Test Your Bridge Skills #37

This quiz was written by Oren Lidor.

Test Your Bridge Skills #37

Test Your Bridge Skills #37

Hand 1

What will you bid as South?

Best Answer: 2

What does partner promise by bidding 2? 12-17 points with at least 5 Hearts and 4 Diamonds. With 18+ partner would've jumped to 3 (a jump shift, showing 18-21 points).

That means, that if partner has maximum for their bid (16-17 points), game could be on.

So bid 2 to keep the bidding "alive". It’s a correction bid, promising no more than 2 cards in Hearts (with 3, you would better supporting with 2 after partner's 1 opening). If Partner has minimum, they will Pass and you would play 2 with 7 trumps.

But with maximum, they will bid again. Examples:

Partner's 2♠ shows maximum (15-17) with 3-5-4-1 distribution (and 3 cards in Spades - with 4 cards they would've supported with a 3♠ bid before). You rise to 4♠ with your 5 cards in Spades, a maximum hand and likely 11 tricks.

Partner is showing maximum with Club stopper and only 5 Hearts and you raise to 3NT with your maximum hand (you would pass if you had just 6-7 points)

Now partner has minimum and passes 2.


  • When opener bids a new suit on the 2nd bid, which is not a reverse bid or jump shift, it shows 12-17 points (unlike supporting partner, rebidding suit or rebidding 1NT, which would limit the hand). If the responder shows minimum, opener can make another bid with maximum, (15)16-17, or pass with minimum (12-14)
  • Possibilities for 3rd bid by opener are:
    A) Bidding partner's suit (Spade here), showing maximum and 3 card support.
    B) Bidding NT, showing maximum and stopper(s) in the unbid suit (Club here).
    C) Bidding 1 of their suits again, showing maximum and extra length (hearts shows 6 cards, diamonds shows 5 cards).

Hand 2

What will you bid as South?

Best Answer: 5♣

Partner's 2♣ shows 12-17 points, but by bidding 3, it shows they have maximum (15-17) with probably 6 Hearts and 4 Clubs.

It seems you have several choices: 1 of them is to bid 3NT as you have stoppers in Spade and Diamond. A better option is to bid 3♠, showing a Spade stopper, leaving partner with the decision on what to do next, as your J might not be enough if partner has singleton in Diamonds (also xx might not be enough). But the best and most practical bid is 5♣, having a sure 9 card fit and Spade control.

The hand can be:

You can see that 5♣ is an excellent contract. 3NT is likely to go down as there are only 8 tricks. 4 also has a chance, depending on how the Hearts behave. Play 5♣ to promote the Hearts: Assuming you lose 2 Diamonds on the lead, you make the next trick and play: ♣A, A, ruff, ♣ to the ♣K, Heart ruff with the ♣Q (if clubs are 3-1), Club to the ♣J and North's hand is high.


  • If partner has a minimum hand, they should Pass your 3♣ bid.
  • Bidding suggestion: In the sequence above you can use 3♣ as a relatively weak hand, to disturb opponents to enter (balance) the bidding. Then use 2♠ (known as "impossible Spade") to show a good Club fit hand (2♠ cannot be natural, as your 1NT already denied 4 cards in Spades).
  • With North's hands above, some will rebid directly 3, to show 6 cards and 15-17 points. But a 2♣ rebid is better: If partner bids on it, then North can give a 3rd bid showing Heart length (and max), while if South Passes 2♣, it means they have only 6-7 points with better Clubs, and therefore not likely to make game. A 2♣ bid could still be the best part score (plus, with the above hand you will not find game in Clubs).

Hand 3

Against 4your partner leads the ♠Q. Declarer follows with a low Spade from dummy. What will you do?

Best Answer: ♠K and ♣

Against 4 your partner leads the ♠Q. Declarer follows with a low Spade from dummy. What will you do?

Partner's double showed 12+ points, likely shortness in Hearts and at least 3 cards (tolerance) in all other suits. They therefore have 3-4 Spades. From declarer's play you see that partner has 3 Spades (♠QJX) as with a singleton in hand, the declarer would not have played low from dummy. Therefore, the declarer has ♠XX and now it's your only chance to make a trick.

If you allow partner to win, the declarer will win any return, pull out 2 rounds of trumps and play A, and another Diamond to promote the Q in dummy. Partner will win with the K, but is now stuck in hand (if they play Clubs – the declarer will make the ♣K). Later the declarer will enter dummy with the 3rd Trump and manage to discard a Club loser on the Q and make 10 tricks, losing no more than a Club, a Diamond and a Spade.

Therefore, it's important to be on lead now and open a suit for partner which in this case has to be Clubs in the hope that partner has ♣AQ – this will result in the defense making 2 Clubs, a Diamond and a Spade.


Sometimes you need to overtake partner's sure trick in order to open a new suit. These situations normally happen when the declarer has side tricks where they can discard their losers (or potential side tricks like the Q in this hand. Another example:

West led the K. You can see that if the defense is not in a hurry to attack the Clubs, the declarer can discard losers on the solid Diamond suit. The Attack must come from East's hand, which is why they must overtake trick 1 and Switch to the ♣J to make 3 Club tricks and 1 Heart.

Hand 4

You play 4♠, West leads the ♠10 and East follows with the ♠4. You win with the ♠A. What now?

Best Answer: A and 3

You play 4♠, West leads the ♠10 and East follows with the ♠4. You win with the ♠A. What now?

You have 4 losers: 1 in Hearts, 1 in Diamonds and 2 in Clubs.

You can make the contract if you manage to avoid losing either Heart or Club, and that will happen if; the Heart finesse works whereby you will manage to ruff the 3rd Heart in dummy to avoid any Heart losers OR if East holds the ♣A and then plays Club from dummy you will be able to promote your ♣K and avoid 2 Club losers.

If you choose to pull out the trumps, you will greatly limit your chance of success: A Heart finesse will not help, as even if it works, you will still lose the 3rd Heart (if you play the Q – East will cover with the K and you can take AJ, but you’ll still have a Heart loser). Which is why you would now need to hope that the Club finesse works – it’s your only chance.

But there is another line which greatly improves your chances of making: Play Diamond to the A at trick 2 and then play a low Heart to the J. If the Heart finesse works and the J wins the trick, play the A and ruff the 3rd Heart in dummy to avoid any Heart losers. Now you can continue with Club and make 11 tricks if the ♣A is in East (or 10 tricks if the Club finesse fails). If the K is in West and they will win the trick (when you play the J) and play trump. You will pull out trumps, and reenter dummy with you high Q to attempt the Club finesse (which will work here). By doing so you increase your chance of making to 75%, needing 1 of 2 finesses to work (either in Hearts or Clubs). You will lose only if West holds both, K and ♣A (which is 25%).


  • Why play a low Heart and not try to run the Q? If the finesse fails and West takes the K and plays another trump you will not have an additional entry to the dummy to attempt the Club finesse. By playing a low Heart to the J you know you will get another entry to the dummy if the Q fails.
  • If you attempt the Club finesse first and it fails, you will not be able to avoid 4 losers as you have no entry to the dummy to try the Heart finesse.

About the Author

Oren Lidor is considered one of the best bridge teachers in Israel, is the author of 5 bridge books, and teaches bridge to people from all over the world on BBO.

10 comments on “Test Your Bridge Skills #37”
  1. If you play 2/1 game force, partner cannot have 64 in hearts and clubs or she would have rebid 2H over your forcing NT. It would be helpful if you indicate that you aren't playing 2/1 game force.