Advanced Lesson 3 – Balancing Seat Bids for Duplicate Bridge Players

Next up on our journey navigating competitive bids, we switch gears and turn our attention to balancing seat bids.   Sometimes your partner has a nice hand but simply does not have the correct shape to make an overcall (suit bid or a takeout double).  In situations like this as well as followup bidding, when you are in the passout seat it’s often time to “borrow a King” from partner and keep the auction alive and competitive (two passes so far and the auction goes to the opponents unless you make a call).   Just remember that when partner made a call in passout seat, resist the urge to punish partner by then advancing the bidding to the 3 level.   In this lesson we also demonstrate the inadequacy holding a Jack-doubleton (including Ace-Jack).   We will also take a look at competing when Left Hand Opponent opens 1 Notrump and you are in the passout seat – time to use Mel Colchamiro’s “Rule of 2” (guideline), responder’s “Stayman double” after RHO overcalls 2 Club, a tip on how to avoid an endplay when LHO has a trump stack sitting behind you, as well as the classic distribution when to try a “strip and endplay.”

By the way, Premium and ULTRA members are welcome to enjoy prior Advanced Lesson segments as well as the Social Lessons (covering Major Suit Raises in the first 3 lessons).  Better yet, check out the hundreds of hours of videos in our archive by clicking “Index to Videos” on the navigation above or simply click this link.

Click here to view Teaser – Hand 1 of 5

Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view entire 41 minute video

We hope you enjoy the show!

Please login or register to view this content.

Happy Trails,



  1. doriander says:

    after a 1nt opening and artificial 2cl overcall dbl is staymann
    but in the case you presented 2cl was natural and unless you play stolen bids dbls after a natural overcall of 2cl
    when your p opened 1nt dbl is penalty cue bid 3cl in this case would be staymann and if you play lebensohl it depends
    playing fads 3nt would show enough points but no club stopper

  2. BridgeHands says:

    Okay, lets check out the auctions:
    1N – (2D) – X
    Without conventional agreements, the responders double is for penalty.
    Ditto for those playing Lebonsohl convention unless they play takeouts at the 2 level.
    And yes, a few emerging players simply like to play “Stolen Bids” – transfer to Hearts here.
    1N – (X) – 3D…
    The meaning of 3D varying by partnership agreement…
    And in this auction:
    1N – (2D) – 3D
    Assuming 2D is natural, then indeed 3D for most could be played as “Stayman” for the majors.
    While on our main BridgeHands website we cover conventions like Lebensohl features like “Fast Denies – Slow Shows,” we generally avoid covering advanced methods in our video lessons.
    Happy Trails, Michael

  3. john wiliams says:

    Hi I have read that one of the reasons to balance is that when opponents show a fit, you are likely or very likelyto have your own dit. Anyone know the actual percentages?

    • BridgeHands says:
      Hello John,
      Good question yet it would be hard to give a well considered response without discussing various situations. Here’s a few quickies;
      When opponents bid 1D – 2D and there are two passes to you in the passout seat. You hold: AQxx KJxx xx xxx
      Yes, by all means make a takeout double and hopefully partner will bid a 4 card major. Perhaps the opponents will go on to 3D and get set, etc.
      Opponents bid 1H – 2H and again there are two passes to you when you hold: AQJxx xxx Kxx xx
      Indeed, bid 2S here regardless of the vulnerability.
      And with the same auction and I held something like: AQxxx x Qxxx xxx
      Opponents bid 1S – 2S with me in passout seat. Unless I have 12+ HCP and shortness in Spades I usually don’t want to bid at the 3 level – THE 3 LEVEL OFTEN BELONGS TO OPPONENTS W/O A PRIOR BIDDING FIT.
      With both sides bidding it goes;
      1D – (1H) 1S – (2H);
      2S – (P) – P – (3h);
      P – (P) – ?
      Here it depends on your hand. Partner should have 5+ Spades. With 4 Spades, yes I would rebid 3S with a known 9 card fit. Yet if I had 2+ winners in the opponents suit, no honors in a 3 card Spade suit, and several side-suit winners, I would either pass or make a penalty double.
      There’s a lot more to discuss but hopefully this is helpful.
      Happy Bridge Trails,

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.