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I bid thee, tell me more...


Canasta anyone?






Two strong bids mean
"fire is in the hole..."


Bridge wasn't meant to be a solo activity - it's hard enough with TWO opponents...

Is 3S forcing in this auction?

1S - (P) - 2H - (P);
3S - All Pass

Partner holds:    9   K x x x x x x   Q x x   A J x x

First, your partner should not have bid 2H with this holding!  The correct response was to call “Director” - your partner's distribution is 1=7=3=4, that adds up the 15 cards!

Seriously, I’m sure you have a typo in your EMAIL.  For the sake of argument, let's assume partner is really holding 1=5=3=4 shape.  Assuming you are playing Standard American bidding (as opposed to a system such as 2/1), responder’s 2 level response promises at least one rebid.  After all, partner is promising 10+ points so the partnership should be able to make at least 2 Notrump or a 3 level contract.

Your 3S bid is absolutely game forcing, showing extra Spade length and overall strength.  Your partner should not be shocked by your Spade jump, holding a singleton.  While your partner apparently hoped you would have made another bid, partner should be happy that you have a very good 6 card Spade suit or a nice 7 card Spade suit and game forcing values (at least a medium hand of 15+ playing points). 

Unfortunately, many emerging players become distressed when they cannot help partner and perceive a terrible misfit, erroneously leading them to pass.

So should partner bid 4H, hoping opener has some undisclosed Hearts?  Not really - if you had any interest in learning about a possible Heart fit, you would have bid a 3 level minor.  Sure, your partner would like to bid 4H, but there is a problem here.  Look at the suit quality -- partner is “King and out”.  So partner's bid should be clear - reply 4S

While a 6-1 suit fit isn't our favorite, your partner should trust your judgment after you bid 3S.  You are showing a great suit, good hand, and aren't interested in playing the contract elsewhere.  Thus, your partner should not hang you with these holdings.  

Ever see players needless go back and forth, insisting on bidding their own hand instead of listening and cooperating with aggregate partnership assets?   It almost seems like a lovers quarrel, doesn’t it?

I recommend you review various forcing and non-forcing bidding scenarios with your partner.   The results will definitely be worth the effort.  Two good books to use as a guide are Mike Lawrence's "Partnership Understandings" and the Granovetter's "Forgive Me Partner"



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