will have problems if you double and partner bids the other minor. A Michaels cue bid (2) shows 5-4 in the majors is a possibility but this hand is far too good for that bid in my style (and not good enough for Michaels followed by a bid which I play as very strong).

Hand F:     3. The cue bid of the opponent’s suit is game forcing Stayman, so in this case showing exactly 4 ’s and game forcing. If you play Lebensohl then it’s the same bid and the direct 3 cue bid is again game forcing Stayman but denying a stop.

Hand G:    I would bid 2 if playing with an established experienced player, and then reverse into ’s next go. This shows a game forcing hand with 5 ’s and 4 ’s – spot on, and essential if there is a tight slam. You can ‘deny’ a 4-card major if you are strong enough to bid it later. With an unfamiliar partner I would (did) bid 1.

Hand H:    Dbl, showing values to compete with 4+ ’s. The hand is not strong enough for a forcing 2 and a 2 bid would deny 4 ♥’s.

Hand J:     4♥.

Hand K:    3 - but of course you have to agree what this cue bid means. Our ‘experts’ play it as game forcing Stayman.

Hand L:    Pass is obviously very reasonable. If you really want to show this 5 card suit you cannot bid 3 as that shows a strong (forcing) hand and 3 is not a transfer but natural – so the only bid is 2NT, Lebensohl, followed by a (weak) 3.

Hand M:   (a)  Redbl. It’s not usually a good idea to redouble with good support for partner, but if the opponents run to 1 you will probably set them three or more for a good score against your non-vul game. At unfavourable vulnerability I would go for the game.

(b)   4. Partner has shown a weak hand and so you should not be looking for slam.




Bidding Sequences Quiz Answers  are on the previous page.