Source: Mr. Bridge

David Gold
David Gold

Left-hand opponent opens 3 and there are two passes to you. What is the right bid with this?

Let us look at the alternatives: 1) Double – reasonable, but too likely that you will miss a 5-3 major fit, say opposite:

2) 3 – OK if partner can support, but no good if partner holds Hand A.

3) 3Spade Suit – OK if partner has Hand A, but what if the major suits are the other way round and partner has Hand B?

4) 4 – both majors – this will get you to the right contract opposite both hands A and B. By bidding 4, you focus on your main hope on this hand, which is to find 3+ card support for one of your suits. Occasionally, you will miss 3NT or even a penalty against 3, of course, but that is less likely. With the hand above in mind and feeling optimistic, you pick up:

At game all, your right hand opponent deals and opens 2Spade Suit (weak). Your bid?

Well, let us look at the alternatives:

1) Double – not with a singleton heart.

2) 2NT – this would be nice if it showed both minors (unusual) as it would over 1Spade Suit. Sadly, over a weak two it is a natural bid (15-18 balanced).

3) 3 – fair but partner could have:

Now, you will usually make 10 tricks in diamonds and 3 will need some fortunate breaks to scrape home.

4) 4NT (both minors) – now we are talking. This call brings both your suits into the auction and offers partner a choice. Opposite the hand above, 5will go one off but 3 was probably failing too! If partner is kind enough to put down a slightly better hand:

He will still pass 3if you bid it but now 5 is almost laydown. Certainly, bidding 4NT can run into a misfit and be badly wrong but bidding 3 and missing game is a disaster too. Now you get the idea, you pick up:

Just your side is vulnerable; RHO deals and opens 3. Bravely, you try 4 showing spades and a minor (at least 5-5). Partner bids 5, pass or correct, and you bid 5 dutifully. LHO doubles and leads a heart. Partner puts down:

You realise you have chances. In fact, with careful play, the contract proves to be making. The full deal:

Had you overcalled 3 trying to stay low but hoping partner would have a fit and raise, you would have played there and go down. By risking a slightly higher level to bring both of your suits into the game you recorded +750.

So remember: Better to be in the right suit than At a Lower Level!!!