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Winning & Losing with Precision

Do you play Precision? If not, have your ever thought of taking up the “Big Club” system? It definitely has a lot of merit if you want to try it. Let me give you a bidding problem which I encountered this Thursday before I tell you more. You have the South hand and the bidding has been as follows – in Precision. I will explain the bids for the benefit of those not very familiar with the system, or our particular variation.

Dealer N EW Vul

South West North East
Pass Pass
1♣ 2♥ 3♣ Pass
3♠ Pass 4♠ ?

Your 1♣ is 16+ any shape; West’s 2♥ is a normal jump overcall, presumably a six card suit but who knows? North’s 3♣ is 8+ points and at least four clubs, since any suit bid after a 1♣ opening and interference is a postive response. You’re regretting that partner has enough to bid a suit and not 5-7 points which would have required him to double. That would have been fun! But here we are, partner has bid 3♣, you have bid your spade suit and partner has raised to 4♠. How do you proceed, armed with that information? Here is your hand:

♠ KQJ853
♥ AKT75
♦ A4

Now let me show you the full deal:

Board 25 From Thursday 15/02/2018 Dealer N EW Vul

Board#25 15/02/2018

Board#25 15/02/2018 (source:

I am never reluctant to bid slams and could not resist this one. Would YOU have?

West led the heart queen against my 6♠, East ruffed and returned a diamond and I was down three. Even 4♠ was not makeable but about half the field did make it.

The rest of our session was equally gruesome and we finished with 40%, equal bottom, at our club and about the same on X-Clubs. But we did have one coup with our version of Precision, so let me tell you about that one in case you’re interested. I will give you only the NS hands this time.

Partner North:
♠ KQ875
♥ J962
♦ A6
♣ 75

Me South (Dealer):
♠ AT96
♥ AKQ8

♣ AT832

I opened the ‘Big Club’ and North responded with a positive 1♠. I immediately raised to 2♠, which was the strongest of the raises in our system, stronger than 3♠ or 4♠, why hurry in a game forcing situation? We also use this raise as “Roman Key Card” since the suit has been agreed. That keeps it low and stops us getting too high with the 4NT Roman Key Card. Our responses are as follows:

Not including 2NT (we use 2NT for a different purpose) the steps are:
(key cards as in normal Key Card Blackwood being the four aces and the king of trumps)
First step: none or three key cards (03)
Second step: one or four (14)
Third step: two key cards without the queen of trumps
Fourth step: two key cards plus the queen of trumps

This is the same as we use over the more standard 4NT KCB

After my raise to 2♠, North bid 3♠ which showed the best trump holding and I could then see that unless partner had three small clubs and unfavourable distribution in the red suits, the slam must have every chance. I bid 6♠ and partner had little trouble in making the slam. No other pair bid it so our score improved dramatically to 40% from about 37%. Did YOU bid this slam?

Any correspondence is welcome, to

“Thirteen Tricks” will start this coming Monday.

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