Social Lesson 5 – Support Partner’s Hearts or First Bid 1 Spade?

So when we can support partner’s 1 Heart opener yet we have a handful of Spades, should we make a temporizing 1 Spade call and belated support pard’s Heart suit?   Aha, inquiring minds simply MUST know!   While the response to many Bridge bidding situations is, “it depends…” as we will see in this lesson, there are some perils even when discovering a beloved double-fit in the majors with partner.

Here’s the rub – if WE have a double-fit, then astute opponents will immediately realize its highly likely that THEY will also have a double-fit.  No problem you say, “Major suit bids win over the minors.”   So one factor in the “it depends” is – what is the vulnerability.  Especially when they have favorable vulnerability, be aware that should responder make a pokey 1 Spade response it’s entirely possibly the intervening opponent (in the so-called “sandwich seat”) could quickly make a mess of your tidy auction.   True, in many situations we do advocate a “temporizing” a 2 level call in a minor suit when responder has 10+ points and 3+ card support of partner’s major.   However in this circumstance responder is promising a rebid unless opener rebids 2 Notrump (many Standard American system folks play opener’s 2 Notrump rebid as non-forcing).  On the other hand, when responder bids 1 Spade there’s no assurance of more than 5-6 points nor a promise to rebid.  So after a 1 Heart and a 1 Spade call seems like a reasonable temporizing bid with belated Heart support, often a better approach with invitational or game-going values would be a 3 Hearts invite, or perhaps made a 2 Notrump game forcing call (Jacoby 2 Notrump for some).  If nothing else, this approach makes it more difficult for the intervening opponent to compete with a single or double-suited hand.

Of course as always, you can count on BridgeHands  to incorporate Losing Trick Count and Cover Card hand valuation can help propel us to game when traditional HCP hand valuation falls short.     So sit right up and tune in to our BridgeHands videos!

Premium and ULTRA members are welcome to enjoy both lesson segments as well as the Advanced Part 2 lesson on Freebids.  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.

General Audiences – click here to view Part 1 of our Teaser

Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 1 with 32 minutes of video

This will be a 2 session episode so stay tuned for Part 2 where we will have a good workout bidding and playing an assortment of hands.  And yes, we promise to offer interesting challenges with lessons learned during the play of the hand.


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Happy Trails,


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