Test Your Bridge Skills #24

Test Your Bridge Skills #24

Test Your Bridge Skills #24


Hand 1

What will you bid as South?

What does partner show with their bid?
A big double hand (Super overcall), meaning 17-20 points and 5+ cards in Spades.

With 9-16 points, partner would've overcalled 1♠. As overcall is limited to up to 16 points, and partner has more, they need to double 1st, then bid their suit to show a stronger hand.

Note that if partner has a normal double bid (12-16 points) they would've passed your 2♣ which limited your hand to 0-8 points.

Because partner's is strong, your hand is worth inviting. Partner will have to decide whether to accept and raise to 4♠ or to Pass.

The possible hands:

You can see here that 4♠ can make with an overtrick. Partner has a maximum hand and great Clubs to your bidden suit.

Here, 4♠ can also make. Partner has 6 trumps, valuable aces, and a useful ♣K.

In the above case, partner will choose to pass estimating the points as less valuable. They have minimum, balanced, wasted values in Diamond, and fewer controls.

Note:
a. A Take out Double followed by a new suit is showing a big double hand, meaning an overcall shape hand but with 17-20 points (big double or super overcall).
b. With a stronger hand than that, your 2nd bid should be a cue bid (double and then cue bid) which normally shows a game forcing hand.


Hand 2

What will you bid as South?

You have a huge hand and should be thinking about slam. More clues are needed about partner's hand before making a decision on slam or whether to settle on game. Also, the final contract doesn't have to be in Diamonds.

Partner's hand could be:
a.

You can see that a slam in Spade looks very possible while a game in Diamond or NT isn't at all sure.

b.

Here, 3NT would be best

c.

In this case, 6 is laydown.

d.

In this hand, 7 is laydown.

Therefore, you need to find a bid which will show strength, force partner to bid, describe your hand, and be below the 3NT level.

Any rebid in your suit or partner's suit on 2 or 3 level is non forcing (same for 1, 2, or 3NT). The only forcing bids here are 2 (reverse) and 3♣ (jump shift).

Bid 3♣. You don’t have 4 cards in Club but a jump shift is game forcing. Even if partner will support Clubs, you still have escape to Diamonds to describe your hand (no other way to describe it). That is a fictive jump shift which is used when you have very powerful hands which can't be described on a 2nd bid.

You can try 4NT, but then you still don’t know enough about partner's strength and distribution, nor if partner has anything in Diamonds.

Note:

a.
1 ------ 1♠
3♣ = Jump shift, game forcing, showing 18-21 point. It's normally a natural bid, showing at least 5-4 in the minors, but that bid could also be a fictive jump shift in order to keep the bidding low and force partner to bid on. That's the most suitable bid for this hand.

b.
1 ------ 1♠
3 = shows 15-17 points with 6 cards in Diamond and can be passed by partner, which is why it's not a good bid here.

c.
1 ------ 1♠
3NT = shows 6-7 cards in Diamond and a game forcing hand. Could be a good bid if partner bids 1. But here, it's not so effective. We could have a slam in Diamond (or Spade) while 3NT goes down (partner could pass with no Heart stopper and a balanced hand whilst having some Diamonds).

d.
1 ------ 1♠
4 = This bid shows 6 strong cards in Diamond and 4 cards fit in Spade.

e.
Note that a 2♣ opening was possible in this hand, but would be very hard to then describe the hand later or find out more about partner's hand, example:
2♣ ------ 2
3 ------ 3♠


Hand 3

Against 3NT your partner leads the ♠J.

Dummy follows with the ♠K and you win with the ♠A.

What now?

Against 3NT your partner leads the ♠J. Dummy follows with the ♠K and you win with the ♠A. What now?

The situation doesn't look very promising. From the bidding, it would appear that opponents have 28 points. From the ♠J lead you can determine the ♠Q is with declarer. Even if partner has the KXX, declarer can easily finesse it twice, and make 6 Diamond tricks.

So, to continue with Spade won't set the contract, no matter what partner has. Here, partner has max 6 points including the ♠J.

The only hope lies in the Club suit. If partner has ♣AJXX then you can set by playing the ♣Q. That's the only card that guarantees the defense 4 Club tricks in this situation.

If you play a low Club, declarer can follow low. Partner can win with the ♣J but now declarer has ♣K which protects.

You can see that on any other defense the declarer can make 6 Diamonds, 3 Hearts and the ♠Q, equalling 10 tricks on top.

Note:
a) Normally, from Qxxx, you play a low card, showing an honor in that suit (Attitude). However, in situations where the declarer has their tricks on top and you don’t have an additional entry to your hand, you must consider the available options to make your fast tricks. You need to place your partner with the right cards or there's no chance to set.
b) North could bid transfer to Diamond followed with 3NT to show this hand. Because with the right cards from South, a slam could be possible, if for example South has ♠Axxx Kx Kxxx ♣AKx.


Hand 4

You play 5♣ and West leads the 3.

You take East's Q with your A.

How will you continue?

You play 5♣ and West leads the 3. You take East's Q with your A. How will you continue?

You have 5 losers: 1 Spade, 1 Heart, 2 Diamonds, and 1 Club.
2 Diamonds can be ruffed in dummy. A 3rd loser must disappear from either a successful finesse in Club or by promoting a Spade trick on which you can discard your Heart loser.

Your best chance is to play your spade right away towards the ♠K. If West takes the ♠A, your ♠K will be promoted allowing you to discard your Heart loser. Then, when you ruff 2 diamonds and discard a Heart on the ♠K, you'll manage just 2 losers (♠A and ♣K) although the Club finesse loses.

If you ruff a Diamond at trick 2, you might go down as you don’t have a fast entry to your hand to play the Spade finesse. For example, after ruffing diamond, you try the Club finesse from dummy. West will take the ♣K and play another Club, and now you can't ruff the next Diamond.

The same will happen if you play Club to the ♣A and then Spade. West will take the ♠A, the ♣K, and you'll be unable to ruff 2 Diamonds in dummy.

If you ruff a Diamond and play spade from dummy at trick 3, you won't be able to promote a Spade trick as cards lay (♠A is 4th).

Note:
a. Playing Spade at trick 2 will bring success even if the ♠A in East. As long as Spades are 4-3 and Clubs 2-2, you'll be able to promote your 5th Spade for a Heart discard. Say your ♠K loses to the ace in East, then East continues with Club. You win with the ♣A, ruff Diamond, ruff the 2nd Spade in hand, ruff Diamond, ruff the 3rd Spade in hand, play Heart to the K, ruff the 4th Spade, then play a Trump to pull out opponent's last trumps. Your 5th Spade is high now, and the A is an entry to it.

b. The above bidding uses SAYC. If playing 2/1, you need an agreement on how to bid South's hand. You can agree that a jump to 3♣ is showing 10-11 points with 6 cards in Clubs. But if 3♣ is Bergen raises, then you'll need to either upgrade your hand for a 2♣ game forcing bid or bid a 1NT (1 round forcing) planning to bid 3♣ later showing a relatively weak hand with long Clubs.

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