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Modern Mainstream Bidding Techniques

If you look at the West hand in this deal, you will say that West has an opening bid and should open the bidding after South passes. I would certainly open, but would understand if the ‘losing trick’ exponents did not. I’m not one for ‘losing tricks count’ because I find it difficult to estimate losing tricks at the best of times, but just a look at the West hand would suggest that West has at least nine losers, however you look at it.

Board 15 from Thursday 1/11/2018
Dealer S NS Vul

Board#15 01/11/2018

Let’s say that West does open 1H. I have always subscribed to the view that ‘an opening bid opposite an opening bid equals game’. Therefore, East should be looking for a way to find game. However, North will invariably overcall (to double 1H is WRONG) and when North does overcall 2C, East has a very easy way to proceed, a takeout double which should guarantee four or more spades. West bids 2D, which was West’s rebid all along. East could now bid 3C, a cue bid that does not have any particular meaning (I hate the term ‘unassuming cue bid’ and don’t know what it means) but is probably looking for a club stop or two.

But a better option for East is to raise diamonds. While East does have, ostensibly, enough for game, game in a minor requires closer to 28 combined points, more than the 25 that East can rely on. Therefore, unless West has a good enough hand to move further, 3D will probably be as far as the bidding should go. Should West make another move when East bids 3D? I don’t think so, but if West does choose to bid 4D (possibly 3S), diagnosing the club problem and hoping that East has a singleton club and some values in spades, then East has a very easy decision to bid 4H.

In this sequence the K9 are as good cards as West could expect, and so it proves, when West is happy to pass 4H and try for the 5-2 major suit game rather than the known 4-4 minor suit game. Bidding is all about discussing things with partner in a meaningful way. This discussion should end in 3D for and average result, or in 4H for a near top result. Which discussion did YOU have?

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