Sunday, July 3, 2011

Jennbridge: Bidding Strong Hands

There was a fair amount of discussion after the game Friday on the best way to bid this strong hand (board 19).  Bob, my partner, opened 2 clubs and I held the following:

♠  x
♥  AJ1098x
 ♦  AJxxx
 ♣ x

We generally bid 2 diamonds "waiting" in response to 2 clubs, reserving the cheapest 3-level bid for the rare "second negative" bid.  If we have a suit we want to tell partner about (5-card suit with 2 of the top 3 honors, or 6-card suit with 3 of the top 5, for example) we go ahead and bid it.  Therefore, I bid 2H.

Partner now bid 2S and I showed my second suit, 3D.  Pard now bid 3NT.  Should I carry on, and if so, how?

I decided that with two aces and two good 5 card suits, I was worth another call opposite a 2 club opener, so I bid 4NT, quantitative.  Pard now jumped to 6NT and got a club lead.

♠  x
♥  AJ1098x
 ♦  AJxxx
 ♣ x

♠  AKQxx
♥  Q
 ♦  Kx
 ♣ AKJxx

The play was not difficult.  He overtook the queen of hearts with the ace and knocked out the heart king.  He now had 3C, 2D, 3S and 4 heart tricks.

We have never adopted the bid of 2H showing a double negative and 2N showing hearts for several reasons:
  • 2D waiting works quite well, is still used by many top pairs, and "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"!
  • 2H as a second negative comes up rarely and takes away the opportunity to bid hearts naturally.  (It also requires firm follow-up agreements, which, in my experience, many pairs don't have.)
  • 2NT showing hearts is the worst part of it as it "wrong-sides" the notrump, takes up a lot of valuable space and requires even more elaborate follow-up agreements.
When possible, keep things simple.

See you at the table!


Memphis MOJO said...

I don't like 2H as a double negative either. Players hear about it and think "oh, that makes sense," but it doesn't if they thought about it more.

Anonymous said...