All Vulnerable, what should I do when the bidding goes:
1S - (3H) - ?
Holding: K x x x x x Q x x x x
Based on your
proficiency, perhaps you are viewing this hand in terms of the
Law of Total Tricks,
Losing Trick Count and
associated cover cards (see
Evaluation Books). Apparently your Right Hand Opponent has
judged a score of 500 works better than your 620, or at least would like to
give you that impression.
at your hand, it's clear both you and Left Hand Opponent have surprises.
On a good day (like this one), LHO may even want to push their side to 5
Hearts. Cuebidding 4H by you would be too forward going,
showing extra values, first round control, and slam interest so we can
immediately can rule it out. The only question is what level of Spades.
your Heart singleton, you might anticipate LHO is can support Hearts.
Thus, if you bid 3S, I suspect LHOs will fire down their 4H
response. If partner doubles, what next? Belatedly pulling
to 4S would be anti-partnership - the worst evil. So with 11 trumps
total and neutral vulnerability, it's important that you bid game right now.
let's look at the hand from another perspective. You have 8.5 Losing Trick
Count. But as responder, you should instead focus on controls:
2+ here (SK plus 1+ for singleton). Thus, slam appears distant. Since
partner didn't open with a strong 2C, partner has at most 5 LTC.
So your 2+ controls stretches your side to a maximum 2-3 LTC: quite
likely making game with
a bit of reserve left over.
let's look at the results of a simulation.
North: 5+ Spades, 12-21 points
East: 7-8 Hearts, 0-2 Spades, 5-11 points, 2+ Heart honors
South: actual hand above
West: any random deal
Run: 500,000 hands with 100 meeting criteria
So the Law of
Total Tricks again prevails (with neutral vulnerability,
bid to the level of your total aggregate tricks). Taking a second
look at your hand, you can clearly see it has no defensive values.
looking at specific hands, note from the data above that
opponents' have twice the likelihood as your side making a given level
contract. Of course, our partner and LHO would make a better
assessment on case by case basis.
In summary, I
recommend bidding 4S. There is no reason to preemptively bid 5S,
particularly when 4S has a good play. Fortunately, you didn't ask
what to do if LHO bids 5H and partner passes! But remember
Larry Cohen's immortal words:
The 5 level belongs to the opponents'
doesn't work out, ask Larry for a refund!