AUDREY GRANT'S BETTER BRIDGE MAGAZINE May / June 2020 - Page 9
J 8 7 2
A Q J
A J 8 7 3
K Q 6 3
K Q J 7 5 2
A 10 5
A Q 10 6
A K 9 6
1♠ – This is a simple hand. I bid my suits
“up-the-line.” This is the same rebid I’d
make if partner responded 1♦. There’s
no need to change course here and raise
hearts prematurely. I can make a delayed
raise of hearts if the auction continues
conveniently, and then partner will
know what I have.
2♥ – The danger of bidding 1♠ is I’ll
want to follow up with 2♥ if partner
now bids 1NT or 2♣, for example. That
would overstate my values. The guideline
I like to follow in this situation is: “If in
1♠ – This is a matter of partnership
style. I prefer not to raise with threecard
support when I have an easy rebid.
If I rebid 1♠ and partner has five hearts
and an invitational or better hand, we
can still find our fit later. If I raise to
2♥, however, it may be difficult to find
our spade fit when partner is 4-4 in the
1♠ – Certainly an issue of style.
Raising in three-card support with an
unbalanced hand is reasonable. In this
case, however, having to ruff diamonds
with the ♥A-Q-J does not look like an
attractive action. I’ll bid and, if partner
wants to play in 1NT, I’ll pass.
The basic guideline is to bid four-card suit
“up-the line,” looking for an eight-card
major-suit fit. Although it’s acceptable to
raise responder’s major with three-card
support and an unbalanced hand, most of
the panel feel this is not the time to bypass
a possible spade fit.
Double – I’m going to reopen with a
double to protect partner in case partner
has a penalty double of spades. I’d prefer
to have more heart length, but I feel
my hand is good enough to rebid 3♣ if
partner bids 2♥.
2♦ – I don’t really have the right hand
to penalize 1♠ doubled, so I’m going to
bid out my shape. Actually, I’m more
worried I might give the opponents a
chance to reach a making heart contract
– perhaps even game. But I certainly
can’t pass with this much strength.
Double – It’s always correct to try to
reopen with a double in the balancing
position in case partner has a trap pass.
As long as you can tolerate anything
partner might bid, it’s safe to double.
Here, if partner bids 2♥, I’ll correct
to 3♣. If partner does have nothing
and I go down one, the opponents can
probably make 2♠, so no big deal.
Double – This hand is strong enough
to compete to 3♣, so I would reopen
with a double. If partner bids 2♥, then
rebidding 3♣ feels comfortable. And,
if partner has a trap pass of 1♠, then
doubling will likely turn out extremely
well for our side.
With shortness in the opponent’s suit,
opener is generally expected to reopen with
a takeout double in case responder has a
“trap pass” - wanting to defend for penalty
but unable to double since a direct double
would be negative. However, opener has
to be prepared if responder doesn’t pass.
Despite holding only two hearts, most of
the panel feel they can comfortably rebid
clubs if partner bids hearts.
2NT – Since I’m not passing and
converting the double to penalty, I’m
hoping partner takes this as showing
equal length in the minor suits and
letting partner choose. If partner passes
… oh well, hopefully partner has the
♣Q or ♦K. Partner is marked with
some points for the double but fewer
than 8, so it’s too scary to pass.
3♣ – Partner is making a reopening
takeout-ish double, so I’m not passing. It
would be nice if 2NT by me were “picka-minor”,
but I’m not sure it is, given
my last bid was 1NT. So I’m going to
hope to strike partner’s four-card minor.
2NT – Partner’s double is for takeout,
so I won’t pass as my hearts aren’t good
enough to defend for penalty. I’d like
2NT to say “pick a minor”, but that’s
not the standard agreement. Regardless,
I have a maximum and don’t want to
guess which minor to bid. Partner’s
allowed to bid a minor if they don’t
think 2NT will be a good contract.
2NT – With 5 or 6 points and four
spades plus a five-card minor, partner
could simply bid 2♠ with heart
shortness, having denied five spades by
passing 1NT. So I expect partner has a
more balanced hand with 6 or 7 points.
2NT here is “scrambling” – looking for
a place to play – because I could just pass
the double with a good heart holding.
All the panel agree partner’s double in this
auction is for takeout, not penalty, but
with enough strength to defend if the 1NT
overcaller chooses to pass. Responder won’t
have five spades, and is unlikely to have
four, so there should be an eight-card or
longer minor-suit fit. Most of the experts
are hoping 2NT will ask partner to choose
the minor suit, but they aren’t sure partner
will take it that way.