Horses for Courses
For some hands, some systems are better than others. The following is a clear illustration of that. If you adhere strictly to what you have been taught, then only a “Big Club’ system like Precision will get you to 4H on the NS hands. Many of the Acol players in our session languished in 1S when, after three passes, South opened 1S and North, not having the required “6+ high card points”, passed. North also could have opened a weak 2H but for the same reason (North would have been taught that a weak 2H opening should have “6-10 HCP”) didn’t. This was the deal:
Board 9 from Thursday 23/08/2018
Dealer W EW Vul
North, if playing weak twos, should have every reason to open a weak 2H. Not vulnerable against vulnerable, that hand is a pretty close approximation of what I would expect from North. South, with such great heart support, should not mess around and bid 4H. Quite simple, really. Now let us say that North wants to stick to the imposed rules for weak two openings and passes and South opens 1S. Once more, imposed rules by our worthy tutors would say “PASS” but is that sensible, or does North have licence to bend the rules a bit? A reasonable understanding of a 1NT response to a 1S opening is: fewer than nine points but also fewer than three spades and a warning to partner that you are closer to 6 than
9 and also that you may be wanting ‘out’ to a suit other than spades.
With this hand, if North is prepared to bid hearts later, North can respond with 1NT and, unless South jumps to FOUR spades, North should bid hearts at the lowest level after South’s rebid, whatever it may be. Thus, North should be prepared to bid 4H when South makes the inevitable rebid of 3NT with this particular hand. Most of the time, the bidding is likely to go 1S-1NT-2S and North will be able to remove to 3H which is definitely to play: ”please pass, partner”.
Lots of ways that every NS pair should be able to bid to 4H whatever system they are playing, but 1S was the final contract over half the time in our particular session. Did pairs in your session fare any better?