Bridge & other card games/Bridge

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Question
1.  In the following hands the bidding has gone:  Opener 1 spade, responder 2 spades, opener 3 spades and responder 4 spades:

        Opener - 13 pts.  -  Spades A, J, 8, 5, 4
         Hearts A, Q, 8, 6
         Diamonds 7, 6, 2
         Clubs   Q

        Responder - 7 pts. - Spades 9, 7, 5, 4, 3
         Hearts 9, 8, 5
         Diamonds 7, 6, 2
         Clubs    A
If the above bidding is not correct, would you please rectify and advise reason.  As I see it, neither opener nor responder can jump raise; in other words, regardless of number of suits each has, one must have sufficient points before a jump raise is possible - correct?

2.  Responder is obligated to mention other suits (other than what opener bid) before coming back to opener's bid suit, do you agree?  It's been mentioned to me I am obligated to support opener's major suit first, but my contention is that one mentions other biddable suits in case a no trump bid is possible from partner.  In addition, responder can come back to opener's beginning suit on re-bid so I don't see any harm in this way - correct?

3.  Bidding starts with opener having 17 points and bids 1 heart with 5 hearts and responder bids 1 spade with 6 points and 4 spades.  Opener jump raises and re-bids 3 hearts.  Is responder obligated to bid and, if so, what would be the bid with only 6 points and no hearts?

Many thanks.

Stewart Fluney

Answer
Hi,

The hand you gave for responder is listed incorrectly. It only has 5 points, 12 cards and has the same diamond holding as the opener.Nonetheless, after 1S-2S opener should pass. His hand is not strong enough to bid 3S.

If you have support for opener's major suit it is important to show it as soon as possible. This will clarify for the partnership what the trump suit will be. This is especially true if you have a weak responding hand (less than 10 points). Opponents are not always considerate enough to keep quiet and let you have an uninterrupted auction. If you have a weakish hand, support for partner's major but don't show it immediately and fool around with other suits instead, if the opponents compete you might very well find that when it's time for your rebid, the level of the auction has gotten too high for you to bid safely. After all, if you find a good major suit fit, that is usually a perfectly reasonable spot for your side to play. It is not really necessary to search for an alternative. If, on the other hand, you have 10 points or more, then you are safer in bidding another suit first and in some cases this might be the best way to describe your hand although you are still most likely to eventually end up playing in opener's major.

A jump raise by opener is not forcing. It shows about 17 or 18 points. With 6 points and no hearts you should just pass 3H and hope for the best.  

Bridge & other card games

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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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