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Fortune Favours The Bold

I just had to discuss this hand because a number of our junior players from Wednesday have been asking, and it is important that they understand the points system of evaluating the potential of any hand you hold, and why getting what I call ‘point fixated’ by basing all your bidding on points is not the way to get the best results. There is also an ulterior motive, because this particular deal is another that would be ideally handled by those who have taken up my “Evil Acol” way of bidding. So, let’s take a look:

Board 18 from Wednesday 09/01/2019.
Dealer E NS Vul

Board#18 09/01/2019

The East hand has 15 high card points but is HUGE in potential. The best way I can persuade you of its strength is to suggest you do an experiment: deal out the East hand and then randomly deal out the other three. Do that ten times. How many times out of ten would the EW hands be able to make either 6C or 6S?

Whatever system you are playing, the best way to bid the East hand is to open with a forcing bid and then bid spades and then clubs to the FIVE level, telling West that East expects to have only two losers in normal circumstances, given that West will give East preference to the better fitting black suit. Look at the losers in the East hand should West have nothing by way of high cards: East, on their own, can count three losers, a spade, a club, and a diamond, therefore bidding as far as the five level all on their own without partner’s input is not going to get you too high except in the worst, most unimaginable circumstance, like when West has two small black singletons. Forget the improbable, concentrate on the potential. And in this case, if West is an intelligent partner and East bids spades then clubs to 5C, then 6C should be the final contract, yet only a handful of pairs managed game in spades, the others languishing in part scores.

A few copies of my new book “Thirteen Tricks and Evil Acol” are still available here or from me direct (email