Mike’s Bidding Quiz


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1. What do I do when partner makes a takeout double and I have two suits?

2. What about when I have invitational values and a notrump kind of hand?

There are three kinds of hands with which you may wish to invite when partner makes a takeout double of an opponent’s opening bid of one of a suit.

  1. A hand with invitational values and one suit to show. This is the most common of the invitational bids responder can make.
  2. A hand with invitational values and two suits to show.
  3. A hand with no suit to show but with good notrump values.

Here are some examples. What is your response with the following hands in this auction. You are South.

West North East South
1 Dbl Pass ?

1. ♠ A 9 8 7 4   K 3   7 4  ♣ J 10 7 4

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Bid 2♠. Your 8 high-card points are worth a lot more when partner makes a takeout double because the bidding promises spade support. You can evaluate your hand in light of a known spade fit. If North had opened 1, you would bid 1♠ and think that you had an 8-point hand. In most cases, you do not reevaluate a hand until you know of a fit. This is one of the beautiful aspects of the takeout double auction. You know when there is a fit, and you can immediately make an educated evaluation of your hand. Your 2♠ bid is not forcing. If partner has a minimum takeout double, he can pass. If he has three cards in spades, he will view his hand with a little less enthusiasm than when he has four spades.

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2. ♠ A Q 7 4   5 2   8 2   ♣ K 10 7 6 4

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Bid 2♠. You do not promise five cards when you jump. Your hope is that partner has four trumps, and your bid takes that hope into consideration. If he has three, he will be conservative in moving forward because he knows that you may be jumping with a four-card suit. Take some credit if you considering jumping in clubs, but in the long run, you will be better off making game invitations in major suits.

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3. ♠ J 7 6 3   A Q   A 5 4 2  ♣ 7 6 5

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A headache. I would bid 2♠. The hand is maximum in every regard except for the quality of the spade suit. Notrump is possible, but those diamond spots are a warning sign (you would prefer to have the 10 along with the ace to bid notrump). If your partner raises to 3♠, you will go to game because you expect him to have four trumps with some extra values.

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4. ♠ A K   6 5   7 6 5 2   ♣ 7 6 5
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Bid 3♣. Jumps into three of a minor are invitational and usually show five trumps or more. A bid of 2♣ is a major understatement of your values.

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5. ♠ 6 5 3   10 9  A Q 6 3   ♣ K Q 10 9
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3♣ is a thinking bid, but 2NT is reasonable, too. I lean to 2NT because if you can make a game, 3NT is more likely to be on than 5♣. Both bids get credit. 2♣ gets no credit because you will bid this with some zero-point hands. Your partner will not know you have this fine a hand. 1NT gets no credit for the same reasons. This is a nice hand, not a doggy hand. Give it a bid that shows you like it.

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