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Bridge & other card games/Bidding the Big Hand


This hand came up recently at our bridge club:
N (S)9,2 (H)10,8,6,5,4,3,2 (D)K,J (C)9,3
E (S)Q,8,7,6,5,4,3 (H)K (D) 10,5,2 (C) 7,5
S (S)A,K,J (H)A,K (D) A,Q,6,4 (C)A,K,10,6
W 4 pts
The bidding, with E as dealer, went as follows:
3s-3NT-P-P-P.  High board was 6H. How would you bid this


I assume thar East has the queen of hearts and South the king rather that noth of them holding the king.

This is a good example of why preemptive bids are effective. Without the 3S bid there should not be much problem. The auction might proceed 2C-2D-4NT(27-28)-5D(transfer)-5H-6H (although a wimpy North might pass 5H).

After 3S there is much more of a problem. A 3NT overcall shows about 16-21 or 22 so it does not accurately describe this hand. You should first double. 3S-X-P-4H-. At this point I would assume that the spade finesse is working and a slam is a good bet if partner has anything at all. Now, over 4H you could bid 4S showing a very strong hand and see if partner repeats hearts or possibly bids a minor suit. The trouble with this is that it might be confusing as it might imply that you have longer heart support. Instead, I would try to keep it simple by jumping to 5NT over 4H. This should say that you are obviously very interested in slam even though you are aware that partner may have very little, if anything, to contribute. Partner, looking at a 7 card suit plus a king should bid 6H.

This is a difficult situation since any bid could lead to confusion and 5NT could be too high if partner has nothing at all. However, partner needs very little to make slam a reasonable proposition and 3NT is really inadequate on this hand.  

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I can answer questions on bidding and on cardplay with the caveat that the former may necessarily involve some subjectivity. I have been playing tournament bridge for over 20 years and I have won several regional tournaments.

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