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"Quantitative Bid" …. Can you say it and use it?

I struggle to say it but it is a useful bid to use. The idea is that you ask partner to pass if they are minimum for their holding or bid on if they are maximum…a bit like the sequence:

West                          East

1Spade-small                               2Spade-small

3Spade-small                               ?

We are going to use it in a different situation where there may be a slam on. Where we have no suit agreement, the bid of 4NT should not be an ace ask but poses the question raised above.

Where the sequence starts with or includes a no- trump bid, we can use 4Club-small as an ace-ask and thus make 4NT what we call a quantitative raise. In the sequence:

West                                      East

2NT (20-22 balanced)           4NT

West will pass with 20, will raise to 6NT with 22 and will have to decide whether or not to raise with 21. If West is maximum and has a 5- card suit, they can offer 6 of that suit as a possible place to play.

With all that in mind, would you bid on or pass with the following hand:

West              North             East                South

2NT                Pass                4NT                Pass


West Deals
None Vul
K 9
A K 10 7 3
A 9 3
W   E


Firstly, we should recognise the question we are being asked. Then, we should be aware of how many high card points we hold. The answer to this question is 21, right in the middle.

So, we have a decision to make. We have to decide if we have a good or less good 21 count. If good, we will give slam a go. Shall we?

It is not about how nervous you are about bidding slam or that you always do badly against your right-hand opponent (even if both of these facts may be true!). It is about the 13 cards you hold.   nervous.jpg

The good point about your hand is that you have a good looking 5-card suit. You have also plenty of aces, always a good sign. There is a bad point, too. AQJ could be better, especially if, say, partner had Kxx….10 hcp for only 3 tricks. However, on balance, we have a good hand. So, despite our nervousness and any negative feelings about an opponent, we are going to bid slam.


Which slam? We can bid 6Diamond-small and partner will realise we have a 5-card suit. It will be their choice as to whether we play 6Diamond-small or 6NT. So, 6Diamond-small it is…. and that becomes the final contract.

West Deals
None Vul
K 9
A K 10 7 3
A 9 3
W   E
A 10 3
K 4 2
Q 5 4
Q 8 7 5
West North East South
2 NT Pass 4 NT Pass
6  All pass    


 North leads Heart-small10 and you see dummy. “Thanks, partner” you say, this time through semi-gritted teeth as it is not the dummy of your dreams. Nevertheless, it has chances! So, plan the play.

  • What losers do you have?
  • What dangers are there?
  • What can you do about losers and dangers?

See you on Sunday with the play.

Richard Solomon

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