Poll #12, Bid Two Marginal Hands 12/10/2010

As the saying goes, “The chicken’s have come back to roost,” meaning:

…. “Okay folks, most of us wanted to bid one or both of these hands on
Monday and Wednesday so here they are together – go for it!”

A small percentage of our poll respondents passed South’s questionable 12 HCP hand on Monday; if they wish to continue bidding their style, then their two options are either pass again in third seat or bid 1H in third seat allowing them to pass partner’s response.   Incidentally, several months ago a leading Bridge columnist and world class champion featured two hands similar to our hands.  You might be surprised by his recommendations (after bidding please login for more on analysis).

Ostensibly the majority will continue to bid 1S with South’s hand.  Playing Standard American bidding style, North will respond 2H with 11 HCP and a 5 card Heart suit.  From here the bidding gets interesting, although here we provide you the luxury of viewing both hands before bidding.  Still, try to visualize the North and South hands individually by themselves so you’ll be making fair bids as you would at the table. 

Okay, see you on the other side after you’ve made your bids.  And after responding to the poll, we have a special treat for you today.   After you login to your FREE Membership Subscription account, we will include the results from our double-dummy simulator.  We plug in the above hands, then deal hundreds of random hands to East/West, recording the number of possible tricks available for North/South.  Hmm, interesting, all very interesting…

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  1. Steve Klein says:

    I’d pass the hand in first seat, open 1H with the one in third, and respond 1S. Since the passed-hand response isn’t forcing, I’d pass the 1S bid.

  2. Dennis Rybicki says:

    !S-1N; 2C-2N; P
    This is the same auction in SA and in 2/1. N is too big to pass in 1st seat; S is too weak to force to game, or even to the 3-level without an 8-card fit.

    • BridgeHands says:
      Very perceptive, Dennis. Many 2/1 players would be tempted to invite like this:

      1S – 1N; Forcing 1 Notrump
      2C – 3H; Oops, to auction is too high!

      Nice job stopping at 2 Notrump.


  3. BridgeHands says:

    As we end the first day of polling, it looks like we have a close race with a photo finish. Above the rest of the pack with 34 and 25 percent of the populas vote, at this point we have:
    ……….1S – 2H;…2N – Pass (or another rebid)

    ……….1S – 2H;…2S – P or 3S

    Looking at our double-dummy simulation of 500 random East-West hands, it turns out that with our North-South hands it’s actually easier to make a 2 Spade contract than a 2 Notrump partscore. However, with hands like these admitedly bidding seems to be more of an art than a science.

    Somewhat surprisingly, the percentage of those who elected to Pass with both hands grew to 17 percent, up from 10 percent on Monday and Wednesday’s polls with the same hands (isolated bidding, one at a time). Perhaps after some of our poll respondents growing more cautious – certainly not the intention of our “Polling You” columns. Speaking of the 10 percent voters, this time we found 9 percent of the votes go to:

    ……….Another bid

    One wonders how their bidding style/treatment would compare with the other 4 available bids. Well, one thing is for sure – Bridge playes are a curious bunch to figure out (perhaps akin to the notion of trying to heard cats).Alas, we wouldn’t want others to figure us out THAT easy, right? Right!

    Until next week, happy trails,


  4. Gideon says:

    You nust open with C. Thus enabling showing S in the next round in case partner bids 1Nt or 1H. (You can not bid 3C since this would be reverse bid)
    Price is small- promissing 6 clubs and having only 5.)

    • BridgeHands says:

      A very interesting observation, Gideon. The “classic” style to open a hand with 5=5 in Spades-Clubs was to begin with 1Club, later rebidding 1 Spade and then rebidding 2 Spades. And even using the more modern style, it’s a reasonable approach to begin by bidding 1 Club, then 1 Spade, then rebidding 2 Spades even if modern methods tend to promise 5 Spades and 6 Clubs. Others take note of the suit quality in Clubs – headed by the King-Queen-9-8, with the Ace or another honor the Clubs would actually begin to play like a 6 card suit. So with an imperfect hand, sometimes our bidding will be imperfect. Gideon points out a sensible approach that shows the wisdom of planning a rebid – here beginning with 1 Spade likely means we would have show our Clubs at the 3 level unless partner bids 1 Notrump.


  5. christel says:

    normally I would think you should bid the clubs, but since pd bid 2H and opener has the K/H, resp. must have something in D, and you don’t want to get too high .. so here 2N and pass seems the best place to be

    • BridgeHands says:
      Christel, nice deduction that partner must have something in Diamonds based on our honor holding and made a bid showing 10+ points. Even on a bad day when partner’s honors are mostly in Hearts and one of our suits, the opponents may wind up taking 4 tricks in Diamonds plus one in a black suit leaving us 8 tricks to make our 2 Notrump contract. Even if they take the first 5 Diamond tricks, unless the leader holds an Ace, the next lead may allow us to cash the next 8 tricks. What is important here is that we trust that partner indeed has 11+ points or at least a very good 10 point holding.


  6. tommylee says:

    The hands make me wish I could bid 1NT forcing..I like to open hands light today which seems to be the fashion, but if you are playing SAYC and partner makes a 2/1 bid, you are never sure whether you have enoughn to make 2NT (preusably 23 hcps). SAYC worked better when most opening hands were 13 hcps.

    • BridgeHands says:
      Hello Tommy,
      True, the forcing 1 Notrump bid often works wonder to succinctly and efficiently describe hands where responder has game-going values. On the other hand, SAYC advocates like the thought that responder can signoff in 1 Notrump, a downside of playing the 2/1 system. And on hands like this, it’s probably a toss-up which method is best. Playing 2/1, after:

      1S – 1N
      2C – ?

      Responder doesn’t have a great bid. 2H is a signoff and bidding 3H is a bit too rich for responders hand. So responder must bid 2N, hoping opener does not have 3 Hearts. Sigh, Bridge players are always looking for better methods…
      Warm Regards, Michael

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