This is in response to your question: Should I open the bidding with
H Q J x x x
D A x x x x x x
C x x
My recommendation: Pass your
While you didn't mention the Vulnerability and type of scoring, I'll try to
provide a generic answer. Actually, whether you should initially bid or not
with this type of hand is somewhat a matter of style and partnership
agreement. Some aggressive and "busy bidders" believe they must immediately
enter the auction with this hand, owing to the fact they have 6-5
distribution -- they'd even recite the quote "Six-Five, come alive!"
But let's be realistic. Since you have 7 HCP, that leaves 33 HCP
between the three remaining players, or 11 HCP per player on average. This
leaves your side with 7 + 11 = 18 HCP and 22 HCP for the opponents. While I
grant you that suit distribution will
probably play an important factor on this hand, at this point we are
clueless who will find the best fit.
Initially, let's assume you are bidding in the first seat. Later on, I'll
discuss third-seat bidding. Let's begin by taking a pragmatic look at
your distributional hand. You have 7 HCP and it's not yet clear you will
have a partnership fit; so it's unwise to count distribution
points yet. The same is true for modern evaluation techniques
such as Losing Trick Count (LTC).
It's quite likely that opponents will have a Spade fit here, but it's also
most likely your partner will have a long Spade suit. That could
certainly hurt their chance to make a game. Secondly, since you have a
very unbalanced hand, it's most likely at least one other player will be
unbalanced, too. This will become apparent during the subsequent
It would be very dangerous to open the bidding at the 1-level, as 1 Diamond.
This would give your partner the impression you have an opening hand. Also,
how would you handle an auction where your partner is strong and has long
1D - 1S (You shouldn't open 1H here, with more Diamonds)
2D - 3S (You can't bid 2H here, the reverse shows 17+ points)
We wouldn't want to be caught unprepared for this, would we?
Even if partner rebids 2 Spades, we'd be sorry when partner
can only use the Ace of Spades and maybe the Queen of Hearts
from our hand.
Perhaps you were thinking of making a preemptive bid, such as
2 Diamonds. This would be very risky, since you may have a
Heart fit with partner and never find it. While some players will not
preempt with a 4-card Major, may top players agree this is overly
restrictive. However, I recommend that you do not preempt with an
Honor in the 4-card Major. Notice how your hand has two honors in
Hearts -- a really bad time to preempt. And with 5 Hearts, I'd say a
preemptive bid is out of the question. Let's say the bidding went:
P - (1S) - X - (any)
Here, your partner is showing a takeout in Hearts (showing 4).
That would be great news and now you are ready to vigorously
show Heart support with a big trump fit!
I won't go through other auction scenarios, but suffice it to say that
depending on how everyone else bids, you'll still have time to make a bid --
and it will better reflect your hand to your partner. If you and your
partner play Weak Jump Shifts, Unusual Notrump and Michael's Cuebid, or
Responsive Doubles, you still have a good chance to show your distributional
One final point -- another important factor in the auction is your relative
when the bidding came around to you. So while I suggest you Pass in first or
second seat, I would definitely recommend that you make a preemptive bid in
third seat. Since your partner and Right Hand Opponent
have passed, now is the time to make a Preemptive bid -- perhaps 3 Diamonds,
depending on the Vulnerability.
I was a bit curious about what the results would look like by using the hand
you described and randomly dealing the remaining cards to the other three
players. So I entered your hand in a Bridge hand simulator and had it deal
and play 200 random hands. Using the
best suit fit (Hearts or Diamonds), here's the averaged results:
So, in most cases, it's unlikely you are going to find a Game suit fit
with your partner. And as I mentioned above, if you bid at the 1-level
in first or second seat, your partner may very well put you in a Game
Of course, these results would be more meaningful if we could see what would
happen if the opponents' bid. So I next ran the identical hand through the
simulator again, this time assuming the opposition bid their contract in
So while opponents quite possibly will find their Spade fit, their
opportunity to make a Spade game isn't certain.