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New To The Table

Bidding to a Game

This series is aimed at those who are new or pretty new to the bridge table. Maybe you have just come out of lessons..or even been playing a little while? Perhaps you are a bridge teacher and want some example hands, extra ones beyond what are in the Beginner Lessons on this website. I hope you may find them interesting and instructive.

They all occurred actually at the table fairly recently.

We will look at the bidding first and then, in a couple of days’ time the play and perhaps, if relevant, the defence.

Board 5
North Deals
N-S Vul
K Q J 7 5
A K 3 2
6 2
K 3
W   E
A 9 8 6
K 7 4
7 6 5 4 2
West North East South
  1  Pass Pass
1  Pass 2  Pass
3  Pass 4  All pass


The Bidding

After North’s opening bid, East did not have a strong enough hand to make a bid. West might have made a take-out double having both major suits but chose to bid their five-card suit, which is fine, too. East’s raise to 2Spade-smallshowed 6-9 high card points (hcp) with West inviting game as they held 16 hcp. Remember we need 25 hcp to be in the game zone. East was maximum and raised to 4Spade-small.

Let’s look what might have happened had West started with a take-out double.

                        West              North            East                South

                                                1Diamond-small                Pass                Pass

                        X                    Pass                1Spade-small                   Pass

                      3Spade-small                    Pass              4Spade-small                   All Pass

Not a lot of difference, really except that East will get to bid spades first and would therefore become the declarer. Notice that East was really maximum for their 1Spade-small bid (0-8 hcp) and should raise to 3Spade-small themselves if West made a slightly conservative 2Spade-small call. Either way, the excellent game contract will be reached.

Bidding Note: When we have 4 card trump support for partner and a side-suit singleton, we can count 3 extra points for the singleton. So, really East held 10 points (we will discount the one point given to the Heart-smallJ.). This means that East could have bid 3Spade-small in our first auction after their partner bid 1Spade-small giving West an easy raise to 4Spade-small.

How about now planning the play of the hand in 4Spade-small with you as West. North leads Diamond-smallA and South will follow to the first diamond.

We will discuss the play, and opening lead, in two days' time.

Richard Solomon

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