The HHI Bridge blog is dedicated to a better understanding of the game of bridge. Each mini-lesson (#0001-0016) focuses on one deal, one topic, one explanation (bidding, play of the hand, etc.).
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0014 - Knowing When to Bid

When to Bid #001 – Knowing when to bid and when to pass may not be the most exciting bridge skill, but it is an important element of the game. The standard 1-level response to 1  with 6+ hcp should be a guideline not a rule. Responder might hold a hand such as  J53  QJ53  Q3  J753 with 7 hcp, and will surely respond 1  with a hand that may never win a trick.

North opens 1 , East passes ... with 5 hcp, what is South's call?

When North opens 1 , responder (South) should go out of the way to find a bid. Rarely will the bidding go 1  - PASS - PASS - PASS, but when it does, the result is usually not good for 1 

After 1 , South should respond 1 . The  KQ532 with 2/3 top honors, a good 5 hcp, 1 QT and a 5-card suit warrants a 1  response not even considering the valuable tens in the minor suits  1076 and  1042.

When opener rebids 1  (yuk!) South "in for a penny, in for a pound" should bid 2  (South does have tolerance for clubs in case opener returns to 3 ). There is a great convention XYZ just for this bidding sequence, but for now the rebid of 2  is NOT an ongoing bid. After 2 , E/W with most of the points in this deal and not-vulnerable will find it hard to safely enter the auction.

Here is the complete deal.

The opening lead of a diamond would have given declarer (South) two diamond tricks enough to make the contract 1-spade + 5-hearts + 2-diamonds = 8 tricks.  

With the opening lead (T1) of the 2 , however, South has to hope of developing a spade trick to pitch a diamond. So to keep an entry in dummy, on T2 South reverses trump play leading away from the short stack in dummy to the long stack in hand. And on T3 finesses the  8 which loses to the  10. E/W run off three clubs (T4, T5 & T6) and finally on T7 lead a diamond which wins in dummy with the  A. Declarer on T8 makes a ruffing finesse on the  A. And on T9 leads up to the  A10 in dummy and the  J pops up. South can pull out trump (T9 and T10) and on T11 play the final winning  9 for a diamond discard. Declarer wins 2-spades + 5-hearts + 1-diamond = 8 tricks, making 2 .

This deal was played Monday night September 20, 2014 / The Common Game. To obtain a printable PDF file of this deal click " 20141020 0014.

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