Mike's Bidding Quiz


Are the principles of responding to a takeout double universal?

Would it help to discuss these principles with my partner?

These seven hands are the second part of a quiz on responding to takeout doubles. I suggest you discuss these hands with your partner. It is important that you and your partner agree on these choices. Assume no one is vulnerable. You are South.

West North East South
1 Dbl Pass ?

What is your call with each of these hands?

1. ♠ K 7 6 3   Q 9 8 6   7 6 3   ♣ J 7

See Mike's Advice

Bid 1♠. This is an important hand that reflects an important theme: If your partner opens one of a minor and you have two four-card majors with enough points to bid, you respond with 1, knowing that your partner will bid again. If he has no heart support and does have four spades, he bids 1♠, and you find your spade fit. When your partner doubles a minor and you have two four-card majors, a 1 bid by you is not forcing. For this reason, you have to plan ahead.

Rule one: If your partner doubles a minor and you have two four-card majors, bid 1♠ if you have a good enough hand to volunteer another bid. Say you bid 1♠ and one of the opponents bids 2. Now you can bid 2. You bid only 1♠ the first time, so your partner will know you do not have a strong hand, just a competitive hand. Your 2 bid is not forcing, which means that your partner can choose which major suit to play in. You will find Rule two discussed next.

2. ♠ 10 7 6 3   J 9 7 6   6 3   ♣ 8 7 3

See Mike's Advice

Bid 1.

Rule two: If your partner doubles a minor and you have two four-card majors, bid 1 if your hand is so bad that you do not want any more bidding.

3. ♠ A Q 8 7   10 7 6 3   6   ♣ K 10 8 4

See Mike's Advice

Bid 2. A cuebid says you have one of two kinds of hands. (1) You have both majors and invitational or better values. (2) You have one major and enough points for game. On this hand you expect your partner to bid a major and you will raise to three of that major. If you had a few more points, you would raise to game.

4. ♠ A K Q 8   7 6   8 7 3   ♣ A Q J 3
See Mike's Advice

Bid 2. You intend to bid spades next, and you intend to reach a game somewhere. It might be spades or it might be notrump. Rarely you will find a game in clubs. This would not be expected. Partner is likely to bid 2. If he does, you will bid 2♠, which is forcing to game. If you had only invitational values with a spade suit, you would respond 2♠. Note that your 2♠ bid here does not promise more than four spades.

5. ♠ 7 4   K Q 8 7 4   A J 3   ♣ K 8 3
See Mike's Advice

Bid 2. You intend to bid hearts twice. When you cuebid and then bid a major suit, you promise game values. The reason for bidding 2 and not 4 is that you want your partner to know you have a big hand. Once in awhile, your side can bid to a slam.

6. ♠ 8 7 2   Q J 8   Q J 8 3   ♣ Q 8 3
See Mike's Advice

Bid 1NT. If you had a terrible hand with a diamond stopper you would try to avoid this bid. Sometimes it is hard to avoid. If you did not have the Q or ♣Q, you would hate bidding 1NT. What you should bid without those two cards is not clear, but bidding 1NT is asking for trouble if you do not have the points to back it up.

7. ♠ 10 8 7 3   K 3   Q J 7 3   ♣ Q 8 3
See Mike's Advice

Bid 1♠. Even with pretty good diamonds, playing in spades rates to be better in the long run. It is almost never right to bid notrump when you have a four-card major.

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