Bulletin ACBL , October 2006

When your partner makes a takeout double, it is common for there to be some competitive bidding.

LHO Partner RHO You
1club suit Doblo 1Heart Suit ?

You can bid a suit you can bid notrump, you can make a penalty double of 1Heart Suit, and you can make a cuebid of 2club suit. if you have a hand that qualifies.

LHO Partner RHO You
1club suit Doblo 2club suit ?

You can bid a suit or make a responsive double on some hands. It is fairly easy for you to describe your hand if you wish.

LHO Partner RHO You
1club suit Doblo 1NT ?

It’s less easy here. If you have one suit to bid, you can do that if the hand is strong enough. But what if you have a hand like one of these?

Spade SuitQ873 Heart Suit KJ72Diamond SuitQ83 club suit 83

You have enough to compete to two of a major. How can you do that and at the same time find the right major suit?

Spade Suit74 Heart Suit J763 Diamond SuitAK109 club suit 762

You want to play in two of a red suit, but only in the right red suit. At the same time, you don’t want partner to bid spades.

Spade SuitQ874 Heart Suit 84 Diamond SuitKJ109 club suit 762

You would like partner to choose between spades and diamonds. Can you do all the things you want to do with these hands? The answer is that there is a sane way to do some of them.

Say LHO opens 1Diamond Suitand partner doubles. RHO bids 1NT showing around 7- 9 high-card points. When is the last time you doubled 1NT? When is the last time you cuebid 2club suit? I can’t remember this happening at my table lately, and I suspect
that the reason is that there are not many hands that meet the “standard” requirements for these bids.

So here’s a suggestion. If partner doubles 1club suit, 1Diamond Suitor 1Heart Suit, and your RHO bids a natural 1NT, play the following:  A cuebid shows the two higher unbid suits and a double shows the two lower unbid suits.

LHO Partner RHO You
1club suit Doblo 1NT ?

• Double shows the lower suits, diamonds and hearts.
• 2club suit, a cuebid, shows the higher suits, spades and hearts.

If you have spades and diamonds, pick a suit and bid it.

LHO Partner RHO You
1Diamond Suit Doblo 1NT ?

Double shows the lower suits, clubs and hearts. Cuebid, shows the higher suits, spades and hearts. If you have spades and clubs, pick a suit and bid it.

LHO Partner RHO You
1Heart Suit Doblo 1NT ?

Double shows the lower suits, clubs and diamonds. 2Heart Suit, a cuebid, shows the higher suits, spades and diamonds. Use this one with care. You need a nice enough hand to protect partner if he chooses diamonds, which will be on the three level.
If you have hearts and clubs, pick a suit and bid it.

For the record, a cuebid does not show a good hand. It says you have the two suits you are showing but are not sure which suit you should bid.

A few examples:

LHO Partner RHO You
1club suit Doblo 1NT ?

Spade Suit63 Heart Suit A763 Diamond Suit QJ83 club suit J104

Double. This says you have enough to bid one of the lower suits but are not sure which one you should bid. If you bid hearts, partner might have three hearts and four diamonds, where diamonds will probably play better. If you had five hearts you should just bid them since you do no need more than three-card support. If you have enough points to continue bidding, double and then bid again. If you have a hand with competitive values only (you will almost never
have a really good hand), you will pass partner’s bid.

Spade SuitAK53 Heart Suit 10873 Diamond Suit3 club suit 7653

Bid 2club suit , a cuebid. You promise the two higher unbid suits, in this ease the majors. Even though your spades are far better than your hearts, a 4-4 heart fit rates to be better for you than a 4-3 spade fit. 2club suit will get you to the right major suit all of the time.

Spade SuitA873 Heart Suit 87 Diamond Suit8763 club suit A62

You do not have a way to show spades and diamonds, so you have to guess whether to bid and then which suit to bid. Since this is the same problem you would have without this convention it’s fair to say that you are not worse off in any way.

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